35 Reasons to Run the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon
2016 marks the 35th anniversary of the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon, the origins of which can be traced back to 1963. Back then, 5 runners registered for the first “Land of Lakes Marathon.” It wasn’t until 1982 that Minneapolis and St. Paul joined forces to create what we now know as the Twin Cities Marathon.
It’s pretty amazing that 35 years later, over 213,000 people have crossed the iconic finish line near the Minnesota state capitol. Even more impressive are the 27 people who have run every single one of those marathons. When I talked with a few of the Charter Club Members last year, they all had different reasons to continue running the race. Some have run dozens of other marathons, but keep coming back to TCM because it’s simply, “the best!”
I’ve had the honor of running the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon four times myself and it never gets old. In fact, the race seems to keep getting better. The last time I ran it in 2014, I set my marathon PR (3:09), qualified for Boston, and had many moments of near tears as I saw various friends and family throughout the course.
To honor 35 amazing years of the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon, below are 35 reasons to run in 2016. (Tip: register by June 20th before the next price increase to get the best price!)
If you’re worried or intimidated about training for a full marathon, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Not only is there plenty of time to get marathon ready before the October 9 race, but if you join our fall marathon training team, we’ll make sure you’re as prepared as possible at the starting line.
35 Reasons to Run the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon in 2016
- The course is absolutely stunning. Yeah, yeah, I know that this gets thrown around a lot, but seriously, it is. If you live in Minneapolis/St. Paul, you probably take it for granted. Run any other marathon and you’ll understand.
- Speaking of the course, there is quite a bit of variety through downtown, around the 11 miles of lake and river shoreline, and up Summit Avenue (no long boring roads).
- Oh, did we mention runners get to run along the iconic Mississippi River?
- Finishers receive a Brooks® long-sleeve technical shirt that’s actually pretty great. I have four of them from past marathons that I wear all the time.
- There is an extra cool finisher medal to commemorate the anniversary. Fun Fact: they use over 6,000 yards of ribbon to create these!
- The course is USATF-certified and a Boston Marathon qualifier.
- FREE Avtex AthleteTracker, a state of the art tracking service so friends and family can monitor your race, is used for the marathon and TC 10 mile events. It’s the same system NASA uses to track satellites…maybe.
- The timing system is also beyond state of the art. Results are posted online immediately after finishing, similar to MLB Statcast technology.
- The Health & Fitness Expo is actually worth attending. 120 vendors selling and sharing all sorts of interesting gear, plus world class speakers sharing years of running wisdom. Tip: Be sure to checkout the elite athlete press conference on Friday, October 7.
- TONS of great crowd support. Race organizers estimate there are over 300,000 people who come out to spectate – that’s more than the entire population of St. Paul!
- And… friends and family will have a blast spectating (and an easy time finding you at multiple points on the course).
- The Clif Bar Pace Team is on hand to help you reach your goals. Definitely a big help if you have a specific time in mind.
- Delicious finish line food (if you can stomach eating). Hot chicken or veggie broth (540 gallons of it), Pearson’s Salted Nut rolls, Old Dutch Potato Chips, Caribou Coffee and much more. (Cross your fingers for Bogart’s Doughnuts, too.)
- And of course, there’s beer (If you’re 21 and over). Finishers receive a delicious can of local Summit beer which, as everyone knows, is the perfect marathon recovery drink.
- Complimentary post-race massages in a heated tent from one of 60 massage therapists who don’t mind how bad you smell.
- Celebrities on the course! There is a former Minnesota Viking, and Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Alan Page who serenades marathoners on his tuba. Now that’s just cool.
- And this guy, too…
- It’s the most well organized marathon you will ever run! Twin Cities In Motion is the world’s premier race organization (our words not theirs, but it’s true). You can expect all organizational efforts to be flawless, thanks to the 5,000+ volunteers and 19 full time staff.
- Race permits have been secured so you can guarantee your marathon won’t be canceled unless there is an act of God, and even that is unlikely. (Race day weather is typically chilly and sunny, perfect for a PR.)
- A portion of your race entry helps to fund local youth and professional athletes. TCM helps raise more than $950,000 every year through their charity partners.
- A REALLY helpful online race guide with oodles of useful information right down to what flavor sports drink they will be serving at the aid stations (Mountain Berry Blast Powerade).
- Easy to find aid stations and mile markers with humongous labeled flags. This might seem like something all races should have, but trust me, they don’t.
- Speaking of aid stations, there are 14 of them along the course. You’ll find them at miles 2.5, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13.1, 15, 17, 19.1, 20.6, 22, 23, 24 and 25. That’s more than one every other mile.
- TCM rents 535+ porta potties for the weekend. That’s roughly 20 per mile (to be fair, most are at the start and finish areas).
- Reliable sweats check at the start of the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon, and an even smoother sweats return. (UPS transports all of your items via police escort to the finish!) There are even changing tents in the finisher area – perfect for getting into some warm post-race clothes.
- Organizers donate all discarded clothing to charity. Bring an old sweatshirt and sweatpants to wear to the start line (trust me, it can be cold). Then, discard knowing that it’s going to someone in need.
- Nearly 20 miles worth of Heatsheets to keep you warm after your race. Fun tip: save it and use for camping or for wearing to the start of your next race!
- A really large, really convenient grassy area for meeting your family at the finish line (sponsored by Old Dutch potato chip people).
- The course is both challenging and fast, with several hills. The biggest hill comes at a less than ideal time (mile 21), but if you’re prepared, it’s no big deal.
- Right when you’re about to hit the proverbial marathon wall, there is a huge, literal (and inflatable) wall at mile 20 to remind you that you’re about to die…or not.
- It’s an easy destination race. If you’re not from the Twin Cities, flights into Minneapolis are relatively inexpensive, and hotel accommodations are plentiful and reasonable. Plus there are tons of things to do once you get to MSP (after your race of course).
- If you’re a first time marathoner, you won’t be alone. Over 30% of the race field are first timers.
- 13% of the field qualifies for the Boston Marathon. After running a sub-4:20 marathon back in 2008, I qualified for Boston at TCM in 2014!
- This year, you’ll get to see the new Vikings stadium and Minnesota State capitol up close and personal.
- FREE Transportation to and from the race is super easy with the light rail public transportation system and race day shuttles.
Register TODAY for the 35th anniversary of the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon!
What Else is great about TCM?
What are some of the reasons you love the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon? Share below.