- 3 miles/5K, 13.1 miles/Half Marathon, Virtual Race
- Road Race
- Event Website
The 2019 event took place on Saturday, August 17. The half marathon starts at 7:00 am, with the 5k to follow. It was a typical summer day with some sun, humidity and temps that would increase.
*This is my 5th time at this race, most of the logistics are the same, but the course always seems different. This year it was due to construction.
Registration: This was available online, starting near $50 the day of the previous year's race and increasing until online registration closed a few days before the race. You could also register at packet pick up for over $100, no race day registration. Included with registration was a bib, chip timing, post race beer and a short sleeve soft blend t-shirt. You could register for the VIP package for an additional $55 (with this got you pre-race breakfast, separate gear check, unlimited post race beer, massage, plus more)
Expo / Packet Pick-up: The expo was held at the Alliant Energy Center. This location had FREE ample parking. This was open only on Friday from 11 am - 8pm. If you were not able to get your own packet, someone else could get it for you with a copy of your ID. You could also choose will call pickup for an additional charge, you would add this to your registration, and pick up race morning. The bib was in an envelope and they grabbed my shirt and put the 2 things in a plastic bag, no paper flyers. I really didn't need the bag, but I was able to use for gear check.
The expo itself had a handful of vendors, but very easy to park, grab you things and leave.
Pre-race: There were Port-o-potties near the starting corrals, you knew which corral to enter based on the letter on your bib. At 6:45 am the National Anthem was performed. There was parking in ramps for a fee, a few blocks away or you could search the city for a place on the street. The race started promptly at 7 am.
*I had VIP access, so pre race I was able to use indoor plumbing, enjoy coffee and muffins, and leave my gear bag in that indoor space.
Race/ course: Small tour of Madison, Camp Randall, the Capital, Arboretum, Observatory hill.
-Elevation: Madison is not a flat city, there are hills. Due to construction Observatory hill was added in the last mile.
-Terrain: paved /asphalt surface, or around the arboretum you can run on the narrow gravel shoulder. No hazards, unless you count banked roads.
-Course markings: each mile was marked with a sign, a clock and a flag (warning system.) There were some timing mats at certain markers.
-Aid Stations: Water and assorted Gatorade flavors in separate paper cups, and at tables with signs. However some stops had Gatorade first. I don't remember when the stops started, maybe mile 2 and continued about every 2 miles. IT was advertised to have 10 stops, there were plenty. I don't recall seeing any gels or food on the course. Water stops were also cheer stations.
-Spectators: This race has a surprising amount of people along the course. Signs, high fives!
-Photography: FREE photos are to be available if you download Strava.
-Port-o-potties on the course - I didn't need to use one, so I don't remember if they were out there
-Scenery: All the sights of Madison, plus residential, business, parking lots, etc
-Volunteers / law enforcement: The course was always safe, given many parts were open to traffic.
-Medical: I did not see any specific tents, I was on the lookout for some Vaseline.
Finish: This was marked with an arch and timing clock. The announcer was catching names as people finished. Each side was lined with spectators. Once you cross the finish line there was a volunteer with a medal and a bottle of water. Then there were bananas, granola bars, chocolate milk and Wisconsin popcorn.
*I participated in the Illini-Badger Challenge for an additional medal. I stopped by at tent near the finish to claim my bling.
A short walk to the Terrace for the 14th mile post race party. Each participant received a free Wisconsin Brewing beer and could treat themselves to views of the lake and live music. This is one of my fave post race parties!
*I had the post race VIP, it was indoors (same as pre-race,) but there was a balcony to go outside and overlook the Terrace & listen to the music. I also had access to fruit & sandwiches - so I had a brat of course! I also took advantage of the massage therapist.
My Race: Another race where I didn't have a specific goal, but to make it to the finish line. I also have a marathon coming up in October, so these are training miles. I was really having a good race, a fellow Pro came up near mile one and we ran a few miles together. I enjoyed the arboretum and was felt good. Then came mile 10, this weird pain in my calf developed. It wasn't cramping, but felt like a rock. I made sure to drink Gatorade at all the remaining stops. I didn't have my pack with me, as I knew there would be enough course aid, but I wasn't sure if I should have a salt chew. I did make it to the finish line with a time near 2:24 or something.
Overall: This is a great race for summer in the midwest, probably one of my favorites in Madtown.