Celebrating trail runners

Today was a day to celebrate the community of trail runners called the Upper Midwest Trail Runners (UMTR). This is a trail running club that operating mostly in Minnesota and Wisconsin, but also has a presence throughout the midwest. One of the big things that they do each year is three different trail run series to allow members to accumulate points from various races around the area. Today was the annual banquet to get together for a big potluck and hand out awards.

IMG_3929But first, the day started with a set of fatass runs in the morning at a local park. I opted to join the 20K group and my wife headed out with the 10K’ers. We all had a great time, and the weather was perfect for running. We had such a good time socializing after the run that we lost track of time and had to rush home to get our dish ready for the evening potluck.

We also volunteered for the event tonight, so we had to be there earlier than other folks. After helping get everything set up, and working our shifts at the registration and food table we settled in for the evening’s keynote talk. The speaker was Molly Cochran talking about the sport of Adventure Running. She shared pictures and stories from her most recent adventure in Alaska, which took place over the course of many days. Once her talk was finished it was time to hand out awards. It was really cool to celebrate all the accomplishments that the group had achieved over the year, including the Gnarly Bandits who in total ran over 800 hours through various 100 mile and 100K races.

There were also door prizes, and I managed to score a free race entry to one of the Endless Summer Trail Runs for next year. I’d probably be there anyway, but this saved me a few bucks on my entry fee.

Once the awards were done it was time to help tear down for the evening. My wife and I stayed to help clean up and eventually said our goodbyes and headed home for some much needed rest. Today was a great celebration of the trail running community locally, and I’m proud to be a part of such a wonderful group of people.