It should have been no surprise that runners who raced at State Fair Park Thursday night wound up with deep-fried-peanut-butter-and bacon balls.
The run was called the Patrick Cudahy Race for the Bacon. And the State Fair has that sort of reputation.
The promise of an all-bacon finish buffet motivated more than 400 people to do laps around the speedway and the exhibition halls, in the inaugural race devised by Chris Ponteri.
To fulfill the porcine pledge, Ponteri and Saz’s created the perfect ying for the exercise yang, and those piling bacon on top of bacon could at least comfort themselves in knowing they had earned it honestly, by running, walking or shuffling around the grounds.
Matt Thull, the coach at ThunderDome Running, and Mary Flaws, fresh from a 100-mile effort in the Kettle Moraine, won the Race for the Bacon 10K. Thull finished in 32:54 and Flaws in 44:41. Matt Kruger, of Oak Creek, and Jennifer Chaudoir, of Green Bay, paced the 5K, in 16:10 and 19:39. The full results can be found here.
Kruger had expected to win, but was surprised to be handed a box of bacon at the finish. He wasn’t the only one thinking about BLTs, with roughly 300 runners taking home some Patrick Cudahy product.
Tim Cigelske, the Beer Runner blogger, took third in the 5K in 17:51, and called the finish line concept “the best post-race buffet I’ve ever seen.”
It started with bowls of fruit, “just for show,” one runner rightly commented. Down the line followed bacon pasta, macaroni and cheese with bacon, potato skins with bacon and jalapeno, BLT sliders, the previously mentioned deep-fried-peanut-butter-and bacon balls, and a chafing dish of bacon.
Cigelske liked the touch. “I like that they have pure bacon and didn’t try to overthink it.”