Ask former Olympian Carrie Tollefson about her favorite places to run and one of the first things that springs to mind isn’t a world-class track where she trained for the Summer Olympics; it’s the gravel-lined Skunk Hollow loop in Dawson, Minnesota, about three hours west of the Twin Cities.
“I was so spoiled growing up,” says the Minnesota-born sports commentator and podcaster behind @ctollerun. “I trained around these beautiful farms with beans on one side, corn on the other, and cows. It was awesome.”
With the 40th annual Twin Cities Marathon happening this weekend, Minnevangelist co-founder and Explore Minnesota multimedia editor Andrew Parks asked Tollefson to share some advice for out-of-town runners….
🏃♀️ Where to practice: “Start in downtown Minneapolis and take West River Parkway about three or four miles to Minnehaha Falls, then cross the river at Ford Bridge, and go down the East River Parkway until you hit Crosby Farm, which is a beautiful little spot. From there, you can stay on Shepard Road all the way to downtown St. Paul.”
🛶 Where to unwind: “I love to canoe or paddle board on Lake of the Isles. If you do it late in the day, you can be a little creepy and look inside people’s houses and imagine someone else’s life for a little bit. We don’t take binoculars or anything; we just dream about being in those beautiful homes.”
🍝 Where to eat: “One of my staples is La Grolla on Selby. As an athlete who craves carbs, I can’t get enough. They make their own pasta and have very rich sauces.”
👟 Where to shop: “We have tons of running stores, including Mill City Running, Saint City Running, TC Running Co., and Running Room. Some of them will even measure your feet to make sure you get the right size shoe.”
To read Tollefson’s full Twin Cities Marathon Guide, check out Explore Minnesota.