Fitger’s 5k 2019

Fitger’s 5k is an annual race in Duluth, MN. In 2018, it was on the list of races (USATF MN Team Circuit) in which my team competes. I assumed nothing would change in 2019 so I reserved us a room at Fitgers Inn over 6 months in advance thinking I’d hit two birds with one stone: I could participate in one of the team races for the year whilst Britt and I would get a little weekend trip to Duluth.

Normally, Fitger’s takes runners through a shopping district with historic buildings, but major construction was underway in that area so new course was needed. While the neighborhood was not as charming, we did run several blocks along the shore of Lake Superior, so I won’t complain. I had a really nice run on a perfectly chilly spring morning and I hit a new 5k PR (Personal Record). 

It’s also always fun to participate in an event on a big anniversary, and this marked the 30th year for Fitger’s 5k. The real draw of this race, though, is staying at its namesake: Fitger’s Inn. This historic hotel is located right on the shore of Lake Superior, has several restaurants and shops within the same building, and best of all, the starting line for the race is literally right outside the entrance.

Getting to the start line for big races can be a challenge. I have to plan ahead, get there early, and potentially walk a while in near freezing temperatures. To stay warm I have to wear extra clothes that need to be removed right before the running starts, which adds another logistical component, especially if Britt isn’t there to be my pack mule. {Britt here: I prefer the term ‘cheerleader’…}

Not so if you stay at Fitger’s Inn. I was able to use my own private bathroom, I left all my belongings in our locked room, and I casually strolled downstairs a few minutes before the gun went off to do some warm ups. It was really, really pleasant.

My intention was to run several races on the 2019 Circuit. As tends to happen when I make assumptions, Fitger’s 5k was dropped from the Team Circuit lineup for 2019. This doesn’t actually matter, as I am nowhere near fast enough to be competitive, and there are no requirements for me to race in the team races, but it was still a little disappointing.

I will not be doing this race every year simply because it’s a big expense for us to stay at Fitger’s Inn for an entire weekend and I’m simply not motivated enough to drive two hours both ways just for a 5k. That being said, it’s a really fun race in a really cool town with a lot of history, and you can’t beat having the start line be downstairs from your room. I will definitely be returning for this race in the future whenever money isn’t too tight.

To read more about our Duluth ‘Mini-Moon,’ click HERE.


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