[ Update: Images from the weekend are being uploaded – You can view them HERE – low resolution copies can be downloaded by clicking on the image to open a larger preview, then “right click” –> “Save as” and you’re done. High resolution images and prints are available for purchase as well ]
I’ll try and make this quick…
This weekend was the First Annual Run The Keweenaw trail running festival. Now, this isn’t exactly the first time this event has been held. In the past it has been known as the Keweenaw Trail Running Festival and was organized by Great Lakes Endurance. For certain reasons they were uninterested in continuing on with the event and so the Keweenaw Trail Alliance stepped in to take over. In doing so the name was changed while the event itself was more or less unaffected.
Things kicked off on Saturday morning with a ~6k hillclimb starting in the town of Eagle Harbor and climbing to the top of Mt. Baldy (mt. lookout). The ascent is quite relentless, however you are well rewarded at the top with sweeping views of Lake Superior and the town of Eagle Harbor below.
After the hillclimb the event moves back to Copper Harbor for awards, food (free for all participants), and the kids 2k race. This is a time to rest, relax, socialize, and prepare for the 12k trail run later in the evening.
At 5pm the event continues with the 12k race and 12k non-competitive walk/hike. This year the event began at the community center in Copper Harbor and quickly moved into the woods and up and over the rocky terrain that the area is known for. The course followed the trails up the side of Brockway Mountain taking the participants near the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge then heading back down into Copper Harbor.
On Sunday the 25k race got going at 8am. The course was pretty much a highlight reel of the trail offerings found in Copper Harbor. Early in the race the participants ran up the trail “Stairway to Heaven” a ~1300 ft long, elevated wooden bridge which climbs about 200ft up into the terrain surrounding Copper Harbor, and later in the race the participants got to be the first to use the trail “Mango” which was just finished on the Friday before the event.
Overall, it seemed like everyone had a great time. There was a little rain during the 25k however it didn’t seem to slow anyone down. Anyway, congratulations again to all of the participants, and a big thanks goes out to the Keweenaw Trail Alliance, Down Wind Sports, and the Copper Harbor Trails Club for organizing and running such a great event!