From 1848 to today, Badgers have found shared purpose in a principle called the Wisconsin Idea — an unwavering belief that our teaching, research, and public service should push beyond the boundaries of campus to improve the lives of all.
Wisconsin Athletics is proud to celebrate 175 years of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and dedicating this year’s race to the celebration. For the past 42 years, Badgers fans from each corner of the state — along with those from out of state — travel to Madison on the last Saturday of April for the Crazylegs Classic! Their love of UW-Madison, Wisconsin Athletics, and the City of Madison brings them back year after year.
It is not a surprise — the Crazylegs Classic was created with the purpose of giving back — and supporting Wisconsin Athletics. In 1981, three Badgers, Tom Grantham, Ken Sparks, and Rich Backus, wanted to raise money to support Badger Athletic teams. As admirers of then–Athletic Director Elroy Hirsch, they asked his permission to name it the "Crazylegs Run" in his honor.
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 42 years ago, it has attracted over 365,000 runners and walkers.
This event is more than a fundraiser as it brings thousands of Badger fans together to the campus and city area. It is also one of many events hosted by Wisconsin Athletics that contribute to our economic impact of $462 million dollars to the City of Madison.