Saturday, September 19, 2020 • Walker, MN • Course Map
The red, orange and yellow-toned hues of the abundant fall leaves are on display every year at the running of the Walker North Country Marathon, Half Marathon & 10K, an early-fall road race that takes runners through the winding hills and backwoods forest lands of Minnesota’s Chippewa National Forest.
The race is run on a course that isn’t for the “faint of heart,” as the race organizers describe — fewer than five miles of the course takes place on paved surfaces, which makes for a challenging race for any runner.
Run on a point-to-point course that starts at the mile 13 marker of the full marathon (which itself starts and finishes in downtown Walker, Minn.), the half marathon begins just north of Portage Lake, south of Walker and just off Highway 371.
From there, the course follows a winding route through the woods and hills of the forest, taking an eastward tack for the first six miles before turning northward at about the half-way point in the half marathon course (and the 3/4-point of the full marathon course).
Along the way, the course takes runners over the “Troll Bridge” just below Anoway Lake, and finally hits paved roads for the last few miles of the race when it hits Sixth Lake Road, a stretch of roadway that runs between the Heartland/Paul Bunyan Trail and a series of lakes on the way back into town, including Long Lake and Lake May.
The second half of the race features mostly flat and fast terrain, a welcome respite after the very hilly first half of the race through the forest.
The race finishes at the track and field complex of Walker High School, and features what has become the famous half-mile climb to the finish, a stretch of uphill toward the finish line.
Race Weather & Climate
Located amongst the lake country of northern central Minnesota, about 180 miles northwest of Minneapolis and roughly 130 miles west of Duluth, Walker typically sees September temperatures that average between 46°F and 66°F, while rainfall totals average just over 2.9 inches for the month.
On the day of the race (Sept. 19), the average low is 48°F and the average high is 68°F.
- 2017 Walker North Country Half Marathon Results
- 2016 Walker North Country Half Marathon Results
- 2015 Walker North Country Half Marathon Results
- 2014 Walker North Country Half Marathon Results
- 9:00 AM – full marathon
- 9:15 AM – 10K
- 10:00 AM – half marathon
see event website
To reserve your spot in the late summer 2020 running of the Walker North Country Marathon, Half Marathon or 10K race, visit the event website below.
Official Race Website
Ever run in Minnesota’s annual Walker North Country Marathon or Half Marathon? Share your impressions, stories and tips from the event.