If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you have probably seen my posts about training for the Eau Claire Marathon in May. I was first introduced to this race last year when I went to Eau Claire last spring to work the race expo for the event. Just from being at the expo and feeling the energy from everyone that I talked to, I knew right away that I wanted to come back to run!
I have always loved Eau Claire and having the chance to explore it while running is my favorite way to see new places. Since I knew that I was already going to be working the expo again this year, I jumped at the chance to get registered for the half marathon during the early registration and booked an extra night at the hotel!
Starting and Finishing at the beautiful Carson Park (Yes, that same Carson Park that is home to the Eau Claire Express baseball team!), the park provides the perfect picturesque backdrop for this spring race. The is city built along the banks of the Chippewa and Eau Claire rivers, connecting many beautiful lakes and parks.
The family that serves as the race management team is second to none! Several years ago, when the race was cancelled, the family realized the passion they had for the success of this race and has made it their mission to see that the event continues! Over the years they have continued to build the race into the amazing event that it is! They are extremely involved with the community and love their runners. If you are going to another race and they are at the expo, be sure stop and say hi! They love connecting with their local runners, even when those runners are out running other races! After working the expo last year and also hanging with the family at other race expos we were all at, I feel like we have been friends for years. That is how they make ALL of their runners feel. Once you meet them, you become family!
Need more reason to run Eau Claire?
How about a few more?
SOMETHING FOR THE ENTIRE FAMILY
The EC Marathon prides itself on being a family event!
The Full Marathon is a USATF certified, Boston Marathon qualifying race! In 2017, 52 runners qualify for Boston in Eau Claire – will you be next? Run the 11 bridges of the course and take in the scenery of the city before heading back to Carson Park for the huge post race party!
Is a full marathon a bit more that you want to dive into right now? They offer a marathon relay, where you can gather up your team of 4 people to cover the distance together!
Want to run solo but not ready for 26.2 miles? Join me in running the half marathon! You still get to run all 11 bridges and join the same epic post race party! Explore the city streets and area bike trails, crossing the river multiple times. Like the full marathon, the second half of the race is essentially flat or downhill – now that’s my kind of race!!
For those looking for a shorter distance, check out the 5k. With the same start and end point as the longer races, you will feel right at home with all other runners! This race does not have an age requirement, so it is perfect for those younger runners in the family!
For those little runners who aren’t up to 3.1 miles yet, check out the Fun Kids Event on Saturday! When you come to pick up your packet for the race on Sunday your little ones can have their own fun! The kids event has a half mile obstacle course geared for 2 – 5 year olds and a one mile obstacle course for 5 – 10+ year olds. The course takes the runners over several obstacles around McPhee Field and finishes with a celebration! Runners will receive a race t-shirt, runners bib, a finisher’s medal, plus other goodies!!
Like I said, the whole family can join the fun!
As I mentioned, the city sits along 2 rivers and there are bridges everywhere! Whether you run the Half Marathon or the Full Marathon, you will cross 11 bridges. That’s right – 11 BRIDGES! Everything from old train bridges to footbridges and so much more! One of the bridges that I am most looking forward to crossing is the Phoenix Park Railroad Bridge, a pin-connected Whipple railroad truss bridge spanning the Chippewa Rivert is just beyond the 1st mile marker for the half marathon (about mile 2 for the full). These old bridges have always fascinated me and to be able to run across one so early in the race will definitely help set the mood for the rest of the race!
Some people might get a little freaked out to feel the wood shake underneath their feet as they run across the Boyd Park Bridge, which crosses over the Eau Claire River at mile 7.5 for the half marathon (20.5 for the full) but that adds to the charm of some of these fabulous bridges!
To find out more about the Bridges of the Eau Claire Marathon, check them all out here
THE BLUEGOLD MILE
When you hit 10.5 miles into the Half Marathon (23.5 miles into the Full) you will officially enter the BLUEGOLD Mile! This memorable mile is packed with over 1,000 students and volunteers who are there to cheer you on! Aside from being there to cheer you on, you will be motivated by the sounds of the BLUEGOLD Marching band and several other musical organizations to help give you that final push to the finish line!
Past runners have said this is the best part of the race and it is one of the things I am really looking forward to!
As you can see, the Eau Claire Marathon is more than just a race. It’s a community event! It’s a place to gather with your friends for a fun filled day, or come on out yourself – I can almost guarantee you will leave with new friends!
So, if you are not registered yet and want to come join the fun, I would love to have you join me! Registration prices go up tomorrow (3/31/18) so don’t delay! As an added bonus, Use code “BibRaveRun” to save 10% on race entry! Once you get registered, let you know! I’d love to meet up with you over the course of the weekend!
It’s all about the fun and the adventure! Let your feet help you explore new places!
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