Republished below is a great article that was featured on one of our past finishers blogs, Jordan Hanlon +26.2. Read his entire article below and feel free to follow the link to check out Jordan’s blog. Thanks Jordan for the kind words and great article.
Looking for a 100 mile race to run? Here are 10 reasons to run the Zumbro 100 mile race.
1. I’ll be there. Do you really need a 2-10?
2. It’s organized by one the best race directors around. You can be sure that you and your crew will be well taken care of every last detail will be covered. John Storkamp and his crew do an amazing job at putting on this event and many others races and events. You have a million things to worry about when doing an event like this and it make a big difference when you are running a well organized race.
3. It is a beautiful course. Growing up in northern MN I have always reserved most of the beauty in this state for the northern part especially the Duluth area, but the Zumbro area is a bit of a hidden gem in MN that is a great area to run.
4. It is a great race to do your first 100 mile race. This course is one of the better events to do your first 100 mile race. It is challenging enough so that it will keep your mind from going to complete mush, unlike some super flat faster ultras. Yet it is well supported and there are certainly plenty of runnable areas. Doing the multiple loops also make crewing and supporting runners a lot more manageable and allows for a lot of flexibility for pacers.
5. It is a family event. Having been at the last two races the size of the event has definitely grown, from 25 runners in 2011 when I ran to over 30 100 miles and many more 50 milers and now in 2012 with a 17 mile event it will be sure to grow. Despite this it seems like everyone still knows everyone and it is almost like one big reunion. Trust me it makes a world of difference when you pull into an aid station in the middle of the night and almost everyone there knows you by name and bends over backwards to make sure you have what you need. There often are fellow runners not running that race that are more than willing to pace runners. This works well because of the course set up and because there are so many great people at this event.
6. Amazing volunteers. I know that at most races and events like this there are no shortages of great people volunteering but this event has some of the best. Again John does a fantastic job at making sure that each ares is well staffed and that the volunteers are well prepared and know how to help support runners and crews alike. Many of them veteran runners themselves so you will be in good hands the entire way.
7. I forget exactly where it is but there is a spot on the course that peaks out from the trail and over looks a field. In the middle of the night especially when it is a clear sky and the moon is out you can look over the plowed field almost like looking out onto the ocean. It is a eerie feeling but a view that was burned into my memory when running this race the in 2011 and then when pacing last year.
8. Crowd support. Because you are doing multiple loops and the course whines its way through Zumbro Bottoms State Park you have several areas that you can get access to the course and cheer on the runners. This is not only great for actually being a spectator but to again provide support for your runner if you are a crew member.
9. Plenty of company. Even though there are not a lot of 100 mile runners the race is growing and with the addition of the Midnight 50 miler and the 17 Mile races you will have plenty of company out on the trails. This is always nice at 3AM when it is dark, cold, your tired and ultra-brained. (Yeah that’s a real word, look it up on the Internet)
10. PR Course. No this is not the fastest course out there but there is a lot of runnable areas and because you are running the same loop you know when you can push and when to take it easy. So no this is not a fast nor an easy course but it is consistent and you can plan for the course.
Opens Fri Nov 1, 2019 – 12:01AM CST
Closes Fri April 3, 2020 – 11:59PM CST
*Or once the field limit has been met
Complete Registration Details HERE
Directions to Race Start:
Zumbro River Bottoms Management Unit
West Assembly Area
(Near Theilman, MN)
Google Maps Directions HERE
Written Directions HERE
(Approx 1:45 south of Minneapolis, MN)
The course consists of a mix of rugged single and double track trail with rubble, loose rock and sand along with minimum maintenance gravel roads. The race is primarily concentrated in two large valleys within an expansive hardwood forest. There are four significant, short, steep climbs (approx 300FT) per loop with small hills in-between along with some significant stretches of flat valley floor running. Be sure to see maps, elevation charts and stats provided on this website HERE.
6 x 17 mile loop = 102(ish) miles
Elevation Gain 13,500 FT
Elevation Loss 13,500 FT
NET Elevation Change 27,000 FT
17 Aid Stations
34 hour time limit
Complete 100MI Info HERE
3 x 17 mile loop = 51(ish) miles
Elevation Gain 6,750 FT
Elevation Loss 6,750 FT
NET Elevation Change 13,500 FT
8 Aid Stations
18 hour time limit
Complete 50MI Info HERE
17 Mile Loop
Elevation Gain 2,250 FT
Elevation Loss 2,250 FT
NET Elevation Change 4,500 FT
2 Aid Stations
9 hour cutoff
Complete 17MI Info HERE
More About the Area:
The Zumbro Endurance Run 100MI, 50MI and 17MI trail races take place within the Zumbro River Bottoms Management Unit in Southeastern Minnesota’s Bluff Country – just outside of the tiny village of Theilman, MN approximately 1:45 from Minneapolis – St.Paul, MN. The races start and finish at the West Assembly / Horse Campground Area. Generally speaking the Zumbro River Bottoms Management Unit lies within a portion of the Richard J. Dorer Memorial Hardwood Forest – an expansive 1.7 million acre tract of Minnesota hardwood forest on the Northern edge of the Driftless Region which is mainly characterized by its tall bluffs and deeply carved river valleys. This “bluff country” is rugged, hauntingly beautiful and provides the perfect venue for 100, 50 or 17 miles of trail running.