A Letter to our Members

2021 marks our 60th anniversary! The Minnesota Distance Running Association was the first running organization in the state and the eighth in the country. It is the foundation on which Minnesota’s robust running community has been built. That’s all thanks to you, our members. 

The Times They are a Changin’: MDRA is Now Run Minnesota!

A lot has changed in the last 60 years, and we, like many organizations, find ourselves at a crossroads. To honor MDRA’s pioneering legacy and to position us to be around for another 60 years, we’re changing our name to Run Minnesota! 

The History of Run Minnesota 

Sometimes finding the way forward requires taking a look back at where we’ve been and why the organization started in the first place. MDRA started in 1961 as the Minnesota Road Runners Club (MRRC). Back then, outside of collegiate sports and the Olympics, it was not common for everyday people to run. 

MRRC planted the sport of running in Minnesota by holding races, standardizing distances, and publishing race results. They established the idea that anyone can run, including women and POC of any age and skill level, and provided the resources for runners to get started. 

The name was changed from MRRC to Minnesota Distance Running Association in 1972 in order to include all kinds of races—road, track, trail, cross country, relays—and to include all Minnesota runners. 

Inclusivity has been at the heart of our organization from the very beginning. 

There’s a Runner in All of Us

It’s the next level of inclusivity that’s driving the change to Run Minnesota. Distance running can sound intimidating and does not translate to a recreational runner. Run Minnesota is more descriptive, inclusive, and welcoming—our new brand name will help us provide valuable resources to a broader, more diverse group of runners moving forward. The new name also aligns with our Run Minnesota Magazine which will relaunch as a digital publication mid-2021. 

Thank you and be on the lookout for exciting new things to come from Run Minnesota.

Here for the long run.