Event Updates

Event & Course Updates for the City of Lakes Loppet Winter Festival

City of Lakes Loppet Winter Festival event and course updates, should any be necessary, will be posted here. Check back frequently for the most up to date information. The last possible event update for races will be made by 6:30am on race morning.

Loppet is a Scandinavian term which translates roughly to “adventure over uncertain terrain.”

Most years, for the Loppet Foundation, that means planning events to accommodate uncertain snow and weather conditions. This year, in the shadow of COVID-19, the term takes on a whole new meaning. We, like you, do not know what the future will bring. However, we do know that our staff and volunteers will work with diligence, creativity, and commitment to ensure a great event despite the current global situation.

Please review the information in this section as well as information throughout the Festival and Luminary web pages. For our full COVID plan, please refer here:

This year, all of our races (except the Ski-O) will offer both a hybrid (semi-virtual) and a fully virtual option in addition to the usual timed and scheduled event. We want everyone to be able to participate in whatever way works better based on your own health and safety situation. Registration is the same regardless of which race version you choose. Both versions offer full “credit” for completing the race!

Please watch for important deadline dates for switching between race versions.

The Hybrid (Semi-Virtual) Option

This option is done on the actual City of Lakes Loppet course for your event. From Monday, February 1 through Friday, February 5, we will maintain marked courses and you will be able to sign up for your own start time. A start signup will be made available a couple of weeks before the event with participants’ start times separated by at least two minutes. This is a great option for those looking to maintain maximum social distancing yet still enjoy the official course.

The courses will be well-marked with sign boards and arrows. You may also choose to use the Google map and gpx course map files (on your smart device) that we will provide for each event. Beyond that, participants are responsible for knowing where to go. In addition, you need to plan on being self-reliant as there will be no volunteers, course marshals or aid stations. You will need to carry your food and fuel and we suggest you carry a phone as well.

This hybrid (semi-virtual) option will be available for the following events:

  • Skate/Classic Ski Loppet (30K)
  • Skate/Classic Ski Puoli Loppet (16K)
  • Skate/Classic Ski Tour (10K)
  • Snowshoe Loppet (10K)
  • Next Generation Loppet (3K/2K/1K)
  • Open Loppet (5K)
  • Freewheel Fat Tire Loppet (29K)
  • Freewheel Fat Tire Puoli Loppet (16K)
  • Freewheel Fat Tire Tour (10K)
  • All Skijor races (both 10K courses and the 5K/3K)
  • Note: The only event which will not have a hybrid or virtual option is the Ski-O Loppet.

More detailed hybrid (semi-virtual) schedule information will be posted here when we get closer to the event weekends.

  • 7am-10am will be reserved for skiers only.
  • Fat-tire bikers, snowshoers and skijorers can enter the course after 10am.
  • We want to give you the full race experience, and that is only possible by having you complete the whole course. However, that means Classic/Skate Ski Puoli and Classic/Skate Ski Loppet participants who choose the hybrid option will have four un-manned road crossings without snow, as we cannot close the roads for 7 continuous days. Please remove your skis, use caution, and look both ways before crossing the road in each of these areas.
  • All Hybrid (semi-virtual) participants must be off the snowmaking trails by 10pm so the groomers can prepare the trails for the next day. Some days (including Friday, February 5) will require skiers to be off the trails by 4pm due to the Luminary Loppet.
  • If possible, the Hybrid (semi-virtual) option will extend into the weekends if the timed versions must be cancelled for any reason.

Hybrid Signup

If you are participating in a Hybrid Festival event, please use this link to choose the time during which you will ride, ski, or snowshow the course!

Hybrid Signup Link 

If you are participating as a virtual participant – no further action is needed at this time!  Anyone who does not compete in an eligible event in person will receive a link to submit their time for the virtual/hybrid version! 

Results Submission: You will receive an email Sunday night, January 31, with instructions on how to submit your times. A second round of email instructions will go out Sunday night, February 7, in case anyone registered for the second weekend of races decided to do hybrid during the week. Submissions will be due by the end of the day on Wednesday, January 10.

The Fully Virtual Option

Participants that are unable to travel or simply wish to complete their event completely on their own schedule and on their local or favorite trails where they feel safe, may choose the fully virtual option. This option should be completed between Monday, February 1 and Sunday, February 7 (the same window as our Festival races). Do not plan to do complete this option at Wirth Park as it will only be available for those that choose the hybrid (semi-virtual) option. More information to come on how to submit your times.

Results Submission: You will receive an email Sunday night, January 31, with instructions on how to submit your times. A second round of email instructions will go out Sunday night, February 7, in case anyone registered for the second weekend of races decided to do hybrid during the week. Submissions will be due by the end of the day on Wednesday, January 10.

Cancelled and New Events

After much deliberation, we have chosen to cancel some of our events which do not lend themselves well to social distancing requirements. These events include the 2021 Captain Ken’s Kubb Tournament, the Crew Ski Loppet, the Chuck & Don’s Skijor Sprints, the Freewheel Fat Tire Sprints, the Skate Ski Sprints, and the MYSL SuperCarnival.

The Junior Loppet and Minne-Loppet will be combined into one event, which we are calling the Next Generation Loppet, meant to inspire the next generation of skiers. Youth and junior skiers will be able to choose from 3K, 2K and 1K distances.

We are also adding the Open Loppet 5K fun ski event for all ages, perfect for high school racers who have missed out on racing this year, adults looking to complete their first 5K or test themselves against the high school, and actually anyone.

Start Areas, Courses, and Waves

All point-to-point events will start on Wirth Lake (3200 Glenwood Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55405) this year – NOT on Bde Maka Ska. Events that normally have started at The Trailhead in the past will most likely continue to do so this year.

Each participant will be assigned a specific event start time based on previous Loppet and other event results and finish predictions. Participants must begin their event at their assigned start time, so we can keep everyone on schedule and socially distant.

Participants will not be allowed to enter the start area until 5 minutes before their start time to keep people spread out before they start their event. NO spectators will be allowed in the start/finish areas and we encourage you to ask your spectators to stay home. Participants must wear masks in the start/finish areas.

More information will be available on our Maps & Logistics webpage.

Parking & Transportation

Because we are unable to provide shuttle bus transportation this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, event participants in the point-to-point events should park at the Mortenson parking lots (700 Meadow Lane and 4100 Olson Memorial Highway, Golden Valley, MN 55422) for the most efficient travel to and from the course. From there, participants will take a short walk to the start on Wirth Lake and a short walk from the finish at The Trailhead in Theodore Wirth Park.

There will be no warming tents, so your car will act as your pre-post race warming spot.

More information will be available on our Parking & Transportation webpage.

Aid Stations & Post-Race Party

Our favorite part of each City of Lakes Loppet Winter Festival is sharing beer, food, and stories with you all after the completion of your events. Sadly, in the midst of a global pandemic, we have determined that this would be unwise to do that this year, as it would lead to high congestion areas near the finish line – particularly with high numbers of people not wearing masks. Instead, please head home after you finish and share your stories with us on social media by tagging the Loppet Foundation and using #CityOfLakesLoppet and #LuminaryLoppet on Facebook, Instagram, and/or Twitter.

We are still determining whether we can provide any sustenance at aid stations in a manner safe for both participants and volunteers. That being said, please plan at this point in time to be self sufficient and supply your own nutrition and hydration for your events.

More information will be available on our Maps & Logistics webpage.

Packet Pickup & Awards Ceremonies

To maximize social distancing and keep both participants and staff/volunteers safe, we will be doing a drive through packet pickup in the roundabout in front of The Trailhead in Theodore Wirth Park in the days leading up to the festival (similar to the 2020 Surly Brewing Co. Trail Loppet and the 2020 Loppet Turkey Traverse 5K). Because of this change, day-of registration will NOT be available this year. More information will be available on the Registration & Packet Pickup webpage.

There will be no awards ceremony in 2021 (this includes both the smaller ceremonies at the finish line and the big ceremony at the end of the festival). Please go to our Awards webpage for updates.

Luminary Loppet

To ensure social distancing, this year’s Luminary Loppet will be held at Theodore Wirth Park over the course of six nights: Friday-Sunday, Jan 29-31, 6pm-10pm & Friday-Sunday, Feb 5-7, 6pm-10pm. Only walking and snowshoeing will be permitted this year, and there will be no glowsticks. Masks will be required.

More information will be available on the Luminary Loppet webpage.

Please view our Maps & Trail Conditions webpage for current ski trail and fat-tire bike trail conditions. As we get closer to the event, we will keep you posted on event updates, should there be any, here.