10 Favorite Things About the TC 10 Mile
It’s mid-July which means it’s time to start training for the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon and TC 10 Mile! Twin Cities Marathon weekend is a staple in the Minnesota running community and it’s no wonder why; the weekend of events offers race distances for runners of all abilities and the hundreds of thousands of spectators who line the streets turn Minneapolis and St. Paul into the ultimate runner party.
Marathon weekend is without a doubt my favorite time of year in Minnesota, but you don’t need to race the marathon to experience the race! The TC 10 Mile is a shorter distance alternative that offers many of the same great amenities and excitement as the marathon. Over the years, I have been lucky enough to have run the TC 10 Mile four times (and the full marathon twice, but who’s counting?) and consider it one of my all-time favorite races.
About the Medtronic TC 10 Mile
The TC 10 Mile takes place on the same day as the Twin Cities Marathon (Sunday, October 1st this year) and starts at 6:30 a.m. Race entry is lottery-only unless you’ve gained access through one of the TC Challenge Race Series events such as the TC Loony Challenge or TC Summit Challenge, but in my experience, it hasn’t been too tricky to get accepted. (Note: Lottery registration has already closed for 2017.)
The TC 10 Mile race course closely follows the route of the marathon with a few exceptions - runners skip the Chain of Lakes and head straight for the Mississippi River, taking the shortcut to the Capitol. Everything from race day logistics to screaming fans complete this annual race; it’s easy to see what makes it so great.
10 Favorite Things about the TC 10
Below are ten of my favorite things about the TC 10 Mile.
1. It’s Only 10 Miles
Not in shape to run a full marathon? No problem! The best part about the TC 10 Mile is that it’s only 10 miles long.
2. Summit Avenue Excitement
Despite the fact that the race is only 10 miles, you’ll still get to soak up the race day excitement as if you’ve run the full 26.2. That means you’ll get the full experience of funny signs, cowbells, and crowds of race day spectators.
3. Easy Race Day Logistics
Remember that whole thing about not running a marathon but still getting the perks? The same thing applies to easy race day logistics. The TC 10 is by far one of the most organized races in town in part because it is attached to the marathon. Getting to the start line is a breeze with Metro Transit options including the light rail and bus, and once you’re there plenty of directional signs and volunteers will point you in the right bathroom, bag drop, or corral direction. Water stations and volunteers abound at regularly marked intervals along the course, and once you reach the finish line you’ll be swept into a mylar blanket and whisked away to gather your things and post-race beer. Seriously, Twin Cities in Motion does a fantastic job!
4. PR Perfect Weather
Of the 6 times I have raced the TC 10 Mile or Twin Cities Marathon, it has been bright, clear, and chilly at the start all 6 times. For whatever reason, the running gods have forever chosen the weather during the first weekend in October to be absolutely perfect. Dress for a chilly start (some years it gets below freezing) but plan to warm up in the later miles as the sun moves overhead.
Related: What You Need on Marathon Race Day
5. Scenic River Views
It’s true, the TC 10 Mile course skips the beauty of the Chain of Lakes but you’re not missing out! Instead, the course heads straight for the great Mississippi River and shows off some stunning scenic views.
6. Great Marathon Practice
Curious about the marathon distance but need to warm up to the idea first? The TC 10 is great practice for the full 26.2. For starters, you’ll get to experience the flurry and excitement that comes with running a big event like a marathon. You’ll also get to see marathon runners first hand as they dig deep, get ugly, and accomplish big audacious goals. If that doesn’t inspire you, nothing will!
7. Top-Notch Swag
As with all Twin Cities in Motion events, the race swag that comes with running the TC 10 is top notch. Runners receive a Brooks technical shirt, an awesome medal that changes each year, a free beer at the finish (ages 21+), and an epic finish line festival at the Capitol.
8. Marathon Finish Line
Yes, TC 10 Mile runners get to cross the same finish line as the marathon! The iconic run down Summit Avenue down to the Capitol is not only special but down right beautiful! All runners get to experience the thrill of the finish line regardless of which distance they race.
9. Beer at the Finish
Did we mention there is Summit beer at the finish? There is Summit beer at the finish and TC 10 Mile runners get their first one for free!
10. Race then Spectate!
The very best thing about running the TC 10 Mile is being able to spectate the marathon after the race. Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon weekend is always a special time in Minneapolis/St. Paul. It is the crown jewel event of our running community and one of which we should feel very proud.
What is Your Favorite Thing About the TC 10 Mile?
Were you accepted into the TC 10 Mile lottery this year or have you run in the past? What are your favorite things about the race? Share in the comments below.