Why you Should Run the Inaugural Med City Fall Races
In the last few years, the half marathon has skyrocketed in popularity, becoming the most-finished running event in the U.S. So it’s no surprise that new races of that distance are popping up left and right. This spring, the Med City Marathon in Rochester celebrated its 25th anniversary. As a continuation of that momentous occasion, Med City is kicking off three fall races this year.
The half marathon is the marquee event, but there’s also a 10k and 5k on the same morning. “It’s only a couple weeks before Twin Cities Marathon, so this makes for a great training run with beautiful fall colors,” says race director Wally Arnold.
All three races will finish at Soldier Field park with post-race festivities to follow. “There’ll be a photo booth at the finish, and there will be dress-up props available for those that want to,” Arnold says. Runners who completed a Memorial Day weekend Med City event will also receive a commemorative race series medal.
All three courses are point to point with transportation provided from the finish to the start. Arnold says that’s what makes the 5k and 10k unique; usually those races are loop or out-and-back courses.
The half marathon starts on the tarmac at the Rochester International Airport. How cool is that? Arnold said that he approached officials at Signature Flight Services about using some of their parking spaces for the race. They were the ones who suggested using the tarmac and giving runners a unique experience. While it won’t be quite as posh as the days of yesteryear huddling in the Metrodome before the Twin Cities Marathon, runners will have access to a hangar for warmth and shelter before the start.
From there, runners will enjoy a tour of the southeast Minnesota countryside, followed by a 200 foot drop in elevation during miles 5 through 8. Then the course meanders through the Mayowood bike path, which wraps near the Mayo family’s historic estate. Runners then follow the course down the Zumbro River to the finish line at Soldiers Field, just outside of downtown.
The 10k course joins the half marathon course at mile 7, and follows that course all the way to the finish. The 5k course makes a quick loop and then joins the half marathon course at mile 11.
Easy Drive; Cheap Hotels
Rochester is only a 90 minute drive from the Twin Cities, and race-day packet pickup is available. Plus, the drive is the perfect opportunity to wake up before the race. If pre-dawn wakeup calls aren’t your cup of tea (or coffee), hotels are plentiful and inexpensive. Rochester boasts more than 5,000 hotel rooms at all price points, and many are vacant on the weekends when Mayo Clinic patients go home. The host hotel is only a few blocks from the finish, and is offering free late checkout for all runners.
The Best is Yet to Come
“The goal this year is to get the event off the ground and gauge interest,” Arnold says. “The trial and error this year will make next year’s event bigger and better.” Plans for the future include adding a slew of kids’ races and stretching the events across an entire weekend. Plus, when you get in on an event in its first year, you have an opportunity to become part of the charter club!
Are you planning to run in the inaugural Med City Fall Races? Half Marathon, 10k or 5k? Share in the comments below!