Monster Dash St. Paul

Monster Dash St. Paul

Monster Dash St. Paul

( 7 reviews )
71% of reviewers recommend this race
  • St. Paul,
    United States
  • October
  • 3 miles/5K, 10 miles, 13.1 miles/Half Marathon
  • Road Race
  • Event Website


St. Paul, Minnesota, United States
12 7
"Fun costume race for runners of all abilities"
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Race Management
Brad 's thoughts:

I ran the Monster Dash Half Marathon this past October, and it was a lot of fun.

It's funny how the Monster Dash and other Team Ortho races get a bad rap from experienced runners. I'm not quite sure what it is, but it's somewhat of an inside joke. Perhaps experienced runners can't be bothered with a race of this size because it caters to so many runners and the level of competition isn't elite. I'm not sure.

Regardless, this is a fun race.

The expo (as are other Team Ortho expos) was well organized and accessible. I actually went to the Women Rock expo in August to pick up my packet and gear for this race - it was really nice to have the early pickup option available! The performance zip-up is surprisingly nice. Yes, it's plastered with big Monster Dash logos on the front and back, and Team Ortho on the arm, but it's a nice fit, and it suitable for fall runs in Minnesota. I've even worn it for some light winter runs in temperatures below 20 degrees (a few days this week 11/12 and 11/13), and it kept me plenty warm. It's not windproof, so it likely won't work as the temperatures get colder, but for now I'm enjoying wearing it. The finisher medal is the same style as other Team Ortho races, like the Get Lucky.

Parking for the event is very well done. I pre-purchased parking at St. Paul College and had a really easy time getting there on race morning. From St. Paul College, it's just a short walk to the start line. Bonus tip - make a bathroom stop in the warmth of St. Paul College as opposed to waiting in line for 15 minutes closer to the start, only to use a port-a-potty that 200 other runners have already used this morning.

The course is awesome. You start on Summit Avenue, just past the Cathedral, in front of the James J. Hill House. You continue on down Summit Avenue in the opposite direction of the TC Marathon (which is a few weeks prior). Once you hit the river, you follow that all the way back to Upper Landing Park, which is about a mile down the hill from the Cathedral. The course does have a net elevation drop of somewhere between 250-400 feet, but honestly it didn't feel like it. Summit Avenue has some rolling hills and there are a few significant uphills along the river. The worst hill comes between mile 10 and 11, and it a long, mentally draining battle. It's easy to forget about the net elevation drop when one of the last things you experience is a huge uphill.

The race it a blast. There are TONS of runners dressed in costume, and I would strongly suggest anyone running this race in the future to wear some sort of costume. The large number of spectators love it, and you'll get tons of shout-outs and encouraging words from onlookers. Popular costumes included Superman, Ironman, and Waldo.

Read my full race recap here:

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