Marathon #17: Madison Marathon

Confidence restored. After a shitty marathon #16 in Cincinnati a month ago (5:24) I cranked out marathon #17 in Madison in 4:47:27. I dedicate this particular effort to my co-runner TA McCann and my sherpas Amy Batchelor and Jessica Schallock.


For the first 20 miles the weather was perfect. Cloudy and 60-ish. TA lived in Madison for several summers in college when he was a mega-swimming stud so he kept me entertained with tails of training for five hours a day, every day, in a pool, over and over again – which made running a marathon seem relatively straightforward.

The first five miles were beautiful as we ran through the Arboretum. It’s a great way to start a city race – quiet, mellow, and loads of oxygen everywhere. There were only 1600 marathoners to they spread out quickly and TA and I felt like we were on a nice long run with water stops every mile or two. We went through the half at 2:20 and it occurred to me that we were halfway done and I was feeling better than most other marathons. I didn’t really notice our time again until when I looked at my watch at 3:12. By 20 miles it was pretty clear that we had 5 hours beaten and 4:45 was in striking distance.

The rain started at mile 20. So did the bicycles – there was a long stretch along Lake Monona on a running / bike path which was the only frustrating part of the race. Usually during a marathon the running / bike paths are closed to cyclists; this time they weren’t. And the rain just made it a total mess. So for about three miles we just hammered on, cold, wet, and mildly annoyed by the bikes.

At about mile 23 the 4:45 pace guy passed us once and for all. Now we were on the hunt for 4:50 which ended up being no problem. As we ran the last mile up a nasty hill to the Capitol we were both out of gas, but the end was in sight so like every good marathoner we just ground it out.

I’m now confident that I can do a marathon every four weeks. I wonder if I can do one every other week.

  • tobias peggs

    >I’m now confident that I can do a marathon every four weeks
    Awesome :)

  • Rebecca Thorman

    That’s great! Hope you enjoyed Madison; I lived there for about nine years and there are definitely some beautiful running paths. We used to go along Lake Monona and back. That is too bad about the bikes. Madison is definitely a bike city!

    • bfeld

      It’s a beautiful day here – we are sitting at the airport about to head
      home. We’ll definitely remember Madison fondly.

  • Roland

    Congratulations Brad!!! Really awesome!!!

  • reecepacheco

    every four weeks huh?

    do you think that will enable you to train hard enough to continue improving or just maintain?

    • bfeld

      Hard to tell. I’m not running another marathon until September so I’m going
      to spend the summer training hard, especially for speed as I’ve clearly got
      the endurance. Check in after I run the Bismark Marathon to see how I did.

      • reecepacheco

        will do.

        let me know when you’re around for more speed training. 😉

  • Dale Emmons

    Congrats! Happy to see you’re enjoying it here.

    • bfeld

      Yeah – we had a really nice time in Madison. At the airport now heading

      • Dale Emmons

        Did you guys get a chance to do/see anything else while you were here?

        • bfeld

          We mostly just hung out near the Capitol.

          • Dale Emmons

            You were in the right area then. =)

            I took a few years off from college and worked in politics for a while (quite the change for a computer nerd!). It was great being up by the capitol every day.

  • Lucas Dailey

    Great work, congrats! I’ll work on getting the bikes of the path for next year.

  • StevenHB

    Congratulations, Brad.  Is that a star-and-crescent medal you’re wearing?

    At one/month, you can do 50 by 50, no sweat.

    • bfeld

      I can’t quite figure out the design of the Madison Marathon medal, but I’ll
      take it and think xaipe while I do.

  • Kelly Taylor

    How running played a role in Brad and T.A.’s friendship and business relationship:

    Awesome job guys!

    • bfeld

      Good job digging that one up!

  • Anonymous

    Hi Brad – really great job.   After running a half, I am now training for my first marathon in Toronto in the fall.  Your marathon updates keep me pumped!   Congrats again.

  • Josh Fraser

    nice!  and congrats on a race well run.

  • Joel Kehle

    Congratulations Brad!

  • RacerRick

    Jeepers… every four weeks? Every other week?  You are nuts.

    Congrats on sub 5! 

    • bfeld

      Nuts is what I am!