Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon Weekend: Marathon

The 39th Annual Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon

An accomplishment that spans two area codes.

Date and Time
Location

Minneapolis to St. Paul, MN

To Start Line:

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Why run 26 when you can run 26.2?

Great Gear
Participants receive a custom, Brooks® long-sleeve technical shirt and a special participant gift!

Bucket List Course
300,000+ spectators, course support at every other mile, and more than 15 entertainment acts!

Exclusive Finisher Medal
Receive a beautifully-designed event finisher medal, not revealed until the finish line.

Post-Race Party
Enjoy free post-race food and Summit beer (w/valid ID) at our 27th Mile celebration!

VIP Experience
Run the race on a red carpet by signing up for VIP program, presented by Medtronic.
 

First-Timer Friendly
Join our private first-timer Facebook group and receive exclusive emails with tips on Twin Cities!

Athlete Tracking
Friends and family can track up to 20 participants with our free app on Google Play and iTunes.

Pace Teams
Meet your goal by following a TCM pace team leader who runs an even pace and offers encouragement!

“How to Run a Great Twin Cities Marathon”  

A mile-by-mile guide by experienced Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon runner, Kirk Walztoni

Miles 0 to 1
Take it easy. Take it too easy. You will run faster than you think you are running, because of the adrenaline coursing through your veins and the veins of those around you. If you find yourself trapped amongst a bunch of people running too slowly for you, do not weave in and out of them. Save your energy. If mile one took longer to cover than you thought it would, do not panic. You have 25.2 miles left to go.

Miles 1 to 2
There is a nice downhill on mile two taking you down to the Walker Art Center’s Sculpture Garden. Then, you will take a left and head up a long hill. Take it easy up the hill. Do not judge yourself on how others around you are running. Many people charge up this hill, because they are feeling good. Do not let your breathing rate increase up the hill, and hold your perceived effort, because of the next mile.

Miles 2 to 3
Just after you hit mile two, you take a hard right and continue to climb. Maintain an even level of effort here, letting people pass you. You still have 24 miles to pass them back. Conserve your energy. There is always a great crowd here, which usually includes Alan Page, the former Purple People Eater, playing his tuba. The first water stop on the race is at mile 2.5. And this is a long water stop, so do not go to the first table. More importantly, do not skip the Gatorade* here. It is important to hydrate often, hydrate early and hydrate with electrolytes in addition to water.

I like to take one Gatorade* and one water per water stop, especially if the Gatorade* is over-mixed and sticky sweet. Gatorade* is roughly six percent carbohydrate by volume. But, if it has more sugar, it impedes absorption into your blood stream.

Now that you have hydrated, enjoy the nice downhill, which takes to towards Lake of the Isles.

Miles 3 to 6

Cruise control time. You should be finding your pace here. If you ran too fast the first few miles, slow down, and get yourself back on schedule. If you ran too slowly, don’t worry here, and do not try to make up for time lost. There will be plenty of time later to try to get back the little time you lost in the first few miles.

Be sure to remember to run the tangents, as this is a curvy section of the course. Do not be the person who runs 26.5 miles, because you stick to one side of the road; 26.2 miles if far enough.

There is a water stop at mile five. If you’ve been running for more than 40 minutes at this point, consider taking your first gel here. Take a gel with two cups of water to get close to the six percent carbohydrate level mentioned earlier. Do not take a gel with Gatorade*, as this could give you a stomach ache.

Miles 6 to 7

Lake Bde Maka Ska* to Lake Harriet. You know the hill. You’ve run it a hundred times during training. However, this time it will feel longer and steeper. Let the people around you pass you. Once you reach the top of the hill, relax and regain any breath you might have lost. Let the view of the Bandshell pull you down the hill and around the left hand turn down to Lake Harriet. There is another water stop at mile seven, so if you haven’t done so already, down the gel now.

Miles 7 to 8
Enjoy the crowds here at miles seven to eight as these are the thickest crowds you’ll see until Summit Avenue in St. Paul. After mile eight, take note as to how you feel. You should feel fresh at this point. If you do not feel fresh, take a mile off by slowing down by about 15 to 30 seconds off your mile pace and reassess.

Miles 8 to 11
This is the trickiest part of the course. It is also where most people wreck their Twin Cities Marathon. Why? You’ve run the path countless times, but how many times have you run the road? The road is much hillier than the path. I’ve seen many people blow themselves up here by running these hills too hard. You may be tired of hearing this, but take it easy here. Let other people pass you on the uphills. If you are not getting passed, you are running too fast.

Once it flattens out, which is shortly after Portland Avenue, relax and find your goal marathon pace again.

Miles 11 to 13
You take the right hand turn on to Cedar Avenue. There is another water stop here and another hill. This might be another great spot for a gel, depending on how long you’ve been out and your personal fueling strategy. There is also another long hill here. Be careful, and let people pass you. Once you’ve reached the top, relax, and find your marathon pace. Head over the bridge, take a sharp left hand turn on to Nokomis Parkway and head towards the half marathon mark. If you’ve followed the instructions so far, you should hit the half marathon mark feeling good. Mug for the cameras, as this is your chance to look good for a picture. These pictures are always better than the finish line photos. Assess your situation. How do you feel? Does running another 13 miles sound easy? Does it sound impossible? Adjust your goals as necessary. There is no doubt about it. The second half of the race is tougher than the first half, so be honest with yourself.

Miles 13 to 14
After you zip around Lake Nokomis, you take a hairpin curve back onto Minnehaha Parkway and, lo and behold, there is another hill. Hold your effort even up this hill. If you do, and you’ve taken it easy on the hills prior to this one, you will notice something new: people falling back compared to you. All of these people ran too hard, too early.

Do not be tempted by the Mel-o-Glaze donut shop, and keep on trucking down Minnehaha Parkway. I always take my second gel at the water stop at mile 13.5, leaving me with one gel left.

Miles 14 to 19
If you’ve run a conservative race up to this point, now is the time to really start running your race. The course is flat to downhill through this section, and you’ve run these miles so many times that there should be no distractions. You’ll fly by Minnehaha Falls and then take a left onto West River Road into the area I call, “The Vacuum”, due to the lack of cheering fans and the isolation that it entails.

Motivation and cheers are at a premium here, so soak in the energy when you can. Keep up your water intake, and make sure to find the shade here, wherever possible. Also, remember to continue to run the tangents. However, if it is sunny, find the shade, and don’t worry about tangents. The sun is moving up in the sky by this time, and you want to keep as cool as you possibly can.

If you don’t feel great, take it easy through here, and conserve your energy. Don’t be afraid to slow down. You’ll want as much of it as possible come miles 20 to 23.

Lastly, there is a Clif Energy* Zone here at mile 17. Take one only if you know for a fact that you can stomach Clif Energy Gel*, and they have a flavor you know you can stomach.

Miles 19 to 21
There is another short, but very tough, climb up to the Franklin Bridge. Again, take it easy here, and conserve energy. Once on the bridge, take a look to your right and enjoy the fall colors on the river bluffs. It is simply beautiful.

The Medtronic Passage* is located just after the bridge and so is the ALARC “Wall” once you’ve turned onto East River Road. Again, find the shade through this section of the course, if it is a sunny day. I always take my last gel early in this section of the race.

There are a few more hills for you to conquer through this section. The first one comes immediately after the Lake Street Bridge* and is a surprise every time I run this race. People should look like they are moving backwards relative to you on this one, if you’ve run a smart race.

There is a nice downhill to the base of Lake Street, and then the second half of the marathon begins.

Miles 21 to 23
The best thing that can be said about this section of the course is that it is only two miles long. Remember this: only two miles long. First, there is a climb from the base of the Lake Street Bridge. Then, you will turn left and face the hill to the University of St. Thomas. Keep moving through here, and attempt to keep your heart rate as low as possible. Once you reach the base of the steep hill, stare at the top of the hill, and keep trucking until you reach the top.Don’t worry about the people around. Just keep moving, and just keep your effort even. Do not run so hard that you find yourself out of breath at the top of this hill. Once you’ve reached the top, the course turns right and then quickly left onto Summit Avenue. Here, there will be crowds, sun and more uphill running. Find the shade wherever possible, and keep drinking water. Maintain your pace through here. If you do, you will be moving past people around you. Break this portion of the course into small chunks: Cretin to Prior, Prior to Snelling. Once you’ve hit Snelling Avenue, you can smell the end of the climb and the end of the marathon.

Miles 23 to 25
You are done with the hills. Are you passing people through this section? If so, keep it up. Find someone to “lasso”, and pull them in. Take a little break, and do it again. Note how strong the sun is. Aren’t you glad you avoided it the last 10 miles? There is no hiding from it in this section of the course. If there is a headwind here, work with other people going your speed, if there are any. Be greedy, and don’t be a hero by being in the front of this group.

Once you are inside of 20 minutes to the finish, do not stop for water. In fact, do not stop for anything, because it can be tough to get moving again.

Miles 25 to 26
Did I say you were done with the hills? I lied. There is one more small hill right at mile 25. You can attack this one if you like. Once you take a left, remaining on Summit Avenue, there is one more mile left. Enjoy the scenery around you, and pull in that guy or gal in front of you. You either trained harder than they did or ran a smarter race than they did, right?

Miles 26 to 26.2
Once the Cathedral of Saint Paul appears out of nowhere on your left, find the last drop of energy you have. It is a downhill sprint to the finish. Do not ease up, and keep moving. Pass as many people as you can in the last quarter mile. You’ll be surprised at how much strength you have left in those legs. Count how many people you pass and cruise to the finish. Congratulations on running a great Twin Cities Marathon.
*updated for course accuracy

 

Exclusive Finisher Medal

Exclusive Finisher Medal

Receive a collectible 2019 Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon finisher medal! The design of our Marathon Weekend medals are TOP SECRET until you reach the finish line!
Brooks Podium Long-Sleeve Technical Shirt - Top Secret

Brooks® Long-Sleeve Technical Finisher Shirt

We like to keep life full of surprises! It's a TCM tradition for the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon finisher shirt design to be a mystery until you cross the finish line on race day!
Race Details
Course Details

Due to construction on Hennepin Avenue the marathon course will be minimally re-routed again for 2020. The marathon start line will remain near US Bank Stadium. The course has been sanctioned and certified under USATF. Water, Lemon-Lime Endurance Formula GATORADE® sports drink will be available at fluid stations throughout the course and Gu Energy Gels in both vanilla bean and tri-berry flavors will be at mile 17. Below is the 2019 marathon course for your reference.

Pacers

Experienced pace leaders will run even splits and provide encouragement and advice along the way to help you cross the finish line within two minutes of your goal finishing times.

 

3:00 | 3:10 | 3:20 | 3:30 | 3:40 | 3:50| 3:55 | 4:00 | 4:05 | 4:10 | 4:20 | 4:35 | 4:50 | 5:00 | 5:15 | 5: 30

                                                                                                             

Corporate Team Challenge

The Corporate Team Challenge offers workplaces of all types and sizes the opportunity to add team-building and excitement to the workplace while promoting health and fitness. To learn more about corporate team challenge, click here

Packet Pick Up

Packet pick up will be available at the Health & Fitness Expo at the Saint Paul RiverCentre. 
There is no packet pick up on race day. No exceptions.

The expo is located on the lower level of the Saint Paul RiverCentre at 175 West Kellogg Blvd St. Paul, MN 55102.

You will need your race number (emailed late September) and a photo ID to pick up your packet at the Health & Fitness Expo. The Help Desk located in the packet pick up area is staffed by individuals available to help you with registration related issues. There are also two “Race Number Look Up” tables located near the packet pick up entrance.

Hotel Information

Book and manage your Marathon Weekend stay with TCM’s partner hotels in Saint Paul, Minneapolis or Bloomington at the best rates on the Bloomington Convention & Visitors Bureau hotel portal. 

Click here to enter the hotel portal.

Host Hotel

You will find the information for your online reservation link below. If you have questions or need help with the link, please do not hesitate to ask. You may reach a reservation specialist directly by dialing the below telephone number.

Please contact Renaissance Reservations at (612) 375-1700 or 866-211-4611 and ask for the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon 2019 Room Block  to get the group rate of $169.00 for a Standard Guest Room. Please note there is a two-night minimum stay requirement.

Please contact Residence Inn Reservations at (866) 211-4612 or 612-340-1300 and  ask for the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon 2019 Room Block to get the group rate of $169.00 for a Studio Suite or a One Bedroom Suite. Please note there is a two-night minimum stay requirement.

Book your group rate online for the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon Weekend 2019

Rates valid tbd. Book by early September, 2020.

Competitive Athletes

Twin Cities In Motion is proud to host top U.S. and professional international athletes at the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon. For prize money details, qualification standards, and more, please view the 2019 Competitive Athletes information sheets. 2020 information will be released at a later time.

Pro Athlete Overview - Marathon

Masters Elite Standards

Open Standards for Marathon:

Women Men
2:50:00 

 2:30:00

 

Marathon Training

Maximize the journey of your marathon experience by training with the best! Life Time Run, the official marathon training program for the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon, has designed a training program that is educational, entertaining, and challenging, while motivating beginning and veteran marathoners alike. Official training begins in June, with pre-season team runs beginning in May. For more information, contact info@lifetimerun.com or check out www.lifetimerun.com.

Spectators

Friends and family are welcome to come to the race, bring a motivational sign, and watch and cheer on participants! As always, please be respectful of private property and do not enter the race course. Pedestrians are permitted to cross the course at intersections where race officials are present to direct foot traffic.

2019 Spectator Guide

Download the Marathon Weekend App free on Google Play and iTunes for participant tracking and more!

Results

2019 results are available here

For results from 2001 - 2018, please click here.

For results from 1982-2000 and results books, please contact us for assistance.

TwinCitiesInMotion

Questions?

When should I register?

Registration will open in early March 2020. 

A great way to make sure you never miss the best price on an event is to enroll in our free Rewards In Motion program. Rewards In Motion members will ALWAYS receive access to the lowest price block prior to public registration opening.

How can I see if I'm registered?

Once registration is available: Use the online registration confirmation tool to verify entry to the 2020 Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon Weekend.

Look up your Bib information here

Can I switch from the marathon to the 10 mile or transfer my entry to someone else?

You may switch your registration one time to another distance within Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon Weekend. However, transferring into the Medtronic TC 10 Mile from another distance is not permitted.

Your registration may also be transferred to another person. Registrations may only be transferred one time within the designated transfer period for each event and within the same event and distance as the original registration. The Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon Weekend transfer deadline – to switch your race distance or to transfer registration to another person --  will be in August 2020. Additional fees and restrictions may apply. Once race numbers are assigned, they are never transferable. 

NOTE: For the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon and Medtronic TC 10 Mile, we cannot guarantee placement in the first corrals to newly transferred runners, since corral capacity is limited.

View step-by-step instructions to begin a transfer. Email registration@tcmevents.org with questions.

 

Can I receive a refund or defer my entry to next year?

Refunds are available within 48 hours of registration. This policy is valid until 5 days before the event. To request a refund, email info@tcmevents.org or call 651-289-7700 within 48 hours of when you submitted your registration. If accepted, you will be refunded your race entry fee; online transaction fees are non-refundable. Deferrals are not permitted.

Can I pick up my friend's packet?

Yes. One runner may pick up another runner's packet. Your representative will need a completed Packet Pick Up Authorization Form and his or her photo ID in order to pick up your packet. Your representative will also have to have the runner’s race number handy. Note: only the representative's photo ID is required, not the participant.

Do I have to run the entire time?

No, you may run and walk throughout the event, however, participants must be able to finish in a 13:44-minute-per-mile pace to cross the finish line within the 6-hour course limit. Runners unable to maintain a 13:44-minute-per-mile pace may be asked to move to the sidewalk and must obey traffic signals as the course is re-opened to traffic. The finish line remains open until 2 p.m. assuming an 8 a.m. start.

Please note: strollers and baby joggers are not permitted on the Medtronic TC Marathon course.

Will there be transportation to the start line, and after I finish?

BUSES PARTICIPANT BUSES TO START LINE • Free rides for participants only, must show race bib to board.

  • Buses depart every 10 minutes (5 a.m. - 6:45 a.m.) and will drop off at 6th street near 10th Ave. South near start line.
  • InterContinental Saint Paul Riverfront 11 East Kellogg Blvd. St. Paul 
  • Best Western Plus Capitol Ridge 1-94 & Marion St. St. Paul

 

If you’re staying in Minneapolis, you may walk or take the light rail to the start line which is near the US Bank Stadium.

 

PARTICIPANT BUSES FROM FINISH • Free rides for participants only, must show race bib to board.

  • Buses run from 9 a.m. - 2:45 p.m.
  • Buses will be located on Cedar St.
  • Buses depart when full to:
    • InterContinental Saint Paul Riverfront
    • Near US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis

 

FREE RIDES ON METRO TRANSIT LIGHT RAIL

  • Free rides on Green Line and Blue Line
  • Participants only, must show race bib to board
  • Saturday, October 5 and Sunday, October 6
  • Start Line Station: U.S. Bank Stadium Station
  • Finish Line Station: Robert St. Station, 10th St. Station, or Capitol/Rice St. Station
  • Visit metrotransit.org for the full Metro Transit schedule

 

RIDESHARE

Planning to use Uber or Lyft services to and from the Sunday events? There are now designated Drop Off (near start line) and Pick Up (near finish line) locations set to help ease traffic congestion and provide an easier ride for you!

Drop Off location

Pick Up location

Where can I park?

Various street parking is available in lots, ramps, and neighborhoods surrounding the State Capitol grounds. Be aware of road closures and adhere to 'No Parking' signs. Vehicles violating city regulations will be ticketed and vehicles on the course will be towed.

  • Union Depot offers discounted parking. Park in Lot C for $5 or Lot B for $10 between 6 a.m. and 1 p.m.
    • Board the Light Rail Green Line at the Union Depot Station
  • Parking lot, just west of the State Capitol grounds, offers limited event parking for $20, first-come, first-served.
    • Board the Best Western Plus Capitol Ridge participant bus

You can book parking in advance by visiting the Twin Cities Marathon SpotHero Parking Page.  If you are new to SpotHero, you can click here to download the SpotHero app.