Race Recap: Great Milwaukee Pi Run

On Saturday I ran race #5 in Silver Circle Sports Event’s Wisconsin Chilly Willy Run Series, the Great Milwaukee Pi Run at Boerner Botanical Gardens.
I wish I had recapped race #3, Milwaukee’s Great Gobble Wobble, because it was the same race (except with pie—really cute pie. A tiny apple pie for every runner).

Restrooms were indoor, clean, and plentiful. There were NO LINES! This was unprecedented. I wondered what people would find to complain about.

They found something—the timing situation.

The race director, or someone, left the “timing device” at home and thus our chips were useless. This was announced BEFORE the race, loud and clear. (FYI, a chip starts timing when you cross the start line, and stops when you cross the finish line. So in this situation, someone who wanted the most accurate time possible should have moved up to the start line. There was a lot of room.)

There were about 5 people at the finish, carefully recording bib numbers and times. I’m confident they did an excellent job. I still read bitchy comments about it on Facebook later. “This was ADVERTISED as a chip-timed race, and wasn’t.” Eye roll. Trolling for free stuff, methinks.)

The course started at Boerner Botanical Gardens, and wound around the hills of Whitnall Park. There were no mile markers (I should have taken a peek at the laminated maps they had inside.)

Because I normally race long distances, I haven’t ever put the pedal to the metal for a 5K. In a half marathon, you have to spread out the agony or you won’t finish.

I’m used to running in this zone (slightly uncomfortable, but not wishing for imminent death).

In order to be really successful at the 5K, you have to run in imminent death mode the entire time.

I had an additional 7 miles to run after the race, so I wasn’t up for that.

I tuned into “mildly yucky” mode, and ran a comfortable race.

The course ends with a long, steep hill that other participants seeemed to hate. I don’t mind hills, and had enough in the tank that it didn’t slow me down.

I came up behind a woman who was struggling on this hill, and debated passing her or not.

“I don’t really feel like it,” I thought. “I probably can’t.”

And then a louder voice said, “You can, and you will.”


If you’ve ever been to therapy, you spend time dissecting who that little voice is.

THAT voice was definitely my dad. Not in a ghost-like way, but in a “that’s the influence he had on me” way.

I can even picture the look he would have given me.

Point taken.

I threw the hammer down and passed with enough authority that I knew she wouldn’t chase me.

When the results were posted, I was first in my age group—narrowly ahead of the woman I had passed on the hill.

And then ran the other 7 miles (very slowly).

As usual, I was amused by this event. I like seeing familiar faces (and am even starting to remember a few names, even though the race director still can’t pronounce mine, but did remember me as the “nice” girl that randomly gave him a hug once), that I can park on site without issue, that the races are so close to where I live, that registration takes 5 seconds, and that toilet lines are short. I especially liked taking home a “first place” medal, and my tiny apple pie (which my kids ate—rascals!!!).


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