Run Madtown – Conquer the Capital Challenge Recap 2019
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Back to Conquer the Capital for 2019. I have run this event many times, once I even ran the 10k only. For 2019, I was back to take on the Twilight 10k at 8 PM on Saturday to turnaround and run the half marathon on Sunday at 7 AM.
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If not, have I got the novel for you!! I honestly don’t know how to condense the fun into some short blurb… so sit back and relax.
The Twilight 10k would not start until 8pm on Saturday night, so Josh and I had all day to get to the expo, grab our bibs and get to the starting line. This meant – adventure!!
Madison is a short drive up 151. We arrived in Madtown sometime just before noon. The GIANT farmers’ market was still happening around the Capital, so we walked some of it and took in the sights, smells and sounds.
Since we were close to the Monona Terrace, we hopped over to grab our packets at the expo. On the drive up I had been following the race on Instagram and saw that the first 40 people to check in at the race day events booth would get free light up glasses. I made sure our first stop was that booth – I claimed a pair of purple shades!!
Then we finally made our way to grab our bibs. We were both doing the challenge, an email was sent ahead of time with our bib numbers. We gave them that and they still checked our IDS. We received 2 bibs, one for each race, but the bib colors were exactly the same. We made note to use the correct bib. Also, all races received the same short sleeve tech shirt. If you did the challenge you got a hoodie, but they were out of our sizes and we we’d be contacted about getting them at a later date.
The expo is always small, but easy to navigate and get what you need. I stopped and chatted with my next Madison race, Josh spun the wheel and bought a hat. We saw my name on the car and we drank some water that was provided.
Then it was time to find something to do. We headed for New Glarus!! Josh had never been. We found it to be a quiet day at the brewery. We strolled through the self guided tour and purchased some beer samples. We also left with some bottles to take home.
The town was also having some festival, so we stopped and visited the Planters Nut mobile and purchased some goods at the bakery. However, with all this adventure we were tired and decided to check into the hotel for a nap.
Around 5:30 we gathered our things and tried to figure out where we should park. The 10k race course had changed for 2019, putting the start and finish at the State Street Mall. This meant that the on street free parking wasn’t available, and we needed to pay to park in a ramp. We found a ramp, but it was close to full!!
However, we were close to the start and we were there quite early. So, we sat around, did some people watching. Then Renee found us!
It was finally time for the race to start, wahoo!! It was close to 80 degrees all day, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. The wheelchair division started, then the 10k and then the 5k.
We ran on the gravel trail along the lake, going out and back and then ran up and down all the hills to the finish line. Now, if I were out on some leisurely training run, I would have liked the course. However, a night race on a crowded path, it wasn’t ideal. The 5k leaders approached us on the narrow trail and I felt bad when the 10k runners wouldn’t get over. The out and back was kinda dark too. I also was surprised that the first aid station, water only, was at mile 3, followed by the next at mile 4. When I got to mile 4 they were out of cups. I was HOT and needed a drink. I brought my hydration pack, but didn’t wear it. I was happy to see Gatorade at mile 5 and cups!! It just seemed uncharacteristic of this race.
The finish line party was popping!!! I found Josh after I passed on the post race pizza. I just can’t do that in the heat… I keep wishing for a banana. I did try the spiked seltzer water though and a chocolate milk.
We took some pictures and listened to the DJ. The lights were spinning and our glasses were flashing. It was getting late, so we walked to the nearby Chipotle and went back to the hotel. We had a half marathon in less than 9ish hours.
We woke up early and got our crap together. I was running with my pack today, even though it was cooler and there was a cloud cover. We hit the Sbux near the hotel for a pastry and coffee. Hey – it’s A-1 fuel for 13.1 miles….if you have time to sit and drink the coffee… spoiler alert.
We arrived to the Capital Square area to easily find a free parking space on the nearby street. We walked around and BibRave Pro Danielle spotted us on our way to the port-o-potties. While waiting in line we also saw Azeem. I will note I feel there were less port-o-potties this year, but we made our way through quickly.
We met back up with Danielle. It was her first time in Wisconsin. It was nice to chat.
Then just before 7AM we were encouraged to line up in the back filled corral. There were pacers, and we were told to line up accordingly. I had no goal, I was using the 10k and half marathon as training for Grandma’s marathon. I was near the 2:30 pace group though.
Some National Anthem singing and announcements and the race was underway!! I was running with the 2:30 pace group and didn’t want to pass them, but it was hard to stay with them. I did my best.
Then around mile 4, which is also Camp Randall Stadium. I needed to use the bathroom. You see I thought I had used the bathroom, but I just didn’t get enough time to let the coffee set. Oh well, there were enough port-o-potties available I made the necessary pit stop.
When I came out of the pit stop, I was no longer with the pace group, but I saw Azeem again! I ran with him, but started to pull away. I just kept moving.
I was also noticing the course felt different. Now, I know I run a lot of events in Madison, and I might be getting them confused. However, I swear last year the spring event ran the same half marathon course as the fall event. It’s a little more boring, you run on a different side of town through more residential neighborhoods.
I was pleasantly surprised when we came to the Arboretum!! YAY! I like running through this area, it’s wooded, there’s water, maybe some wildlife. I was treated to the wildlife as I saw and heard many turkeys.
As I was running, I was posting to social media to keep my mind occupied. As luck would have it, the photographers caught one of those moments. LOL
Once through the arboretum we were treated to a GIANT hill. That is when out of no where Azeem passed me… he CRUSHED that hill!!! When I got to the top I made it my mission to catch him. Which I eventually did for the last mile. It was great as we chatted past the Kohl center and down State street to see Josh cheering us on.
I had finished the race in about 2:30. Sadly, running is always celebrated by how fast you run, but I was happy with this time. I also had just finished my 53rd half marathon!!
I grabbed my finisher’s medal, a bottle of water, a bagged Panera lunch and some orange slices. I downed the water and ate the oranges. I stopped at the backdrop for some photos, then made my way to get my Conquer the Capital medal.
Then I met up with Josh and we were able to chat with Danielle again.
After giving away our beer tickets, we took some photos around the capital and then walked back to our car. In that process I snagged the bag of chips from my bagged meal and handed the rest to a guy on a bench.
We still had time to shower and officially check out of the hotel.
We had our sights on our next stop. We usually plan the things that are necessary, but then go with the flow and find some fun. The nest stop was lunch at the Grumpy Troll Brewery in Mt Horeb. We also pass these places 2203948 times, so we figured since we had time, we would stop.
After a bratwurst and a beer, we were back on the road. We had our eyes on another new stop. However, since we are old, we had to pullover and take a nap. Yep!! We both were too tired to drive any more. Maybe we need a conversion van?
After a power nap, we were following the GPS to the Potosi Brewery. Talk about some rural roads, but it’s fun to be off the monotonous highway.
Potosi, WI is a quaint little town, but there is a lot going on! It was a battle to get the last table on the patio. There was live music going on and people were having a good time. We sampled the craft brews with a flight of 6 kinds. We also made a point to get some curds and the bacon popcorn.
This is my favorite thing about a road trip. You can just say you want to go somewhere, and you just turn the car in that direction and go exploring. Madison is only 3 hours ish from my house, and these stops are within that circle.
After all the fun, it was time to get back home, we had to pick up the dogs and we were tired.
I will be back in Madison for a race in August and then I will finish my Conquer the Capital half and half challenge in November. Who knows what new adventures will happen, but I am excited to experience them. As always, thanks for a great time Madtown!