The information contained on this page (and associated links) are considered the official participant guide for the Zumbro 50 Mile Endurance Run. Runners at a minimum should familiarize themselves with all of this information prior to registering for the race and then again prior to running race as we will update this page up until a 10 days or so before the race. Runners should share this information with any crews or spectators that they plan on having join them at the race.
Date, Time & Location:
Race Date: Saturday April 13th 2019 (Late Friday – early Saturday)
Race Start: Zumbro River Bottoms Management Area near Theilman, Minnesota
Start Time: 12:01 AM – (Midnight / late Friday – early Saturday)
Registration details can be found HERE
the Zumbro Endurance Run was established in 2009, 100% trail Race & Minimum Maintenance Gravel Roads, Race location is 1:45 south of the MSP International Apirport, 50 Miles (3 x 16.7 mile loops), Elevation Gain 9,294 FT, Elevation Loss 9,294 FT, NET Elevation Change 18,588 FT, 15 Aid Stations, 18 hour time limit.
About the Zumbro Endurance Run:
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 – while this is certainly not an “easy” trail race it can still be a great choice for your first 100, 50 or 17, that is if you are ready for a good amount of climbing / elevation gain.
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.
Complete registration details can be found on our registration page HERE https://www.zumbroendurancerun.com/registration-info/
Refunds, Transfers & Switches:
Entry fees are not refundable under any circumstance. Race registrations are not transferable to other participants, to future years races or to other Rocksteady Running events. We do do not allow transfers race between distances. Please consider these factors carefully before registering.
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 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 accordance with our permitor(s). We have found that a percentage of those chosen in the lottery 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, trail condition concerns or natural disaster. 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.
What you get:
A well marked course with plenty of aid and tons of friendly, experienced volunteers. Runners who register by March 13th will have their name custom printed on their race bib. All finishers will receive a wood finishers medal. All registered runners that show up on race day get an awesome Rocksteady Running Tri-Blend (read; non-technical / casual cotton blend) T-Shirt with a super cool design, Shirts are unisex but fit both genders really well – you can see the current and past years race shirts HERE.
The race start is approximately 2 hours South of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Airports in Minneapolis St Paul (MSP), Rochester (RST), and Lacrosse(LSE)
Driving To the Race & Parking:
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)
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 $16.00 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
Friday April 12th, 10:00 PM to 11:30 PM – West Assembly Area – We will do a quick race-briefing at 11:55 PM / 5 minutes prior to the race-start.
Please keep your drop bags as small as possible. We will accept drop-bags at the start on Friday night and they must be delivered to us by 11:30 PM. Each drop bag must be clearly labeled with the race distance, runner’s name, race number, and the drop bag’s destination / aid station name (Aid Station 1/4 – Bridge, Aid Station 2/3 – Sand Coulee, Aid Station 5 – Start / Finish). Race numbers will be assigned a few days before the race start and will be available on the website. Your drop bag may not be available at Aid Station 1 or 2 on your first loop as they come fairly quickly and we need time to get the drop bas out to their destination. Please do not put valuables or liquids (cans of pop, Red Bull, etc.) into drop bags. 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). Drop bags will not be returned to the finish area until the end of the race (6:00 PM Saturday) so we ask that you only put items in your bags that you are happy living without should you need to leave before drop bags are back. Items left behind will not be mailed to participants and will be dontated to charity.
The Midnight 50 starts at Midnight, thus you will need a good headlamp and or flashlight.
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, believe it or not, a combination of both! Usually, all of the snow will be gone and the trail should be in good shape, but often times patchy snow /ice and mud will linger. Be prepared for all weather and trail-conditions, watch the forecast and plan accordingly – typically, this is a beautiful time of year to run in Minnesota. Due to a record setting blizzard and hazardous driving conditions the 2018 edition of the 17 mile race was canceled, article HERE – the 100 and 50 proceeded “mostly” as normal – please familiarize yourself with our cancellation / refund policy.
Zumbro River Bottoms / Management Area – West Assembly, Saturday April 13th, 12:01 AM (Late Friday night / Early Saturday morning) . All runners must check-in no later than 11:30 PM – if you fail to do so, you are not officially in the race – this is your responsibility. We will do a quick pre-race briefing at 11:55 PM / 5 minutes prior to the race start.
The Zumbro Endurance Run hosts three races simultaneously, the Zumbro 100 Mile Endurance Run (starts at 8:00 AM Friday) and the Zumbro Midnight 50 (starts at 12:01 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 17th will have their name custom printed on their race numbers. 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 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 HERE https://www.zumbroendurancerun.com/race-numbers/
Blue Ribbon In Lieu of Back Bib
Because the 50 mile race is not the only race happening during race weekend (100 mile starts at 8:00AM Friday and 17 mile starts at 9:00AM Saturday) we have often thought about implementing a “back bib” / race number for 50 mile runners, rather than do that now and make it mandatory we came up with the idea of a piece of blue ribbon. You are welcome to take the piece of pink ribbon and tie it to the back of your hydration pack, waist belt etc. so you can easily be identified by runners doing the other distances, hopefully you will get some cheers and passed with care by the fresher / more energetic runners in the 17 mile race. It is NOT mandatory that you participate in this but it is there as an option and works really well.
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. Your race number and your timing chip must be pinned on your 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 HERE
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 occasions where there will be two-way traffic, in those areas 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.
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! A complete list of the aid stations can be found on the “Aid Stations, Maps and Data Page”. Food and Drink – Aid stations will have the following beverage and food choices available: (All aid stations) Water, Hammer Heed, Hammer Gel, Soft Drinks, Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches, Potato Chips, Potatoes & Salt, Cookies, Candy, Fruit, and other Misc. Hot Food and Coffee
*If you have special dietary requirements, please make sure to make use of your drop bags. We cannot guarentee that all of the above foods listed will be available at all times, if there is a nutrition item that could “make or break” your race, be sure to make use of your crew, drop bags or plan to carry what you need.
Support Crew and Spectator Access to Aid Stations:
There is no vehicular access for crews or spectators to aid station 1/4 (and thus 2/3). The Minimum Maintenance road leading to Aid Station 1/4 (Bridge) and Aid Station 2/3 (Sand Coulee) is narrow and in poor condition and not suitable for a large number of cars. If runners crews or spectators are found driving to the aid stations – their runner will disqualified. For crews, pacers or spectators who wish to meet their runner at these aid stations they may hike to meet you – we will mark some shortcuts (for crew members only – not runners) who wish to make this hike. Crew, family and spectators need to be sure to dress appropriately for hiking on sloppy trails, have a headlamp or flashlight and be sure to give the right of way to the runners when they are on the trail. Crew should be sure to study and print the course maps on the maps / data page of the website. Please note, that this may be a very strenuous hike for some people. 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.
Support Crew and Spectator Shuttle to Aid Stations:
For those crew / spectators that are unable to, or do not care to make the hike, we will be running a shuttle van between the Start / Finish area (Aid Station 5) and the aforementioned Aid Station 1/4. The shuttle will run fairly regularly but we make no promises that it will be there right when you want to leave, so be prepared to wait OR make the hike if you fear missing your runner.
Pacers are not allowed in the 50 mile race.
Support Crews and Spectators
50 mile runners are allowed to have their own support crews and have spectators come see them, however your crews may only give you aid at official race aid stations.
Due to our past experience with people wearing headphones we discourage their use however we won’t tell you can’t wear them. 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 prohibited – violators are subject to disqualification.
Don’t do it. If you see some trash someone else has dropped, pick it up. Keep the trail clean.
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 are uncomfortable with those terms, consider running another race.
The intermediate cutoff’s are as follows:
You must make (mile 33.4) and have started your 3rd / final loop (left the aid station) by 12:45 PM on Saturday.
If You DNF:
Should you need to drop out of the race, remove your number and your chip and give them directly to the HAM radio operators at the aid stations you are dropping at – if you are not sure who that is ask around until you find them. If you leave the course and fail to notify race officials, you will be asked not to come back.
• 1st Place Overall Male and Female
• 1st place Open (age 39 – under) Male and Female
• 1st Masters (age 40 – over) Male and Female
• 1st Grand Masters (age 50 – over) Male and Female
Results will be updated regularly at the finish. Preliminary results will be available on the website within a couple of days of the finish – final results (with any corrections) will be posted on our website within a few weeks of the end of the race.
Lost and Found
Any personal items left after the race will be donated to a charity. We will not ship items to you.
We are always looking for them. Do you have friends and family coming but don’t really need them to follow you around to crew – see if they want to volunteer. Learn more by visiting the volunteer page.
Training at Zumbro:
If you are planning on doing any course reconnaissance, scouting or training runs at Zumbro we ask that you please read the following information in it’s entirety. https://www.zumbroendurancerun.com/training-at-zumbro/
The Zumbro Endurance Run 100 Mile, 50 Mile and 17 Mile races are qualifying races for a number of races throughout the world. The information contained on this page is not intended to be a comprehensive list of those races, instead highlights just a few of them. Participating in any of the Zumbro Endurance Run Races that are qualifiers for other races does not guarantee you entry into any of those races. It is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with those races qualifying and registration / lottery requirements and procedures well in advance of any race that you would like to run. https://www.zumbroendurancerun.com/qualifying-races/
Next years race date:
The race is typically the 1st or 2nd weekend in April – The 2020 date will most likely be April 10 & 11, 2020 BUT THIS IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE. The Zumbro races are always held the weekend before Minnesota Turkey Hunting starts – sometimes these schedules are not released until late fall of the upcoming year.