Madison Mini Marathon 2017 – Race Recap
“Disclaimer: I received entry into the Madison Mini Marathon to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”
This race was my 43rd half marathon and my 4th Madison Mini, to say the least I wasn’t expecting any surprises and was prepared for race day – especially with VIP access, and fellow BibRave Pro Dyenna grabbing my packet. …. which is also a reason I didn’t see a problem with waking up at 2 am, and driving to the start – 3 hours away.
Saturday, August 19, 2017 – 2 am – Alarm goes off… wake up
2:15 am – In the car with coffee, a Nugo Bar, and a bottle of water. The 3 hour road trip to Madtown begins.
2:30 am – filled up with gas at the Casey’s in Solon, IA. Yay for fuel saver perks, gas was less that $20 to fill ‘er up. Fishermen were also gassing up.
2:32 – 5:15 am – uneventful car ride. There wasn’t too much traffic, I saw a coyote on the side of the road. There was some random fog near Dodgeville. Then there was an ambulance, and I had to slow down as to not pass it. Made a bathroom stop for more coffee, busted open my mint Nugo bar.
5:15am – Madison, WI. I found a parking ramp within a few blocks from the race start. Sat in the car for a while, planned on meeting Dyenna at VIP around 6 am to get my packet.
5:30am – got out of my car, found a $1 bill on the ground, wahoo!! I made sure I had all my things with me, grabbed a bag for gear check stuff, and walked the couple of blocks to the Monona Terrace for VIP.
VIP area opened at 5:30 am
For a to the point race review, check bibrave.com
5:45 ish am – I was early, but I didn’t want Dye to have to wait on me. I found my way upstairs to the VIP room (this area was indoors) and waited, there was wi-fi and I had power for my phone.
6:00 am -I met up with Dyenna, who arrived with a friend. She gave me my bib and my shirt, which was a technical tank top (for women only.) There was also a note about race day warnings and weather conditions. If you attended the expo there was socks and other giveaways.
There was an initial problem with the VIP, we were told that we had it, but when the bibs were picked up, there was no designation. Dye went back, and they just slapped a green sticker on the bibs, no questions asked. When we arrived on race day our names were not on the list, but they just added them, and we were in.
Gear: Sparkle Athletic skirt, Road Runner Sports shorts, Spi belt, BUFF® Pack Run Cap, Bibrave tank, XX2i sunglasses, Aftershokz Trekz Titanium, Zensah Chevron Argyle Compression Socks, Brooks Ghost, Garmin Fenix, Road ID
We sat around and enjoyed the breakfast of muffins, bagels, bars and coffee. The tables had candy scattered on them. We had access to real bathrooms and our own gear check.
6:45 am – checked my bag, which was just any bag you wanted to use, attaching the strip from your bib. Then made it outdoors to the starting corrals, which were just outside the door.
As I mentioned, not my first time at this race. One of the reasons I like it, you run by all the things Madison has to offer. Within the first few miles you see the Capital, State Street, the Kohl Center and Camp Randall. Then you are taken into the Arboretum, passed a golf course, through some residential areas, cute businesses, to end up back on campus at the Lake & Terrace.
I was running along, a little faster than I should when I friendly face said “hey!” It was just passed mile 3, and the crowd had started to thin out. It was social media friend, Steena. She too, mentioned she wasn’t sure if she would catch me as I appeared to be running faster. I tell ya, running with all the people, pushes my pace A LOT.
I didn’t have a race day plan…. I rarely do, just finish. I wasn’t specifically training for this race, it was training miles for the Detroit Marathon. When Steena came up next to me, I had a race plan… run with her.
Now some of you might know that Steena is training for an Ironman. As we ran, I learned a lot more about triathlons and what not. The miles just ticked by.
We would stop for the water or Gatorade, while enjoying the cheer stations. I think at one time, I slowed us down, but she stayed with me.
We discussed the course as well. I think all the times I have run this race, I have always run a different course. However, we complained about the strange parking lot section that is always included.
This course is hilly, as is many of the races in Madison. This year they removed the hill at mile 13, but by the time we made it that far, we both were discussing that the end was in fact a slight uphill.
When we came close to the finish, there was a runner receiving attention on the side of the course, it was clear they were suffering with cramps, Steena stopped and handed them her salt…. appearing to never break stride.
We discussed jumping across the finish line, she mentioned she wanted a fun photo. We, did jump over that finish line, only to discover no one there taking a picture. However, we did get a few photos of us finishing. Also, this year pictures were FREE, and were posted the same day!!
9:09 am – FINISH!! That’s right, we ran a 2:09…my Garmin had it a little long at 13.36, but that is a good time for me, not training.
We went through the finisher’s chute, getting a medal, bottle of water, banana, granola bar, and bag of popcorn. Then we said our goodbyes and a HUGE THANK YOU, she had a few more miles on the day and didn’t want to take a break. It was so much fun to run with her, she really pushed my pace!!! Good Luck in your Ironman!
Then it was time to get back to the VIP room. I passed the chocolate milk tent on the way, and back upstairs I went.
There really wasn’t too much going on here. However, that food setup had changed – fruit, potato salad, brats, and chicken were now available. There was also unlimited Wisconsin Brewing available to us. I also never saw the massage person.
I grabbed my bag of things, a cold beer and went out on the balcony. While I enjoyed having this VIP access, the fun part of the race is the 14th mile post race party, which happens outside on the Terrace.
From the balcony, I could watch the live music and people milling about. There were some tall bar top tables available, but no chairs. I could walk down to the Terrace on a side walkway, so I wasn’t shut off from that.
10:15 ish am – I went back inside to partake in the food. I also happened to meet up with Dye again. We all sat and ate (brat for me of course!) and caught up on our races.
Dye ended up helping an injured runner to the finish line, while her friend did not receive a medal – but instead a piece of paper saying they would send it to her. EEK! I have been on the race organization side of a medal problem, I find it interesting they only gave out what they had, but guess that helps on shipping costs. There was also no mention of this issue, unless you were a finisher that received no medal.
11:00 am – we left the VIP and went to walk around the Terrace and take some pictures. They had to get checked out of their hotel, and I thought I should get back on the road. IT was nice to meet Dye and her friend, we said see ya later – as we are both running the Wisconsin North Face Race in September.
11:15 am – I was back at my car in the ramp. I was still not ready to leave, I needed to grab what I always snag when I am in Wisconsin – beer and cheese! A quick clothing change in the car, and I was walking to the Madison Market.
Without problem, I was able to secure some New Glarus Raspberry Tart and a bag of curds. My trip was now complete.
11:45 am – 2:51pm– ROAD TRIP!!! It was another uneventful trip back, however it looked like my pee stops had me avoid 2 accidents, they did not look pretty. Drive safe people!!
3:15pm – back out the door to my next race – WHAT!??!??!! Oh yeah, I signed up for the Dam Backpocket 7 miler, I needed to be on a shuttle at 4pm for the race start at 5pm.
More on that race in my next post….