The second marathon challenge that my wife and I undertook was the Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon hosted by the Badgerland Striders. The race is always one of their signature events, and takes place during the first weekend in October to take advantage of the cooler fall weather. By this time we had put in more quality long and short runs and focused more on strength and conditioning.
Being local to Milwaukee, it was an enormous relief to have control over what we ate and to sleep in our own bed. My wife and I started collecting small tokens as ornaments for each state. In Maine it was a painted lobster claw, and in Milwaukee at the race expo we picked up a gold painted ornament of the race logo.
The weather turned out grey and dreary with a light rain for race day. It is a point-to-point race that starts north of the city at Grafton high school so runners finish by the lakefront park. Conditions were good to have a favorable marathon outcome, at least better than five hours.
I felt a little more nervous, especially because I had tripped and fallen on my hip, which caused me to limp into the race. I hoped that my training would hold up to finish without too much discomfort. The start of about 3000 runners was mostly smooth as I weaved into a comfortable starting pace for the first half of the race. My wife and I got separated as she surged ahead and my shirt started chafing. I walked to re-pin my bib and run without my shirt in the cool mist. With a mostly flat course I still felt okay going into mile 20, when I caught up to my wife who was having stomach cramps. Soon after that point I started having lower back tightness as we made our way to the finish line together. Overall it was a great race experience to learn from to cross off the state of Wisconsin.