Simplified: The Sioux Falls Sports Authority is preparing to host its first full marathon since 2019 this weekend. Here's a look at what to expect from race day, and a broader look at how the race has grown and evolved over time.

Why it matters

  • Sunday's race will be the 11th Sioux Falls Marathon, and it'll be the first full marathon in town since 2019. The last two years' full races were canceled, first due to the pandemic in 2020 and then due to heavy rainfall affecting the marathon route in 2021.
  • The races – including a full marathon, a half marathon, a 10K and a 5K – will see a combined 2,000 runners from 47 different states, said Jerry Palleschi, project director with the sports authority. There are even a few international runners joining, he added.  
  • For racer DeAnn McClure, the Sioux Falls Marathon is an annual tradition. McClure's first-ever half marathon was the 2010 race, and she's ran the half marathon in Sioux Falls every year since.
"Everybody is just happy and positive and cheering each other on, and that's what drives me back year after year," she said.

Tell me more about the growth of the race over time

For the first few years of the Sioux Falls Marathon, the finish line was in Sertoma Park.

  • McClure said she can't imagine how that'd work today given how big the race has become and how many people participate.

Several years back, the sports authority added the 10K race to the options available, and the route has continued to shift and evolve year after year.

"It's a much bigger event than I think people have realized," Palleschi said.

Palleschi added that the marathon brings in hundreds of people to the community, and those people are staying in local hotels, eating at local restaurants, etc.

The race also raises funds to support the Sanford Children's Miracle Network.

  • The last few marathon events have brought in $20,000 per year, Palleschi said.

For McClure, the race also brings a sense of community and positivity each year.

"It's the most positive atmosphere you can be in to watch these people –  whether you're at the front of the pack or the end of the pack, it doesn't matter," she said. "Everybody has the same goal."

What should I know about race day/weekend?

Whether you're running or not, the public is invited to go to the Sioux Falls Marathon Expo from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Sanford Pentagon.

  • Kids can participate in the Wermerson Orthodontics Youth Dash free of charge to get a taste of the race atmosphere.

The races start at 6:30 a.m. Sunday with the full marathon, and staggered start times for the half, 10K and 5K. All races start and finish at Howard Wood Field.

Where can I spectate?

If you want to see the finish line, you'll want to hang out at Howard Wood Field.

The marathon route loops throughout town. Parking will be tricky downtown, Palleschi said, but if you can swing it, it's a great spot to cheer on runners. You can also watch the runners cross the bridge at Falls Park, he suggested.

Find the full route here – with some more specific suggestions on spectator spots.

What roads will be closed, and when?  

Here's a list (it's a long one, be warned):

  • N. Western Avenue (Russell St to Burnside St) 6 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Legion Drive (Western Ave to Hawthorne Ave) 6 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.
  • Hawthorne Avenue (Burnside St to West Ave) 6 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.
  • West Avenue Service Road (Hawthorne Ave to Madison St) 6 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.
  • Madison Street (Lyndale Ave to Menlo Ave) 6 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.
  • N. Lake Avenue (Along Terrace Park) 6 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.
  • Menlo Avenue (Brookings St to 4th St) 6 a.m. to 11 a.m.
  • Fourth St (Menlo Ave to Duluth Ave) 6 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.
  • Duluth Ave (4th St to 9th St) 6 a.m. to 10 a.m.
  • Ninth Street (Duluth Ave to Phillips Ave) 6 a.m. to 10 a.m.
  • Dakota Avenue (9th St to 5th St) 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.
  • Main Street (9th St to 5th St) 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.
  • Eighth Street (Minnesota Ave to Reid St) 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.
  • Sixth Street (Minnesota Ave to Weber Ave) 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.
  • Phillips Avenue (9th St to Falls Park Dr) 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.
  • Phillips Avenue (11th St to 13th St) 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.
  • 13th Street (Phillips Ave to Dakota Ave) 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.
  • Dakota Avenue (13th St to 9th St) 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.