News & Stories

Trail Loppet Recap- Run Wild!

The glorious foliage and peak colors seen in Theodore Wirth Park during the 2012 Surly Trail Loppet were not the only things taking people’s breath away. Nearly 1,300 runners hit the countless climbs of Theodore Wirth Park. While huffing and puffing through the race, most people ended smiling and saying the same thing, “that was so much FUN!”

Thin gloves wiped away the runners’ runny noses produced by the early morning chill. At 9am the guns went off releasing some of the fastest distance runners and skiers in the state. The lead pack held tight the first half of the race, before spreading out. “I stayed with them until the boardwalk,” said Craig Cardinal who placed third overall. Cardinal’s time carried him to the Hoigaard’s Challenge victory, earning him the prized trip to Bearskin Lodge. Noah Delong, sneaking in below people’s radars, ran away with the men’s title finishing a minute ahead of Chris Lundstrom. Noah was participating in the Surly Trail Loppet as part of a family affair joining his parents and sister to celebrate his father’s 60th birthday. Angela Larson ran hard and finished first among the women with 2011 champion Audrey Webber coming in second.

Volunteers rolling lefse

Following the dust from the nimble front runners were countless participants from all walks of life pushing their own personal limits on the trail. “I did it!” exclaimed Loppet Run Club member Susan Lee who doubted her ability to run such a grueling distance. She finished the race smiling, and joined the celebration with the hundreds of other exhilarated athletes.

While adults were waging the mental battle on the trails, sweeping among them was a wave of 35 FAST KIDS youth, ages 9-14. “All of a sudden I was surrounded,” laughed 13.1 km runner Maren Bitner. These kids floated between the adults for the short amount of time they overlapped on their 5 km loop.

Jack and Kate Daudt after their race.

Taking it a step further was Jack Daudt, an 11 year old who participated in the half-marathon as the youngest ever to compete in the event. “We’re not runners,” said Jack’s mother Katie, who also signed up for the race. She was surprised when Jack told her he wanted to run the half marathon with her too. Jack and his two older siblings joined his mother in a disciplined training regime. “Jack kept me going… He wouldn’t let me not do it.” When race day finally arrived, Jack pushed himself though to the finish, coming in at just over 2 hours and 10 minutes. “It’s unusual to have such a young runner (in the half-marathon),” commented Loppet Program Director Margaret Adelsman. “Running is not something a lot of young people embrace… But I think we tend to underestimate what kids are capable of.”

The 2012 Trail Loppet was truly a “made in Minnesota” event. There was Mrs. Olson’s Lefse dripping with warmed butter, Tollefson’s Family Farms teasing the tummies of the famished runners with spicy brats, and of course, the heros and namesake of the event, the Surly Brewing Co., on site to water the crowd down with its amber liquids flowing freely throughout the morning.

This year was a sell-out event, and the event is only anticipated to grow. Keep the Surly Trail Loppet on your mind… we want to see you next year… only faster!