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The Sweltering Cellcom Marathon

Wow. It’s been a hot weekend.

Yesterday Ben and I were driving all around town on 101 random errands and the car thermometer said 90 degrees. Ugh Wisconsin folk like me are NOT used to weather like this. Gimme some low 70s and a nice breeze please!! 🙂

Alex was scheduled to run his 4th 1/2 marathon at the Green Bay Cellcom Marathon today. All week they’d been posting notices about the temperatures (expected to hit 80) and that they were allowing full marathoners to switch to the half as well as putting 22 water stations along the course this year.

Every past year I’ve gotten up at the crack of dawn to see him at the start and then I’d drive around the course to cheer him at certain checkpoints. This year I decided not to be there for the 7am start but would try and see him at the finish. I was hoping the warmer temps would mean he’d be significantly slower (although I bet HE didn’t want to be that much slower, ha ha)

My text message alerts were showing he was only 5 minutes slower than last year so we had to book it to get parked and make it to the finish line.


I quickly found a spot, called the folks to see what he was wearing, and within minutes – there he was!


(On the far right – in the white tank top)

He was booking hard to the finish!


Official finish time was 1:55 – about 10 minutes off last year but in this heat, not bad. When we arrived, the car temp said 88. CRAZY


They set up a large container of water but it wasn’t being used so not sure what it was.


We walked around the atrium to cool off (jogging over to the finish and I was beat – but I had nothing on the runners)


After that we went to grab a quick breakfast for meeting the family at the church’s water station. All the while I’d been checking times for a co-worker who is trying for the 5th year to break the 4hr full marathon mark. He was on fire – well on his way to finishing in 3:45… only I stopped getting them after he’s hit the 15mile mark and started to get worried. As we drove over to the water station, I got the following text:

“The Cellcom Green Bay Marathon has officially closed the course due to the heat.”

Whoa. Alex crossed just 30 minutes before the course was closed!

All the water stations were instructed to stop serving water so racers would follow instructions to stop running. The local hospitals were at capacity and all the paramedics were already transporting runners to hospitals – the closest 2 hospitals sending the latest runners to two additional hospitals to help handle the crowds. Scary stuff.

I always get a little emotional watching large runs like this – it makes me psyched to get in shape so I can join in – and I wonder who is nervous, which runners are running for the first time, who has friends and family cheering them on, who is running alone, etc… It’s amazing.




5 Responses

  1. Wow – too hot! We hit 87 today and it is too hot, too early. We did our biking in the morning to avoid those really hot temps, but it was still toasty. Congrats to Alex!

  2. I knew a bunch of people who were there, too. It’s a bummer when you train so hard and then the course gets closed down. But safety first. That’s more important. 🙂

  3. Wow thats scary that it was closed!!

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