I was at the Eau Claire Marathon on Sunday, but I wasn’t running.
This year’s event drew thousands of runners who participated in the full marathon, half marathon, 5-K, relays where members of a team run part of the distance, and kids’ races.
I’m not, and have never been a runner, but my daughter is, making me a proud parent waiting at the finish line. The energy and motivation evident at Carson Park and along the route was such fun to see. I asked my daughter to give me some words to express what running a race means to her. Together we came up with: focus, motivation, determination, health, being/staying active, and outdoors/nature. As I looked around me on Sunday, I couldn’t help but think of how good it is that all the energy was channeled into something these athletes find wholesome and invigorating. Winning isn’t always the goal, but usually a personal best or a “good run” makes the runner happy. Our library has materials that could support your training for next year’s marathon as well. Check them out here.
This year the marathon started and finished at Carson Park, and the route traveled throughout the city, crossing rivers 10 times if my count is correct. The most memorable for my daughter was the historic High Bridge over the Chippewa River north of downtown Eau Claire that re-opened in July last year. Says Volume One in its June 26, 2015 edition: “Last summer, the Eau Claire City Council voted unanimously in favor of reimagining the 19th-century railroad bridge which was once traversed by Union Pacific trains but has stood idle for years.” The High Bridge is now open to bikers, and hikers, and during this year’s marathon, lots of runners. The only down-and-back stretch of the marathon route was on the Wells dirt road near Riverview Park. We used to live just above (east) of that area and kids would play in the woods. Good memories for my runner.
I know at least one library staff member ran in one of the races this year. Maybe some of you had family and friends in one of them, and were there to watch as I was. I hope they did well!