The Last Call Half Marathon (and 5K), race number three in Silver Circle Sports Events Chilly Willy Running Series, was December 5, 2015, at the EB Shurts Environmental Education Center on the Glacial Drumlin Trail n Waukesha, WI.
Anyone who did seven Silver Circle Races in 2015 could do this race for free. And judging by how many speedyass people were in this race (as compared to the usual turnout for Silver Circle’s races, where I can almost get an age group place medal just by showing up and being 37), a lot of diehards took advantage.
Having done some spectacular WI trail racing (North Face Endurance Challenge WI, Devil’s Lake Dances with Dirt, and a bunch more), I would not call this a trail race. It’s an out and back on a TRAIL, but it just doesn’t count. Too flat, too much like running on the road, and–it’s an out and back.
There’s something about circling around an orange cone in the road, and seeing everyone ahead of you (and behind you) that’s equal parts entertaining (I like to count how many people are ahead of me, and shout their place numbers to them. Strangely, they never look at me or show any reaction. Too “in the zone” I suppose, and maybe that’s why they’re ahead of me?) and demoralizing (“Oh god, that really stout man who looks like he’s about to go into cardiac arrest is like five minutes ahead of me!?”)
Views are somewhat scenic, with marshy bits off to the side, but condos and apartments flank the marshy vistas and remind you where you are. In Waukesha, not the Everglades.
This is the third time I’ve done this course, and I’m not sure I’m up for a fourth when the First Call Half Marathon (held on same course) comes around in April, as the final race in the Chilly Willy Running Series. Been there, done that, and there are so many races out there to try.
Reminds me a lot of the South Shore Half Marathon the Badgerland Striders hold in April every year.
As usual for Silver Circle, races are no fuss, registration is easy and fast, medals are plentiful, and the staff are exceptionally friendly.
Highly recommend this as someone’s first half marathon, or for someone who doesn’t mind being slightly bored in pursuit of a PR.
Speaking of PRs, I got one in this race. I was running in honor of my dad, who passed away one week before this race. Throughout the race I felt him cheering me on, heckling me not to let someone wearing a running skirt beat me, or that one girl I see at every half marathon ever, wearing the compression socks and arm sleeves.
I crossed the finish line under 1:40, which is a huge deal for me (so big that I gave the horrified race director a giant bear hug afterwards), but now that I’ve done that, I’d trade chasing a PR for a more scenic route. And my GPS said the course was a little short (which, now that I’ve mentioned, I can forget forever).