It seems like every year new trail races get added to statewide running calendars and for good reason. Minnesota is home to some of the best trails in the country, whether urban or deep in the North Woods. To keep you motivated in the new year, here are a few well-run favorites:
Zumbro Endurance Run (April 13-14, Thielman)
This cadre of races includes a 100-mile, 50-mile, and 17-mile footrace. Less than two hours south of the Twin Cities, these races are held in the scenic bluff region of the Zumbro River Bottoms.
Trail Mix (April 21, Rockford)
Held in Lake Rebecca Park Reserve, this event goes back decades to its place at Hyland Lake. There are 50-kilometer, 25K, and 12.5K races on a 12.5K-loop that takes runners through prairies, wetlands and big woods. Be sure to pack a change of clothes because this one can get muddy, which is really part of the appeal.
Surly Trail Loppet (Sept. 22, Minneapolis)
If you’re looking for a race that showcases the Twin Cities’ urban trails, this is it. This event includes a half-marathon, 13.1K, 5K and relays, and takes runners on a tour of Theodore Wirth Park’s stunning trails, ponds, lake, bogs and wildflower gardens.
Superior Trail Races (May 19 spring races and Sept. 7-8 fall races, Lutsen)
The spring series includes 50K and 25K races, while the fall series features a 100-mile, 50-mile and marathon. All races are held on the Superior Hiking Trail in the gorgeous Sawtooth Mountain Range, which means runners should be ready for lots of climbing, descending, roots and rocks.
MACKENZIE LOBBY HAVEY