4 Spring Half Marathons to Help you Forget Winter
Spring signals that winter has released its relenting grip on our lives. While there is still plenty of snow on the ground, anything above freezing feels tropical. When it reaches 45… time to hit the lakes and break open a Honey Weiss and SPF50.
A spring half marathon is a great way to gauge your fitness after your winter of treadmill runs and ice impeded base building. If you’re not already signed up for one, here are four half marathons in Minnesota you may consider. Unless you’ve completely taken the winter off, you have time to get in shape to finish the 13.1 mile race.
Earth Day Half Marathon – April 19th
The Earth Day Half Marathon is the earliest race on the list. With over 3,000 runners in all events, you’ll need to register quick if you’re thinking about running.
One of our writers, Jennifer, knows the course well, and says,
…it’s the greatest mix of terrain you’ll find. Between the city streets, neighborhood blocks, grassy stroll through Riverside Park, a tour of St. Cloud State University sidewalks, and paved trails along the Mississippi River – the course has something for everyone!
Wells Fargo Lake Minnetonka Half Marathon – May 4th
Now in it’s 34th year, The Lake Minnetonka Half Marathon has been by my winter busting race of choice since 2008. Last year it was one of my fastest half marathons. While the weather can be unpredictable, and the hills and winds unrelenting, it’s still a gorgeous race. You’ll find lots of flats as well as rolling hills and a strong finish with a slight downhill the last 1/4 mile.
If you’re one of the 3,000+ runners, you’ll be treated to views of humongous homes and hidden bays as you snake your way around Lake Minnetonka from Wayzata to Excelsior. Buses are provided to get you back to the start (highly recommended – traffic is brutal on those single lane roads). They also host a kids run near the finish area with 50+ tiny runners.
According to Marilyn Franzen of Podium Sports (race organizer),
For many years it was nick-named the EZ race. Prior to Wells Fargo, the bank was Norwest and prior to that it was the “Easy Bank”, thus the EZ Race!
Doubtful you’ll find it “easy”. Register now!
Run New Prague Half Marathon – May 10th
Now in it’s 29th year, the New Prague Half Marathon, 10K, 5K and Kids Fun Run is just an hour outside the Twin Cities. Debbie Kalousek, Executive Director at the New Prague Chamber of Commerce said,
We were one of the first races in the area many years ago. The race has continued to grow over the years and has become an event runners look forward to each year.
The race has around 1,400 runners between all of the events. Last year there were around 320 finishers in the half marathon. If you’re looking to place high, this could be your race!
The half marathon is on paved roads with “moderately hilly stretches as well as plenty of flat spells” according to Kalousek. Looking at the course map, it’s a big rectangle. The start and finish are at Memorial Park near the New Prague Golf Club.
Med City Half Marathon – May 26th
The Med City Half Marathon in Rochester is a fun filled family event. With over 800 kids “competing” in various age appropriate races (toddler trot, diaper dash and kids marathon), it’s fun for all.
According to Wally Arnold, race founder with wife Peg,
There’s free beer Saturday after the 5k and post race Sunday and live music. We have a 4 person relay with 100 teams that fills every year. We’re a very runner friendly event!
Now in it’s 19th year, they expect 1,500 runners in the half, and 700 in the full marathon. There is also a 20 miler. Runners are shuttled to the start in Byron. The first 5 miles are rolling hills, then the rest of the course is flat and scenic alongside several rivers, creeks and some wooded areas.
The also have a full marathon, but unless you’ve been training, you really don’t have enough time to finish well. Register for the Med City Half Marathon and enjoy a well organized, family race.
Are you Running a Spring Half Marathon?
Leave us a comment and tell us about your half marathon plans (or just your next race in general)!