Summerfest Rock ‘n Sole

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On Saturday, the annual Summerfest Rock ‘n Sole 5K, quarter marathon and half marathon took place on the Summerfest festival grounds in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Thousands of runners came out for this festive start to the world’s largest music festival.

The theme of this race was safety; with high temperatures and humidity predicted, race directors were leaving nothing to chance. Numerous emails with weather alerts were sent to racers beginning two weeks prior to the date. Racers were advised to hydrate and pace themselves in the heat.

On the race site, medical staff was visible throughout the finish/start line area. Medical aid was stationed every couple miles on the race and medical professionals we’re on bikes riding alongside runners throughout the entire course.

I have never felt safer at an organized race. I am incredibly thankful to the medical staff and race directors who had the foresight to prepare well and plan for the safety of all of the runners. It was clear that safety was their number one priority.


Quarter and half marathon distance runners started promptly at 7 a.m., while the 5K-ers began at 7:15 a.m.. The course began at Summerfest grounds and ran over Hoan Bridge. Racers then circled back to McKinley Marina and ran along the lakefront for the rest of the race.

Although the heat rose throughout the morning, there was a lakefront breeze that kept runners cool. There was also water, Gatorade and aid stations set up every couple of miles, as well as spray stations and cool towels throughout the course.

Staying true to the theme of this rock race, there was live music throughout the course featuring entertainment groups ranging from spirit squads, school bands and local bands. With such a large number of runners, there were also countless spectators lining the course cheering us on.

Race organizers, medical staff, volunteers and police professionals were key to making this race a success. At the finish line, all racers were given water, bananas and a flashy, race-specific medal. Female racers received a tech tank top while men we’re giving a short sleeve tech t-shirt. I normally do not race in the swag, but this tank was incredible to run in, especially in the heat. The dry fit material and light colors were a perfect fit for the day.

Not only were racers given great swag with this race, but everyone received a ticket to come back and attend Summerfest from June 28 through July 9. A final perk of this race was an immediate email that I received as I crossed the finish line containing pictures of me racing throughout the course. It is rare that I take a good race picture, and this race was no exception, but it was still fun to receive the photos as I was leaving the finish line.

First through third 5k male winners were: Brendon Paucek, Scott Speare, and Evan Wetzel. First through third 5k female winners were: Kenzie Schroeder, Caileigh Wine and Lauren Rogahn.

First through third quarter marathon male winners were: Will Farah, John Mroz and Jon Babler. First through third quarter marathon female winners were: Kelly Johnson, Susan Lorenz and Emily Rausch.

First through third half marathon male winners were: Patrick Campbell, Josh Pinter and Misha Tubic. First through third half marathon female winners were: Lauren Cunningham, Megan Gaysunas and Heather Newberry.

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Mandi began running in middle school and never stopped. As a high school and college cheerleader, running was the exact athletic counterpart to keep her fitness levels high. While attending The John Marshall Law School in 2007, Mandi ran her first Chicago Marathon, the final year it was partnered with title sponsor, LaSalle Bank. Mandi has continued to run several half marathon and shorter distance races and looks forward to running in the 2017 Bank of America Chicago Marathon. An Illinois licensed attorney, Mandi is currently the Executive Director of the Lake County Municipal League, a council of government representing 42 municipalities in Lake County. An avid weekend race warrior, Mandi tries to run 2-3 races each month from Milwaukee to Chicago and loves the opportunity to report about her experiences in Chicago Athlete

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