Summerfest “Rock ‘n Sole Run” will not return so fest can refocus efforts on community initiatives

MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee World Festival, Inc., and the Summerfest Foundation, Inc., announced on Monday, October 30th that the Summerfest Rock ‘n Sole Run, presented by BMO Harris Bank, will not return for 2018.

The Rock ‘n Sole Run began in 2011 and drew thousands of runners along the lakefront, ending at Henry Maier Festival Park. The Rock ‘n Sole Run featured a half marathon, quarter marathon, and 5K routes, in addition to a Kids Run To Read, for children ages 3-10, in partnership with SHARP Literacy, Inc.

Don Smiley, President & CEO of Milwaukee World Festival, Inc. and President of the Summerfest Foundation, released the following statement on this decision:

"We took a closer look at our events and charitable involvement and made the decision to discontinue the Summerfest Rock ‘n Sole Run to refocus our efforts. We felt it was time for new creative ideas and look forward to reviewing a variety of community initiatives, including music education outreach events. I would like to personally thank all the runners and partners who supported the run over the years."

Over the past seven years, more than 52,000 runners participated in the Rock ‘n Sole Run and proceeds benefitted various charities including: Ronald McDonald House Charities, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee, One Fund Boston, Inc., and the Summerfest Foundation. Milwaukee World Festival, Inc. would like extend a special thank you to premier sponsors of the Rock ‘n Sole Run: BMO Harris Bank, Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin Sports Medicine and The Medical College of Wisconsin, Pepsi, Aquafina, Boston Store, Gatorade, Eaton, UPS, Kemps, and Meijer, as well as Vision Event Management, race directors.

In addition, the Summerfest Foundation indicated it would like to acknowledge the support of the following partners: Wisconsin Department of Transportation, City of Milwaukee Department of Public Works, Milwaukee County Parks, Milwaukee Fire Department, Milwaukee Police Department and Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office.