Sunday, November 6, 2011

Rails to Trails 1/2 marathon

My wife and I joined her brother and his family and her parents for the Rails to Trails Marathon this weekend.

The night before we ate lots of german food at the Gausthaus and I carbo loaded with some very good german dark beer. It was our annual get together of my former Sperry/Unisys co-workers. We have gotten together for many years at the Gausthaus, this year we had around 35 folks. Always great to get together with old friends but it is also a reminder of how old we are all getting.

I decided to run the 1/2 with my wife (yes the carbo loading helped make that decision along with my training and a bit of uncertainty about my heal). For some reason this year we have not run together as often as we did in the past so it was nice to be able to share this event together. Karyn did really well considering her longest run coming into this was a 6 miler. We took walking breaks every 10 minutes or so and she had no issues finishing. Her time was slower than past 1/2 marathons but considering the training and that she is dealing with plantar fasciitis, she did great. He 2nd fastest mile was mile 13. I did have heel pain that was increasing as the run went on so not doing the marathon was a wise choice, time to heal up and do some winter training.

As to this event, it was a really well organized event and we were able to sign up on race day which was nice otherwise we would not have been able to do it as it was a last minute decision to head over and join her family. The course is run from Norwalk towards Sparta on the Elroy-Sparta bike trail. The marathon starts an hour earlier and my brother-in-law ran that today, it was his 3rd marathon. He did very well, he wanted to go sub 4 but ended up 5 minutes over. The weather was good (~45 to 55F) but windy.

I think I might add this one to my calendar for next year, great logistics for getting to the start, great volunteers, easy surface to run in, nice long sleeve technical shirts and not too many runners. The 3/4 mile long tunnel is interesting to run through, they had lights throughout the tunnel but having a light was still needed. I forgot about all of the water dripping from the ceiling and walls (we used to bike this trail when our girls were much younger), that made for some colder moments when it hit you. The one thing that was kind of nice is that for the 1/2 marathoners we got to see the faster marathoners come by. I think they liked picking off the slower 1/2 marathoners, at least I know I would, of course by the time I would come through they would all be done :-). The race entry includes the spaghetti dinner the night before and a chicken dinner and beer afterward (we didn't take advantage of either but it's good to know for next year). You just gotta love a Wisconsin event.

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