Monday, September 24, 2012

Race Report - Brewers Mini Marathon

Let me start by saying I am not a fan of calling this a "Mini Marathon" It is a Half Marathon. I had a friend of mine say at work today that he saw a bunch of Facebook posts about people completing their first marathon here. Hello People, it is a HALF Marathon, not a full.

OK, off my soap box.

This past Saturday was the first (hopefully annual) Brewers Mini Marathon.  I was signed up to do this race as a pace leader for the 2:15 group.  I was able to be a pacer for this race since I was a pacer for the Rock n' Sole Half Marathon in Milwaukee earlier this year.  I was matched with Tere and Marianne being my other pace leaders for the group.  I had not met wither of them before so I was excited to meet them.

I headed down to the Miller Park where the race started and finished early as I was meeting Chris and Dana for a short, easy run before hand to get in a few extra miles.  Chris and Dana were also pace leader but they were pacing the 1:40 group along with another friend of mine, Marek.  It was cool and dark but nice to run in.  We got in 4 1/2 miles and finished right before 6:00 when the pace groups were meeting.  I headed into Miller Park and found the pacers just in time as a pretty big start hit the area.  Lots of wind, lightning and rain poured down as we sat inside Miller Park.  It was really cool to be in the stadium wit so little people in it with all the lights and scoreboards lit up.  Music was playing and announcements came that the race would be delayed until the storm passed and all the lightning was out of the area.  We finally headed out to the start line about 30 minutes later and started the race in a light rain.  It was colder and windier at the start now.  Wet and about 42F.  Autumn has come.

Overall, this race is a pretty good race.  5000 runners were the limit and it sold out.  The course passed quite a few of Milwaukee's landmarks (Harley Davidson Museum, Milwaukee Domes, Potawatomi Casino, Marquette University, and Miller Brewery) and even ran through Miller Park on the warning track during the final half mile.  There were some hills on the course but nothing too extreme.  The course sometimes went trough areas that were not so pretty, but that is what you get when you try to hit many sights along the way.

I loved this sign at Miller Brewery as we passed through Miller Valley.

There were a lot of runners following my group as we ran along.  Some of which we got to know and some that just went about their business and followed.  It was fun to help these guys try to achieve their goals and talk to as many as I could along the way.  Things thinned out during the last 3 miles as many dropped off but we try to pick up a few more as we caught up to them.  It was hard to keep up as throughout the race, the wind kept picking up to a steady high wind after 8 miles.  In fact, I took over holding the pace sign right after going through Miller Brewery Valley and within a half mile, the wind was so strong, it snapped the stick holding the sign.  So now not only had a short sticked sign, but also Tere ripping on me for breaking the sign.  It was all good,

I finished the race in 2:15:10 so right on pace for the group.  A few runners kept with us the entire time or even moved a head of us near the end, and some faded.  We tried to get as many through as we could but I am sure the wind took its toll on many of them.  The race ended right outside Miller Park near the new statue of Bob Uecker (Brewers Radio Announcer, Mr. Belvedere Star, and Miller Light Commercial Star).  Unfortunately, it was still windy and cold so the 2 free Miller Beers after the race were not to be had for me.  I just ended up meeting with Chris and Dana for a bit and heading back home for a warm shower.

 The 2:15 Pace Leaders.  Tere, myself, and Marianne.

In the race packet, each runner was given a voucher for the free ticket to a Brewer Game later this year (there are only 6 games left) or for the first 2 months of next year.  Also, we were given a "Free Ride" (admission) to the Harley Museum.  I have not gone here yet so I look forward to see it.  Being a pacer, I was given a second shirt to wear during the race, a light green shirt, unlike the white shirt they gave away to all the runners.

 A nice bit of swag for the race.

 A nice medal too for a half marathon, oops, I mean Mini Marathon (whatever!)

So a pretty good race that I will probably do again next year.  It is nice to see a couple new big time races come to Milwaukee and this is one of them.  Now, if only they could add a full marathon to this one, hmmmmm.

Keep on Running!!!