It’s time to lace up your running shoes and register for northern Minnesota’s oldest Halloween-themed race!
Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College will be hosting the 14th annual Pumpkin Run & Walk at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 19, 2019. The race distance is five kilometers (3.1 miles), and the route will begin and end on the campus at 2101 14th Street in Cloquet. The event is open to runners and walkers of all ages and abilities.
“The Pumpkin Run & Walk is great fun and while many previous runners and walkers return each year, we see a lot of new participants who have never been on our campus,” said Tom Urbanski, director of public information at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, and who also serves as race director of the Pumpkin Run. “We’ll have runners, walkers, people in costumes, students, area residents, as well as people who travel a long way to get here. It’s a perfect theme for a running race during October and the Pumpkin Run has always been a festive community event.”
The entry fee leading up to and on race day is $20.00 for everyone, with special pre-registration rates for students and individuals if submitted prior to October 14. (Current students get the lowest rate of just $12.00 if they register before October 14.)
Entry forms are available at area running stores and sporting goods stores, at the college, and on the college website. Online registration is available through Tempo Tickets is available here.
To celebrate the theme of the race, participants are encouraged, but certainly not required, to wear Halloween costumes or wear orange clothing. Prizes will be given for the best costumes.
The race attracts top-level talent as well as families, recreational runners, and walkers. The course record of 15:13 is held by seven-time Pumpkin Run winner Eric Hartmark, one of Minnesota’s all-time best distance runners and a past qualifier for the U.S. Olympic Trials in the Marathon event. Although roughly 25 percent of participants are walkers, the race course has a reputation for producing fast times and is certified by the USATF.
The Pumpkin Run’s five-kilometer course is a mix of the campus ring road, County Road 3 (14th Street), and the residential streets of Valley View Drive and Harner Lane. Essentially flat, the course features a fast downhill stretch with a return trip up the same hill. Mile markers will be posted and traffic control safety will be conducted by Law Enforcement and Nursing program students at the college, with assistance from the Cloquet Police Department, and neighbors who live along the race route. In 2015, a record 428 runners and walkers registered for the race.
Every registered finisher will receive a long-sleeve t-shirt and post-race refreshments. Medals and pumpkins will be awarded to the top three overall male and female finishers. Age group awards will be given to the top male and female in each of the following age groups: under 15, 15 19, 20-29, 30 39, 40 49, 50 59, 60-69, and 70+.
The event offers indoor facilities and warm gathering areas before and after the race, healthy refreshments, free parking in campus lots, and door prize drawings.