4 Spring Half Marathons in Minnesota
In the past, when I saw Minnesotans running outside during the cold, windy, and icy months, I automatically categorized them as crazy. It wasn’t until my friend encouraged me to sign-up for Grandma’s Half-Marathon last year, which takes place in June that I became “a crazy one”.
I knew I couldn’t stop training during the winter months and be ready by June to run 13.1 miles. As a result, I ran outside despite the freezing wind-chill and little sun.
Ever since Grandma’s Half-Marathon, my goal is to run a half-marathon every spring. I find that setting a short-term goal and paying the race fees before the snow, puts pressure on me to stay active during the winter season.
I have now run quite a few half-marathons, and this year, I wanted to do one I have never done before. Using our Minneapolis Running Race Calendar, I researched half-marathons that take place this spring. I was determined to find one that was unique, has runners of all abilities and disciplines, and just plain fun!
Through my research I found a few fun races that you might also want to consider.
Ham Run Half Marathon – Saturday, May 2
Imagine a run where cell phones won’t ring and distant traffic can’t be heard. The beauty of the wilderness surrounds you as this race follows the National Scenic Byway that winds its way through the Superior National Forest on the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. You may even run across a moose, see eagles, or hear loons calling in the distance. Ham Run Half-Marathon ends with the appropriate food selection of ham and fixings.
Lake Minnetonka Half Marathon– Sunday, May 3
The Wells Fargo Lake Minnetonka Half Marathon features a beautiful race route starting in downtown Wayzata and ending at Commons Park in Excelsior. Race along Lake Minnetonka with stunning lake views, and finish with a medallion and performance t-shirt. Plus, it has an impressive and detailed website has all the answers to your questions to make race day go smoothly.
Run & Ride Half Marathon @ Valleyfair – Sunday, May 17
This is the first year of the Run & Ride at Valleyfair. As the names suggests, you run (half marathon, 10k, 5k or 1 mile) the ride the rides! They are expecting 300 for each distance. Margo Harris, the Director Communications for the series says,
The cool thing about this race series is that participants get to run around [the park], under coasters, through animated dinosaurs, and past flowing fountains and Snoopy characters, before park-goers get to enter the gates. We’ll have some of the major rides running to set the behind-the-scenes feel and theme-park characters out to cheer participants on.
Finishers get a t-shirt, a distinct medal, AND park tickets! Half marathon participants receive a 3-day weekend pass on the race weekend; 10K and 5K participants receive park admission from 1 day of the race weekend; and 1-mile participants, family, and friends receive a deep discount of park admission.
Sour Grapes Half and Half Trail Run – June 13
Sour Grapes half & half run has an interesting history. It started in 2001, because a group of runners were unable to secure a spot in the Grandma’s Marathon for that year. It is now on its 14th year! The race takes place at the heart of the lakes country in Brainerd/Baxter, and the proceeds from the event are donated to the Northland Arboretum, a non-profit organization.
What’s your running motivation this winter?