Marathons & Races

Brainerd Minnesota is home to several incredible races and marathons including Race for Grace, Run for the Lakes, and the Paul Bunyan Extreme 5k just to name a few.

Minnesota is home to a long list of great races, marathons, and extreme challenges throughout the year. The Brainerd lakes Area takes this experience to another level with a variety of challenges in Minnesota's premier vacation destination. Take on challenges while surrounded by the scenic forests and lakes in this world class destibation. Whether you want to walk or run for a cause or if you are looking for a Boston Marathon qualifier you will find it in the Brainerd Area.

After the race enjoy the wide array of activities available to visitors including craft breweries, biking, birding, mountain biking, dinner cruises, wildlife park, amusement parks and so much more. Or if you are worn out from giving one hundred percent during the race you can go back to one of the areas many hotels or indoor water parks to relax and soak away the day. These properties will give you all of the comfort and conveniences you deserve with centralized access to the entire lakes area.

3 Way 10k in March

The 3WAY/10K is held on beautiful Gull Lake, starting at Zorbas on Gull and going across Gull Lake to Ernie’s on Gull; both located in the heart of the lakes country in Brainerd/Baxter, Minnesota. This is a family friendly event where you can ski, bike or snowshoe/walk a 10K course. There is a relay, for those that wish to make it a 5K. This is a fun and challenging event for the whole family that raises funds for two local non-profits, Confidence Learning Center and Northland Arboretum.

Run for the Lakes - Marathon, half marathon, & 10 k in April

This very popular event is set among the scenic and terrain of Minnesota’s lake country, the annual springtime running of Nisswa’s Run For The Lakes Marathon, Half Marathon & 10K takes runners on a tour of this area’s innumerable scenic lakes and waterways, along quiet country roads and tree-lined forest areas with plentiful wildlife in the woods nearby. Nisswa is located just north of Brainerd and Baxter Minnesota.

Race for Grace 5k in May

Race for Grace is a Family 5K Walk/Run in honor of Grace Elizabeth Lee. Proceeds from the event will go to The Brighter Days Foundation. ” The Brighter Days Foundation’s mission is to help seriously and chronically-ill children, ages 0-18, and their families living within the Brainerd Lakes Area of Minnesota by surprising them with meaningful gifts and/or opportunities to brighten their day.

Sour Grapes Half & Half Trail Run in June

The Sour Grapes half & half trail run is fun, challenging, and a means to enjoy the company of other enthusiastic runners. It includes a half marathon run, a 10.55K run/walk, a kid’s mile run, and a kids half mile run. It is held at the Northland Arboretum which offers more than 540 acres of Green Space, including a Norway Pine Plantation, gardens, flower beds and over 20 Kilometers of trails.

Brainerd Lakes Race for the Cure 1k & 5k in June

The Brainerd Lakes Race for the Cure® is an annual 1K and 5K fundraising walk/run event held at Forestview Middle School in Baxter, MN. It is a co-ed Race and great fun for the entire family. New in 2016 - Kids for the Cure Races for 2-10 year olds

Paul Bunyan Extreme 5k

This course is made to challenge people of all ages and abilities. The 5K, or 3.1 mile course, will is filled with 16 obstacles from mud pits to swings, mother nature to man made, and fitness to fear! You can register as an individual or team. A portion of the proceeds will go directly to Mount Ski Gull in order to promote and support the wonderful facility and all they do for the community!

Nisswa Firecracker 5k & 10k in July

The Nisswa firecracker offers both a 5k and a 10k race in one of Minnesota’s most popular little towns. Custom 'Up North Nisswa' gifts are given to the first 800 people to register. All runners receive a free Pabst, crawfish boil, and a ton of great refreshments. They also give away a ton of great prizes in the free raffle after the run!

Run For Dru 5k & 10k in August

Create awareness of violence against women & children while promoting your own health!  With three different races, there's something for everyone in the family.  10K with one loop combining the beauty of the Paul Bunyan Trail and city roads in Pequot Lakes. 5K with one loop combining the Paul Bunyan Trail and historic downtown Pequot Lakes. Kids Fun Run, this fun run will be right in Trailside Park. There is no registration for the kids run, just show up!

Baxter Turkey Run 5k in November

The Baxter Turkey Run is located at the Northland Arboretum. This USATF certified course runs on the Paul Bunyan trail and surrounding city streets. The event offers a 1k walk and a 5k. Proceeds go to the Shriners Hospital for Children.

Click here for area calendar

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