This past weekend I adventured over to Madison to run the Her Madison 5k and boy was it an amazing race! This is a WOMENS ONLY run and the focus of the weekend is community. The run supports Girls on the Run of South Central Wisconsin, an amazing organization that helps girls get active, gain confidence, and learn a healthy lifestyle.
Fellow Flowers (another amazing organization) was one of the sponsors of the run. They empower individuals to believe in themselves. Seriously, read their story and their journeys. It is an amazing thing.
What I truly loved about this race was that they offered a weekend experience. You didn’t just show up to the race and then go home (though you could do that if you wanted). They had an entire weekend of activities leading up to the race enjoying activities that built health and wellness.
Though we did not make it early enough on Friday, there was a dinner held at the hotel that included conversations with Fellow Flowers and a flash mob instruction workshop! There was also an optional after party at a restaurant in downtown Madison.
Saturday morning was jam packed with a self-defense work shop, a shake out run along Lake Mendota, and an hour of yoga hosted by Kula yoga! Whew! I participated in the run and yoga and they were amazing. I heard great things about the self-defense workshop as well.
The expo was organized and well run and packet pick up was a breeze. Honestly, this w
as one of the most organized races I have ever participated in. During the expo there were speakers you could go see that included topics such as balancing life, transitioning from 5k training to running a half marathon, and being a mom who runs.
Sunday morning was the race! I was originally signed up for the half marathon but got injured earlier in the spring and lost 8 weeks of training. When I emailed them asking to switch my distance to the 5k, they were more than willing and even reimbursed me the difference. I had a kind and supportive response in several hours.
I loved the course itself. It was challenging but clean and well laid out. You always knew where you were supposed to go and there were police officers at all intersections (it was not a closed course). Though it wasn’t a closed course, I never felt nervous or like the traffic was too close or too fast like I have in other races — I am very sensitive to this as I have PTSD from being struck by a truck while crossing a street.
The vibe of the race was amazing. Every single person was supportive, having fun, and working hard. It was amazing to be a part of. Though I did not post even close to my best time, there were high fives and cheers and so many people just wanting to talk and celebrate that I barely even remembered to sulk about my time (which I would normally do). It was so easy to get swept up in the fun and supportive atmosphere.
This was a truly amazing race from all aspects and I highly recommend it! I plan to do the half next year (barring any injuries) and I am already looking forward to it!
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