Race day I showed up bright and early. However there was no bright yet. We pacers hung out in the parking lot. We told poop jokes (Knock Knock? Who's There? Poop!) and shared running stories. We all took a group photo and headed for the corrals. Since parking before the race was still an issue this year the start was delayed 10 minutes. If you have ever gone to a baseball game in Milwaukee you know how the parking lot people can be. Let's just say imagine cranky people at 5:15 in the morning.
The course was slightly different this year from the last. Instead of running a loop around the parking lot the course takes you out and back on a bridge past the Iron Horse Hotel. Along this
course are the many smells of Milwaukee. And some of those are not so good smells.
Mile 1.75 you run past a tannery.
Mile 2.3 is a slaughter house.
Mile 2.4 is a casino.
Mile 3 is an electric power plant.
Mile 4 Harley Davidson Museum.
Mile 5 a corner of downtown and Marquette University.
Mile 6 got to smell the tannery again and run over a long bridge. In Milwaukee we call them viaducts.
Mile 7 a strip mall.
Mile 8 another viaduct.
Mile 9 ????
Mile 9.5 Miller Valley.
This was one of the best parts of the race. Great to smell the wort and see the assembly line running.
Mile 10 more factories.
Mile 11 is a nice Maple lined residential street.
Mile 12 A bridge.
Mile 12.75 Miller Park.
Runners had the opportunity to run on the warning track from left field past home to right field and out the back door.
Mile 13 was on the road outside the stadium.
The course is not the best in the world. But it does give you a real feel of Milwaukee. Some one said and I second their statement...The downhills do not feel to match up with the amount of uphills. There are many straight sections with out a turn in the wide open sun.
Personally I felt like the on course entertainment was lacking this year. Last year the racing sausages were in the Miller Valley and really energized the runners. I also felt like there were less photographers. I did love the purple Gatorade on course. For some odd reason one stop around mile 9 had lemon lime. The post race finishers area was nice. Cookies and chocolate milk are always a favorite. I could have done without the salty communion wafers. Excuse me, I mean Lays Pops. But I ate them because I needed salt. Massage and free beer is great, but with so many runners the wait was insane. 5,000 runners, 1 tiny little beer wagon. There is not much support on the course but you cannot blame people when a race starts and ends at Miller Park. The seating area is open to watch runners and they are selling beer and food right outside the park.
I hope I have the chance to pace again next year. Great to spend a Saturday morning with 2 strangers gabbing away. And after 13.1 miles you feel like old friends....till next run.