“It’s awesome to have options like this:” Thousands take part in inaugural “PNC Milwaukee Running Festival”

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MILWAUKEE -- Thousands laced up their sneakers this weekend for the inaugural PNC Milwaukee Running Festival. Officials say more than 4,000 runners from 41 states took part.

The PNC Milwaukee Running Festival featured running events for all ages and abilities, including a mile race, 5K race, half marathon, and marathon.

On Saturday, October 31st, officials say more than 300 runners participated in the Milwaukee Miler Race, including a number of kids from the Kids Run Milwaukee program.

PNC Milwaukee Running Festival

PNC Milwaukee Running Festival

Organizers say the event, which took place on Saturday and on Sunday, November 1st was three years in the making!

Athletes from more than 40 states registered for the running events. Turnout was better than expected for this inaugural event.

"This is a new race. It's going to be at a much higher level. This is a major running event," Chris Goller with PNC Bank said.

"We've got awesome weather and awesome runners. A great, elite field out there today. They are out there on the course going really fast. So far we're getting nothing but positive feedback," Bill Schneider, race organizer said.

There are plans to host this festival in Milwaukee for years to come.

"Some of the figures are talking about $3.5 million, $4 million of economic impact, but it it also brings in other visitors to the city that haven't been here before," Milwaukee Alderman Jim Bohl said.

PNC Milwaukee Running Festival

PNC Milwaukee Running Festival

"It's cool they are making it a big deal. It's fun because I recently joined a team and this was the first event I could run for them," Sofie Schunk of Albuquerque said.

"Honestly it's just awesome to have options like this to do and get healthy and doing it with thousands of people -- it's a lot easier than doing it by yourself," David Wheeler of Waukesha, who won the 5K race said.

The overall winner of the PNC Milwaukee Marathon, which drew nearly 1,200 of participants, was David Tuwei from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Tuwei completed the PNC Milwaukee Marathon in 2:22:53.

Pauline Mutwa of Minneapolis was the women’s first place finisher, with a time of 2:44:11.

The PNC Milwaukee Marathon, the signature event of the PNC Milwaukee Running Festival, was the first full marathon to be routed entirely through Milwaukee’s neighborhoods and landmarks, allowing participants to experience the city in a unique way.  The course started near the Summerfest grounds and headed north along Lake Drive before looping back through several historic neighborhoods, including Brady Street, Sherman Park, Walker’s Point and the Historic Third Ward.

For the PNC Half Marathon, Sammy Rotich of Minneapolis won the men’s race, while Jebichi Yator, also of Minneapolis, was the women’s winner.

The final event on Sunday was the 5K race, which was won by David Wheeler of Waukesha. He finished with a time of 16:13.

In addition to the running events, there was also food, vendors and kids' activities including trick-or-treat!

PNC Milwaukee Running Festival

PNC Milwaukee Running Festival

CLICK HERE to learn more about the PNC Milwaukee Running Festival and for event results.