This was my 10th state in my quest for all 50, it is definitely worth the trip! Very well organized, easy packet pick up (they offer race day pick up which is nice). The race doesn't start until 9:00 am which might turn some people off, but I loved it, it's not quite so cold at the start and you actually have time to enjoy breakfast at the hotel. The fall colors were at their peak and the view of the lake was gorgeous! The volunteers were helpful and encouraging, water stops were well spaced and organized. The shirt has a great design and actually fits, and the medal is one of my favorites!
The course is mostly flat on bike trails with a nice loop through downtown, and a few small rolling hills after the halfway point to keep things interesting.
We stayed at the Country Inn and Suites located right at the start/finish line. There are less expensive hotels around town but I felt it was worth it for the convenience. We enjoyed dinner at JJ's Dockside Restaurant (located in the hotel) the night before the race, and had a post race meal and pint at Brigid's Cross Irish Pub. Located a little over a mile from the hotel, it is actually along the race route, and a nice walk to stretch your legs after the race. This year The Bemidji State Beavers men's hockey team was playing at home Saturday night, if you wore your medal to the box office you could get discounted tickets. We took advantage of this offer and really enjoyed the game, they honored the runners during intermission. Overall, this was a really fun weekend getaway, worth the 11 hour drive. I would recommend it to anyone trying for 50 states!
By HJ about 2013
I ran this its first year. I understand there's been a slight course change, but knowing the area, I'm sure it's just as smooth of a course as before. Great support. Beautiful course. Not rolling "hills" but more little bumps. Highly recommend.
Prepare for a little breeze off the lake on the 1st portion, as well as a bit on NW corner of lake. Perfect running temp 1st yr.