On Sunday May 4th 2014 we had the opportunity to do some trail recon between Carlton Peak and Lutsen and conditions were almost identical to what we saw this same weekend last year, so we will almost verbatim repeat what we said about the trail last year in a post similar to this. Note that last year on race day there was NO SNOW, this years long term forecast looks to be a little cooler leading up to the race so we may not be as lucky this year – that being said, much of the snow is going to melt regardless.
Driving up the North Shore on Highway 61, the sides of the road were snow-free and things looked promising. Trail conditions ranged from dry runnable trail to shoe-sucking mud, to deep standing slushy water and snow ranging in depth from 2 or 3 inches up to 3 feet in places. From what we have seen the forecast is not calling for very warm temps over the next two weeks so we suggest that you come prepared race day for sloppy trails and some patches of lingering snow and count on having wet feet (the kind where even if you change socks, your feet will just get wet again a few minutes later). You are welcome to email us questions about the course but your guess is as good as ours on what race day conditions will be like – our advice is to come prepared for any and all conditions. We will have an up to date report on the trails after we mark on Friday at the very informal and non-mandatory pre-race meeting on Friday night at 7PM (after packet pickup.) Before any ‘newbies’ panic, remember, this is trail-running, if we wanted the variable of imperfect running surface conditions taken out of the equation, we would sign up for road races only… take it as it comes, do what you can, have fun, run wild, be free, Rocksteady!
Questions we have received recently, answered below:
Question: Will the race be canceled if there is still snow? Answer: No, we are trail runners.
Question: Will the course be modified if there is snow and mud? Answer: Not likely.
Question: Do you know what the trail will be like on race day? Answer: We can guess, but so can you.