Monday, October 20, 2014

Running All the Minnesota Marathons

Running the Mankato Marathon brought me one step closer to one of my lifetime goals – running every marathon in Minnesota.  This is an elusive goal, because the finish line keeps moving.  In fact, I thought I already finished this one.

In 1993, I ran every Minnesota marathon in the same year – all three of them.  At the time, the only marathons in Minnesota were Grandma’s, Twin Cities and Walker/North Country.  Since then, several new marathons have popped up.  There are now more than a dozen marathons in Minnesota.

The Twin Cities Marathon was my first marathon in 1983.  Since then, I’ve done it 10 additional times.  Grandma’s Marathon was my second marathon in 1984.  I had my PR there in 1992.  Altogether, I’ve done it five times.  I first ran the Walker/North Country Marathon in 1993.  It was the first time I did a marathon that included trails.  I’ve done it two more times since.

I ran the Zoom! Yah! Yah! Indoor Marathon in 2012, 2013 and 2014.  In 2013, I added the Lake Wobegon Trail Marathon in St. Joseph and the Minneapolis Marathon.  This year, I added the Run for the Lakes Marathon in Nisswa and the Mankato Marathon.

Conspicuous by its absence is the Med-City Marathon.  This race in Rochester has been held on Memorial Day weekend for 19 years.  I’d love to do this race, but it always conflicts with another race.  This year, I was resting for an all-out effort at the Comrades Marathon in South Africa.  I plan to do the same thing next year.

Other Minnesota marathons I’ve never done include the Eugene Curnow Marathon in Carlton, the Moose Mountain Marathon in Lutsen, the Bemidji Blue Ox Marathon and the Urban Trail Marathon in St. Paul.

Besides those five, there may be two more next year.  Mainly Marathons is adding a Minnesota race to their Heartland Series.  I’ve also heard a rumor that the Stillwater Marathon is going to make a comeback.  If so, that would make seven Minnesota marathons that I’ve never done.

That doesn’t include ultras.  I don’t even know how many ultras there are in Minnesota.  If you include all the different distances offered at some races, they might outnumber the marathons.  For now, I’m only planning to do the marathons, but it’s a daunting task.  Because of schedule conflicts, I’m only managing to add one or two races a year.  At that rate, I’m barely keeping up with the new races.

I’m not in a rush.  After all, I already finished this goal once.  Even if I cleared my schedule to do them all in 2015, there would probably be another new race in 2016.  This may be a never-ending journey.  If so, that’s OK.  Sometimes the journey is more important than arriving at a destination.


  1. Wow! Which was your favorite? I've run many mn marathons: mpls, TCM, grandmas, mankato, med city, Stillwater, lake Wobegon and Mpls.

    1. My favorite Minnesota marathon is Twin Cities, but I also love Grandma's and the FANS 24-Hour run in Minneapolis.