Saturday marked the 10th anniversary of the Wisconsin Marathon in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Although temperatures were warmer than in previous years, nearly 2,000 runners celebrated the race along Lake Michigan by running either the full marathon, half marathon or 5k, with beer, brats and cheese at the end serving as motivation.
I ran the 5k, and was thoroughly surprised by how much of Kenosha I was able to see in just 3.1 miles. All three races started off together at 7 a.m., where runners placed themselves in their anticipated pace corral. After the first mile and a half, the 5kers turned left to head towards the lakefront, while the longer distances kept going through Downtown Kenosha. I really liked this set up, as it gave us in the smaller race a good pack to run with for the first half, and I was able to maintain my pace and motivation for the second half.
Running along the lakefront was beautiful; at that time, the weather was perfect, with sunshine and a slight breeze. I have sympathy for those in the half and full marathons, though, because by 10 a.m., the temperature was close to 80.
I was able to finish first in my age group, and fifth overall for women in my race, which is always a good feeling. All 5k finishers received a yellow ribbon, and separate medals were given to those in the half and full marathons. Every runner received a gender specific t-shirt too, which had the fun 10th anniversary logo on the front.
I stuck around the rest of the day (because Chicago Athlete hosts the event) and helped hand out medals and work various stations; the energy throughout was very positive, and seeing people’s expressions as they crossed the finish line brought tears to my eyes several times. As I start training for my first marathon soon, I know that’ll be me in a few months.
Overall, the Wisconsin Marathon is a great spring race that is convenient for both Wisconsin and Illinois runners to attend. It has a laid-back environment, and although Midwest spring weather is always unpredictable, a good time is guaranteed.
Check out results from the race here.