Soggy Marathon Improvement For Many Over Last Year

Sunday’s inclement weather didn’t dampen the spirits of the thousands of runners at the 2011 Madison Marathon.

After dangerously hot temperatures forced officials to shut down the 26.2-mile course last year, many runners said that they were glad that this year’ weather was more on their side.

Doug Read and Doug Ripkey were two runners that were especially glad that the conditions were kinder than they were last year when the friends tried to run their first Madison Marathon.

“It was probably 85 degrees air temperature,” remembered Ripkey of last year’ race. “Plus the humidity and we were in the sun. That section of road felt like the Sahara Desert last time.”

With that dangerous combination of heat and humidity, many things can happen. Most of which are conducive to running a marathon.

“That’s kind of where the wheels start to come off the bus if you’re not doing the hydration or the nourishment,” said Read.

“I was fighting it,” said Ripkey. “I didn’t want to admit it to myself. It’s like, ‘C’mon, you’ve trained this long.’ To be honest with you, it’s a sign of weakness.”

Although the two friends ran separate races, starting at around the 20-mile mark, they both had to walk across the finish line.

“It is a crushing experience. Like, it’s not going to work out today,” said Ripkey.

But that was last year.

“This time, didn’t happen,” said Ripkey.

Doug and Doug gave the Madison Marathon a second try this year, and both clocked in at three hours and 52 minutes, a time nicely below their four-hour goal.

“I think both of us felt really good,” said Ripkey. “And we could comment on how much better we felt compared to last time.”

Better because this time around, they had each other.

“It really is big to have support along the race,” said Read. “It’s a much bigger challenge doing it by yourself.”

University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate student Francis Eanes won this year’s Madison Marathon with a time of 2 hours, 31 minutes, and 55 seconds.