Over 1,400 runners lace up for the Eau Claire marathon - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Over 1,400 runners lace up for the Eau Claire marathon


Eau Claire (WQOW) - Cinco de Mayo was celebrated by hundreds of runners today at the fifth annual Eau Claire marathon. With a field that included competitors from as far away as New York, two Eau Claire brothers took home gold medals in the half and full marathons.

"This was an amazing day, the weather was perfect. Since we've had like four seasons in one week, it's kind of like an early summer," said Karen Drechsel, Eau Claire Marathon race organizer.

Like a neon-clad army, more than 1,400 runners made their way around the city of Eau Claire during the 5th annual Eau Claire Marathon Sunday.

"This year was a little challenging; I noticed our numbers didn't come up until the week before the marathon when the forecast came out. Every day was a different day for me, I didn't know what was going to happen with the river," Dreschel added.

25 year-old Eau Claire native Scott Hayden was the first to cross the finish line in the 26-point-2 mile, full marathon. He says course changes because of the weather made the race harder than last year.

"After about 23 miles it did get rerouted, so that was a struggle because I had run this before, I knew the course backwards and forwards, and to have to kind of improv there was a struggle, especially because it was so late in the race," Scott explained.

Scott's older brother Cory Haden won the half marathon, and was amazed at the turnout given the fact that it had just snowed enough for this sombrero wearing snowman to be celebrating Cinco de Mayo with the runners.

"If you look around the state, there's, you know, a half dozen half marathons and marathons going on in the next few weeks. That we're drawing big numbers to Eau Claire is a really good sign that this is a community that embraces endurance athletes," said Cory Hayden.

"People are crowding the streets; they're in your ear, so it's hard to feel tired if you've got a lot of people behind you," Cory added.

While the rest of the pack was busy racing to the finish line, half marathon winner Cory made his way back through the crowd to give some support to his younger sibling.

"Awesome to have my brother out here, awesome to have him win it in the half. As soon as he finished, he came back out. Mile 19, he was out there cheering me on. So quick of a turn around, and there's no one that inspires me more than him," Scott said.

There were close to 400 marathon runners and more than 1,000 half marathon runners. There were also relay teams competing. For a full list of race results, click here.


Eau Claire (WQOW)- Hundreds headed to Carson Park Sunday to compete in the half marathon and full marathon. 

The weather cooperated for Eau Claire's 5th annual racing event. Runners enjoyed mild temps and sunshine throughout the morning and into the afternoon.

Early results show over 1,400 runners took part in the full marathon, half marathon, marathon relay, and fun run.

Scott Hayden of Eau Claire was the marathon's top male finisher with a time of 2:36:51. The top female finisher was Sarah McCall of Madison with a time of 3:15:00.

In the half marathon Corey Hayden of Madison took top spot for the men with a time of 1:09:44. Andrea Simon of Verona was the top female finisher with a time of 1:27:42. 

The race proceeds will go to support the new Eau Claire YMCA building project. The course showcases the beautiful parks, rivers, lakes, and bike trails throughout Eau Claire and the surrounding Chippewa Valley.

Be sure to tune into WQOW News 18 at 10 on Sunday night to hear from finishers and race organizers. 

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