We really like racing in Madison. It may have something to do with staying with my aunt. She is the best hostess/race supporter ever!
We dropped the boys off with my dad after church on Sunday and headed to Madison. Taste of Madison was happening at the Capitol Square and our plan was to enjoy lunch/dinner there and then go to my aunt’s house. Taste of Madison is delicious! There were a lot of vegetarian options. Everything I tried was good. Some of it was fantastic! I just wish that they would serve smaller portions for less cost. I would have liked to have tried more things, but my belly and my budget were both pretty strained.
We got to my aunt’s house and collapsed onto her couch in full-on food coma. It was a relaxing evening. I tried to get a little bit of homework done, but we definitely went to bed early.
I slept well, probably because I didn’t need to get up until 6:30! That is sleeping in! I got ready and had my usual breakfast of white rice. My aunt volunteered to drive us to the starting area. We weren’t sure what the parking situation was going to be. As it turns out, the race was really small and we could have easily found parking. But, we loved having her there. She dropped us off and then went to two different spectating locations, before returning to the finish line!
The race started at Vilas Park. I remember starting another race at this exact shelter. But, I know it was a winter race. It may have been the Zoo Run Run. Or the Freeze for Food.
Anyway, it was great to have real bathrooms, even though the line was really long. The registration area was well organized and we were able to get our bibs and T-shirts (no timing chip) in just a few minutes. We walked around the park for a while before the race started.
There was a folksy band that played prior to the race. They were actually pretty good. It was quite a change from the usual sound system and MC that is found at most races.
When it was time to begin, the race organizer yelled that it was time to walk over to the road. The stroller runners got a two minute head start before the rest of the runners started. The 5K and 10K started together, but split off around the first mile.
Tim and I were going to run the entire race together. Since I had just run a half marathon, I wasn’t interested in racing this course for time. I just wanted to have fun.
We started out at a pretty good pace, but Tim started struggling about 3 miles in. He was having problems with his feet. We stopped a couple times in miles 4 and 5. Once he tried to re-tie his shoes. Another time we walked for a little while.
With about a mile to go, Tim started feeling better…I think he secretly wanted to get in under an hour. Unfortunately, with about a mile to go, I started having stomach cramps. Seriously?!? I had been feeling fine the entire race. Oh, well.
Since my Garmin wasn’t working (again), I have statistics from Tim’s phone
Mile 1: 9:23
Mile 2: 9:07
Mile 3: 9:48
Mile 4: 10:49
Mile 5: 10:36
Mile 6: 9:17
Mile .22: 1:43
I have to say that this was the least annoying time I have run through the Arboretum. Maybe because I knew this was a small race and that there wouldn’t be any crowd support anywhere, so I wasn’t as disappointed when the Arb was so quiet. Or maybe, it was because the roads were open, so I got to see all the locals who were running or biking through the Arb on their Labor Day morning. Maybe it was because I wasn’t ‘racing’ and I was just out for a run run with my husband. Regardless, running through the Arboretum didn’t suck as much as I expected.
After the race, we met back up with my aunt at the start/finish area. I headed over to the refreshment area and grabbed a bottle of water, a couple orange slices and a really delicious cranberry orange scone. We hung around for the raffle drawing (we didn’t win anything) and then headed back to her house to shower, grab a bite to eat, and then headed home.
My aunt did manage to get a few pictures of us…pay no attention to the date. We don’t know how to change it. This is toward the beginning of the race. We were trying to high-five each other as we were running down the sidewalk. I can only imagine what the guys in front of us were thinking. This is us heading to the finish line. Post race. Re-hydrating.
* Inexpensive registration. I’m a sucker for a good deal…especially if Tim and I both want to run the race.
*Monday. Having a race on a holiday means that Tim doesn’t need to take a vacation day. Another bonus!
*Flat course. Just one small-ish hill, but nothing to be overly concerned about.
*Organization. The organizers had everything laid out very well for registration and packet pick up.
*Real bathrooms. Need I say more?
*Post race food. Loved the scones. They also had coffee, bananas, orange slices, bagels and granola bars.
*Location. The shelter at Vilas Park was a nice location for a race of this size.
*Small race. No crowd support. I like throngs of cheering fans. At least my aunt is there. She is the best race supporter ever.
*Open roads. The roads were open to traffic throughout the event. It was a holiday, so there wasn’t much traffic and there were volunteers and signs all over the course, so I still felt very safe.
*T shirt. White. Cotton. Boring. But, it’s a fundraiser for a good cause!
Overall Grade: B
I would probably do this race again. I love that it gives me the chance to extend a holiday weekend with a race. And, the course has PR potential because of the elevation profile…and you certainly wouldn’t have to deal with any crowds.
Do you guys like small races? Or prefer the bigger events?