Race Review: Madison Mini Marathon

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Madison Mini Marathon to review it 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!

In an effort to get Wisconsin checked off my 50 state list, I headed out to Madison for the Madison Mini Marathon and 5K and ran as part of the Bib Rave Pro team. It was my first time to Madison, despite living in Chicago for 4 years for college!

I headed out after work on Friday and flew from Cleveland to Madison by way of O’hare. I’m typically a Midway flyer (primarily Southwest) and forgot how big O’hare is. Needless to say, during my 2 hr and change layover, I got some dinner and recharged electronics. I also was in contact with fellow Bib Rave Pro Angie, because she was awesome and picked up my packet for me. After getting in to Madison, I picked up my Rental Car and headed over to my hotel. The main hotel was the DoubleTree and was about 1/3 of a mile from the start. It was sold out when I made my reservations, so I stayed out at the Sheraton and met up with Angie Saturday Morning with all my stuff. We walked over to the UW campus and I checked my bag with my extra stuff and put on my Bib (in addition to utilizing the indoor bathrooms!).

Corrals were lined up A-J (ish) so we headed to corral F and before we knew it we were off. The first few miles were through the Capitol and UW Madison’s campus. We got to run through some farmer’s markets, by the capitol building, by Camp Randall (and as an OSU fan, the closest I’m willing to go to the  stadium for the time being). The first few miles were relatively flat. I also literally ran into a friend of the family while on course. We were both in the just trying to finish the day type of mode.  We also went around Lake Wingra and through UW’s Arboretum through mile 7 or 8 before heading back towards downtown. We were lucky to have some shade the back half of the course, as it was getting on the warm side. However, there were hills that were involved, and especially the last mile, hills were the last thing I wanted to see. The last half a mile had inclines that my legs wanted to do with (although, we did get back onto UW’s campus)! We also got views like this towards then end of the race

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Seen on my run. @madisonminimarathon #bibchat

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In terms of support, the Madison Mini had different cheer stations set up throughout the course. One involved a dancing dolphin, there was memorial mile, a Girl Scout’s mile with a dressed up thin mint. I love stuff like that, but there were also areas that were on the quite side and little runner support. There were points where the cheer stations matched up with aid stations. The first few aid stations seemed spread out and as we got further on course, we got more water/gatorade stops. There was a good amount of bike support, PD support and ambulance support on course, which is always a plus.

Post race, there was the 14th Mile party. As you got through the chute, you got your medal and some food (bananas, chocolate milk, water, popcorn, granola bars). I wish races would start putting food in bags because that’s the last thing I want to worry about, is how much more I have to carry around. No foil sheets this race, but not needed by any means. You exited to the terrace, where there was live music playing and opportunities to purchase some food, get a free drink and relax along the lake. It was nice to just sit and chit chat with some of the Bib Rave Pros who also ran or who came in support.

Overall, I think it’s a well run race. It sounds like the course has changed each of the last few years. I personally wish it wouldn’t end with inclines the last few miles (partly due to me not training enough for the weekend, but I don’t like hills in general). I appreciate an expo that let you have a friend/family member pick up your packet. Here in particular, you could also pay $25 to pick up your packet on race day. I’d appreciate an option to have the packet mailed to me (that would have been awesome). I can’t speak to the expo, as I didn’t go so not sure what it was like, but they did have a set up of post race gear for people to buy. Good bling, a virtual race packet (less waste and things to lug back to cleveland with me!) with discounts and overall I think a race worth doing. They also have a deal where if you do Rock n Sole in Milwaukee and the Madison Mini, you get extra bling (an M2 Medal) and a special bib.

Mark down August 20, 2016 for next year’s race and don’t forget to review Madison Mini on Bibrave!

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Weekend swag from @madisonminimarathon #bibchat

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Bibrave Discounts

Enjoy some race savings from your Bibrave Friends! As always, be sure to review races at http://www.bibrave.com and join us for #bibchat at 9/8 EST/CST Every Tuesday

  1. Madison Mini, Madison, Wisconsin (8/22/2015): 10% off with MADISONBIBRAVE
  2. Fort2Base, Chicago, Illinois (8/23/2015): $14 off the 10 nautical mile or $7 off the 3 nautical mile with BIBRAVEDISC
  3. Monster Run, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (10/17/2015): 10% off with MONSTERBIBRAVE through here
  4. Urban Bourbon Half, Louisville, Kentucky (10/24/2015): 10% off with BourbonRave2015
  5. Laughlin/Bullhead Half Marathon, Las Vegas, Nevada: 25% off with RAVER1
  6. Sin City Shoot Out: 5K, 10K and Double Your Luck, Las Vegas, Nevada (1/17/16) 20% off with BibRave20  through 1/16/16
  7. Honolulu Marathon, Honolulu, Hawaii (12/13/15), 20% off with TOMPRO

#Bibrave Discounts (Plus a few more)…

Please feel free to share some discounts!

  1. Honolulu Marathon: 20% off with TOMPRO or KRISPRO
  2. The North Face Endurance Challenge: 15% off Ontario (7/18), Wisconsin (10/3) and Utah (9/26) with BIBRAVE15
  3. Laughlin Half Marathon (Laughlin, NV 12/5/15): $15 off the half and $5 off 5K through 6/30/15 with BIBRAVE
  4. Runner’s World Half and Festival (10/17-10/18): $5 off all distances with BibRavePromo through 7/14/15
  5. Back On My Feet Dallas (6/13/15): 15% off with BibRave
  6. Angel Fire Full, Half and 5K (Angel Fire, NM, 7/4/2015): 20% off with AFABIB20 through 7/3/15
  7. Madison Mini (Madison, WI 8/22/2015): 10% off with MADISONBIBRAVE
  8. Drumstick Dash (Milwaukee, WI 11/26/2015): 10% with DASHBIBRAVE
  9. Akron Marathon and Half Marathon (Akron, OH 9/26/15): $10 off with AKHOFGB15

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