Three trails in two daysFor many, running one race a year is enough to suit their athletic drive. But for runners participating in the Duluth Trail Festival, three races in two days is more their cup of tea.
For many, running one race a year is enough to suit their athletic drive. But for runners participating in the Duluth Trail Festival, three races in two days is more their cup of tea.
In its third year, the Trail Fest offers runners the opportunity to explore a variety of terrains.
“This is not your typical race,” Clayton Keim, one of the directors, told the Budgeteer. “There are breathtaking views and lots of challenges, like climbing rocks and tackling creek crossings.”
Between the three races taking place on August 25 and 26, runners are faced with the challenge of beach running, the Chester Bowl ski jump hill, and a 15K on the rocky terrain of the Superior Hiking Trail.
“The most memorable part of the fest for me was the 15K,” Tiffany Carlson, the female overall winner from two years ago, told the Budgeteer. “It was just amazing running through the trails.”
“The runs are pretty technical, they’re not easy, but they’re doable,” Keim said.
If three races sounds like too much of a challenge, participants can sign up for just one or two of their choosing.
“Some people participate in the run because they like the challenge and want to win,” co-director Dick Haney told the Budgeteer. “But others do it to test themselves or to maintain their fitness and wellness.”
Whatever the motivation to participate, it’s all tied together with the camaraderie of the people who enter the races, he said.
“People who participate will have no regrets when they complete it, especially when they tackle all three courses,” Carlson said. “It’s remarkable how much the body can handle.”
Besides the people involved, nature provides something to behold while running through the race courses.
“Runners get a chance to experience different vegetation within the parks,” Haney said. “The event features some of the green space in Duluth that is relatively untouched.”
“Each day offers a different venue,” Carlson said. “Not a lot of 5K events are on such beautiful courses; Trail Fest is like no other race.”
The festival starts Saturday with two 5Ks. The first race takes place on Park Point at 10 a.m. next to the airport, and the Chester Tester Hill Challenge starts at 5:30 p.m. at the chalet.
The weekend finishes off on Sunday with a 15K. That race starts at 10 a.m. with race-day registration and pick-up at the Lake Superior Zoo from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Athletes will be bused to the race start at the Ely’s Peak lot.
For those not interested in running, volunteers are still needed to help at water stations and at the finish line. For more information about registration and awards and to sign up to volunteer, visit www.duluthtrailfestival.com