I would like to congratulate everyone who finished their races. Whether it was the 5k or the marathon, it is a great accomplishment. And special congrats to our winners:
- Matthew Hayes and Monica Schoeneck in the Revolution Natural Running 5k Race
- Rob Wiley and Dani Fischer in the PRO Half Marathon
- Zach Bitter and Amanda Daws in the Marathon
- Berkeley Running Company (men's), Revolution Natural Running (mixed), and PRO Team 2 (women's) in the Fit Milwaukee Marathon Relay
- Brian Shonat and JoAnne Bernhardt in the Gold Medal Challenge
Kudos as well to Berry Rohling. All he did this weekend was skate a 25k marathon and ran a half marathon on Saturday, and ran a full marathon on Sunday. And he finished in the top 10 in all three events! For his work, he completed the BladeRunner Challenge and the Gold Medal Challenge. Nice job Berry!
One of our biggest issues in past years, communicating lap counts to runners, seems to have been resolved by putting the announcer in front of the TV monitor and having him call out lap counts when runners were down to their final laps. We also figured out that placing the TV monitor in a better location enabled runners to see their lap counts easier. Not sure why it took us five years to figure this out, but better late than never.
My personal highlight of the weekend was watching our final two finishers cross the finish line in just under 6:30 in the Marathon on Sunday. Our announcer was making a big deal of their final laps and when they came down the final stretch many of the skaters had lined up along the side of the track to congratulate them and shake their hands, and all of the remaining volunteers were right behind them. It was a heart-warming moment and there were many tears rolling down the faces of those who witnessed it. It was a fitting end to a perfect weekend!
The best laugh of the weekend was when seconds before the starting gun went off as runner Matt Jeromin dedicated the race to Manti Te'o's girlfriend. Jeromin went on to finish 5th place so her memory must have helped him during the race.
We would also like to acknowledge and apologize for a few issues. We had some problems with the results for the Half Marathon and we are still working on that. Also, the shirts seemed to run a size too small. We will make sure that doesn't happen again.
It's very difficult to dole out thank-you's in an event like this. There are so many people who give their time and effort to make this happen. I would first like to thank all of the participants, for without you the Icebreaker would not exist. I would next like to thank my staff: Dana Schulz, Bill Schneider, Dave Jesse, Brian Volkman, Richard Dodd, Kim Kelly, Karen Ponteri and Phil Gillett. They put in some long hours this past weekend and that is much appreciated. A special thanks goes out to Dana for being my right-hand man and sounding board for all of my crazy ideas. Also to Bill for setting up the music this year among the many other things you do.
Thank you thank you thank you to the Pettit Center staff, especially Randy Dean and Danny Sweeney. They bent over backwards to make sure everything is exactly as we need it for the race weekend. And this year they were working double-time with the hockey tournament and speedskating marathon going on at the same time. It was a showcase to what a wonderful facility the Pettit Center is. The Milwaukee community is fortunate to have such a gem right in our own backyard.
Additional thank-you's to:
- Our sponsors, Performance Running Outfitters, Revolution Natural Running, Fit Milwaukee and GU Energy.
- Bill and Mary Flaws at Running in the USA. Bill took pictures the entire weekend while Mary completed the Gold Medal Challenge for the fourth straight year and also made the delicious cookies that runners (and the race director) snacked on all weekend.
- Ronn Blaha and the Brookfield Central High School Key Club for the volunteers
- Anthony Geraci and the American Cancer Society for supplying volunteers
- Dr. Treva Rademaker from the Chiropractic Wellness Group
- Elements Therapeutic Massage
- Amy Friese from Fitness For EveryBODY (you were awesome!!!!!)
- My wife Karen for 1) putting up with me, 2) spending your entire weekend at the packet pickup table, 3) for designing the shirts again this year. Much of what I do would not be possible without her support.
- Felicia Sopa and Olu Sijuwade for performing the National Anthem
- Ellen and Hayley and Stone Creek Coffee for the coffee and bakery
- Marathon runner Heather Kos for the cool coffee mug with my name on it
- Sean, Erin and Jamin from Prime Time Timing (I say this every year, but a race is only as good as its timers)
- Tera Fredrick, a nursing student who showed off a very interesting research project on Saturday
- Kyle Fraser, who finished second in the Marathon, for creating mile markers. Even though we didn't use them, I appreciate his passion for our event. (And we may test them at the Heatbreaker this summer, so your work did not go to waste).
- Brew City Promotions for the shirts
- Area running stores Fleet Feet Brookfield, Performance Running Outfitters, Revolution Natural Running and Berkeley Running Company for your support of our Marathon Relay
- The Marquette University Running Club and all of the members who came out again for the Relay; chatting with all of you was one of the highlights of my weekend
- Volunteer Deb Reiser for your enthusiasm at the finish chute
- Becky from Team Challenge, Trae and Jess from Performance Running Outfitters, Anne from Fit Milwaukee and Matt from ThunderDome Running for helping stuff packets last Thursday night.
Also, click on this link to see Bill Flaws' pictures from all races. If you like one, buy it.
If you ran the Marathon and enjoyed the race, please be sure to leave a comment on Marathon Guide. Your positive comments help spread the word about our unique event.
We hope to see most of you back again next year. In the meantime, make sure to register for the Heatbreaker Half Marathon on July 27 at the Pettit Center. The link can be found on our website at www.indoormarathon.com. Take advantage of early-bird pricing of $40 and use the code Heat5 for an additional $5 off. Yes, that's $35 for a half marathon! And if you ran the Icebreaker Half Marathon and register for the Heatbreaker, you are automatically part of the Icy Hot Challenge. Finish both races, receive a special gift.
Thank you again to everyone who made this event possible!
Chris Ponteri, Race Director