How the run got started and history made over a couple beers

Not surprisingly, the idea was hatched over a couple of beers in late 1981 by three Badger loyalists at a campus bar. The three, Tom Grantham, Ken Sparks, and Rich Backus, wanted to raise money to support UW Athletics. As admirers of then- Athletic Director Elroy Hirsch, they asked his permission to name it the "Crazylegs Run" in his honor. Tom Grantham continues to serve as General Chairman on the Crazylegs Classic Executive Committee.

A Little "Classic" History

The first race in 1982 attracted 1,525 runners and raised $9,500. The event grew in popularity and the walk was added in 1987 with 676 walkers the first year. The event has grown substantially reaching a record high of 20,415 in 2010. Since the inaugural race 35 years ago, it has attracted over 329,300 runners and walkers. The Crazylegs Classic has become a time-honored tradition of the University of Wisconsin, as well as a much anticipated event to kickoff spring in the Madison community. In honor of the 35th anniversary of the race in 2016, a list of 35 significant moments was created (click here to view).

Registration Information

EARLY Online Registration

8K Run / Wheelchair


2 Mile Walk

  • October 6th to January 31st
    (closes at midnight CST)

Online Registration

8K Run / Wheelchair


2 Mile Walk

  • February 1st to April 27th
    (closes at midnight CST)

Walk-up Registration

8K Run / Wheelchair


2 Mile Walk

  • Friday, April 28th – 10am – 8pm (CST)
  • Saturday, April 29th – 7am – 9am (CST)

Fun & Fitness Team Registration

8K Run / Wheelchair


2 Mile Walk

  • Minimum Team Size is 10 People
  • All registrants must be paid by Tuesday, April 18th – 4:00pm (CST).
  • Late team registrations are not accepted. No exceptions!

Team (Fun & Fitness)


What is a Fun & Fitness Team?

Any group, family, organization or business can form a team to participate in the 36th annual Crazylegs Classic. Forming a team offers a great opportunity to promote camaraderie, friendships, and overall health.

A team must consist of at least ten (10) members who can choose to either Run (8K) / Wheelchair or Walk (2-mile). Benefits of a Fun & Fitness team include:

  • A 2017 Crazylegs Classic T-shirt
  • A one-of-kind Crazylegs hat for all team participants
  • A 2017 Fun & Fitness team plaque to proudly display
  • Enjoy the post-race events at Camp Randall Stadium
  • The convenience of team materials being available for your team captain or delegate to pick up on Tuesday, April 25th from 10am - 6pm at the Kohl Center - GATE B. This bypasses packet pick-up by each individual team member.

We Want To Know!

Have a story to tell? Participating on behalf of a certain cause or in memory of someone special?

** Share it with us! Many times the Fun & Fitness teams are formed for this reason and we would like to know yours…so we can give it a little “press”! Please email us at [email protected] or call 608-261-LEGS (5347)

Fun & Fitness Team Packet Pickup

Team Captain or designated member is responsible for picking up all team race gear.

Tuesday, April 25th - 10am - 6pm at LaBahn Arena (North Plaza)
601 W. Dayton Street, Madison, WI

Race Gear Pick–Up (T-Shirts & Bibs)

You will choose one of these locations when registering where you will go to to pick up your race gear. This is for Individuals Only – you may pick up for others (but you must bring their confirmation ticket to do so). *We do not mail*

Kohl Center

601 W. Dayton St., Madison, WI 53715

  • Friday, April 28th
    10am – 8pm
  • Saturday, April 29th
    7am – 9am

Hy-Vee (East Madison)

3801 E. Washington Ave., Madison, WI 53704

  • Friday, April 28th
    10am – 8pm

Hy-Vee (Fitchburg)

2920 Fitchrona Rd., Fitchburg, WI 53719

  • Friday, April 28th
    10am – 8pm

Race Information & Rules

Event Start Times

8K RUN – 10:00am (CST) / Wheelchair - 9:50am (CST)
2 MILE WALK – 10:00am (CST)

Race Start / Finish Locations

Runners START at Pinckney Street / E. Washington Avenue
Walkers START at State Street / Mifflin Street

No registration or packet pick-up at the start.

A grand FINISH near the 50 yard line of Camp Randall Stadium. Finish where legends such as the legendary Elroy “Crazylegs” Hirsch (who the race is named after), Pat Richter, Ron Dayne, J.J. Watt, and Russell Wilson have played.

Clothing / Gear Transportation

For participants’ convenience, sweats, etc. will be transported from the starting area at the Square to Camp Randall Stadium in the clear Crazylegs bags provided at packet pick-up. No personal bags or backpacks can be dropped off at the sweat truck. The sweat trucks will be available on Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd between Main and Doty Street. The last truck leaves the square at 10:40am. For sweats pickup at the stadium, follow signs to “SWEATS PICKUP” as you exit from the finish. We are not responsible for lost personal items. Bags must be marked on the outside with your bib number and wave (if applicable) for identification. All bags are subject to screening.

Photo Opportunities

Event pictures will be taken at both race starts and finish lines, downtown on Capitol Square and along the race courses, with the Grand Marshal and other race dignitaries for promotional and keepsake purposes. There are also photo opportunities with Bucky Badger, student-athletes, and the Bucky Wagon. Capture your Crazylegs race memory!

Bucky Wagon

First Aid

Medical personnel are posted along the course and inside the Field House at the finish. If you need assistance look for the Course Marshals along the course. Paramedics will travel the course on bicycles.

Lost & Found

At the Stadium – go to Guest Services in the south end zone in the concourse or email [email protected] after the race.


*Please note – depending on the day and time these lots will NOT be free. Click on the lot names below for a map or visit map.wisc.edu.

For packet pick-up:

Race day parking suggestions:

Rules & Safety

The following must be followed by all participants:

  • Your race bib for the run must be worn on the outside of your clothing in order to be timed.
  • No strollers or baby joggers are allowed in the run. Strollers, wagons and baby joggers are only allowed in the walk. Look for wave “Walkers with Accessories” at the walk start.
  • No bicycles, unicycles, roller blades, Heelys, skateboards, or ripsticks.
  • No pets allowed in the walk or run.
  • Walkers are not allowed to walk the run course.
  • Walkers use crosswalks and sidewalks.
  • Any participant on the course after the NOON closure will need to move to the sidewalk, as all streets and intersections will re-open at that time.
  • Obey race officials and yield to emergency vehicles.
  • Devices that play music may be worn but please be aware of your surroundings.

Showers / Dressing Rooms

At he Camp Randall Shell (next to the Stadium). Race bibs are required to enter to shower and dress. Bring towel and lock. We are NOT responsible for lost or stolen items. Doors open at 9am so please plan accordingly.


The Crazylegs Classic welcomes family and friends of Crazylegs participants. Spectators are allowed access to Camp Randall Stadium at 10:00 am to view the race finish and take part in the post-race festivities. Please follow appropriate signs for spectators.

Important – spectators are not allowed on the field, so please plan your post-race meeting accordingly. Pre-determine a section and row (seating available in sections A-I, rows 1-50).


As a service to Crazylegs Classic participants and spectators, we will have a special STROLLER/BABY JOGGER CHECK AND PARK area located just outside the entrance to Camp Randall Stadium at Gate 1 as they are not allowed in the Stadium. All strollers/baby joggers will be checked in and watched at all times by Crazylegs Classic staff so you may take part in the post-race festivities without worrying about accidents and injuries. They can then be picked up as you exit the Stadium. Hot dogs and soda / water will be available for purchase.


FREE race day shuttles to the starting line (Capitol Square near the race staging area).

Shuttle Pickup Locations Start @ 7:00am & Include:
Kohl Center (601 W. Dayton)
Camp Randall (1440 Monroe Street Near Gate 1)

*Please Note – NO Shuttles After 10am.

The buses do not return to the square after the race so please plan your transportation accordingly.

Be sure to review any street closures or construction detours on race day.
A detour map will be available closer to race day.

Crazylegs Classic Carry-In Policy

IMPORTANT: All items, race participants, and spectators must comply with the Camp Randall Stadium carry-in policy and are subject to search. Storage facilities are not available for checking prohibited items. Items left at gates will be disposed of accordingly.

Items permitted: bags no larger than 8.5” x 11”, binoculars, cameras, blankets, jackets, items related to a medical condition, chair backs (not more than 16” wide), and diaper bags (with child).

Items prohibited (including, but not limited to): bags larger than 8.5” x 11” (including backpacks), food, beverages, containers, laser pointers, banners, flags, signs, noisemakers, weapons, inflatables, laptops, video recorders, umbrellas, or any items deemed dangerous or inappropriate.

WIAA Restrictions

Attention WIAA Athletes – WIAA high school athletes participating on high school track teams in the spring are Ineligible to register for the 8K run. Click here to see restrictions.

Wave Starts

Runners - Your race bib must be worn to be timed. The 8K Run will have a wave start which will be clearly marked as you arrive at the square to help get you in place for the 10:00am start.

Walkers - The 2 mile walk starts at 10:00am and will also have 'wave' markers for the walkers to line up behind. The waves are marked as "Speed Walkers", "Casual Walkers", or "Walkers with Accessories" for those with strollers, wagons, and baby joggers.

Crazylegs Classic Race Start

Can I Still Run With My Friends?

Absolutely. The wave start system is set up to allow you to run with your friends, family, coworkers, neighbors or the fellow runner you met just that morning.

Any runner can move BACK in the waves. For example, if you are assigned to wave A and your friend is in wave G, you can simply line up in wave G at the start.

  • Runners can only move back in waves, never forward.

Wave Start Details

What Is A Wave Start?

Simply put, a wave start consists of many staggered starts of small groups instead of one giant start for all participants.

Runners are placed in "waves" consisting of other runners of a similar pace. Each wave has its own start with a short "time cushion" between each wave. This ensures a much less congested race route.

In short, a wave start creates a safer, more enjoyable experience for all participants.

Wave Start Questions

Phone: (608) 261-LEGS (5347) / Fax: (608) 265-3736 / E-mail inquiries to [email protected].


Plaques will be awarded to the overall top 3 male and female runners based on gun time.

2015 Male and Female Winners

First place male/female age group awards will also be mailed after the event in the following categories:

  • 14 & under
  • 15-19
  • 20-24
  • 25-29
  • 30-34
  • 35-39
  • 40-44
  • 45-49
  • 50-54
  • 55-59
  • 60-64
  • 65-69
  • 70-74
  • 75-79
  • 80+