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City of La Crosse to hold 2nd Annual Fitness Festival

By Daniel Card
On April 19, 2010


   The second annual La Crosse Fitness Festival will be held May 1 and 2, 2010. Created to celebrate La Crosse's commitment to become America's healthiest city, the festival features a series of aerobic events including a marathon, half-marathon, 5k run/walk, bike tour, and cycling time trial in which participants of all ages and fitness levels are encouraged to show their dedication to a healthy lifestyle.

    The festival is primarily funded by corporate sponsors such as Festival Foods, the Ho-Chunk Nation, and Pepsi Company, along with the entry fees the participants pay. Proceeds will be donated to the St. Claire Health Mission, Youth Enrichment Association, and Special Olympics of La Crosse.

    The courses for the various events are all located in the scenic Coulee region. The marathon and half-marathon, which start simultaneously at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, May 2, begin near Pettibone Park. The course continues over the Mississippi river, and then makes its way through the city of La Crosse. Although relatively flat, the route offers spectacular views of both the Mississippi river and the pristine river bluffs. The half-marathon ends in Myrick Park, while the marathon route continues across the La Crosse River and its marsh into the city of Onalaska. Participants may register for any of the featured events until April, 23. The cost is $65 for the half and $80 for the full marathon.

    Also offered is a marathon relay. Participants may register as a team of two or four, which can be all male, female, or mixed gender. Each leg of the race is about 6.5 miles. Registration is $170 per team.

    The 5k run/walk start together on Saturday, May 1 at 10 a.m. The course begins in Riverside Park and passes through downtown on State St. to Sixth St. It then turns right to Cass St., where it takes a left, continuing through several blocks of historic homes to Eleventh St. A left here to Main St., then another left back downtown. It then takes a right on Seventh St., past City Hall onto the bike path in the La Crosse River marsh. The course exits the marsh at Front St., which leads to the finish line back in Riverside Park. The registration fee is $25.

    In addition to the various running events, the festival features a few cycling events. The bike tour, which takes place on Saturday, May 1st at 8 am, offers riders their choice of a 5, 32, or 62-mile ride in the scenic Coulee region. Registration is $10 for the 5-mile race or $20 for the 32 and 62-mile races. Also, the cycling time trial is a 2.4 mile ascent of Grandad's bluff. With over 600 feet of elevation change, this race is a true test of endurance.

    This annual festival provides area residents with a great opportunity to show their dedication, not only to their own health, but to their community. The first La Crosse Fitness Festival, thanks to sponsors and participants, raised $30,000 for St. Clare Health Mission and $20,000 for Youth Enrichment Association. To register or learn more, visit the La Crosse Fitness Festival website at:


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