A couple of years into our quest, when we needed to venture further from home in order to reach a new state, we figured Labor Day weekend would offer us an extra day for travel without dipping into limited vacation time. We decided that Wisconsin would be a cool place to spend the weekend and settled on the Green Lake Area 13 Dot 1 Half Marathon. I love the name!
As with many of the new states we have visited, we had only a vague sense of what Wisconsin was like. We flew into Madison and drove past scores of farms and hundreds of acres of soy beans and corn.
We were surprised to frequently see wind turbines in the midst of all of these fields.
When we arrived in Green Lake we settled into our lovely room at the Heidel House Resort and Spa which had been recommended by the race website.
There was an option to pick up race packets on Friday afternoon, so we drove the short distance into the picturesque town. When we gave our names to the woman at the desk she exclaimed, “You’re the people from Maine!” and promptly nabbed her camera and snapped a shot of us. We felt like celebrities!
We spent the rest of the afternoon and evening enjoying the town and Heidel House. I tried the traditional Wisconsin treat of fried cheese curds. Interesting and yummy but possibly not the best choice for pre-race fare.
Early the next morning we drove the few blocks to the area where the race began. It was a gorgeous, cool morning. We enjoyed the quiet as we waited for the race to begin.
Eventually we were off, running along the lake for a while before heading into the beautiful, quiet, wooded Green Lake Conference Center. There were numerous stone bridges and historic buildings along the route which kept the course interesting. The first 10 miles were great! We felt terrific and our time was good. We spent quite a bit of time chatting with a fellow runner who was very congenial.
As we headed up the hills during the last three miles I suddenly felt completely drained and seemed to have an unquenchable thirst. Sadly, I definitely slowed us down but Mike was my unfailingly faithful running partner and husband. He encouraged me as we covered the last miles but never abandoned me. I rallied some at the end and we crossed the finish line hand in hand. Shortly after we finished we heard the announcer mention our names and that we were from Maine and were trying to run a race in every state. People cheered and they took our picture. It was a completely unexpected but greatly appreciated bonus to our race.
The after-race event took place right by the water. There was plenty of great local beer which was a definite bonus since sampling local beer has become an integral part of our quest!
As we walked back to our car we passed a vending machine selling bait. We had no idea such a thing existed.
We basked in that post-race feeling during the afternoon, soaking up some sun at the pool, and generally enjoying the Heidel House grounds.
We went to their more formal dining room for a wonderful dinner that night and returned to our room in time to catch a stunning sunset over the lake.
We left the next day having experienced an unexpectedly warm welcome, a beautifully scenic race, and a treat of a mini vacation at the Heidel House Resort.
Date Run: September 2, 2012
Quest Race #: 10
The Bottom Line: The 13 Dot 1 Half Marathon was scenic and very well organized by incredibly friendly people. Green Lake is a charming lake-side town and the Heidel House Resort offered a luxurious addition to our experience.