The spirit of the Marathon is definitely alive in Mankato! The best of humanity comes out during a marathon—you see people doing what seems impossible.
My first marathon was the Mankato Marathon, and I have run one other Mankato Marathon as well. I couldn’t wrap my head around running 26.2 miles, so I came up with some creative ways to get my through the journey and want to share them with you.
1. Dedicate your miles. I dedicated every mile to someone important in my life, my husband’s life or my children’s lives. Then, I told all 26 people what mile I was dedicating to them and that they would be in my thoughts while I was running that mile. For example, I let Lisa Taylor, a labor and delivery nurse at Mayo Clinic Health System, know that she was going to be my mile 14. I told her how unbelievably grateful I was that she as with my husband, Dr. Chaun Cox, and I during the birth of both our boys. I told her how perfectly encouraging and comforting she was during a scary and stressful delivery. To my surprise, Lisa Taylor was standing right at mile 14 with more words of encouragement. Dedicating a mile to someone important to me made the marathon experience so much more meaningful.
2. Savor the moment. There is a reason why the Mankato Marathon has been continuously voted the best destination marathon in Minnesota. The “cheer zones” along the course will give you an extra boost of energy and excitement and help you make this marathon exceptionally memorable.
3. Enjoy the spectators. Allow the energy of the spectators to carry you to the finish line. It’s a beautiful and emotional experience having the Mankato community back this race.
4. Celebrate your victory. There is nothing like crossing the finish line of a marathon race. Less than one percent of the world’s population runs a marathon, so whether you are a first-place finisher or a last-place finisher, you have the title of marathoner. I was so excited about earning this title that I proudly wore my 26.2 marathon medal the next day to Cub Foods while I grocery shopped. Celebrate your victory and all that you did to get yourself to the finish line.
Although the first-place finishers are amazing to see, I am more inspired by those in the back of the pack. I know firsthand these runners are out of their comfort zones. I know training was hard. I know quitting was tempting but also not an option. These are where the stories are. These are the runners that are putting their pride aside to show up. These are the runners that shed tears at the finish line because they are so overcome by emotion. The back of the pack is where the party is truly at. Go get ’em!
About the author:
Kate Cox is a licenses social worker with Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato. Kate has run two Mankato Marathons, two half marathons and one 10K. This year, she will be running the Mankato Half Marathon or the 10K.
For more information, visit mayoclinichealthsystem.org.