Milwaukee (9/4/2013) - Name a good cause, and you can name a race that supports it.
Nationally, the number of 5Ks on the philanthropic calendar has jumped from 5,000 in 1999 to 12,500 in 2011, according to Running USA, a Colorado-based nonprofit that promotes running. Throw in some serious fun factor – mud, paint and even flames – and you'll see athletes and fundraisers alike clamoring for the start line. Running USA has reported on a "running boom" fueled by a surge in adventure races.
On Saturday, Sept. 14, in Milwaukee, thousands will line up to take part in the granddaddy of Wisconsin runs – the Briggs & Al's Run & Walk for Children's Hospital of Wisconsin. It's an iconic event that draws a wide crowd for a variety of reasons, although mud is usually not one of them.
A vital mission and an athletic challenge
"Children's Hospital of Wisconsin views the Briggs & Al's Run & Walk as one of its primary fundraising events, and we are grateful to the many thousands of people who turn out every year to help fund the care we provide to children," said Stacy Bartsch, event organizer for Children's Hospital of Wisconsin. "Founded in 1977 by legendary Marquette basketball coach Al McGuire, the event is popular with competitive athletes since it is a USA Track & Field-certified course, allowing runners to log performance records. We offer a certified 8K run, which is hard to find in this era of 5Ks. Runners and wheelchair athletes are also attracted to the iconic status of the event and its place in Milwaukee sports history."
"Briggs & Al's Run & Walk is critical to the hospital's success by raising funds for all aspects of care, including research and cures for children with life threatening illnesses," said Laura Timm, Vice President – Corporate Communications and Public Affairs at Briggs & Stratton. "This event has raised over $14 million dollars since 1978, which is a true testament to the commitment of the Milwaukee community as a whole to help make positive change in the lives of children. We are incredibly proud to be the title sponsor for over 15 years."
Briggs & Stratton is the title sponsor of the annual event. Other major sponsors include Boston Store, Marquette University and Tricom Funding. "We are really grateful to our community sponsors for their continuing support on many levels," said Peggy Troy, President and CEO, Children's Hospital of Wisconsin. "Some people run or walk to thank us for the care their child received, some walk in tribute of a child, but many people tell us they simply value having a world-class pediatric hospital on their doorstep and they want to support that."
This year's run will be held Saturday, Sept. 14, with start line ceremonies beginning at 9:30 a.m. at 12th Street and Wisconsin Avenue on the Marquette University campus in downtown Milwaukee. The wheelchair race begins at 10:15 a.m., with runners following at 10:30 and walkers taking the 3- and 5-mile routes immediately behind the runners.
All routes end at Maier Festival Park (Summerfest grounds), with a finish line celebration.
A health and fitness fair, children's play area and entertainment will be available near the Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard stage. Food and beverages will be available for purchase on the festival grounds.
Online registration is available through noon Friday, Sept. 13, at alsrun.com. Day-of registration opens at 8 a.m. near the event start line. Advance registration is $30 for adult runners, $15 for runners 12 and younger, $25 for adult walkers and $10 for walkers 12 and younger. Day-of registration fees are $35, $17, $30 and $12, respectively. All participants receive a commemorative T-shirt.
Participants are encouraged to raise $100 or more; registration fees cover the cost of participation in the event, while 100 percent of funds raised support care for kids.
For more information about Briggs & Al's Run & Walk, call (414) 266-6186 or visit alsrun.com or visit https://www.facebook.com/briggsalsrun.
About Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Children's Hospital of Wisconsin is the region's only independent health care system dedicated solely to the health and well-being of children. The hospital, with locations in Milwaukee and Neenah, Wis., is recognized as one of the leading pediatric health care centers in the United States. It is ranked No. 4 in the nation by Parents magazine and ranked in 9 specialty areas in U.S. News & World Report's 2013-14 Best Children's Hospitals report. Children's Hospital provides primary care, specialty care, urgent care, emergency care, community health services, foster and adoption services, child and family counseling, child advocacy services and family resource centers. In 2011, Children's Hospital invested more than $100 million in the community to improve the health status of children through medical care, advocacy, education and pediatric medical research. Children's Hospital achieves its mission in part through donations from individuals, corporations and foundations and is proud to be a member of Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. For more information, visit the website at chw.org.