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After having to cancel the event in 2020 due to COVID, the 21st Annual Hank Aaron State Trail 5K Run/Walk is returning in 2021 in a hybrid format, offering both an in-person event at the Tailgate Haus at American Family Field and do-it-yourself event. The Friends of Hank Aaron State Trail, a nonprofit group dedicated to sustaining and enhancing the trail hosts the annual community event.
Fans of Hank Aaron and supporters of the Trail can safely return to this favorite summer tradition. For those who wish to complete the course in-person, a safely planned event will take place on Saturday, August 14 at 8:30AM. The event is a family-friendly run/walk for people of all ages and abilities. For those who want some extra flexibility, a virtual event can be completed at your own pace any time between Sunday, August 1 and Saturday, August 14.
This year’s race is notably special, as it honors the life of baseball legend and community advocate Hank Aaron (1934-2021). “Hammerin’ Hank” was one of baseball’s greatest players and was a man of enormous accomplishments and integrity. He holds more major league batting records than anyone in history and hit 755 home runs, many of them as a Milwaukee Brave and Brewer. He broke many racial and cultural barriers, and the Trail, which connects the diverse neighborhoods of the greater Milwaukee area, exemplifies his legacy.
In addition to providing an affordable and accessible 5K, the annual run/walk is the Trail’s largest fundraiser and supports all major Trail initiatives, including:
- Sending 80 kids to Bike Adventure Camp each summer to learn routes and how to ride safely,
- Organizing Stew Crews that keep the trails clean from spring through fall, and
- Art along the trail, including the recently completed People of the Road sculpture.
The route weaves through the beautiful Three Bridges Park, through restored prairie with blooming native plants, and crosses the Menomonee River, providing an inspiring view of American Family Field in the home stretch. The route is steeped in history and is located along Milwaukee’s former rail and industrial corridor in the Menomonee River Valley. Restoration of the trail and adjacent areas has provided greenspace for recreation, wildlife habitat, and improved ecology.
Procedures have been put in place to ensure a safe in-person experience. These include required advance registration, mask use at the start and finish line, waves to allow for social distancing, a drive-up packet pick-up system, and more which will limit contact and keep volunteers and participants safe.
For more information or to register, visit https://runsignup.com/Race/WI/Milwaukee/HankAaronStateTrail5K.
The Friends of Hank Aaron State Trail is a nonprofit organization dedicated to sustaining, promoting, and enhancing the Hank Aaron State Trail. The 13-mile paved trail runs through the heart of the city and is within a 15 minute bike ride for over 400,000 Milwaukeeans. The 5K run/walk event is the primary fundraiser for the Friends of Hank Aaron State Trail. Proceeds are used for trail maintenance, improvements, and to fund youth bike camps in partnership with the Wisconsin Bike Fed.