Eau Claire Marathon: Man runs his 583rd marathon - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Eau Claire Marathon: Man runs his 583rd marathon

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Eau Claire (WQOW) - Of the hundreds of people who geared up for the 6th annual Eau Claire Marathon, 350 competitors embarked on a laborious, lengthy 26.2 mile journey.

Pat Toutant, the race director of the Eau Claire Marathon, said, "So far, so good, it's a beautiful day."

Brock Purtell, a race participant from St. Paul, Minn., said, "I started having a mental break down."

Eric Glaubke, the winner of the 2014 Eau Claire Marathon, said, "My legs were aching in pain but it became more of a mind game."

A game on foot that would change the course of life for one runner. Glaubke said, "It's a huge excitement. This is actually my second marathon. I ran the Chicago Marathon in the fall, and so it was great to be out here and win this marathon."

For this college sophomore turned marathon winner ace-ing the race with a Boston Marathon qualifier time was no easy assignment.

Glaubke said, "One of the hardest stretches was actually in between miles 20 to 23. It's through this wooded area on the course and there wasn't a lot of fans there... so it was a lot of mental preparation and mental strength to do that. So, I was able to see people again and regain my spirits."

But these challenges are no surprise to a minnesota native who has lived and breathed the name of marathons on five continents.

Frank Bartocci, who ran his 583 marathon at the Eau Claire Marathon, said, "This is my 583rd. I'm on a mission to do 600. And it's a challenge because I had to do 30 in a very short time span."

Why he does it doesn't measure up to what started his quest of running 600 marathons 31 years ago doesn't measure up to what started his quest of running 600 marathons 31 years ago.

Bartocci said, "That's a question I ask myself occasionally. What started it was my son had Cystic Fibrosis and also wanted to be a role model for him and also wanted to challenge myself. My neighbor just got done doing it and I says, 'Gee I want to do that.' Plus it would be a good thing for my son to see."

The Eau Claire Marathon is one leg of the bittersweet adventure that will culminate in July in Madison County, Montana.

Bartocci said, "That's the reason why I'm going to Madison, that altitude race. Two years ago, I did a race in 2012, and I scattered some of his ashes at that mountain. That's why I say it's sacred ground. And I wanted to do it there."

To obtain the 2014 Eau Claire Marathon race results, click here.

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Eau Claire (WQOW)
- A beautiful day greeted a large field of runners for the Eau Claire Marathon on Sunday.

Tonight at 10 p.m. on Eau Claire's Own News 18, we'll have a report on the marathon.  You'll hear from organizers, supporters and participants, including one man who is running in his 583rd marathon.  Join us at 10 p.m.
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