Stretch Out and Lace Up

Tour the area one walk/run race at a time.
Runners move out from the start of Lola’s Half Marathon in Waconia.

Minnesotans are a fit and hearty bunch. Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night hold many from the swift competition of racing in some of the best local walk/run races.

To help navigate their competition calendars, many racers turn to Mike Cofrin and the Minnesota Run Series. Cofrin and his business partner, Marilyn Franzen, blend their experiences. “We as a team have a strong passion for inspiring people to be fit, and this was the perfect avenue for it,”  Cofrin says. The Minnesota Run Series annually helps 30,000 runners participate in Twin Cities races.

June races begin with Lola’s Lake Waconia Half Marathon in Waconia on June 3. The race starts near Waconia’s City Square Park. The event offers a half marathon, a two-person 1/2 marathon relay, a 10-mile race, and the 5K run/walk that is dog-friendly.
Participants can replenish with a free lunch, two complimentary beverages and live music at the after party at Lola’s Lakehouse. Cost and morning start times vary. Main Street, between N. Spruce and N. Pine streets, Waconia.

The June 10 Stop the Traffick(ing) Run is a collaborative community-wide event to raise awareness surrounding the issue of human trafficking. Proceeds are earmarked for groups working to help sexually exploited youth in area communities. Preregistration is $35 for adults, $25 for youth; same-day registration is $40 for adults, $30 for youth. 8:30 a.m. Purgatory Creek Park Pavilion.

June 24 brings a double feature with the Eden Prairie Fire Department’s sixth annual 5K Fun Run and Walk. Participants walk/run alongside members of the Fire Department in their gear. The event benefits the American Cancer Society and features additional activities for all ages.  Registration required. All ages. $25. 8 a.m.–noon. Purgatory Creek Park, 13001 Technology Drive, Eden Prairie.

The day also includes Chaska’s Say Hey 5K and Mascot Run, which features special courses so children, families and even canine pals can participate together. Proceeds go to the Chamber Foundation to provide scholarships for youth entering college and non-traditional student scholarships. 9 a.m. race start. Chaska American Legion.