Best Run/Walk

By a landslide and for the fourth year running, the Eau Claire Marathon, our area’s scenic qualifying race for the Boston Marathon, won first place as Best Run/Walk. This May race starts and ends in Carson Park, with runners crossing 11 bridges and passing through “Blu’s Birdbath” on the UW-Eau Claire campus. Readers’ second favorite is the Haunted Hustle 5K, presented by Group Health Cooperative of Eau Claire in October. The entire family can dress up with Halloween spirit, and proceeds benefit up to six local charities. Soon to celebrate its 25th year, the RCU Foundation’s Rock the Riverfront includes four races —  a 10K, a 2-mile, a No-K (no running or walking, just fun), and youth races (up to age 12) —  in June. Proceeds from Rock the Riverfront benefit three charities voted on by racers. There are bands, bouncy houses, food trucks and more at the confluence of the Eau Claire and Chippewa rivers. — Barbara Arnold