Race Week! What you need to know about the MKE Marathon

Disclaimer #1: I received free entry to the Milwaukee Marathon for being a member of the Performance Running Outfitters Pace Team. I’ll be pacing the 1:50 group for the Half Marathon

Disclaimer #2: I am promoting the Milwaukee Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review and write race reviews!

It’s race week for the Milwaukee Marathon (and the Half and 5k)! If you haven’t yet registered, you have until Wednesday (April 3) at midnight to get it done. Don’t forget that Run15 gets you 15% off.

So you know that you’ll be running the race, but let’s talk about some logistics for the race.

Packet Pickup

Packet-pickup for the race will be on Friday, April 5, from 11-8 at Fiserv Forum (the new Bucks arena) and will be just inside the stadium. For those of you who are like me and have run Brewers Mini, I would expect this to be a similar set-up to what they have at Miller Park.

Also, unless you paid to pick up your packet on race morning, you’ll need to pick it up at some point on Friday at Fiserv. Or have someone else grab it for you.

A couple things to be aware of:

The race, and stadium, is enforcing the clear bag policy that is in effect for all games and events at Fiserv Forum, so be prepared to go through security when you get to packet pickup.

Parking. Downtown Milwaukee can be a little touch and go with parking, although you can probably find street parking if you work hard enough. The race is promoting a lot near the stadium on race day (more on that in a minute), but it looks like a free for all at packet pick-up. So, good luck!

Race Morning – Getting There

The big thing to know is that the 5k starts at 6:30am, which means roads will start closing before then. Some roads around the stadium will close Friday morning although you’ll get a taste of that during packet-pickup.

Water Street will close at 3am on Friday, and other major roads on the East Side of Milwaukee (Lincoln Memorial and Clybourn) will close around 6am. So if you’re coming to the start from the South or East-ish area, be prepared.

Also, be aware that there are other races in the Milwaukee area as well that weekend. Chiefly the South Shore Half. That shouldn’t impact you at all, but be aware of it anyway.

Race Morning – Being There

From what it sounds like, we won’t have access to Fiserv in the morning so be prepared for 40ish degrees and sitting outside in the morning. If you’re signed up for an early April race in Milwaukee, you probably expect that, but still.

Ok, back to parking. The race is promoting the 5th Street Parking structure a couple blocks away from the Start/Finish line. From the sounds of it, parking is not free unless you can find a street spot. I’ll likely pony up for a Spot Hero spot, just so I don’t have any surprises on race morning.

Also. Remember that bag policy for packet-pickup? Still in effect on race morning, for what I’ve been told. So you’ll have to use the bag the race provides you. I know that is common for city races, but it’s another thing to be aware of.

The Race

I did a whole course preview, so we won’t get too bananas here.

From what the race has said, there will be porta-pods, water, nuun, and honey stinger at aid stations along the course. I thought I read something about a gel stop as well, but I could be making that up.

Even though the course is easy to follow, and after historically having problems, the course should be easily marked. That being said, it’s worth your time to look at the map (the course is certified) and know what streets your turnarounds are on.


Overall, this should be a fun one. I want so badly for this race to succeed, and am cautiously optimistic that this could be the year everything works out.

Will I see you out there?

If you’re running, come say hi; I’ll be pacing the 1:50 pace group for the Half.


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