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Gearing up for Festival Foods Grandad Half Marathon


LA CROSSE, Wis. (WEAU) -- All the rain we've gotten this week, could force some changes to a half marathon this weekend.

The sixth annual Festival Foods Grandad Half Marathon is Saturday in La Crosse.

Runners like Sean Miller are gearing up for the Festival Foods Grandad Half Marathon.

Miller said he ran the 13.1 mile race last year, and he's looking forward running again this year.

"I think it's a really great course, especially starting on top of the bluffs and you get to go all around La Crosse. I think it's pretty challenging definitely," said Miller.

Event coordinator Becca Schaar said all of the recent rains have event organizers keeping their eyes on Riverside Park along the Mississippi River.

"The half marathon actually finishes right along the levy into Riverside Park. If it does go under water, we can push the runners back up to the next sidewalk," said Schaar.

Grand Buff Rnning owner Tler Heinz said his store has been seeing more customers with the half marathon on Saturday.

"Not only has business really picked up around the half marathon time, but people seem to be pretty excited," said Heinz.

Schaar said so far there's about 1,300 people registered for the half marathon, which is about the same as last year.

She also said the bombing at the Boston Marathon last year has organizers being cautious.

"We'll have plenty of police on hand, we'll do sweep throughs of the parks prior, and we'll just do everything we can to be prepared, and make sure everyone is safe," said Schaar.

The half marathon starts at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday in Grandad Bluff Park.

There's a 600 foot descent over the first two miles.

The weekend also includes a 5k run and walk, cycling events and kids races.

If you haven't registered for the half marathon, you can do that on Friday from 4:30-8 p.m. at the Radisson Center.

There's no race day registration.

There's another race being held his weekend as well.

The Eau Claire Marathon is Sunday in Carson Park.


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