Spring Half Marathons 2011

#2 La Crosse Fitness Festival Half Marathon

La Crosse Fitness Festival Half Marathon

La Crosse Fitness Festival Half Marathon

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Spring racing started earlier than any other year for me this year.  I had ran a half marathon in March in Texas, which kicked off the entire year.  In May I ran the La Crosse Fitness Festival Half Marathon again.  This race has become a yearly tradition for me.  The race is close by, in a town that feels like home having went to college there for both my undergrad and graduate degrees, and is home to many friends and family members.
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La Crosse Fitness Festival Half Marathon
Time:  1:51:59
Pace:  8:32
Overall:  239/904
Gender:  70/558
AG:  7/82

 

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#3 Spring Fling Half Marthon-Norwalk, WI

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Next on my list for spring races was the Spring Fling Half Marathon in Norwalk, Wisconsin.  This would be Ryan’s first half marathon.  It is the same course as the Rails to Trails half marathon that takes place in early November each year.  For whatever reason, we always have plans that weekend and have never been able to run the race.  Having the same course in the spring made it possible (this was the only year it was held in the spring in addition to the fall).  For people who are not from the area, the course is very unique.  It is an out and back course on an old railroad route converted to packed dirt trails and tunnels.  Some of the train tunnels you run through are half a mile long and even longer on the full marathon course.  The course has some gradual inclines.  

I would recommend this race because of its trail routes, soft surfaces, unique tunnels, and low cost.  If you register early, the marathon is only $50.00 and the half marathon is only $35.00.  Rarely do you find races with scenic views, unique courses, and hospitality for this cost.  Those with an extra day or two to visit could explore the hundreds of miles of trails by foot or bike.  The fall race has grown in popularity of the past years, and has been named one of the top 25 marathons in the midwest    
Ryan and I ran the race together.  He had a great race feeling strong and good even at the end.  I on the other hand struggled.  He could have easily beaten me by minutes.  Since it was the first year the race was ran, the competition was small.  Ryan ended up third in his age group and I was first.  We were both excited to do so well considering our times.  The hospitality was amazing, too.  After we were done with the race we received a free meal prepared, cooked, and served by locals in a nearby park.    
I was 1st in my age group and Ryan was 3rd.

I was 1st in my age group and Ryan was 3rd.

Early on in this years racing season I learned some valuable lesson to take with me in the future.  One of the lessons was about the number of beers I could drink the night before a race.  On the positive side, I enjoyed the sites and the cool, refreshing tunnels on one of the warmer days we have had yet this year.  Next time, though, I will stop at one or two beers the night before.  Lesson learned and most importantly, I think I might have gotten Ryan hooked on the half marathon thing. 🙂

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Spring Fling Half Marathon
Time: 1:56:52
Pace: 8:55
Overall: 24/72
Gender: 7/42
AG: 1/7

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