Not a good time to be a marathon runner in WI

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This topic contains 15 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Anne 5 years, 10 months ago.

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  • #12494

    Anne
    Member

    First the debacle at Green Bay & now the Madison marathon looks like it will cancel the full if the weather forecast holds.

  • #32478

    Anne
    Member
  • #32479

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    At least Madison did so in advance. How would you have liked to find out after 2:35 of running that they are pulling the plug on you like they did in GB? That would have been a tough one to take. Not that they had much of a choice, with emergency services getting stretched thin.

    I have in the past rated GB well above Madison in terms of organization but, this time, Madison got it right and GB got it wrong.

    That said, either way you cut it, it sucks for the runners. I just think it would suck a lot more to be out on the course for two and a half hours and then find out it was all for nothing than to find out two days in advance that you can only run the half.

  • #32480

    Anne
    Member

    As one of the many who had the plug pulled last Sunday I can say I'm glad to see Madison called it early.  While frustrating for any runner who planned to run the full it's far less deflating then being told at mile 20 you're done.

    Even with the heat I felt good at mile 20, who can say what might happen the next 6 miles but at the time was on track for a 3:35 finish. I hate running in the heat, usually melt but this was the strongest I've ever felt in the marathon.  I'll try again this fall & hope for a better outcome. 

  • #32481

    Wilson
    Member

    This must be unprecedented. The only one I've heard of is Chicago 2007 and now two in the same week in the same state. Weird weather too–nice today, warm tomorrow, blazing hot on Sunday and then moderately hot (high 80s) on Monday. Wonder if we'll be seeing more and more of this due to litigious nature of our society (no argument there!) and possibly climate change–yes I said it. Sure seems warmer now than 30-40 years ago and weather data are showing it practically every year.

    In the mid-90s I ran the Winnepeg Half, which was in conjunction with a full marathon. Even though we had a 7 AM start it was 88 with a strange 15-20 mph wind blowing from the south. It was like being in a convection oven. They still had the race and there were no casualties. I had hoped to place in the top 10 in the half, but threw my goal time out at the start and ran 10-15 sec/mile slower than planned. Ended up 4th, running 3 min slower than expected. They were melting.

    In the full the leaders went out in low-mid 2:20s pace like it was 60 instead of 90 and just a handful finished under 3.

  • #32482

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    Anne, sorry to hear you were one of those runners. I can't imagine that feeling of told after getting through 20 miles in tough conditions that it was all for nothing. I'm sure frustrating beyond belief barely begins to describe it.

    I know enough of the RD up there to know that it was surely a tough decision for him to make. It sounded like the emergency services were stretched to the max already. Given that, it was probably the right choice but still a very difficult one for runners like you to be forced to accept.

  • #32483

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    Wilson, this isn't a first for Madison. They pulled the plug a few years ago (was it also 2007?) in much the way Green Bay did this year or Chicago did in 2007. I remember it turning into a complete mess. If I were the Madison RD, I'd seriously consider moving to April. Memorial Day weekend in Madison seems to bring unpleasant running weather.

    As for the short term, I'm sure the race's history had something to do with cancelling early this year. Another debacle like that would not have gone over well.

  • #32484

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    It was 2010. They stopped the clocks and encouraged runners to stop running at 4 hours. Aid stations remained open. http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/lifestyle/95269654.html#!page=1&pageSize=10&sort=newestfirst

  • #32485

    Wilson
    Member

    Just bad luck and coincidence having the two back to back, but also Memorial Day weekend is late to have a marathon in that area, because it does get hot there. I spent the summer of 1980 in Madison and at the time it was a record breaker. 

  • #32486

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    It is, to an extent, bad luck. However, it's expected around here that it can be hot in late May. You can almost guarantee one hot spell some time in late May in south Wisconsin. It's playing with fire. For a mass participation marathon, which Madison is trying to be, it would just seem much wiser to choose April or early May.

  • #32487

    Andrew A.
    Member

    The GB women's winner's account, looks like it was a major FUBAR: http://leahthorvilson.com/blog/2012/05/24/the-return-to-green-bay-marathon/

  • #32488

    SF/John
    Member
  • #32490

    Double
    Member

    Thanks SF/John for posting that on Fultz.  I grew up near Franklin and was there only a couple months ago to see my Grandma (99!).
    It amazes me today so few have ever heard of him.  Both nationally and locally.  I guess it was 36 years ago.

  • #32491

    Charlene
    Participant

    My friends that did the Madison half said that they had plenty of shade and thought that it would not have been necessary to cancel the full.  In fact one friend who ran Syttende Mai as I did the weekend before told me that she struggled far more in the sun and heat on the run to Stoughton. 

    The heat also did not hold back 19 year old Liz Berkholtz from winning the half in 1:19.  When she was 15 she passed  me at the finish line to win a local 5k.  She timed it perfectly and I did not have time to react at all other than to drop my jaw in surprise as I had no clue that anyone was behind me.  I was new to racing and she taught me a very good lesson that day.  She went on to become a very accomplished  prep runner and is red-shirting for the University of Minnesota.  With a 1:19 half debut on a hot course that no one would describe as “fast” I expect that she will go on to very great things.

  • #32492

    runner88
    Member

    Slightly off topic here but what happens if the race organisers decide to halve the race or even postpone. Do they refund all or part of the ticker prices?

    …………
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    Blog – CouchToTri

  • #32493

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    There is no standard for what to do. Madison offered all marathoners $20 off next year's registration, whether they ran the half or didn't run at all.

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