Monday, May 23, 2011

Madison Marathon - Race Preview

Race Details
  • Full Name - 2011 Madison Marathon
  • Location - Madison, Wisconsin
  • Website -
  • Distance - 26.2 miles
  • Surface - Road
  • Date - Sunday, May 29, 2011
  • Start Time - 7:00 am
  • Start Type - Mass (Marathon only, Half and Quarter Marathons start later)
  • Other Races Offered - Half Marathon, Quarter Marathon, Kids Race
  • Total Participants (all races) -7,700 cap
  • Marathon Participants -1,800 cap (about 1,500 finishers in past years)
  • Athlete Tracking
  • Energy Drink - Gatorade
  • Pace Groups - 3:00-6:00 - Details here (I'll be one of the 4:15 pacers!)
  • Course Map - Available Here
  • Course Elevation
    Click to Enlarge
  • Narrated Course Video

  • Aid Stations - Best aid station info I've ever seen on a race page:
Click to Enlarge
The extra cup-free stops are interesting.  I drink a lot during a marathon,
which makes it tempting to buy the Hydra Pouch they advertise on the race site,
but I haven't made up my mind yet.
2010 Race Reports/Reviews
Stuff I Learned From Race Reports [and what I'm doing about it]
  • 2010 was HOT and the race was canceled at the 4 hour mark. Communication was not great, so people didn't know the race was canceled, and some of the water stops ran low on supplies. [Hope for cool weather...although it looks like things may be pretty hot again. The race seems to have a better action plan for bad weather this year, using the green/yellow/red/black flag system. The race director has said a lot about better organization this year, hopefully it is true.]
  • Lots of weaving around half marathon walkers in the last shared miles (the last 5.5 miles of the races are the same). [I will come in well after the 3:05 half marathon cutoff time, so this shouldn't be an issue. Hopefully halfers will be considerate, staying to the right and not blocking the whole road, in these last few miles.]
  • Somewhat hilly, but not terrible. [I will push the uphills and take the downhills easy (opposite of my usual hill strategy), to maintain even splits.]
  • Small but decent expo, small but decent crowds. [That sounds perfect to me! I like smaller races where things aren't too crowded. Hopefully I'll be able to chat with people tagging along with the pace group.]
Goal and Strategy
4:15:00 - 9:44 every mile!

This is my first time pacing a marathon. I will do my best to even split every mile, whether uphill or down. I think that's how pace groups should work, so that other runners can always judge where they need to be. It makes me mad when pacers run the race how they want, because it can mess up people that expect even splits.

Look For Me
4:15 pacer. Bib #874. Not sure what color the pacer shirts are, but I'll be wearing black shorts and my yellow Marathon Maniacs hat.

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