I love it, and can't wait to wear it sometime soon! My dinner plans were not set in stone, and after getting to my hotel I chose to avoid the campus area, and went to my standby Noodles. I headed back to my hotel, showered, laid out race outfit, talked on the phone, watched TV, totally vegged out in the nicest way. I set my alarm for 5:00 and soon was up for race day morning.
I found a spot in the lot that was closest, and walked to the terrace to chill and eventually drop my gear. The clouds were in the sky, but it did not look like rain, so I was happy with the sun being covered, keeping the heat away.
I ran into Krista, whom I have known from the running circuit for a while now. I had not "talked" to her in real life since she BQ'd so it was all kinds of awesome to be talking shop with her about BOSTON!
It was time to check my bag, head to the start. We heard the National Anthem on our way, and then we were in our corral to start. Those last few minutes always seem to take forever, and the little nerves always come out, no matter what. True to form, I take off too fast...
This race is fun though, taking you through Madison and its offerings, the Farmers' Market, the Capitol, Camp Randall, the arboretum...the hill at mile 9. I know Madison to be a hilly course, no matter what race I run there. Mile 9 was no joke, after you got to what seemed to be the top, you turned and kept going up more. It took my legs awhile to start turning back over after that. When the 1:40 pace group came behind me, I was like, no way, not now. They did pass me eventually but I stayed close behind them, and held on to keep it under. Was not going to be a few seconds over, that was for sure.
Going through the finish the volunteers were so smiley and happy. I did pose for a pic in the big chairs, because nothing says Union Terrace like those big chairs.
I went in and grabbed my gear bag, and headed over to get my medal for the M2 challenge, because last year the line was quite long for that, this year, not so much, yay! I used the bathroom (no port-o-potty) and headed back outside. I ran right into Krista who was ready to grab a beer, um yes please!
The Beer Gods were on our side, a woman next to us wanted her cup to take home, but not the beer, sure we'd drink it for her! Another gentleman walked by and set his free drink ticket on our table and walked away without a word. The band Mighty Wheelhouse was playing, they were tons of fun.
While we were waiting I was able to connect with some of my other friends that were running. Yomarie being one of them, and a great story that happened to her...
Yomarie parked pre-race and as she got out of her car she heard a young woman asking people if they had an extra pair of running shoes. Several people had told her they didn't and by the time the young woman approached Yomarie her mind was thinking that yes she did have a pair in her trunk. Turns out it was the exact size the young woman needed. It was her first half, she had accidentally left her shoes, she'd send them back when she was finished. Yomarie said that was not necessary, good luck and she was happy to help. Well the young woman did finish her first half marathon in Yomarie's shoes and they met up post race!
Knowing Yomarie this is not surprising that she would do this, she is a super sweet person, but my takeaway from this is, it is what any runner would do, we look out for each other, we celebrate each other's success, we encourage when we are down. I love running people. I know there are many other good people and groups out there, but I am totally biased by the running community and how happy it makes me. Runners Rock.
Angie and her Iowa group were with us by now, and I was able to meet a few other Tweeps. Which is always fun!
This was Angie's 20th half marathon-woot woot! Tereasa took 4 minutes off her 5K time from last year. Awesomesauce! They are so awesome that I look pass the Hawkeye attire they wear in Badgerland!
I ended up waiting for a friend that had did the Madison Open swim that morning, who turned out to know Yomarie. We enjoyed visiting, and I may or may not have turned down a one way street getting him back to his car. Hate Madison driving.
I am pretty sure I could live in Madison, I have said that before. Growing up in in a rural area, Madison was always our "go-to" place for shopping. I still love it, maybe someday...but in the meantime, thank you for a lovely visit again!