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Cristen MantheMY STORY - Cristen Manthe

Cristen Manthe has the goal to run 40 races before her 40th birthday in February 2018, and the full Mankato Marathon is her 40th race.

She has participated in every Mankato Marathon race, completing her set with the full marathon in 2017. Watch her story

Read other Mankato Marathon Inspirational Runner Stories

Sport Psych Team:Sport Psych Team
Dr. Cindra Kamphoff, professor and director of The Center for Sport & Performance Psychology at Minnesota State University, Mankato, leads a group of graduate students and professionals who provide participants with mental strategies and mental toughness tips to help runners reach their full potential. Team members will provide strategies to runners at the Expo, at the Start, and biking with runners ("Psychs on Bikes"). Every runner can benefit from a short conversation with a member of the Sport Psych Team. You will feel more mentally prepared, confident, and ready to reach your best. Look for the people in the matching shirts that say "Sport Psych Team."


Mankato Marathon Cheer TeamsCheer Teams:
There will be several cheer teams strategically placed along the half marathon and full marathon courses to cheer you right through the finish line. There will be many smiling faces you will not have a chance to "hit the wall!" Cheer Teams are meant to motivate and inspire runners with cheers, music, signs and encouraging words.

MY STORY – Amber Maddox

Amber Maddox“In April of 2012, I gave birth to my second daughter. Eleven days after she was born, I decided to change my life. I had always been overweight, and I was tired. I was physically, mentally, and emotionally tired. I was just plain unhappy and I wanted to do something about it.

Over the course of 13 and a half months, I managed to lose 136 lbs and discovered a love for running along the way.

In the beginning of May, I ran my first 5k, and at the end of May, I ran my second.

Running has given me my life back. I am proud to call myself a runner and I am truly happy when I run. I can push myself beyond what I think is possible. The feeling of freedom and amazing sense of accomplishment that comes from running is indescribable.

I debated on whether to take the next step and run my first half marathon. I have decided I am going to do it, and the Mankato Marathon is going to be the half that I run.

Words cannot describe how terrified and excited I am all at once. I believe this half marathon will be one of the most amazing things I will have accomplished. I definitely look forward to running with all the amazing people in October.”

Read other Mankato Marathon Inspirational Runner Stories


It’s well known that training for a marathon involves more than just a pair of good running shoes and determination. A successful training program takes into account the entire runner–mind, body and soul. Below are when and where other runners are gathering for group runs. Others are welcome to join! If you know of another group run outing, share it with us:


Below are some local training groups to get you ready for the Mankato Marathon:

  • At 7 a.m. Saturdays from the Mankato Family YMCA (1401 S Riverfront Dr, Mankato, MN 56001); meet below the steps between the Y and Mankato West parking lot
  • At 5:30 p.m. Mondays from River Valley Running in Mankato. Go>


Here are some great training races to get you ready for the Mankato Marathon.

March 24-25, 2018: Rocking Robin Run (10K, 5K & 1 Mile) – Rochester, Minn. Go>

March 31, 2018: Breaking the Ice (5K & 10K) – Sleepy Eye, Minn. Go>

April 8, 2018: Scheels Spring Half & 5K – Mankato, Minn. Go>

April 20-21, 2018: Run Earth Day (Half Marathon, Relay, 5K & 1K) – St. Cloud, Minn. Go>

April 28, 2018: Falls Duathlon – Cannon Falls, Minn. Go>

April 28, 2018: Get in Gear Half Marathon (Half Marathon, 10K & 5K) – Minneapolis, Minn. Go>

May 5, 2018: Stride for Students 5K – Prior Lake, Minn. Go>

May 5, 2018: 3rd Annual Monroe Color Run – Mankato, Minn. Go>

May 5, 2018: IGH B.E.S.T. Foundation May Day 5K – Inver Grove Heights, Minn. Go>

May 6, 2018: Unleash The SHE (10K, 5K, Walk & 1K Kids Run) – Rochester, Minn. Go>

May 12, 2018: Trample Trauma (5K & 2K) – Rochester, Minn. Go>

May 18, 2018: Stay Out of the Sun Run (10K & 5K) – Rochester, Minn. Go>

May 19-20, 2018: Run and Ride (1 mile, 5K, quarter marathon and half marathon) – Shakopee, Minn. Go>

May 20, 2018: Apple Blossom Race (Half, 10K, 5K & 2K Fun Run) – Hastings, Minn. Go>

May 26-27, 2018: Med City Marathon (Marathon, Half, Relay, 20 mile, 5K, Kids Marathon, Toddler Trot & Diaper Dash) – Rochester, Minn. Go>

May 26, 2018: Stillwater Half Marathon (Half Marathon, 10K & 5K) – Stillwater, Minn. Go>

June 9, 2018: Liberty Triathlon – Rockford, Minn. Go>

June 16, 2018: Zumbrota Covered Bridge 5K, 10K & Half Marathon – Zumbrota, Minn. Go>

June 18, 2018: Rochesterfest Triathlon – Rochester, Minn. Go>

June 22, 2018: Firefly 5K – St. Clair, Minn. Go>

June 24, 2018: Lake Waconia Triathlon – Waconia, Minn. Go>

July 14, 2018: Night Nation Run (5K Fun Run) - Saint Paul, Minn. Go>

August 4, 2018: Waseca Spring Triathlon – Waseca, Minn. Go>

August 11, 2018: Gopher to Badger (Half & 5K) – Hudson, Wis. Go>

August 12, 2018: North Mankato Triathlon – North Mankato, Minn. Go>

August 25, 2018: SCHEELS Healthy Human Race (Half, Half Marathon Relay, & 5K) – Rochester, Minn. Go>

August 26, 2018: Moms on the Run (10K, 5K & Kids Run) – Lake Elmo, Minn. Go>

September 15-16, 2018: Med City Fall (Half, 10K & 5K) – Rochester, Minn. Go>

September 15, 2018: HOM Teal Strides for Ovarian Cancer (5K, 2K and Kids Fun Run) – Edina, Minn. Go>

September 22, 2018: Stillwater Boom Site Log Run (10 Mile, 12K & 5K) – Stillwater, Minn. Go>

September 29, 2018: Time to Fly (15K, 10K, 5K, Walk and Kids Run) – St. Paul, Minn. Go>

October 13, 2018: Big Woods Run (Half, 10K, 5K & Kids K) – Faribault, Minn. Go>

Past Races

July 15, 2017: WineK Trail Run (5K) - Kasota, Minn. Go>

July 30, 2017: Chocoholic Frolic (10K, 5K & Kids Run) – Appleton, Wis. Go>

August 5, 2017: MAD Bull 5K – North Mankato, Minn. Go>

September 16, 2017: Bad Prom 5K – Mankato, Minn. Go>

October 1, 2017: Tutu Run (2.2-mile run/walk) – Mankato, Minn. Go>

March 3, 2018: Hypothermic 1/2 Marathon – Rochester, Minn. Go>

March 17, 2018: Everybody's Irish 5K/10K (10K, 5K & KidsK) – Minneapolis, Minn. Go>

March 17, 2018: Sauk Rapids Shamrock Shuffle 5K and 10K – Sauk Rapids, Minn. Go>

My Story - Steve Larson

Steve Larson“This is my first marathon, and prior to running I was an avid weight lifter. My idea of cardio was a three mile walk on the treadmill at the end of my lifting or sometimes I would lean on a stair master. My friend Doug Wiehe was an avid runner and multiple Grandmas’ participant and would give me a hard time about not running. I would return the jabs about his constant running. This went on for a year or two. Doug ran the River Hills Mall down here in Mankato and would call me a “mall walker.”

At my son’s 5th birthday party my brother and I were discussing the Lifetime Fitness Triathlon and how we should do it. I started my training the next week at the YMCA. Doug was amazed to see that I was running. I explained the idea my brother and I had and after time he was telling me he would have me running marathons.

Fast forward to last summer, the end of August. I was sitting home watching a Twins Game and my wife comes to me in tears after being out with some women from our church. Through her tears she tells me that Doug Wiehe was killed in a motorcycle accident earlier that evening. As I type this I remember the night very clearly. After a couple hours of shock, grief and tears we were talking and I tell her I should run Grandmas next year. The next day she takes some sloppy Joes/ barbeques to Doug’s widow Tanya. While she is there my wife tells Tanya what I said.

The day after that at Doug’s visitation Tanya introduces me to her and Doug’ families as the guy running Grandma’s with her next year. As much as I tried to find a way out I couldn’t. I tried to tell my wife that there was no lodging when I tried to register and she found one of the last two camping spots at Indian Head Campgrounds. So I registered and am in. I have been following the Novice training program and coming along well. This has been a great experience. I have met a lot of people through this down here in Mankato that have been runners and were surprised to see me out that far on the trail. Doug had said he would have me running a marathon, I wished it wasn’t under these circumstances but I know he will be running with me and Tanya.

I wrote this in my Facebook notes 6 years ago, I have since run Grandma’s every year and have become known as the guy with all the bracelets and the Grandma’s Tat on his calf with RIP Doug on it. This will be my 7th marathon and every year as I enter Duluth from Two Harbors at mile 19 I begin to cry thinking how this has changed my life and how my life has changed since I began this venture.”

Read other Mankato Marathon Inspirational Runner Stories


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