• Madison,
    United States
  • November
  • 13.1 miles/Half Marathon, 26.2 miles/Marathon
  • Road Race
  • Event Website

Chris Sosinski

Wisconsin, United States
6 15
"The Best Tour of Wisconsin's State Capital City"
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Race Management
Chris Sosinski's thoughts:

The 2019 Madison Marathon and Half Marathon was held on a blustery Sunday in early November. In Wisconsin the weather is unpredictable making a later marathon or half a risky choice.

To start with I did not attend the expo because I had to work on Saturday and could not get to Madison from Milwaukee. Parking structures are everywhere in the city. It was my lucky day and I found prime parking right outside the finish line by the Madison Concourse Hotel. Parking cost $8 at this structure. After parking, I headed over to bib pick up. I chose the day of packet pick up a for $30. Some races are now making this a free feature. Having helped out in the past, with day of pick up for other races, I know the difficulty that comes from day of pick up. I am torn about how much should be charged for this feature as not everyone is able to make it the night before to the event. The packet pick up for day of was smooth and easy.

Between the start of the race and packet pick up I was able to spend time in a heated tent for pre/post-race, but chose to go to one of the many coffee shops in the square. It was nice to have a place to relax and prepare for the race.

Since it was 35 and super windy I waited until 10 minutes before the 13.1 started to take my warmup clothes off. Gear check was easy for those who used it, but I had a friend take my clothes instead of the event provided option. The starting line was extremely crowded. If athletes want to get closer to the front, get there a little early because people did not budge to allow for movement to the front. To mark the start of the race the event used an airhorn rather than a gun. The start was very smooth and well managed.

On the course it starts out in the city of Madison moving to the outskirts of town. There are some nice long rolling hills on this course. If a participant did not train for the event, the hills will take a toll on the individual. The 2 largest hills are at miles 9.25 through the beautiful Maple Bluff neighborhood and mile 12.5 as athletes head back to the Capital Square. The course itself has plenty of room for you to make a move and race other competitors. The markings ensure participants do not get lost and the volunteers are great and directing.

The aid stations were cheerful and ready to help. They were prepared and alert. This was great on a cold day because sometimes the aid stations are a little lifeless when it is chilly. It is a hard cold job. So thanks for being so enthusiastic!!!

After making it all the way back to the Capital, athletes are welcomed by crowds of people who line the streets. It is an energizing environment. Racing through the downtown streets the momentum builds and then suddenly participants turn the corner and are at the finish looking at the State Capital building. Then finishers are greeted by wonderful volunteers and some great food options.

The post-race food selection was very hearty. There was mac and cheese, chili, bratwurst, cookies, chocolate milk and Michelob Ultra beer. Runners can eat their food in the heated tent, but since I was cold I decided to go back to the car and in alone.

Overall, yes I do recommend this race. It is a challenging, but fast course. The only concern I have is making it a goal race since it is in Wisconsin in November. Just make sure to be prepared for any kind of weather and have fun.

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