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mls1517 FIRST-TIMER '17

This race is brutal and so worth it! 8.5 miles of climbing 2100 feet and then 5 miles of decent to the finish line. It's intense but truely the most … MORE

This race is brutal and so worth it! 8.5 miles of climbing 2100 feet and then 5 miles of decent to the finish line. It’s intense but truely the most rewarding half marathon I’ve ever ran!

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

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RunnerMeg FIRST-TIMER '16

I have never run more than a mile or two on a track but hey, why not run 26.2 and see what happens? I had a hole in my race … MORE

I have never run more than a mile or two on a track but hey, why not run 26.2 and see what happens?

I had a hole in my race calendar and this was a chance to run a marathon in a northern state in January that I otherwise would have to put off till warmer months, so why not go for it.

Registration was easy as with most events, the marathon seems to fill up last, even though I registered somewhat late in the game. Getting to Milwaukee from VA was surprisingly cheap so my hubby came along too; it’s rare he gets to see me more than once or twice during a race…this time he saw me about 95 times!

There was no expo, just show up race morning and pick up your stuff, which is awesome in my opinion. One less thing to do the day before the race. The event was held at the Petit National Ice Center and runners and family spent the first little while before the start upstairs in a warm room with tables, chairs, coffee, water and most importantly, bathrooms. Close to race time we made our way down to the track where we were given instructions on where to set up our personal water bottles and nutrition. I had mine in a plastic bag with my name and bib number written on it, and two bottles (1 with water, 1 with Gatorade), also labeled. These were set up on a table that corresponded to a range of bib numbers. Volunteers manned this table throughout the event and handed off bottles and Gu’s to runners then took them back the next lap. It wasn’t a perfect system but it was pretty good and you can’t beat having access to food and water ever .25 miles during a marathon. I didn’t need it, but there were a couple of portajohns set up along the track too.

The organization of this race was pretty great. Maybe it’s easier in some ways because there is no “course” to mark and monitor, but it has its own slew of logistical issues, none of which was noticeable to me as a runner. Everyone wore an ankle bracelet that gave us a chip timed run, and you crossed a couple of mats where your lap times, lap countdowns, and average lap time were displayed prominently. This was helpful, although I underestimated the difficulty I would have doing the math to time my laps and nutrition like a normal marathon. Regardless, I made it out okay!

There is no scenery. It was roughly 95 laps around the indoor ice arena where yes, a couple of hockey games were going on, and some speed skaters were training in the outer ice loop. But I couldn’t really focus on that stuff for very long. There were no headphones allowed, but the RD had a playlist of music pumped out over the PA system, including selections that we runners sent in ahead of time. That was pretty cool, although some people have weird taste in running music!

So, 90 laps later, with 5 to go, the RD announced my name as closing in on the finish, and then again on my final lap (he may have done this with 20 or 10 to go as well, I can’t remember). I have never been so delighted to be done with a race as I was here. 95 laps on a track that doesn’t change is mind numbing and leg numbing in my opinion. I wish there could have been a hill manufactured for the race just to change up what my legs were doing. But, that’s the way an indoor marathon goes, and now I know.

I am very glad I did it and appreciate the fact that they have a great long-sleeve tech tee and solid medal for finishers. I was pleased with my time and the swag, and hobbled away happy, though I have now checked the indoor marathon box for good!

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
1
SWAG
5
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