By Shereen Siewert
Wausau’s Marathon Park will set the scene Saturday morning for eighth annual Wausau Marathon, the final Boston Marathon qualifying race of the year.
This year’s race is facing challenges with road construction underway on Thomas Street and several roads with crushed gravel resurfacing, according to Wausau Marathon Race Director Scott Liegl.
“However, the weather will be fantastic, we’ll have a great turnout, and every year we have memorable stories from the race,” Liegl said. “This year is no different.”
Event planners expect 150 full marathon participants, 224 half marathoners, eight relay teams and 13 MyTeamTriumph captains with 25 angels. Runners are expected from as far away as Alaska and Toronto.
Liegl pointed out several moments to watch for this year.
Henry Rueden, 69, is a Wisconsinite and long-time participant of the Wausau Marathon. Saturday’s race will be Rueden’s 1,500th marathon or greater distance race and he is currently in third place on the North American Mega Ranking list for 300 or more marathons and ultras.
Steve Ruppel, a Wausau resident who currently holds four world records — with two waiting for approval — plans to attempt roller skating the fastest marathon. The current record is 2 hours and 30 minutes.
Willie Lyles, a military veteran from Texas, is a bilateral amputee who plans to complete his first wheelchair event. This will be Wausau Marathon’s first time solo wheelchair athlete.
The 26.2-mile Wausau Marathon course winds through Wausau, Weston, Kronenwetter, Rothschild, and Rib Mountain, and was certified by USA Track & Field for distance. Racing begins at 7 a.m. in Marathon Park. The public is welcome to cheer on athletes from the park or along the course.
More information is available at www.wausaumarathon.org.
[PICTURED: 2019 Wausau Marathon © Wausau/Central Wisconsin Sports Authority]