I woke up this morning to the beautiful sunshine and a gorgeous fall day. It is also the Twin Cities Marathon today. No, I’m not running in it and by the time I get up, most runners are probably done.
The Twin Cities Marathon (TCM) is an annual marathon in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area. The race is often dubbed “The Most Beautiful Urban Marathon in America”. The TCM was first run in 1982, and typically takes place during the first weekend in October. It is one of the top 10 largest marathons in the US. In 2006 the Twin Cities Marathon was ranked as the third most competitive marathon for American runners by Running Times magazine.
In the 31 years since, the marathon has grown to a full weekend of events including the addition of the Medtronic TC 10 Mile race as a Sunday companion event to the marathon. On the Saturday before the marathon and 10 Mile, runners can compete in 5K and 10K runs and a variety of family events including the popular Diaper Dash and Toddler Trot events.
The course begins at the U.S. Bank Stadium construction site in downtown Minneapolis, and winds around several of the city’s lakes before turning along the banks of the Mississippi River. The course follows the river for several miles before crossing into Saint Paul, and then proceeds up Summit Avenue to finish at the Minnesota State Capitol. Miles 21–25 of the course proceed on a steady uphill from the river, and are considered among the more challenging finishes among American marathons, although the downhill last half-mile allows for relatively strong finishes. My friends and co-worers, Jean, Robert and Pat are at Mile 15 handing out water today. They will have a lot of fun cheering those runners on.
Keeping with the running theme, we at Hidden Valley had a RUN of our own on Friday. We are trying to raise money for a new playground and our PTO came up with the idea of a “Fund Run”. Kids took home a packet and tried to get as many people as they could to sponsor them for their run and all the money would go to our school. Not sure how much money we made, but it was a lot of fun and the kids enjoyed it.
We had about 50 minutes total for our event. Each grade went out at their designated time. I was with the third graders. We were to run or walk until we heard the whistle blow, which ended up being about 20 minutes. I had a group start with me and like kids, they took off strong and ran as fast as possible. They passed me up once and by the second time around, they were saying…”Mrs. Solberg, how much more time?” ha! I knew this would happen and then I have to tell them, “Only 15 more minutes!” I had a lot more walkers (and complainers) with me by the end.
Once the race/walk was finished, the kids had more to do. There was an art station set up where they could add their fingerprint to the “Thank You” tree. This was eventually going to turn into a thank-you card for the PTO, signed by the entire school. It was a cute and easy idea that worked really well.
Next it was on to the food table for a light snack and water break. They really did a great job setting this whole thing up and it looked just like a real marathon day.
Okay, we’re all feeling good again and it was time to get the entire grade onto the playground equipment for a class photo. This was not an easy ordeal because once you get kids near a playground, you’ve lost them…plus, other classes had come out after lunch for their recess time. It was chaos, so I just backed up and watched quietly under a tree until it was over. I’m not sure if they ever got a good picture or not, but I shot a quick one before heading back inside.
Our Hidden Valley ‘Fund Run’ wasn’t as big as the Twin Cities Marathon, but who knows, we may have inspired a few kids to take on that marathon someday and hopefully think back to our little one here at home.