This is an event designed for walkers, wheelers, and riders. We welcome all walkers, including, but not limited to, ordinary walkers, fitness walkers, power walkers, nordic walkers, race walkers, hikers and even walk/runners.
There are lots of marathons for runners. Please check your favorite marathon calendar for one of the many events in the fall.
Styles of Walking
When you register, you must indicate your walking style. You must use your selected style for the entire distance of your event. Here are the definitions of the walking styles available in this year’s event:
Walking means that at least one foot appears to be touching the ground at all times. Strolling, hiking, fitness walking, power walking and ordinary walking all follow this rule, as do Nordic walking and race walking.
Nordic Walking means that you must walk and use one walking pole in each hand on every step.
Race Walking means that you must follow USATF rule 232.2: “[…] a progression of steps so taken that the [race] walker makes contact with the ground so that no visible (to the human eye) loss of contact occurs. The advancing leg must be straightened (i.e., not bent at the knee) from the moment of first contact with the ground until the leg is in the vertical upright position.”
Wheeling means you use a self-propelled non-electric wheel chair.
Riding means that you ride in a stroller or other wheeled conveyance propelled by others. A Rider must be a member of a team that has at least one pusher (walking style for pushers limited to Walking, Race Walking or Mixture of Walk and Running) entered in the same distance as each Rider.
Mixture of Walking and Running means that you walk part of the time and run or jog part of the time. For more information on this style, check out the web site of Jeff Galloway, the inventor of the Galloway Run-Walk-Run method.
Create a team and commemorate your family
group, your friends, or other collection of people that you talked into doing a marathon, half marathon or 50km with you. Each team member can enter the distance of their choice. Each team member is eligible for individual awards. A team finisher certificate is created for each team, giving the team name, and listing each finishing team members distance and time. This certificate is emailed to each team member. We encourage your team to take team pictures (before the race, at the start, during the race, and/or after the finish). We will include one or more of these pictures in the team section of the results.
We have USATF certified walking judges on the
course. The walking judges are there to ensure that the styles of walking mean something, not to ask you to change how you walk.
If a walking judge sees anyone running, the judge moves them into the mixture of walking and running style. If a judge sees a Nordic walker carrying their poles instead of using them, the judge moves them to the walking style. If a judge sees a race walker violating the “straightened at the knee” rule, the judge moves them to the walking style.
How slow can you go?
For the marathon and the 50km, the time limit is 8.5 hours – from the 7:30 am start to 4pm course close. That means you have to maintain a pace of about 20 min/mile for the marathon or 17 min/mile for 50km to finish in under 8.5 hours.
For the half marathon, the time limit is 7 hours – from the 9:00 am start to the 4 pm course close. That means you have to maintain a pace of about 34 min/mile to finish in under 7 hours.
Water stops and Aid Stations are kept open and fully stocked for everyone.
How fast can you go?
We expect the first finishers to be no faster than 4:30 for the marathon, 1:45 for the half marathon and 5:30 for the 50km. We use these times to plan the opening times for the water stops.
If your expected finish time is faster than these times, please consider the various runners marathons instead.
If you have a Style of Walking of Walking, Race Walking or Nordic Walking, and are faster than these times, we will accommodate you by scheduling earlier opening times for the water stops. You have to e-mail us by Sept 1, asking for accommodation and giving your distance, expected time and walking style.
Packet Pickup Friday
Packets should be picked up Friday 5:00pm – 7:00
pm at the Event Hotel ; AmericInn 550 Cherry Drive, Waconia, MN 55387
You may also pickup your race packet on Saturday morning at the St Bonificius meeting point. Please arrive early if you need to pick up your packet on Saturday morning.
Get acquainted with your fellow walkers, meet the
race organizers, get your questions answered in person at the Friday Pre-Race Dinner. It starts about 6:30 pm at the Event Hotel in Waconia, MN – AmericInn
Bus Transportation & Race Start Times
Please arrive at the FreshWater Church meeting point at least 30 minutes before your bus or race start time.
Half Marathon Bus – Leaves at 8:00 am from the Meeting Point in St Bonificius. Please use the bus for travel to the Half Marathon Start. There is no parking available at the road access point to the trail for the half marathon start.
5 km Bus – Leaves at 8:30 am from the Meeting Point in St Bonificius. Please use the bus for travel to 5 km start, there is no parking available at the road access point to the trail for the half marathon start.
Marathon, 50km and 10km races all start from the St Bonificius meeting point.
Marathon & 50 km – Race Start 7:30 am from the St Bonificius meeting point.
Half Marathon, 10 km & 5 km – All start at 9:00 am
Please bring your cell phone and carry it with you.
While we don’t expect any emergencies, we realize they are by nature, unexpected. It is good to be ready. The course is through rural Minnesota. Often your only companions will be the soft rustle of the wind and other walkers.
At race start, we will provide you with 2 cell phone numbers – one to contact race management and the second to contact the EMT service that is supporting our race. 911 is also available. If you are at an Aid Station, an Aid Station worker can make these calls for you, and can provide additional assistance.
If you have an emergency, dial 911 first.
The EMTs covering the event are there to assist you with any medical issues you have. If you need help dealing with blisters, or the sun, or whatever, please ask them for assistance. They may also ask you about how you are feeling.
Each staffed water stop has a self-help first aid kit. band aids, sunscreen, vaseline, and other basics are in the kit. Ask the staff member at the water stop if you wish first aid supplies.
If you see anything of concern along the trail, or encounter an issue where you need assistance, please contact a staff member at one of the staffed water stops, or contact the race director, or contact the EMT, or in the event of an emergency, call 911.
The weather in Minnesota is quite variable. Check
the local weather before you decide what to wear on race day.
The event is never postponed because of weather to another day. The start can be delayed if a line of severe storms comes thru. Each participant should make themselves aware of the predicted weather for the day and make appropriate decisions about what to do. You will be walking thru rural Minnesota, with sturdy shelter often a significant distance away.
You can switch from a longer distance to a shorter distance on race day if you are concerned about the weather (or for any other reason). We do not offer refunds for changing to a shorter distance.
If the weather is sufficiently bad in the morning, we may cancel one or more of the distances. We do not offer refunds in the event that we must cancel your distance because of weather.
We are very open about the decision making process regarding weather. If you see something of concern, please bring it to our attention. A lot of weather information is available to every smart phone user these days. We encourage you to take advantage of this information prior to the start, and during the event.
We recommend sun block.
Remember to drink an appropriate amount of fluids for your body and level of effort. We have water stops every couple of miles that offer water and sports drink and something simple to eat.
Check for ticks after the race. If you stay on the asphalt path, you probably won’t get any. Ticks with Lyme disease are in Minnesota, so you can’t be too careful.
Saturday Morning Coffee
There will be coffee, bagels and other
refreshments at the meeting point at the Freshwater Community Church on the trail in St Bonificius. (4319 Steiner St, St Bonifacius, MN 55375).
All races will finish in St Bonifacius, MN at the Freshwater Community Church
Every finisher will receive a We Walk! commemorative medal at the finish.
Bib numbers should be placed on the front of the chest. This helps our water stop workers identify you as a part of the event, makes it possible for our photographers to identify you in the pictures, and makes it easier for our finish line crew to get the timing and the awards done quickly.
We provide each walker with 4 identically numbered bib numbers. We do this because we want you to put a bib number on each layer that you wear. That way, when you get warm and take a layer off, there is still a bib number visible. And, when you want to drop of excess clothing, there is a good chance that one of the pieces will have a bib number attached to it, making the drop off quick and simple, and the recovery of clothes at the finish easy because you can easily see your bib number thru the clear plastic bag.
If you have fewer than 4 layers, please place the remaining bib numbers on the back of the layers you think are most likely to be on the outside during the last part of the event. This is in addition to the bib number that is already on the front.
If you have a water proof jacket, or other good jacket that you don’t want to pierce with pins, you don’t need to attach a bib number to it. But, please wear you bib number on the layer beneath the jacket and be prepared to “flash” your bib number at the finish line. Put a bib number for the water proof layer or good jacket in a pocket so that if you check it as excess clothing, you have a bib number to identify it.
We provide clear plastic bags at the start line, and at the first staffed water stop you encounter, to hold any clothes that you no longer need. For the marathon and 50km, you may also drop clothes off at the second staffed water stop.
Simply get a clear plastic bag from the Aid Station volunteer, place your excess clothes inside, making one of your bib numbers visible thru the bag, tie it shut and give it back to the Aid Station volunteer.
This is why we give you 4 identical bib numbers. Since “tops” are the most likely piece of clothing to remove, having a bib number already on the front of each layer makes this process quick and simple. Your bib number will identify the owner of the bag, and will be easily visible thru the clear plastic bag. We plan to have each bag waiting for you at the finish line.
Viewing areas suggestions will be announced later
The Event Hotel is the AmericInn of Waconia, MN. In addition the Twin Cities of St Paul and Minneapolis have a large inventory of hotels in the metro area