June 22, 2013 Oakdale, Minnesota 5K/10K Run is open to unicyclists!

June 22, 2013: 3rd annual Oakdale 5K/10K Run/Walk! (near Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA)

The (underwhelming) official website is here.
Registration site is here.

There will be separate start times for the 5K and 10K.

Chip timers and t-shirts with your registration ($30).

I spoke with the organizer (Mike) at Oakdale Parks and Rec, and he said that if there are enough unicyclists, there would be a separate start for one-wheelers.

I did the 5K last year on a unicycle, and had a good experience. There were about 100 runners and walkers, so don’t expect an enormous crowd. The 10K is new this year.

I hope to see you there!

How sprinty is the crowd? I think I’d feel out of place with the probability of coming in before or with the lead.

Great question. I can answer that in a few ways. There will be modest prizes for the top runners, but Mike (the organizer) told me there will not be unicycle prizes, mostly because no one knows how many are coming or what this is going to look like. Last year, I finished ahead of a bunch of 5K runners (but well behind the leaders), and got no negative feedback from those I “beat.” If the runners are mad at fast unicycles, it will just be their aching pride, and not a lack of prizes.
I would say you should plan to ride as fast as you want. I know there are several world class 10K riders in the area, and frankly I’d love to see them go nuts on this. The worst case scenario is that we don’t get invited back next year.
I’m hoping enough uni’s will register so we get our own start time, and I think that will make the runners less worried about us, too.

Interesting idea. Depending on the surface of the course, I might not “go nuts” on it. What’s required for a surface for runners is not the same as what’s required to cruise in high gear on a 36. Also $30 is a bit much for a race in which I wouldn’t really have any competition. I’m paying $85 to register for NAUCC and I’m competing in over 10 races with awesome competition. Also, if the course is more than one lap, I would be quickly lapping runners which could be quite dangerous when cruising at 20 mph.

Last year’s 5K course was one big loop of suburban city streets with cops and volunteers at important intersections. There were long street stretches where you (not me) could hit 20 mph, but not the whole way. It ended (and started) at Oakdale Park (4444 Hadley Ave), so the last part of the course was on the typical 6’ wide asphalt trail in the park.

Perhaps this would be more palatable if you thought of it as a goodwill exhibition instead of a race. :slight_smile: Or a really expensive t-shirt.

I’ll call the organizers tomorrow and see if I can get more details about this year’s courses. More to come. Thanks for your interest!


I emailed Mike from Oakdale Parks and Rec. The 10K course will be two laps of the 5K course. That means dodging strollers on lap 2. There were about 100 runners last year, so I hope it won’t be more crowded than your average trip around Lake Harriett on a Saturday. Probably better.

I’m attempting to attach the flyer .pdf, which is more informative than the website. Print and mail if you prefer that method of registration.

The fee schedule is on the .pdf. 5K is $20 before June 1; $30 on race day.
10K is $30 before June 1, $40 on race day.

I’ll describe the route. Start at Oakdale Park (4444 Hadley Ave).
Left on Hadley, north to 50th Street.
West on Hadley/50th, slight left to 50th St.
West to Georgia and south to Gershwin.
My memory gets fuzzy here, but I think we went east on 45th St, which dead-ends into the park path.
Take the path back through the park to the finish line in the parking lot.
Do it again to make 10K.

Thanks again for your interest!

5K10K Registration Form.pdf (3.94 MB)

This is a reminder that the deadline for pre-registration, with the cheaper fee, is about a week away. Costs go up $5 after June 1st, and up another $5 if you register on the day of the event.

Register online (link on post #1 of this thread) or print and mail the form attached to the previous post (#6).

I would like to publicize this through the Twin Cities Unicycle Club, but I have gotten no response when I sent a message to them through their website. If any of you have connections with the TCUC Powers-That-Be, I would love to put this event on their calendar.

I hope to see you there!

The big event is just eight days away! See above for registration options, or just register the day of. Meet/register/start/finish at the Oakdale Discovery Center in Oakdale Park, 4444 Hadley Ave. N. in Oakdale. Check-in starts at 7 AM, pedaling starts around 8 AM, depending on your distance.

Today was the big day! I hope the weather didn’t scare you off. We had a nice break in the rain and a good ride. There was a last minute route change because of fallen trees in the park. Runners, walkers and spectators were supportive of unicycling, so I hope to see more riders next year.

The Oakdale Minnesota (USA) 5K/10K Walk/Run is happening again this year (2014), and it’s open to unicyclists.

Sure, it’s the week before NAUCC.
Sure, it’s $40 for a t-shirt and a chip timer.
Sure, there are no prizes for the unicyclist.
Sure, last year’s event was nearly cancelled by tornadoes.

But don’t let that stop you! Come ride! Saturday morning, June 21st. Same location as before.

Looking to the future, the organizers say if we can produce 20 riders in 2015, we can have our own start and prizes.

I’ll add another layer to my echo chamber and again announce the 2015 edition of the Oakdale, Minnesota (USA) 5K/10K Walk/Run/Unicycle. Saturday, June 27th. Pretty much the same deal as last year. Here’s a link for the details and registration: http://www.ci.oakdale.mn.us/vertical/Sites/%7B9D2ABE6F-4847-480E-9780-B9885C59543F%7D/uploads/OakdaleSummerFest5KRegistration_2015.pdf

I’ll be doing the 10K again this year. I hope someone will come end my tyrannical 5 year reign of terror as Unicycle champion.

Sounds like a fun event, UTL. Wish I was closer, I’d definitely join you!
(I know the solitary feeling, I was again the solo unicycler at this past Sunday’s annual community bike ride event, 20 mile loop around the western SF Valley. Still, it’s good to represent!)
Good luck and have fun!

You’re a peach, LanceB! I’d like to see your G32 hot rod in action someday.

To @ScottHue’s point, it’s not really a race unless there are other uni riders that have similar skills.

IMO, riding a 36er in a small-time 5k/10k is not competing at the same level. Any average uni rider can ride an ungeared 36 at 10mph, given decent road conditions. At 58 with 4 years of riding experience, I would be whooping most of the 25 yo field.

I wouldn’t mind riding in some small, local foot races, but to level the playing field I would probably want to run a smaller wheel. By having less of a speed disparity there would be fewer opportunities for spills and accidents, which is a concern of the race organizers.

The biggest objection I have seen with getting race directors to let uni riders on the course is liability insurance and, to a lesser degree, the perception that unicycles are for the parades and circus acts.

In small numbers, I think unicycles in foot races could add another dimension to the event, perhaps give it an “oh wow” factor. It would be on the uni riders to recognize that this is more for fun, sort of a group ride, than it is a race.

I find that from a biomechanical perspective, unicycling is closer to running than it is cycling. But because we are a “cycle”, we are more likely to gain admittance to a cycling race than a foot race. In cycling events, unis are the under dogs. In foot races, we have every advantage, even on smaller wheels.

Since there are very few uni riders close to my home, I usually ride with cyclists. I have had the occasion to ride with runners. With the exception of the occasional diversion from the road onto some cart path, riding with runners is much easier, even on smaller wheels.

The ideal situation is to have enough uni riders to form a uni-division, and have a separate start time from the runners. The problem is there are so few uni riders. It takes 6 months of planning to gather 20 riders for a trip into the woods. Getting enough for a division in a small-time race, whose purpose is to raise money for a cause, is nearly impossible.

I’m not racing against the runners. Of course that’s not a fair race. For most of the walkers/runners it’s not a race at all. I’m inviting unicyclists to a fun community event. If there are enough unicyclists, we will get our own division with prizes and whatnot. That’s a big “if”. I happen to live in a place with one of the largest unicycle clubs in America, so I’ve got a better chance than most of assembling a legitimate field. Heck, the world champ (scotthue) lived here the first year I advertised this.
I’ve done some bike events on the unicycle, and frankly I’d rather be the amusing guy finishing before the runners than the clown behind all the bikes who’s holding up the end of the event.

This event will happen again on Saturday, June 25, 2016. If more than a few riders show up, there will be a separate uni division with prizes. If not, I’ll continue my reign of terror as undisputed 10K champion of the universe [on Saturdays in June in Oakdale, Minnesota, USA].

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