As the weather warms up and the snow starts to melt, runners are leaving the confined gyms they’ve been in all winter and are taking the first steps of the season outdoors. If you’re a runner, here are some of the top events coming up this year. Mark your calendar, get a training plan in place, lace up your shoes and start running!
This is the 39th annual Fools Five, which dominates the town of Lewiston (26 miles east of Rochester) for three days each April. Technically, this year it starts in March, on the 31, with silent and live auctions (the Fools Five is a benefit for cancer research).
Race registration and packet pickup begins Saturday afternoon, and there’s a church fellowship service that evening. The running begins at 1 p.m. Sunday. There are 1-mile and 8K runs.
The Med City has become a two-day affair. On Saturday, May 27, a fitness expo runs from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The afternoon is full of a variety of events for all ages: kids’ marathon, “diaper dash” and “toddler trot,” mascot races, a family walk and then a competitive 5K run/walk.
Oh, there’s a happy hour with free beer for those with wristbands (which can be picked up at the expo). The heavy running the following morning: marathon, half marathon and 20-mile. And a post-race party with music and beer.
Hal Martin All-Comers meets
For the 47th year, the all-comers meets will be held in Rochester.
They run four Tuesdays: June 6 and 13 and July 11 and 18. Start time is 6 p.m. They’re back at Soldiers Field because the three high school tracks are all being resurfaced this summer; the plan is for the series to return to John Marshall in 2018 and have six meets.
They’re sponsored by the Rochester Track Club; check their website for more details as the first meet in the series gets closer.
This is obviously not an area event; the finish line is in Duluth, 220 miles from Rochester. But last year, 114 Rochester runners and more than 80 from the rest of southeastern Minnesota were among the 7,518 finishers of the full marathon.
The 40th annual Grandma’s Marathon is on June 18. There are related events, including a 5K run on June 17 and a half marathon on the 18th.
This event will be a part of the Rochesterfest Parade this year. The mile will be run before the parade, on the parade route, on Saturday, June 24 at about 1:30 p.m. (parade is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.).
This is among the very few races for women only, so it is unique and attractive to female runners. It is a 4-mile race, run twice around Silver Lake, on Saturday, July 22.
On Aug. 26, runners will hit a 13.1-mile course that begins at the Peace Plaza in downtown Rochester and runs through the Mayo Clinic campus before transitioning to bike paths and running trails adjacent to Cascade Creek, Cascade Lake, Bamber Lake, Bear Creek and the Zumbro River. A two-person relay option is offered. There will also be a 5K related event.
A 5K will be held at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 16, with the 10K and half marathon the next morning. The half starts at the Rochester Airport. It’s billed a “a quick half” that is “perfect to prepare for any of your longer fall runs.”
Sign up by July 1 for the lowest entry fees ($50 for the half, $35 for the 5 or 10K).
The 36th running of the Most Beautiful Urban Marathon in America (a title marathon organizers have trademarked) is slated for Sunday, Oct. 1.
“With mile after mile of parkways, lakes, rivers and tree-lined boulevards, the scenery can’t be beat,” the event’s website says. “Add 300,000 screaming fans, ten Cheer Zones, over a dozen course entertainment acts, and you’ve got an experience that you’ll never forget.”
For details or to sign up, go to tcmevents.org. You’ll note that the full marathon fee goes up $25 after April 19 (from $125 to $150).