Big Woods Run Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

Saturday, September 30, 2023 • Nerstrand, MN • Course Map

Runners get the chance to trek through the wooded, tree-lined dirt and gravel trails of southern Minnesota’s Nerstrand Big Woods State Park at the Big Woods Run, a fall race that draws several hundred runners out for each year’s half-marathon, 10K, 5K and 1-mile Kids Run.

The location for the race as well as the time of year promise a cool-weather run, and its proximity to nearby Minneapolis (the park lies about 45 miles south of the city) means it’s not a difficult race to get to.

The terrain for the half-marathon course is hilly and challenging, race organizers say, while the 5K and 10K courses are generally flatter and easier.

The scenery is a big part of the attraction for the race as well — autumn is one of the peak seasons in the 2,882-acre park, as the turning of the leaves in this forest of sugar maple, basswood, elm, green ash and other tree varieties bring vivid reds, oranges and yellows to life.

St. John’s Church on Jacobs Avenue (just south of the entrance to the park) is the starting line for all races, which begin at 9:00 AM (for the half-marathon, 10K and 5K runners) and 10:30 AM for the children running in the 1-mile Kids Fun Run.

Race Weather & Climate

The early weeks of fall bring cooler and drier weather to the Nerstrand, Minn., area, which lies near the Nerstrand Big Woods State Park and about eight miles to the east of Faribault. In September, record temperatures here have reached as high as 92°F (in 1997) and as low as 11°F (in 1988).

On race day (Sep. 30), the average low is 38ºF and the average high is 61ºF.

Past Results

Course Map

See the race route map for the Big Woods Run Half Marathon here.

Starting Time

9:00 AM


  • $43 – $55 for the half marathon
  • $36 – $42 for the 10K, 5K
  • $15 for the 1.6-mile prairie walk


To reserve your spot in the 2023 running of Faribault’s Big Woods Run Half Marathon, register online at here.

Official Race Website


Ever run in the Big Woods Run Half Marathon race? Share your impressions here, or post your review in the Comments below.

See more races in: September, Minnesota

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