The Lakefront Marathon holds a special place in my heart. This is an event that I eyed for a very long time before pulling the trigger in 2015 and finally registering for. I will never forget my experience in 2015. The day started out chilly and windy, but the energy of the runners warmed me right up (totally corny – I know, but I am totally ok with that). My dad has came down and cheered me on throughout the course popping up at several locations including an unmanned crossing where he helped not only me but several other runners stay safe. When I crossed the finish line I was shocked to find that I had run my fasted marathon in 2015 – 4:34! I was thrilled and vowed to return in 2016. Fast forward a year and I again I was lined up to start this amazing race, but I was not working towards a PR I was back as an official pacer. After an amazing 2015 I wanted to give back and help other runners. I am humbled by all the help that I have been given as I came back to distance running after a long break. It was my turn to do the same for others and pacing with the Badgerland Striders was a perfect opportunity to do so.
On race day I was paired up with Noah (jackpot, he is by far one of the most interesting runners I have ever met and a blast to work with). We met in the pacer staging room where others were getting ready. The weather was a hot topic among pacers as the prediction of race and cool temps was proving to come true. After stuffing my Orange Mud HydraQuiver with supplies for our group I headed out to look for Amanda. There were several Oiselle birds running Lakefront. Amanda and I had met at the Milwaukee Running Festival marathon the year before and have become fast friends. We have a blast when we run together, it probably annoys others how much fun we have! Last time I checked though running was suppose to be fun – right?!?!? Together we meandored our way back to the pacer room to take a few pictures with Shelia (Oiselle bird who was also pacing) and then out we went to the start line.
Like 2015 the energy was awesome! Runners were chit chatting, taking pictures, and warming up. Amanada’s girls made her the most adorable signs and were cheering from the sidewalk as we positioned ourselves in the 4:50 area. Noah met up with us and we talked a bit of strategy. This was my 1st pace gig, but he was a pro. With 5 or so minutes to go we held up our sign for others to find us and prepared get moving. The rain had held off up to this point, but that did not last long. A light mist persisted throughout the race which made for wet shoes and interesting pictures.
The first few miles do have a few mild hills before the course turns onto country roads. The wind picked up a bit on the open areas which did make holding our sign challenging and to the obstacles the wet stick and we are lucky that poor thing did not snap in half. We started with a fairly large group, many of which were 1st time marathoners. Runners were upbeat and full of energy. Noah and I stayed consistent with our miles walking through each water station and leaving a little extra time for the midway station where GU was being passed out. After 13 miles a few runners fell back and slowed. The rain did not get heavier, but it also did not let up. Mile 20 we stopped for a bathroom break when we spotted 2 open porta potties (a very rare occasion on a marathon course). Once back on track we checked our pace and found we were right now with a buffer of 2 minutes. Thank goodness we did have a buffer! I experienced an asthma attack at mile 22. Noah was a trooper. Most people would freak out, he did not, which I appreciated. I was able to get back in control just as we popped out of the residential portion of the course and headed on the downhill portion along the lake.
We cruised down the coastline and took in the beauty of the area. Our group had thinned and by mile 24 it was just Noah and I. It kills me that we lost all our runners, but as a pacer we had to stay on top of each mile. Slowing or hanging back was not an option if we were to hit our goal time. The rain stopped just before we finished.
Noah and I crossed together in a time of 4:50:53…not to shabby. I had a blast and hope to pace more events in the future.
#BeHappy #BeKind #BeActive
Date – Oct 2, 2016
Finish Time – 4:50:53
Gear Used –
- FitSok F4 Tech Socks – With impeding rain I wanted to make sure to protect my feet from blisters. The F4 were clutch in keeping my feet dry, cool, and comfortable.
- Oiselle – Black distance shorts and gray Flyte long sleeve shirt.
- Run Gum – I was up bright and early to drive to the start line. The caffeine boost before I headed out the door was awesome to get me up and ready to roll. Within 30 minutes I was recharged and ready to go.
- Trail Toes Cream – My go-to blister fighter. I slather this stuff on before I put my socks on to prevent hot spots. My shoes were soaked within 5 minutes of the race, but I did not have a single blister when all was said and done.
- Salt Stick Caps – I was depleted from North Face the day before so my game plan was to start out with 2 tabs at the 1st aid station into the race and repeat every 45 minutes. This plan worked great in addition to the 2 GU packets.
- Tailwind – I filled my OrangeMud bottle with 21 oz of water and 2 scoops of Tropical Buzz to start. In my hydration pack I carried 4 sticks to refill my bottle on the course. I was easily able to do so at the 1/2 way point and also at mile 20.
- Saucony – I have worn Zealot. I like the lightness of the shoe and low profile (4mm). I have found the support to be effective in road races with just enough cushion to absorb the shock from each foot step, but it is not restrictive.
- Orange Mud HydraQuiver VP1 –My go-to hydration vest.Great for hot days. It sits high on my back and does not trap the heat in my body is giving off as I run. I also can carry a ton of supplies, including my inhaler.
- Picky Bars – Pre race fuel of champions! I love these bars. My current obsession is Ah Fudge Nuts. Yummy.