Saturday, January 21, 2012

Icebreaker Indoor Half Marathon 2012 Race Report

On Saturday, I was scheduled to run the Icebreaker Indoor Half Marathon (HERE). It's just about the only place you can run an organized half marathon in Wisconsin in the Winter. Sign me up! I was scheduled to run the race last year, but had to DNS due to a death in the family. I was able to spectate the full marathon on Sunday. You can read about my 2011 spectator report (HERE). I was very excited to race the event this year ... and visit a few friends of RDM while I was there.

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.

Race morning, I woke up at 5:30 AM, ate a 0% Chobani, a banana and a Clif Bar. I downed some water and Powerade Zero while heading to the Pettit Center to pick up my packet. While in the pick-up area, I met up with my blogger friend, Amy, from Running is Cheaper than Therapy (HERE). The room overlooked the ice arena and was filled with runners sitting at tables, doing last minute adjustments and making rest stops. The restroom wasn't busy at all, and I think we all can appreciate that! There were also two port-o-potties on the either side of the track to use pre-race.

We headed down to the track to cooler temps and got situated, put our stuff down, placed our labeled bottles on the water bottle tables, I downed another banana and sipped on some Gu, and then we headed to the startline for the National Anthem (played on saxophone).

We also met up with our blogger buddy, Bill @ Love 2 Run (HERE) pre-race, who is on the race committee and has been giving us lots of helpful advice about the race over the past year.

At the startline, they did a count down to the start .... missed it .... and restarted. After a few chuckles and another countdown ... we were off!!

The first couple of laps were crowded. Slower runners were instructed to stay on the outside and faster runners would pass on the inside. Being in the earlier, faster race, there were a TON of competitive runners. I'm not use to running with that group and it was fascinating to watch them use everything they had in their tank. It was also quite deflating to get passed by nearly everyone and feel like you are left in the dust. I ran with Amy a few laps, until I just trailed behind and let her take off. She's typically faster than me and I didn't want to kill myself lap-after-lap-after-lap. I got in a groove, a rhythm, and enjoyed myself.

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.

1:54 (and some change)

Jamie @ Running Diva Mom
Bill @ Loves 2 Run (HERE)
Amy @ Running is Cheaper than Therapy (HERE)

Race Swag

Adorable cookies!!

2012 Icebreaker
Indoor Marathon
& Half Marathon
Finishers Medal

Post-Race ....

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.

I indulged in this .....

Then, later I indulged in this ....


  1. That looks like tons of fun. That would be a great distraction to have those things going on on the rink. Congrats!

  2. Nice job, Jamie! And those cupcakes look awesome!!!

  3. CONGRATS! Wow, an indoor half! Never heard of one before...but then again I'm semi newbie runner. I'd love to try one. Yes, loooove your post-race celebratory treats!

  4. I guess the lap count can give you something to focus on instead of just time or pace. Intriguing! Oh...congrats!

  5. Great job! I can't imagine running in a circle for a half marathon. That takes both physical and mental endurance, for sure.

  6. Great article. I to ran the first 1/2. Number was 140, finished 1:48, this was my second year. I was the only person wearing a water bottle. Also, had on a green shirt, and knee bands. Name is Ken. :)

  7. Well done. Such an unusual race venue but needs must and sounds like they organise it well :-)

  8. Congratulations on your race!

  9. oh cool, i've never seen an indoor marathon/half marathon! congrats on the race!

  10. That looks like such a fun half marathon! I never would have thought that running in circles for almost two hours sounded like a good time, but you really made it sound like a unique and interesting event. Maybe I'll have to try it one day. And congrats :)