The weekend of events included a 5K on Friday evening, two half marathons on Saturday (at 7:00 AM and 9:30 AM - each limited to 130 slots) and a full marathon on Sunday (also limited to 130 slots). There was also a marathon relay and the Gold Medal Challenge (for runners that participated in both the half and the full marathon -- limted to 40 slots).
The half marathon consisted of approximately 48 laps arround the Pettit Ice Center in Milwauke, Wisconsin (HERE). The earlier race had a two hour cut-off. Since I typically run a 1:56-1:58, I wasn't sure which race to do ... but, opted to run the earlier race, with the more competitive runners. I just was hoping that I didn't finish last.
I drove up Friday evening in a snow storm and stayed in the Brookfield area. I ended up doing packet pick-up on race morning, due to the weather on Friday.
I had a few people in various spots around the track that I new and I found it really helpful to have those distractions. I figured from the pace chart that Bill showed us, that each lap should take me about 2:10-2:20.
Amy passed me just after 27 minutes and then I saw her once again after that. She was doing great. The chip was counting our laps and I watched the leader board at the finishline with every lap. The frustrating part was that it was showing runners that were on the other side of the track. So, I never was able to see my name. But, volunteers would call out your name and which lap you were on or how many you had left to go. The water bottle table was also quite helpful. You labeled your bottle with your bib number ... would instruct the volunteers that you wanted your bottle on your next lap ... and there it was waiting for you ... then you would drop it off at the refill table or with a volunteer ... and it would be ready for you the next time you needed it. Sweet, right?!?!? I carried my bottle with me for much of the second half of the race. I also stuck two Gu packets in it and used both of them. Vanilla Gu was also provided at the water table about halfway through the race ... but I opted not to take it.
I wore a long sleeve technical top, a running skirt and some CEP Compression socks. It was quite comfortable in the cooler temperatures. I had run 130 laps around a smaller track recently to complete and improptu half marathon of my own ... so mentally, the 48 laps weren't too tough on me mentally. I enjoyed the cushioned tracks, the flat course, and the controlled temperature. Speed skaters were practicing, a hockey game was going on, and figure skaters were practicing as well. I watched the dude on the zamboni and watched spectators cheer with every lap.
Bill was really good about telling me how many laps I had left throughout the last part of the race. With five laps left, I tried to kick it into gear a bit ... and the last two laps I really tried to kick it up a notch. I had heard Amy's name announced as she finished and she was at the finish line cheering me on. And there were quite a few runners left on the track when I crossed that finish line ... I did not finish last.
I ended up finishing around 1:54 and some change. I walked to the "finish line", was handed a bottle of water, my medal and enjoyed the moment. We chatted a bit and then headed to the room with post-race refreshments ... there were a lot of sweets! We ended up picking up some handmade running shoe cutout cookies and some refueled with chocolate milk.
& Half Marathon
With every race I do, I love to experience the local community and see what it has to offer ... including a local cupcakery! I was able to find Miss Julia's Bake Shop in Brookfield (HERE). So, we stopped there after the race to eat a well-deserved cupcake and caffeinate with some delicious coffee. I opted for a coconut cupcake and also purchased a couple to take home to Little Dude and Little Diva. The cupcake shop was absolutely adorable ... the treats were yummy ... definitely a must-stop if you are in the area.