3 Interesting Minnesota Summer Half Marathons
I’m a huge fan of summer half marathons. For starters, summer is a tremendous time to run; The weather is great (I love the heat), there’s plenty of daylight, and schedules are usually a bit more relaxed. You do have to be mindful of any summer vacations, but if that’s the worst of your problems, you’re doing O.K..
If you’ve run through winter and spring, your fitness should be ready to shoot for a PR with a little effort. If you have your sights set on a fall marathon or other goal, use a summer half marathon as a long training run.
On multiple occasions, I’ve used the Red, White & Boom! and Urban Wildland half marathons (two of my all time favorites) as fast tempo runs. For me, they fit perfectly into my training cycle en route to a fall marathon. A summer half also provides an opportunity to test your race day gear, fuel, or other race day plans that are difficult to simulate in training.
Below are a few summer half marathons in Minnesota worthy of your race plans. There is also a master list of races at the bottom of the page. Find one, sign up, and have a blast this summer!
Minnesota Nut House Challenge – July 8-10, 2016
If you’re looking for something a little different this summer, the Minnesota Nut House Challenge in Rochester could be for you. From July 8-10, 2016, the good folks at Triton Events invite you to participate in a 5k, 10k and half marathon over the course of one weekend. Each race is chip timed, and overall cumulative finishing times are gathered at the completion of the last race. There’s also a Half Cracked Challenge, for runners wanting to run only the 5k and 10k. Register for one, two, or all three races.
Proceeds from the event go towards Inheritance of Hope, a non-profit organization that “inspires hope in young families facing the loss of a parent.” Since 2008, families from 38 states have attended life-changing Legacy Retreats®, all-expense paid experiences where families can create lifelong memories while receiving tools to navigate the challenges of terminal illness.
In 2016, Thatcher Pools and Spas, the presenting sponsor, will bring a massive above ground pool for runners to cool off after each race. Grand Round Brew Pub is also supporting the event, and will supply different tasty beers each day.
- Date: July 8, 9, 10, 2016
- Location: Rochester, MN
- Cost: 5K, $30, 10K, $40, Half Marathon, $55. Register for the 5K and 10K (Half Cracked) for $60, or the Totally Nuts for $115. Prices go up June 1. Use code TEAMIOH at registration for 10% off.
Treasured Haven Veggie Trail Half Marathon – August 14, 2016
The Treasured Haven Veggie Trail Half Marathon and half-half marathon (6.55 miles) is located in Rush City, about an hour north of The Twin Cities. This is a relatively small event, but participants enjoy its quiet and peaceful atmosphere. Various finisher awards are given for the half marathon, as well as awards for top overall winners.
This course is completely off-road, aside from a single road crossing. The route runs all over the Treasured Haven Farm, which includes ravines, hills, woodlands and beautiful grassy fields. According to race organizers, the course is both “challenging and beautiful.”
If you’re a spectator, this course is particularly awesome; runners visit one central water stop from multiple directions, several times throughout the race. They even let you use your own water bottle at the water stop, just like the pros!
You can also create a team and host a friendly competition with your peers.
- Date: Sunday, August 14, 2016 – 8:30 am
- Location: Treasured Haven Farm, Rush City, MN
- Cost: 1/2 half, $20, half marathon, $32.50. Prices go up May 28.
St. Paul Trail Marathon – August 20, 2016
This one has it all: 26.2, 13.1, and 10K, in addition to a marathon relay. The St. Paul Trail Marathon, located in Battle Creek Park just east of St. Paul, is a blend of urban and rural. According to race organizers, “The course starts at the trails of Battle Creek Regional Park, winds it’s way down to the Mississippi, climbs the bluffs and showcases beautiful vistas of the capital city.”
Andrew Poffenberger, Executive Director at Endurance United, says,
Most of the parks that we run through are generally underutilized and unknown to many of the participants… This isn’t your average pancake flat race around the lakes or slogging your way through a man made mud pit.The course is definitely challenging! Expect paved trails, unpaved trails, ski trails, mountain bike trails and a few “secret back-woods foot paths.” Race organizers say there is loose footing, steep downhills and some stuff you’ll need to climb over (logs and stairs). If you really want to challenge and push your limits, this is your race!
- Date: August 20, 2016
- Location: St. Paul, MN
- Cost: Marathon, $80, Half, $65, 10K, $45, Relay, $110. Prices go up August 1, 2016.
More Summer Half Marathons in Minnesota
Below are a plethora of other half marathons all over the state that may strike your fancy. You’ll see the next 15 listed, but click the date at the top for more races scheduled further out. As always, if you’re looking for some help training for a half marathon, download our free planwhen you join our email list.
Are you training for a summer half marathon? Which race are you running and how is training going?