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Eau Claire Marathon and 1/2 Marathon: Windy but Worth it!

I just stumbled to the finish of the Eau Claire 1/2 Marathon.  I don't know if it's just because I'm out of shape or what, but that seemed like a pretty tough course to me.  That's not necessarily a bad thing because, after all, you don't sign up for marathons and half marathons if you don't like to suffer.

This was my first time doing the Eau Claire event, and I have to say I'm pretty impressed.  This is a well run running race with a clearly marked course (much of it is on bike trails rather than highway).  There were plenty of water/aid stations along the way (I got a GU packet just when I was really needing a GU packet), and the Eau Claire area is a beautiful region to run through.

It's also a good sized event.  I love Grandma's and the Twin Cities Marathon, but, let's face it, those are MASSIVE people magnets and they become two day ordeals with the logistical problems at every turn.  Heck, just getting out of the parking lot at Grandma's can take all afternoon.

Eau Claire, however, is simple.  You pull into the parking lot at Carson Park, and your car is waiting for you within a hundred yards of the finish line.  Carson Park contains both the start and finish area, which is another positive since it eliminates the need for a morning bus trip.

For your $70 entry fee, you get a nice running shirt, participation in a chip-tined event, and a "goodies" tent at the end of the race that includes ham sandwiches, bagels, oranges, bananas, and even cartons of chocolate milk.

So, for those of you who are looking for an early season marathon or half-marathon, I'd have to say two big thumbs up for the Eau Claire event.  They take good care of you out there!

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