Pettit National Ice Center
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Area: 17,000 sq. ft.
Installation: SPEC Athletic, Inc.
The Pettit National Ice Center, an official U.S. Olympic Training Site for speedskating, has installed a new surface from Regupol America for its 443-meter run/walk track. The wider, more cushioned training track at the Pettit Center features the Regupol Kombi surface, which surrounds the speedskating oval.
The original, thinner surface had become hardened and caused a number of athletes and runners to reduce their training activity on the surface. Regupol Kombi was chosen to replace the old material, offering better durability, shock-absorption and the ease of maintenance. The positive experience with the new Regupol Kombi surface, plus some help from a harsh winter, has resulted in an 81% increase in revenue from track usage.
The Badgerland Striders, a non-profit running club at the Pettit National Ice Center and organizer of Milwaukee’s Lakefront Marathon, generously provided major funding for the new track. “This first-class track is a real benefit to the Center, our members and the community. World-class athletes deserve world-class training facilities,” said Pete Abraham, President of the Badgerland Striders.
The track was widened from two to three lanes and a brand new 3,000 square foot cross-training area was added. Installed under the new track are wire loops, part of a microchip-based timing system for runners and skaters, too, to monitor their speed and lap count.
Randy Dean, Executive Director of the Pettit National Ice Center, said, “Installing Regupol Kombi has been instrumental to providing our elite athletes, as well as recreational walkers, with a top quality surface to meet their training and exercise goals. Not only is it embraced by runners, but it makes an impressive visual statement about the Center as a premiere training site.”
The new track is used by nearly 15,000 runners and walkers each year, and the Center welcomes almost 450,000 visitors annually. It’s not only home to the Badgerland Striders, but also the Milwaukee Mustangs Track Club and runners from multiple collegiate teams, including Marquette University. It may be the only the track in the country with a “Zamboni Crossing” sign cautioning runners and walkers, too!