Join The Endless Summer Trail Series
A unique race series debuted last summer in the Twin Cities. The Endless Summer Trail Series, is a collection of off road races that cover a variety of surfaces and terrain. The series features five races, of lengths from 5k to seven miles in various locations around the metro.
Last Wednesday was the Highland 10k, the first race in the series. Unable to get to one last year, I was determined to run it. The race started at 6:30 p.m. at Highland Lake Regional Park in Bloomington. If you’re going to go to one of these races I highly suggest you plan ahead – traffic can be a bear!
Luckily I made it to the park, ran from the parking lot to the sign in, got my bib, ran back to my car to drop off my commemorative coffee mug, then headed to the start. There were quite a few racers that day. Some looking for a nice trail jog, some more competitive racers looking for gold. Since I ran the Superior Ultra 50k the week before, I wasn’t fooling myself into thinking I was going to light up the trail (not that I could anyways).
This race course meanders through Hyland Park. There are some rolling hills but none that are very technical or extreme. That particular day the course was quite muddy since we have been getting pummeled with rain lately. Two aid stations adorned the trail and both had Heed and water, and were well staffed.
The other courses are on similar terrain. With a field limit of 400 at each race, you’ll have a much more intimate race day feel. Since you’re running on trails, there’s naturally a more close knit feel to them. Although trail shoes aren’t necessary, it might be helpful if you want to get into trail running seriously.
Why you should Join the Series
Race Director John Storkamp encourages runners to participate, “for the attitude and the vibe at the event – its unlike anything you find at most other races; unpretentious, social, fun, relaxed and different.” Their goal is to introduce people to the exhilaration of trail running. “A lot of times” says Storkamp, “people show up at other races, run and go home – barely talking to anyone. We seek to change that!”
What’s really fun about the series is that although it is located in the Twin Cities, you get a chance to run on trails and get away from your average race crowd. Trail runners are a breed unto themselves. Everybody is really friendly and at the end of each race in the series, there is pizza, beer, lemonade, ice tea and other beverages. It’s really designed to foster community.
Races in the Series
All races in the series start at 6:30 pm at various locations around the metro area. Sign up for one today!
- Hyland 10k – May 29, 2013 at Hyland Lake Park Reserve, Bloomington, MN
- French 5k – June 19, 2013 at French Regional Park, Plymouth, MN.
- Murphy 10k – July 17, 2013 at Murphy-Hanrehan Park Reserve, Savage, MN
- Lebanon 7mi – August 14, 2014 at Lebanon Hills Regional Park, Eagan, MN
The Endless Summer Trail Series is promoted by Rocksteady Running and Twin Cities Running Company. I had a blast during the race. If you want to try something different, or are stuck in a rut with your training, I highly recommend any of the races in the Endless Summer Trail Run series. They’re a lot of fun!