Twin Cities Marathon a labor of love

No matter the motivation, the event is celebration of accomplishment

Sloane Martin
October 06, 2018 - 5:44 pm

It's time to fill up on carbs and get plenty of rest before Sunday's Twin Cities marathon.

Distance runners of all ages and abilities have been taking part since it started in 1982. Only a very small number have a chance of medaling, so for everyone else the race is a bucket list item or the celebration of a lot of hard work and determination. No matter their motivation, they take it very seriously.

"In fact, my nephew's getting married on Sunday in Kansas City, Mo., and he wanted me to come there, but I said, 'I've ran this every year since 1985. I'm not giving up my streak,'" runner Jerry Brown said while picking up his bin at the Health and Fitness Expo at Rivercenter in St. Paul.

Sunday is 68-year-old Brown 323rd marathon since he started running in 1985 with no background in the sport whatsoever. He ran one in Joplin, Missouri just last weekend. He plans to update the tattoo on the back of his right calf with the total number of marathons he runs in a lifetime.

"I like to eat and I like to stay in shape. I think it's a way of maybe staying younger. Maybe it's making her older, I don't know," he said. "I hope I can do it until I'm 90."

Valerie Churchill is running the 10-mile, but wants to do the marathon next year. She's seen running have an impact -- and not just on her health.

"I go, 'Why not? See what you can do, Val.' Maybe I can be an inspiration to others," she said. "So far, I've inspired people at work to run, start our running, quitting smoking. I said, 'Guys, see what you can do. Why not? You guys can't stand here doing day-to-day mundane things. See what you can do to inspire others.' It doesn't necessarily have to running, but see what you can do to inspire others."

The race obviously is also for elite runners. Megan Tetzloff was six minutes off from qualifying for the Boston Marathon last year and she's determined to make it this time because she's in "the best shape of my life."

"Making sure, going on really long runs every week," she said of her training, "kind of building off those long runs every week. And then making sure to get my short runs in, working on tempo work and speed work as well. Getting some hills in, because that kind of killed me last year."

Mile 20 to 23 is the toughest incline, but the rest is downhill.

Hundreds of thousands are expected to cheer along the route that takes runners from U.S. Bank Stadium, down through south Minneapolis, up the Mississippi River and finishes at the state capitol.

Information for spectators is here.