In-person running events are making their return across Minnesota. That now includes the From the Heart Run in Owatonna. The annual cancer fundraising event will offer the option of in-person on Saturday, May 1 or virtual anytime between May 1-15. Registration is due by April 25 and is only being done by paper. There is no online or day-of registration.

On their website, the From the Heart organizers state, "Thank you for your patience as we worked to determine the best and safest plan for FTH will look a little different...While many FTH festivities have changed, our main focus remains the same. A great group of people, spending time together while raising funds for a great cause."

Money raised in 2021 will be donated to the oncology department at the Owatonna Hospital. In previous years From the Heart donated money to individual local families battling cancer.

The schedule for those choosing the in-person option is for an 8 am start to the half marathon and half marathon relay at Lake Kohlmier. The 5K run/walk begins at 8:30 am. There will be no kids fun run this year.

Modifications include no timing system, no street intersections guards and no awards ceremony or placing medals. Shirt pickup will be at 2120 Mineral Springs Parkway on Thursday, April 29 and Friday, April 30 from 4-7 pm.

As a participant in several From the Heart Runs, I'm excited to see its return. Raising money for a great cause and keeping active and healthy seem to be the focus as running events return with less emphasis on award ceremonies and big pre and post run gatherings.

Since the pandemic started Owatonna has hosted the Daikin Dash in support of the Steele County Relay for Life cancer fundraiser. Owatonna Young Life held a New Year's Day run as well.

Twin Cities in Motion announced this week the the Twin Cities Marathon is scheduled for the first weekend in October. Events will have more limited entries and runners might be scheduled to start at specific times. Spectators are being discouraged. (If I might say, I still hope people don their hazmat suits and line the streets and cheer because that inspiration helped me get through the marathon a couple of years ago.)

The annual Goldy Gopher Run is being held strictly as a virtual event this April.

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