Last week I wrote about the upcoming InStep Icebreaker Indoor Marathon. The event is held at the Pettit National Ice Center in Milwaukee, on a two-lane track that surrounds the ice rink. Reports are that the weekend of races (Half-Marathon. Marathon, and Marathon Relay) were huge successes.
Matt Sveum won the Marathon (95 laps of the 443 meter oval) with a stellar time of 2:51. In fact, nine runners achieved a time of 3:10 or under for their 26.2 miles.
So what’s it like to run upwards of 95 laps on an indoor track? Why not ask Mary Flaws, she ran 142 of them! Yep, the co-owner of the Web site, runningintheusa.com was one of 35 survivors who finished the Half-Marathon/Marathon double, known as the Gold Medal Challenge. Not only that, she won the women’s division and was 5th overall. “I was called insane more that once, and do not argue with that designation,” says the 42 year-old Waukesha, Wisconsin resident (pictured below). By the way, the Disney World Marathon Weekend offers the same challenging combination of races - - outdoors - - called Goofy's Challenge, for obvious reasons.
Mary averaged a pace of 8:06 per mile overall for her 1:46 Half-Marathon on Saturday and her 3:31 Marathon on Sunday. "I felt good the whole time on Saturday, and for the first 22 or so miles on Sunday (i.e., I felt like crap for the last 4 miles.) Things bunched up a couple times, and we bumped elbows a couple times, but all in all, it worked very well. I rarely felt crowded on the track.”
In the end, it appears the social aspect is what she valued most about this unique event. “It’s being able to see all the runners throughout the event, all running their own paces. We passed each other many times and could have short conversations. It helps break things up when you can see a friend ahead of you and can catch up to them.”
(Photos courtesy of Bill Flaws, www.runningintheusa.com)