The 2020 Eau Claire Marathon will be run completely virtual due to COVID-19

The Eau Claire Marathon will be different this year, with the race going completely virtual due to COVID-19.

Those already registered who choose to sit this one out, will not be issued a refund.

Race organizers say like many other races, the Eau Claire Marathon has a strict "no refund" policy.

This is due to many of the expenses, such as medals, awards, permits and donations having to be paid out months ahead of the race.

They are offering a $21 credit for next year's marathon for those who don't want to run it virtually, and say they have been trying to figure out how to give runners options.

"We wanted to do offer something," said race director Emi Uelmen. "So, you can either run with us virtually, you could transfer it to somebody else. We did a partial credit toward next year. Or if somebody can't run, doesn't want to run, and wants to just give it as a donation we'll give it to one of those charity groups."

However, some runners feel if the race isn't happening in-person, they should have the option of getting their money back.

"What they're selling is the experience, not just running outside. That's free all the time," said Jillian Erickson, an Eau Claire native and long-standing marathon participate. "Those who chose to forgo the marathon this year should be reimbursed."

One other downside to a virtual race - Uelmen said that this year's virtual race will not be a qualifier for the Boston Marathon.

posted Thursday July 16th
by Rebecca Fiala