Eau Claire Half Marathon

This article was originally posted by trivianut at the original HillRunner.com Blogs.

If anyone wants to run a really well organized race, I would recommend this highly. I had the chance to run it on Sunday with my daughter. She had been trying to get me to run this throughout her tenure as an undergrad at EC, and we finally got it done. She wanted to run under 2 hours and I thought that was doable. Several things were against us though. It was unseasonably warm for NW Wisconsin, with a high of 83. Added to that was the fact I wasn’t the greatest pacer, and her lack of training did her in a bit. But we went after it, with her mom and brother and all her sorority sisters cheering us on at various points during the race. Our first 5 miles were about 8:40 pace, pretty much right on. It felt really slow to me, but Megan said she was ok. She began to struggle at that point, and she was not sure she was going to be able to finish. I told her whatever pace she could handle was fine, we would get through it together. We did a bit of walk 1-2 min run 10 min cycles. Then I had to make a pit stop and it took about 10 minutes to find her and catch up. When I did reach her I could tell she was laboring even more, and our overall pace dropped below 9 min. Then the 2:00 hour pacer passed us, and she was still struggling. This was very weird for me, because I felt good. But I began to understand that it wasn’t about me. My daughter, who rebelled against any running advice from her dad during her high school career, needed me to get to the finish line. We saw her mom and brother at the 11 mile mark, and then the gauntlet of sorority girls 5 minutes later gave her a momentary energy boost. But we were walking more frequently and for longer periods. I got a bit harder on her, challenging her to keep moving forward. Finally I knew we had just 1/2 mile, and we turned into Carson park to see finishers walking back towards us. She saw a women with a finisher’s medal around her neck – pointed at her and said " I want that!" So I said ‘then let’s go get it" We did run steadily to the end, and finally she kicked it in at the finish. 2 hours and 6 minutes after we started, we cross the line together. It was a great moment for me as a father. Megan was pretty spent the rest of the day, but you could tell she was really happy. She wouldn’t take the medal off. And I had run my longest run in perhaps 7 or 8 years. As I mentioned at the beginning, nothing but good things to say about this race. Well organized, wonderfully scenic course, and the best spectators I have experienced in 35 years of running races. Maybe next year I could come back and run again, but alas, our daughter is graduating and moving out of state to Minnesota to become a Nursing Home Administrator. I am very proud of her for many reasons, and yesterday was but one of those. Ryan you said you’d love to have that opportunity to run with your kids, and I truly hope you do. It was one of the best days of my life. Now my 24 year old son wants to run the Madison Mini (13.1) in August. Of course, I’d love to run at MY pace this time. We’ll see how that goes….

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