As most of you know, the Eugene Curnow Trail Marathon course is composed of one 25 mile leg of the Minnesota Voyageur Ultramarathon, plus an extra 1.2 mile section added in to arrive at its total 26.2 mile full marathon length. Traditionally, in even-numbered years that 1.2 miles runs through the venerable Jarrow’s Beach. “But what does that have to do with this year?”, you ask. It is 2017, after all – not a Beach year. Well, you may not need as much ankle tape and Bactine in your drop bag, for one. But more to the point, this year the race committee decided to return to another tradition – started by Eugene Curnow, himself, 20+ years ago.
The backstory… For the past decade, the odd-numbered years have been making use of a loop around the back side of the Magney-Snively ski trails for the 1.2 mile add-on. However, if you look back into Eugene Curnow (formerly Half-Voyageur) Trail Marathon history, you will note that other add-on options are present, representing their locations – Grand Portage, Elys Peak, Swinging Bridge, Triangle, to name a few. When he was Race Director, Eugene liked to mix things up a bit in the odd-numbered years. This year, the race committee decided to return to that philosophy.
For 2017, we are adding the extra 1.2 miles in the Jay Cooke Triangle Trail area, leveraging the Lower Triangle Trail. This bit lies between the Peterson’s and the Forbay aid stations, after emerging from the Gill Creek Trail. You can see it on our Course Maps page. It has been used once previously for the marathon, way back in 1999.
Because these add-ons differ in difficulty, we do keep separate course records for each. So, for the speedsters out there, the Triangle Trail women’s course record is held by Lee Ann Eastman at 04:15:35, and for the men it is held by Bill Barthen at 03:15:38. But no matter what pace you run, we think you’ll like the rolling, wooded ski trail that makes up this year’s 1.2 mile addition. And we hope you’ll appreciate some of the others that will drop in going forward.
But, hey. Don’t you worry Jarrow’s Beach fans. The Beach will remain steady as the even-numbered year course. So, go ahead and set your calendars for 2018… and 2020… and 2022…