It’s Fast Times at UWM for Team Paws

And they’re off! The start of the 2013 Lakefront Marathon — and the Second Annual Claws vs. Paws challenge. (Photos by Troye Fox)

An assortment of UW-Milwaukee students, faculty and staff made up the 67-member Team Paws – taking on the 2013 Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon Claws vs. Paws challenge on Sunday, Oct. 6, wearing UWM’s signature black and gold. The challenge involved participants from UWM (Team Paws) and Concordia University Wisconsin (Team Claws) competing for the fastest average race time. Alumni from both schools were encouraged to run as honorary team members.

Video by Erin Nordloh

Watch: Claws vsPaws in 30 seconds  (really 17).View full size on YouTube

First time marathoner Heather Lee, who works in UWM’s School of Education and Helen Bader School of Social Welfare, felt very confident going into Sunday’s race. “I started running a long time ago and have slowly progressed in distance.”

Training with groups and on her own, Lee says: “It’s been encouraging to run with other people. I’m running this race for me. I can just imagine crossing that finish line.”

Stoked and ready to go!

Graduate student and School of Freshwater Sciences research assistant Caroline Mosley is also a new runner. The 2013 Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon marked her second 26.2-mile race. “I fell in love with running during my undergraduate career and haven’t looked back,” she says. “Since I am living in Milwaukee, I figured I needed to do the ‘hometown’ marathon.”

Honorary Team Paws member, UWM cross country alumnus Steve Wolf, made Sunday’s race his 29th marathon – and logged his second-best score ever: 3:14. “I felt really good during the race,” he says.  “The weather was perfect and it was a beautiful course.”

University Relations’ Helaine Hickson is Team Paws Co-Captain. Sunday was a good day for her as she performed dual roles as team captain and experienced marathoner. “I was really happy the whole time,” she says. Hickson beat her goal time by two minutes. “It was an awesome race,” she adds.

Avid marathoner and UWM Chancellor Michael R. Lovell is Team Paws Co-Captain. He wasn’t able to run this year’s marathon, but a running injury suffered earlier this season didn’t keep him too far from the course. “I saw him multiple times throughout the course cheering and giving high fives!” says Hickson.

Team Paws co-captain at the clubhouse turn (Concordia College).

Though each runner receives an individual time, members say the challenge has really brought them together as a team. A handful of Team Paws runners have found it encouraging to train together. More than a dozen runners from Team Paws have been meeting two to three times a week for group runs and speed training.

“It’s been great to meet and run with people from UWM,” says university photographer and digital asset manager Peter Jakubowski. “Running with them every Tuesday has been really good motivation.”

Ultimately, Concordia’s Team Claws won the challenge with an average score of 4:09:39, just a bit faster than Team Paws’ 4:11:07 average. This is year two of the challenge; UWM won the inaugural 2012 contest. But every runner, Hickson adds, was a winner on Sunday. “I’m so proud of everyone on the team, especially the first timers.”


Members of Team Paws.