- 3 miles/5K, 6 miles/10K, 13.1 miles/Half Marathon, 26.2 miles/Marathon, Other, Relay
- Road Race
- Event Website
This is the 2nd year I have run this race and I don't know what more I can say about it that I have not said before!
The race management team/family does everything that it can to treat it's runners right. With the EC marathon, it's like they try to treat each and every runner like royalty! For me, every time I head to EC for the half marathon, I feel like I'm coming home, even tho I have never lived in Eau Claire.
The Expo: A little bit of everything, no matter who you are! If you forgot anything at home, there is probably a vendor there that has it. But aside from race necessities and accessories, there is also a plethora of other vendors with all kinds of fun stuff! This year I picked up some granola (which came with an epic FREE coffee mug) and also samples a variety of other fun foods and beverages! Have kids that want to make their own cheer signs for mom, dad or whoever is running over the weekend? Stop by the Cheer sign booth and have them make their own sign!
Race Day: While there is no parking at Carson Park, the race does an amazing job of transporting all runners and spectators into the park. There is a parking lot at the bottom of the hill, from which you can walk up the hill to the festivities, or 2 different parking stops in town to catch one of the shuttles! They have shuttles starting at about 6am, and running constantly until about 3pm to get everyone where they need to be! The hotel I always stay at is just 2 blocks from the CVTC parking lot and in the morning, the bus heads straight to the start line, so you are there within 5 minutes. Please keep in mind that after the race, shuttles leave from the park and head to the Water Street lot first and then loop back around to the CVTC lot, so it does take about a half hour.
Start/Finish Line: is in the parking area of Carson Park and is laid out o give you everything you need on race morning! Plenty of porta potties in various location so I've never had to wait more than a handful of minutes. Gear Check is always a breeze! With ample stations to drop your gear, it doesn't take long to safely stash your stuff before the race!
This year I had a chance to meet up with a few other Bib Rave Pro's that were also running before heading to the start line with some girlfriends.
The Course: Scenery and bridges! The half marathon course crosses 11 bridges, runs through several parks and then some quiet neighborhoods. The community support for this event is also amazing! There are very few points along the half marathon course where there are not people out in yards or along streets cheering on runners. The best section by far the Blue Gold Mile. It starts when you enter the campus of UWEC where this year, we were again greeted by the infamous Blue Gold marching band. They are there, right when you need them, to get you through those last few miles of the race. After the band, you will find students from nearly every student organization out cheering on runners and sending the motivation and encouragement that you need!
After the BlueGold Mile, you enter the final few miles of the course and head back towards Carson Park. This year, we made a pitsop at Roadside Ice Cream and picked up treats to enjoy on the way back up the hill. The response from spectators and other runners was beyond epic! It's not every day that you can stroll across the finish line with great friends and ice cream!
Given the chance, I will be back in Eau Claire again in 2020 for the half marathon once again! Hope to see you there!