MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — More than 12,000 athletes will run the 26.2-mile course on Sunday as part of the 32nd-annual Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon — beginning in Minneapolis and ending St. Paul — in what’s called the most beautiful urban marathon in the country.
Ask any marathoner and they’ll tell you training is all about time and dedication.
“It’s tough to quantify — it’s a huge commitment,” said Spencer Jahnke, who’s running his first marathon on Sunday.
Jahnke considers the race his prize for the hundreds of miles spent running through Minneapolis.
“I feel I’m ready, so, we’ll see Sunday,” Jahnke said. “I didn’t think I’d get back here, to be honest.”
In 2010, Spencer watched his dad cross the finish line at the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon. He had hoped to do the same, until a moped accident left him with serious injuries to his left leg.
Doctors told him he had a tibia plateau fracture, where his tibia fractured vertically from the knee.
“The first time I woke up in the hospital, I was told I’d never be able to run again or do any kind of hard physical activity, really,” he said.
Spencer took the news from doctors as a challenge, giving him new motivation to one day run the race.
“I’ve had what he said stuck in the back of my head and that’s what’s helped me push through,” Jahnke said.
Seven months on crutches, a year’s worth a physical therapy, and slowly, he built back his speed and endurance.
“It’s been a lot of pain,” Jahnke said. “But I’ve been able to push through it.”
When he finally crosses the finish line on Sunday, he’s planning a permanent reminder of a personal victory. Both Jahnke and his father will get tattoos after the race.
“It’ll be the Twin Cities in Motion logo, pretty much, as big as I can get it on my shoulder,” he said. “It’ll mean the world to me. It’s what I’ve worked for, for the last three years.”
Spencer isn’t setting a time goal, either, he just wants to finish the race.