Welcome to race week everyone!

Number Pickup
Race number pickup happens Friday evening from 4 pm – 7 pm and Saturday morning before the race. On Friday we’ll be inside the Four Seasons Sports Complex in Carlton – 90 Chestnut Avenue. The Carlton Daze 5K starts at 6:00 so expect some road closures in the area around that time. There will be a spaghetti dinner (with tasty homemade dessert) in the sports complex as well and Voyageur runners get $1 off so go ahead and plan your dinner and pickup in one go! You’ll get your bib, pins if you need them, reusable cup, and shirt at that time.

Saturday morning we’ll be inside the gym before the race start, Carlton High School – 405 School Avenue. You can get your number and start milling around starting at 5 am. Magnolia Cafe will also be open before the race for your (or your crew’s) coffee needs!

If you pick up your number on Friday, we ask that you still check in with us on race morning so that we know you’re starting.

Race start is Saturday, July 26 at 6:00 am.

Drop Bags
Drop bags should be brought to the start on Saturday morning. Please have them labeled with your name and race number. There are two drop bag locations, which you’ll see four times (Peterson’s at mile 8.8 and 41.2 and Skyline at mile 21.6 and 28.4). We will have vehicles front and center at the high school for you to place your drop bags into. Please keep your bags as small as possible – we have 350 runners worth of bags to haul!

Race Reroute/Markings
As you know, we have a race re-route this year due to being unable to use most of the Powerlines. You’ll run the normal course through Purgatory. Shortly after that, you’ll turn on the Superior Hiking Trail (SHT) to connect you with Zapp’s Loop. You’ll then run the loop “backwards” for those of you who are used to the normal course and head towards the Fond du Lac aid station. This eliminates the three in succession crossings of Mission Creek, though you will still be crossing at Fond du Lac.

After going through Beck’s and heading up Skyline you’ll be turning RIGHT off of Skyline instead of left. You’ll see some new to you Magney ski trail before joining a newly finished SHT loop. You can wave at Jarrow’s Beach as you cross it (sorry peeps, no actual Beach time for you this year), before you eventually are brought to the other side of the Magney trails and back to our usual course. This is our longest section between aid stations (6 miles).

The course will be well marked but you will need to pay attention – especially those of you who are used to running the normal course! There are several sharp turns taking you on and off the SHT. All turns are marked with more frequent ribbon than the rest of the course so if you are suddenly seeing several ribbons close together, pay attention!

Worth mentioning is that due to this being a temporary re-route, any potential course record that were to happen would come with an asterisk and exist next to the “normal” course record.

Please also remember that this is not a closed course. Anytime you are on or crossing a road – it is open to traffic. Our more busy road crossings will have volunteers posted and they are instructed to stop YOU and not vehicles. Please do not try to race a semi coming at you at 45 miles an hour – shaving the extra five second off your time is not worth it.

Cupless Race
Voyageur is a cupless race, starting this year. For this year only, you will receive a collapsible cup when you pick up your race number which you can use during the race. We will NOT have paper cups on the course. Zero. So don’t come through hoping to be the person to get a spare “hidden” cup as there won’t be any! Thanks for helping us dramatically reduce the race’s waste!

Speaking of Garbage…
Those of you who ran Voyageur while Kris was race director may remember that he would hire the services of a litterer eating bear. Sadly, reports after the Eugene Curnow Trail Marathon are that the bear’s services are needed yet again. Remember – anything you’ve carried out of an aid station you are able to carry to the next aid station! The sweepers are not there to pick up after you. Anyone who tosses their trash aside or drops their gel packet to the ground runs the risk of being eaten by the litterer eating bear! Don’t let it be you!

Weather/Dropping
As of today, the weather is looking pretty ideal (I know, I know, way to jinx the day). But we all know how weather goes, especially around Duluth! Please be prepared for all sorts of weather, especially heat and humidity. While there are medically trained volunteers on the course, it could take a long time for anyone to get to you so make sure you plan to be carrying water with you on the course and know your body. While many of our aid stations look close together on paper, on a hot day it will take longer than expected.

In the unfortunate event that you find yourself needing to drop from the race for any reason, please make sure you alert an aid station or ham radio volunteer and make sure it is clear that you are dropping. Failure to do so puts our future races in jeopardy and you will not be welcome back in the future. If you need a ride to the start/finish after dropping, we’ll get you hooked up but know that it could take a few hours.

Finish Line
We’re excited to see every one of you cross that finish line back in Carlton! Please stick around after your finish – our traditional lasagna dinner will start serving around 4:30 pm and the party on the slope next to the finish is always a good time. Dinner is free for all runners (regardless of your finishing status) and crew/family can partake for $5. We’ll also have your normal aid station food/drinks at the finish and will be bringing drop bags back throughout the day as we’re able.

Etc…
Remember that everyone you see working the race on Saturday is a volunteer. Thank the aid station workers as you go through, wave to the ham radio peeps, high five the road crossing volunteers. Above all – please be the amazing people we know you are. We do not tolerate volunteer abuse by runners or crew – if you need to vent, please do so to the Race Committee (preferably the Race Director). If we hear of a runner who continues to be inappropriate to our volunteers or crew who is showing up to closed-to-crew aid stations (Grand Portage and Petersons), that is cause for runner disqualification.

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

Runners’ crews and spectators are not allowed at 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.

The Voyageur 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. Ignoring this request creates challenges for ensuring runner safety, race permitting and the ability for emergency services to reach these stations.

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.

Curnow and Voyageur will be cup-free!

We have exciting news! Starting this year, both Curnow and Voyageur will be cup-free!

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/Sqwincher/etc. at aid stations. There are lots of great options out there and we are currently looking at the possibility of having a cup as part of the race swag for this first year of being cup-free. We will keep you updated!

Race Cap and Wait List Information

To protect our fabulous trails from being loved to death, the Eugene Curnow / Minnesota Voyageur race committee has implemented a race cap of 350 runners for each race.

In the event that a race reaches the cap, we will have a wait list – viewable on UltraSignup. We will continue pulling from the wait list through the usual pre-race cut-off on the Wednesday prior to the race. Please let us know promptly if you have registered, but are certain you will be unable to start.

Here are a few FAQs to start:

  • How do I get put on the wait list?

    Use the normal registration button on UltraSignup, which you can reach using the link on the front page of our web site, or by searching for our race in UltraSignup. The registration will walk you through and collect enough information to place you on the wait list.

  • How do I know my position on the wait list?

    A WAITLIST link is available on the race page on UltraSignup. We will also provide a link to this page on the front page of our web site.

  • Is my credit card charged if I am on the wait list?

    From UltraSignup, regarding the waitlist / charges:

    Wait listers are not charged. If the director decides to let people in from the waitlist, each participant will be sent an email asking if they are still interested. If you answer yes, your card on file will be charged and you will be added. If you do not wish to participate, click no and you will not be charged.

  • What if I am entered and can’t make it to the race?

    While we’d love to have you join us, we greatly appreciate your help if you cannot. Please let us know promptly if you have registered, but will be unable to start.

  • What are my chances of getting in if I am on the wait list?

    This, of course, is the magic question. Unfortunately, it is extremely difficult to predict from year-to-year how many entrants will withdraw from their race registration, or accept invitations off the waitlist when they are offered.

    As long-distance trail runners ourselves, we understand that the uncertainty of being on a waitlist can make dedicating the requisite training time and effort a difficult decision. However, providing (what would only be) a guess as to whether someone at position “X” would make it in would not reduce that uncertainty. We do not wish to unintentionally misrepresent the odds, so cannot provide such an assessment. Thank you for understanding.

Contact us if you have any additional questions.

Traffic Notes – Road Construction

ConstructionThere are a few road construction related items that will affect those running and crewing the Eugene Curnow Trail Marathon and Minnesota Voyageur 50 Mile Ultramarathon. Please keep these in mind for race day and plan accordingly!

MN Hwy 23 / Grand Avenue / Commonwealth Ave. (Same road, many names…)
This is the road that provides access to the Fond du Lac Aid Station. The road will be open. However, road construction and lane closures will be in place in Fond du Lac. This requires a slight (unmarked) detour for crew members / spectators wishing to visit this aid station, which is described on our Directions page – see the Course Guide for Spectators and Crew.

MN Hwy 210
This is the road that provides access to the Grand Portage Aid Station, coming up from Fond du Lac. The road will be closed. Similar to last year, spectators and crew are not to go to the Grand Portage AS – no exceptions!

Only aid station volunteers and race committee members may access this Aid Station. Please respect this, as we get special permission to be in this construction area for the race. Abuse of this can result in our losing access in similar cases going forward. Thank you.

2017 Minnesota Voyageur – Race Information Letter

Hello Voyageur Runners,
Welcome to race week! We’re looking forward to seeing you in Carlton this weekend! Here are a few notes to keep in mind for race day.

Attendance
If you will not be able to attend the race on Saturday, please reply to this email and let us know.

Friday Night
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 from 4pm to 7pm. The Carlton Daze spaghetti dinner also takes place at the Four Seasons.

Saturday Morning
On Saturday morning you can pick up your packets at Carlton High School starting at 5am (race starts at 6am). If you pick up your packet on Friday night, you do NOT need to check in on Saturday (new policy for this year). If for some reason you check in Friday and don’t plan to run on Saturday, let us know.

Registration
If you know someone who is not registered, he/she can register in person on Friday night or Saturday morning. Online registration is open through Wednesday night (closes at 11:59pm).

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: http://www.voyageur50.com/course-information/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.

Endurolytes
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.

Drop Bag Procedure
Two aid stations are drop bag locations. They are Peterson’s, which you will encounter at miles 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. 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: http://www.voyageur50.com/course-information/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.

Continue reading “2017 Minnesota Voyageur – Race Information Letter”

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.

Registration
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.

Endurolytes
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
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.

Tracking
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.

Cutoffs
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!

Litter
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.

Finishing
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