Local residents encouraged to take part in “Beat the Blues Winter Marathon Challenge” this winter

Upper Explorerland Reginal Planning Commission, in partnership with the Winneshiek County Conservation Board and the Northeast Iowa Food and Fitness Initiative, is again hosting the “Beat the Blues Winter Marathon Challenge” throughout the northeast Iowa region this winter. Participants of all ages are challenged to complete a full marathon - 26 miles, or more, in a variety of ways between December 10 and February 12.

Participants can run, walk, ski, snowshoe or bike 26 miles outdoors at their own pace, when it works for them, or they can play outside for 30 minutes to equal one mile. A fun “Final Mile Party” is planned for the end of the challenge and those completing one or more marathons will have a chance to win some great prizes donated by area businesses. To get started, visit http://www.winneshiekwild.com/.

Participants can record their mileage on the Mileage Log available at that website address, or pick up a mileage log at Cresco Fitness Center, Decorah Bicycles, Northeast Iowa YMCA or the Waukon Wellness Center. Completed Mileage Logs can be returned in person at the Final Mile Party February 12, by email at abril@uerpc.org, or by mail to April Bril UERPC, 325 Washington St., Suite A, Decorah, IA 52101. Emailed/mailed logs must be received by Friday, February 10 to be considered for prizes.

The Final Mile Party scheduled for Sunday, February 12 will be held from 3:15-4:30 p.m. at West Side Elementary and Wayside Ice Skating Rink in Decorah. Participants can take part in a walk from West Side to Wayside for fun outdoor activities, games, snacks and raffle prizes. This party is free and open to everyone, even those who didn’t complete a marathon.

Participants can also strive to complete the ULTRA Marathon Challenge, seeing how many marathons they can complete during the program. By challenging themselves, they can try and fill as many logs as they can.

Complete one or more marathon mileage logs for a chance to win some great prizes. The more marathons completed, the more chances participants have to win. Prizes include a pair of snow shoes from Decorah Bicycles, free canoe/kayak rentals from Hutchinson Family Farm Campground, free camping at Lake Meyer from Winneshiek County Conservation, and free admission punch passes to the following: Cresco Fitness Center, Decorah Public Swimming Pool, Northeast Iowa YMCA and Waukon Wellness Center.

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