Saturday, January 5, 2013

Rails to Trails

Norwalk Public Library
My husband is a marathon runner. To date, he's run 35. Because of this healthy obsession, I've had the privilege of being at the start and finish lines in Milwaukee, Chicago, New York, and even Boston. All heady experiences, but my very favorite place to be a spectator is just four hours north of us in Norwalk, Wisconsin.


Downtown Norwalk
Norwalk, population 638, is known as the "Gateway to the Tunnels" because it's located on the Elroy-Sparta bike trail--a 32 mile stretch of gravel on the abandoned Chicago & Northwestern Railroad bed. 




Road trip! (Celebrating National Sandwich Day as we ride.)

The trail passes through three rock tunnels, the longest of which is 3/4 of a mile long. The course of the Rails to Trails Marathon, which begins and ends in Norwalk, runs right through it. Runners are handed flashlights before entering the long, dark tunnel.
Off to carb load!

Spaghetti, salad, and homemade desserts!


What makes this marathon special is the down-home feel. It seems like the whole town turns out to welcome guests--beginning with a spaghetti dinner at the community center the night before and ending with a chicken dinner at the park after the race. 
Making "Go Fast!" signs 

Another thing we love about this run is that we can park our RV half a block from the start and finish line. Talk about convenient! This past November we took two of our grandkids along to cheer on Bampa. 

Lots to do at the park while waiting.
Go Bampa!!

A photo finish!
So what's your favorite Midwest spectator sport?









7 comments:

  1. That sounds like so much fun. Especially if you are the one waiting and not running! Love the kids signs.

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    Replies
    1. So true, Diane! I will never understand the head space of someone who can run 26.2 miles!

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  2. wow!!! very cool. great for the kids to be part of your husbands love of running...found you through Joy

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    Replies
    1. I'm hoping my grandkids end up active like Bampa and not just a sideliner like Grandma! Thanks for stopping by, Sarah.

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  3. I love to hear that you go with your husband to cheer him on. It's sweet that the grandkids could be part of the adventure this time. Hurray for small town Wisconsin. Great pics and post, Becky.

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  4. Don't you just LOVE small town events. I've never heard of this one, or the tunnels. Very neat.

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  5. Neat! The grandkids will remember that, I'm sure.

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