Two or three times a week, Katy Jermann and Dakotah Lindwurm meet at West River Road for a training run. As members of the Team USA Minnesota professional distance-running group, they have run hundreds of miles over the courses for the Twin Cities Marathon and TC 10 Mile, and they know every inch by heart.
They hope that gives them an edge Sunday, when thousands of people will be lining those streets. Jermann will run the TC 10 Mile, looking to improve on last year’s eighth-place finish. Lindwurm will race in the marathon after finishing fourth at last summer’s Grandma’s Marathon in her debut at 26.2 miles.
The TC 10 Mile will crown national champions at the distance and award $81,000 in prize money. The 38th edition of the Twin Cities Marathon has a total purse of $24,000. More than 21,000 people are expected to run in the two races, which start near U.S. Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis and end on the grounds of the State Capitol in St. Paul.
“It’s really important to know what kind of hills you’re dealing with,” said Lindwurm, a St. Francis native. “It helps to know you’re not going to feel good on some of them, and to know you’ve run up them when you’re been tired in training. Knowing where the rough patches are is helpful.”
For the nonprofessionals, Jermann had some advice: Start at an easier pace, conserve your energy for the hills in the second half and enjoy the crowd support, especially late in the race.
The women’s 10 Mile field got tougher Friday with a pair of late entries. Two-time defending champ Sara Hall and 2018 Grandma’s Marathon winner Kellyn Taylor both will run Sunday. The men’s field is led by Josef Tessema, last year’s fifth-place finisher.
Two for the road
Dominic Ondoro and Elisha Barno didn’t speak much at a Friday news conference featuring top contenders in the marathon and TC 10 Mile. Both were economical with their words, but they did make some major statements.
Ondoro, who set the course record in 2016, said his training has been going well enough for him to break the record again. His mark of 2 hours, 8 minutes, 51 seconds came in his second of three consecutive Twin Cities Marathon victories. Barno, the defending champ and Ondoro’s training partner, promised to make Ondoro work for it.
“We are going to fight,’’ said Barno, runner-up to Ondoro in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
Ondoro did not run the Twin Cities Marathon last year, and Barno said he missed him. The two Kenyans train together in Santa Fe, N.M. A four-time winner of Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, Barno took his first Twin Cities Marathon crown in 2:11:58 last fall.
Justin Grunewald, husband of the late runner Gabe Grunewald, will be at the marathon Sunday. But he won’t be running. Grunewald will be raising money for Brave Like Gabe, which supports research into rare cancers.
Look for him at mile marker 24 at the corner of Oxford Street and Summit Avenue, where the Twin Cities Running Co., Brooks Running and Brave Like Gabe will be hosting a streetside party. Grunewald will donate $3 to Brave Like Gabe for every person he sees wearing gear with the Brave Like Gabe or Running On Hope logos.
Gabe Grunewald, a former Gophers athlete and pro runner, died in June of adenoid cystic carcinoma at age 32. The Perham native was known worldwide for continuing to compete despite multiple cancer surgeries and treatments.
• As it has for the past several years, the TC 10 Mile will pay an “equalizer bonus” of $10,000 to create competition between the men and women. The men’s field will start 5 minutes, 57 seconds after the women’s field, and the first athlete to cross the finish line gets the bonus. Hall won it last year.
• The men’s and women’s winners of the TC 10 Mile get $12,000 each. The men’s and women’s marathon champions receive $5,000 each.