Back to the Drawing Board for Fall Marathon Decisions

My chosen fall marathon was canceled. Dammit.

I had chosen the Lake Country Marathon in Oconomowoc, WI in the last weekend of September. I chose it because it was small, local(ish), and on the perfect time of year in my opinion. In past years when I trained for an October marathon I always thought my twenty mile training runs were on perfect weather days and wished it was my race day. So the logical thing to do is look for a marathon in September.

Some plan B options are:

1. No Frills Marathon in Minoqua, WI. It’s on September 6th. Pros are that it’s small, a point to point course, flat, and weather is typically in the 70s. A huge con is that it’s labor day weekend. Lodging could be an issue, I’d have to find a dog sitter, I might not even be able to be approved for that time off of work, and it’s a four hour drive north. I think a huge part of my bonking a marathon is losing energy while traveling to get there.

2. Quad Cities Marathon in Moline, IL, September 27th. Pros are that it’s an established race, looks kind of big and exciting, and the course looks scenic. Cons are that it’s about three hours away, I’ll have to pay for a couple days of lodging, and get a dog sitter.

3. The Garden Marathon, here in Madison, September 27th. Pros are that it’s in the city I live in, I could sleep in my own bed, I know the course very well, and it’s on that perfect time of year. Con is that I did the 13.1 of this race two years ago and it was very poorly organized. The course was short over a mile, the packet pick-up was a mess, nobody knew where the starting line was, and it started late. Here’s my recap from two years ago too: Garden 13.1

That’s what I’ve come up with so far. When I brought this conundrum up to John he squeaked that depending on how the Sytennde Mai 20 miler goes he is thinking he might do a fall marathon too. So it’s extra pressure to find a great first 26.2 experience for him.

Does anyone have any other ideas for me?


  1. I would avoid Minoqua for Labor Day. It will be crowded and expensive. I was wrong on who ran Quad cities, but I know someone liked it. I think your idea to email the local race and find out what changes have been made is a good idea.


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