What Makes the Med City Marathon Great?
Rochester’s premier spring running event, the Med City Marathon, is fast approaching on Sunday, May 26th. This classic Minnesota race is a favorite among runners for many reasons, and now in its 22nd year, it’s better than ever!
Since 1996, the Med City Marathon has been providing a high quality, fun and energetic event in Rochester, Minnesota. In fact, in 2016, the Med City Half Marathon was voted one of the top 2 half marathons in Minnesota by the 100 Half Marathons Club members! We’ve covered the many wonderful things about the Med City Marathon in the past which got us thinking….
What is it that makes a race great? Is it a fast course? Festivities at the finish line? Or the spectators along the way?
What Makes a Great Race?
Simple Race Day Logistics
A great race weekend is a stress-free race weekend! Whether you’re a local to Rochester or not, the Med City Marathon makes race weekend simple and stress-free for runners and spectators alike. From the incredible host hotel and accommodations to the ease of race day transportation, the organizers of the Med City Marathon know their stuff!
Fantastic Host Hotel
The Centerstone Plaza Hotel Soldiers Field/Mayo Clinic Area is offering a special rate of $72 to all participants. Plus, runners will receive a few special accommodations including an early, complimentary breakfast on race day, complimentary late check out, and free shuttle service to the Med City Marathon start line buses AND free pick up to bring you back to the hotel after your race. These amenities are unheard of for many marathons and only available at Med City!
Free Race Transportation
Runners are required to get dropped off at the start line or take the race shuttles, but don’t worry because the folks at the Med City Marathon make everything easy!
On the morning of the race, buses take runners from the corner of 1st Street SE and 1st Avenue SE in Rochester (1 block west of the Mayo Civic Center) to the start line at Byron Intermediate School from 5:20 a.m. until 6:25 a.m. Note: the shuttle buses will not return to the Finish Line after the race begins.
Plus, numerous parking ramps and public lots are available within a few block radius of the finish line. Free ramps are available on 1st Street and 2nd Street.
A Perfect Race Course
To many runners, a perfect race course is one that is flat, fast, scenic, chip-timed, and USATF certified (for those BQs!) For you, the Med City Marathon truly is perfect!
The Med City Course
The Med City Marathon course offers runners a taste of the many great parks and trail systems of Rochester (plus, it’s chip-timed and certified!) Starting in Byron, Minnesota, about 8 miles from Rochester, runners travel for seven miles along the rolling hills of Country Club Road. Once runners hit the city of Rochester, the course flattens out and takes them through Cascade Lake Park, Kutzky Park, the Silver Lake area, and Quarry Hill Park. At this point, the half marathon turns off to the finish line and marathoners and 20 milers turn south towards Bear Creek for a flat and fast second half. Runners then follow trails into the Mayowood Trail system which takes them along the beautiful and scenic Zumbro River before turning back towards downtown to the finish.
Regardless of which race distance you run, the Med City Marathon offers a wonderful blend of rural area, scenic beauty, and city streets; perfect for everyone!
Designed For Runners by Runners
Ever run a race designed by non-runners? The course might loop in odd ways, the finish line might run out of snacks, and forget about transferring your bib if you get injured. You won’t find any of these issues at the Med City Marathon where the entire race experience has been created by fellow runners!
“We have always tried to provide a race that I would have loved to run,” says Wally Arnold, the race founder.
And who wouldn’t want to run a race that rewards you for referring friends and allows you to transfer bibs or switch distances if training doesn’t go as planned?
When you register for a Final Stretch event you will receive a unique referral link to share with friends! This link earns you $5 back for every person that registers using your unique code! Talk about a race that pays!
Transfer or Switch Races
Calendar mishap, injury, or lack of fitness? You won’t lose any race registration fees at the Med City Marathon! Registration can be transferred to another participant up to one week before race day for a $15 transfer fee along with any event price difference. Runners can also change their event distance online up to one week before race day for a $5 switching fee along with any event price differences. If you miss the deadline for switching distances, you can change your distance at packet pick up for a $10 fee.
Fun for Everyone
Last but not least, a great race is one that offers fun for the whole family, and there’s no shortage of fun events at the Med City Marathon!
A Race for All Runners
Regardless of your preferred race distance, there’s something for everyone at the Med City Marathon. Choose from the 5K, Half Marathon, 20 Mile, Marathon, Marathon Relay, Ronald McDonald House Walk, and Kids Run. No matter your age or pace, there’s a race for you in Rochester!
Family Friendly Post-Race Party
After the race, sit back and enjoy the post-race festivities at the Mayo Civic Center including a kid’s play zone (complete with bounce house and games) and live music from the band Night Shift!
Are You Running the 2018 Med City Marathon?
So many things make the Med City Marathon great! Are you running in 2018?