Marathon ready to start

September 22 and 23 will bring a surge of runners and spectators to the Ely area for the third annual Ely Marathon.
Dubbed the 8,390 portage, the race is a beautiful and challenging run along the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.
The Ely Marathon starts on the North Arm of Burnt-side Lake at Camp Du Nord at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 23.
It turns onto the historic Echo Trail, meandering past several lakes before heading on a downhill coast toward Shagawa Lake.
From there it takes a slight detour through charismatic Winton followed by a quick loop around Miner’s Lake before the final run down Ely’s main street to finish in Whiteside Park. The Ely Marathon is a Boston Qualifier, making it one of the top prestigious races in the nation.
The marathon events will include a number of street closures, both Friday night and Saturday. See the back page of this section for more information on detours.
Marathon weekend includes the Boundary Waters Bank Half Marathon, which starts at 8 a.m. on September 23 at Echo Shores Resort.
This course is along the full marathon route, also ending in Whiteside Park. New to the half marathon this year is a Portage Division.
Runners have the option of portaging a canoe for the entirety of the half-marathon route, taking running to a whole new level.
Along with receiving a finisher’s shirt and medal, Boundary Waters Bank has donated Camelbak water bottles for those who registered for the half marathon prior to September 1.
Walkers are also welcomed and encouraged to take part in either the full or half marathon.
The time cut-off is an 18 minute/mile pace, making it comfortable for anyone not up to running speed. Walkers can enjoy the same sights of the wilderness forest and lakes that grace the Ely area.
The Ely Marathon has also worked with local schools to help instill the joy of running in area youth.
This year marks the second annual Dorothy Molter Root Beer Run. Children in grades 3-6 were asked to run 25 miles prior to race day.
They will then run the last 1.2 miles of the marathon route and finish along the pomp and circumstance of the marathon finish line. They too will receive the marathon finisher’s shirt and medals, along with Ely’s famous Dorothy Molter Root Beer.
Ely, Tower and Northeast Range Elementary schools have been working with the students to ensure they reach their mile goals.
Friday, Sept. 22 also brings the Northern Lights Clubhouse 5k Glow Run.
Racers will run just as the sun is going down and will enjoy the thousands of twinkling lights that line the route.
Runners are encouraged to wear glow wear to add to the atmosphere and can add a glow package to their registration—a fun package that contains glow sticks and shoe laces.
This is chip-timed race, however it is also open to anyone wanting to run and/or walk for enjoyment. This light filled race is a certified 5K route and is a fundraiser for Northern Lights Clubhouse.
On Friday evening from 4-8 p.m, Ely Community Resource will host a spaghetti dinner as a fundraiser at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church.
On Saturday, Ely businesses will host the fifth annual Chocoholic Frolic.
Participating merchants will be serving up chocolate samples and opportunities to win door prizes and a grand prize of $200 in Ely Chamber Bucks. The more places contestants visit – the more chances to win. No purchase is necessary.
Saturday brings even more festivities in Whiteside Park including food trucks, a blow-up obstacle course and a beer and beverage tent from 11:00 am – 10:00 pm. The awards ceremony will take place at 1 p.m.
There will be free music in the park throughout the day and evening with Washboard Road performing from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m, Rich Mattson and The Northstars play from 6-8 p.m. and Martin Zellar and the Hardways close out the night from 8-10 p.m.
Registrations for the races will be taken up until race day at With fall colors at a peak, this promises to be a beautiful run for the racers and a scenic event for spectators.