Overall Rating
Overall Rating (9 Reviews)
4.6
(9 Ratings)  (9 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
2.3
SCENERY
3.6
PRODUCTION
4.7
SWAG
4.1
If you enjoy farm scenery, the Main to Main Marathon is the run for you. We start in Osage Iowa and head out of town to Mitchell to see the scenic dam. Continue onward to see the cows, corn, windmills and pigs into St. Ansgar’s Main Street. If you look … MORE
Local Weather (Aug 20):
2022 2021 2020 2019 2018
 
H (° F ) 83 89 84 84 71
L (° F ) 62 65 59 62 63
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Recent reviews

    aubreynetzel FIRST-TIMER '22

    It's a very small race (the full had about 50 people) so there's a decent chance you'll spend a good portion of it alone, especially if you're a back of … MORE

    It’s a very small race (the full had about 50 people) so there’s a decent chance you’ll spend a good portion of it alone, especially if you’re a back of the pack-er. The course is an out and back, so you do see runners throughout the course. You run past a lot of corn fields, but you’re in almost direct sun the entire time. Plenty of aid stations and they have Gu/Gels/fuel. Had lots of finish line food including breakfast pizza, snacks, and water/powerade. The race was well planned and executed, I just don’t enjoy or do well at very small events as you’re so alone.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

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    Trumpetmanbob REPEAT RUNNER '22

    The organizers here put on a great small town race every year. Community is very supportive and plenty of race distances are offered. It can get a bit lonely out … MORE

    The organizers here put on a great small town race every year. Community is very supportive and plenty of race distances are offered. It can get a bit lonely out there as the participant field is so small. If you want a hotel room in Osage book in advance because there are only two choices in town. The community complex is open as well for post race showers. Fun race again this year and I will definitely be back!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    3

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    edge FIRST-TIMER '22

    Rolling hills out and back through the serene country side of Osage, IA. Definitely worth doing if you like Small town races. Put this one on your list if you … MORE

    Rolling hills out and back through the serene country side of Osage, IA. Definitely worth doing if you like
    Small town races. Put this one on your list if you are a 50 stater.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

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    Doogster FIRST-TIMER '21

    Impeccable race production. Beautiful course, but be prepared for virtually full sun. We're talking corn and soybeans, not forests, other than in the towns and crossing the river. Warm, kind … MORE

    Impeccable race production. Beautiful course, but be prepared for virtually full sun. We’re talking corn and soybeans, not forests, other than in the towns and crossing the river.

    Warm, kind and wonderful people to meet everywhere — both the race directors and those staffing the water stops. In the last half, I actually threw away my time goal and stopped to chat at each water stop and even heard about the Lutherans’ missions to Africa. Ahhhh…..personal connections. That’s why I run. You make me want to move to Osage.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    Trumpetmanbob FIRST-TIMER '21

    This is a fantastic small town race in rural Iowa. If you enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells of the farm, this is the perfect race for you! Well organized … MORE

    This is a fantastic small town race in rural Iowa. If you enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells of the farm, this is the perfect race for you! Well organized and with an almost fully closed course, this race felt safe and well supported.

    Packet pickup was available the night before, but the races were small enough that there would be no problem picking up on race morning. Only 77 runners registered for the half and a similar number for the full. While race morning was certainly humid (as you would expect in Iowa in the summer) it still felt cool enough at the start. Marathoners probably got a bit warm though, as there is not a ton of shade along the course.

    Aid stations were frequent and staffed by enthusiastic volunteers! The out and back course meant passing the same four stops on the return, with a favorite being the church run stop near mile 5 with the accordion player!

    A fun experience and I highly recommend the Main to Main event.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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    manturuk FIRST-TIMER '21

    This is a small race; in 2021 there were 67 people in the marathon. Everything about it was small and friendly - the packet pickup was run at the local … MORE

    This is a small race; in 2021 there were 67 people in the marathon. Everything about it was small and friendly – the packet pickup was run at the local rec center and the finish line had snacks and friendly people from the area asking if you needed water or a suggestion of where to eat lunch (tip – Teluwut Grill really is darn good). I was alone for most of the race although I could usually see someone in the distance way ahead of me.

    The race has great midwestern scenery – the sun rising over foggy corn fields was beautiful. It started out cool but it did get warm by the end. My clothes were soaked with sweat, but there isn’t the humidity you get in other places at this time of year. I did not find the running conditions to be bad. The course support was just outstanding! There were aid stations every mile almost – more than planned in the race guide. It looked like some folks just made an aid station at their driveway. One girl gave me a cup of marshmallows at mile 17! Every aid station had water and sports drink, and during the second half most also had snacks of some kind and some iced sponges. Every volunteer was friendly and encouraging.

    Also, this is a closed course! How often can you run on a 2-lane country road with no shoulder and not worry about cars at all. That was so much fun for me. I think maybe 2-3 cars ignored the signs and drove on the course, but even then they slowed down and drove on the other side of the road. There were also portaloos at several of the aid stations. Considering there were only 67 of us running the full marathon, it was just amazing how well supported the race was. I drove the course the day before and I’m glad because it is not flat. I would consider it to be very gentle rolling hills from miles 5 – 20; the first and last 5 miles are flat. There is only one hill of note, at mile 6 and 19 (the course is out and back). I found the hill to be very runnable both ways, but I did pass by two people who were walking it on the back half.

    I wouldn’t change a thing about this race, and I’m very glad I did it. It is the most rural, quiet, and peaceful road race I have ever run.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    M-Hall FIRST-TIMER '20

    Here are the answers to the form prompts - Share specifics, e.g. awesome aid stations, a medal I'll sleep with under my pillow: Yes to both. Plentiful water and Gator-aide … MORE

    Here are the answers to the form prompts –
    Share specifics, e.g. awesome aid stations, a medal I’ll sleep with under my pillow: Yes to both. Plentiful water and Gator-aide ready to go every 2 or so miles. Gummy bears, pickles, fruit. Friendly people that stayed for the tail end runners. The medal, what’s not to love about an ear of corn from an Iowa marathon? Definitely an under the pillow medal.

    What was the most unique aspect of this race?: 2 things – I am not sure how many marathons there are between 2 small Iowa farm towns when corn and soybeans are near their peak before harvest. This must be one of the few, and to me the course was beautiful. Also, 2020 was the year of Covid 19 and so many races were cancelled. The Cedar River Complex folks had precautions that were being used nationwide and went on with their race (It’s been over 2 weeks and I am symptom free so it worked for me). That, and that the marathon was a Boston Qualifier seemed to draw a crowd, they seemed at their cap of 80, up from high 30’s the year before. It was one of the few marathons happening and was in a place I was glad to visit in a format I felt secure in.

    How would you improve the race?: Wouldn’t change a thing.

    Would you recommend this race to friends?: Definitely. We were surprised that nearby Mason City had so much to offer. Definitely stay in Osage if there is room at the motel and Airbnb’s, for a country experience. But 35 minutes away in Mason City is the only existing Frank Lloyd Wright designed hotel, renovated re-opened in 2011 and a joy to stay at. Mason City has a wonderful old city around the Historic Park Inn and it was fun to spend time around the marathon in.

    I liked the swag, for a race this size. The medal speaks for itself, nice long sleeve tech shirt in superman blue with a large graphic like the medal. Fun local stuff in the bag.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

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    Profile photo of Jill Marble
    marble_jill REPEAT RUNNER '19

    This is such a great race! In August you will get a little bit of humidity but the course was fun. It is an out and back course. It is … MORE

    This is such a great race! In August you will get a little bit of humidity but the course was fun. It is an out and back course. It is hilly but I loved the river basins. Very pretty. The people were very kind too. Plenty of water stops and super organized!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    marathon250 FIRST-TIMER '18

    A race that far exceeds expectations considering the number of participants. Inaugural run was in 2018. A run that starts in small town Iowa, you run to another town and … MORE

    A race that far exceeds expectations considering the number of participants. Inaugural run was in 2018.
    A run that starts in small town Iowa, you run to another town and then back to where you started. Mostly flat with gentle hills in the farmland. When you cross the Cedar River at around mile 5 WOW you almost want to stop just to take it all in for a minute or two! However, that hill coming back is why the course is level two for difficulty instead of one.
    Execution of first aid support was great! 4×4 UTVs were cruising up and down the highway for runners. Water stations are great! Some had food for energy. Roads are NOT closed to traffic, but because of the UTVs and police/first responder presence traffic was never moving fast, and traffic was light.
    All runners received a nice long sleeve athletic shirt and finishers medal, age group awards were glasses with race logo, and there was a prize for the overall winner! However, I heard race officials talk about adjusting prizes next year due to the small field size. (Get your friends to do it with you!)

    Post race you get a free shower at the Cedar River Complex! (However, it is a few blocks away from the finish, it was a two minute drive.)

    Race morning was humid and warm. That will happen at this time of year. Expect temps between 60-70 at start time and 80+ near finishing time.

    I have been to other small marathons as a spectator that have been around for a while, and even though I was a participant in this one, I would still say organization was far superior. Being its inaugural year, hopefully things dont get changed much for future races!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

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  1. Races
  2. Main to Main Marathon