Gopher to Badger 13.1 and 16 sweltering miles in Chicago: the Date girls seriously rock.

It’s time to get serious about the upcoming Twin Cities Marathon on October 3rd. OK, it’s BEEN time for a while, but we’re entering the toughest month of preparation. Emily and I ran the Gopher to Badger Half-Marathon yesterday morning as a checkpoint to see how we’re doing.

400 miles away at exactly the same time, Lauren was grinding out an impressive 16-miler in the heat of downtown Chicago. Lauren is the only actual Badger in the family (UW Madison, Class of ’07) and I thought about her a lot and how much she would enjoy this race — especially as we crossed the bridge over the St. Croix River into Wisconsin.

The G to B is a good race, on a mostly scenic course that begins in the northwestern edge of Stillwater, Minnesota (Gopher country) and ends at the riverfront park in Hudson, Wisconsin (Badger land). The field is a manageable size — 736 finishers out of about 1,300 entries. Shuttle buses efficiently take runners from the finish area up to the start before the race. With the exception of one early water stop that apparently ran out of water (?!?!) it was a very well-run event. They took good care of us — lots of treats at the end, too.

Emily was very strong for the first 11 miles and then toughed it out for the last two when she was having some muscle pain. She still finished in 1:55:36 and was in the top 15% in her division (age bracket) and top 16% of all women finishers — yowsa !!!!

I made her wear the Badger hat for the photo. Lauren, I know you wish you could have been here to wear the red!

There were no photos of Lauren's run, but I'm guessing she might have looked like this as she headed out yesterday morning.

I’m such a proud papa. It was so great to be able to cross the finish line with Emily today and I was thrilled to hear that Lauren ran her longest run ever. I’m really excited about the Twin Cities Marathon when both Date girls will be here and we’ll all be running together.

Emily and Lauren — you both rock.