Polar Bears

Due to evolving concerns surrounding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the Minnesota Distance Running Association (MDRA) has suspended MDRA Polar Bear group runs. 

We’re introducing two new ways Polar Bears can come together as a community and support our local communities during this rough time.

We will introduce one new Run Fundraiser and one new Local Running Store Spotlight each week. (Thank you to Kevin Ross and Kari Campeau for the great ideas!)

Run Fundraiser!

For many of us, I imagine our training is a little direction-less right now. Races are cancelled, and we’re not sure when we’ll next be toe-ing the line. It’s also always harder to stay motivated when you’re training solo.

While running and just getting outside can definitely be important for mental and emotional health, especially during tumultuous times, we also thought that we could direct our Polar Bear runs toward a greater community good.

So, here’s the plan: each week we’ll pick a local organization that is helping those hit hardest by COVID-19, and we’ll encourage everyone to donate money from our miles toward that organization. As for us (Nathan + Kari), we plan to donate $0.20 for every mile that the Polar Bears collectively log, up to $50 each week.

So here’s the plan:

Check our Facebook page for our promoted organization: https://www.facebook.com/groups/mdrapolarbears/

Go for a run on Saturday

Post your run on our Facebook page — tell us how far you ran and share a photo!

We’ll donate $0.20/mile logged

This week’s organization is Maplewood-based Second Harvest Heartland.

Second Harvest Heartland is one of the largest food banks in the country, and right now they’re trying to put together 100,000 emergency food boxes for families facing hunger as a result of missed work. You can donate to their cause here: https://www.2harvest.org/

(PS-Have an organization you want to promote?? Send it to us! Each week we’re promoting a new local org!)


Running Store Spotlight

We all know that COVID-19 is hitting small businesses hard. So we’re also going to use this space to promote local running stores that remain open for business. We’ll give you a little background on the store, let you know how they’ve changed their operations to protect community health while still meeting all of our runner needs, and provide their contact info, so that you can place an order for anything you need (or think you might need down the road).

This week’s spotlight store is longtime MDRA friend, Fleet Feet Marathon Sports in South Minneapolis.

Store Highlights

Marathon Sports makes the best post-run breakfast for Polar Bears! When they host store runs, they make frittatas and French toast and have a whole spread of other treats.

Marathon Sports has sponsored a number of MDRA races over the years, including Victory races and City of Lakes Half Marathon.

Marathon Sports manager Zach Schendel is a Minnesota native and raced in the 2007 NYC Olympic Trials Marathon.

In addition to the big brands, they also sell some boutique running shoe and clothing brands, including On Cloud running shoes and running clothes. They also sell Smart Feet casual and dress shoes, which are supposed to be great for your feet!

How do you shop here while also keeping up your social distancing?

Order online: You can order online and have your items shipped to you: https://www.fleetfeet.com/browse/shoes

Curbside Pick-up: You can call the store, place your order, and they’ll have your order waiting outside for you https://www.fleetfeet.com/s/minneapolis

Book an appointment: You can schedule an appointment and stop by the store to try on shoes solo https://www.fleetfeet.com/s/minneapolis/Appointments

Subscribe to weekly emails with location and information on the MDRA Polar Bears free group runs!