Over 9,000 people participated in the 32nd Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon last weekend. In their ranks were several Macalester students. Alex Klopp ’16, Nina Storniolo ’14, Megan Schwartz ‘14, and Julia Turner ’16 all participated in the 26.2 mile-long run, which started in downtown Minneapolis through the cities to finish up at the Capitol building in St. Paul.
Held every year just as the leaves are turning, the marathon is called “The Most Beautiful Urban Marathon in America.” For Storniolo, the marathon is a gateway out of the Mac bubble and into the autumn beauty of Minneapolis and St. Paul.
“You basically get to see the entire Twin Cities by running through it,” she said. “Downtown, the lakes, the river— it’s one of the most beautiful runs in the country.”
This is both her and Schwartz’s second year doing the marathon. Storniolo said that, as a runner, “it’s a really fun goal,” while Schwartz, who shaved 20 minutes off of her time last year, joked that she was mostly motivated by the unlimited free chips at the end of the race.
Klopp and Turner, on the other hand, participated for the very first time and were surprised by the results. Klopp, a rower, “wanted to challenge myself physically.” Klopp, who eventually wants to run in the Boston Marathon, finished in three hours and 14 minutes, an hour faster than the average time. He said that the Twin Cities Marathon changed what he knew about his own mental and physical capabilities. “Not only accomplishing [the goal], but also beating your goal time is the best feeling in the world,” he admitted.
Turner was also overwhelmingly positive about her experience. She originally signed up “so that I could do something crazy and fun with some of my family,” but was not entirely sure she would be able to finish it or even enjoy it. The encouraging atmosphere helped her do both.
Mac students lined up on Summit to cheer their classmates on, holding up signs and shouting encouragement. Kyle Coombs, Turner’s fellow Off Kilter member, said he was amazed at Turner’s energy. “She was beaming at mile 23, way ahead of her pace,” he recalled.
“The people cheering and playing music…. and a super wonderful and supporting family and friends made it 300 times more fun!” Turner said.