Saturday, September 19, 2020

Trail Loppet

The Urban Trail Run
Half Marathon · 7 Mile · 5K

Meet us at The Trailhead for this rugged urban trail run in Minneapolis’ largest (and arguably most beautiful) regional park. Race through the woods of Wirth Park – with hidden trails, ponds and lakes, bogs – and occasional dramatic views of the downtown skyline.

The Surly Brewing Co. Trail Loppet is a Hoigaard’s Challenge event.

The first 1,500 participants who register will receive a Surly Brewing Co./Loppet Foundation logo stainless steel pint cup. All of-age participants will receive a ticket for a Surly Brewing Co. beer at the end of the race.

Half Marathon

The 13.1 mile course is run on the dirt trails and wooded paths of Theodore Wirth Park.

7 Mile

The 7 mile race is a challenging intermediate distance option through the woods of north Wirth Park. The course follows the first half of the Half Marathon.

The 5K

A wooded and challenging 5 kilometer (3.1 mile) course.

Age Gap Relays

The Age Gap Relays are a two-person relay event – one adult and one child per team. Registration is priced per team.

The age and gender of each team is determined solely by the age and gender of the child. However, the adult must be at least 10 years older than the child.

The race starts and finishes at The Trailhead where both participants complete two laps of a 1K course. Each team starts with the adults and finishes with the kids – so it goes adult lap 1, kid lap 1, adult lap 2, kid lap 2. The course includes rolling terrain with obstacles like hay bails to jump over along the way.

The Age Gap Relays are chip timed. Participants must have their timing chip on to be timed.

This event is part of the Loppet TRAIL KIDS Adventure Series. Look for other Age Gap Relays at Loppet events throughout the year.

Race Day Schedule

  • 7:30 am – Packet pick-up and bike corral open – The Trailhead
  • 9:00 am – Half Marathon Furious Wave starts
  • 9:05 am – Half Marathon Abrasive Wave starts
  • 9:10 am – Half Marathon Bender Wave starts
  • 9:15 am – Half Marathon Hell Wave starts
  • 9:20 am – Age Gap Relays start
  • 10:00 am – Start of the 7 mile – Smoke wave
  • 10:05 am – Start of 7 mile – Cynic Wave
  • 10:15 am – Start of the 5K
  • 10:30 am – Food trucks, drinks, and live music will be available at The Trailhead.  Come join the party!
  • Noon – Awards Ceremony and “Hoigaard’s Challenge” group photo

Detailed Course Description

2020 course maps will be coming soon.

For reference, the 2019 course maps for all races can be found on this interactive Google Map. The 2019 course description is listed below:

All four races begin and finish in the Lower Stadium next to The Trailhead. Age gap relays will make a loop and do their handoffs in Lower Stadium. The other three races head north toward Highway 55 on the bike path.

The 5K cuts back on the walking path through the woods toward The Trailhead and then east toward the practice green near the Chalet where it meets up with the 7-mile/half marathon course.

From 55, the 7-mile and half marathon head east along the Luce Line and head toward Wirth Lake via the 55 underpass and ski trail next to Bassett Creek. These two races split before the Wirth Lake bridge with the half marathon crossing the bridge.

From about 2 to about 7 miles the half marathon winds through the Quaking Bog/Norm Oakvik and Eloise Butler sections of trails, with a few road crossings along the way. This is a beautiful area – but challenging! Windy, twisty, turny, and hilly. Make it through this section and life will be better . . .

From 7-8 miles, the half marathon continues through the woods to the east Butler, into Bassett Park (you might notice a hill here) and then a jaunt across JD Rivers to join up again with the 7-mile course near the Wirth Lake boat launch.

The 7-mile and half marathon courses get easier again – heading back north along Bassett Creek, and Tornado Alley, before taking the Dead Dog Trail to the 45th parallel and the flowing trails of 45 North and Conundrum.

All three races come together near the Chalet practice green and climb Pine Hill to the final aid station. The final push is through sections of the Area 36 trails including Ski Jump, Timberjack, Quarry and Widowmaker. This section is generally on singletrack trails – winding, hilly and fun. The end comes quickly – with the last half-mile a gradual downhill into the finish at Upper Stadium near The Trailhead.

Course Marking

The course is well-marked – with a combination of blue ribbons, blue arrows and flour used to draw directional lines on the ground. However, know that there are MANY intersections and runners are responsible for staying on course.

Start/Finish Area

The start and finish area is located at The Trailhead. With beer, a band and fans, the Surly Trail Loppet finish area is a party all by itself!

Bike Corral/Bag Drop

Bike Corral:  We encourage you to use alternative transportation to get to and from the event – bus, bike or other non-motorized transportation. The Bike corral is located at Start/Finish Area.

Bag Drop:  Bring your own bag and receive a tag to mark your item and stash your goodies until your run is done.

*Must have race bib to retrieve bike or bag after the event

Chip Timing

The Trail Loppet features chip timing. All runners must wear their chip throughout the race. Chip timing will mean faster and more accurate results!


We encourage participants and spectators to bike, bus, walk or jog on race morning. For those who must drive, we encourage carpooling. All participants and spectators should park in the nearby Mortenson parking lot.  It is a short walk or jog from the lot to the start area.

Note that Theodore Wirth Parkway will be closed north of Highway 55 (Olson Memorial Hwy) to The Trailhead from approximately 8:30am to approximately 11:00am.

Please plan plenty of time for parking, walking/jogging to the start and packet pickup before the event!

Packet pick-up schedule and locations will be posted 4 weeks prior to the event. Please check back at that time for details.

We strongly encourage participants to pick up their packets before race day. Leave ample time for packet pickup if you are waiting until race day – especially if driving to the event and parking.

Please bring your check-in pass with your QR code (emailed to you at the time of registration) either on your phone or printed out. This will help expedite your check-in process.

Limited in-person registration for all distances will be available during packet pick-up (including race day) provided the race has not reached maximum capacity. Please note that waves often fill before race day, so if you wish to be in a particular race wave, please register early.

Locally-crafted awards will be given to the top three male and female finishers in the Half Marathon, the 5K, and the 7 mile.

Age-class medals will be available for pickup as soon as results become available. Medals are awarded to the top three male and female runners in the following age classes for each event:

  • 19 and under
  • 20-29
  • 30-39
  • 40-49
  • 50-59
  • 60-69
  • 70+

Door prizes will be given at the end of the awards ceremony.

Surly-est Runner Contest

Did you get bumped around a bit on the trail? Or really roughed up? Let us be the judge. The one we deem most scratched, scraped and scrubby will be crowned the Surly-est Runner, rewarded with bragging rights and Darkness Day tickets!

Contest Info:

Timing: The contest will take place immediately after the awards ceremony. You must be present to win.

What to do: Come to the Surly tent to get your name on the “Most Messed Up” list before awards start.

What counts: Anything goes! We take scrapes, blood, sprains, lacerations and breaks (though, really, we hope it doesn’t come to this).

Bottom line: The worse off you are the better your chances of winning. Cheating is unacceptable.

Trail Loppet Age Gap Relays

Awards are given to the top three teams within gender and age categories based on the gender and birth date of the child. All participants will be called up for a picture at the awards ceremony. Ribbons for the top three teams in the U10, U12, U14, and U16 age categories. Everyone in the U8 category receives a participation ribbon.

For those not present at the Awards Ceremony, awards will be kept for one month at The Loppet Foundation office – 1301 Theodore Wirth Parkway. Awards may be picked up there – contact us in advance to arrange a time: 612 604-5330 or

To alleviate congestion and make for a better experience, the Half Marathon7 mile and 5K races are broken up into waves, with each wave starting five minutes apart.

The waves are released fastest to slowest.

Runners self-select into their wave of choice during registration – but don’t worry, your choice of wave does not affect your choice of beer.

Half Marathon Wave Starts:

  • Furious Wave – Time-wise, Furious runners generally finish the Trail Loppet in 2 hours or under; or generally finish a road half-marathon in about 1:40 or under. If it came down to a drinking contest the Furious runners would probably lose – Furious runners are generally faster and more serious about their performance.
  • Abrasive Wave – Abrasive runners generally finish the Trail Loppet between 2 hours and 2 hours and 16 minutes, or generally finish a road half-marathon between 1:40 and 1:51. Abrasive runners are a little more mellow. They are not out to set a course record, but they like having some elbow room on the trails.
  • Bender Wave – Bender runners generally finish the Trail Loppet between 2 hours 16 minutes and 2 hours 35 minutes, or generally finish a road half-marathon between 1:51 and 2:20. Bender wave runners are out to forget their troubles for the day. They may need to drown their sorrows after the race.  
  • Hell Wave – Hell runners generally finish the Trail Loppet in over 2 hours 35 minutes, or generally finish a road half-marathon in over 2:20. Hell wave runners are just out to finish the race. They want to go at a leisurely pace so that they feel like (a Surly) Hell when they finish.

7 Mile Wave Starts:

  • Smoke Wave – Smoke wave runners generally finish the Trail Loppet 7 mile in under 1 hour 8 minutes. Runners in this wave are out to “smoke” the course. They are fast and can put one down quickly when the running is done.  
  • Cynic Wave – Cynic runners generally finish the 7 mile in over 1 hour 8 minutes. Runners in this wave may be a bit skeptical about how fast they can run. They are not sure whether they will finish and are suspicious that there may not be enough beer for them at the finish line.

5K Wave Starts:

  • 5K – 5K runners are the last out of the starting gates but the first to cross the finish line.  The good news about that is that they beat everyone to the beer line.  With beverage in hand – they can help cheer runners in.

2020 Surly Brewing Co. Trail Loppet Registration Coming Soon

Participants already registered may drop to a shorter-distance race at the Trail Loppet by emailing by 4:00 p.m. on Friday the week before the event. If you are dropping from the Half-Marathon to the 7 Mile, please indicate your new wave preference in your message. If a registrant wishes to change race distances after 4:00 p.m. on Friday, the week before the event, they will be required to pay the full registration fee for the new race distance.

Registration and transaction fees are nonrefundable, including in the event of cancellation. Registration is not transferable to another person or another event for any reason, including injury. Competing under another person’s name will result in disqualification.

A Note About the Data We Collect

Proceeds from the Surly Brewing Co. Trail Loppet benefit the Loppet Foundation. Learn more about the Foundation's mission, vision, and values.

Aid Stations

Aid Station 1 and 3: 55 Bridge
Half Marathon and 7 Mile

Aid Station 2: Bog Parking lot
Half Marathon

Aid Station 4: Pine Hill (near the Chalet)
Half Marathon and 7 Mile

Cut-off Times

Racers may choose to finish, but course marshals and volunteers will be released from their positions at 1:00 p.m.

Water will still be available at the aid stations.

2019 Results & Photos

2011 Results

Join the Adventure!

Detailed sponsorship opportunities and packages are available.
Please contact the Loppet Foundation Sponsorship Manager:

Major Sponsors

Media Sponsors

Silver Sponsors

Bronze Sponsors

The Loppet Foundation needs volunteers in all capacities supporting the athletes as they take to the trails. Volunteer positions include helping to register participants, water stop support, directing traffic along the trails, and much more. All volunteers receive a commemorative Trail Loppet stainless steel pint cup, plus food and beverage or beer. Want to earn more free beer? – Volunteer as a Registration Assistant, Thursday or Friday, help Set Up on Friday, or help with the Clean up and Course take down after!

*All volunteers must report to Volunteer Check-In to get their assignments unless otherwise noted. Look for more information about your individual assignments closer to race day from your team leader.

Interested? Signup below or for further inquiries contact

The Loppet Foundation
1301 Theodore Wirth Parkway
Minneapolis, MN 55422

Registration Questions: