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Here Comes the 50k

You all know the story: boy meets girl.


Boy and girl fall in love.


Boy and girl get engaged.


Girl invites girl #2 to her wedding.


Girl #2 signs up for 50k on the wedding weekend.


No? Not the way you remember it playing out? Hmm strange.

Well, in my version of the story, my very dear and race-enabling friend Charlotte is getting married on September 14th in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Upon receiving the invite to her wedding, I did what any good endurance  junkie would do, and immediately looked up races in the area. You can imagine how giddy I was to discover a nearby 50k that happens to line up perfectly with my last peak weekend of 50 miler training. I was even more excited when I realized the race is the North Face Endurance Challenge Madison. I’ve wanted to do a North Face Endurance Race since I first heard of the series two years ago. But between scheduling conflicts and rumors of a copperhead infestation in Virginia, I’ve never made it to the start line.


Bonus points for Madison: I’m pretty sure there are NO copperheads in the state of Wisconsin. And if there are, please don’t tell me. I’d prefer to run in a state of blissful ignorance to the local reptile population.

While I briefly considered BYOpasta-ing to the wedding, choosing water over champagne, sneaking out early, and never telling Charlotte about my secret race plans, I decided that I actually like Charlotte and want her to still like me after she becomes a Mrs.


Plus, rumor has it that the wedding is going to be a pretty bangin’ time, with PBR flowing and the groom’s father ready to bang out some Lady Gaga on the bongos. Clearly, I don’t want to miss out on a second of the fun for an early race eve bedtime.

So, I sat Char down for a deep and meaningful g-chat conversation and asked if she would care if I race during her wedding weekend and told her to BE HONEST. ALL CAPS HONEST.

She was actually amazingly enthusiastic and even a little relieved that I was finding ways to keep myself entertained during a long weekend in Wisco. It turns out the bride will be kind of busy with other obligations and does not have the entire weekend free to get drinks and pedicures with me. Rude, I know.

So with a permission slip signed by the bride, I’ll be heading out to Madison bright and early on the morning of September 15th and running the North Face Endurance Challenge Madison as my last long training run before Can Lake 50.

Have a great long weekend, friends! Make sure to fill it with lots of miles and sweat.

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28 Responses to Here Comes the 50k

  1. That’s awesome!!

  2. I was just in Milwaukee (ok, an hour north, but it still counts) for a college friend’s wedding and had a BLAST! So much beer. So many cheese curds. Definitely right up your alley!

  3. Uhh, why is the fiance already wearing a wedding ring in the first picture?

    • Hahahahah just came down here to comment on this too. Unless you are trying to make poor Charlotte look like a homewrecker publicly on the internet, I’d suggest changing that one out for a different photo!

      • HA! you sneaky ladies!! Gabriel wears his wedding band because I gave it to him before he deployed in feb for SIX months in Afghanistan. He continues to wear it pre-wedding because he likes it just that much :) Plus I think its kind of sweet

  4. That’s so awesome! And as a Madison resident, I can personally attest to the fact that you will have NO problem finding post-race beer and carbs (and fried cheese, which I’m sure is just as important for recovery, right?)

    • With some driving – the race is actually a lot closer to Milwaukee than Madison (Eagle, WI in the east end of the Kettle Moraine Forest) – you can and should check out Madison. I did the marathon relay last year with some friends and it was a blast! Hopefully no one switches/takes away the colored flags though. Some jerk did it for a couple of the races last year and a few of the 50 mile runners got stuck running an extra few miles.

  5. Good luck! We should have fabulous weather that day.

  6. Milwaukee!!! Madison!! Are you prepared to fall in love? Beer, cheese (fried and fresh), running, custard…crap, I’m getting excited for you just thinking about it and I live here. If you don’t have plans on Sunday before you fly out, let me know. I can take you to Horny Goat hideaway (www.hghideaway.com) for some craft beer and yummy food.

  7. This is awesome! I love how you manage to squeeze a race into any weekend possible! It makes for some awesome race recaps and adventures. Does this count toward your marathon in every state since it’s just a few miles over a marathon?

  8. I love the engagement photo..I’m such a sucker for a love story. But I love love-stories with races attached. Good planning!!

  9. You’re the only person who does this sort of thing! Oh wait…I do that too…sometimes. Vacay/family or friend event + Run. Welcome to the club?!

  10. Did you just happen to be with this couple to take pics for all of those events, or are these pictures cleverly stolen from facebook?

    Fact: I’m from MN (which is pretty close to WI)
    Fact: I have no idea what a copperhead is.

    When I put those facts together, I conclude that you will have a copperhead-free weekend.

    Is a copperhead a fish????

  11. I’m glad you chose this race over excessive partying at the wedding.
    Whenever you talk about beer, you sound like a 16 year old who is oh so excited about getting drunk and wants the world to know! Also, in that champagne picture with you friend (as in every other alcohol picture), you fist your glass up in front of you like douchebags showing off their bottles at clubs.

    Anyways, thats just the feeling I get when you talk about beer. Other than that, I really enjoy about your running and your migration into ultra running! Is Ultratrail du Mont Blanc your wildest dream yet?

  12. i’m pretty sure i cried all the way down heartbreak hill last year. you are SO right in saying the downhill is just as bad as the up! good luck!

  13. Copperheads in VA?? Please tell me that’s not true!! You are lucky to have a great friend and not a bridzilla :)

  14. I did the same thing years ago — signed up for NF50k on the morning of a wedding that was in the middle of nowhere. Thanks to post-race ice tubs, I was able to dance. Have fun.

  15. I’m pretty sure I’m running that same race too! that is too awesome. I’d love to get together at the race if that’s okay…I’m from Wisconsin and I love camping so that race was perfect for us. I did the half marathon last year and it was a blast. this is my first 50k and my running has not been very impressive lately. does mountain biking count? :)

  16. […] training and stay relatively healthy and rested during all of this travel. One of the main reasons I signed up for the North Face Madison race is because running an organized 31 mile race seemed a hell of a lot easier than mapping out a 30+ […]

  17. […] first one, you all know about. It’s this weekend. 50 kilometers of trail running following my friend Charlotte’s brats-filled, Wisco-beer-heavy […]

  18. […] want to get one last 30+ mile in before hitting taper, so I signed up for a 50k outside of Milwaukee. I have no intention whatsoever of racing this course. It’s way way way too close to my 50 miler […]

  19. […] want to get one last 30+ mile in before hitting taper, so I signed up for a 50k outside of Milwaukee. I have no intention whatsoever of racing this course. It’s way way way too close to my 50 miler […]

  20. […] to resist spending the rest of the afternoon/evening catching up with my friend Charlotte (the one who just got married in Wisco) over a few beers. And to audition for a role in High School Reunion Crashers after stumbling into […]