Madison Mini Marathon Race Preview

The Madison Mini Marathon is one of the top rated half marathons in the country.  Even Runner’s World says so…they ranked this race as the #14 half marathon in the country.  I ran this race for the first time in 2010.  I was pregnant then.  It was really hot and humid and a bit rough.

This year, I’m not pregnant.  Whew!!  Open-mouthed smile

I’ll be heading down to Madison Friday afternoon once Tim gets done with work.  After packet pick up and checking out the expo, I’ll head over to my aunt Sharon’s house (where I always stay when I’m racing in Madison).  I think our plan is to go out and grab a bite to eat.  I’m hoping to be very close to ‘asleep’ by 9:00 p.m.

I don’t know if we have finalized exactly how we are going to handle race morning.  I was planning on just heading over toward the union (where the start/finish is located) and trying to find a place to park.  I think Sharon might try to find a place along the course where she can see me run.  Or, we might ride together and she can drop me off and then head out to a spectator spot, before circling back to pick me up.

Either way, I plan on hitting up the awesome Farmer’s Market at the Square after the race.  I might be looking forward to the Farmer’s Market more than I am looking forward to the half marathon!

This race touts itself as a running tour of Madison.  The course winds past many of the ‘main attractions’ of the town.  Being able to run past so many interesting parts of town, can make the miles go by faster.  The only part I really don’t like is running through the Arboretum.  It seems that most of the big races in Madison have a section of the course that runs through the Arb.  While I think the Arboretum would be a beautiful place for training runs, I am not a fan of running through it during races.  There are no spectators.  I like spectators.  And there can be a lot of bugs.  I don’t like bugs. 

I have some pretty high hopes for this race.  I am hoping to set a PR at this race.  The elevation profile is little unsettling.  I wish there was a flatter course I could try to PR on in the near future.

The race does offer pace groups.  There is a 1:40 pace group, that I am in no condition to try to run with.  There is also a 1:50 pace group.  My plan is to get as close as possible to the two young men leading that group and do my best to stick with them.  I hope I didn’t work too hard last Saturday to derail my plans for this race.

I have a few friends who are also running this race.  I think I may start with my friend, Tiff.  She is much faster than I am, but she may hang out with me for the first 5K before going on to her own faster finish!

Onto my goals for the race…

C Goal: 1:55 or better (8:46)  I’ve only done this once this year (almost 2 months ago) and I hope that I still have it in me.  Of course, that course was all downhill.

B Goal: PR-1:52:47 or better. (8:37/mi)

A Goal: 1:49 (8:19/mi) I want to see if I can do it.  It would be pretty cool if I can.

The weather is looking to be perfect for the weekend.  It might be a touch warmer than ideal for racing conditions, but I don’t mind.  The race starts at 7:00 so I’ll be done before the heat gets too bad. 

Who else is racing this weekend?  Anyone else going for a PR?

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2 thoughts on “Madison Mini Marathon Race Preview

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