Is this event for you?

We welcome full-time walkers (ordinary walkers, fitness walkers, power walkers, nordic walkers, race walkers, hikers), full-time wheelers (self-propelled and chairs with pushers), walk/runners, and even full-time runners.   

This event is targeted at athletes that would be in the middle to the back of the pack in a big city marathon. We start the slowest people first, and the fastest people last. Everyone is a first-class participant.

One unusual feature of this event is that we have a speed limit of 10:18 minutes per mile. Your result will show a minimum pace of 10:18/mile (with corresponding finish time). So, if you finish in 2:10:00 for the marathon, we will report it in the results as 4:30:00. We recommend that if you are fast, find another event.

For the marathon and the 50km, the time limit is 9 hours – from the 7am start to 4pm course close. That means you have to maintain a pace of about 20 min/mile for the marathon or 18 min/mile for 50km.

For the half marathon, the time limit is 8 hours – from the 8 am start to the 4 pm course close. That means you have to maintain a pace of about 36 min/mile.

For the 10km, the time limit is 7 hours – from the 9am start to the 4pm course close. That means you have to maintain a pace of about 67 min/mile.

Styles of Ambling

When you register, you must indicate your ambling style. You must use your selected style for the entire distance of your event. Here are the definitions of the ambling styles available in this year’s event:

Walking means that at least one foot appears to be touching the ground at all times. Strolling, hiking, fitness walking, power walking and ordinary walking all follow this rule, as do Nordic walking and race walking.

Nordic Walking means that you must walk and use one walking pole in each hand on every step.

Race Walking means that you must follow USA Track & Field rule 232.2: “[…] a progression of steps so taken that the [race] walker makes contact with the ground so that no visible (to the human eye) loss of contact occurs. The advancing leg must be straightened (i.e., not bent at the knee) from the moment of first contact with the ground until the leg is in the vertical upright position.”

Wheeling means you use a self-propelled non-electric wheel chair.

Riding means that you ride in a stroller or other wheeled conveyance propelled by others. A Rider must be a member of a team that has at least one pusher entered in the same distance as each Rider.

Mixture of Walking and Running means that you walk part of the time and run or jog part of the time. For more information on this style, check out the web site of Jeff Galloway, the inventor of the Galloway Run-Walk-Run method.

Running means that you are trying to have a flight phase (a brief time when neither foot is touching the ground). If you are entering this style, please remember that we have a speed limit of 10:18/mile. This speed limit is enforced when we publish results. If your time is faster than the speed limit, your finishing time is increased until you do not exceed the speed limit. Also, water stops may not be open as you will arrive before we are expecting you. Please respect the flavor of this event.


Create a team and commemorate your family group, your friends, or other collection of people that you talked into doing a marathon, half marathon or 50km with you. Each team member can enter the distance of their choice. Each team member is eligible for individual awards. A team finisher certificate is created for each team, giving the team name, and listing each finishing team members distance and time. This certificate is emailed to each team member. We encourage your team to take team pictures (before the race, at the start, during the race, and/or after the finish). We will include one or more of these pictures in the team section of the results.

Walking Judges

We have USA Track & Field certified walking judges on the
course. The walking judges are there to ensure that the styles of walking mean something, not to ask you to change how you walk.

If a walking judge sees anyone running, the judge moves them into the mixture of walking and running style. If a judge sees a Nordic walker carrying their poles instead of using them, the judge moves them to the walking style. If a judge sees a race walker violating the “straightened at the knee” rule, the judge moves them to the walking style.

Walking judges have no impact on someone entered in the Running style.

How slow can you go?

For the marathon and the 50km, the time limit is 9 hours – from the 7am start to 4pm course close. That means you have to maintain a pace of about 20 min/mile for the marathon or 18 min/mile for 50km.

For the half marathon, the time limit is 8 hours – from the 8 am start to the 4 pm course close. That means you have to maintain a pace of about 36 min/mile.

For the 10km, the time limit is 7 hours – from the 9am start to the 4pm course close. That means you have to maintain a pace of about 67 min/mile.

Water stops and Aid Stations are kept open for everyone. Please see the course description for locations.

How fast can you go?

We expect the first finishers to be no faster than 4:30:00 for the marathon, 2:15:00 for the half marathon and 5:30:00 for the 50km.

Please provide your estimated finish time.

We use these times to plan the opening times for the water stops.
If your expected finish time is faster than these times,  please consider another marathon instead.

If you have a Style of Walking of Walking, Race Walking or Nordic Walking, and are faster than these times, we will accommodate you by scheduling earlier opening times for the water stops. You have to e-mail us by Sept 1, asking for accommodation and giving your distance, expected time and walking style.

No Packet Pickup Friday

Packet pickup will only be available on Saturday morning at your designated time..

Packet Pickup Saturday

Enter the main entrance of the school (north side of the school) for Packet Pickup. You may pickup your may pickup your packet in the following time window:


Packet pickup is at Mayer Lutheran High School, 305 5th St NE, Mayer, MN 55360. Park in any space in the parking lot away from the start/finish line. Enter thru the north door (by the flag pole).

The earlier you pickup your packet, the more time you will have to complete your selected distance. Come at a time within the above window that is appropriate for your anticipated speed. The course closes at 4pm for all distances.

If you are part of a group that will be traveling together on the trail, your group can go thru packet pickup at the earliest time allowed for any group member. For instance if a 10k and a 50k person want to walk together they may both pickup their packets when the 50k person wishes, and then they can start together.

Race Start Times

The Start/Finish/Lap line is in the west parking lot, just south of the Mayer Lutheran High School school building. 

The Start line opens at 6:30am. Check with a race volunteer before starting to make sure that the timing system is operational before starting.

We use a continuous model for starting — no waiting around unless you want to wait. 

To start, just walk across the starting line, and follow the pink signs to the Dakota Rail Trail.


Please bring your cell phone and carry it with you.
While we don’t expect any emergencies, we realize they are by nature, unexpected. It is good to be ready. The course is through rural Minnesota. Often your only companions will be the soft rustle of the wind and other walkers and runners.

At race start, we will provide you with 2 cell phone numbers – one to contact race management and the second to contact the EMT service that is supporting our race. 911 is also available. If you are at an Aid Station, an Aid Station worker can make these calls for you, and can provide additional assistance.

In the event of an emergency, call 911. If you decide to drop out, please contact a water stop volunteer, Bruce Leasure (651-330-9355) or Dave Daubert (612-385-7617).

The EMTs covering the event are there to assist you with any medical issues you have. If you need help dealing with blisters, or the sun, or whatever, please ask them for assistance. They may also ask you about how you are feeling.

Each staffed water stop has a self-help first aid kit. band aids, sunscreen, vaseline, and other basics are in the kit. Ask the staff member at the water stop if you wish first aid supplies.

If you see anything of concern along the trail, or encounter an issue where you need assistance, please contact a staff member at one of the staffed water stops, or contact the race director, or contact the EMT, or in the event of an emergency, call 911.

The Weather

Who really knows what the weather will be! The weather in Minnesota is quite variable this time of year. The forecast may change by race time. Come prepared!

Check the local weather before you decide what to wear on race day.

The event is never postponed because of weather to another day. The start can be delayed if a line of severe storms comes thru. Each participant should make themselves aware of the predicted weather for the day and make appropriate decisions about what to do. You will be walking thru rural Minnesota, with sturdy shelter often a significant distance away.

You can switch from a longer distance to a shorter distance on race day if you are concerned about the weather (or for any other reason). We do not offer refunds for changing to a shorter distance.

If the weather is sufficiently bad in the morning, we may cancel one or more of the distances. We do not offer refunds in the event that we must cancel your distance because of weather.

We are very open about the decision making process regarding weather. If you see something of concern, please bring it to our attention. A lot of weather information is available to every smart phone user these days. We encourage you to take advantage of this information prior to the start, and during the event.

Health Warnings

We recommend sun block.

Remember to drink an appropriate amount of fluids for your body and level of effort. We have water stops every couple of miles that offer water and sports drink and something simple to eat.

Check for ticks after the race. If you stay on the asphalt path, you probably won’t get any. Ticks with Lyme disease are in Minnesota, so you can’t be too careful.

Saturday Morning Coffee

There will be coffee and pre packaged snacks at the meeting point at the Mayer Lutheran High School meeting point.

The Finish

All races will finish in Mayer, MN at the Mayer Lutheran High School


Every finisher will receive a We Walk! commemorative medal at the finish.

We give first, second, third place awards based on unique combinations of these four factors:

  1. Distance
  2. 5-year age group
  3. Sex
  4. Walking Style

These awards are given at the finish line, shortly after you finish.

Please check in with a finish line volunteer before leaving the finish line area.

Bib Numbers & Excess Clothing

Bib numbers should be placed on the front of the chest. This helps our water stop workers identify you as a part of the event, makes it possible for our photographers to identify you in the pictures, and makes it easier for our finish line crew to get the timing and the awards done quickly.

Participants in the 5k, 10k, marathon and 50k should adjust their clothing for the weather prior to proceeding to the start line on the trail. All races are out-and-back format courses, so you will finish at the place you started.

Participants in the half marathon, marathon and 50k will also be able to check clothing at the first water stop they encounter.

We provide a clear plastic bag and a copy of your bib number. You put the clothing you want to check into the clear plastic bag, make sure the correct bib number copy is in the bag, and tie the bag shut. Place the bag in the blue plastic tote or give it back to the volunteer. We transport the bags back to Mayer Lutheran High School, and you pick them up when you finish.

Do not leave clothing on the ground at the start, at a water stop, or along the trail. If you must, you can leave clothing at any water stop, and we will do something with it. It will not be trash along the trail.

The one bib number has the timing chip on the back of it. Be careful with the this bib so you not damage the timing chip. You must wear the this bib number on the front of your shirt/jacket for the entire race.  

The other bib number goes on the back of your shirt/jacket. This second number helps others on the trail identify you as part of the event.

In the event of inclement weather, and you are wearing gear that you don’t want to put pin holes in, it is OK to attach the bib numbers to your shirt underneath the gear. Please “flash” your front bib number with the timing chip when approaching/crossing the Start/Finish/Lap line or when asked by a race volunteer.

In the event of rain, please do not pin a bib number to your  rain gear.  You don’t need to attach a bib number to it. But, please wear your bib number on the layer beneath the jacket and be prepared to “flash” your bib number at the finish line so we can record your finish time.


Route 30 runs parallel to the trail between New Germany and Mayer and there are several opportunities for parking in that area. Parking is limited at most of the water stops.  Please observe any posted signs for trail access.


The Twin Cities of St Paul and Minneapolis have a large inventory of hotels in the metro area.

Abandoned Clothing

Please do not leave clothing on the ground at the start or at a water stop or along the trail. All water stops will accept clothing that you want to drop off as long as your are willing to not get it back. We donate such items to a thrift store.

Changes Changes Changes

If you change your mind and alter the distance you choose to go, or your walking style, please inform the start line or finish line volunteer and we will make appropriate adjustments to your records. No charge for this service.


There are no COVID-19 specific restrictions placed on us by government or by Mayer Lutheran High School. We Walk Marathon organizers ask that you behave as responsible adults (if you are sick, stay home; take precautions that are appropriate to your situation; be respectful of the precautions that others take).

You are not required to wear a mask inside (packet pickup and post race), or outside (in the parking lot, at the start, on the trail, at water stops, or at the finish). Race volunteers may or may not have masks on in these situations.