spectacular course in a great city (about: 2001)|
A Runner from Houston, TX (5/29/01)
This is a gorgeous course that showcases the natural highlights of a wonderful city. The marathon takes you by each of the three lakes surrounding Madison and also through the shady UW Arboretum. The weather was absolutely perfect, with a starting temperature of about 50 and a finishing temp of about 60 - clear and sunny the whole way. This was my first ever marathon, and to that end, it was a good course to begin on. Runners seemed to be pretty evenly divided on the 'hill issue': those from flatter areas considered the course a little hilly, whereas those from more hilly areas thought it to be not that bad. Regardless, there are no steep climbs at any point; all inclines and declines are gradual. There wasn't the sort of crowd you might expect at a big-city marathon, but there were quite a few supporters out there, all of whom were overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic. Madison is the home of US running sensation Rod DeHaven, who spoke at the evening-before 'Carbo-load dinner,' and the air of excitement about his recent accomplishments seems to have infected the running community there with a certain enthusiasm that made running the race all the more exhilarating.