2024 Zumbro 50 Mile Endurance Run Participant Guide
Race Date & Time:
Saturday April 13, 2024
Zumbro Bottoms, Minnesota
Monday January 1, 2023
About This Page:
The information on this page and associated links comprise the official Zumbro 50 Mile Endurance Run Participant Guide. It contains all of the information and links you will need in order to research, register for and run the race. Runners are required to review this page, along with the registration info page in their entirety prior to registering for the race. This information should then be referenced as needed in the months and weeks leading up to the race. Keep in mind that information may be updated and changed right up until the race, so a final review of the information about a week out is encouraged. Registered runners can expect a welcome email from us with any new / additional information about one week out from the race. This page contains the following sections:
/ ABOUT ZUMBRO
Race founded in 2009, 100% trail race & minimum maintenance gravel roads, located 1:45 south of Minneapolis / St. Paul MN, 3 x 17 mile loops = 51 miles, elevation gain 6,750 FT, elevation loss 6,750 FT, NET elevation change 13,500 FT, 8 aid stations, 18 hour time limit.
About the Zumbro Endurance Run:
The Zumbro Endurance Run takes 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 trail running.
The course consists of a mix of rugged single and double track trail with rubble, loose rock and sand, along with very runnable 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 (of approximately 300FT) per loop with smaller hills in-between, along with some significant stretches of flat and fast valley floor running.
What is Zumbro Like?
A picture is worth a 1000 words. You can get a good feel for the Zumbro experience by looking through the photos on the home page of our website HERE https://www.zumbroendurancerun.com/
You can hear past participants experiences HERE https://www.zumbroendurancerun.com/testimonials/
About Rocksteady Running:
The Zumbro Endurance Run is organized by Rocksteady Running and directed by John Storkamp. Rocksteady Running produces several trail and ultrarunning races in the state of Minnesota. Our races are put on by longtime trail and ultrarunners. Our focus is on sustainability, runner safety, runner experience and giving back to the trail, parks and communities where our events are held. Our mission is to create experiences that facilitate connection. All credit is due to our army of volunteers and our wonderful Minnesota trail running community
All Are Welcome:
Rocksteady Running welcomes everyone to our events and into our broader trail running community. You are welcome and valued regardless of your race, gender, sexual identity, orientation, or preference, religious, spiritual, or political beliefs, socioeconomic status, age, how quickly or slowly you run. Please be kind, and treat others as you would like to be treated.
/ REGISTRATION INFORMATION
Do not register until you have reviewed this page (Zumbro 50 Mile Endurance Run Participant Guide) in its entirety. Registration details including entry fees, field limits, and the link to our registration page on UltraSignup (third party registration provider) can be found HERE http://www.zumbroendurancerun.com/registration-info/
$105.00 (+UltraSignup Fee)
There are No Refunds, Transfers or Switches:
Entry fees are not refundable under any circumstance. Entry fees will not be refunded if a runner chooses not to, or is unable to race, for any reason. Entry fees will not be refunded if the race is canceled, for any reason. Race registrations are not transferable to other participants, to future years races or to other Rocksteady Running events. Transfers are not allowed between race distances. Runners should consider these factors very carefully before registering. Runners who are not comfortable with these policies should not register.
No Waiting List Will be Kept:
Once a race distance sells out, we do not keep a waiting list – instead we accept extra runners up front so that everyone has the same opportunity to train, make reservations, get a babysitter, etc. This means that a withdrawal from a sold out race prior to race day does not create an opening in the race field – it just brings us down to our predetermined field limit which is set in agreement with our permitor(s). We have found that a percentage of those who register will not make it to the starting line due to injury, illness, or other real life interventions and adjust the number of allocated spots accordingly year to year based on historical averages.
The Race Director reserves the right to modify or cancel the race or course for safety concerns, natural disaster, public health emergency, air quality, public safety threat, severe weather, trail condition concerns, etc. In such cases there will be no refunds of race entry fees. Each athlete must accept any such risk of their entry fee paid. There is no complimentary race entry to a future race. Entry fees collected are used to develop and produce the event, starting well in advance of the race date – including course preparation, race supplies, permits and administration. We will make every effort to produce a fair and safe event for all participants. Any decision we make that impacts the race date or potential cancellation is carefully considered and based on the overall event safety, sustainability and manageability.
Zumbro Cancellation Credit:
Rocksteady Running has successfully produced 100’s of races since 2007. Besides the cancellation of all of our events in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the only other time we have had to cancel any races has been at Zumbro, due to (freak) snowstorms. A record setting blizzard and hazardous driving conditions forced the cancellation of Saturdays 17 mile race in 2018 while the 100 and 50 that started on Friday just barely proceeded until the end. In 2019 another blizzard forced the cancellation of the entire event. Hunting seasons limit when we can hold Zumbro, and early to mid-April before turkey hunting begins is the most viable option available to us. In order to protect our organization and ensure that we are able to produce races for years to come, we do not offer refunds for any of our events. That said, with what seems to be a trend of severe winter-like weather occurring in early April, and the fact that there have been many “three time losers” due to cancellations (2018, 2019 & 2020 – the races were held successfully in 2021, 2022 & 2023), should we need to cancel Zumbro in 2024, we will issue a 25% credit for the 2025 race and will also mail you your swag item (t-shirt, hat, etc. / whatever it may be for the year). This will be on an opt-in basis – there will be a question during registration where you can indicate to us whether or not you would like the 25% credit to the following years race in the event of a cancellation. We are handling it this way since we know some of you will not care for it / would like to “donate” it back to us. Please note that this policy is for the Zumbro Endurance Run only, and not for any other Rocksteady Running races. Assuming we can get through a few years without a cancellation and get back to ‘normal’, we will eventually shelf this policy as it does create added financial risk for our organization – that said, for the time being we want to be cognizant of the fact that a cancellation is not out of the question and be respectful of those of you that have stuck with us year after year. Zumbro has been challenging, but whenever we can have it, as we did last year, it is pretty dang special and always feels like it is worth the struggle. You can learn more HERE https://www.zumbroendurancerun.com/zumbro-why-early-april/
Registration Fee Assistance:
Registration fees are used to cover the costs of producing a race, cover overhead and hopefully provide a little bit of a cushion / startup capital for the following years race. That said, we do not want an entry fee to be the reason that someone cannot participate in one of our races. For each race that Rocksteady Running produces, we will make available a couple of reduced fee and / or comp entries for those in need. Please contact us via email if you need registration fee assistance and give us a brief explanation of your situation. Any assistance provided will be kept confidential. Please only request help if it is necessary, leaving the assistance for those that are truly in need.
Additionally, our Endless Summer Trail Run Series, which consists of four to five weeknight trail running races throughout the summer, with distances ranging from 5KM to 7 miles, is an ultra-low-cost event that is specifically intended to reduce financial barriers to trail racing. While the entry fee for each individual series race is only $30, we provide a full-fledged race experience including a giveaway, a chip-timed race, tons of experienced and friendly volunteers and food / refreshments after. These low cost racing opportunities are made possible in part by what are generally higher entry fees for our longer / ultra-distance races. This is one way in which we can all encourage and welcome individuals from all walks of life into our awesome sport.
/ RACE INFORMATION
What’s Included With Your Registration:
A well marked course with plenty of aid and tons of friendly, experienced volunteers. Runners who register by March 1 will have their name custom printed on their race numbers. Chip timing. All 50 mile finishers will receive a WOOD MEDAL. For 2024 we will either do a a t-shirt or a hat (TBD). If it is a t-shirt it will be the same awesome Rocksteady Running Tri-Blend ( non-technical / casual cotton blend ) t-shirt with a super cool design. Shirts are unisex but fit both genders really well – you can see past years race shirts and hats HERE https://www.zumbroendurancerun.com/category/shirts-swag/ Post race we will be providing complimentary fresh baked Neapolitan style pizza and canned beverages (Coke, Ginger Ale and Sparkling Water).
How We Will Communicate With You Once You Register:
Immediately after registering you will receive a registration confirmation email from our registration provider UltraSignup. Your name will also be added to the list of registered runners which can be found on our website under the menu item(s) RACE > REGISTER > WHO’S REGISTERED. You will receive a welcome email from us with any last minute updates about a week before the race. About a week after the race we will send out a thank you email / race recap. We will email you at the address that you have one file with our registration provider UltraSignup. Please make sure that your email is up to date with UltraSignup / was inputted correctly – if it is not, you will not receive our communications. You may also want to add info@ultrasignup, [email protected] and [email protected] to your email providers ‘do not block’ / ‘do not spam’ / ‘white list’ / ‘safe’ list. A copy of every race email sent will be immediately added to our website HERE https://www.zumbroendurancerun.com/news-and-updates/ Most importantly, everything you need to know can be found on the Zumbro Endurance Run website. If at any point you have questions, please contact us. You can also ask questions of your fellow runners in our online community / forum HERE https://community.rocksteadyrunning.com/
If You Have Registered and Can No Longer Run:
If you are registered to run and can no longer make it, you DO NOT need to notify us. Once a runner is registered, we do not remove them from the roster until race day, if / when they don’t show up. We handle it in this way because it is not uncommon for a runner to notify us that they will not be running, then notify us that they will be, then notify us again they won’t be, and so forth – this sort of thing creates confusion and leads to check-in and timing mistakes when we start modifying the runner database. We will know if a registrant is not running when they do not check in / pick up their race number on race day. You WILL NOT be publicly listed, or “reported” as a DNS / Did Not Start.
Saturday April 13, 2024
50 Mile Start Time:
12:01AM (Note the ‘AM’ part – this race starts at midnight, very late Friday night / early early Saturday morning.)
General Location and Travel:
The race start is approximately 1:45 South of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Major international airport: Minneapolis / St Paul (MSP). Regional airports: Rochester (RST) and Lacrosse(LSE).
Race Start / Finish Location:
Zumbro Bottoms Horse Campground West / Zumbro Bottoms Management Unit, near Theilman Minnesota
Driving To the Race & Parking:
This is very important and quite in depth so it gets the following description AND its own page HERE https://www.zumbroendurancerun.com/getting-to-zumbro/ please review both. Parking is limited at the race start / finish area – WE STRONGLY ENCOURAGE CAR-POOLING. If there is snow and ice on the ground when you are making your way to the race, we prefer that you take the route utilizing Wabasha County Rd 4 and come in through the town of Theilman (as opposed to the gravel back roads that Google Maps may route you on – these roads can become very hazardous if snow and ice are present due to how steep the hills are – that said this route is perfectly acceptable when snow and ice are not present). If you come through the town of Theilman, PLEASE drive very slowly / cautiously through town – this is a VERY small community that is not used to seeing much traffic this time of year, so please be VERY respectful. The Zumbro Bottoms West Assembly Campground does not have a “parking lot” per se’, it is a campground and is setup as much, there is quite a bit of space as long as people park sanely / respectfully, please do not double park or park in any muddy areas. Those not camping please drive all the way to the back / far end of the campground and start filling that space first.
There is no lodging available in Theilman, MN but there is rustic camping available at the start / finish area for a fee.
Lodging in Wabasha (15 miles)
Turning Waters B&B http://www.turningwatersbandb.com/
Camping is available right at the start area for tents and RV’s (note that there is no water or power hookups and the wells at the campground are not on this time of year). There is self serve registration near the entrance. The daily camping fee is $17.00 per night (subject to increases) – be sure to pay the fee! Pre-registering is not necessary. More info can be found on the DNR website HERE.
Grocery stores and gas stations in Wabasha, Lake City and Plainview
Emergencies / Hospital Information:
For Emergencies Dial 911
Google Map Directions in printable .PDF format to Wabasha and Rochester Hospitals click HERE
Wabasha (Local Hospital / Closest Option)
St. Elizabeth Hospital
1200 Grant Blvd. West
Wabasha, MN 55981
Google Map LINK
Rochester (Advanced Medical Care)
Saint Mary’s Hospital
1216 Second Street Southwest
Rochester, MN 55902
General Number 507-255-5123
Google Map LINK
Race Number Pickup, Drop Bag Dropoff & Race Start:
There is no race / bib number pickup or drop bag dropoff prior to race day. You can start checking in at 10:30PM on Friday night – no earlier. We will make some brief announcements 5 minutes prior to the 12:01AM start.
There will be a spot for drop bags at the Start / Finish area which is the same as Aid Station 3. Runners will have access to their drop bags after each 17 mile loop. Runners may also return to their vehicle in the West Assembly area after each 17 mile loop, essentially using their vehicles as a “drop bag” – please be sure to cross over the timing mat either before or after you head to your vehicle, but not both / two times (only cross the timing mat once). You will drop off your drop bags on race morning. Please keep your drop bags reasonable in size. Each drop bag must be clearly labeled with the race distance, runner’s name and race number. Race numbers will be assigned a few days before the race start and will be available on the website. Please do not put valuables into drop bags. Drop bags will not be protected from the elements so make sure that your drop bags are either waterproof OR that it is ok for the items inside to get wet. You will need to pick up your drop bags after completing the race. Any drop bags left behind will be discarded.
This race starts at Midnight, you will need a headlamp (or two) and / or spare batteries. Sunrise 6:35AM – Sunset 7:45PM.
Weather and Clothing:
Early to mid-April in Minnesota we can have highs in the mid-70’s and lows in the low-30’s or a combination of both. Usually, all of the snow will be gone and the trail should be in decent shape, but often times patchy snow /ice and mud will linger. Come prepared for all weather and trail-conditions, watch the forecast and plan accordingly.
Depending on the year, there may be several significant (typically very cold) water crossings (ankle to knee-deep), or there may be none.
There is No Shelter at Zumbro:
There is no infrastructure at Zumbro Bottoms. There is no access to the indoors or a heated environment besides your vehicle. There will be some small open-sided pop-up-tents available at Aid Station 2 and Aid Station 3 / Start-Finish should you need temporary reprieve from rain – besides that you need to be completely self-sufficient. You will need to have appropriate clothing for your run and for after if you plan to stick around (think rain and cold).
There is no cell coverage in most of the valleys within the Zumbro Bottoms Management Unit, the West Assembly Area / the start and finish area of the race is no exception. Getting to a high point / on top of a bluff is the best way to get cell coverage if you need it.
The Zumbro Endurance Run hosts four races simultaneously; the Zumbro 100 Mile Endurance Run (starts at 8:00 AM Friday), the Zumbro Midnight 50 (starts at 12:01 AM Saturday), the Zumbro 34 Mile (starts 7:00 AM Saturday) and the Zumbro 17 Mile (starts at 9:00 AM Saturday). Each distance will have its own unique race number (unique color and number series) so runners can be easily identified by race officials, volunteers, spectators and other runners. Runners who register by March 1 will have their name custom printed on their race bib. We ask that all competitors wear their number on the front of their body on their outer-most layer at all times. Runners will be tracked coming into and out of each manned aid station. If we cannot see your number, we cannot track you or take your finishing time and if we cannot do that, you will be disqualified and will not earn an official finish. More information can be found https://www.zumbroendurancerun.com/category/race-numbers/
Blue Ribbon In Lieu of Back Bib
The 50 mile race is not the only race happening during race weekend (100 mile starts at 8:00AM Friday, 34 mile starts 7:00AM Saturday and 17 mile starts at 9:00AM Saturday) 50 milers will be issued a piece of blue ribbon to tie to the back of their hydration pack, waist belt etc. so they can easily be identified by runners doing the other distances, hopefully you will get some cheers and passed with care by these fresher / more energetic runners in the 34 and 17 miler. Similarly, 100 mile runners will be issued a piece of pink ribbon. 34 and 17 milers will not be issued a ribbon.
The Zumbro Endurance Run will be chip timed. Your timing chip will be affixed to the back of your race number – example HERE. Do not remove your timing chip. Do not bend or fold your timing chip or crumple your race number – this may break your timing chip. We ask that all competitors wear their number on the front of their body on their outer-most layer at all times. Above guidelines must be followed in order ensure that split times and finish times are recorded. This chip is disposable and does not need to be returned. More information can be found https://www.zumbroendurancerun.com/category/race-numbers/
Depending on where water levels are at from the Spring melt, we will use one of three race courses. The ‘normal’ 17 mile loop (most likely). The ‘highwater’ 17 mile loop (not unlikely). Or a highly modified 5.6 mile loop on the West side of the Zumbro river (not likely, but a contingency if we cannot cross the Zumbro River via the ‘red iron bridge’ or if Zumbro Bottoms Road is impassable). Course maps can be found HERE https://www.zumbroendurancerun.com/maps-and-data/
The course will be marked with Orange flags with reflective strips, which will always be on the left hand side of the trail except in the rare occasion where there will be two-way traffic (the red iron bridge that crosses the Zumbro River), in this area the flags will be on both sides of the trail – reflective arrows will be used sparingly as well. It is unfortunate but is not unheard of at many of the major trail races that course vandalism has occurred and flagging has been intentionally moved or removed by small minded individuals – it is important that you study the course prior to running and have a concept of where you are going.
You must visit every aid station / you may not skip any aid stations. The first aid station is 5(ish) miles into each loop and is an unstaffed / water-only aid station. The second aid station is 13.5(ish) miles into each loop and is fully stocked and fully staffed. That is approximately 8.5 miles between the two aid stations. BE PREPARED TO CARRY AT LEAST TWO WATER BOTTLES OR A HYDRATION BLADDER AND ALL OF THE CALORIES THAT YOU WILL NEED in order to make these distances. Please review the course map HERE https://www.zumbroendurancerun.com/maps-and-data/ – Our aid stations are manned by volunteers, many of them spending a good part of their weekend out there – please be sure to thank the volunteers!
We are a cupless race, if you want to drink water or soda out of a cup, you have to have your own (each aid station will have a small stash of paper cups should you lose your reusable cup along the way.) If you are not familiar with these reusable cups they are easy to find and procure, HERE https://hydrapak.com/products/speed-cup-200-ml is an example. Note that we WILL provide disposable cups for things like coffee and soup.
Aid Station Food:
This information pertains to Aid Station 2 & 3 since Aid Station 1 is water only. Aid stations will have salty and sweet pre-packaged snacks. We will have Coke and Ginger Ale. Runners can expect aid stations to have chicken noodle and vegan soup and aid station captains / crews will also be providing their own unique hot food item or two (usually simple things like grilled cheese, mashed potatoes, etc.)
Special Nutrition Items:
With the vast array of products on the market, most runners have their own preferred brands of gels and sports drinks that they use in training and racing. As a result, we will NOT have any gels or sports drink – procure your own, carry what you need, and make use of your drop bag. We will have electrolyte capsules at the aid stations, ask if you need them.
Support Crew and Spectator Access to Aid Stations:
Crews may only give their runner aid at official race aid stations. Crew, pacer and spectator access will only be allowed to drive to the Start / Finish West Assembly Area which is the same as Aid Station 3. Crew, pacers, or spectators may not drive to any of the other aid stations. Ambitious crew, pacers and spectators are welcome to walk (backwards on the race course) out to Aid Station 2 but few will take this option as there would not be time to see your runner at Aid Station 2 and then again at Aid Station 3 – the Start / Finish Area as they are approximately 4 miles apart. We thank you for your understanding, these decision are made based on variable Spring road conditions, field size, for the safety of race crew, family members and friends of the runners and to save your vehicles and the road from damage.
Pacers are not allowed in the 50 mile race.
You must have started your 3rd / final loop (left aid station 3 – the start/finish area) by 12:45 PM on Saturday. The finish line cutoff for an official finish is 18 hours (Saturday, 6:00 pm). All cutoffs will be strictly enforced – we do however reserve the right to pull (or allow to continue) any racer as we see fit.
If You DNF:
Should you need to drop out of the race you need to report this (providing your bib number) to the HAM radio operators at the aid station you are dropping at – if you are not sure who that is, ask around until you find them. If you have any doubt that your DNF was reported and recorded, please email [email protected] as soon as you have service.
Headphones are allowed. Please keep the volume low, or one earbud out so you can hear what is going on around you. Full awareness of one’s surroundings, and the ability to communicate with other participants, race volunteers, and trail users not associated with the event are critical to everyone’s safety.
Playing music out-loud from your phone or other speakers is not allowed.
Trekking poles are allowed, please be cognizant of those around you when using your poles.
You may not run the race with your dog. Supervised on-leash dogs are welcome at the race; with your crew, family or spectators at the race start / finish area.
Please help to keep the trail clean. Try not to drop anything, and if you see something that someone else has accidently dropped, please pick it up.
Current year results will be available on our website under the heading Race > Results. As long as we can maintain internet connectivity, results will be published in real time as runners finish. Past results can be found HERE https://www.zumbroendurancerun.com/50-mile-results/ Course records can be found HERE https://www.zumbroendurancerun.com/records/
We do not do specific overall winner or age group awards. Every finisher will be handed a medal as they finish.
Post Race Meal:
We will be providing complimentary fresh-baked Neapolitan style pizza and canned beverages (Coke, Ginger Ale and Sparkling Water). Pizza and beverages are free for runners. Crew, pacers, family and spectators may also enjoy for a cash donation.
For those interested in volunteering, more information can be found HERE https://www.zumbroendurancerun.com/read-first/
Training at Zumbro:
If you are planning on doing any course reconnaissance, scouting or training runs at Zumbro you will need to review the following information in it’s entirety. https://www.zumbroendurancerun.com/training-at-zumbro/
Online Community / Forum:
The Rocksteady Running Community is an online forum designed for community members to have civil conversations about all things pertaining to Rocksteady Running events (Zumbro, Superior Spring, Afton, Superior Fall, ESTRS), trail / ultrarunning in general and more. We intend for this to be a safe place to connect. This online community has been built on our own platform and is free of advertising, tracking, addictive features and invasive algorithms. Feel free to discuss registering, training for and racing our events. Discussion about the race courses, terrain, training, gear, challenges, triumphs and more are welcomed and encouraged. https://community.rocksteadyrunning.com/
Zumbro and RSR Swag:
We sell Zumbro and Rocksteady Running merch both at the race, and online. Cash or check only at the event, since there is no cell, 4G or Wifi at Zumbro Bottoms.
UTMB Qualifying Points:
Completion of the Zumbro 50 Mile Endurance Run will earn you three (3) qualifying points towards the UTMB Mont-Blanc races in Chamonix France.
Mile in My Shoes (MiMS) Fundraising Opportunity:
Rocksteady Running is proud to have Mile in My Shoes as an official Zumbro Endurance Run charity partner. Earn amazing swag and incentives while supporting a great cause by becoming a Mile in My Shoes (MiMS) FundRacer! Learn more HERE https://www.zumbroendurancerun.com/mile-in-my-shoes/
Sponsors & Partners:
Our sponsors and partners provide critical support the Zumbro Endurance Run. We are very fortunate to work with so many great businesses and organizations. Please check out our sponsors HERE https://www.zumbroendurancerun.com/sponsors/ and please if possible support them with your dollars / patronage, and / or drop them an email and thank them for supporting our event.
Next Years Race:
The Zumbro Endurance Run is always held the weekend before the commencement of Spring Turkey Hunting. By Minnesota Rule “The spring turkey season opens the Wednesday nearest April 15”. The 2025 event will be held on Friday April 11 and Saturday April 12.