Northwoods residents have always known the power of a great view – especially when it means powering runners through 26.2 miles of terrain. That’s why – for over two decades now – the Journeys Marathon has taken runners on a scenic course that meanders through state forests and along multiple Eagle River area lakes. It’s no wonder that Runner’s World has called the event one of the top five “Best-Kept Marathon Secrets” in America. (However, with more than 1,000 participants, it’s debatable how truly “secret” the Journeys Marathon really is anymore.)
One of the most unique distance running events in the country, Journeys Marathon celebrates its 22nd year on May, 12th. So what keeps the runners coming back all these years? Well, for starters, the competitive runners enjoy the marathon’s hilly first half and downhill push in the second portion. Not to mention that Journeys is a Boston Marathon qualifier. A half marathon, 13.1-mile power walk, 10K race and a 5K run are also offered.
While the runners love the scenic course, we can’t help but think they also come back because of the amazing support they find on the side and at the finish line. Volunteers are stationed at two-mile intervals along the course providing water and near the end of the marathon provide fruit and cookies. For runners craving some post-race protein, Old Wisconsin brats and wieners will be available, as well as locally brewed beer from Tribute Brewing Company.
Just like all runners support each other out on the course, Eagle River understands the importance of community. That’s why we do our packet pick-up the night before the event a bit differently: with a Health and Wellness Expo and an All-You-Can-Eat Spaghetti Dinner. While we don’t encourage anyone to overdo it (as carbo-loading does have a point of diminishing returns), we do hope you enjoy spending time with family, friends and fellow runners at the event.
If you’ve already signed up, keep training! If you haven’t signed up yet, there’s still time to get in shape or participate in the power walk. We hope to see you out there in May!