Thursday, November 12, 2009

A marathon through Mankato

Runners of Mankato rejoice, a marathon is coming to your backyard next fall!

The Greater Mankato Growth Convention and Visitors Bureau announced Thursday that it will be hosting the inaugural Mankato Marathon on Oct. 23 in 2010. Although the marathon is still largely in the planning stages and the race's website is currently under construction, here is what we know so far:

  • The event is scheduled to have full marathon, half marathon and 10K racing options. There will also be an expo, kid's run and pasta feed the night before.
  • The marathon course is still awaiting approval, but the proposed route is to start up at MSU's campus and end down at the City Center. A coworker suggested the course follow the same path as the now-defunct Nature Valley Grand Prix cycling race, which included four trips up Main Street hill to finish the race. For the sake of all runners and medical staff involved, let's hope the course follows a different path.
  • Race coordinators are hoping to draw between 400-500 runners for both the half marathon and full marathon, making it much more quaint than the 10,000 or so that turn out for the Grandma's in Duluth and the Minneapolis Marathon. However, if numbers hold true, it will still be considerably larger than my first marathon, which consisted of 180 runners on a bike trail mostly out in the country. There were points of that race where other runners weren't even within eyesight. Talk about lonely.
  • With the Twin Cities Marathon scheduled to take place Oct. 3, the Mankato race will be the last chance in 2010 for Minnesota runners to try for a qualifying time for Boston Marathon in 2011. Incidentally, the Des Moines Marathon is taking place Oct. 17.

As an avid runner, I couldn't be happier to have a marathon taking place so close to home. Road trips are fun and all, but it's nice to be able to come home to a hot shower and a hearty meal after a grueling race. It's also nice not having to crash on a friend's couch the night before the race.

I also think Mankato is a prime location to host a marathon. Mankato is a beautiful community for a race to run through, and the city's geography (read: hills) offers a welcome challenge to all participants. The city has had a lot of success with its annual triathlon and other smaller races in terms of drawing participants and presenting the community in a positive light; a marathon just seems like the next logical step.

I don't know about anybody else, but I've already got the date circled on my calendar. Whether you're running in the race or just coming out to watch it, it's going to be fun.

1 comment:

  1. This is Mark Bongers from Final Stretch, Inc. After many months of getting ready and organizing we have great news, The Mankato Marathon website is LIVE! Please go to for more information and to register!!!

    See you at the race!!! Mark Bongers