Hot enough fer ya?
The Minnesota DNR – not the city of Bloomington, as I’ve previously asserted – seems to be plowing ahead with their tentative plan to pave the Minnesota River Bottoms trail as part of completing the longer Minnesota State Trail in the MN River Valley (much of the paved trail is in place southwest of Shakopee). It appears the person to contact to lodge a protest is Cindy Wheeler – she can be contacted at Cynthia.email@example.com.
The response I received from the City of Bloomington (via Julie Farnham, who graciously took the time to send a very detailed message) included this:
“The MnDNR asserts that the MN Valley State Trail is to be hard surfaced in order to accommodate the maximum range of users including: parents with children in strollers, those with limited mobility who need to use wheelchairs, and pedestrians and bicyclists of all ages and abilities who wish to enjoy the Minnesota River Valley. In addition, MnDNR asserts that a hard surfaced trail is more economical to maintain in a flood plain.”
Let’s just ignore the nagging issues with that idea – that a paved surface handles flooding better than crushed limestone but not as well as dirt (is it not a question of whether they’ll “develop” the trail, but what surface they’ll put up?), that some of the narrower hilly sections off the Old Cedar trailhead would make for awfully dangerous paved trails (are they planning to flatten the hills too?), or that it can’t be easy to get cement-laying equipment into those trials without pretty much destroying the trail – and suggest the DNR act consistently, leveling every hill and draining every lake in the state so they can accommodate the maximum range of users. If destroying a trail system so parents can push strollers on it, bypassing plenty of other sidewalks along the way to drive there first, isn’t the embodiment of everything that’s wrong with everything, then I don’t know what is.
Turning to some races…
Chris Lundstrom predictably threw down at the Afton 50k two Saturdays ago, but the real story might be how he was pushed to an 8-minute course record (3:40) by 20-year-old Michael Borst, who it turns out is a legitimately elite talent on the trails. Borst and Lundo went through 25k in about 1:40 – what would have been a near runner-up finish in the 25k race – apparently chatting audibly. While Lundo put the hurt on late, Borst was only two minutes back in 3:42, the second-fastest time ever on the course (and on a pretty hot day). Full results (including women’s) are here. Running Times’ recap of the race, which includes worthwhile mentions of both Lundstrom’s beard and Borst’s shorts, is down the page here.
In the 25k, Ben Kampf reclaimed his USATF-MN trail title, and Emma Lee retained hers. Full 25k results are here.
And perhaps you’ll remember our Q&A with Borst and his training partner Jake Hegge, which is here.
As for upcoming races, Mike Bialick is headed to Ohio’s Burning River 100 Mile for the USATF 100-mile trail championship July 27-28. This will be the 100-mile debut for Bialick, whom you’ll recall had a big debut season last year, finishing just a minute behind Ian Sharman at TNF Madison and coming in eighth at the stacked and fast JFK 50 in November. Our Q&A with him last fall is here. The race website is here.
Know of any noteworthy performances in the recent past or near future by Minnesotans, near or far? Let us know in the comments.
In other news…
It’s July, it’s Minnesota, and so…Facebook chatter indicates that the horseflies are, indeed, alive, though not everywhere. Lebanon Hills is at its predictable worst, though. I’m headed there today and tomorrow to verify.
Are you looking for a race this Wednesday? You could pay an exorbitant fee to be herded through downtown for five kilometers with ten thousand fuelbelt-toters, have flames shot off next to your head in what should be 95-degree heat, and wait in line forever afterwards to redeem one of the two Michelob Golden Ultras you’ve been allocated with your wristband at the LifeTime Fitness Torchlight 5k, OR you could pay a titch less exorbitant a fee to run some trails under the shade of tree cover for twice as many kilometers, after which there is ample pizza and real beer, at the Endless Summer Trail Series Murphy 10k. It’s the third in the summer race series sponsored by TC Running Co and put on by RockSteady Running. Register here. Course info, etc. is here. Fuelbelts are welcome, though there’s actually an aid station partway through.
Finally, TC Running Company opened its second location last week in Maple Grove. Stop on by: