Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon – Two Thumbs Up – Way Up!

Well I should probably start blogging if I expect anyone to purchase my upcoming book, “One Foot in Front of the Other” when it is published. They say social media is the ticket so here it goes!

To start, running a marathon is not easy but it sure more enjoyable when you run a good one. The Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon was outstanding and is now one of my top 10 favorite marathons out of the 85 that I have completed as of this writing.

About 15 of us from our running group, Runners Edge of the Rockies in Denver, amassed upon the Twin Cities mostly by the recommendation of others and the extremely high mark they gave this marathon–especially Gina Warner from our running group who could not stop talking about it, was going to run it but for whatever reason bailed. Her loss. We soon found out that Gina and everyone else that recommended the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon was absolutely spot on.

As with any marathon you hope for the best regarding the weather. No guarantees. Even the best marathons can be a pain in the ass if the weather is lousy, but the weather gods were looking down on us this past weekend. Umm can you say, perfect!

So, to start off, the expo was huge and very well organized.

Getting My Bib Number

No problem getting your bib number, timing chip and bag. There were plenty of vendors to keep you entertained and take your money until the massive crowd of people finally drove you bonkers and you needed to quickly get the hell out of there. Fortunately, our hotel, the Crowne Plaza in St. Paul was close to the expo so no big deal and if we forgot to get something, we could just walk back.

Carbo Load Dinner

The rest of the day was absolute rest and relaxation until later when a group of us gathered to head to Victoria Italian Restaurant in Minneapolis for our pre-marathon carbo load dinner. Sometimes, I like carbo load dinners put on by the race but if a group of us are in town I much rather find a nice local restaurant. Amore Victoria was perfect and of course we had great food, excellent service and lots of laughs.

The morning of the race, we all met in the lobby of the Crown Plaza Hotel and even mingled among the elite runners. I actually touched one hoping their DNA would mix in with mine and I would run faster. Does that work? No! Anyway, once we all gathered we hopped on the bus and headed to the start line which was at the Minnesota Metrodome.

At the Metrodome

Some NFL Football team named the Minnesota Vikings plays there. Being from Denver, we don’t really pay much attention to them. Now, talk about being organized, the Metordome was open and we were able to hang out and stay warm. Of course, it was photo op time for us Runners Edge cult members, nervous and anxious about the race.

Finally, it was time to make the dreaded walk to our assigned corral and get ready to run the 30th annual Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon. After the National Anthem the gun went off and 8,000 of us started our 26.2 journey. I’m not going to bore you with details of the entire race so here is a bullet list of some of the highlights:

  • The weather was about 45 degrees at the start and 65 at the finish, PERFECT!
  • The marathon course was absolutely beautiful, running through wonderful neighborhoods, by beautiful homes and around a few of the 10,000 lakes.
  • Plenty of shade on the course mostly from giant trees with leaves turning their fall colors.
  • Aid stations were fully stocked with fluids and lots and lots of cheerful volunteers.
  • Over 80,000 spectators cheering us runners throughout the entire course and even some great bands. The Polka seems to be popular in Minnesota.
  • A nice downhill to the finish line to the state capital building in St. Paul.
  • A really cool medal.
  • A really cool tech shirt for finishers.
  • Plenty of fluids and food at the finish line.
  • The bag pickup area was well organized and no wait retrieving it.
  • The finish area at the state capital was one mile from our hotel so we could easily (well maybe not that easy) walk back.

Finish Group Photo

While I was hanging out at the reunion area, Suzanne Johnson was the first person I saw and she ran a PR of 3:50. Then a very emotional Mia Migdall was next breaking her huge goal of 4 hours by running a 3:57. Mia is Gina’s twin sister. Then one-by-one our other runners appeared, very happy all kinds of PR’s and all satisfied with their marathon result and extremely happy it was over.

Finally my friend Steve MaCannally showed up. We were worried about Steve since he was just coming back from an injury and his longest training run was 7 miles. He finished and though wiped out, extremely happy.

One of our runners, Kevin Lillehei grew up in St. Paul and invited all of the Runners Edge group to his family home for an after marathon celebration. We briefly stopped at the hotel and then headed to the gathering. Kevin absolutely went out of his way to make us feel welcome and provided food and beverages. We were all very grateful to Kevin and his family for his kindness and wonderful hospitality.

We then headed back to the hotel. Since Steve and I were already cleaned up, we headed to the bar while the rest of the group went to their room to shower. Unfortunately we watched our Denver Broncos get annihilated by the Green Bay Packers. By then everyone had joined and we all headed to W. 7th St. to find somewhere to finish off the day.

The Eagle St. Grill is where we landed and had some food and a few beers, talked about our marathons among other things which I will not mention in this blog. Lets just say, its the darker side of running and marathons. Nothing else needs to be said. I will say I have not laughed that hard in a long time. And then that was it, we were done.

We headed back to the hotel, everyone exhausted, and called it a night. The next day we headed back to Denver on our flights sore and memory of a inspirational weekend that we all will never forget

As for me, I ran a 3:43:16 and as Forest Gump said, “Stupid is as Stupid Does.” Why, because I am running the Denver Rock n’ Roll Marathon this very next Sunday. That my friends is stupid!

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Finished Marathon #85

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Categories: Cool Memories, Music
  • marcus says:
    October 07, 2011 3:12 PM

    Nice write up, I’ve heard this is a great marathon. Appears you had the same experience.

  • Mia Migdall says:
    October 08, 2011 1:02 PM

    Great recap! You are modest…what a day you had! Great job!! #85…you are a rock star!

  • Gina Warner says:
    October 28, 2011 3:51 PM

    Thanks for the shout-out Lynch…or maybe “shout-AT” is a better term? Thanks for your continued inspiration – you are one of the reasons I love this sport! Congrats on TC!

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