Since my husband and I will be in La Crosse, Wisconsin for the city’s annual Oktoberfest celebration (rolling of the Golden Keg anyone??), I decided that it would be fun to run the Maple Leaf Half Marathon that coincides with the event.
In doing some research of the race, it appears that it is a fairly small race – only 1400 total in the four races offered in 2011 (13.1, 5, 5k and a 1 mile fun run). However, knowing La Crosse fairly well, I believe that this will be one of the most scenic races that I have run – comparable to the Twin Cities Marathon.
The “website” lacks good details (not sure when the expo might be or if there is a gear check), but at least I found some information through www.halfmarathons.net, which says that the route “takes runners along some of the city’s most scenic streets, as the half marathon starts and finishes in Riverside Park overlooking the mighty Mississippi River, and also takes runners over a bridge that crosses the Black River, and features views of Lake Onalaska in the middle portion of the race’s 13.1-mile course […] Runners in the half marathon start their race at 7:00 a.m. at the park, and follow what is basically a long, out-and-back route.” The bluff city of Wisconsin is normally very beautiful and this time of year will likely make this route, even though I will see it all twice, the perfect fall race.
Here is one of the only photos that I could find of the race from previous years:
Due to the annual Oktoberfest Maple Leaf parade that is also held that day, runners must finish in less than 2 hours and 45 minutes, which seems pretty standard, maybe a tad quicker than other half marathons. And, unfortunately it appears that there is no medal and that the shirts will be lacking (cotton perhaps).
Either way, I think that it will be a fun race and definitely a good start to a weekend of good ol’ German “merrymaking” in a town that has been doing it right since 1961!