Last summer, over coffee, two friends put their heads together and dreamed about creating the ultimate women’s race in Madison, WI. Jen Andersen, the director of operations for Capitol View Events, and Mel Charbonneau, co-founder of Fellow Flowers, knew each other from the racing and endurance communities and had become fast friends. Over this particular coffee date they wondered why there wasn’t a women’s only race in their area. Sure there were races and events nearly every weekend in Madison but none like the race they had in mind: A race just for women, a race where no one felt judged, one that was accessible and welcoming. Looking at the women attendance of the local races it was clear there was enough of a women’s presence – so Jen took the matter into her own hands and created the HER Madison Half & 5K, taking place for the first time this June 25-28!
The HER Madison Half & 5K celebrates the courageous journey every woman experiences when running a race. This race is different because it focuses and acknowledges the last runner across the finish line just as much as the first. Every woman feels welcomed, encouraged and empowered. Running this race is an accomplishment and more importantly about the experience and transformation each and every woman goes through.
“We are beyond excited to bring an opportunity for women to achieve their running and healthy lifestyle goals by offering a women’s only running event weekend” says Justin Pernitz, Co-Owner of Capitol View Events. “We want to cultivate an encouraging, uplifting, and empowering weekend retreat for women. A weekend to celebrate every step and sacrifice it takes to get to the starting line, and the best race experience possible to remember their finish line”.
The HER Madison Half & 5K isn’t just a race – it’s a weekend experience. Women make a lot of sacrifices and put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into training and the HER Madison Half is all about celebrating each woman’s journey!
Here at Fellow Flowers we’re honored to be kicking off the weekend of celebrations Friday night with a fun flower style cocktail party that’s sure to get women energized, pumped and ready to crush their goals! Come Saturday we will also lead a quick shake out run to get everyone warmed up and in race mode! But that’s not all, runners can also participate in a yoga class in a beautiful park by the lake and the wellness expo lasts all day and includes fitness vendors as well as a few shops and boutiques from the area. On race day, HER Madison Half is even offering free shuttle service from the Marriott to the starting line.
Although the race is just for women, the HER Madison hasn’t forgotten about the important men (and other supporters) in our lives that want to cheer their women on! That’s why we’ve dedicated a special part of the course just for the guys and supporters and it’s not just a spot over the hill. This special area will be fun for them too – with tables set up for them to make signs, footballs, corn hole, music and lively beverages for all to enjoy!
The HER Madison Half & 5K is going to be a race and an experience like none other and we’re excited and honored to be part of the inaugural event. We hope you will join Fellow Flowers for a fun weekend in our “hometown” where you can simply come, let your hair down and feel proud of accomplishing your goal – because even if it’s simply to cross the finish line it’s a goal worth celebrating and experiencing with other supportive, fun and fabulous women!
Who’s planning on joining us for the HER Madison Half & 5K? What are you looking forward to most?