On October 10th to the 12th we hosted the 4th TRAIN and STAY GET AWAY near Duluth, MN. This annual trip to the north woods of Minnesota is centered on trail running and includes over 25 miles of running on the Superior Hiking Trail and in various state parks.
Six is capacity for the TRAIN and STAY and we were able to sell out the trip with Sabrina, Monica, Ali, Jen, Britt, and Murphy. (All rock stars!) Before we get into the details of the trip we want to give a big THANK YOU to these gals and take this time to let them know they did an awesome job! It’s a lot of miles on tough terrain, and everyone did phenomenal. Not only did they rock the mileage, they were a blast to hang out with for the weekend.
Our trip started at noon sharp on Friday, where we met and packed up the van for our 3.5 hour drive to the lodging, a family cabin located on Little Hanging Horn Lake in Barnum, MN. Once to the cabin everyone got situated with where they were bunking and we prepared for our first run of the weekend.
This first run, a 6 mile loop, went off from Carlton and weaved along the St. Louis River. It is a combination of gorgeous views over the river, rock outcroppings and some woods gravel trail. After finishing we headed back to the cabin for what has long been our post run tradition of taking an “ice bath” in Little Hanging Horn.
Utilizing the concept of cryogenic recovery everyone walked in to either their knees or hips and “iced” for at least 10 minutes. Although momentarily uncomfortable, this tradition has proved time and again that it is extremely important in hitting long, difficult trail miles for multiple days in a row.
Dinner consisted of some quality carbohydrates and then everyone was off to bed in prep for the following day’s multi-run schedule.
The next morning we were up early for a 5:30 a.m. breakfast which consisted of eggs, toast, fruit, COFFEE (a must!), and juice. We had a short drive up to the staging area for our Ely’s Peak run, which was to be the longest of the weekend. Arriving just before sunrise we hurried our way up Ely’s to see the sun push up over the horizon, and as we have experienced in year’s past…this is a priceless view. We were all able to spend time enjoying the sunrise, snapping pictures and taking in the peace and beauty of a crisp fall morning.
After this gorgeous start to the day the remainder of our run was along the Superior Hiking Trail, where we pushed through 8.5 miles of rocky, root laden single track and soaked and muddy cross country ski paths. After spending three hours enjoying our surroundings we loaded back up and heading back to Little Hanging Horn for another round of “ice bath”, followed by some lunch and recovery time.
As par for the course with Saturday of TRAIN and STAY we also head out for an afternoon run. So after recovering from our Ely’s Peak experience we headed to Moose Lake State Park for a more casual, 5 mile, run through the pine forest.
Saturday evening was spent enjoying (what might be our new tradition with the TRAIN and STAY) Poor Gary’s pizza!! We ate plenty of pizza in recovery, along with lots of smiles and laughs all while relaxing and recapping what we had already accomplished for the weekend.
Sunday morning came fast and we were up again at 5:30 a.m. for some pre-run fueling. Departing before sunup, there was a nervous energy in our car ride up to tackle the “power lines” section of our TRAIN and STAY experience. Characterized by wicked ascents and descents, this section was handled wonderfully by all the gals and we made it through our 5 miles in great time and without incident.
With completion of the “power lines” run, we capped off over 25 miles of running on north woods trail, and put to bed another successful, fun, and beautiful TRAIN and STAY.
Next year’s trip is scheduled for October 9th-11th, 2015. If you would like to be one of the six, keep an eye out for details of how to register coming in Spring on 2015.