We are just about a month out from the Eau Claire Marathon and this is my first race-cation! I did run a half outside of the Cities but it was in my hometown so we stayed with my parents. Since I normally race around the Twin Cities, here’s some things I’ve been keeping in mind while planning this trip.
How long we are going to stay
Since Eau Claire is less than two hours away, we could have just done a one night stay. I even know people who are driving from the Twin Cities area on race morning. But, since the marathon is exactly a week before our one year wedding anniversary (last year I also raced a week before the wedding), we decided to stay two nights. As long as we are visiting (and I’m running a marathon) we might as well make it into a long weekend!
Where we are staying
There were several hotel options in Eau Claire but I was looking for a combination of several things:
- Closeness to the race
Amenities (especially continental breakfast and a fridge/microwave)
We decided on a Best Western Plus that’s just over 2 miles from the start/finish (perfect so that it’s easy to get the start plus get back to shower after) and got a king bed with whirlpool in suite (which I will take full advantage of) that has a fridge and microwave in the room! Perfect for having my post-race oatmeal (and coffee because I’m bringing along the French Press).
What to do with Vinnie
As much as Vinnie loves race spectating (he’s gone to most of my races), it’s just too much to take him to a marathon and find someplace that’s dog-friendly. Plus not taking Vinnie along means Mike and I can head out to a restaurant or the race expo without worrying about him. We originally were going to board Vinnie at Now Boarding (our go-to boarding place that Vinnie loves since he gets group play every day) but Mike’s parents offered to take him. Which is great because he gets spoiled there (and can play with their dog) plus it saves us some money.
Where to eat
Normally, I cook my own dinner before a race so I know exactly what I’m having. So I’m still trying to figure out where we are going to eat for dinner after the expo just based on what won’t cause problems with my stomach. We probably will end up going to a chain restaurant.
Post-race is a whole other experience. We’ll be stopping at a donut truck right after the race because as soon as I saw there was going to be one at the finish line I knew I’d want one! Then, after I shower and foam roll, we are going to the Milwaukee Burger Company for burgers, beer and cheese curds.
What to bring
I’m already working on my packing list (and will be having a post up about that) since I don't’ want to miss anything. Some things I can probably get in town or at the race expo but I don’t want to wake up on Sunday morning to discover I didn’t pack my Flipbelt and socks. Because that’s just what I would do without a list.
If you have any race-cation experience, give me all your tips in the comments!