Minnesota Voyageur 50 Mile Trail Ultramarathon - Swinging BridgeFounded in 1982, the Minnesota Voyageur 50 Mile Trail Ultramarathon is one of the oldest trail ultras in the nation. The race follows a rugged, varied, out-and-back course that takes runners on a journey from Carlton, MN through Jay Cooke State Park and heads northeast over difficult, rough woodland trails to Duluth, MN and back. Enjoy scenic overlooks of Duluth, MN and Lake Superior, the iconic Swinging Bridge over the St. Louis River, and the infamous Power Lines.

The start, finish, and all race day festivities will be at Carlton High School. Weather for the MN Voyageur can be extreme. There have been several years when it was hot and humid, including 2003 when it was brutally hot with 90% humidity. In other years it has been cool, in the mid-50’s, and wet. Plan for everything except snow – at least not so far!!

The Minnesota Voyageur is proudly managed by the Northern Minnesota Track Club (NMTC). For more information, see our web site at: nmtc.run

2021 Race Status (5/14)

Our permits are in and race dates will be July 10 for Curnow and July 24 for Voyageur, our usual weekends.

As many of you are aware from other local races, the DNR is not even looking at permits this year until 60 days from the event, which we’ve just hit for Curnow. We are not going to open registration until our permits have been approved. While we don’t have a date for that, based on other races we’re guessing that will be around a month from the race. We’ll give you a heads up at least the day before opening and may open each race separately.

Here are some important changes you’ll want to know, applicable to both races:

  • Be prepared to be self sufficient this year – there will be no crew allowed for either race. Drop bags will be allowed at select aid stations. Aid stations themselves will be minimal – potentially with only water and Sqwincher. Depending on permits, there is the possibility of a few options of pre-portioned/wrapped food as well but don’t count on that for now.
  • The race cap for both races this year is 250 each.
  • Both races will start in the wave format similar to what other races have been doing and you will be able to select your wave time at registration.

Again, we will open registration only once we get the green light from all permitting agencies and will give a heads-up on Facebook and on the website at least the day before.

2021 Race Status (4/9)

As we wait for the ability to know what our July races will look like, it’s a good time to introduce our new inclusive gender policy!

E̲n̲t̲r̲a̲n̲c̲e̲ ̲p̲o̲l̲i̲c̲y̲ ̲f̲o̲r̲ ̲t̲r̲a̲n̲s̲g̲e̲n̲d̲e̲r̲ ̲r̲u̲n̲n̲e̲r̲s̲

We wish our events to be places where all runners are able to compete as who they are. We will accept each runner’s declared gender at face value and no additional supporting evidence is required. We are also introducing a third gender category, with place awards, for those who are a non-binary gender. While UltraSignup does not yet have this capacity, after registering for Curnow or Voyageur you may email the race director to let us know you wish to enter as a non-binary runner and the results on our websites will reflect who you are.

Please direct any questions to the race director at nmtc.samantha@gmail.com.

2021 Race Status (3/8)

Happy March everyone! Our most recent update is another “watch this space” type of update. We have decided to hold off on final decisions until the beginning of May in order to give us the best chance to have as normal of races as possible. This means that while our traditional race dates (July 10 and July 24) are an option, they are not the only option and we are unable to say, “Yes, hold your calendar for these dates.”

We know this can make planning more difficult and understand if you need to commit to other races in the meantime. We plan to open registration shortly after announcing the details in early May. If something happens in the COVID-19 world to allow an earlier decision, we will do that and open registration accordingly. Thanks for your patience as your committee works at making our 2021 races happen!

2021 Race Status (1/15)

Greetings! I know we’re all chomping at the bit to get back to racing so it’s time for a few general updates:

COVID-19 and associated restrictions will be the guiding force again this year and so we are not opening registration until we are able to give you more details about what the 2021 editions of Curnow and Voyageur will look like.

What’s up in the air, you might ask? Pretty much everything! Be ready for potential changes to: date, course, format and distance, aid stations and crew rules, field limits, etc. We have several different potential plans and are working with our permitting bodies to determine what’s likely to fly under which conditions.

Know that we as a committee are working to bring you some sort of event this year. And that’s about all we can say for sure right now! We will update you as plans come together – look for something posted monthly, even if that posting is just to say we don’t have anything solid yet.

Curnow and Voyageur are cup-free races!

The Curnow Marathon and Voyageur 50 mile races are cup-free races! This means that we will not have paper cups at aid stations – runners will need to carry their own collapsible cups with them for pop/electrolyte/etc. at aid stations. There are lots of great options out there!

Skyline, Grand Portage and Peterson’s Closed to Crews/Spectators! No Exceptions!

Runners’ crews and spectators are not allowed at Skyline, Grand Portage or Peterson’s aid stations! Failure to adhere to this will result in runner disqualification! As a runner participant you are responsible for your crew and spectators understanding this limitation.

Ignoring this request creates challenges for ensuring runner safety, race permitting and the ability for emergency services to reach these stations. Our course spans 25 miles over multiple jurisdictions. Managing access to a course that length and complexity has always been a balance, and the logistics have only increased as the race has become more popular. Most of our runners do abide by requests to not have crews and spectators go to these closed aid stations. However, we have had instances where this was not the case.

Runners… Your crew is an extension of you. Please make sure they are informed of this access limitation and its ramifications. Crews… Don’t jeopardize your runner’s finish.

As race participants we run as a community, sharing a common experience – of trail, weather, course setup… First or last, we’re all in this together.

Powerlines Trail Remediation

Hello, trail community! As you may be aware, there have been some recent dramatic looking changes to the Powerlines. NMTC has been working with the City of Duluth regarding the MN Power remediation that is occurring. The City of Duluth and NMTC do have plans to re-evaluate a trail corridor together once the remediation process has been completed but in the meantime, all trail users are asked to refrain from using the former trails through the Powerlines. Please be patient as it could potentially take a few years for the Powerlines to be fully healed and ready to go.

We ask that all trail runners respect this temporary closure while the remediation takes place and that you pass the word along. Continuing to use these closed trails will reflect poorly on the trail running community as a whole and may jeopardize our ability to return to them.

What does this mean in the interim?

The race courses for the Eugene Curnow Trail Marathon and the Minnesota Voyageur Trail Ultra will be altered to accommodate this change.