The Zumbro “Midnight” 50 is my second event of the year and takes place this coming Friday night/Satuday morning (04/11/2015) in Southeastern Minnesota Bluff Country, about 2 hours south of Minneapolis. The looped course (three loops of 16.7 miles!) trail run is almost entirely in the Zumbro River Bottoms Management area within a portion of the Richard J. Dorer Memorial Hardwood Forest with 9,294 feet of vert gain and hovering between 700-1,100 feet above sea level.
This is really a part of a bigger race weekend as I’m flying into St Louis on Thursday to meet up with a friend, we’re driving 8 hours north to Minnesota for the Zumbro “Midnight” 50 on Friday night/Saturday morning, hopefully finishing up the race around noon, driving 8 hours back to St Louis by Saturday night, (hopefully) running the Go! St Louis road Marathon on Sunday morning, then flying back to Seattle on Monday. Typing that out now seems a little crazy, but it’s all a part of my grand master plan for Mohican 100 in two months and Squamish 50m/50k weekend in four months.
The Zumbro River is a 64.6 mile long tributary of the Mississippi River in the Driftless Area of southeastern Minnesota. The river’s name in English is a change from its French name Rivière des Embarras (Embarrass River/Obstruction River) due to its mouth located near Pine Island in the Mississippi River; the Dakota name for this river is Wapka Wazi Oju (Pines Planted River), having reference to the grove of great white pines at Pine Island.
The Richard J. Dorer Memorial Hardwood State Forest is named in honor of a former Commissioner of Conservation and is in the heart of the driftless area of Southeastern Minnesota, named for the region’s peculiar terrain as the result of its having escaped glaciation in the last glacial period, 110,000 to 12,000 years ago.
My goals for this race:
1. Make it to the Start Line.
2. Enjoy the run with my good friend Jerod of The Wandering Beard.
3. Stay uninjured. I’m running the Go! St Louis road Marathon the next day.
4. Work out the details for the 100 miler coming up in 2 months.
5. Make it to the Finish Line.
6. Breathe. Thank volunteers. Smile. Not necessarily in that exact order.
Zumbro “Midnight” 50 hosted by RockSteady Running.
164 entrants have signed up from fifteen states (California, Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Jersey, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington, Wisconsin, and West Virginia). The youngest entrant is 21 years old and the oldest entrant (but will not necessarily be the slowest) is 64 years old.
Map and Elevation Profile (From Race website):
Video Preview (by VPMedia):
Prior Years Race Reports by Others:
Collected on the Zumbro website.
Race Description (from Race website):
“The Zumbro Midnight 50 a three-loop (3 x 16.7 = 50.1 miles) 100% trail ultramarathon within the Zumbro River Bottoms Management area in Southern Minnesota’s Bluff Country / just outside of the tiny village of Theilman. Generally speaking, the Zumbro River Bottoms Management area lies within a portion of the Richard J. Dorer Memorial Hardwood Forest – an expansive 2 million acre tract of Minnesota Hardwood forest. We will not pretend these are mountains, because they are not, this is Mississippi River Valley Bluff Country, it is wild, rugged, beautiful and provides the perfect venue for 100 miles of trail running!. The race starts and finishes at the West Assembly Area. Runners will have access to five aid stations per 16.7 mile loop (15 aid stations in 50 miles, that is an average of an aid station every 3-1/3 miles!). The course consists of primarily single and double-track trail with some minimum maintenance gravel road sections. This is a laid back, old school, low-key ultra … help us to keep it that way by bringing the right attitude! Thank you!”