My Profile

@KatieD

Waukesha, WI Raving since 2014 http://lilahwi.wordpress.com/ active 2 months, 1 week ago

About Me

  • Running club(s):

    Badgerland Striders

  • Rave race:
  • Race that's calling my name:

    Big Sur International Marathon

  • I run because:

    I started running at the young age of 42. I was a horrible runner and I absolutely hated running. Less than 3 years later I ran my first full marathon. I don’t hate running anymore. 🙂

My races

Organize, track & review your races and personal bests here.

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Half Marathon

Marathon

Ultramarathon

(Marathon &/or Ultra) + Half

Marathon + Ultra

Other

Personal Bests (6)

Race Distance Location Date Result
Marathon Milwaukee, WI Oct 2, 2016 4:16:56
Marathon Relay Milwaukee, WI Jan 30, 2016 3:25:48
Half Marathon Toledo, OH Apr 28, 2019 1:53:52
15K Milwaukee, WI Oct 29, 2016 1:25:52
10K Oconomowoc, WI Jul 19, 2015 53:32
5K Waukesha, WI Dec 6, 2015 24:53

Future Races (2)

Race Distance Location Date Paid
50K Whitewater, WI TBD
Marathon Traverse City, MI TBD

Past Races (25)

Race Distance Location Date Result My Raves My Performance
Half Marathon Stillwater, MN Aug 10, 2019 1:55:56
Half Marathon Toledo, OH Apr 28, 2019 1:53:52
Half Marathon Madison, WI Nov 11, 2018 1:58:14
Half Marathon Menasha, WI Sep 24, 2017 2:09:55
Half Marathon Merrimac, WI Jul 8, 2017 2:23:45
Half Marathon Madison, WI May 28, 2017 1:56:48
Half Marathon Waukesha, WI Apr 1, 2017 2:01:18
15K Milwaukee, WI Oct 29, 2016 1:25:52
Marathon Milwaukee, WI Oct 2, 2016 4:16:56
Half Marathon Eagle, WI Sep 18, 2016 2:15:40
5K Greendale, WI Aug 14, 2016
Half Marathon Manitowoc, WI Jun 12, 2016 1:56:32
Half Marathon Coral Springs, FL Mar 26, 2016 2:04:22
Marathon Relay Milwaukee, WI Jan 30, 2016 3:25:48
5K Franklin, WI Dec 31, 2015 25:56
5K Waukesha, WI Dec 6, 2015 24:53
Marathon Grand Rapids, MI Oct 18, 2015 4:25:33
Half Marathon St Charles, IL Sep 20, 2015 1:59:45
10K Oconomowoc, WI Jul 19, 2015 53:32
5K Milwaukee, WI May 10, 2015 27:11
Marathon Chicago, IL Oct 12, 2014 4:40:29
Half Marathon Madison, WI Aug 16, 2014 2:04:56
Half Marathon Milwaukee, WI Jun 14, 2014 2:06:57
5K Milwaukee, WI May 18, 2014 26:07
5K Milwaukee, WI Apr 27, 2014 26:30

My Raves

Gopher to Badger Half Marathon

Gopher to Badger Half Marathon

Some friends suggested this race to me, one of them lives about a half hour from Stillwater. The Minnesota vs Wisconsin theme is fun, though I don't see any actual … MORE

Some friends suggested this race to me, one of them lives about a half hour from Stillwater. The Minnesota vs Wisconsin theme is fun, though I don’t see any actual race results related to MN vs WI runners and the winner of the showdown.

Packet pickup was Friday at an inn/restaurant in downtown Stillwater. Parking was a little scarce and I ended up paying $3 to park in a nearby lot. If you have time to spend there it is a nice area by the Saint Croix River with some cute shops and eateries and a paved bike path nearby.

Early August weather in the Midwest can be quite hot and humid. We were lucky to get a cloudy day that started in the mid 60’s with moderate humidity.

The course is a point-to-point, with shuttles from the finish. Since my friend drove me to the start line I avoided using the shuttle. My goal for the race was in the 8:45 min/mile range so I lined up between the 1:50 and 1:55 pacer.

The first mile is relatively flat and when I looked at my watch the pace was 8:13. A bit fast! I slowed down and let the pacers go. The rest of the course is rolling hills and we ran through some nice neighborhoods. The course is not closed but traffic was not too busy. A couple miles were along a long, straight country road, which wasn’t too thrilling.

Course support was very good, with water stops and porta potties about every two miles. The last few stops seemed misplaced, there were a couple within a mile of each other and then the next one was about 3 miles away, with the last stop in the last mile. Perhaps those were placed there for the 5K or 10K.

The last portion of the race took us over a bridge over the Saint Croix River on a sidewalk alongside the interstate, with cars zipping by at about 80 mph. That was loud. There appeared to be photographers at the finish. Finish line food consisted of water, bags of chips, and bananas. There was a nice photo op next to a large timing sign that looked like it would display your finish time when you stood next to it.

The finisher medal was very large and heavy. It pictures a bridge that I am fairly sure that we did not run over. 😉 The only other race swag was a short sleeve tech tee.

Overall, I thought the race was fine, though I would not go out of my way to run it again. The scenery is similar enough to races close to me in Wisconsin that I don’t need to travel to MN to run it. But I can say that I ran from MN to WI. 🙂

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
3

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Glass City Marathon

Glass City Marathon

This was my first time in Toledo. Packet pickup is smooth with a decent sized expo, race swag included a thin quarter zip jacket, a glass beer mug and large … MORE

This was my first time in Toledo. Packet pickup is smooth with a decent sized expo, race swag included a thin quarter zip jacket, a glass beer mug and large medal. Post race food included pizza and 2 beers. Quite a few people stayed for the after-party which featured a live band.

Race day was a bit rainy and chilly with temps in the upper 30’s. I did not know it at the time, but the indoor arena where packet pickup was staged was open for people to stay warm and to use restrooms. The race start is a short walk from the arena. Parking is a bit confusing and traffic is congested about an hour before race start. I would recommend going early, parking near the arena and waiting inside until closer to race start.

The full and half marathons start at the same time and there is also a marathon relay. There are about 5000 total runners. There is a wave start, but there are only 3 corrals. The full and half split off at about 9 miles. Since the half course is shared with the full marathon, there are plenty of water stops, with tables set up on both sides of the road.

There were a fair number of spectators on the course and the volunteers were very enthusiastic. The race finishes on the university football field. Race photos are available for purchase and there are plenty of finish line photos. For the half I only noticed one photographer on the course.

The course stays away from “downtown” Toledo and winds through the university and some nice neighborhoods. There are no significant hills on the course.

Overall this was a fun race in a mid-sized town and worth checking out if you are close by and want a fast, flat course. Check out the race maps though if you are close to a BQ, if may be a bit difficult to run the tangents due to the turns and the number of runners. I was with a group of 11 runners, one of whom was attempting to qualify for Boston (she made it by 8 minutes!) and we all ran long. 🙂

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Madison Marathon & Half Marathon

Madison Marathon & Half Marathon

The Madison Marathon was formerly held Memorial Day weekend but was moved to November after being cancelled in 2012 due to heat. So now the race is guaranteed to be … MORE

The Madison Marathon was formerly held Memorial Day weekend but was moved to November after being cancelled in 2012 due to heat. So now the race is guaranteed to be cold. How cold? Last year it snowed. This year temps were 25 at race start with the wind chill bringing the temp to a “feels like” 17. But, as Wisconsinites say, it could be worse. 😉

I picked the Madison Half Marathon because it was late in the year. I was recovering from plantar fasciitis and I wanted to give myself plenty of recovery time. I have run Madison half marathon races in May and August and I enjoy running in Madison. This half marathon course differs from the other races in that it heads north along Lake Mendota vs south towards the University and the Arboretum. I was excited about the change in scenery.

The race is well planned, with good race communications via email and the Facebook page. Packet pickup is at the Monona Terrace Community Center and there is a small expo. Race swag included a long sleeve tech tee, finisher medal, and free race photos.

I stayed at a hotel within walking distance of the start line, recommended for those that would like to avoid standing in the cold as long as possible. Gear check is quick though and right near the start/finish line and most people took advantage of it by stripping down to race clothing at the last minute. The half marathon starts 10 minutes after the full marathon. The half marathon is fairly sizeable at over 2600 runners. If you are faster then you will want to get into position earlier as the starting corral is narrow and fills up quickly.

The course is mainly on roads that are not completely closed, there is a running lane coned off. It makes passing a little difficult at certain areas of the course. Water stops are plentiful due to sharing the course with the full marathon.

There are a fair number of spectators and the race has some good energy. The course is on the hilly side (for me) with a large double hill during mile 8. There are nice views of the lake, the capital, and some nice Madison homes. Runner tracking is done with an app with splits at 4 positions on the course, the last one being the 10K mark. It seemed to work well for those tracking me.

A full Panera bag lunch is provided for finishers as well as bananas and oranges and a complimentary beer.

Overall, I would recommend this race if you aren’t afraid of cold weather. Or hills. I would say the half course for the Madtown Half and the Madison Mini are a bit more scenic for first timers to Madison or for those that prefer warmer weather.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Fox Cities Marathon & Half Marathon

Fox Cities Marathon & Half Marathon

I originally signed up for the full marathon but had to drop down to the half due to an injury during training. I signed up early so I only paid … MORE

I originally signed up for the full marathon but had to drop down to the half due to an injury during training. I signed up early so I only paid $75 for the full. I was charged $15 to switch to the half, I was OK with that since most races don’t allow transferring. At the time the half was $100 which is a really pricey half marathon in this area. Nonetheless, the half marathon field seems to be consistently large, over 2000 runners. By contrast the full marathon field is less than 600 runners. There is also a 5K and full marathon relay.

The course is a large loop which does not quite meet, so the finish line is in a separate location from the start. Shuttle buses were provided at Park and Ride locations. The half marathon course shares the first 2 miles of the full course, then splits off and heads northward before rejoining the marathon course at the end. Both races start at the same time and they finish in the same place.

This year the race experienced record high temps, about 30 degrees higher than the norm, with temps in the 80’s by 9:00 AM and hitting 90 by 1:00 PM. Race organizers handled this well with communications warning about the heat and taking additional steps to ensure that water was available and adding a misting station, popsicles, cooling buses, and cooling tanks at the finish. Full marathoners could drop to the half with no fee and receive $20 towards next year’s marathon.

The half course goes through many residential neighborhoods and many people put out sprinklers and set up their own misters. They also had their own water, lemonade, and ice stations. This was all greatly appreciated. The sections in the neighborhood were shaded but in the last 3 miles there was not a lot of shade.

The half course went through the neighborhoods, through an industrial area by the Kimberly Clark plant, and along some bike paths by the waterfront. There were no significant hills on the course. Due to being part of the full course, water stops were plentiful with 10 stops on the half course. There was also a station for GU, which oddly was not near a water stop.

There were a large number of spectators as well as entertainment stations on the course. The finish is at a large park. Post race food included sandwiches from Arby’s, chocolate milk, fruit, cookies, and water. Race swag was a tech tee for the half marathon, a long sleeve tee for the full, and a drawstring bag. A friend picked up my bib for me so I did not attend the Expo.

Overall, I thought the race was very well-organized and it is a fun event due to the spectators and course entertainment. Volunteers were plentiful and friendly. I do not go to the Fox Cities area often so it was interesting to run in a different place.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Dances With Dirt Devil’s Lake

Dances With Dirt Devil’s Lake

This is a well-organized race in a beautiful location. Devil's Lake is one of the crown jewels of the Wisconsin State park system, known for the lake that is between … MORE

This is a well-organized race in a beautiful location. Devil’s Lake is one of the crown jewels of the Wisconsin State park system, known for the lake that is between two rocky bluffs. The half marathon takes you up one of the bluffs. A lot of the elevation is within that climb in about mile 5. There is a lot of variation in the trails on the course; from wide, grassy trails to rocky/rooty trails to paved portions through the campground. The course was well marked.

The only thing I should have been aware of is that the first water station is not until about the middle of mile 4. I did not carry water. The weather wasn’t too bad when I ran the race, it could be much more hot and humid in early July.

Race swag included a tech tee, finisher medal, beer, snacks at the finish, and a brat or hamburger meal. There was also another post race party at 2:15 as the longer distances were finishing but I did not return for that. Race photos are available for purchase.

Details of the campsites and further details of the race can be found in my race report. Overall, a fun race that I would do again.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

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Run Madtown

Run Madtown

This was the inaugural running of the Run Madtown Half, though the race itself has existed for many years. It was renamed this year to avoid confusion with the Madison … MORE

This was the inaugural running of the Run Madtown Half, though the race itself has existed for many years. It was renamed this year to avoid confusion with the Madison Half Marathon in November. Packet pickup was in the Monona Terrace Convention center and was smooth. There was a small expo.

Races included a .6 mile Kids race, and Twilight 5K and 10K which occurred the night before the Half Marathon. Runners could choose to run the 10K and Half for an additional medal.

The half course started and finished in front of the State Capitol building. The morning was rainy with temps in the high 50’s but there was plenty of shelter to be found outside of the buildings in Capital Square. Gear check was near the finish line and quick. The course takes runners along the streets of Madison, the University, and then around Lake Wingra and the Arboretum. Most of the course is on streets that are partially closed as well as a short distance on a paved bike path.

The water stops were plentiful and full of super enthusiastic volunteers. The course has a lot of rolling hills and there was also one hill that was timed for an additional King/Queen of the Hill Challenge that also featured cash prizes for the top 3 overall fastest men and women.

There were timing mats at the start and at the hill, and split timers at the 5 and 10 mile mark. For some reason those timers did not record my splits, although the mats did. That was my only complaint about the race.

A full Panera bag lunch was given to finishers, as well as chocolate milk, milk, water, fruit and a complimentary beer. Race swag was a short sleeve tech tee and finisher medal. Race photos were also complimentary and there were many photographers on the course.

Overall, this was a very enjoyable race. It’s an interesting, challenging course. The city of Madison is a nice location to spend a weekend.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Trailbreaker Marathon & Half Marathon

Trailbreaker Marathon & Half Marathon

This was the 25th running of the Trailbreaker, a small set of races in Waukesha, WI. There are full marathon, half marathon, 10K and 5K options, something for everyone. 🙂 … MORE

This was the 25th running of the Trailbreaker, a small set of races in Waukesha, WI. There are full marathon, half marathon, 10K and 5K options, something for everyone. 🙂 This is the major fundraiser for the Waukesha Parks Foundation. I ran the half marathon. The course for the half marathon was partly on city streets (about 3 miles), cobblestone paths around a river, and the majority was on a paved bike trail. Those that ran the full marathon also ran on the Ice Age Trail (single track dirt trail) through the Lapham Peak State Park, and up a tower.

The race is well-organized with plenty of water stops. The only hiccup was that a train crossed the path of some of the fastest half marathoners, causing about a 40 second wait. Trains are rare across that part of the bike trail. Otherwise traffic was stopped at all intersections. The half marathon course was an out and back course, with a slightly modified route (shorter than the start) to the finish, it is about 7 miles to the turnaround. While the bike trail is about 3 wide there were no problems with passing. There are no hills on the course.

Race swag for those that signed up ahead of time was a long sleeve tech tee. Those that signed up late received a coffee mug, which actually looked quite nice. It would have been nice to have a choice between the mug and tee for those that signed up in advance. All finishers received a medal for all race distances this year. Top 3 AG winners also received a nice printed certificate. There were also Master’s awards.

Bagels, fruit, and water were provided at the end of the race, as well as beer. Weather at this time can be volatile in WI, but it was a beautiful day for running this year. Overall, this is a very nice race to start off the racing season.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Lakefront Discovery Run

Lakefront Discovery Run

I enjoyed this race, the course is scenic and most of it is along the Milwaukee lakefront. There is a hill as you go up to the bluff along Lake … MORE

I enjoyed this race, the course is scenic and most of it is along the Milwaukee lakefront. There is a hill as you go up to the bluff along Lake Park but that is the only sizable hill. Some of the race is on sidewalks and most of it is on a bike path. The race is a little crowded at the beginning but there should not be an issue passing other runners. There were about 900 runners and the race is capped at a little more than that.

There were many water stations, though the course map did not show where they were and there seemed to be more of a concentration of them at the end of the race.

The course goes onto Summerfest Island and there was some confusion there as some runners did not make the loop around the island. It seems the course marshal was not there at some point during the race. It extended the course by only about .10 mile however.

The race was Halloween weekend and about a quarter of the runners wore costumes. After the race there was a band playing at the Italian Community Center, where the race begins and ends. In the past there was a DJ that played dance music.

I didn’t pick up my packet until the day of the race and had no issues. Parking was $5 at the Italian Community Center. The shirt was a long sleeve tech tee which was available in XS, which was really nice.

The race was also relatively cheap, $35 for a 15K, with a discount if you are a Badgerland Strider member. No medal however. The top runners received disco ball trophies. The only downside is the weather can be highly variable at this time of year in Wisconsin. Normal temps are around 50, but this year it was 64 at race start.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

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Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon

Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon

The marathon is the Badgerland Striders running group's crown jewel race. There are a small army of volunteers and the race organization is top notch. The weather is generally excellent … MORE

The marathon is the Badgerland Striders running group’s crown jewel race. There are a small army of volunteers and the race organization is top notch. The weather is generally excellent for running. This year it was about 50 and rainy.

Packet pickup is at the Italian Community Center and there is a small expo. Race swag includes a long sleeve tech tee. Parking the day of the race is free at the center. Shuttle buses then take you to the start of the race at Grafton High School (the course is point to point). The buses ran smoothly and I had no issues.

The high school was open for runners before the race, I saw one set of restrooms open. There were also porta potties outside. The lines were really long near the start of the race. There is a UPS truck for depositing gear bags as you walk to the start line.

The start line is a little crowded, the pace groups were fairly close together. The first 2 miles of the race are a net downhill. There is one large hill on the course and it is downhill. The entire course is a net downhill. I would say that there are no significant hills on the course.

First names are on the race bib and the spectators and volunteers cheer for the runners by name. There aren’t a huge number of spectators but they are very enthusiastic.

The course follows the lakefront but you don’t actually see the lake until the end of the race. Most of the course is on partially closed streets. There is not too much difficulty passing for the most part. The first part is through the suburb of Grafton, it winds through some country roads, then past the large homes on Lake Drive. Water stops were plentiful and stocked water and Gatorade, with gels at a couple of stations.

The race ends in Veterans Park. Collecting gear bags was quick and easy. There was hot food from Noodles available as well as a brown bag with snacks. Beer was free for runners and spectators. Other food items were available for purchase. There was a changing tent available, which was nice after the wet race! The race medals were large and hefty, they included a removable key chain.

The finish line is a couple miles from the parking at the Italian Community Center so shuttles were available to go back there.

This was my 3rd marathon and I enjoyed it quite a bit. It has a small, hometown feel to it. Those looking for a Milwaukee urban marathon should check out the Milwaukee Running Festival Marathon in November.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

The North Face Endurance Challenge – Wisconsin

The North Face Endurance Challenge – Wisconsin

This was my first trail half, my 9th half marathon. This was my second North Face race, I ran the 10K a few years ago. As usual, the race organization … MORE

This was my first trail half, my 9th half marathon. This was my second North Face race, I ran the 10K a few years ago. As usual, the race organization was great.

Race day weather was perfect, 55 and sunny to start. The woods provide ample shade.

The half marathon participants were split into 5 waves, about a minute apart. If you thought you could be an overall winner then you would put yourself into the first wave. The only confusion was that they specified that there would only be gun time, not chip time. The final results did show gun time vs chip time. My gun time was a 1:04 off my chip time, which seems to make sense because I was in the 2nd wave. But my chip time was about a minute off my Garmin time. So I am a little confused there.

The Kettle Moraine forest is a nice place to run, the trails vary from rocky, to grassy, to sandy. There is room on most of the course to pass. The course isn’t highly technical so there are a fair number of first timers running the races. The course was well marked, using different colors to represent the different courses. The first and last part of the race is about 3/4 of a mile on gravel on the side of a flat road. Coming out of the woods there is a slight downhill so the end is a fun sprint.

There was a slight bottleneck when the half marathon and the 10K converged at the end of the race, the 10K started an hour after the half marathon. I encountered a lot of walkers at that point.

Race swag was a North Face tech tee and a Sierra Nevada beer at the finish along with a race specific medal. It looked like the 10K’ers also received medals, which wasn’t the case in the past.

I enjoy running the North Face races and I am planning to run the marathon in the future.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

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The Super Run Milwaukee

The Super Run Milwaukee

My daughter wanted to run her first 5K race and this race caught her eye due to the Super Hero aspect. It's always fun to run a relaxed, family friendly … MORE

My daughter wanted to run her first 5K race and this race caught her eye due to the Super Hero aspect. It’s always fun to run a relaxed, family friendly race in costume.

Email notifications for packet pickup and the race were good and there was a map to the race location on the website. Packet pickup was at a pub in downtown Milwaukee in the evening, which was different. The pickup went smoothly. Race swag was a “super hero” cape in the color of your choice (first come first serve, but we had no issues picking our colors). There was no timing chip on the bib, and we were just handed a random bib so I figured the race was not timed. Some bags had safety pins for the bib, some didn’t.

It would have been nice to have some signs to direct you at the park. The parking lot filled quickly so we parked on the street, which also happened to be the course for the race. There was a man leading a warm-up routine for the race, which was fun. For some reason, a couple of tow trucks came and parked at the race start right before the race began. The start was a bit rocky due to dodging the tow trucks and congestion at the beginning. But it was a fun run, so not a big deal to me.

We ran out onto the street, which was blocked at one end. That was the first turnaround. We then ran and looked for a cone for the second turnaround. I had my Garmin on and knew we were going long but I didn’t want to cut the course short. Eventually I told my daughter we had to turn around. I saw many people keep going. I stopped my Garmin at the 3.12 mile mark since she did have a time goal.

As we were running back, one of the ladies working the race had driven out to the course and apologized to us. It sounds like the turnaround may have been marked on the ground. There was no one there to point it out. There were no water stops on the course, which I was prepared for by bringing my own water since I knew my daughter likes to sip on water while she runs. I heard a lot of complaints about this though, since it was a warm August summer day and there were a fair number of walkers and families with small kids.

We walked the remaining half mile back to the finish. When we got to the finish line there was no one there, though we saw people with medals. We saw no one there that looked like they worked for the race or any race volunteers. Eventually someone told us that the lady with the medals was the one that went out on the course and she took the medals with her.

There were bottles of water and a pile of granola bars on tables at the finish. We eventually did get medals. There was a nice backdrop and a few props for taking your own photos.

My 8 year old daughter complained about the disorganized race, so I guess it was pretty bad. 🙂 I can’t say that we didn’t have any fun though. Signs to direct people to the start line, more workers/volunteers, a water stop, and mile markers would have been great.

This was a nationwide race, so I am assuming the race organizers were not familiar with the area. Working with an area race organizer might be suggested for a future race. I think this race could have drawn a lot more participants. The two ladies I dealt with at packet pickup and during the race were very friendly though.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
2
SCENERY
3
SWAG
2

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HFM Maritime Marathon

HFM Maritime Marathon

This was my first time in Manitowoc. There was a full marathon, marathon relay, and half marathon. There were about 200 runners in the marathon and 200 in the half. … MORE

This was my first time in Manitowoc. There was a full marathon, marathon relay, and half marathon. There were about 200 runners in the marathon and 200 in the half. The half marathon started 15 minutes after the full. Packet pickup at the Maritime Museum went smoothly. The Museum also had some interesting exhibits. Free street parking was easy to find for packet pickup. Race swag included a cotton tee, running socks, and a packet of Gu. There was no race expo. The volunteers were very nice and helpful.

The course started at the University of Wisconsin Manitowoc and again parking was easy to find. The University was open to use the restroom facilities and also to take a shower after the race. There is a bit of running in the neighborhood by the school and then the course is on a paved trail along Lake Michigan. The trail is about 3 people wide, but passing was relatively easy due to the number of runners. Water/gatorade stops were plentiful. Both courses are out and back.

The full marathon course does a small loop in the town of Twin Rivers and it looked like it went onto a trail for a short distance. The majority of the course is the paved trail along the lake. The marathon course does go on the road for some of the course and the road is not closed. There are cones so that one lane of the 2 lane road is open. Traffic is fairly light in that area however.

The race day weather was perfect with starting temps in the high 50’s and a slight wind. The previous day was much more humid with a high in the 90’s.

There was a lot of cheering from other runners while passing on the way back and many cars honked their horns. There are not a huge number of spectators but they were friendly. It’s a fun atmosphere. The finish is a turn onto a downhill grassy area behind the school. Names are announced at the finish.

Race entry includes a beer or soda, food (brat, hot dog, or hamburger) and an ice cream sandwich. There are trophies for the male/female marathon winners and pins for the top 3 in the age group (10 year age groups).

This is a nice, smaller race that is scenic, well organized and is flat and fast.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
3
My Media

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Race for Women’s Wellness Half Marathon and 5K

Race for Women’s Wellness Half Marathon and 5K

I was going to Florida for vacation and wanted to run a half marathon. I found this one and the location and date fit. The half marathon starts at 6 … MORE

I was going to Florida for vacation and wanted to run a half marathon. I found this one and the location and date fit. The half marathon starts at 6 AM in darkness and the first hour of the race is in the dark. It happened to be 73 with 100% humidity at the start of the race, which I think is warmer and more humid than normal. Most of the race is along 4 lane divided highways with 1 lane shut down for the race. Cars drive on either side of you. For the most part I felt safe (though I was glad not to be using headphones), there was a big police presence to direct traffic. Not much scenery, mostly subdivisions that look the same and businesses. There was one street that was through a park like setting, but it was fairly short. The course is flat as a pancake. There are plentiful water stops and friendly volunteers. There is a 5K that starts a couple hours after the half and shares the finishing area. Low res race photos are free, though there were no photographers on the course except at the finish. Finishing photos were available on the photographer’s Facebook page. No pictures of me, which is a bit disappointing. I did get a picture with the Easter bunny after the race. I had no issues with packet pickup or the race planning. There was a band at the finish party. Race swag consists of a tech tee and a medal. I am not sure how this race compares to other Florida races since it was my first one. For me, it is a decent race if you happen to be in the area.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
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SWAG
3

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Pettit Indoor Marathon & Half Marathon

Pettit Indoor Marathon & Half Marathon

The indoor marathon relay is a very popular race. There's nothing quite like it. The marathon distance can be broken up between team members (2-4 people) in any way. There … MORE

The indoor marathon relay is a very popular race. There’s nothing quite like it. The marathon distance can be broken up between team members (2-4 people) in any way. There is one velcro ankle timing chip that is shared by the team. A large variety of people run this race, from college track teams to people wearing costumes. The race itself is well-organized. Medals only go to the top 3 womens, mens, and mixed teams. Everyone receives a long sleeve tech shirt and cookies. Check my race report for more details.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
4
My Report
SCENERY
2
SWAG
3

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Run Into the New Year

Run Into the New Year

This race is part of Lighthouse Event's Winter Series and is also their largest and signature event. The race was previously at a larger State Fair Park location and was … MORE

This race is part of Lighthouse Event’s Winter Series and is also their largest and signature event. The race was previously at a larger State Fair Park location and was moved to the Oak Leaf Trail in Franklin. The course is an out-and-back course on a paved bike trail. There is only one minor hill near the beginning (and thus also at the end) of the course. There is also a wooden bridge crossing, it is a suspension type bridge so there is a bit of bounce to it. It also cannot be cleared so it was icy during the race. The rest of the course was very clear of ice and snow.

A few changes were made to compensate for the smaller course. The 5K was split into 2 races, the “Competitive” and the “Be Easy”. If you finished in under 24 minutes in the Be Easy race then you would be disqualified. The Winter Series rewards the top 10 age group finishers with a medal. The top 10 age group finishers in both 5K races received medals, so it was a nice opportunity for people to receive AG medals or lead the race when they normally would not.

I ran the Competitive 5K and there were quite a few people that finished after 24 minutes that ran this race, the average time was 27 minutes while the average time for the Be Easy was 34 minutes. Close to 1500 people ran the 3 races (there was also a 10K race, 2 loops of the 5K course).

For this race there were also Finisher medals (not the case for the other Winter Series runs). The results for both 5K races were considered together for series points.

The 10K race began first. This presented a parking problem for those arriving for the 5K. I arrived about an hour before the 5K and the only parking lot was full. I wasn’t sure if I could park on the side of the street, so I ended up parking down the street in an apartment complex. I saw later that people had parked on the side of the street leading to the Milwaukee County Sports Complex. It was advertised that there was plenty of parking, so I was a little disappointed since it should have been obvious that the lot would fill up quickly with just the 10K racers.

Another change was that there were signs posted for paces (6:00, 7:00, 8:00, etc) to assist in lining up for the race. We were then released in waves. This eliminated the congestion that can occur early in the race. The only issue was that since the course is an out and back, it doesn’t leave much room for people coming the opposite way when runners are 2 or 3 abreast. I was running alone and I did not have an issue. My friend is a faster runner and she complained about this.

The shirts for the Winter Series tend to be very plain but the shirt for this race was a bit nicer. There is a choice between a short sleeve tech shirt or long sleeve cotton shirt. A bottle of champagne or sparkling grape juice was also part of the swag. I didn’t get the champagne until after the race and they were out of champagne. Not an issue for me, though it may have been for others. There is an earlier packet pickup but the packet pickup the day of the event goes quickly. I did not have any issues with using the restroom before the race.

Overall, I enjoyed the course and the race was fairly well organized, aside from the parking issues and running out of champagne.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
5

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Last Call 5K, 10K and Half Marathon

Last Call 5K, 10K and Half Marathon

The closed course is mostly flat (just one small "incline" in the first mile). On my Garmin the course measured slightly short. It is an out and back course, it … MORE

The closed course is mostly flat (just one small “incline” in the first mile). On my Garmin the course measured slightly short. It is an out and back course, it starts on the street before it turns onto the Glacial Drumlin paved bike trail. The finish is also on the trail. The race is gun timed, there is no timing strip at the start. The number of participants in the 5K was very small but there was also a 5K in downtown Waukesha at the same time. This race is now part of Silver Circle’s winter run series. The cost is a bit pricey for a 5K and includes a cotton shirt. There are medals for age group winners and finishers. There is a nice fruit bar post race. There was a half marathon that started about 10 minutes before the 5K. Though the races are advertised to start at the same time they are actually staggered. The volunteers at the water stop were very encouraging and their enthusiasm was appreciated! I probably wouldn’t choose to run this race if I had other options, but I live very close by and I wanted to get a 5K PR for the year.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
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1

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Grand Rapids Marathon & Half Marathon

Grand Rapids Marathon & Half Marathon

This is a well organized event. The race director and volunteers are very friendly. This is a smaller event with a half marathon and marathon relay starting at the same … MORE

This is a well organized event. The race director and volunteers are very friendly. This is a smaller event with a half marathon and marathon relay starting at the same time. The first 5 miles or so is in downtown Grand Rapids, then it heads out onto paved trails in Millennium Park for the majority of the race. You get very scenic views of the park with it’s lakes and the Fall colors are spectacular. The park is well shaded. There is a long out and back section in the park. The course is fairly flat and fast. The aid stations are plentiful and have a variety of food and drinks, including pickle juice. The finish line is the same as the start, ending at the Grand Rapids YMCA. You are allowed into the Y for showers after the race. Unlimited New Holland Brewery Beer at the Beer Garden afterwards, which is a bit crowded.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
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4
SWAG
4

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Fox Valley Marathon

Fox Valley Marathon

I read good things about this race, and they are true. This is a good size race, small enough that you never feel crowded but large enough so that you … MORE

I read good things about this race, and they are true. This is a good size race, small enough that you never feel crowded but large enough so that you do not feel alone on the course. The volunteers were plentiful and they were enthusiastic.

There are 3 races that start at the same time, half marathon, 20 miler, and full marathon. There are no assigned corrals, line up is done by pace. There is a slight wave start, about 100 runners are allowed to start at a time with a short pause in between.

The beginning of the race is on a 2 lane street that is closed to traffic, and some side streets that are also closed. Eventually you run primarily on the paved bike path along the Fox River. Beautiful scenery; St Charles, Geneva, and Batavia are nice small towns. The turnaround for the Half is clearly marked. The course is fairly flat, about 173 ft of elevation according to my Garmin.

There are a few “odd loops” that are thrown in. The final one, which only the Half runners do, is right before the finish. There are a lot of volunteers pointing the way, which is a good thing, because it is a bit confusing, especially when you are exhausted. 🙂

Water stops were plentiful and well-manned. The race shirt was a very nice long sleeve tech shirt and the finisher medal is huge and is very attractive. There was mac n cheese, bread pudding, and barbecued beef at the finish. No beer though, which seems a little odd for a race. 🙂

The weather was perfect for running and it was a very enjoyable experience all around. I am considering going back to run the full marathon!

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
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SWAG
5

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Run Like a Mother – Milwaukee

Run Like a Mother – Milwaukee

2015: This was the second time I ran the Run Like a Mother 5K. This was a different venue than the last time that I ran the race. The Veteran's … MORE

2015: This was the second time I ran the Run Like a Mother 5K. This was a different venue than the last time that I ran the race. The Veteran’s Park location on the lakefront is scenic but the weather in Milwaukee in May can be questionable. It was drizzly and 43 degrees with a 15 mph wind. Not the best conditions, especially with the wind coming off Lake Michigan, but everyone made the most of it.

If you have run a 5K at Veteran’s Park then you are familiar with the course. The course is fairly flat, the only thing that made it difficult was the wind in the last mile. I think I actually liked the old Hoyt Park race location better because it was a more unique location/course and there is more shelter from the wind.

I enjoy the Run Like a Mother races because it really welcomes and supports runners of all abilities. There were also medals this year and a tech shirt instead of a cotton tee.

There was a one mile Kid’s race before the 5K and this race was also chip timed, which was unusual and appreciated. The kids did not get medals but they did get a ribbon. I thought my daughter would be disappointed but she pinned the ribbon proudly on her school backpack.

Free photos were available for download after the race, which was awesome.

The only bad thing about the race organization was that the packet pickup was very slow. I think it was the slowest packet pickup that I have experienced for a race of any size. The finish line situation was also little unusual, the medals were handed to us still wrapped in the plastic pouches. The other thing handed to me was a keychain with a miniature pair of men’s underwear on it. The race sponsor was Jockey, so I guess it made sense. 🙂

2016: The race was moved back to Hoyt Park in Wauwatosa due to a competing Mother’s Day race at Veterans Park. The weather was perfect for the race. This year there were no awards for the 1 mile kids race but it was still chip timed. Timing was also done by gun time this year, with only one timing strip at the finish. Swag was still the tech tee and a finishing medal which was quite nice. Re-usable bags are given out at packet pickup and the bags are also very nice. I actually use them quite a bit. Packet pickup was quicker this year. Race photos were not free.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5
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Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Bank of America Chicago Marathon

I ran this as my first marathon. I was very impressed with the organization of the event. 45,000 runners is a lot! I had never run a race this big … MORE

I ran this as my first marathon. I was very impressed with the organization of the event. 45,000 runners is a lot! I had never run a race this big and it took some getting used to. A lot of people bumped me and there was tons of garbage littering the course at the water stops. I had to do a lot of weaving to get around people. Something happened with the paddles that the pacers were supposed to carry during the race and they did not have them so I lost my pacing group in the first mile of the race. In retrospect, it was probably not the best marathon to run as a first timer. But the crowd support was phenomenal and I enjoyed the course. I don’t regret running it and I would run it again.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

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Madison Mini-Marathon & 5K

Madison Mini-Marathon & 5K

This was the second time I ran the Madison Mini. The race is well organized and the finishing party on the UW Terrace can't be beat. Madison is a fun … MORE

This was the second time I ran the Madison Mini. The race is well organized and the finishing party on the UW Terrace can’t be beat. Madison is a fun place to both run and to spend the weekend of the race. The weather tends to be slightly on the humid side and the course does have some hilly sections. The course is varied, you run down State Street towards the capitol, outside the football stadium and the UW campus, down residential streets, and the arboretum.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

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Summerfest Rock ‘n Sole Half Marathon

Summerfest Rock ‘n Sole Half Marathon

This was the second time that I ran the Rock N Sole. The course was changed because of construction on the Hoan Bridge. Previously you crossed the bridge twice. The … MORE

This was the second time that I ran the Rock N Sole. The course was changed because of construction on the Hoan Bridge. Previously you crossed the bridge twice. The bridge is about 2 miles long. So a majority of the course was on the bridge and the race started by going onto the bridge so there was a bit of a bottleneck as people funneled onto the ramp to the bridge. The change in scenery was nice this year and it eliminated the bottleneck. The organization has improved since the bumpy first year and I have no complaints. The race is a bit crowded in the beginning due to the quarter marathon starting at the same time but it thins out a lot when the quarter marathon course breaks off. Then you have free sailing down the lakefront, which is in my opinion the best part of the course. It seems like the course is a tad long and the finish is a bit farther than you expect it to be when you make the turn off Summerfest Island. 🙂 I should also mention that the new start location seemed to have some issues with traffic coming into the city from the west. My husband actually dropped me off about a mile from the start and I walked since it was quicker than driving.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
My Report
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

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Ann’s Hope Block Melanoma 5K

Ann’s Hope Block Melanoma 5K

The 2012 race was my first race ever so this race holds a special place in my heart. The mid-May weather is generally great for running and the zoo provides … MORE

The 2012 race was my first race ever so this race holds a special place in my heart. The mid-May weather is generally great for running and the zoo provides a fun atmosphere. The only bad part of the course (in terms of scenery) is a section that goes out into the parking lot. The zoo is also a bit hillier than one might expect. They also a stage a kid’s run and one great thing that is offered is free child care during the race! A local college provides volunteers to entertain kids with activities and take them to participate in the kids run. My 2 girls had a lot of fun with them. Afterwards you can hang out at the zoo so it is a good race to run with friends. The only negative is that I believe the race was gun timed and not chip timed at the start. I ended up starting in the back due to a last minute bathroom stop. My Garmin time was 25:46 vs my official time of 26:07. Not a big deal, but it would have been my first sub 26 minute 5K! 🙂

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

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Sweet Home Milwaukee 5K

Sweet Home Milwaukee 5K

I ran this race in it's inaugural running in 2014. The Milwaukee lakefront in April can be challenging for running. We had a windy, cloudy day in the 30's. The … MORE

I ran this race in it’s inaugural running in 2014. The Milwaukee lakefront in April can be challenging for running. We had a windy, cloudy day in the 30’s. The parking area at Veteran’s Park is near the start of the race so you can hide in your car until the race starts. It was a smaller 5K and there were no issues with crowding on the trail. I had no issues with the race execution. One of the draws for the race was a free Bloody Mary, but you had to travel to another location to get it. The after race festivities were small so we did not stay long. This is a decent race if you don’t mind the weather and you are looking for a smaller 5K race on the lakefront.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
3

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