Explore Minnesota Running Challenge
From the frigid waters of the north shore, to the golden prairies of the southwest… the hustle and bustle of the theaters, restaurants and arts of Minneapolis-St. Paul, or the seclusion of the BWCA, there is much our grand state has to offer. As the 12 largest by land area, there are many things to do and see.
As a runner, I’m often drawn to racing in new places. To see new things and experience new courses. Sure, I have favorite races close to home, but it’s an adventure to get out and experience something different from the norm. Similar to the Minnesota Running Series, the Explore Minnesota Challenge can help you see parts of the state you didn’t know existed.
What is the Explore Minnesota Challenge?
For the second year in a row, Anderson Race Management, Explore Minnesota Tourism and the Minnesota Distance Running Association have teamed up for the Explore Minnesota Challenge. This running series encourages individuals to participate in a variety of running, walking, biking and triathlon events around the state. With more than 25 races, there’s something to keep you busy year round.
John Edman, Tourism Director of Explore Minnesota said,
Minnesota is well positioned for active travel. The Explore Minnesota Challenge is a great way to visit all parts of Minnesota while staying ﬁt along the way.
As the fifth healthiest state in the country, we’re a group who enjoys being active.
Tourism is an $11.3 billion industry in Minnesota. The leisure and hospitality industry employs more than 235,000 people, representing 11% of private sector employment. Leisure and hospitality also generates 17% of state sales tax revenues. That helps all of us.
Benefits of the Challenge
By participating in the Explore Minnesota Challenge, you’ll get a pin for running in each of the regions you finish a race in. If you complete five or more events (one in each region) you get a special medal! This is in addition to whatever other swag the race gives out. You’ll also receive membership in the Minnesota Distance Running Association and a starter kit. Second year participants receive a registration discount. Register today!
List of Explore Minnesota Challenge Races
For runners, the Explore Minnesota Challenge is a way to discover races you never knew existed. Get away for a long weekend with friends or family. Throw in a race on the side and everybody is happy. Here are some of the races (all races subject to change).
- January 26 – Securian Winter Run – Half Marathon, 10k, 5k – Metro
- March 16 – Shamrock Shuffle – Bemidji – Northern
- March 23 – Return of the Robin, 5k – Rochester – Southern
- April 7 – Fools Five Road Race, 8k – Lewiston – Southern
- April 12-13-Zumbro Trail Run – Zumbrota – Southern
- April 21 – Get Your Rear in Gear, 5k – Minneapolis – Metro
- May 4 – From the Heart Half Marathon and 5K – Owatonna – Southern
- May 18 – Autism 5K – Minneapolis – Metro
- May 18 – Superior Trail Run – Duluth – Northern
- June 15 – Hutchinson Water Carnival, 8k, 5k – Central
- June 15 – Trail Blazer 5K, 10K – St Michael – Central
- June 22 – Peace in the Woods 5K – Cold Spring – Central
- June 22 – Get Your Rear in Gear, 5k – Rochester – Southern
- June 23 – St. James Triathlon, St. James – Southern
- July 4th – Sawdust 5k, Cloquet – Northern
- July 13 – Madelia River Run, 5k – Madelia – Southern
- July 27 – Run for Blood 1/4 Marathon and 5K, Minneapolis – Metro
- August 17 – Strive Wellness Run, 4mi – Southern
- August 16-17 – Ragnar Relay – Great River, Winona to Minneapolis – Southern
- Sept. 6-7 – North Shore Trail Run – Lutsen – Northern
- September 28 – Lupus Walk for Hope and 5K Run – Rochester – Southern
- September 28 – Dash for Dads, 5k – St Cloud – Central
- October 5 – Lupus Walk for Hope and 5K Run – Duluth – Northern
- October 12 – Scenic Byway Half Marathon and 5K – Belle Plaine – Southern
- October 19 – CNHS Boo Run – St Paul – Metro
- October19 – Warrior Waddle, 5k – Winona – Southern
- October. 27 – Spooky Sprint, 5k – Hutchinson – Central
Question: How many races do you plan to do this year? Will you utilize the Explore Minnesota Challenge to reach your goals?