For the past 10 years, Wayne Engelbrecht (46) of Sun Prairie has volunteered at the Madison Marathon, spending the most recent race weekends manning the info booth. This November, Wayne will not only be in his usual volunteer spot, but also will be on the race course running his fifth Madison Marathon.
Focal Flame Photography, the official photographer for the 2015 Madison Marathon events, spoke to Wayne about what he enjoys most about the Madison Marathonó both from the perspective of a runner and of a dedicated volunteer.
Focal Flame (FFP): How many Madison Marathons have you run?
Wayne Engelbrecht (WE): This will be my fifth Madison Marathon. I ran the first two in the 1990s, and the last two years.
FFP: How many total marathons or half marathons have you run?
WE: This will be my 10th marathon since 2011, and my 16th overall. I've run about 6 or 7 half marathons per year since 2011 as well.
FFP: Do you participate in any other similar events?
WE: I like running in races with my dog - the longest race we've have done together is the 20K Lake Monona Run the last two years. I enjoy night races, such as the Twilight 10K.
FFP: What does running and participating in events such as the Madison Marathon mean to you?
WE: I enjoy challenging myself. I took some time off from running and returned to running in 2010. As the Madison Marathon was the first marathon I ran, it is special as it is the marathon I have run most often.
FFP: With so many races to choose from, what do you enjoy about the Madison Marathon?
WE: It's a well-run race. It is a good size for a race - not too big. The course runs through some of the best parts of Madison, such as the Arboretum and UW, and has nice crowd support. There is always something special about running on your "home town course" as well.
FFP: Why has volunteering become an important part of your Madison Marathon experience?
WE: I've volunteered at the Madison Marathon for ten years - before I even ran in the races. Iíve done everything from handing out t-shirts, chip check, signing up kids for the Kids Runs, packet assembly and expo set up. The last three years I've settled in to helping out at the info booth. The Madison Marathon supports many charities, such as the Badger Honor Flight. My time goes towards funding the Sun Prairie and Cottage Grove Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society. As my mother-in-law battled cancer for over fifteen years before passing away, it is very important cause for my family and I'm honored that my time can be used to support such a worthy cause.
Editor's Note: The official charities of the Madison Marathon are Badger Honor Flight and myTEAM TRIUMPH.
FFP: What do you enjoy most about volunteering?
WE: I greatly enjoy helping out at the info booth, as I can provide information about the race that only someone who has run it can provide to other runners who have never run a marathon before, and have relief at having their questions answered.
FFP: What would you tell other racers about participating in the Madison Marathon?
WE: Enjoy the day. The race should be viewed as the victory lap in your journey of competing in the marathon. Don't go out too fast - that's why I always start at the end of the race. You will have a great race.
This article is part of a series featuring athletes who are participating in a Madison Marathon event in 2015. Focal Flame Photography is honored to serve as official photographers for the Madison Marathon. All runners will receive free FocalShare™ digital race photos courtesy of the event organizers. The Fall Madison Marathon events will occur on November 8 on the streets of Wisconsin's capitol city. For more information or to register, visit Madison Marathon.