Medals in Madtown

“Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the Madison Marathon Twilight 10k & Half series, conquer the Capitol 19.3 race as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check outBibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

If you have been following along at home, I like to do all the races…so when the opportunity came to run 3 races in 2 days to earn 4 medals, you bet I jumped on board.

So, we left off with the Soldier Field 10 miler…Josh and I quickly grabbed a bite to eat and headed to Madison…well we got stuck in Chicago traffic…but eventually arrived in Madison, we were both going to run the 10k Saturday night and the half marathon Sunday morning.

For my official race review check out Bibrave.com

Registration: Available online and at the expo, prices started at $105 and increased to $165 on the day of the expo. Included was a bib with your name, finisher’s medal, timing, post race beer, gender specific short sleeve tech shirt, and free race pictures. 

Since we were conquering the Capitol, we would receive an additional medal and a quarter zip tech pullover.

Expo/Packet pick up: The expo was held at a convention center. Parking was on-site in a ramp for a fee. There were also other events going on here. With the proper paper work someone else could grab your packet. No packet mailing. There was a place to check that the timing chip worked on the bib.

The expo was a decent size. There were area running stores, and local races. There was race specific merchandise, information and plenty of photo opps. There were even water coolers provided.

*The parking was actually quite tricky for someone coming out of town, easy to miss the entrance to the ramp. No close on street parking. We actually drove around forever trying to figure out how to get into the ramp, as we missed the entrance.

Josh and I met up with fellow Bibrave Pros – Cass and Lisa. We arrivednear the end of the expo and scored a deal on race merchandise. It was buy one, get one free, and with each item purchased we got another tech shirt.

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Once we grabbed our things, we found our Airbnb. Madison has many hotels, but only a few actually close to downtown, and you pay $$$ for them. The Airbnb is always a good option, but this one was strange…it was the top floor of this house that looked like a college rental property, definitely no curb appeal. However it was a mile walking distance to the race.

So then the struggle began……we ran 10 miles in the morning, and we needed to eat something for dinner, but fuel for a half marathon, while running a 10k in the meantime. Where we were staying was close to no food options, and the race start/finish had the roads around the Capitol all closed. It also doesn’t help when it’s hot and I need to be drinking all the liquids and I am not hungry.  After some “discussing” we found a Jummy John’s…that wouldn’t deliver…but we had a sandwich and called it good.

Pre race: The race started and ended at the Capitol at 8:10 pm after the 5k and wheel chair start. . The National Anthem was sung before the events. Lot of announcements. There were no corrals,and very crowded.

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Pro Lisa was also doing the challenge.

Gear- BR shirt, Sparkle Athletic neon green skirt, Disney race belt, UV Half Buff, Aftershock Trekz Titanium, Brooks Ghost 8, Garmin Fenix 3, RoadID, Zensah calf sleeves

Race/Course: The course was all on paved streets in Madison, highlighting some of the “sights”
-elevation – hilly, while it’s not mountains, it seemed we never went down hill
– aid stations – 1 water stop, 1 water & Gatorade stop. Always in paper cups, but they were the same white paper cup, very energetic volunteers
-scenery – passed by Camp Randall, the Kohl Center, Observatory hill area overlooking the lake at sunset
-photographers on course – FREE pictures
-mile markers
– no major potholes, but just needed to keep a heads up
-all intersections with marshalls or police
-crowded at times – start area was tight and one area on a bike path
-the race starts at dusk time, so some areas get kinda dark
-a few spectators on the course, but mostly family & friends

My Race: UGH! After running 10 in the morning, and with a half yet to go, I didn’t push it. I was still really humid, as a storm had just passed through, and it was 70 degrees. There were also all the hills! The course was nice, but the bike path seemed a little dark. I finished in 1:06 ish…I’ll take it.

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Finish/Post race: The finish line was under the starting arch. Photographers there to snap a memory. A volunteer handed you a bottle of water. Then you were given a medal. There was an area for finisher’s photos with the backdrop. Then there was the food line, with bananas, oranges and a slice of pizza.

Once out of this area, you could proceed to the beer area to redeem your free Michelob Ultra.

I like pizza, but it’s not something I want to eat immediately after a hot run. Also the line was really long, and until you were on top of the food, I had no idea what line I was in.  I also am not a huge fan of Michelob Ultra, not sure why races keep offering this as a perk.

With this race under our belts, we decided since it was late, we would just Uber back and call it a day. Well not before the obligatory #flatrunner picture.

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On Sunday, we woke early enough to enjoy our coffee and some bagels with peanut butter we had brought along for the journey.  The race started at 7 am, and it was sunny with a high of 80 predicted.

We walked to the start. Always fun to get the stares when I am dressed in compression socks and skirt. What is even more fun is wearing a tigerhawk in Madison.

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Once we got to the start, everything was similar to the 10k, but the corrals had pacers in them, and participants were encouraged to line up next to them. We caught up with Cass and Lisa.

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Gear- BR tank, Nathan race belt, Aftershockz Trek Titanium head phones, Nike Iowa hat, BR Buff, xx2i Hawaii1 sunglasses, ProCompression Jailbreak socks, Brooks Ghost 8, Garmin Fenix 3, Orange Mud Hydraquiver Vest pack 1, Sparkle Athletic Skirt.

The race course was similar to the 10k, we ran by Camp Randall again and the Kohl center, but did a lot of miles around Lake Wingra in the arboretum. (this was nice and shady) These areas I am all familiar with as they are part of the Madison Mini course. The hills felt twice as brutal.

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There were plenty of aid stations, and some with Gu and one with bananas. However something to note, the Gatorade and water were in the same white paper cups, and there was no telling what you were going to get, unless you called out what you wanted. One liquid wasn’t always in the front or the back, it was often mixed.

The race also used the tracking app, Racejoy. I felt there were more spectators out and about, and even runners or bikers out cheered us on.

The finish was just the same as the previous day. If you did the challenge, the additional medal was under a tent. There was an area for finisher’s photos with the backdrop. The post race food was already bagged up from Panera – a sandwich (meat or veggie) chips and a cookie and chocolate milk.

Once out of this area, you could proceed to the beer area to redeem your free Michelob Ultra, where there was a live band playing. There was a results tent and race merchandise for sale. You could also just camp out on the Capitol grounds.

I found Josh, he was not doing so well. So we crashed on the Capitol lawn for a bit and relaxed. It was hot and humid! We weren’t hungry but needed to eat. After eating the cookie first, then our bagged lunch, we started to feel better.

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Once we felt human again, we went to check out the results. UGH my worst half time ever 2:27…but it’s been a grueling few weeks of weird running with no training, but all the races. We also gave our beer tickets away. FOR REAL—the race is in Wisconsin..you know…known for beer, brats and cheese.  Ok, free beer is good.

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We decided to walk the mile back to the Airbnb. We needed to recover, and this was a good way to start.

We always have a good time in Madison, and even recently on game days. This is a good race, and challenging. I will be back in November to get 2 more medals for this series….so hopefully there is real beer and the aid stations are sorted out. Lovin the free pictures.

We made sure to stop and grab some Wisconsin brews and cheese curds on the way out of town, but we had to get back home to let the dogs out.

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4 thoughts on “Medals in Madtown

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