In the Arboretum, I’ve seen four wooden posts with Olympic rings, mile markers and athletes’ names. What are these, and how many are there?
Good spotting! The running trails at the UW Arboretum honor famed Wisconsin runners on each of the mileposts. The trail is a 10-kilometer (6.2 mile) loop, so there are six mile-marker posts, each bearing the name of an Olympic distance runner who lived in Madison. In order, they are: Suzy Favor Hamilton ’91 (Olympic Games in 1992, 1996, 2000); Rod DeHaven (2000 Olympics, trained in Madison); Gabe Jennings (2000 Olympics, grew up in Madison); Pascal Dobert ’97 (2000 Olympics); Cindy Bremser ’74, MS’85 (1984 Olympics); and Steve Lacy ’78 (the first Badger to break the four-minute mile, 1984 Olympics). The posts are a 21st century addition to the Arboretum, which is often used as training ground for the UW’s cross-country teams. And one thing you may notice is that none of the runners medaled at the Olympics — the mile posts are a lasting honor to those who competed at the highest levels, though they did not win.