Happy New Year everyone! We can't wait to get 2021 kicked off right, and we're incredibly excited about what trail running holds for the next year.
BUT! We can't do it alone. In order for UMTR to give money back to trails, and put on fatass events, and have prizes for our race series, and sponsor trail work weekends... we need your support. 2020 has decimated our membership numbers, and we're looking at a tough road ahead in rebuilding. If you've been a member in the past, we'd love to have you join us again. We need as many people as possible to help make 2021 incredible.
Many of you may remember that when you signed up in 2019 there was an option for auto-renewal. Some people liked this, and other people didn't. Our software platform has a limitation in allowing users to choose to auto-renew, and therefore, we needed to turn off auto-renewal for everyone. That means that you may think you're still a member, but actually, your membership has lapsed. You can head over to https://umtr.org/Sys/Profile and check your membership details at any time to see what your status is. We'll be investigating other options for auto-renewal in the future, but for the time being we need to ask people to renew manually.
Thank you again for helping us advocate for this sport that we love! We're so proud of our community here in the upper midwest, and everywhere we travel we hear nothing but great things about runners from our region. Thank you for being amazing, and please come join us on this journey into an incredible future.
Thursday is Give to the Max Day in Minnesota! It's a day when Minnesotan's step up and help the many non-profits that help make the midwest a better place.
On this day of generosity, many organizations are able to take advantage of matching funds to make your donation go farther (and we know you like to go farther!)
There are many incredible organizations helping to preserve outdoor spaces, encourage an active lifestyle, and make outdoor recreation accessible to everyone in our community. If you plan to participate in Give to the Max day, we want to encourage you to remember organizations like this.
While this list is certainly not exhaustive, here are a few organizations UMTR has partnered with in the past:
Even if you're not from Minnesota, we'd love to encourage you to remember the organizations making the trail a better place, with your year-end giving.
Many people want to start trail running, but don't know how. That's where folks like Jake Hegge come in. He's a physical therapist and coach at Trail Transformation. Come listen in as he shares tips and tricks for people who are just getting started!
It's been a busy summer so far on two of the long trails in our region, the Superior Hiking Trail and the Ice Age Trail. UMTR supports these two trails, and we've all come to love being on them, either for races or just for fun. Check out some of the amazing accomplishments that are happening right in our backyard!
Brittany Peterson and Cody Lind recently lowered the supported FKT time on the SHT, coming on the heels of recent records set by Michael Koppy, Alex Elizabeth, and Rory Anderson. They battled some incredibly warm temps and sleepless nights to drop their time to just over 4 days 9 hours.
With many events being cancelled during the pandemic, it's a great time to get out there and do some hiking. Even small section hikes can be great training for the endurance required for ultras, and for learning more about the trails that we love.
Greeting runners! We hope you all dealing with a difficult 2020 as well as possible.
As you all know, many of the races in all of our race series have been either cancelled or postponed. At this point it is not clear that runners will have the opportunity to participate and complete three races in any of the Trail, Ultra, and Timed Series that are required to be eligible for awards, let alone all the races in the Gnarly Bandit Series. Further, we do not want to encourage participation in races under conditions that a runner may consider uncomfortable or unsafe.
Thus, the UMTR Board has decided to cancel the Trail, Ultra, Timed, and Gnarly Bandit Series for 2020. We are hopeful for the 2021 racing season, and to the extent possible we plan on keeping the scheduled races for 2021 the same as for 2020.
We have also made the difficult decision to cancel our annual Banquet, due to ongoing public health concerns. While we relish the idea of gathering with members from across our region to share stories and celebrations, we determined it would not be possible to create an adequately safe and hygienic atmosphere in our traditional potluck format. We do hope, however, to share a virtual address with members at the end of the year, to acknowledge the difficulties overcome and accomplishments made in a challenging year.
The banquet also serves as our annual membership meeting, an important part of which is electing new Board members. We will still hold an election this year, through an electronic poll. In the coming months we will be posting nomination forms and information regarding how the election will be conducted.
Stay safe, positive, and keep on running!
A couple of years ago, UMTR updated its mission statement to include the following phrase: “In our experience, the trail running community is tremendously diverse, welcoming, and open.” However it has become apparent that this is not the truth that many people in the trail running world have experienced. Trail running has never been known for being very diverse and it has struggled with carrying out a commitment to being an inclusive community. There are many who feel unwelcome in the trail running world and as a community, we need to do better.
UMTR is not a running club, and we do not speak for any specific group of local runners. We are an organization that advocates for the betterment of trails and the sport of trail running, however, we feel that the injustices in the world we live in compel us to use our position to model a better way. We know that our community has lessons to learn and changes to make if we are to truly work towards our mission.
Going forward, the UMTR Board would like to announce some initiatives that we'll be taking, in an effort to align our work with our values, and the future of trail running we strive to create. These are two specific actions that we feel are within our capabilities (as an all-volunteer organization), and that play to the strengths of what our organization can do.
Therefore, you can expect to see more communication from us, across our social media platforms, over the coming months about racial inclusion and overall diversity in trail running. In particular, we will be sharing links to discussions and perspectives that we hope will help our community find real solutions to the issues that our sport is facing.
We ask that through this process that everyone remain respectful and focused on our shared mission to build a trail running community that is tremendously diverse, welcoming, and open. We also welcome your input and feedback about how UMTR can do better.
Also, during this time, we would also like to share some links to organizations that help promote diversity in outdoor activities. If you have the means, please give generously.
UMTR Board of Directors
Dear UMTR members,
We at UMTR want to acknowledge that our community is grappling with the murder of George Floyd and the injustice of racism that people of color in our nation have long endured. It is our community's desire to be open and inclusive to everyone, and our belief that the outdoors, and running on dirt, is something that everyone can enjoy. We strongly believe that trails should be a place where people can feel safe and welcome, and we hope that our trail family continues to be one of equality, acceptance, and respect.
We all need to do our part to dismantle systemic racism in the upper midwest and the United States as a whole. We at UMTR hope to be able to do more in the future to contribute to being a more inclusive community and acknowledge that this is just the beginning of the conversation that we all need to have. For now, if you have the means, we suggest you consider donating to the following causes:
If you would like to share anything with us, please reach out. We are here to listen.
Well folks here it is, our Stir Crazy Solo Virtual Fatass results. Thank you SO much to everyone who took part in this fun event. We had close to 50 people submit their crazy short loop runs.
We've posted a spreadsheet of all the participants, so check out how many miles everyone took on. We've also created a photo album of all of the photos that people submitted with their runs.
And last but not least here's the announcement video where we run down the various awards. A quick apology to David Hansen who also ran 26 miles. My filter didn't pick it up as a marathon distance, so I neglected to include is name in the video.
Thanks everyone, and can't wait to see people out on the trails sometime in the future. Until then, stay safe and keep running... from a distance.
It's a rough time right now, but we're trying to have some fun with it. Check out our new UMTR Stir Crazy Solo Virtual Run and join in the fun!
Greetings UMTR community,
We wanted to take a moment and update all of you on the Gnarly Bandit Series for 2020. The Gnarly Bandit series has long been considered a difficult and brutal challenge for participants. To be a Gnarly Bandit you need to subject yourself to 5 of the hardest races in the Upper Midwest, all within a 7 month time span. It's not for the faint of heart, and many years only a few souls make it to the end.
Because of the amount of planning that needs to go in to attempting Gnarly Bandit, we want to give members as much of a heads up to possible changes as we can. Therefore, we want to announce that the 2020 Gnarly Bandit will remain the same as previous versions. That means that that participants will need to tackle, Zumbro 100, Kettle 100, Black Hills 100, Superior 100, and Wild Duluth 100K, just as before.
Due to a schedule change with the Kettle 100, which puts it two weeks apart from Black Hills 100, we spent some time as a Board considering a possible change to the Gnarly requirements. We considered adding other races and allowing participants to choose among a list, or even just swapping out one race for a different one to ease the schedule. However, after consulting with experienced and trusted members of our community, we decided that making a change right now was the wrong move. Becoming a Gnarly Bandit is tough, and we don't want to dilute that challenge.
However, we will be monitoring the 2020 series very closely, and are committed to continuing the conversation into the future. Thank you again for supporting trail running throughout the Upper Midwest, and we look forward to another wonderful year in 2020!
- UMTR Board of Directors