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!

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.

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.