While there are many ways to stay active in Kenosha, (especially now that the weather is finally getting tolerable) in the late winter and early spring months, you’ll find many people preparing for the Wisconsin Marathon. The race - celebrating its 10th anniversary this year - is always held on the first Saturday of May. Whether you are a longtime runner, are preparing for your first race or are cheering on a loved one, the Wisconsin Marathon is a fantastic way to see the sights of Downtown Kenosha - all while burning calories! From the packet pickup at one of my favorite spots - the Kenosha Public Museum - to the start at Celebration Place in HarborPark, the marathon (as well as the 5K and half marathon) offers runners a taste of all that Downtown has to offer. (Plus, the thought of a double serving of Scoop’s ice cream after finishing does make me run faster)! We are fortunate to have so many spectators and volunteers participating in the marathon each year. The cheers, homemade signs and shouts of encouragement by people lining the downtown streets, along with volunteers staffing much-needed water stops, are such an important part of the race. They represent Kenosha so well.
Runners and walkers pass by or near some of Downtown Kenosha’s most well-known establishments, including Franks Diner, Sazzy B, Wine Knot Bar & Bistro and Elsie Mae’s Bakery & Cannery. Each one boasts delicious eats, but none, alas, qualifies as an official runner’s aid station. Wanna ditch those sweaty clothes after the race? Downtown Kenosha has lots of options for new gear: just head on down to the Jockey Factory Store, Mike Bjorn’s or SJ Crystal’s.
Can’t make the marathon? Looking for a more relaxed running experience? Why not stop by Navy Memorial Park (just south of Common Grounds coffee shop) on Saturday mornings? The Kenosha Running Club hosts group runs of varying lengths and paces each week. “KRCers” will be happy to guide you along the scenic, paved running paths that gently wind their way north to Carthage College and south to Carol Beach. Post-run libations at The Buzz Cafe are optional but highly encouraged!
Walking along the Kenosha harbor is another excellent - and scenic - way to keep fit. Our Sculpture Walk has pieces anchored all along the harbor, inviting passersby to admire, reflect and ponder each artist’s method and motivation. The Walk is used throughout the year by runners, walkers, bicyclists, strollers and dog walkers. There are examples of beauty everywhere: the quietly lapping water of the harbor, the variety of sculptures and the stalwart lighthouse that overlooks all of them.
Whatever your favorite form of activity, be sure to take time to look around and appreciate all that Downtown Kenosha, and our beautiful lakefront, have to offer. And be sure to head to HarborPark bright and early on May 5th to cheer on your favorite runner!
2018 WISCONSIN MARATHON COURSE MAP:
Author: Ashleigh Henrichs
Ashleigh Henrichs is a “newcomer” to the Kenosha area, having moved from Illinois in 2002. She is the proud mother of three children who keep her very busy traveling around the country for hockey and figure skating competitions.
Ashleigh has a lengthy background in nonprofit administration and has held leadership positions at organizations including the Kenosha Literacy Council, A Safe Place and Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE). She serves on the Board of Directors of the Kenosha Literacy Council, as Vice President of the Board of Tempo Kenosha, and also volunteers regularly with Higher Expectations, Building Our Future, United Way of Kenosha County, United Way of Racine County, Relay for Life and St. Mary’s Lutheran Church. She is also an avid runner and a proud member of the Kenosha Running Club.
In January 2015, Ashleigh joined Big Brothers Big Sisters of Racine and Kenosha Counties as its Executive Director. She has a passion for helping children, promoting the importance of literacy and education, and giving back to the community.