Northern Minnesota Track Club

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Spring Trail Series and COVID-19

The NMTC Committee, after much deliberation, has made the tough decision to cancel the entire Spring Series. With so much uncertainty as to the spread and duration of the COVID-19 pandemic in our area, we believe that it is our duty to our runners and volunteers, as well as our broader community to do our part to keep everyone healthy and safe.

We are still moving forward with plans for the Eugene Curnow Trail Marathon and the Minnesota Voyageur 50 Mile Trail Ultramarathon, as well as the NMTC Fall Series. Unless we have to cancel more races, the Fennessy Award can still be earned by those who participate in or volunteer at, all of our remaining races in 2020.

This pandemic will not last forever. We will get back to running our races and participating in activities with our friends and family. In the meantime, please continue to take care of yourself and stay in touch with your loved ones.

Volunteer Opportunity – Jay Cooke Annual Candlelight Event

Jay Cooke’s annual candlelight event is coming up this week, Saturday February 9 from 6 – 9 pm. This year it looks like everything is coming together (bathrooms – working, water – running, snow – YES!) so we’re looking forward to holding this event. This event attracts 100’s of participants, so we really appreciate all the volunteers that help us with setting this up. This is where we hoping you might be interested in participating.

We are looking for volunteers to help with any one of our three shifts.

Some basics:

  • We have people work in teams, so you’re not out there by yourself
  • Although the entire trail is 1.8 miles we only have volunteers work a section of it so you’d need to be able to walk/ski about ½ – ¾ mile.
  • We love volunteers of all ages, so if you want to bring your young one along please do. As long as they are supervised by yourself and can contribute to the task they’re welcome to join us.
  • You can walk, snowshoe or ski. We have snowshoes to borrow if you wish. We use sleds to carry the bags and candles.
  • This involves bending. Filling the bags with snow, placing the candles, lighting or taking it all apart depending on the shift.
  • Bonus! – As a thank you we feed you … volunteers are welcome to join the staff potluck.

The shifts:

  1. Set-up 1 – 3 pm (depending on the number of volunteers this is often shorter). Set out the bags and candles on the event trail.
  2. Lighting 4:30 – 6 pm Right before the event starts we send out our volunteers to light all the candles.
  3. Take down 9 – 10 pm Blow out the candles, pick up the bags and candles.

If you are available to help with this event please let me know:

  1. Who? (if you’re volunteering more than one person)
  2. What shift are you available for?
  3. Are you walking, snowshoeing or skiing? (this help me pair up people)

Thanks for your consideration, and regardless we hope to see you out on the trail!


Kristine Hiller
Interpretive Naturalist | Minnesota Parks and Trails
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Jay Cooke State Park
780 Highway 210
Carlton, MN 55718
Phone: 218-673-7005
Email: kris.hiller@state.mn.us

© 2020 NMTC

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