Overall Rating
Overall Rating (3 Reviews)
4.7
(3 Ratings)(3 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
2
SCENERY
4.7
PRODUCTION
5
SWAG
4.7
2020 EVENT CANCELED, offering virtual race option. *** The Blue Ox Marathon is a scenic 26.2 mile road course on all paved trails and roads. The route is fairly flat consisting of about 50% paved bike trail and 50% paved road. Most of course is partially shaded with some open … MORE
Local Weather (Oct 09):
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H (°F) 69 42 46 58 57
L (°F) 50 37 35 28 45
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Recent reviews

    Baystater FIRST-TIMER '19

    This was a nice run. The course was great, too bad the weather wasn't the best. Great time of year for a run. Very well organized. The Sanford Center works … MORE

    This was a nice run. The course was great, too bad the weather wasn’t the best. Great time of year for a run. Very well organized. The Sanford Center works out great for start and finish.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    MarathonCat REPEAT RUNNER '17

    I have run this marathon every year since it started and I keep coming back! Fall marathons are great for those of us in cooler climates who do most of … MORE

    I have run this marathon every year since it started and I keep coming back!

    Fall marathons are great for those of us in cooler climates who do most of our training from spring to fall. I am not sure why participation rates have not increased more for this marathon – as it is a little gem – but at the same time – that is also what is attractive about it. You don’t have to wait in line for 20 minutes prior to the start of the marathon to pee! In case of cool weather (which is common at this time of year) you can do all your pre-race stretching inside and then just run out to the start line a few minutes prior. Much of the course is on trails – and I thought it was very scenic. They have had some great pace bunnies too. Coming from a flat city, I find the inclines on the back portion tough (I only have small hills for practice) and wish they would reverse the course. Treats after the race are minimal – but it is nice that they are inside. You will be happy if you place in your 10 year age group and they have age group awards. It is a little blue cow/ox bell with a wool ribbon. After seeing them in year one, I kept coming back until I placed top 3 in my age group to get one – and the year I finally did (2016) they did not have age group awards. But they had them in 2017 (I placed 4th) and I hope they have them again. Top male and female also get very unique awards. Finisher medals are hung with a wool ribbon – of a different pattern each year. Participant shirts are unisex.

    In the past they have also had an agreement with another location where you can go to shower for free after the marathon (great for those of us who just stay 1 night) so I hope that continues. The expo is small but has some extras; a pasta dinner for purchase and in 2017 they had a free candlelit yoga session the evening prior. It was FANTASTIC, I was ready for a good night’s sleep!

    Be sure to stop by the Visitor Centre and see Babe and Blue Ox. From there you can get a self-walking art guide as well as a little cardlette that lists a few shops where you can get a discount or a free souvenir.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    drtyrunner FIRST-TIMER '17

    Hubby and I found this event about 3 weeks prior to race day, and we wanted to get a MN race done before we leave ND next year. We love … MORE

    Hubby and I found this event about 3 weeks prior to race day, and we wanted to get a MN race done before we leave ND next year. We love small town events, and this one looked great. And it really was! This town boasts the theme of Paul Bunyan (hence the Blue Ox marathon after Babe the blue ox) and the theme carried over into various parts of the weekend which was great fun.
    Pros:
    Small expo with friendly volunteers, great long sleeve technical shirt, a delicious pasta dinner the night before (proceeds benefit local all access playground), later start (9am) and mostly flat course around Lake Bemidji, bursting with glorious Fall foliage. Cool weather at the start made for perfect marathon temps (cool, cool, cool!) Aid stations were basic but had what you needed every 3 miles or so. THE MEDALS!! Awesome!!!
    Cons – None that I can think of! We had rain the last hour or so of the race, but the race organizers can hardly be responsible for that!
    There wasn’t a lot of crowd support along the course, BUT, it was a cooler and rainy day, so that could have attributed to that. But, crowd support isn’t a huge “must” for me, so I was fine. If you love lots of crowd support though, you may miss that along the way.

    Both my husband and I agree this is one of our favorite road marathons we have done. We loved the small town charm, friendly faces from start to finish, the course and the medal – all were top notch! We would absolutely do this event again!

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

    2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

    Mueller375 Mar 11, 2018 at 6:03pm

    What is there to do nearby?

    What is there to do nearby?

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    M_Sohaskey Oct 20, 2017 at 8:37pm

    Congrats, Sarah! Sounds like you found a hidden gem here. As soon as you mentioned that the medals were awesome I checked to see if you'd posted a shot and...… MORE

    Congrats, Sarah! Sounds like you found a hidden gem here. As soon as you mentioned that the medals were awesome I checked to see if you'd posted a shot and... much appreciated! Love the funky ribbon to complement the blue ox. Coming from always warm Los Angeles, I could use a cool weather race... and never having run in Minnesota, this sounds perfect. Thanks for the helpful review! LESS

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    drtyrunner Oct 21, 2017 at 3:52am

    Thank you Mike! You are so welcome! I really can't say enough good things about this small town marathon. Also, the ribbon for the medal is a wool plaid made… MORE

    Thank you Mike! You are so welcome! I really can't say enough good things about this small town marathon. Also, the ribbon for the medal is a wool plaid made by the local wool mill; how cool is that?! If you have any other questions let me know! LESS

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    MarathonCat Aug 10, 2018 at 9:20pm

    And they get school kids to tie the wool to the medals. Nice community touch eh? Be sure to stop in at the wool store.

    And they get school kids to tie the wool to the medals. Nice community touch eh? Be sure to stop in at the wool store.

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