NMTC

Northern Minnesota Track Club

Author: rhendrickson (page 2 of 2)

NMTC Point Pine Run

Photo Credit: Tone Coughlin

Photo Credit: Tone Coughlin

NMTC runs tend to take on titles that reflect the personality of their course. So, while this route heads out to the end of what’s commonly called Park Point, it was aptly named the NMTC Point Pine Run – as the title encompasses two important aspects of the surroundings.

First, the course follows Minnesota Point. So, we have the “Point” part covered, but let’s throw this out there as well. Combined with Wisconsin Point, this stretch comprises the largest freshwater sandbar in the world. No kidding. Now that’s a nice conversation starter at a party. The “Pine” aspect honors the fact that much of the run flows through old-growth White and Red Pine, some of which is over 200 years old.

This out-and-back route starts at the end of Minnesota Ave. on Park Point, and follows the well-established Minnesota Point Hiking Trail, 2 miles out and 2 miles back. And we hear ya’, you trail runners want an elevation profile. So, here you go:

Seriously flat...

OK, we kid. But not much. Not a lot of up and down here – 60 ft. of calf-crushing gain and loss over 4 miles, about a foot at a time. But, don’t worry, the trail will throw in a little sandy surprise to make up for the lack of grade.

Along the way you’ll note a couple interesting structures. Almost at the end stand the ruins of the Minnesota Point Lighthouse, constructed in 1858. It operated for 20 years under a single keeper before being abandoned in 1878. Nearby is the old U.S. Lighthouse Station Depot, a concrete structure that once was used to store buoys and the acetylene used in batteries for the lighthouse back in Canal Park.

And, of course, the trail’s most distinguishing feature lies just north. We hear there’s a big lake there…

Photo Credit: Tone Coughlin

Photo Credit: Tone Coughlin

Photo Credit: Tone Coughlin

Photo Credit: Tone Coughlin

NMTC Western Waterfront Run

Photo Credit: Tone Coughlin

Photo Credit: Tone Coughlin

The NMTC Western Waterfront Run has become the traditional season opener for the NMTC Spring Series. Like a grizzled, veteran starting pitcher, the solid surface of the course provides a reliable option for the first race of the year, unflinching in the temperamental Duluth spring weather.

The course is an out-and-back, run on a 2.4-ish mile section of the trail starting in the trailhead lot behind the Willard Munger Inn. The easy-to-follow course traverses west, staying on the Western Waterfront Trail to Spring Street, where it turns-around and returns from whence it came.

If you’re still shaking the rust out of those those early season legs, the trail’s non-technical nature and flat profile will let you ease on in. On the other hand, if your engine is already revving, the wide trail allows you to grip it and rip it. As for what you’ll see, the Duluth Trails web site’s simple description tells it well:

As you amble about this 8-foot wide level, graveled pathway, you will likely note some of the 270+ bird species or aquatic mammals along the banks of the St. Louis River estuary. Several marsh habitats along nine miles of shoreline make this a gem in the park system of Duluth. This trail was designed specifically to provide non-motorized access on an old railroad right-of-way, on a route that provided service between Duluth and St Paul in the late 1800′s.

Excerpted from: http://duluthtrails.com/western-waterfront/

Photo Credit: Tone Coughlin

Photo Credit: Tone Coughlin

Whoo! Hoo! The 2017 race schedules are available!

Photo Credit: Paula Barry

Photo Credit: Paula Barry

Are you ready? The NMTC Spring and Fall Series schedules are now available. See them here: Race Schedules

The dates for our long trail races, the Eugene Curnow Trail Marathon and Minnesota Voyageur 50 Mile are also set – and registration is now open!

Come on out and play in the woods…

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