Get to Know Your Running Clubs: Milwaukee Running Group

Get to Know Your Running Clubs - Milwaukee Running Group - OMG

In this edition of Get To Know Your Running Clubs we spoke with Patrick Bieser, one of Milwaukee Running Group - OMG's fearless leaders. You'll find the Milwaukee Running Group usually running in Milwaukee's East Side along the lake, and Bayview on the Oakleaf Trail.

Want to learn more about them? Read on!

Hi Patrick! Tell us a bit about your club history, how long has the club been around?

The Milwaukee Running Group was started on September 21, 2011 and we held our first run on Saturday morning October 1, 2011. The first run was attended by five people.

After a month we moved to Colectivo Coffee on Lincoln Memorial Drive because they had bathrooms, water, and warm beverages for after the run! We grew quickly and by the end of 2011 had 17 active members. 

Over the next few years our schedule grew from two evening runs to the current 10 runs per week. In the spring and summer of 2012 a number of high energy members began organizing picnics, parties, after-Saturday-run breakfasts, and campouts. Since then we have gained a reputation for being social, welcoming, inclusive of runners of all paces and abilities, and the only Milwaukee area running club with daily runs 365 days a year. (Rain or snow don't stop us.) In 2016 we held 497 events with total attendance of 6,904. Our motto is #JustShowUp.

I like that motto! Tell us a bit about your membership? What level of runners do you cater to?

At every run there are a multitude of people running different paces including: glacial, turtle, dial-up-modem, hungry brown bear, politician-avoiding-a-question, pushing-a-new-baby-in-stroller, trying-to-catch-the-fast-group, Olympic trials, and whatever pace Jordan is running this week. Everyone runs a speed that fits their plan. We don't judge (unless you don't show up).  #JustShowUp!

That's fair. Where/when does your club usually meet/run?

We meet at a variety of locations depending on season and day-of-week. Most often at.... Lake Park Pavilion, Colectivo at the Lakefront, Atwater Park, South Shore Park Pavilion, Lapham Peak State Park.  Our daily locations and meeting times are post at Meetup.com

Any cost to be a member/join? 

Membership is $5 a year. If you are active you'll get your money back 4x in beer and pizza. The funds pay our web hosting fees. We buy beer and Gatorade with the extra.

Is your group affiliated with any events?

We host two public events every year. The Beer Mile OMG in August and the Oakleaf Trail Cleanup service project in May.  Our list of these and other events can be found at this link.  We also actively support (as runners and volunteers) the races hosted by Badgerland Striders.

Any cool routes/ favourite areas to run in your city that you would like to recommend to other runners? Why do you like those?

We have some amazing routes along the shores of Lake Michigan. A full list of these routes can be found at this link

Do you have any favourite local races? Outside of anything that you're affiliated with of course :)

We love the Lakefront Marathon, South Shore Half, Estabrook Half, Fall 50 in Door County, and Milwaukee Marathon. All are excellent well organized and well attended races. The marathons are Boston qualifiers!

Cool! Thanks for chatting with us. Anything else that we should know?

People join OMG to meet others who share an interest in staying fit and making new friends in a fun, safe, comfortable, supportive environment. We encourage new members to leave their headphones at home. 

OMG has a number of cool traditions. We have the "Monday Meal" tradition going on three years.  After every Monday night run all are invited to dinner at a local establishment.  After dinner we vote and post a review to our website.  https://mkerungroup.wordpress.com/about-us/great-meals-under-10/  

The "Monday Medal" is awarded each week by the previous week's winner using whatever criteria they see fit. eg. Best new shoes, loudest pants, most inspiring run up the hill, finishing Boston, looks good with his shirt off, it's your birthday, didn't puke after his race, etc. 

Our annual "Goodwill" party with sleepover lasts until dawn. We give out "Banana Awards" at the party to anyone who PRd during the year or did something funny or notable. 

To date there have been three marriages between people who met in OMG.  

Want to learn more?

Want to connect with the Milwaukee Running Group - OMG, or just learn a bit more about them? Check out their information below:

Website | Facebook Page | Facebook Group

Looking for runs around Milwaukee?

You can find a full list of runs and races happening around Milwaukee at www.runguides.com/milwaukee/runs

Published on May 01, 2017