Being one of the fittest states in the nation, Minnesota has no shortage of races to get the feet moving and the blood pumping. Narrowing down the options can be a daunting task. Whether you are a serious athlete looking for your next big challenge, a do-gooder wanting to benefit others, or you’re just looking to cut loose, we have some races for you! Here is a sampling of some of the most interesting of the lot this spring.
23 Hours To End Suicide Race
Lutsen Ski Resort
467 Ski Hill Road
Lutsen, MN 55612
Date: June 4, 2016 at 6 a.m.
On average each day, one active-duty military service member and 22 veterans commit suicide. In an effort to end this epidemic, one hour is dedicated to each of these individuals to amass this 23-hour endurance race. During these 23 hours, individuals try to complete the longest distance possible on a 25-mile loop course at Lutsen Ski Resort. Racers will enjoy the beauty of the North Shore along trails and paved roads while raising awareness for a worthy cause.
County Rd. 8
Lanesboro, MN 55949
Date: June 4, 2016 at 9 a.m.
Join in on the fun at this zany annual race benefitting the Lanesboro Public Library during the local Rhubarb Festival. Adults and kids can participate in the one-mile race or 5K and are encouraged to wear the craziest running garb they can safely hit the pavement in. Finishers are celebrated with an accordion serenade as fans wave rhubarb leaves and dole out a tasty rhubarb elixir. Race winners get the ultimate prize — a delicious rhubarb pie.
Kids For A Cause Triathalon
Highland Aquatic Center
1840 Edgecumbe Rd.
St. Paul, MN 55116
Date: June 11, 2016 at 8:45 a.m.
Children of any age or ability are encouraged to participate in this Highland Park triathlon that helps “kids realize their own strength and that they can make a difference in their world.” The race includes swimming, biking and running portions, and organizers make sure all youngsters who want to be involved are able to. Training wheels, life jackets, adult guides and other assistance can be accommodated. Proceeds raised by the kids participating will go to Clubfoot Solutions and the Children’s Miracle Network/ Gillette Children’s Specialty Care.
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Chad Greenway’s Gridiron Gallop
5071 W. Lake Nokomis Parkway
Minneapolis, MN 55417
Date: June 19, 2016 at 8:30 a.m.
Minnesota Vikings players and cheerleaders come out to cheer on and sign autographs for registered runners at this annual 5K run/walk. Vikings prizes even await some lucky race participants. A kid’s run is scheduled at 8:30 a.m. with the 5K to follow at 9 a.m. Proceeds from the race benefit the youth athletic program of the Minneapolis Parks & Recreation board.
Gear West Twilight 5K
Nelson Lakeside Park
1860 Symes St.
Long Lake, MN 55356
Date: June 24, 2016 at 7 p.m.
The evening begins at 7 p.m. with a children’s 1K obstacle course that includes wall-climbing, balance beams, a cargo net and a trek over a mountain of sand. Following at 7:30 p.m. is the Twilight 5K. Runners or walkers will follow a scenic route as the daylight wanes. Dogs on leashes are also welcome to participate in the race. All finishers will celebrate afterward with post-race refreshments.
Cortney Mohnk is a freelance writer covering all things Minnesota. She is also a public relations and event planning professional. Her most important job is mother to her young son and daughter, who are her partners-in-crime when checking out the family entertainment scene in the Twin Cities. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.