Eagle Chase @ Fire on the River

Eagle Chase @ Fire on the River

Eagle Chase @ Fire on the River

( 1 review )
100% of reviewers recommend this race
  • Sauk City,
    United States
  • July
  • 3 miles/5K, 6 miles/10K, 13.1 miles/Half Marathon
  • Road Race
  • Event Website

Mary Jo Minarich

Illinois, United States
24 18
"Eagle Chase Half Marathon"
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Race Management
Mary Jo Minarich's thoughts:

The Hubs and I completed our 5th state half-marathon by running in Wisconsin’s, Eagle Chase Half in Sauk City on July 2nd 2016. I was excited to run this half because I really love this state. We have spent many years coming up with the kids for vacations and now we were heading north to run it!
We stayed 30 minutes north of Sauk City in Wisconsin Dells. We arrived 2 days prior to the race. That way we could enjoy the area and get there early enough to pick up our packets the day before the race.
You could pick up your packet on Friday or on race-day. We wanted to see how long it was going to take us to get to the start so we drove down on Friday. Packets were in a cute little park called, August Derleth Park. Everything was very organized with tons of volunteers. We picked up our bibs, a bag of goodies and our blankets. Yup, we received a picnic blanket instead of a shirt. We both thought that was a nice change.

It was an early night for us because the race started at 7am. After setting out our running clothes, we hit the hay for a 4:30 wake-up call. The morning drive was an easy 30 minute ride with absolutely no traffic. 57 degrees at the start made for perfect running weather.

250 runners running the half, a 10K or 5K started all together between 2 fire-blowing devices that exploded as we ran between them. Don’t worry–it was totally safe and we can now say “we ran through the fire” at the start of a race.There were police, bike volunteers and a water table at every 2 miles or less! The whole town seemed to support the race. It’s funny the difference between running a big race in Chicago compared to a community race. It was much quieter here with people out cooking breakfast on grills or sitting in lawn chairs, drinking coffee and clapping for us.

The beginning of the course ran through some of the cutest neighborhoods with manicured lawns and flags everywhere. Then we were on a paved trail that had some of the most scenic views of valleys and hills in the distance. The Hubs and I stayed together through most of the race and enjoyed the beauty.
The paved trail course lead to a loose gravel trail up a very steep hill. We thought it was funny that the hill was near a hospital. Luckily neither one of us needed the hospital’s help.

It felt good to see mile 7 for me. That has got to be my favorite mile during a half. It signals to me that there are more miles behind me then in front of me. Duane likes mile 10. To him, it’s only a 5K to the finish after that! As we headed back toward the river we were running along some really sweet trails with gorgeous water views, bridges and SHADE! At mile 10 we were running an out-and-back that had signs that read “Beware of Cow Crossings.” We were now deep in farm land and all I could think about during this part of the run was we are definitely taking our shoes off before we get in the truck!

Once we hit mile 11, I was getting a little hot and tired and was ready for some pancakes! Yup, I knew pancakes were waiting for me so I told Duane “see you at the finish” and finished up at my own pace.
At the finish I was given this cool medal and a nice congratulations. A table of bagels, bananas and Culver’s lemon ice was waiting for me. Yum

I watched the Hubs finish strong and then we sat and enjoyed some pancakes along with various refreshments.This race had a little of everything–trails, community, scenery, rivers and PANCAKES! Oh and did I mention a couple of hills?

• Pick up your packet the day before the race. It helps you scout out parking and the start of the race.
• Read the course map. We didn’t realize the end of the race was at a different location. Rookie mistake! And we weren’t the only ones. Runners had to go back to their cars at the start to get their money. Luckily the Hubs always carries a couple of twenties for emergencies.
• In case you forget your Bodyglide (like I did), use deodorant! It worked great for me!
• Pack $6.00 a person for the pancakes. They were delicious! Plus any money they make goes directly to the 6:8 Sauk Prairie Against Hunger Pack Event where they pack food for global hunger relief. Over the past 4 years most of the food packed in Sauk Prairie has gone to Haiti. Some of this food feeds those at Anchored in Hope as they are given jobs to support their families.

The rest of our weekend involved a lot of soaking in the sun, floating in a lazy river, napping on a lawn chair and eating. Because this race happened over the 4th of July weekend, the blankets came in handy for our firework watching.

The Eagle Chase committee did a fantastic job with their very first race! They sponsored my race and we had a blast. And the medal had a wonderful meaning behind it:

“We would like to say thank you for your support!!! The making of these medals employed 7 Haitian men for a month! That provided them with the means to provide for their families and put food in their children’s mouths. It may sound simple, but jobs and employment are hard to come by in Haiti, especially these days. I wish I could tell you how many times these guys have asked me if I had more work to give! I always had to say no not yet, but then with this order of the medals we were able to pay these men for the beautiful work that they did. Not only do you get an amazingly awesome medal, but you are providing jobs for men who can provide for their families with dignity. Thank you for partnering with us to better the lives of these Haitians.”
Jessica Burmester with Anchored in Hope in Haiti

You can see more pictures on the blog at http://www.runandsmile.com

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