2016 Minnesota Voyageur – Race Information Letter

Sent to all participants via e-mail, but just in case you missed it:

Hello Voyageur Runners,

We are just a few days out from the 35th Annual Minnesota Voyageur Trail Ultra – I hope you are ready! We’re looking forward to seeing you in Carlton this weekend! Here are a few notes to keep in mind for race day:

Packet Pickup
You may pick up your packets (containing your t-shirt and bib number) either on Friday night or race morning. On Friday night you can pick up your packets at the Four Seasons Athletic Complex in Carlton (directions) from 4pm to 7pm. On Saturday morning you can pick up your packets at the start/finish at Carlton High School (directions) starting at 5am (race starts at 6am). If you pick up your packet on Friday night, you are still required to check in on Saturday morning, just so we know you actually made it to the starting line (and aren’t still in bed!). If you are unable to attend the race on Saturday, please let us know using our Contact Us form.

If you know someone who is not registered, he/she can register on Friday night or Saturday morning. Online registration is now closed.

Early Starters
In the past we have offered early starts to slower folks who are worried about missing the cutoffs. Unfortunately, we are no longer offering early starts. All runners need to start at the same time: 6am.

Aid Stations
There are 9 aid stations along the course, and you will encounter them quite frequently. The longest stretch between aid stations is 3.4 miles, and the shortest stretch is 2 miles. The aid stations will be stocked with water, Powerade, pop, fruit, cookies, PB&J sandwiches, potato chips, and many other food items. There will also be some Clif gels available, but plan on carrying your own if you rely on them heavily. The aid station mileage chart is available here: Course Description

Water Bottles
We highly recommend you carry a water bottle or some sort of hydration system during the race. Even though the aid stations are close together, it may take you quite a while to get through the tough sections.

We are not supplying the Hammer Endurolyte product at our aid stations this year. Plan to supply your own if you like using a concentrated electrolyte supplement.

New Drop Bag Location
We used to provide a drop bag service at the Zoo turnaround aid station. This year we are moving that drop bag location to the Skyline aid station. This will allow you to use those drop bags twice and will shorten the distance from the other drop bag location.

Drop Bag Procedure
Two aid stations are drop bag locations. They are Peterson’s, which you will encounter at mile 9 and 41, and Skyline, which you will reach at miles 22 and 28. It is your choice if you would like to use a drop bag. Some people use them if they have a specific food or beverage they would like to have access to on the course. Some people do not use them at all. If you would like to utilize the drop bag service, bring your bags to the starting line on race day. We will have a station where you can mark your bags with your bib number and the drop bag location. We do not have extra bags available, so you will need to provide your own. If you do use a drop bag, please keep it as small as possible. This is not the time to use the luggage your great aunt Edna gave you. :)

Crew Directions
If you have friends or family who would like to follow you along the course, they may drive to most of the aid stations to see you come through. The driving directions for each aid station are located here: Directions. Please note that there is no crew access to the Grand Portage aid station. The Seven Bridges aid station is walk-in access only.

Pacers are not allowed at the Voyageur, which means you are not allowed to have someone who is not registered for the race run with you. If someone wants to run with you, he/she needs to register for the race (and start in Carlton with everyone else). The exception to this rule is at the very end of the course. You may have a friend or family member join you just for fun once you are on the pavement in Carlton (the Munger Trail and the city streets). If such a person is joining you at the end of the race, please make sure he/she does not cross the finish line so we can ensure accurate results.

Our ham radio crew will be tracking your progress throughout the race. Make sure your bib number is visible every time you go through an aid station. Should you decide to drop out for any reason, please notify the aid station crew, and they will mark you as out of the race.

The fun has to stop some time! We have strict cutoffs at every aid station. These cutoffs ensure your safety and the safety of our volunteers so we can make sure everyone gets off the course before dark. You can see the cutoffs for each station here: Course Description. Besides missing a cutoff, you could also be pulled from the race if our medical personnel determine it is not safe for you to continue. Please respect and abide by the decisions of our volunteers – it is a tough decision to pull someone, and it is usually harder on the volunteer than the runner!

Last year we made it a focus to be mindful of litter, and our sweepers reported that they found very little litter on the trail after the race. Thank you for all your hard work! Let’s keep it up this year! Please be mindful of any wrappers or trash you are carrying. If you consume something between aid stations, you will need to carry the wrapper to the next aid station to dispose of it. The course trails are not just used once a year – they are actually some of our favorite trails to run on every day. Please respect our course and take care of your litter. Recently DNR researchers have discovered that litterers have a 100% chance of being eaten by a bear, and we will not be able to guarantee your safety should a wrapper belonging to you fall on the trail. I’m happy to note that we had almost no litter at the Curnow Marathon two weeks ago. Keep up the good work!

Clif Organic Energy Food
Last year we tested Clif’s energy food at our race, and you provided very detailed feedback (both positive and negative). Clif was very impressed with your comments and wants to do the same thing this year. We will have the same flavors of energy food this year, plus two new ones containing oats. If you have any comments about the energy food during or after the race, you can e-mail using our Contact Us form.

You will have to pay a $5 fee to finish the course and stop running. Just kidding. Once you cross the finish line, you will receive your finisher’s mug. This mug is the traditional Voyageur award and is hand made by a local potter. There will be some aid station food at the finish line if you need some quick refreshment, and your drop bags will be ferried to the finish as well for you to pick up. The real nourishment starts at 4:30pm, when the post-race dinner begins in the school cafeteria. Both meat and veggie lasagna will be served, along with garlic bread, salad, and sherbet.

Carlton Daze
The Voyageur is part of Carlton Daze – Carlton’s annual summer festival. There are many activities there you might like to participate in while you are in town, or your family members might like to check out while you are doing your crazy running thing. There is a 5k and spaghetti feed on Friday night, a pancake breakfast on Saturday morning, and many other activities going on all weekend. More information is available at the Carlton Daze website: http://www.carltonchamber.com/pages/events/carlton-daze.php

Carlton Daze 5k
Carlton hosts their annual 5k on Friday night. The race is put on by Leola Rodd and the Carlton Chamber, who have been very supportive and welcoming of the Voyageur 50 and Curnow Marathon over the years. Every year we help them with the 5k by providing traffic control along the course. If you are willing to help with traffic control between 6pm and 7pm, let us know at registration on Friday.

Let us know if you have any questions. Good luck to everyone! Looking forward to seeing you this weekend!

-Kris Glesener & the Voyageur Race Committee