Saturday, I ran my very first quarter marathon (6.55 miles), the Rock ‘n Sole Quarter Marathon in Milwaukee, Wisconsin! This was the second time I’ve raced on a vacation. the first being our Vegas Run-cation last fall.
I flew into Milwaukee Friday morning, Kristen and I picked up our packets, and less than 24 hours later, we were ready to run the Rock ‘n Sole Quarter Marathon!
It was warm and muggy, but compared to Kansas City, the weather was pretty nice! It was warm for Milwaukee, though, and the race directors had a yellow flag for the race (green is good; yellow means caution, adjust expectations; red indicated timing had stopped, and to slow down; and black means they will stop the race and pull you off the course).
Kristen planned to stay with me, which was a nice way to spend more time together. I’m sure she would have finished a half hour before me! We walked from her apartment to the starting line, which was about a mile away. We used the bathrooms, and made our way into the corral. There were about 3000 people running the half or quarter, with another 1500 or so doing the 5k.
We spent the first couple miles running through the Third Ward, and making our way south from downtown Milwaukee. After about 2 miles, we were heading to the bridge by the lakefront, and you could see the entire bridge was crawling with runners! It was pretty cool to see. Once we turned and got onto the bridge, we ran about 3 miles on the Hoan Bridge, with the beautiful lake to our right, and a pretty downtown Milwaukee skyline ahead of us. The last couple miles were getting off the bridge and heading back through the Summerfest grounds (Summerfest is a huge music festival during the summer in Milwaukee). We finished under the Hoan Bridge, just outside of the Summerfest entrance.
The finish festival was inside Summerfest grounds, with live music, food and beer. Kristen and I took a few pictures (above is near the finish line, outside Summerfest, and below is with the Hoan Bridge in the background). It was really starting to warm up – actually, after we got home and showered, we received alerts that the race had been red flagged, so all timing was stopped, and runners were encouraged to slow down/adjust paces for the heat.
Overall, it was a fun race, I’m really glad Kristen ran with me, it was a lot more fun that way. I had to walk a couple times, but finished with a PR; of course, any time would have been a PR since it was my first time at this distance, but hey, I’ll take it!
Kristen and I went and saw a movie after the race, and when we got back, Kristen, Thayne, and I biked to a beer garden, about 4 miles away. It was a perfect little afternoon with 2 of my favorite people!
I like the distance of the quarter marathon, 6.55 miles; the 10k is more well-known, at 6.2 miles, and I really enjoy the 6-6.5 mile distance for a race – it’s challenging, not completely draining, but not just any old 5k either. Have you ever done a quarter marathon?