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. This is a laid back, old school, low-key trail race hosted by ultrarunners for ultrarunners.
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.
The weather can be extremely variable for the Zumbro Endurance Run – there have been years of near 100% snow-cover and blizzard like conditions and other years dry with highs in the mid-70’s. Due to a record setting blizzard and hazardous driving conditions the 2018 edition of the 17 mile race was canceled – the 100 and 50 proceeded “mostly” as normal.