Latest reviews by Angie Maske-Berka
Pre-Race: Registration online and at the expo. It was a pricier race at around $75-$100 depending when you registered. Received many emails prior to the race. Expo was held at the Union near Camp Randall. Parking in the ramp was a nightmare, so found an on street spot. Expo was nice, merchandise to buy, sponsors, signs to make. Packet pick-up was easy, just show an ID & grab your stuff, could pick up another bib number with their ID. Entrance guaranteed you a tech tee, chance to get free socks. No race day registration or packet pick-up.
Race Day: Saturday August 17, 2013. Sunny, cool, perfect, 60 ish degrees. No humidity. 7:00 am start in corrals. National Anthem sung live about 5-10 minutes before start. Music pumping over speakers. Started on time.
Course: Passing the state Capitol, the University of Wisconsin campus, Lake Menona & Lake Mendota; the race snaked through Madison on paved streets, asphalt and dusty trails. No major cracks or potholes. ( I thought the course was relatively flat, apparently I have legs of steel as others thought this was a hilly course) Chip on back of bib. Spectators were present in populated areas, always cheering. Water & Gatorade stops, each in different color paper cups. No food on the course. Miles were clearly marked with stands holding a clock & flags. Live music or loud music could be heard too. Finish line clearly marked.
Post Race: Medals hung around your neck by volunteers, at the same time a bottle of water & a banana were handed to you. More food available by choice, granola bar, fruit & nut bar, white popcorn, cheese popcorn, cookies, & chocolate milk, too much to carry. Photos on a terrace chair & in front of finishers back drop. Drink ticket provided on bib for a draft beer from a local brewery or a bottle of Gatorade. Finisher's were able to gather at the terrace on Lake Mendota. More food & drink available for purchase.
Overall: This is a great race, no headaches. Only downfall is the price. I would definitely run this again, and I would recommend you add it to your must run list.
Side note: I only recommend if you have never ran it!
Packet pick up was held Thursday, Friday & limited to an hour on Saturday. This is a huge race, over 15,000 people. No race day registration. Someone else could pick up your packet.
Pre-race: Parking is a slight problem, just have to search for an on street spot or park nearby with a short walk. Instructed to get to your assigned starting coral 15 minutes prior to race start. Corals based on estimated finishing time when you registered. Lots of announcements made, but due to volume of people, difficult to hear them all. Lots of waiting! National Anthem sung live, & a flyover.
Race: Out & back course. Starts on time, all corals start, so people move forward all at once. Disposable chip timed, plastic loop style that attaches to shoe.
Course is on pavement & asphalt, both well cared for, no holes or major cracks. TOO MANY PEOPLE! Entire course is bobbing & weaving in & out of runners. Course is known for it's uphill start, but the entire course is hilly. Mile markers are noted with banners hung above the street. A person with a stop watch is yelling times. Water only stops are crowded, paper cups. Finish chute is long, leads to post race area for runners only.
Post - race: Party! Water, pop, beer, granola bars, Whitey's popsicles, Hostess / Little Debbie style treats, grapes, etc. Entire post race takes over the Quad City Times parking lot. Usually a warning to racers if they take too much food, asked to not participate next year. There is no line system for food, you just crowd around the items. Long lines for beer.
Overall: As far as all the logistics and taking part of a race, there are no problems, you just show up and run. However the race should be run for fun, too many people, course is too crowded. I would suggest running it once, just so you can say you ran the Bix.