The Crazylegs Classic is an annual eight-kilometer running race and two-mile walk held each spring in Madison, Wisconsin, United States. The course starts at the Wisconsin State Capitol and ends at Camp Randall Stadium. The race, first held in 1982, was named in honor of Elroy "Crazylegs" Hirsch. Proceeds from the race benefit University of Wisconsin-Madison athletics programs.
The idea for the race was hatched in late 1981 by Tom Grantham, Ken Sparks, and Rich Backus, who wanted to raise money to support Wisconsin athletics. As admirers of Hirsch, who was then serving as UW-Madison's athletic director, they asked his permission to name it the "Crazylegs Run" in his honor. Grantham continues to serve as general chairman on the Crazylegs Classic Executive Committee.
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, reaching a record high of 20,415 registrants in 2010. Since its inaugural race, it has attracted more than 229,000 runners and walkers.
Runner's World magazine has rated the Crazylegs Classic as one of America's Best 100 Events. Readers participating in the Capital Times/Wisconsin State Journal Reader's Choice Award survey have voted the classic the #1 Favorite Local Running Event every year since 1995.
The Crazylegs Committee was notified by the Road Runners Club of America that a panel of peers voted the Crazylegs Classic as one of twenty races across the country chosen for "Great Races! Great Places!" recognition.
The scenic race course is considered a "runner's delight," starting opposite the State Capitol Building, going down Wisconsin Avenue, moving onto the campus over Observatory Drive to Picnic Point and returning down University Avenue to Camp Randall where it ends at the 50 yard line.
The 31st Annual Crazylegs Classic was run on April 28, 2012. Despite light rain, high winds, and temperatures in the mid-30s, the race drew 19,819 entrants, the second-highest total in race history. Tyler Sigl of Green Bay, Wisconsin claimed the overall title, completing the 8-kilometer course in 24 minutes. Sigl, who won the 2007 Division III cross country individual national title as a student at University of Wisconsin-Platteville, had finished second in the 2010 and 2011 races. Holly Nearman of Milwaukee won the women's race with a time of 28 minutes, 59 seconds. Nearman ran cross country at University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, where she was twice named a first-team All-Horizon League selection.
- "A record-setting Crazylegs". madison.com. April 24, 2010. Retrieved April 29, 2012.
- Footnotes Magazine, March, 2002.
- Sunderland-Saied, Nick (April 28, 2012). "Crazylegs Classic: Participants thrive on inspiration". Wisconsin State Journal. Retrieved April 28, 2012.
- Sunderland-Saied, Nick (April 28, 2012). "Crazylegs Classic: Weather suits men's winner". Wisconsin State Journal. Retrieved April 28, 2012.
- Sunderland-Saied, Nick (April 28, 2012). "Crazylegs Classic: Ex-Monroe athlete wins women's race". Wisconsin State Journal. Retrieved April 28, 2012.
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