Eden Prairie, Chaska, Chanhassen & Waconia 5Ks

Our roundup of this season's best 5K runs and walks in the area.

 

As springtime weather Slowly makes its way to Minnesota, we can safely start daydreaming about the months ahead: sunny skies and warm days! If you’re itching to get up and get moving, a 5K or 10K run—or walk—in one of our gorgeous communities might be just the ticket.
From May through September, the southwest metro area hosts more than a dozen medium-distance runs and walks—some just for fun, and others benefitting schools and nonprofits.
And in one southwest metro community, organizers have discovered that a fun run can be the perfect engine for community engagement, inspiring neighbors to get together like few events can. We talked with the masterminds behind the Say Hey 5K about their planning process and their big dreams for this year’s fourth annual event. 
Say Hey!
June 28
$30–$40. Race starts at 10:30 a.m., food and live music at 11 a.m. Chaska American Legion, 102 W. Fourth St., Chaska; sayhey5k.com
Downtown Chaska’s premier spring run, the Say Hey 5K, started out as something quite different, says organizer Matt Udermann. “My involvement started four years ago,” he remembers. “I sit on the board of Guardian Angels [Catholic Parish], and we were wondering, ‘How do we balance the budget and grow the top line?’ We came up with a number of ideas, and one was a 5K.” 
Almost immediately, the planning committee realized that their 5K could reach beyond the needs of a single church, Udermann explains. “We wanted to raise awareness, engagement and funds for downtown Chaska. We organized a board…and created a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.” 
The Say Hey 5K was off and running.
Udermann and his team decided to plan for three primary initiatives to benefit the businesses of downtown Chaska and encourage neighbors to gather in a central, community-oriented area. The first initiative, Say Hey Signs, directs funds to main street signage and holiday lights. “Our second ‘bucket’ for fundraising is Say Hey Saturdays,” says Udermann. On the last Saturday of each month, Chaska neighbors get together for a social or giving-back outing. “Last year, we hosted a free pig roast at Cuzzy’s, and adopted a highway and invited people to out for a cleanup day.” 
The third initiative, Say Hey Scholars, raises funds for students who go above and beyond in volunteerism or internships. “We want to encourage kids to get involved in the downtown community,” Udermann says.
To spread the word about the run, Say Hey 5K organizers developed a snazzy marketing plan: a funky website, bright posters and a memorable footprint logo. “It was pretty apparent that none of us were professional race planners,” Udermann chuckles. “We were going to be a marketing engine…and we branded loudly with our bright orange.” 
It’s working: The 2013 5K saw more than 1,000 participants and raised more than $15,000. This year’s run, on the last Saturday in June, will feature a kids’ mascot run, live music and two tasty meals.
The Say Hey team lends equipment and support to other races; they are exploring an initiative to band all races in town to co-promote the spirit of community. “We want to encourage community engagement with our collective voice,” says Udermann. “We’ve had a number of other cities reach out … the reality is, if you bring people together to fuse as a community, the money and engagement will follow.”
Run the Ridge, Chaska
May 3
Help raise funds for Pioneer Middle School programs, from technology to athletics. $25-$30 per individual, $50-$60 per family. 5K run and walk start at 9 a.m. Pioneer Ridge Middle School, 1085 Pioneer Trail, Chaska; 952.556.7800; prm.district112.org
Bud Break, Chanhassen
May 4
Enjoy a brisk jog or stroll through the early-blooming gardens at the Arboretum. Kids can participate in a short Daffodil Dash, too. $25; $35 race day. 9 a.m. Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, 3675 Arboretum Drive, Chanhassen; 952.443.1400; arboretum.umn.edu
Community Center 5K and 10K, Chaska
May 17
Sponsored by the Chaska Run Club, this family event encourages neighbors of all ages to get active. Kids can also run the last 1.2-mile leg of the month-long Chaska Kids’ Marathon. 10K starts at 8 a.m., 5K starts at 8:15 a.m. Chaska Community Center, 1661 Park Ridge Drive, Chaska; 952.448.5633; chaskacommunitycenter.com
Helping Paws’ Wag, Walk & Run 5K, Eden Prairie
May 18
Bring your dog to this annual run/walk, which also raises money for Helping Paws, an organization dedicated to training service dogs for people with special needs and veterans with PTSD. There’s a 1 mile kids’ run, as well as a Six-Legged 5K for adults and dogs. Early registration: $25/person; $15/children. Race day registration: $35/person; $20/child. 8:40 a.m. Kids’ Run; 9:30 a.m. 5K. Purgatory Creek Park, 13001 Technology Drive, Eden Prairie; 952.988.9359; helpingpaws.org
Randy’s Run, Eden Prairie
May 26
Funds support the Randy’s Run scholarship for Eden Prairie High School seniors, in memory of Randy Voas, who was killed during a 2010 mission in Afghanistan. $30 until May 1; $35. 8 a.m. Purgatory Creek Park, 13001 Technology Drive, Eden Prairie; randysrun.org
5K for Education, Chanhassen
May 31
Support the Southwest Metro Chamber’s scholarships for local high school graduates. Free for kids, adults $20. 8:45 a.m. Chanhassen Recreation Center, 2310 Coulter Blvd., Chanhassen; 952.474.3233; swmetrochamber.com
Lola’s Lake Waconia Half-Marathon & 5K, Waconia
June 7
Run or walk around scenic Lake Waconia and enjoy an after-party at Lola’s Lakehouse downtown. Includes a half-marathon (13.1 miles) or a 5K option. Half-marathon and 10-mile $55–$60, 5K $30–$35. Half-marathon starts at 8 a.m., 5K starts at 8:15 a.m., 10-mile starts at 7:50 a.m. City Square Park, 52 S. Pine St., Waconia; lakewaconiahalfmarathon.com
Fire Department 5K, Eden Prairie
June 7
Join the Eden Prairie Fire Department for a 5K run or walk to benefit the American Cancer Society. $25–$30. 8 a.m. Purgatory Creek Park, 13001 Technology Drive, Eden Prairie; edenprairie.org
Optimist Club OK 5K, Eden Prairie
July 4
Help the Eden Prairie Optimists raise funds for their good work, from school trips for kids to drug-prevention programs. $25–$30. 9 a.m. Purgatory Creek Park, 13001 Technology Drive, Eden Prairie; facebook.com/epoptimists
Tonka Mud Run, Chanhassen
July 12
Even grown-ups can have fun in the mud: This 5K includes jumping, climbing and weaving through a messy obstacle course. There’s also a mini-mud course for kiddos. Proceeds support Kids Against Hunger–West Metro. Kids $10–$15, adults $30–$45. 9:30 a.m. Lake Minnewashta Regional Park, 6900 Hazeltine Blvd., Chanhassen; tonkamudrun4.kidsagainsthungerwm.org
OutRun Anxiety 5K, Eden Prairie
July 20
Anxiety In Teens, a local nonprofit, was founded in 2006 to provide resources and education for adolescents and their families. This annual 5K event also features a Wellness Expo. $25–$30. 8 a.m. Purgatory Creek Park, 13001 Technology Drive, Eden Prairie; anxietyinteens.org
River City Days 5K, Chaska
July 26
One of the highlights of the River City Days fest is this fun 5K in downtown Chaska. Proceeds benefit the Southern Valley Alliance for Battered Women, a local organization. $18–$22. 8 a.m. City Square Park, 120 E. Fourth St., Chaska; chaskarivercitydays.com
Head 4 Awareness
August 9
Take a jaunt on Chaska’s beautiful, paved trails and help raise awareness about youth and teen concussions. Your own teens can receive free baseline testing on Friday before the run. Kids $15–$25, adults $25–$35. 9 a.m. Chaska High School, 545 Pioneer Trail, Chaska; head4awareness.com
Boots & Boas 5K, Eden Prairie
September 6
Don your snazziest boots and boas for the 50-yard dash portion of this run—you can wear your sneakers for the rest of the 5K. Funds from the race benefit several local organizations that work with domestic violence victims. $25–$35. 9 a.m. Purgatory Creek Park, 13001 Technology Drive, Eden Prairie; facebook.com/pages/Boots-Boas-5K-10K
Nickle Dickle 5K, Waconia
September 13
The southwest metro’s favorite festival, Nickle Dickle Day, offers a 5K run or walk around gorgeous Lake Waconia. $15–$30. 8:10 a.m. Bayview Elementary School, 24 S. Walnut St., Waconia; nickledickle.com
5K for Eden Prairie Schools, Eden Prairie
September 20
Eden Prairie neighbors unite for a 5K—or a 1-mile family fun run—to raise support and funds for teachers grants from the Foundation for Eden Prairie Schools. 5K $35, family fun run $20. 5K starts at 8:30 a.m., fun run starts at 9:30 a.m. Eden Prairie High School Aerie Stadium, 17185 Valley View Road, Eden Prairie; foundationforepschools.org // 

As springtime weather Slowly makes its way to Minnesota, we can safely start daydreaming about the months ahead: sunny skies and warm days! If you’re itching to get up and get moving, a 5K or 10K run—or walk—in one of our gorgeous communities might be just the ticket.

From May through September, the southwest metro area hosts more than a dozen medium-distance runs and walks—some just for fun, and others benefitting schools and nonprofits.And in one southwest metro community, organizers have discovered that a fun run can be the perfect engine for community engagement, inspiring neighbors to get together like few events can. We talked with the masterminds behind the Say Hey 5K about their planning process and their big dreams for this year’s fourth annual event. 

Say Hey!
June 28
$30–$40.
Race starts at 10:30 a.m., food and live music at 11 a.m.
Chaska American Legion, 102 W. Fourth St., Chaska 
sayhey5k.com

Downtown Chaska’s premier spring run, the Say Hey 5K, started out as something quite different, says organizer Matt Udermann. “My involvement started four years ago,” he remembers. “I sit on the board of Guardian Angels [Catholic Parish], and we were wondering, ‘How do we balance the budget and grow the top line?’ We came up with a number of ideas, and one was a 5K.” 

Almost immediately, the planning committee realized that their 5K could reach beyond the needs of a single church, Udermann explains. “We wanted to raise awareness, engagement and funds for downtown Chaska. We organized a board…and created a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.” 

The Say Hey 5K was off and running.

Udermann and his team decided to plan for three primary initiatives to benefit the businesses of downtown Chaska and encourage neighbors to gather in a central, community-oriented area. The first initiative, Say Hey Signs, directs funds to main street signage and holiday lights. “Our second ‘bucket’ for fundraising is Say Hey Saturdays,” says Udermann. On the last Saturday of each month, Chaska neighbors get together for a social or giving-back outing. “Last year, we hosted a free pig roast at Cuzzy’s, and adopted a highway and invited people to out for a cleanup day.” 

The third initiative, Say Hey Scholars, raises funds for students who go above and beyond in volunteerism or internships. “We want to encourage kids to get involved in the downtown community,” Udermann says.

To spread the word about the run, Say Hey 5K organizers developed a snazzy marketing plan: a funky website, bright posters and a memorable footprint logo. “It was pretty apparent that none of us were professional race planners,” Udermann chuckles. “We were going to be a marketing engine…and we branded loudly with our bright orange.” 

It’s working: The 2013 5K saw more than 1,000 participants and raised more than $15,000. This year’s run, on the last Saturday in June, will feature a kids’ mascot run, live music and two tasty meals.

The Say Hey team lends equipment and support to other races; they are exploring an initiative to band all races in town to co-promote the spirit of community. “We want to encourage community engagement with our collective voice,” says Udermann. “We’ve had a number of other cities reach out … the reality is, if you bring people together to fuse as a community, the money and engagement will follow.”

Run the Ridge, Chaska
May 3
Help raise funds for Pioneer Middle School programs, from technology to athletics.
$25-$30 per individual, $50-$60 per family.
5K run and walk start at 9 a.m.
Pioneer Ridge Middle School, 1085 Pioneer Trail, Chaska 
952.556.7800; prm.district112.org

Bud Break, Chanhassen
May 4
Enjoy a brisk jog or stroll through the early-blooming gardens at the Arboretum. Kids can participate in a short Daffodil Dash, too.
$25; $35 race day.
9 a.m.
Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, 3675 Arboretum Drive, Chanhassen
952.443.1400; arboretum.umn.edu


Community Center 5K and 10K, Chaska
May 17
Sponsored by the Chaska Run Club, this family event encourages neighbors of all ages to get active. Kids can also run the last 1.2-mile leg of the month-long Chaska Kids’ Marathon.
10K starts at 8 a.m., 5K starts at 8:15 a.m.
Chaska Community Center, 1661 Park Ridge Drive, Chaska
952.448.5633; chaskacommunitycenter.com

Helping Paws’ Wag, Walk & Run 5K, Eden Prairie
May 18
Bring your dog to this annual run/walk, which also raises money for Helping Paws, an organization dedicated to training service dogs for people with special needs and veterans with PTSD. There’s a 1 mile kids’ run, as well as a Six-Legged 5K for adults and dogs.
Early registration: $25/person; $15/children. Race day registration: $35/person; $20/child.
8:40 a.m. Kids’ Run; 9:30 a.m. 5K.
Purgatory Creek Park, 13001 Technology Drive, Eden Prairie 
952.988.9359; helpingpaws.org

Randy’s Run, Eden Prairie
May 26
Funds support the Randy’s Run scholarship for Eden Prairie High School seniors, in memory of Randy Voas, who was killed during a 2010 mission in Afghanistan.
$30 until May 1; $35. 8 a.m.
Purgatory Creek Park, 13001 Technology Drive, Eden Prairie 
randysrun.org

5K for Education, Chanhassen
May 31
Support the Southwest Metro Chamber’s scholarships for local high school graduates.
Free for kids, adults $20. 8:45 a.m.
Chanhassen Recreation Center, 2310 Coulter Blvd., Chanhassen
952.474.3233; swmetrochamber.com


Lola’s Lake Waconia Half-Marathon & 5K, Waconia
June 7
Run or walk around scenic Lake Waconia and enjoy an after-party at Lola’s Lakehouse downtown. Includes a half-marathon (13.1 miles) or a 5K option.
Half-marathon and 10-mile $55–$60, 5K $30–$35.
Half-marathon starts at 8 a.m., 5K starts at 8:15 a.m., 10-mile starts at 7:50 a.m.
City Square Park, 52 S. Pine St., Waconia
lakewaconiahalfmarathon.com


Fire Department 5K, Eden Prairie
June 7
Join the Eden Prairie Fire Department for a 5K run or walk to benefit the American Cancer Society.
$25–$30.
8 a.m.
Purgatory Creek Park, 13001 Technology Drive, Eden Prairie
edenprairie.org

Stop the Trafficking 5K Run/Walk, Eden Prairie
June 14
This run is designed to raise awareness about the issue of human trafficking. Proceeds from the run will go to local organizations dedicated to helping sexually exploited youth.
$20–$25.
8:30 a.m.
Purgatory Creek Park, 13001 Technology Drive, Eden Prairie
stopthetraffickingrun.org

Optimist Club OK 5K, Eden Prairie
July 4
Help the Eden Prairie Optimists raise funds for their good work, from school trips for kids to drug-prevention programs.
$25–$30.
9 a.m.
Purgatory Creek Park, 13001 Technology Drive, Eden Prairie
facebook.com/epoptimists

Tonka Mud Run, Chanhassen
July 12
Even grown-ups can have fun in the mud: This 5K includes jumping, climbing and weaving through a messy obstacle course. There’s also a mini-mud course for kiddos. Proceeds support Kids Against Hunger–West Metro.
Kids $10–$15, adults $30–$45.
9:30 a.m.
Lake Minnewashta Regional Park, 6900 Hazeltine Blvd., Chanhassen 
tonkamudrun4.kidsagainsthungerwm.org


OutRun Anxiety 5K, Eden Prairie
July 20
Anxiety In Teens, a local nonprofit, was founded in 2006 to provide resources and education for adolescents and their families. This annual 5K event also features a Wellness Expo.
$25–$30.
8 a.m.
Purgatory Creek Park, 13001 Technology Drive, Eden Prairie
anxietyinteens.org

River City Days 5K, Chaska
July 26
One of the highlights of the River City Days fest is this fun 5K in downtown Chaska. Proceeds benefit the Southern Valley Alliance for Battered Women, a local organization.
$18–$22.
8 a.m.
City Square Park, 120 E. Fourth St., Chaska
chaskarivercitydays.com


Head 4 Awareness

August 9
Take a jaunt on Chaska’s beautiful, paved trails and help raise awareness about youth and teen concussions. Your own teens can receive free baseline testing on Friday before the run.
Kids $15–$25, adults $25–$35.
9 a.m.
Chaska High School, 545 Pioneer Trail, Chaska
head4awareness.com

Boots & Boas 5K, Eden Prairie
September 6
Don your snazziest boots and boas for the 50-yard dash portion of this run—you can wear your sneakers for the rest of the 5K. Funds from the race benefit several local organizations that work with domestic violence victims.
$25–$35.
9 a.m.
Purgatory Creek Park, 13001 Technology Drive, Eden Prairie 
facebook.com/pages/Boots-Boas-5K-10K


Nickle Dickle 5K, Waconia

September 13
The southwest metro’s favorite festival, Nickle Dickle Day, offers a 5K run or walk as a part of its festivities. In addition to the 5K, runners can also sign up for a 10K or half-marathon.
$15–$30.
8:10 a.m.
Bayview Elementary School, 24 S. Walnut St., Waconia
waconiacommunityed.org

5K for Eden Prairie Schools, Eden Prairie
September 20
Eden Prairie neighbors unite for a 5K—or a 1-mile family fun run—to raise support and funds for teachers grants from the Foundation for Eden Prairie Schools. 5K $35, family fun run $20.
5K starts at 8:30 a.m., fun run starts at 9:30 a.m.
Eden Prairie High School Aerie Stadium, 17185 Valley View Road, Eden Prairie
foundationforepschools.org //