Great course, well organized, a true trail run. (about: 5)|
A Runner from Minneapolis, Minnesota (7/17/02)
The Half Voyageur Trail Marathon is a wonderful adventure run. The course is challenging, your time will be about 1/3 slower than an easy road marathon. The race is small at this point, 170 runners, but is growing in popularity.
The course is a combination of single-track trail, dirt roads and paved bike paths. The majority of the course is single-track trails. About half way through the course is a section called the power lines, so named because the trail runs under some power lines. This section is the most challenging of the course with many very steep climbs and descents. If it has been raining, the power line section can be a real obstacle due to how slippery the clay trails can become, but this simply adds to the adventure. There are a number of stream crossings, more if it has been raining, your feet will get wet.
The course if filled with rocks, roots, and if it has been raining, gratuitous patches of mud, a true trail runner's trail run. The course has lots of hills, definitely not a flat course.
The aid stations are amazing. They are setup in typical ultra marathon fashion with electrolyte drinks and food. They are very well manned with friendly volunteers.
If you love trails, you will love the technical aspects of this course. As one of my favorite marathons, I will continue to do this one for years to come.