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