Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Nature’s marathon

Ely welcomes runners for fifth annual race, a Boston qualifier

Keith Vandervort
Posted 9/18/19

ELY – The Ely Marathon is billed as “Nature’s Marathon.” A description of this unique 26.2-mile running event says, “Begin on the North Arm of Burntside Lake, turn onto the historic Echo …

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Nature’s marathon

Ely welcomes runners for fifth annual race, a Boston qualifier

Posted

ELY – The Ely Marathon is billed as “Nature’s Marathon.” A description of this unique 26.2-mile running event says, “Begin on the North Arm of Burntside Lake, turn onto the historic Echo Trail, and coast toward Shagawa Lake on this challenging and beautiful course.  A slight detour through charismatic Winton puts you close to a quick loop around Miner’s Lake and a finish in downtown Ely. Take in Ely and the surrounding wilderness on this superb fall run.”

The 2019 Ely Marathon and Boundary Waters Bank Half Marathon, celebrating five years in this community, is set for Saturday, Sept. 21, and this year’s race promises to bring in more runners than ever before, according to organizer Wendy Lindsay of Stone Soup Events.  “Twenty-two states and Canada will be represented by runners ranging in age from 12 to 78,” she said.

Top runners compete in this Boston Marathon qualifier. The full marathon starts at Camp DuNord at 7:30 a.m. and the half marathon will begin at Echo Shores Resort at 8 a.m. 

More than 30 racers have registered so far to portage canoes this year, according to Lindsay.  “The top prize of a Northstar Northwind Solo Canoe has upped the motivation for a win,” she said. 

The winner of the canoe prize must beat the world record set in the 2018 full marathon portage division by Daniel Drehmel with a time of 5:23:48.  “Daniel is registered again this year, and is looking to defend his title,” Lindsay said. “He will face tough competition as four of last year’s competitors are also registered again.”

Three past winners in the regular full and half marathon categories also are taking on the challenge of portaging a canoe the full marathon route.

A new twist this year is the Canoe Relay Division in which teams compete for bragging rights to the Golden Paddle.  “Local outfitting companies, Ely Outfitting Company, Spirit of the Wilderness and Northern Tier are all set to compete,” she said.

The first marathon racers are expected to cross the finish line, located in the middle of Whiteside Park, at around 9:20 a.m., Lindsay said.  “Join in the fun in cheering for all the runners. There are many spectator areas in Winton and around Ely. Be aware that traffic will again be impacted in and around the Ely area during the race.” 

Racers and fans will all be entertained with a live concert by Rhino from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the band shell at Whiteside Park. There will be food trucks, a Jaycees beer tent, and a free kids Bounce House obstacle course. New for 2019 are mobile “Escape Rooms,” along with many other vendors are set to entertain.

“We also have the Dorothy Molter Root Beer Run, in which kids between Kindergarten and sixth grade, having run 25 miles prior to race day, finish the last 1.2 miles of the marathon route and finish with the pros at the finish line,” Lindsay said.  The kids race will begin in front of Northland Market in Ely and competitors run up Sheridan Street, down Chapman and finish in the middle of Whiteside Park.  This race begins at 8:45 a.m. All runners receive a marathon medal, Dorothy Molter root beer, and finisher’s shirt. The cost to participate is $15.

The Northern Lights Clubhouse Glow Run, a fundraiser for local mental health services, will be held on Friday, Sept. 20, beginning at 7 p.m. The Glow Run is a fun event for all ages and abilities. Competitive racers, walkers, families with strollers and wheelchairs are all welcome.

The light-filled race at twilight raises funds for Northern Lights Clubhouse, where adults with mental health challenges make and reach personal goals through meaningful work.

The cost is $30 for adults, $20 for students, and $10 for kids. For more information go to info@elynlc.org, or call 218-235-9539.

For more information on the 2019 Ely Marathon, and to register, go to www.elymarathon.com.

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