Sunday, August 22, 2010

Madison Mini Marathon Bloggers Meet-Up

I was so excited to be hosting a bloggy dinner on evening before the Madison Mini Marathon. The packet pick up was at the SERF on the UW Campus. I decided to hold our carbo-loading dinner at Porta Bella in downtown Madison. The atmosphere is kind of dark, but it never disappoints and the Italian food is always awesome.

I had been collecting items for Goody Bags for a couple of months and the gals had a blast looking through them. It was awesome seeing the cute smiles on their faces.

Running Chicks (HERE)
donated the adorable Tote Bags

Fleet Feet Sports Madison (HERE)
Goodies including PowerBar Gels and
Fleet Feet Sweaty Bands

Pink Argyle Socks from
Chrissy's Knee High Socks (HERE)

13.1 Bondi Bands (HERE)

GoLite Visors (HERE)

Gu Energy Gel (HERE)

Run Like a Girl Stickers
from Family Fan Club (HERE)

I also passed out extra goody bags at the end of the evening that included miscellaneous items, including a signed copy of Girls Sweat ... and that's Sweet! (HERE)

I also used my running shoe cookie cutter again, and made some fun cookies with the kids.

I put the cookies in cello bags and attached a notecard that included everyone's name, blog name and website address.

I left my house at 5pm and headed down to UW Campus. The tornado sirens were going off at home, but I headed out anyway (smart, right?!). I was on a mission. I headed through downtown traffic and parked at the Lake Street/Frances Street parking ramp. I walked down to the SERF in the pouring rain, to pick up my packet. There was actually a small expo this year. I sadly didn't have the time to look or purchase anything (which is probably a good thing). I passed the Bondi Band booth and gave the gal a grin, on the way to pick up my packet and t-shirt.
The bibs included your chip, which stayed attached this year. I thought this no-fuss chip timing system was an awesome idea!
I then headed back towards my car in the downpour and waited to cross traffic. Grrr. I arrived a Porta Bella and Linda, Chelsea and Kerri were already there waiting for me in the bar (for some non-alcoholic drinks, of course!). Erika and Heather arrived shortly after.
We had a great dinner, great conversation about the normal stuff: running (of course!), training, kids, pregnancy, school, kids going off to college, traveling ... and Bondi Bands!
The food was fabulous and the Porta Salads were a big hit. We all loaded up on water (notice the huge pitcher in front of Heather!).
I had met Linda and Chelsea before, but not the other gals. Everyone is just like they are on their blogs -- sweet, witty, funny. It was really cool to meet them all in person. We discussed time goals for the race and the innaugural race from 2009. It was a great course and we were all really excited to tackle it the next day!
Linda (HERE), Heather (HERE), Erika (HERE)

Chelsea (HERE), Kerri (HERE), Me

Heather (HERE), Kerri (HERE), Erika (HERE), Me, Linda (HERE), Chelsea (HERE)
We said our good-byes and wished eachother good luck for the half marathon. Kerri was going to be running her first running race ... a half marathon (WOW!) !! She was beyond excited! Erika had parked her car at my house, and I also drove Chelsea and Kerri home. So, it was fun to chat with them for a bit more.


  1. That sounds like a fabulous time and what great goody bags you put together. Seriously, the goody bags were better than most races I go to :)!

    It sounds like you all had a great time!

  2. What great goody bags. The pictures show what a great time you girls have.

    Love those cookie cutters!

  3. You're an awesome hostess! Glad you ladies were able to meet in person!

  4. What a great time...looks like you were a fantastic host!

  5. Look at those goodie bags! I want to do a meet up with you! You really get into it!

  6. Adorable, thoughtful goodie bags. How cute!!