rails to trails half marathon (or why norwalk, wisconsin rocks)

Jess and I headed up to Norwalk, Wisconsin this past weekend for the Rails to Trails Half Marathon (her first half marathon since her knee surgery back in January). She was excited to be out again and to have a goal to work toward. We walked the majority of it to not stress out her knees – and they held up! We probably ran about two miles total (in little spurts) but overall her knees did well.

If you haven't had the pleasure of being on the Elroy-Sparta bike trail, you are missing out! The trail is actually built on top of an old railway line and so doesn't have more than a 3% grade at any point – nice for biking and running for sure.

The coolest part of the trail are the three tunnels that were hand carved through the hills in the 1860's. The third tunnel, the one we ran through, is the longest (3/4 mile long). It's dark, wet and amazing! They did setup some lanterns but normally it's just pitch black so make sure to bring a flashlight. After we finished the half we drove back closer to it and walked to the entrance to the tunnel so I could grab some photos – it's so unreal and I wanted to capture it (and share it here, of course).

I really have to recommend the Rails to Trails race for anyone looking for a great half or full marathon in Wisconsin. It's really neat – the whole town comes together to put this on. From helping with the spaghetti dinner on Saturday to manning the aid stations to a lunch after the race – everyone is involved and is SUPER friendly. Props to the whole crew – you did a wonderful job and really exemplify Wisconsin hospitality. And a shout-out to Pearl Street Brewery in LaCrosse for sponsoring Sunday's delicious lunch – complete with their microbrews. I will be stopping there when I'm up there next (LaCrosse is where I'm starting my Walk for Clean Water – walking across the state!).

After the half we made our way home enjoying this beautiful state of ours. Besides the snow we are supposed to get today, I have to say that I love this place.

(And for the photo geeks out there: everything was shot on the X100)

norwalk rails to trails half marathon and full marathon wisconsin running lacrosse wedding photographer andy stenz
norwalk rails to trails half marathon and full marathon wisconsin running lacrosse wedding photographer andy stenz
norwalk rails to trails half marathon and full marathon wisconsin running lacrosse wedding photographer andy stenz
norwalk rails to trails half marathon and full marathon wisconsin running lacrosse wedding photographer andy stenz
norwalk rails to trails half marathon and full marathon wisconsin running lacrosse wedding photographer andy stenz
norwalk rails to trails half marathon and full marathon wisconsin running lacrosse wedding photographer andy stenz
norwalk rails to trails half marathon and full marathon wisconsin running lacrosse wedding photographer andy stenz
norwalk rails to trails half marathon and full marathon wisconsin running lacrosse wedding photographer andy stenz
norwalk rails to trails half marathon and full marathon wisconsin running lacrosse wedding photographer andy stenz
norwalk rails to trails half marathon and full marathon wisconsin running lacrosse wedding photographer andy stenz
norwalk rails to trails half marathon and full marathon wisconsin running lacrosse wedding photographer andy stenz
norwalk rails to trails half marathon and full marathon wisconsin running lacrosse wedding photographer andy stenz
norwalk rails to trails half marathon and full marathon wisconsin running lacrosse wedding photographer andy stenz

brewers and the cubs

It's been a busy few weeks and I've got a bunch of posts to come, including an engagement session, a family photo session and a national morning show visiting our city – oh so much! But I'll start with this past weekend's Brewer game against the Cubs. We were there on Friday, when Braun hit a two-run homer to win the game.


We spent our time in the AirTran “Landing Zone” in right field. Baseball with a bar and buffet – a nice way to spend the evening.

And to top it off, Danny Gokey was in town and sang the national anthem. The press surrounded him and you couldn't really see him. If you look between the photographer in the black shirt and the one in the navy shirt, you can see Danny in his light blue shirt wearing headphones. I couldn't tell if there were more Brewer, Cubs, or Gokey fans there that night!