Looking for a fantastic race with amazing volunteers and an unforgettable atmosphere? Look no further than the Saint Fennessy 4K. The ninth official running of the Saint Fennessy 4K took place on Saturday, March 19, 2022. It was a beautiful and sunny spring day in Hermantown, MN.
Before the Saint Fennessy 4K, I had never ran any of the Grandma’s/ Young Athletes Foundation races, other than the events on Grandma’s Marathon weekend. However, I quickly found out that the atmosphere of Grandma’s Marathon that I love so much and crave all year long is offered more than just once a year! The Saint Fennessy 4K offers amazing volunteers, an electric start line, a beautiful course, an exciting finish line, and a fun afterparty.
The excitement of every single runner was obvious throughout the entire day. Not only was everyone excited to run, but everyone was so excited to be fully engaged in the day. This was evident in the festive green clothing and costumes of almost every runner on the course. It even made me, and my 1% Irish DNA, dust off my green running gear and turn on the “St. Patrick’s Day Party” playlist on Spotify for the race.
Maybe I am alone on this, but when I first heard that the Saint Fennessy race was a 4K, I thought, “A 4K?! Why not just add another kilometer to make it a 5K?”. However, in running the Saint Fennessy 4K, I learned why this distance is perfect. If you are brand new to the running community, the 4K distance is absolutely perfect for you to experience a wonderful race in a nonintimidating environment. If you are a veteran runner training for a longer race (including Grandma’s Marathon or the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon), the 4K distance is perfect for you to test your training or get some speed work done in the race atmosphere.
From the convenient shuttle bus to the starting line, to the kindness and welcoming attitude of all the runners and volunteers, to the excitement at the starting line, to the sea of green on the course, and finally, the amazing feeling of crossing the finish line. The Saint Fennessy 4K is the race that I knew nothing about, but will now be on my list of spring races to never miss.
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Favorite Grandma’s Marathon Memory: JUST ONE?! This is a tough question, but I’d have to say Grandma’s Marathon 2014. This was my first ever marathon, after going to Grandma’s for years and watching my family members cross the finish line since I was a little kid. To make it even sweeter, this race came a year and a half after I was in a car accident that left me with a very shattered ankle. My orthopedic surgeon and physical therapists told me I may never walk without a limp again, let alone finish a marathon a year after my second surgery. After hearing this, I was even more determined to follow in my family’s marathoning footsteps. I trained through my freshman year of college, skipping the 10k, half marathon, and all other “less crazy” distances and went right for the full marathon. I will never forget the feeling I had crossing the finish line in 2014!!! And as they say… the rest is history. This was the start of MANY more amazing Grandma’s Marathon memories, and many more to come.
I won’t run outside if: It takes quite a bit, I’ve stocked up on running gear for all conditions (mostly because I despise the treadmill!). But maybe when there is too much snow for me to make it out of the driveway or if there’s a chance I’d get struck by lightning; I might make an exception.
Pre-Race superstition: I always cross the starting line on the far-left side of the chute, and I ALWAYS say the same little prayer as I am crossing that starting line.
2022 Running Goal: A 26.2 PR!!!