Overall Rating
Overall Rating (17 Reviews)
4.7
(17 Ratings) 🏆 (17 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
2.8
SCENERY
4.3
PRODUCTION
4.9
SWAG
4.4
The Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon is Wisconsin’s largest marathon. This year, a brand NEW course will offer the most scenic views of Milwaukee’s skyline and natural beauty. – Run across the iconic Hoan Bridge – only possible with Lakefront Marathon. – Over 40% of course right along gorgeous Lake Michigan – First 10 miles of … MORE
Local Historical Weather (Oct 06):
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H (°F)  61  71  67  75  67
L (°F)  50  48  63  53  49
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Recent reviews

    scottclem FIRST-TIMER '23

    Logistics: As a 50-stater and traveling from out-of-town, this had to be the easiest marathon logistically. Airport is 10 minutes from host hotels. The hotels are within .25mi of race … MORE

    Logistics: As a 50-stater and traveling from out-of-town, this had to be the easiest marathon logistically. Airport is 10 minutes from host hotels. The hotels are within .25mi of race start. (And, the hotel let me in when I arrived at noon! ) Shuttle at finish took me back to hotel.
    Expo and Swag: For medium-size race, they had better swag than most. I generally don’t buy much, but they had several things I couldn’t pass up.
    Course: I really enjoyed the course. Scenic, fun, never boring. The route takes you through some nice neighborhoods, parks, by Lake Michigan, and most significantly across the Hoan Bridge. This bridge is about 2.5mi long, with a solid mile ascent and a mile descent. The first time you go over it around mile 9 (if I remember correctly) and you are lucky you get to see all of the fast half-marathoners coming in the opposite direction. The second time is at mile 24, and it is a solid climb, so save some legs and energy! It all pays off at mile 25 when you are at the top of the bridge and know that the rest is a fast downhill. If you are feeling good, that may be most fun 1.2mi of the course!
    Production: Everything was flawless to me. Great communication, expo, start line, finish area, volunteers. Great job!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    weedy12 FIRST-TIMER '23

    what a beautiful run with so many special things. The part through the old lakefront houses, the running along the lake, past the art center, and of course the trip … MORE

    what a beautiful run with so many special things. The part through the old lakefront houses, the running along the lake, past the art center, and of course the trip over (and back) the Hoan bridge right at the end. Then a great finish line right in the Summerfest park area as you come back down the Hoan bridge. Love this race and would do it again.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    seagroves87 FIRST-TIMER '23

    For my Wisconsin half I was looking for a Sunday race near Milwaukee so I could get Wisconsin done without using vacation days. I was excited this race added a … MORE

    For my Wisconsin half I was looking for a Sunday race near Milwaukee so I could get Wisconsin done without using vacation days. I was excited this race added a half and excited it was chosen as the venue for the 50 states half marathon club annual meet up. Awkwardly though it was my 100th ha;f marathon for the 100 half marathon club which counts races between 13.1 and 26.2 miles but not for the 50 states half marathon club which only counts exactly 13.1 mile races. This was an excellent race and an excellent choice for #100. I flew in Saturday morning and got my packet that day. I stayed in the Hilton right by the start and the expo is across the street. You definitely don’t need a rental car (though I got one because I had plans not within walking distance). The expo was fine. Kind of small but had race merch, the typical stuff and a few booths. Packet pick-up went smoothly and included a nice, long sleeve tech shirt. It was a grey color. I don’t love grey but it’s a nice grey. The race is point to point but the start and finish are 1.5 miles apart. Most people are instructed to park at the finish and take a shuttle to the start. But for the host hotel guests you walk to the start and there is a shuttle back. I rolled out of bed and walked to the start about 20 minute before the race. The start is organized with pacers to help everyone line up properly. Only complaint about the start is it started about 10 minutes late. There is a few thousand participants. A really nice number for an exciting atmosphere but not too crowded. The course is well-marked and all on closed streets which is great after running on so many open courses this summer. The weather was a bit hot this morning. The race starts at 7am and it was gorgeous at the start but got a bit hot by the end. I loved the first ~8 miles which started downtown and then went though pretty neighborhoods and then along the lake. There were a good amount of spectators on this section though not as much as some cities such as Richmond or Little Rock. It reminded me a lot of the Buffalo Half/Marathon in terms of size, energy and support probably because they are both Great Lake cities. This part is mostly flat with some little rollers and perfect elevation for me. Then a bit before mile 8 we start an out and back on this huge bridge to finish the race. This part is a bit grueling as it was unshaded and long. There are also no spots for spectators but since it is an out and back a ton of runners cheer you on. The turn around is where the half and full split. The way back has a separate lane for the half and full marathoners so no mixing of paces. There is a steep uphill on the bridge but then it flattens you then have the go back up on the way back but it means the last mile is downhill. There was also plenty of aid stations with water and gatorade and one with gels along the course. Very back of the pack friendly and lots of people running and walking at slower paces. They said you had to make it to the bridge by an 18 minute/mile pace but they let everyone though even if they were a bit slower. However I didn’t need to worry about it because I was feeling great today. It helped that there were a ton of back of packers and people to run with and encourage me. I have been so sick of being stuck at 3:20 + all summer and my goal was under 3:20 ideally under 3:15. I was doing great with most of my miles under 15 minutes (except the hill which was a bit over). Once I made it up the hill the second time I saw at mile 12 I was at 2:56 and realized if I really pushed myself and ran the rest as fast as possible I could finish in under 3:10 and I really went for it. I ran as hard as I could downhill and had my fastest mile since the smoke messed up my lungs last June and couldn’t believe my finish time. I’m still not at my old speed but I shaved 15 minutes off last week. The medal is gorgeous. One of the best medals I have. The finish area is fun though the post race food is only okay. You got a bag of food with an uncrustable PB&J, a clif bar, chips and a banana. At least it was all vegan. I actually love uncrustables and clif bars so I kind of enjoyed the food. I then took the shuttle back to the hotel but you could also consider walking or taking a short cab ride if you don’t want to wait for the shuttle. Overall this was a very, good race. I didn’t love the long stretch on the bridge but otherwise it was a very nice and pretty fast course. I would recommend this race for Wisconsin especially if you prefer more urban races and/or are looking for the most convenient location. This is probably a one and done race for because there are so many great races closer to me in the Northeast this weekend but I could be convinced to do it again and if I lived closer I would definitely do it again.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    divefin FIRST-TIMER '21

    I found it funny that the call this the lakefront marathon but you don’t actually get to see the water till mile 23…. Well organized race point to point with … MORE

    I found it funny that the call this the lakefront marathon but you don’t actually get to see the water till mile 23…. Well organized race point to point with mostly a downhill course. Good support from aid stations but not a lot of crowds to cheer for you as you race.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    coweyeslee FIRST-TIMER '21

    I like almost everything about it from the race (course, swags, logistics) to hotel & city. Host hotel is super friendly. I stayed at Drury hotel, they tried their best … MORE

    I like almost everything about it from the race (course, swags, logistics) to hotel & city. Host hotel is super friendly. I stayed at Drury hotel, they tried their best to help with everything I asked for. One of the best service from all hotels I have stayed with. They offer daily complimentary breakfast & light dinner and drinks.
    One thing I don’t like is that it seems very disorganized because of too many runners? Or rainy day? It seemed chaotic at start and finish. I paid for VIP package but I didn’t get any service for it. 🤔

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    marxbk18 VOLUNTEER '19

    I ran this race as the "Sweeper Pacer". This is a race "for runners by runners". The support you will get is amazing. The run is mostly along the lakefront … MORE

    I ran this race as the “Sweeper Pacer”. This is a race “for runners by runners”. The support you will get is amazing. The run is mostly along the lakefront of Lake Michigan. There are some rollers in the first half of the race and the second half is mostly an overall downhill run. This has been put on for about 40 years now and is a well oiled machine. It is a fast course and great for all runners from first timers to BQ hopefuls.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    mlletour FIRST-TIMER '19

    Great organization - shelter at the high school before the start with real bathrooms - beautiful scenery - great shirt and medal - FUN town - great beer and weather … MORE

    Great organization – shelter at the high school before the start with real bathrooms – beautiful scenery – great shirt and medal – FUN town – great beer and weather – Want to go back to Milwakee!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    timcigelske REPEAT RUNNER '19

    I've run 14 marathons, and Lakefront was my first, most recent and most frequent. I think I've run it 8 times or so and it's where I have my PR. … MORE

    I’ve run 14 marathons, and Lakefront was my first, most recent and most frequent. I think I’ve run it 8 times or so and it’s where I have my PR. I’ve run it as a pacer, with a team and solo.

    This year brought a few minor changes with the finish line extended to Summerfest, just past where it previously finished at Veteran’s park. This was a huge improvement for the better since in previous years the finish line has been muddy and wet, making it difficult for runners and spectators alike. The finish at the Summerfest grounds made for a scenic finishing chute along Lake Michigan, as well as allowed for ample entertainment on the stage. The new set-up made it feel a lot more like a legit finish line party and the logistics were greatly improved. Kudos to the race organizers for making this change to the long-standing route.

    As for the route, some people might call it boring, others may call it peaceful. It’s a mix of rural and suburban and you finally get into the city along the last few miles, where the route takes you along Lake Michigan. My favorite stretch is along quiet farmer fields just before you enter Concordia University around mile 7. That’s also where you see one of the biggest cheering sections, which usually appear every few miles or so. To me, it’s a good mixture of solitude and cheering along the route.

    It’s also a fast course. There are barely any inclines, with just a few minor ups and downs along the way. You end with a big downhill to the lake around mile 24.

    As someone who has run huge races like Chicago and scenic but logistically challenging races like Big Sur, I really like the happy medium of Lakefront Marathon. It’s easy to get to the start, it has an intimate community feel but it’s also big enough to run with others and have fan support along the course. I may be biased as a hometown participant, but it’s one of my all-time favorite races.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    My Report
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4
    My Media

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    kgiombi FIRST-TIMER '19

    The course is fantastic--fairly flat with a few small hills. The race went very smoothly! I loved being able to hang out in the high school before the race--real bathrooms … MORE

    The course is fantastic–fairly flat with a few small hills. The race went very smoothly! I loved being able to hang out in the high school before the race–real bathrooms and you stayed warm! The finish line at Summerfest was super nice. No mud unlike when my husband ran the race several years ago! The volunteers were great! I also loved that they had a sign that water was ahead about 1/10-2/10 mile before the water station–it gave you time to have your nutrition before the water stop!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    2
    My Media

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    sletou01 FIRST-TIMER '19

    Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon was a happy surprise! A beautiful fall day to run along the lake. To early for fall color but still beautiful course in lovely neighborhoods. After the … MORE

    Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon was a happy surprise! A beautiful fall day to run along the lake. To early for fall color but still beautiful course in lovely neighborhoods. After the rolling hills at the start, course felt like a very gradual downhill to Milwaukee.
    Race director sent informative emails prior to race and after race. Do this race!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

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    EBMcNally FIRST-TIMER '18

    Very small but nice expo, beautiful scenery (the bluffs at Concordia University! rural farmland!), and great post-race food (beer and brats, obviously). MORE

    Very small but nice expo, beautiful scenery (the bluffs at Concordia University! rural farmland!), and great post-race food (beer and brats, obviously).

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

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    This was my 4th marathon and what I said would be my last. However, I had so much fun and was so close to my goal that I am running … MORE

    This was my 4th marathon and what I said would be my last. However, I had so much fun and was so close to my goal that I am running it again this year! The Badgerland Striders puts on an amazing race. The spectators are fantastic.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    Bluebird46360 FIRST-TIMER '18

    This was truly a great race! Nice course that was not too hard...pretty flat, with nice down hills. Perfect amount of participants, as I never felt over crowded, nor did … MORE

    This was truly a great race! Nice course that was not too hard…pretty flat, with nice down hills. Perfect amount of participants, as I never felt over crowded, nor did I feel alone. Happy to have PR’d on this race!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    AJC414 FIRST-TIMER '17

    I had such a wonderful experience running my first Lakefront Marathon in 2017. In the fall, the weather was perfect. The beginning of the race was very well organized. The … MORE

    I had such a wonderful experience running my first Lakefront Marathon in 2017. In the fall, the weather was perfect. The beginning of the race was very well organized. The course itself was so runnable, with some moderate rolling hills and a net downgrade. The last few miles head right down to the lakefront path with the city skyline in the background. The volunteers were so energetic! The medal and shirt were great! This race was absolutely worth the money. I love recommending this race to all of my friends.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    amousmosesmw FIRST-TIMER '17

    Lakefront Marathon is a race put on by the local running club, the Badgerland Striders. It is a For Runners By Runners Marathon, being completely run by volunteers. It was … MORE

    Lakefront Marathon is a race put on by the local running club, the Badgerland Striders. It is a For Runners By Runners Marathon, being completely run by volunteers. It was a beautiful day on a great course with beautiful scenary, amazing volunteers and great crowd support! I am a back-of-the-pack turtle runner and the sentries and aid stations were still fully staffed with energetic volunteers! Amazing experience!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    KatieD FIRST-TIMER '16

    The marathon is the Badgerland Striders running group's crown jewel race. There are a small army of volunteers and the race organization is top notch. The weather is generally excellent … MORE

    The marathon is the Badgerland Striders running group’s crown jewel race. There are a small army of volunteers and the race organization is top notch. The weather is generally excellent for running. This year it was about 50 and rainy.

    Packet pickup is at the Italian Community Center and there is a small expo. Race swag includes a long sleeve tech tee. Parking the day of the race is free at the center. Shuttle buses then take you to the start of the race at Grafton High School (the course is point to point). The buses ran smoothly and I had no issues.

    The high school was open for runners before the race, I saw one set of restrooms open. There were also porta potties outside. The lines were really long near the start of the race. There is a UPS truck for depositing gear bags as you walk to the start line.

    The start line is a little crowded, the pace groups were fairly close together. The first 2 miles of the race are a net downhill. There is one large hill on the course and it is downhill. The entire course is a net downhill. I would say that there are no significant hills on the course.

    First names are on the race bib and the spectators and volunteers cheer for the runners by name. There aren’t a huge number of spectators but they are very enthusiastic.

    The course follows the lakefront but you don’t actually see the lake until the end of the race. Most of the course is on partially closed streets. There is not too much difficulty passing for the most part. The first part is through the suburb of Grafton, it winds through some country roads, then past the large homes on Lake Drive. Water stops were plentiful and stocked water and Gatorade, with gels at a couple of stations.

    The race ends in Veterans Park. Collecting gear bags was quick and easy. There was hot food from Noodles available as well as a brown bag with snacks. Beer was free for runners and spectators. Other food items were available for purchase. There was a changing tent available, which was nice after the wet race! The race medals were large and hefty, they included a removable key chain.

    The finish line is a couple miles from the parking at the Italian Community Center so shuttles were available to go back there.

    This was my 3rd marathon and I enjoyed it quite a bit. It has a small, hometown feel to it. Those looking for a Milwaukee urban marathon should check out the Milwaukee Running Festival Marathon in November.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    My Report
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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    marxbk18 FIRST-TIMER '15

    This is an unbelievable marathon run by the Badgerland Striders. It is advertised as a run by runners for runners and that is just what it is. I ran it … MORE

    This is an unbelievable marathon run by the Badgerland Striders. It is advertised as a run by runners for runners and that is just what it is. I ran it once for myself and I ran it once as the 6:30 pacer. The shirt is always top notch and the medals are some of the best I have gotten. The support on course is second to none. It is a fast course and mostly flat and down hill with a few rolling hills. Once you get to the lake the views are amazing.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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