I’ve ridden the Ragnarok bike race several times and always wanted to check out what all those happy people in the middle of the forest were up to. Well, now I know. The 17 miler was a blast. Great course, great people, well organized. Thanks for all your hard work putting this event together. Hope to be back next year. Best wishes. – Bob.
Second year running this event and loving Zumbro but also have had 2 years of great weather. Thanks for all you for this event. – Andrew
Just a quick thank you. Once again you and your team put together a stellar event. Glad I could run this year. Be well. – Paul
Thank you so much for everything you do with Zumbro and all of the other races. The Zumbro Race today was absolutely awesome. The trail was brutal and challenging in the best way, and I can’t wait for the Afton 50k. – Mike
Thank you for putting on an amazing race and experience! All the work, time & planning is greatly appreciated! – Michelle
I have been racing for many years and was very impressed how well it the race was organized! – Andrew
Thank you for directed such a great event! I enjoyed the altered course. I loved how aid station 2 just appears out of nowhere. – Jason
Fantastic revision of the course. Congrats on handling yet another year of Mother Nature. As a race director, it is so important to express, from the the outside looking in, you have built an amazing company. You and your crew do so much that can be learned from. It consumed a lot of my thoughts while out there. I want you to know, your details and efforts aren’t overlooked or expected. RSR is incredible. Proud of you and everyone involved. – Jacob
I just wanted to drop on here and say thanks to you and your wife, and all the volunteers. I ran Zumbro this last weekend and was very impressed. This was my first 100 miler and first ultra on trails. I never got the chance to meet you guys but wanted to make sure you knew how well I think the event was run. On top of that, I think I was shocked at the amount of smiles I saw and the encouragement I received from everyone the whole time (and it took all of that to get me to the finish line). I got to learn quite a bit about myself when the going got tough and was able to push through the night solo. It was incredible! Thanks for all that you guys do! Not sure whats next for me, but I know for sure i will be signing up for more Rocksteady Running events in the near future. I also may be interested in volunteering at some point (I had no idea how many volunteers it took to keep the show going). – Dusty
I just wanted to say how grateful I am for you, your wife, and all the volunteers that helped make Zumbro such a great experience for me. This was my first 100 mile race and I enjoyed every minute of it, and and have been missing it all since it ended. Something I didn’t realize about an experience like this was how much all the great people involved, whether volunteers or runners would be the highlight of this experience, not just finishing such a long race. Every aid station, photographer, runner, and spectator just made this so fun and and were so positive and encouraging, especially for someone who was there alone for this. Since I can’t train for every race I would like to run I now see that I can still be part of a great experience through both running and volunteering at these types of events. Thank you and and all involved for what you do! – Nick
I should have emailed earlier – Zumbro was such an amazing event! I finished the 100. It was more than just running 100M. Every runner you lined up after us showed so much encouragement & respect for those with pink ribbons. The photographers were everywhere; I tried to smile & thank all of them & the AS volunteers. Signing the banner was such an honor. Thank you for such a great event. See you at Superior 100. – Nicole
As always; your races go off without a hitch, at least as it seems from a runner point of view. I had a great time coming back to Zumbro to conquer that course, it’s misleadingly easy on paper when comparing it to Superior, yet humbles me every lap. Great people, great vibe, great fun. Glad I was able to finish what I started (falling short 5/6 laps last year). Also totally stoked by Dad finishing his first trail race at 68 years young. He said after I finished, “If I knew how hard that course was and understood this is the crap you run, there was no way I would have let you run another lap” Of course he was done with his race and I was out there finishing up my last lap, but it made me laugh. I am pretty sure he enjoyed himself (Photo’s Scott R took below on that last valley re-route climb sums up the joy and pain of trail running in a few quick snaps). – Charles
My husband and I have done a lot of races over our lifetime and yours definitely stands out. The course was challenging, extremely well marked, the volunteers were wonderful, the coffee, pizza and everything provided during and after the race were amazing. Wanted to extend a thank you for all you put into this race. – Sterling
Thanks for putting on such a great Zumbro! Regardless of the ( perfect ) weather, the day, simply, was one of the best events I’ve participated in. It was awesome to see participants enjoying themselves after two years of COVID seclusion. So good to see people enjoying pizza, coffee and snacks. Smart move to have 100, 50, 34 and 17. Maybe you can increase participation next year by adding 67 and 84😄??? Seriously, great event. You and Cheri put so much into these events and it shows. Congratulations and thank you. – Tim
I just wanted to thank you for putting on such a great race this past weekend. Everything went so smoothly and well organized, it is such a joy to run your races. The pizza was great too! – Gary
Just wanted to say THANK YOU for putting on a great ZUMBRO event this year in 2022. It was back in full force with great weather, trails, people, food, stories, pictures, everything! I now feel connected to the real zumbro experience Alex and Scott have been telling me about for the last 3 years when I transitioned from the road to the trail! SO thank you for all your hard work in making this happen and hope there are many more to come. Your efforts are appreciated! – John
I just wanted to say thank you for an amazing day on Saturday (and Friday for those crazy enough to go long!). It was my first time and whilst I only did one lap of the 34 it was such a great experience (apart from the cramps!). The atmosphere was amazing, the food was awesome, the support crew were great. I know i was lucky with the weather….but i had had a terrible week, felt demoralized and running on the trails rejuvenated my spirits.
Just wanted to say thank you. Maybe i’ll be better shape to do the second lap next year…. (as long as you promise sunshine again!). I actually got sunburnt too sitting and cheering others afterwards. Thanks – Andrew
I’ve signed up for Zumbro annually since 2018. Last year was the first time I’d been able to run the course. Obviously, the experience was very different last weekend. Thank you for enabling this community and welcoming newcomers. Sincerely – Jason
Awesome race, awesome people, awesome volunteers, and awesome recap. You and your team are an integral part of our trail community. Thanks again – Kurt
These comments are coming from someone who has strictly ran road races and has never ran a trail before. You and your team did an outstanding job organizing the race. This was the hardest and most fun race ive ever done. I am now hooked on trails. See you next year – Dan
This was my first event of yours. It was extremely well organized and executed. I look forward to more races. Thanks so much! – Mark
First off thank you for hosting such a wonderful event. This was my first Zumbro and I loved the energy, volunteers, the course, the midnight start, the other runners, the food (best pancake I’ve ever had)… And like 100 more things! I can’t wait until next year. – Paxton
Thank you for an amazing 2022 Zumbro. It was definitely not what I had expected. Very difficult loop but I loved all of it. Trails were marked perfectly and the course was in great shape. Thank you for all you do with your courses. Also, you have first class volunteers. I cannot say enough great things about Zumbro! – Brad
I was so pumped to finally be back at the Zumbro after the last 3 years. I forgot how much I missed this trail. Again, you and your crew out did yourselves. When I attend one of your races, I never have any worries about the course markings or aid stations. I don’t think you will have a problem building yourself back up from the Covid era….you are loved by the running community immensely. Thanks again and I’ll see you at Afton – Kari
5 complete yard sale falls in the greasy mud, twisted ankle, pulled tendon, aching hips and knees for days… and I still say it was the best dang race ever!!! Thank you for the most memorable day. You guys know how to do it like no one other. Until next time. -Lang
A huge Thanks to you and your team for putting on an amazing race. All the directors and volunteers were so nice and accommodating. You guys really made the race participants feel special. This was my first trail race and hopefully not my last. I’m just bummed that it took me 47 years to realize that trail running is awesome. – Rick
John, Just a quick ‘thank you’ for all your hard work this year! This was my first Zumbro experience and I loved it! Very challenging, but awesome. Huge kudos for marking the trail so well! A friend and I ran part of Zumbro the week before the race and we got totally lost for a while. We went 4 miles out of our way, ha. Planning to see you next time. – Tim
You rock John! (and Cheri!) I appreciate what you said about “husbands and wives.” I think that is what I missed the most in 2020, my Zumbro and Superior weekend with Andy. These are the only weekends we ever get away together. And, running events always bring us closer. So, even though I missed seeing the variety of people/friends I normally get to see on a Zumbro weekend, time with my best friend was priceless. I can’t thank you enough for making Zumbro a safe and fun environment. I’m just sorry I wasn’t there to witness your 5 minute plank! Much respect, – Erika
Hi John, This was my first time doing your race. I really loved the course and the format. It was so awesome not to be stressing out about a start time but rather stroll across when I was ready. While I started with only two others I eventually came across others along the way. I know it was probably more work for you not to charge us until the end but that was awesome too. You and your volunteers are to be commended for a great event. I will be back. – Gwen
Hi John, This was a remarkable event and it felt so good to be “getting out there” again. You deserve a lot of credit for pulling off this event so successfully. Will definitely see you at future event. All the best and stay well. – A. G.
Thank YOU!!! My first Zumbro and I loved it!!! I hope you know how much I appreciate allllllll of the hard work I know you and your team (Rocksteady Running?)put in. I needed that challenge to overcome for many emotional and growth reasons. I also genuinely smiled sooo hard several times throughout my adventure. Huffing and puffing up steep rocky hills in rain and cold drizzle wondering if my legs were going to follow my mind, whether they wanted to or not, was the beautiful therapy I needed. I did the 17M and completing it gave me the confidence to take on my next challenge. THANK YOU SO MUCH AGAIN -from a cellular level THANK YOU!!!! – Cameo
I always enjoy reading the insights and perspectives before and after each event. Though this was probably my least prepared event at Zumbro, it was so wonderful to be back out there running those trails, seeing other runners and savoring what we had taken for granted for many years. It was not just COVID but those two blizzard-outs that strike home how special your event really is and what it is – a community of runners. Thanks for all your efforts to pull this off to create such great memories and experiences for all of us. Looking forward to 2022 – in whatever way it works. – Mark
Thank you for such a fun race!! Allison and I had a great time. I missed the awesome aid stations but when I think about what I really have to have, it is a well-marked trail and the trail was marked perfect! The water stations were a great assurance especially if it got hot. Did I miss all of the volunteers, food, music, your send off at the start, candy, gels, coffee, pop etc.? Yes!!!! But, thank you for taking a risk and having the event. It was a great time and now memory and we would gladly run again under the same format. You are a legend in trail running for what you have done, what you have created and what you have helped others do. Thank you! – Aaron
This was my first Zumbro experience. I ran with my best friend who had done the 17 mile loop before. This year, we braved the 34 trail. We had a blast! Thank you for all of the time and dedication that you put into this experience. I can honestly say it was a life changer, and I’m addicted! I love your water stations! Brilliant. It was great talking to you after the race as our husband’s waited for us to take us home. Congratulations on creating such a safe, successful event.
Thank you again and stay well. – Kelly
Many thanks to you and your team. Zumbro was well worth the wait. You did an outstanding job directing this four day event and I had an absolute blast on a fantastic course. Thanks for sticking with all of us with this race. We are truly lucky to have the Rocksteady Running team here in Minnesota. – Cresta
I just want to send out a huge thank you to you and all the other people that helped make Zumbro possible. The friends I ran with (Hannah Balfanz and Beth Christenson) and I needed that race more than we realized. It felt like a part of us was back. Thank you again. Hoping to finally run my first ultra this spring! Sending positive vibes that the spring races can happen. But as always, no matter what, we will see ya again when we see ya again. Thanks! – Olivia
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I just wanted to say thank you all your hard work. You’ll probably receive 99 emails like this (44 100-mile starters + 55 50-mile starters). If you don’t, you should. This was my first 50 miler. Let’s just say I’ll never forget it. All the little things did not go unnoticed. See you at Sawtooth this fall, and hopefully at many races in between.
Thanks for putting on such a great event. The course was far and away from anything I could have predicted or imagined it would be like. The volunteers were remarkable, as well as the course markings. I have alot of work to prepare for coming up for the rest of the races in the series [Gnarly Bandit Ultra Series] but I have a feeling my first will always be the most bittersweet.
I just wanted to say what a nice job you did with this race. I cannot imagine the planning that goes in to such an event and I had a great day and it looks like many others did as well. Very nicely marked course, great aid and volunteers. Thank you especially for taking care of all of us. I was trying to figure out how I was going to get a locksmith out to the course on a Saturday after I dropped my car key ‘somewhere’; thanks for taking care of my Honda key for the remainder of my race. Just goes to show you that ‘running people’ are pretty incredible all around. A friend has been trying to get me to run this race. The midnight 50 mile start was indeed an ‘epic’ event.
Thank you for putting on such a great event! My night running experience is pretty limited and you had the course perfectly marked. Portions of the first and second loop were some of my best experiences running in my life. The 3 loop course was a more of a self purification exercise giving myself ample time to categorize what I should be doing better in my life. But that is part of why we keep going. The volunteers were great, the aid stations were supplied very well. I could not think of anything that I wanted that was not available (except fresh legs). The whole event had a very cool vibe to it. Thank you very much!!
Thank you again for all your hard work! The volunteer’s were top notch, as was everything about this race. I can’t believe I’m already saying (quietly!) that I’ll come back!
Hey! Just wanted to thank you again for a great race this past weekend. I thought you organized, executed, and produced a great event! From parking, trail marking, start/finish, to aid stations, volunteers, unique shirts and medals, everything was great.
John, I really appreciated that you took a few moments to talk with and encourage me to race when I stopped by Friday and mentioned I hadn’t been well the previous 30+hrs. Being there for just the few minutes and talking really helped encourage me. Race day had some tough epic conditions, but it was great! Really enjoyed the course and would love to run it sometime when it’s dry and cool out! The bluff views were amazing! Seeing several other Iowans and meeting several Minnesotans (?) was fun too. Hope to see you next year! Glad I saw the ad in an Ultrarunning Mag last Fall. If there’s anything I can do to help you out next year or to review the race positively, let me know! Appreciate all your hard work!
It was a tuff day, cold rain, hail, mud with suction perfectly formulated to pull you shoe right off. Even with these challenging conditions every volunteer did absolutely everything to ensure everyone had a great day. Words fail to convey how incredible the RSR events, the staff, and the volunteers are. If you have never done at RSR event, I highly recommend it.
I had a student come to find me before school this morning to ask me if I had ever heard of the Zumbro ultra races and to tell me that he and his family volunteered on the Zumbro course over the weekend from 7pm – 7am. He says he has been there to volunteer before and wants to continue helping your runners. I have to tell you, he was so excited telling me about being out there in the elements overnight while watching the runners struggle to keep going. Without knowing it, you guys might have planted the seed for him to become a future ultra runner.
And what a run it was, pouring rain up until race start, the mud was deep and the hills steep. One of the funnest runs I have run to date. Excellently marked and stocked. Epic muddy down hills with energy absorbing sand at the bottom!
Thank you John, Cheri, and all of your incredible volunteers for a memorable event. Once again you put on a premier event for runners, enabling us crazies to test ourselves not only against the distance and terrain, but also against the weather. I appreciate that all of you were also enduring the elements making sure we were fed, hydrated and cheered for. I almost feel sorry for speedy dudes like my brother John who missed out on the epic-ness of the event after 8 AM. Thanks again, I will probably be back in 2015, how much more challenging can it get after 2013 and 2014?
Although I wish my result was better, I can’t even begin to thank all of the volunteers and John Storkamp for putting on an amazing race. I didn’t realize how much of a B!tch some of those climbs were going to be but glad to have given it everything I had. Even though my own personal race was cut short I am happy to have been given the chance to help others finish their race.
Ultramarathons are generally crazy, but Zumbro 100 Mile Endurance Run 50 miler was probably my most psychotic yet! It was a physical and mental roller coaster that taught me a lot, particularly about preparation….and Mother Nature can change everything! Thanks to RDs, volunteers, runners and their supporters for creating another amazing event.
To John and the entire Zumbro 100 Mile Endurance Run team not least the volunteers. This was my first 100 and it was epic. The course was amazing and the volunteers just rocked it. Always attentive and cheery even at stupid o clock at night.
Running this race in the snow last year and thunderstorms this year, I can without a doubt say that this is one of the best managed races that I’ve been a part of. From the logistics to all of the great volunteers, this is a top notch race that I would highly recommend to anyone. Well, maybe not anyone because the course is pretty badass and not for the faint of heart. But great job to John and all the volunteers that helped put this race on! All of your efforts do not go unnoticed and are very appreciated!
Thank you so much for a strong race. Thank you all volunteers for rushing to ask us what we need. Special thanks to volunteers, organizers, and runners at AS start-finish. BOB and JULIA and everyone for all the support; for giving me your jackets and hat, for the food, for the strong encouraging words, for the fire! For everything. This was so amazing of you. Best spirit. You guys rock!!!
I can’t say enough good, warm things about this race. I arrived at aid station 3 on my fifth loop soaked and freezing. 3 volunteers gave me the clothes off their back to make sure I stayed warm. You have no idea how much that helped this girl get the mental boost to finish. THANK YOU. To all the 50 milers and 100 milers that wizzed past a girl with orange socks and a yellow tee and said encouraging things… THANK YOU. You never know how far a quick “looking good” can go in the dead of night 16 hours into a race.
I want to say a very sincere thank you to all aid station volunteers and race directors! I was the knuckle head who decided to ditch his hat, gloves & jacket, and only run in shorts & a tee shirt, for the 3rd loop of the 50m. The volunteers were genuine in support, ensuring my fluid intake & electrolyte intake we sufficient to keep me moving in the cold rain. It was a first for me to have coffee in one of my water bottles:) Even at the finish line a volunteer was quick to ask where my drop bag was so I could get my jacket & hat. I am thankful for the support and concern I received. We couldn’t do what we do without you!
This was my first ultra and I did the 50 miler. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life. The course was insane but never a dull moment. The volunteers all went above and beyond, they really were great. I loved the event and am all ready counting down the days until next years. Thank you for all your time and energy you guys put in to make a event like that happen.
Just wanted to thank you and all your volunteers for another awesome event. I can’t imagine how much work all goes in to put these events together. You do a great job.
Well done John. You should be incredibly proud. And you brought us nice weather to boot. Are all of the races you direct at the Rock Steady Running site? I need to step up and volunteer.
Thanks for putting on such a great race at Zumbro this weekend. What an incredible event! Unforgettable.
I ran the 17 miler and had an unbelievable time. What impressed me the most was it was more of a community than a competition. Amazing people and conversations on the course, awesome support people at aid stations and glorious weather. I am mentally gearing up for the 50 next year. You run a fantastic event. The people who came to spectate felt the same way – they really enjoyed the event and since they got to walk from aid stations one/four and two/three – they got a sample of the hills and were more sympathetic to the runners.
The RSR events are easily the best run, best organized and funnest events I am involved in. I am a ham radio operator and have worked aid stations at Superior, Afton and Zumbro. I was at radio “net control” this year from around 12:30AM to about 9:00AM on Saturday, so although I was watching out for the 100’s and the 50’s, I didn’t get to see many of the runners at this year’s Zumbro. I do a radio for a lot of marathons and stuff and take it from me – the RSR events are better organized, the volunteers are way more dedicated and the radio operations are second to none at these Ultras. You have a good thing going, RSR. Congrats to the runners and thanks to the volunteers!
This race had some of the most organized aid stations and most helpful volunteers of any race I’ve done. Thank you so much to everyone who donated their time this weekend. It was a great event because of you.
Just wanted to thank you all for the most amazing event I have ever participated in! It was so well planned, thought out, covered, and just amazing! It was my first Ultra and by far my favorite race to date. A huge thank you to all the volunteers for all their hard work and dedication in staying there all day, night, and day again! Amazing! I just had the best time on the most difficult course! Mother Nature helped too, but you guys are simply awesome! Thank you again and hope to see you all sometime in the future.
I’m not saying this for any other reason other than I loved this event. I wrote those words because I felt them whole heartedly. I’ve never been a part of anything quite like that before. I saw the elite side by side with the newbies, like myself and completely support each other. I saw such dedication by ALL volunteers that floored me, and the atmosphere was just plain astounding! At the urging and support from fellow ultra maniacs, my first ultra was truly my favorite event, hands down. I loved everything and everyone there, you just can’t ask for more than that!
I had written to you a few weeks back regarding training for my first Zumbro 17 miler. I just wanted to let you know that I did do the race and finished at 3:35. I loved every minute of it! It was such a beautiful course and I met so many great people. Coming from a road running background, I was amazed at the laid back feel and friendliness of everyone I met on the course. I can say that running Zumbro was a life changing event for me. Your race has definitely gotten me hooked on trail racing. I am in the process of signing up for the Afton 25K and the Endless Summer Series. I am even going to sign up for my first 50K in October at Surf the Murph. I wanted to thank you for the training and course tips that you gave me. I really appreciate you taking the time to respond to my first message. I would have really missed out if I would have skipped the race because I was too nervous to have Zumbro be my first foray into trail running. After meeting some of the 50 and 100 milers on Saturday, I am already dreaming of someday joining their ranks.
As a new comer to the coveted Zumbro event and my first attempt at 50M I find it difficult to put into words what an amazing experience it was. I was humbled by the incredibly talented runners and the event staff and volunteers who were amazing and supportive beyond my expectations. I look forward to next year!!!
My first 50. Humbled and honored to be in the presence of such amazing people. The athletes that crushed it up front. Awe. The 100 milers. Each and every one of them. Insane respect. That course. Humbling. The event and the volunteers and the atmosphere. Spiritual. And I hope the Beastie Boys are cranking loudly always. Amazing night/ day in my life. That chunk of wood and twine is priceless. Thank you Zumbro. Some thoughts on the race: – Excellent organization as usual. Volunteers were terrific, course markings were perfect, and the finishing “medal” is awesome. – An event that’s definitely worth the trip south from the Cities. – I love the positive attitude involved in trail races, and it’s reflected in the organization of this race – informal and fun, yet with top-notch professionalism.
Thanks for all you do to get this going. This was my first ever run and volunteering at a run. I can not believe how smooth everything seemed and how welcoming most people were to a first timer. I consider myself very lucky to have had Dan bring me to such an event. Again great job John and whoever you have supporting your efforts. – Steve
I had an amazing time out there! It was fun to run along with participants of the 50 and 100 mile races, and meet other 17 mile trail runners along the route. The volunteers were fantastic and gorgeous weather only added to the great experience. You put on a well-organized, fun race! I will be back. – Laura
I’m sure you will get many of these emails today, but I just wanted to write you and thank you both for putting on such an incredible event this past weekend at Zumbro. This was my first time volunteering (and actually- even attending) an ultra event, and I was time and time again overwhelmed and impressed by the energy, thoughtfulness, and logistical organization of this event. It is clear that you both have made it a priority for participants and volunteers alike to have an enjoyable, fun, and safe experience, and I left on Saturday feeling like I had stumbled upon this magical place that I didn’t know about before and now wanted to share with everyone. I’m very much looking forward to volunteering at your events in the future and possibly even running at one. Thank you both again, – Kate.
Thanks for a great event John. Very well organized. Volunteers were great. 17 mile runners were the best. I bet 95% provided encouragement as they passed. Trail runners are awesome! – Brian
Zumbro was my first Rocksteady Running event and I wanted you to know that I thought it was one of the best organized events I’ve seen. I had a great time as well. Kudos and many thanks! – Jon
I volunteered because I wanted to support my brother Ryan, and to cheer on many other runner friends, too. I don’t ever volunteer to get something in return but as others have said, you have really created an environment where volunteers absolutely benefit, too. The hours flew by. What an awesome experience, thank you for your leadership. I’ll definitely volunteer again, if it’s a help to the trail running community! – Erin
Another amazing year! I cannot thank you enough for putting on such top notch events. Truly the best around. This was my second year at Zumbro and I cannot tell you how refreshing it was to have Aid Station volunteers that remembered me from last year or that I have seen from Superior. It’s true what they say, if you build it they will come. You certainly have built, and continue to build, an awesome tradition and sense of community my friend. Which is why Zumbro is starting to become one of my favorite races (When you are 2 for 2 in the hundo, it’s hard not to come back!). – Kevin