If you haven’t heard yet, tomorrow is the TC 1 Mile and the USA Men’s and Women’s 1 Mile Road Championship in downtown Minneapolis. The first wave of runners heads up Nicollet Ave at 6:50pm with the Championship waves scheduled for 7:53 (women’s) and 8:03 (men’s).
This is always a great event and is the 2nd largest road mile in the country. When I last ran it in 2009, David Torrence broke the 4 minute mark and won $10,000. This year, marathoner Ryan Hall will be competing and will try to break the 4 minute barrier. It should be a fun race to watch! (Has he run a 4:01 or 1500m equivelent? or did he get an invitational entry?) His wife Sara Hall will be competing as well in the women’s race. She is a favorite to win, while Torrence is hoping to win his 3rd straight championship.
No matter what happens, it should be another exciting night on the Mall!
Last year, more than 38,000 donors logged on to GiveMN.org and contributed more than $14 million to 3,434 Minnesota nonprofits, whose missions range from feeding the hungry, to protecting the environment, to promoting the arts.
This year’s Great Minnesota Give Together takes place on November 16 from midnight to midnight!! Every donation counts and supports an organization of your choice!
New in 2010, GiveMN will offer several incentives to encourage nonprofit and donor participation in Give to the Max Day, including:
A $20,000 and $10,000 prize grant will be awarded to the top two nonprofits in the Twin Cities and the top two nonprofits in Greater Minnesota that attract the largest number of individual donors on Give to the Max Day.
Throughout the 24-hour event, an individual donor will be randomly chosen every hour to have an additional $1,000 given to the charity that received the donor’s original donation.
Donors will have the opportunity to double their dollars for hundreds of featured nonprofits that have secured matching funds for Give to the Max Day.
YWCA provides a variety of services to pretty much every population. They focus primarily on racial justice and empowering women and girls. In Minneapolis they also operate 3 fitness facilities. We are a member of the YWCA.
YMCA also provides a variety of services and operates a lot of fitness facilities around Minneapolis and the West Metro. Some of our friends work for the YMCA, though none of their facilities are conveniently located for us.
ALARC Active Life and Running Club is another local running group that “promotes fitness and friends”. They also sponsor the ALARC Wall at the 20 mile mark in the Twin Cities Marathon.
She Runs She Runs provides a 10 week running program for girls aged 9-14 that guides them to complete a final 5k race.
Here are some organizations that we gave to last year and will give to again this year:
Elpis Enterprises has been another great partner for my work in MN. Elpis or Hope provides teenagers the opportunity to gain work-related skills and leadership through screen printing and other businesses. My first encouter with Elpis was with their bird feeder program. We bought kits and Paul brought out one of his employees and they helped my kids build 20 bird feeders in 1 hour!
Achieve Minneapolis is more or less a foundation that supports programs within the Minneapolis Public Schools. They provide grants for classrooms, teacher professional development, field trips, host career fairs, and much much more.
CommonBond Communities provides affordable housing and supportive services in the Twin Cities. I put CommonBond under youth development because I volunteered with them during the summer of my Americorps*VISTA service. I served as a program assistant in a summer program that combined fun and learning during the afternoons for children residents of the Seward Towers. They provide many more services to their residents.
World Relief helps refugees adjust to life in Minnesota and America. This is the umbrella organization for the English literacy site that Christy and I co-coordinate. They also provide job training, initial welcoming services, housing assistance and much more to refugees as they walk off the plane and into the sometimes harsh tundra of MN.
Minnesota Public Radio is a great news source for both local and national issues. They also have a rocking music station that plays a lot of local bands.
Second Harvest of the Heartland is a large food bank that is helping to end hunger in MN. It is affiliated with the national Feeding America (formerly Second Harvest Network) and does some great work here in the Twin Cities.
Give to the Max Day was created to increase giving to nonprofits across the state. All donations on Give to the Max Day will be made through GiveMN.org, a first-of-its-kind giving website that helps Minnesotans discover, support and engage with nonprofits. GiveMN also lets donors manage their charitable giving by recording online contributions and storing receipts.
Throw in a plug for your favorite MN non-profit in the comment section.
The MDRA Annual Party is a great time to reconnect with friends you haven’t seen since the marathon! It is also a great place to win gift certificates, race entries, and other running related stuff. Not to mention the free pizza and ice cream! All in all a great event, especially since I won $20 to Marathon Sports, and some friends gave me their race entries to some local 5k’s. Here is a slideshow from the day taken by Wayne Kryduba.
Volunteer of the Year Award this year went to Rob Lundquist. Rob is an all around great guy who continues to provide invaluable service to MDRA and the running community.
MN Elite Athlete Development Program. From Twin Cities in Motion (pdf):
MEADP is a collaboration of Grandma’s Marathon, Twin Cities Marathon, Inc., Austin-Jarrow Sports and the Minnesota Distance Running Association, and is designed to assist elite Minnesota distance runners who have completed their academic running careers in reaching their full athletic potential. In 2009, MEADP will provide
grants, in amounts up to $2,000 per recipient, to promising Minnesota elite distance runners, to
assist them in reaching their full athletic potential.
Masters road racing star and long-time MDRA officer Gloria Jansen will be presented with the Lanin Award for Distinguished Service. The award is MDRA’s most prestigious honor, given for years of service and contribution to the sport.
The award is named for the founder of MDRA, Pat Lanin.
It is still 3 months away but it is never to early to plan for race weekend. For 11,000 runners the Twin Cities Marathon will be the culmination of many miles of pavement (and dirt) pounded throughout the summer.
The 26.2 mile race begins at 8am on Sunday, October 4th. Earlier that morning at 7:05am 6,500 runners will take the “shortcut to the capitol” by running the TC 10 Mile. Registration for this “shortcut” is via a lottery system that is currently open. Registration for the 10 Mile lottery goes from Monday, July 6 to Wednesday July 15 at 10pm. 1,000 lucky runners of May’s TC 1 Mile event (including me) won a guarenteed entry into the 10 Mile. I obviously chose not to use it. This is the 11th annual 10 mile race and is again the USA 10 Mile Championship event.
New this year to race weekend is a 10k event. Held on Saturday, October 3 at 7:30am this will be an out and back along the last 3 miles of the marathon course (starting and finishing at the marathon finish area). It appears that there is no limit to the number of 10k participants and offers race day entry. This also is the first event of the 2009 race weekend.
The TC 5k is on Saturday as well starting at 9am. It is an out and back course along the last 1.5 miles of the marathon course, finishing at the marathon finish. It too appears to have no limit to race entries and offers race morning entry. Both the 10k and 5k events will be run on USATF certified courses and are chip timed.
Other family friendly events are scheduled throughout the day on Saturday. All events offer pre- and race day registration. They include:
Diana Pierce Family Mile which starts at 10m and is an out and back course finishing on the marathon finish line.
Half Mile which starts at 10:30 am and is an out and back course finishing at the marathon finish line.
Diaper Dash starts at 11am. Participants crawl from an inner circle to an outer circle, it seems obvious this is for the littlest of “runners” in the family. It doesn’t sound like this one finishes on the marathon finish line but does take place in the same area.
Harry & Shelly’s Mascot Invitational starts at 11:15am and is a race amongst your favorite mascots. I’m not sure which ones will be there, but I’m sure Brutus the Buckeye won’t be. Harry and Shelly are the TCM mascots (in case you were wondering).
Toddler Trot starts at 11:30 and is a 50 yard dash on the capital lawn.
Race fees start at $7 for the Toddler Trot and Diaper Dash and go up to $100 for the now closed marathon.
Last year I was quite happy to visit the Expo, pickup my number and chip, walk quickly through, purchase a shirt, and head home – less time on the feet the better! Some of my non-runner friends have taken their kids to the family events and had a blast.
If you’ll be here for marathon weekend, what event are you doing? Me – I’ll be knocking out the 26.2.
I recognize at least two races are missing from the schedule which is good! Last year I ran the 5000m championship on the track and that wasn’t very exciting. The Earth Day Half Marathon was also on last year’s circuit. It was the weekend before Boston last year and I imagine that is why it got left out of the schedule this year. It is a little odd that there isn’t a half-marathon on the schedule at all though.
Here is an interview with USATF Minnesota Long Distance Running Competition Chairman Ed Whetham from Down the Backstretch about the 2009 circuit.
In case you missed it, the USATF is now permitting runners to wear headphones again. Yes the USATF recently changed the rules again for its sanctioned and insured events (official release).
The sudden change of course throws a curveball to the many races that disqualified runners for wearing headphones. I’ve heard at least one story of a streaker whose streak was officially broken because they were DQ’ed after completing a race wearing headphones. Will they continue enforcing the ban as is their right? Should they reinstated runners who were DQ’ed after reviewing marathon pictures? I doubt they will reinstate runners but should they continue enforcing their previous bans?
The USATF has decided to leave the decision about headphones up to the individual race directors, except in the case of USATF Championship races, where those competing for awards can’t wear portable audio devices.
I personally am not a fan of wearing headphones while racing and have had an occasional problem when trying to pass someone who was wearing them. It is one thing to train with headphones, but to me racing is a more pure component of running and it is easier to enjoy the event and surroundings without them.
This quote from The Final Sprint sums it up well:
“The difficulty in enforcement was part of the reasoning,” said USATF Rules Committee chairman John Blackburn through a news release. “However, several good-sized races have demonstrated that they were able to enforce the rule. There were strong opinions on all sides of this discussion, both understanding the issues related to athlete safety, race organization, difficulty of enforcement. This resolution appeared to be the best position for USATF overall.”
Many race organizers thought the genesis of the ban was due to safety concerns; runners may be listening to music which is so loud that they cannot respond to instructions should an emergency arise. Indeed, the issue had been couched that way by many who supported the ban, who also argued that plugged-in runners were discourteous to their fellow athletes, running in their own world and blocking race courses.
While the rule modification will certainly provide race organizers with much-needed breathing room, it will do little to quell the debate amongst runners themselves. Many serious recreational runners don’t want to line up next to headphone wearers, afraid that their competitive efforts may be impeded. The new language of the rule may prompt some event organizers to offer headphone-free starting corrals to mollify those concerns.
What is your opinion on wearing headphones during a race?
USA Road Mile Championships (Men & Women): 2009 – 2012
USA Women’s Marathon Championship: 2009
USA Men’s 10 Mile Championship: 2009
USA Men’s Marathon Championship: 2010
USA Women’s 10 Mile Championship: 2010
USA Masters Marathon Championships (Men & Women): 09-15
This is great news both for the organization but also for the Twin Cities in general and our strong running communtiy. This will continue to bring in high quality competitors, sponsorship dollars, and a lot of added fun to the events.
You can read the official press release from Twin Cities Marathon here (pdf)