cool and sunny in madison
memorial day is a somber occasion for reflection, so i felt both priviliged and guilty to be enjoying a happy weekend in madison and the dells with family and friends.
sunday brought perfect marathon weather, so i managed to shave about 32 minutes from last year's molasses-slow time.
a few other weekend observations:
1. my Pre-gone-to-seed race gear was a hit, so i got some inspiring shouts of Pre Lives! and Go Pre! all along the course.
2. this year, the bib numbers also advertised runners' first names. i'd never seen this at other marathons, but it was a nice way to make some connections. plus, it was more fun to hear "go christopher!" along the course than "go 1920!"
3. a woman encouraged us with shouts of "runners are sexy" early in the race, only to change position and alter her shouts to "runners, you just keep getting sexier" after 20 miles or so. nobody is actually sexy after 20 miles, of course, so we all appreciated the gesture.
4. some friendly madisonians were playing love train and serving beer at mile 6. it was approximately 8 am, but the beer was much more refreshing than coffee.
5. the police officers directing traffic had warm smiles for the runners. there wasn't a lot of music on the course, so i especially enjoyed the officer playing otis redding (a singer of particular significance to madisonians) near the arboretum.
6. the race was a family thing. the men's winner ricky reusser (at right in Mike DeVries' photo above) broke 2:30 and the women's winner linsey smith (at left in the photo) broke 3:00. mr. reusser's sister, liz black (at center in the photo), took second among the women. they all look too young to be winning marathons.
7. a perfect post-race quote from young mr. reusser: "I will definitely do this again. It was a great time, and I like brats." nice. the finish line was within shouting distance of the madison brat fest.
8. i woke up this morning, made myself some in-room coffee while the family slept, crept into the bathroom, and promptly passed out. i awakened on the floor, soaked in coffee but otherwise fine. this sort of thing sometimes happens after marathons.
9. after a fine post-race meal at gray and luba's, we departed for mount olympus in the wisconsin dells. i rode all the rollercoasters with esperanza, including a tall, fun, scary one called hades. definitely worth the wait.
10. memorial day traditionally honors those who died in military service, but i rounded out the weekend with a well-told story on a blogging vet from wisconsin named j.r. salzman. while my athletic young son was doing arm curls in the next room, i watched a kmsp news story on someone else's athletic young son (a wisconsin logroller!) who left a right arm in iraq. at 16, tor is moving past the age at which a young man can enjoy the dells with even minimal parental supervision. and he's moving into the age at which one can reasonably begin worrying about him losing limbs, or worse, on a desert battlefield.
memorial day is a somber occasion for reflection, so i've been reflecting on this fact for pretty much the past 3 hours.