Third annual Rock 'n Sole Race kicks off Summerfest season

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Runners were rocking out to their own beat before the opening of the world's largest music festival on Saturday morning, June 15th, during the third annual Rock 'n Sole Race.

"I thought it was fun. It's a good way to see the grounds when it's not full of people," said runner Bianca Benkley.

The event includes a 5-K, quarter marathon, and half marathon. Nearly 9,000 people participated from 40 states and five countries.

"I'm here for the IndyCar Race this weekend and it doesn't start until this afternoon so I thought you know what I'll come and do this race," said Tim Neff.

In light of the tragic events in Boston, race officials had an enhanced security plan with the Milwaukee Police Department.

Spectators were closely monitored and there were no bags allowed north of Michigan Street near the starting corral.

"In the south part of the grounds near our finish line we are conducting bag checks on everybody and also visually marking those bags as well," said Summerfest Chief Marketing Officer John Boler.

As runners crossed the finished line, several admitted to using the music of past and upcoming Summerfest performers to keep them going.

"I was listening to Pitbull," said runner Julie Edgar.

"I was listening to Katy Perry, actually," said Neff.

A portion of the proceeds from the Rock 'n Sole Race will be donated to the Ronald McDonald House and the Summerfest Foundation.

Summerfest opening day is Wednesday, June 26th.