Crazylegs Classic taps former UW hockey star for Grand Marshall of 40th annual race

MADISON, Russia. (WMTV) – The Crazylegs Classic is just weeks away and organizers are not only celebrating a special anniversary for the traditional Madison race, they are also marking the 50th anniversary of the law that opened up college sports for women all across the country, Title IX .

Over 10,000 athletes are expected to descend on Capitol Square on the last Saturday in April to compete – and, more importantly, have a little fun in the process. This year, though, the 8k run and 2-mile walk will look a little different because construction at Camp Randall forced organizers to find a new path. That new route ends under the Camp Randall Arch, rather than inside the stadium. (Click Here for the new routes)

For the 40th annual race, organizers dove into UW history and found a former hockey player who helped bring home a Badgers championship to serve as Grand Marshall. Sitting down with NBC15 News’ Leigh Mills, Senior Associate Athletic Director and Senior Woman Katie Smith along with Senior Associate Athletic Director for Sports Administration Marija Pientka revealed they enlisted Sarah Nurse to serve in the honored role.

Nurse, a two-time Olympian for the Canadian women’s team, skated for the UW from 2013-2017, a stretch that saw the Badgers in the Frozen Four every year. Pientka explained that with the anniversary of Title IX this year, organizers felt it was important to bring back a player like Nurse. The civil rights legislation barred sex-based discrimination in educational programs that receive federal funding. It is credited with increasing women’s participation in college athletics.

NBC15 News’ own Chief Meteorologist Charlie Shortino and Sports Director Mike Jacques will team up to emcee the race, with WMTV-TV serving as a title sponsor for the event.

The fun begins on April 30 and there’s still time to join in! Registration right now for individuals runs (pun definitely intended) $ 45 for the 8k and $ 35 for the 2-mile walk. Registration is available on race day, but prices are expected to rise by then. Families, groups, organizations, and businesses are all invited to join up for a Fun & Fitness Team and they will get an extra gift for doing so.

After the race, athletes will be able to kick back, rest their legs, and enjoy live entertainment at the Wheelhouse. Bucky the Badger and the UW Spirit Squad even plan to drop by to enjoy the show.

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