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Wisconsin > Louella Blackdeer Half Marathon, 10K & 5K
Black River Falls, WI  •  Saturday, September 1, 2012  •  Course Map

Nestled along the Black River that winds through this section of central Wisconsin like a ribbon laid out upon the ground, and feeds into the mighty Mississippi River further south, the small city of Black River Falls plays host each May to the annual running of the Louella Blackdeer Half Marathon, 10K and 5K, a race run in honor of a local high school student who had discovered the joy of running not long before her life was unfortunately cut short.

Killed by a drunk driver along with three of her friends in 2000, Louella's life has since served as an inspiration to her friends and family, whose support has been instrumental in organizing what is now the annual race in her honor. Featuring a 13.1-mile race as well as a 10K and 5K -- Louella herself had run the 1999 Honolulu Marathon in Hawaii, which she described as the first of what would be many races -- the race takes runners along the country roads just to the northeast of Black River Falls.

Known for its plentiful opportunities for outdoor recreation in both the warm and cold weather months -- the area is a favorite of snowmobilers and skiers as well as hunters and hikers, thanks to its more than 200,000 acres of public lands spread out among the rolling hills here -- Black River Falls also is the home of the Bauer Brockway Barrens State Natural Area, a 240-acre park along Bauer Road that runners will pass both on the way out and on the way back in along the 13.1-mile route.

Runners in the half marathon -- like those in both the 10K and 5K -- follow an out-and-back course for the race that starts and finishes at the intersection of Brockway Road and Highway 54. From there, runners make what is essentially a backwards "L" route, heading first down Brockway Road to the intersection with West Bauer Road, where they turn right and head westward toward Black River Falls.

Just before they make it all the way into town, runners then turn right again on Red Iron Road, and then head north along Red Iron to where the course meets up with the Ho-Chunk Nation fitness trail, named for the Native American tribe that calls this area home. Once runners make their way up and around the trail and head back to Red Iron, they then follow the route they've just run in reverse, all the way back to the starting line for the race finish.

The area through which the route takes runners is filled with the scenery and natural diversity -- including wetlands and pine barren habitat -- that are especially significant to Louella's family, and offer runners a chance to take in the culture of the local area and be inspired by the same natural beauty that inspired Louella Blackdeer during her life as they complete the race.

Race Weather & Climate

Located in central western Wisconsin, nearly 130 miles northwest of Madison and just over 130 miles southeast of St. Paul, Minn., Black River Falls typically sees mild to moderately warm weather in September, when the city's average monthly temperatures range between 71°F and 45°F. On the day of the race (Sept. 1), the average high is 75°F and the average low is 50°F, while rainfall totals average just over 3.5 inches for the month.

Course Map

View the race route map for the Louella Blackdeer Half Marathon




To reserve your spot in the Labor Day weekend 2012 running of Black River Falls's Louella Blackdeer Fun Run Half Marathon, 10K or 5K, visit the event website.

Official Race Website


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SEE ALSO: 12-, 16- and 20-Week Half Marathon Training Plans
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