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Ready, set… go prepare!

Published in Heart & Vascular, For the Health of It Author: Kelijo Fernholz, Exercise Physiologist

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The 2017 CentraCare Earth Day Weekend is April 21-22.

Sign up now to secure your spot. Rates increase beginning March 15.

Friday, April 21:

11 to 8 p.m. - Packet Pickup/Health & Fitness Expo

6 p.m. - BLEND 1K

6:30 p.m. - 5K

Saturday, April 22:

8:30 a.m. - Half Marathon & Relay

Learn more and register now at

Training for a race can involve weeks of effort, so it’s exciting to wake up when race day arrives. But if you don’t plan well or if you aren’t organized, getting to the starting line can be stressful. And you also don’t want to look back after the race and be disappointed that you wore the wrong clothes or didn’t hydrate well ahead of time.

You can’t have a great finish, without getting to the starting line first. This year marks the first year that CentraCare Health is the lead organizer of the Earth Day Run events. Whether you are running in Friday’s St. Cloud Subaru 5K or Saturday’s SCHEELS Half Marathon and Half Marathon Relay, here are some tips to help you prepare for your race and to have a great time during it.

  • It’s important to stay hydrated prior to your race. Make sure to drink plenty of water the day before the race… but don’t overdo it either. You also may want to try to have a small drink of water 30 minutes prior to your race.
  • Give yourself plenty of time to find parking and make your way to the starting line. On Saturday morning, parking will be available in the K and Q lots just south of the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center. On-street neighborhood parking also is available.
  • For both the Friday and Saturday races, the locker rooms at Halenbeck Hall will be available if you need to shower or change clothes. But please take care of your valuables as locks will not be provided.
  • For Saturday’s race, if you want to change clothes after the race, consider using the Bag Drop. Members of the St. Cloud Tech High School Track team will collect and organize bags. If you are a relay team member, indicate that on your bag.
  • Dress in layers. That way you can remain comfortable while waiting at the starting line, once you start to run, and in changing weather conditions. Wear a long-sleeved shirt over a short-sleeved shirt. That way you can take off your long-sleeved shirt and tie it around your waist, if needed.
  • If you wear earphones while running, don’t have them turned up so loud that you can’t remain aware of your surroundings. That’s not just bad for your ears. It can be dangerous. Another option is to just wear only one earphone — so the other ear can better hear what’s going on around you.
  • At aid stations, don’t feel like you have to run to the first person offering water or sports drink. They are often many volunteers offering assistance. Finding a volunteer toward the back of the aid station can help you avoid backups.
  • Don’t feel pressured. Walk through the aid stations on the course if you need fluids. And feel free to walk along the race course if you feel you are overexerting yourself. But if you do this, please move to the side of the race course — just as a courtesy to other runners.

For more information on all of the Earth Day Run weekend activities and to register to run, please visit