Madison Mini-Marathon, Wisconsin-19th state

This is part of a series of posts from my quest to run a half marathon in all 50 states. Wisconsin was my 19th state.

When I signed up for the Madison Mini-Marathon, I felt a little twinge of distaste. It was the wording of the race that I didn’t like. Why didn’t they just call it what it was- a half marathon? To me, calling it a “mini” marathon somehow didn’t seem right. Nonetheless, I registered for the 2010 Madison Mini-Marathon.

The name aside, this race was a good course albeit a steaming hot one so don’t go run this one expecting to set a PR (personal record). Also Madison is pretty hilly so there are some hills on this course, another reason you likely won’t PR here. This is a fairly big race but they have corrals, which helps as long as people actually go in the proper corral.

Even though there was a 7 am start, it was already 72 degrees with 95% humidity. The course seemed to highlight the “best” parts of the city like the capitol, State Street, the arboretum, and had lake views along the way. However, there were some challenging hills from about mile 5 through 9. Volunteer and spectator support along the course was excellent. At the finish, which was 2:15:01 for me, I received my hefty finisher’s medal.

After the race, there were a lot of people (including me) who cooled off our swollen feet in the nice, cool water near the finish. There was a generous spread of food at the end and free beer from Wisconsin Brewing Company. Also, there was a band playing at the finish so a lot of people hung out after the race.

For this race, my family and I spent a couple of days in Madison where we went to Olbrich Botanical Gardens, the Wisconsin state capitol, and the Madison Children’s Museum. We also spent a week in Lake Geneva, which was truly beautiful and relaxing. Lake Geneva is full of huge vacation homes that you can see as you walk along the Geneva Lake Shore Path. Lake Geneva Cruise Line has several options for a scenic boat tour. You can also see the world’s largest refracting telescope at Yerkes Observatory, which is surrounded by 77 acres of beautiful park space designed by the brother of Frederick Law Olmsted, who designed Central Park in New York City. I also recommend spending a day or two in Milwaukee if you have the time to spare. We only had time to visit the Milwaukee Art Museum, and that was fun but there’s so much more to see and do in Milwaukee, if only I had known ahead of time.

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Madison Mini-Marathon