This is an event designed for walkers, wheelers, and riders. We welcome all walkers, including, but not limited to, ordinary walkers, fitness walkers, power walkers, nordic walkers, race walkers, hikers and even walk/runners.
There are lots of marathons for runners. Please check your favorite marathon calendar for one of the many events in the fall.
Styles of Walking
When you register, you must indicate your walking style. You must use your selected style for the entire distance of your event. Here are the definitions of the walking 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 USATF 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 (walking style for pushers limited to Walking, Race Walking or Mixture of Walk and Running) 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.
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.
We have USATF 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.
How slow can you go?
For the marathon and the 50km, the time limit is 9 hours – from the 7:00 am start to 4 pm course close. That means you have to maintain a pace of about 20 min/mile for the marathon or 18 min/mile for 50km to finish in under 9 hours.
For the half marathon, the time limit is 8.5 hours – from the 7:30 am start to the 4 pm course close. That means you have to maintain a pace of about 41 min/mile to finish in under 7 hours.
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, 1:45:00 for the half marathon and 5:30:00 for the 50km.
Please provide your estimated finish time. The race will use a staggered start by order of fastest walkers first so as to maintain social distance.
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 the various runners marathons 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
To maintain social distancing the packets will be available on race morning. Please pick up your packets before the race and return to your cars or maintain social distance before your race start
No Pre-Race Dinner
Our usual Friday Pre-Race Dinner is cancelled so as to maintain social distancing
Race Start Times
All races start from the Mayer, MN meeting point: Mayer Lutheran High School 305 5th St NE, Mayer, MN 55360
Please arrive at the meeting point at least 30 min before your race start.
Marathon & 50 km – Race Start 7:00 am
Half Marathon – Race Start 7:30 am
10 km – Race start at 8:00 am
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.
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.
If you have an emergency, dial 911 first.
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 in Minnesota is quite variable. 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.
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. Sorry – no bagels this year…
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.
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. You put the clothing you want to check into the clear plastic bag, add one of your bib numbers, and tie the bag shut. Give the bag to the volunteer. We transport the bags back to Papa’s Shoe Repair, 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.
We provide each walker with 4 identically numbered bib numbers. We do this because we want you to put a bib number on each layer that you wear. That way, when you get warm and take a layer off, there is still a bib number visible. And, when you want to drop of excess clothing, there is a good chance that one of the pieces will have a bib number attached to it, making the drop off quick and simple, and the recovery of clothes at the finish easy because you can easily see your bib number thru the clear plastic bag.
If you have fewer than 4 layers, please place the remaining bib numbers on the back of the layers you think are most likely to be on the outside during the last part of the event. This is in addition to the bib number that is already on the front.
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.
Put a bib number for the water proof layer or good jacket in a pocket so that if you check it as excess clothing, you have a bib number to identify it.
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.