Home > Runs & Races

Twin Cities Marathon cancelled due to heat two hours before start

Last-minute cancellation of the Minnesota event left 20,000 runners frustrated

Twin Cities Marathon Photo by: Twin Cities Marathon/Facebook

Nearly 20,000 runners in Minneapolis–Saint Paul, Minn., were left frustrated on Sunday morning after the Twin Cities Marathon and 10-miler was cancelled two hours before its 7 a.m. start, due to heat.

The temperature in Minneapolis was forecasted to reach an unseasonably high 28 C by 11 a.m., according to the National Weather Service. The average high for the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area around this time of year is 18 C.

In the days leading up to the race, organizers had cautioned about potentially unsafe weather conditions. However, the race was still planning to proceed with extra safety measures implemented.

The Sunday morning forecast in Saint Paul elevated the races into black-flag status (which stands for “extreme and dangerous conditions”), which prompted the cancellation. As many as 8,000 runners were set to compete in the marathon, with 12,000 in Twin Cities 10-miler, and tens of thousands of spectators on the streets of both cities.

“It saddens Twin Cities In Motion and our partners to be unable to hold the races that runners have been pointing toward for months, but the safety of participants and the community will always be our primary concern,” said race organizers in a press release. “Extreme heat conditions can tax both runners and our emergency medical response systems. We ask the entire running community to come together for the safety of everyone involved.”

The race made the announcement at 5:30 a.m., only an hour and a half before the race’s expected start time. Despite the short notice, many runners who had travelled to Minnesota still went out to run.

Many runners took to social media to scrutinize the race’s decision: “Sad and pathetic, let’s just cancel all races cause they are outside of people’s comfort level,” one runner said. “What a waste of everyone’s time to make a last-minute decision like this,” said another.

The race organizers have not yet confirmed whether they will provide refunds or offer a credit to participants, but stated they intend to make an announcement later in the week. 

Check out the latest buyer's guide:

The best winter running socks for 2024

Here you'll find the perfect pair for any and all winter running conditions