Champion Runners – Mankato Marathon 2018

Meet four wonderful local people who will run in the 2018 Mankato Marathon and raise funds for the Children’s Museum! Ways to support the runners are coming soon.

Mike Drash

Running and raising funds for the Museum because he loves giving back to the community. He says the Children’s Museum is a hidden gem right here in Mankato.

Running mantra: Just keep running!
Favorite tip or piece of running advice: Set realistic goals, start off slow.

Mike will be participating in the full marathon. Watch Mike’s video here.

Support Mike as he supports the Children’s Museum! Donate here to help him reach his fundraising goal of $1,000!


Rachael Hanel

A place like the Children’s Museum plays a vital role in creating a vibrant, healthy community. Promoting inquiry and imagination in the early stages of a child’s life plants the seeds for later success. I’m an educator at the college level, and the success of my students didn’t start in college. My most successful students had the opportunity to play, imagine, and satisfy their curiosity when they were little kids.

I want people to know the Museum is open to anyone, regardless of income, language, or cultural factors, isolation, ability, or special needs. If you have children, it’s a natural place to bring your kids to play. If you don’t have children on your own, think of a kid you know–a niece, nephew, grandchild, or neighbor and friend’s kid.

Running mantra: Forward motion!  It doesn’t matter if you’re fast or slow, we’re all making our way to the finish line. As long as I’m moving forward, whether it’s running or walking (or if need be, even crawling!), I’m making progress and I’ll get there.

Favorite tip or piece of running advice: Compete only against yourself. It’s hard to resist comparisons, such as pace, what you’re wearing, body type, etc. Try to let everything else fall away and concentrate on your own feet hitting the pavement, and no one else’s feet.

Rachael will be participating in the full marathon. Watch Rachael’s video here.

Support Rachael as she supports the Children’s Museum. Donate here to help her reach her fundraising goal of $1,000!


Jennifer Heimer

The addition of the Children’s Museum in its current place has made that area of Mankato revitalized and a destination for many families and schools. My daughter is almost 10 and still loves it there. I would have loved a place like that when she was a toddler, and I am grateful for the programs it offers to future generations.

The Museum is a great place for kids of all ages; their science programs, art and agricultural displays are so interactive and fun for kids. My daughter and I once created a multimedia galaxy art piece out of velvet and glow-in-the-dark paint that was very cool and taught us both things about space at the same time.

Running mantra: One foot in front of the other. Running is therapeutic for me and it helps me stay centered. I don’t run too fast, I run to make time for myself and my favorite running partners–my girlfriends. I run because I can.

Favorite tip or piece of running advice: I think so many people convince themselves they just aren’t runners. I hear it all the time: I can’t run. Well, you can. You just don’t want to. I know people who really can’t run because of health issues or injuries. Remember, there may come a day when you can’t do something. Why not try it while you’re physically able? Never take your health for granted, as Chris Schull says. My biggest running superpower are my running friends, so get one! They motivate me, meet me at all hours and temperatures to run, talk me through it when I wouldn’t have gone that far without them. I was never a competitive person and you don’t have to be. Just try to make it through a few minutes more each day.

Jennifer will be participating in the half marathon. Watch Jennifer’s video here.

Support Jennifer as she supports the Children’s Museum. Donate here to help her reach her fundraising goal of $1,000!


Kevin Newman

Kato Engineering, where Kevin works, participated in the Capital Campaign for the Children’s Museum. Kato Engineering is a big proponent of STEAM, and the value it brings to the youth and future workforce in the Greater Mankato Area. The Museum brings enlightened focus to STEAM and agriculture.

I think most people hear the word museum and think art and walking around, viewing it. The Children’s Museum is an inviting place where children can learn and play with exhibits. Having a place like this is a huge asset to our community. People need to visit and see it firsthand, even if they don’t have children or grandchildren.

Running mantra: I use running as a way to get “me” time for clearing out stress and as a general health therapy. It’s just you and the pavement!

Favorite tip or piece of running advice: I have run in multiple full and half marathons and, if there is one key objective, it’s getting to the start line healthy and prepared. You can’t finish if you don’t start.

Kevin will be participating in the half marathon. Watch Kevin’s video here.