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

Gina Hanzel

Minnesota, United States
54 24
"Beautiful Start and Finish at the State Capitol"
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Race Management
Gina Hanzel's thoughts:

Great urban race with a small town feel.

I really enjoyed this race because it had plenty of runners but not too many. In the half marathon there were just over 2100 finishers. For a larger city, this was great! The streets were not too crowded and you weren't bumping elbows the entire race. Win-Win.

Madison Marathon Race Management does a great job with organizing this race from start to finish. There was never information I could not find and if I had a question, I received immediate responses. Way to go! So often, races fail to communicate effectively.

EXPO: I gave 5 stars for the expo quality because even though it was quite small, it was well-managed. Easy ramp parking for $5 made it very accessible and on-street parking was also available. Packet pick-up was a breeze. I received my personalized bib with timing chip, my long sleeve tech tshirt and a few other incidentals. I really liked the perk of the American Flag placed on the bibs of all veterans that ran this race! Awesome job!

STARTING LINE: Tons of porta-potties with short wait times. I was able to make one last stop before the race start and didn't even have to wait! Excellent! They were close to the start as well. The runners were all in the same corral, but pacers did line up accordingly, so if you wanted to run with a pacer they were there. Two separate start times for the marathon and half-marathon.

RACE COURSE: It stars and finishes at Capitol Square and was fairly non-technical. But, watch out for the hills about mile 7 and mile 9. These were doozies, but shorter so manageable. Plus the top of mile 9 brings you to the lake with a gorgeous view of the capitol in the distance! WOW! Worth the hurt on the way up the hill. After mile 9 was my most favorite part of the race. You reach the view and from there it's a downhill and flat course around some of Madison's most prestigious homes; including the sprawling governor's mansion. Make sure to enjoy it a bit. :)

All of the course runs on pavement with some areas open to traffic. Runners ran on one side of the cones and all major intersections were accounted for with police officers. For me, a partially open course is a bit of a downer - I run on the outside to be as far away from other runners as possible - I had to dodge in and out of a few cones now and then. Nothing earth-shattering, but my only negative of the course.

Watch out for about mile 12 1/4. A substantial hill at the finish, but if you can conquer it the finish line is close! Keep going! You can do it!

WATER STOPS: There were MANY opportunities for water and Gatorade and they came often. I did not carry water with me on this run and wouldn't have needed to. Great job there. My only suggestion would be to have the water first and Gatorade second or vice - versa. They were not the same at every one.

FINISH LINE: FREE RACE PHOTOS! Such a HUGE race perk. Thank you for that! Heat blankets, finish-line photos, instant race results printed, ample food selection and post-race band that played until 12:00. I was also very pleasantly surprised at the race day parking. Ample FREE race parking on the street on race day. If you weren't lucky enough to snag a street spot there were ramps everywhere with reasonable parking rates!

I would definitely recommend this race!

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