Registration for Ashland WhistleStop marathon spikes after TC marathon cancellation

Published: Oct. 2, 2023 at 10:53 PM CDT
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DULUTH, MN. (Northern News Now) - Thousands of runners are turning to other races in the Northland after the Twin Cities Marathon was canceled.

Over the weekend, the marathon organizers canceled the race hours before the start time due to extreme heat in the metro. Those runners are now turning to different events to put their training to use including one Duluth woman.

“I ran Grandma’s this last summer, and I was kind of on a high from that,” Marathon runner Hannah Koch said. “I’m like I have to find another marathon, so Twin Cities kind of seemed like the best option at the time.”

Thousands of runners, including Koch, prepared for the Twin Cities Marathon on Sunday, not expecting a change of course.

“I was checking my phone, and I didn’t see the email at first, I saw it on a Facebook group page,” Koch said. “People were like it’s canceled, and I was in shock.

Months of training, now over. “I spent a lot of hot days training outside to get ready for the Twin Cities, and it didn’t happen,” Koch said.

What happened instead surprised race director Mary McPhetridge.

“We had about 150 registrations yesterday in a very short time, a lot of inquires today, a lot of people calling,” McPhetridge said.

McPhetridge organizes the Memorial Medical Center WhistleStop Marathon and Half-Marathon in Ashland. She said it was sad to see the Twin Cities Marathon be canceled but was excited when registration spiked for the WhistleStop Marathon just 24 hours later.

“It was very welcoming. We’re ready,” McPhetridge said. “We have enough shirts; we have enough swag; we have enough metals, water, powerade, so we’re ready for you. Bring it on!”

The WhistleStop race normally see around 450 registrations for their full marathon. As of Monday night, 1,600 people are registered for both the half and the full marathon.

The WhistleStop is accepting registrations until Friday, October 6. The races are scheduled for October 13 and 14.

To register for any WhistleStop races, click here.

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