Med City Marathon finish line is on the move in downtown Rochester

May 3—ROCHESTER — There's going to be a big new finish for the Med City Marathon this year.

And that finish is going to be at the end of the 26.2-mile race, which will be held in Rochester on Sunday, May 19.

In recent years the race has finished in front of the Mayo Civic Center. The event will now conclude a few blocks west, in the heart of downtown, on Third Street.

Med City Marathon race director Evin Haukos is excited for the race to finish in the downtown area.

"It should be really cool," he said. "It should bring a lot of new and unique energy."

Haukos said the City of Rochester, the Rochester Parks and Recreation Department and the Downtown Alliance worked together to secure the "Thursdays on First" area as the finish line.

"We've scooted it right into the middle of the downtown area because there's not really a lot of restaurants and everything right around that (Mayo Civic Center) area," Haukos said. "So it's nice to have it right in the energy pocket where people can go grab food and drinks."

This will be the 28th year of the Med City Marathon. That makes it the third-longest running marathon in the state behind Grandma's Marathon in Duluth and the Twin Cities Marathon.

The full marathon caps a weekend of activities for area running enthusiasts. The main event begins at 7 a.m. on May 19. The starting line will remain the same, near the Rochester Airport.

There will be a shuttle service to take runners to the starting line.

On race day, live music will be playing along with some other interaction activities near the finish line. The block party is free and open to the public.

"We're trying to create a finish-line festival that's really unique in the downtown area," Haukos said. "It should be really good."

About 2,500 competitors took part in the numerous Med City Marathon events a year ago. Around 2,000 runners have already registered and that number will continue to increase up to the day of the event.

"It's looking to be about 15 percent higher than last year which is also up about 15 percent from the year before," Haukos said. "So it's been a pretty consistent growth which is great to see."

Haukos expects about 1,500 runners will take part in the activities on May 19. That will include the relays, the 20-mile run and the half marathon along with the regular marathon runners.

Shorter events on Saturday, May 18 will be a 1K for youth runners and a 5K run and those will draw well over 1,000 runners.

The GLK Orthodontics Kids Race will again be part of the Med City Marathon and that event will conclude on May 18.

Youth runners start the program a couple of months in advance of the race. They run several miles each week and have completed a total of 25 miles heading into the marathon. They then run 1.2 miles the day before the Med City Marathon to complete their 26.2-mile "marathon" run.

"Even if kids haven't signed up and are doing that program specifically, they can still come and run," Haukos said.

The Kids Race is free and open to all youth runners, basically 12 and under. There will also be a 1K event for youth runners.

Haukos said several hundred youth runners are part of the Orthodontics Kids Race program and another 500 may run the day of the race.

The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. on May 18.