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When you've said WISCONSIN, you've said it all!

A lot of people thought we were crazy to go all the way to Wisconsin for a half Ironman. That may be true, but we were also there to see family, hang out on Lake Michigan AND get a flavor for what we were gonna be biking and running on at Ironman Wisconsin.

With all of the fun out of the way, it is time to recon the course.

Saturday night, we went down to Madison and Alicia came down, too, from Green Bay. Sunday morning, it was up and to the Monona Terrace (where Ironman start/transitions/ends) to meet Brad and start out journey.

The Wisconsin bike course is a lollipop. You go out on the stick part, do a 40-mile loop (twice) and then come back on the stick. Today we were doing the stick-one loop-stick = 72 miles. That way, we could gauge just how hard the course really was.

The ride was fun and humid. The course is beautiful, so I tried to take some pictures along the way. There isn't too much to tell other than, yes, it is hilly. No, it is not as bad as I have imagined. For CO friends, it is like eRock course, but there are actually some flat(ish) spots that you don't find in eRock hill part. And Garfoot Road = Roller Coaster Road (but not as bad). And there are some windy, twisty downhills that you don't get in eRock.

Anyways, here are my picts from the ride.

Verona to Mt. Horeb:

On our way to Mt Horeb/up a hill

Mt. Horeb to Cross Plains
Going up Garfoot Rd, I believe, looking to the right.

Going up (technically down at this point) Garfoot Rd., looking straight ahead.

Mmm... Wisconsin farms. Probably a good thing you can't smell this picture.

Pit stop in Cross Plains.

Cross Plains to Verona:
How's that for hospitality? You'll find it about 2-3 miles out of Cross Plains at the top of a hill.

Up Midtown Road. I have been told this is the one that "gets ya", especially on lap 2.

Riding back on the Stick:
Watch out, there is a climb on Whalen that isn't that big, but will hurt after 100 miles.

Coming home. You can see the Monona Terrace to the right and the Capital straight ahead.

Happy to be done with the ride... now onto the run.

The run was a little different for everyone. Brad went home (he lives in downtown) and ran from his place. Ross and I ran out and back 2 miles with Alicia on the race course (the beginning and end). They were both done, but I had energy and wanted to recon more of the run route. Most of it I had run in college, but had never strung it together, so I chose to on Sunday-- figuring it would be my last chance before race day. Ross dropped me off at Camp Randall (mile 2ish) and I ran pretty much the rest of the route (minus a mile of out and back that I was very familiar with). I had fun on the route, and it allowed me to imagine race day and think where I would really want spectators to (hopefully) be.

To break it down, it is a windy, twisty course that runs by a lot of the "highlights" of downtown: the capital,
State Street,
Kohl Center, Camp Randall (minus all the spectators),
the lakeshore path, and some more.

There are some upgrades and downgrades primarily around Camp Randall and on State Street and again around the capital square. The only real hill is on Observatory and it will be a doozy. Thankfully, you only have to run it twice (not 4 times).

But, after completing almost a full lap of it, I was pretty confident I know what is coming (terrain-wise) on race day. Now all those other elements: what the weather will be, how my body will react, what will be thrown my way, how my nutrition will be after 10+ hours, etc. Those I'll have to figure out come September 12th, but at least I am on my way!


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