Disclaimer: I received an entry into Madison Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!
After putting so much time, effort, and miles into training for a marathon, it can be really hard to have to come to a realization that you are not going to be able to reach your goal because of an injury. I start by saying this because of two reasons; the first one is because this is what happened to me during the Madison Marathon, and the second is because there were so many people throughout the race that encouraged me to continue to fight through it and push through to the end.
I “ran” the Madison Marathon on Sunday, November 13th, 2016. I was super excited about this race because I was representing BibRave at the race and there were three other BibRave Pros at the race running the full and half. My girlfriend and I came in to town on Saturday mid-day. We checked into our AirBNB, which I highly suggest to do since there are plenty of options around town. We went straight to the expo to pick up my bib and check out what the expo had. Unfortunately, the expo was nothing exciting. It was super easy and quick to get the bib and my long sleeve running tech shirt (they are awesome). We met up with the Angie (@) and Gina (@), the other BibRave Pros, and headed to an Italian restaurant to get our carbo-loading on!
The morning of the race, we got to the capitol early to meet up with Casey (@), the fourth BibRave Pro running the race. We took some sweet pictures and I was on my way to my typical pre-race ritual. I won’t get into the dirty details of that. The weather was crazy good for this race. I comfortably ran in a tank and shorts the whole time. The first half of the race starts at the capitol building, runs through the arboretum, then through UW Madison, and then back through the city. The second half is a little boring but the last 6 miles are pretty sweet. The course is pretty hilly but if you train for it, it’s all good.
Here is the crappy part. At about mile 16, my previously injured quad decided to give out. It was everything from annoying to purely painful. All the miles, all the running, all the commitment slowly started to go down the drain. I started to do a combination of light jogging and walking, which towards mile 20 became a slow and steady walk.
Here was also the great part. As much as I struggled and as painful as it was; spectators and runners got me to that finish line. So many people told me, “keep it up,” “you got this,” “don’t give up!” Everyone was so encouraging that it made the longest hour and forty five minutes of my life feel not as long.
The race finished at the capitol with the announcers congratulating me by name as I crossed the finish line. I got a medal and a photographer snapped my finishing picture. Panera Bread gave me an awesome bag with food. I’m pretty sure that was the best turkey sandwich, bag of chips and a cookie I have ever had. Also, Michelob Ultra gave out the very deserving beer.
In the end, the Madison Marathon is a very scenic, hilly, beautiful, well organized race. For me, this will be written off as a scratch, but now I have a reason to come back and run it again! Thank you Madison Marathon for the awesome race and thank you all the spectators and runners for pushing me to cross that finish line.
Keep the run on!