The forecast has already caused the race organizers to cancel the full marathon because it's too dangerous to have runners on the course for up to 6 hours in that heat. While I believe that the race organizers made the right call (especially in light of what happened at the Green Bay Marathon last weekend - medical tents were overwhelmed and the race had to be cancelled 2 hours and 49 minutes after the gun went off), I can't help but feel a little sorry for the 1,700 people who were registered for the full marathon. Yes, they've been offered the opportunity to run the half marathon and they're all being offered $20 off the price of next year's race, but that doesn't make up for the disappointment of not being able to do the race they've trained for. Ultimately, safety has to come first, but I can only imagine what some of those runners are feeling right now - especially those runners who were preparing to run their very first marathon. My heart breaks a little for them.
On to the details. The course has changed since the last time I ran the Madison race (2008 & 2009). It begins and ends in the shadow of the state capitol.