News & Stories

Loppet Goes Marathon Distance!

Loppet skiers, look out. Thanks to a new agreement with the Minikahda Club, this year’s City of Lakes Loppet is expanding to 42 kilometers – or 26.2 miles. That’s right. A marathon. Skiing through a venerable golf club means that those extra four kilometers contain serious terrain for a hilly, challenging finish, not simple lake skiing.

“The whole character of the Loppet changes with this exciting new development,” says Course Director Craig Rudd. “Skiers will reach Brownie Lake this year and still have hills to climb.”

The introduction of the full-marathon Loppet, combined with changes to the Loppet Challenge (Hoigaard’s Classic on Saturday, the Loppet Freestyle on Sunday) will require these hardy skiers to negotiate two back-to-back marathons.

“With a full-marathon distance, hills at the end of each race, and both classic and skate disciplines, the Loppet Challenge will be among the greatest tests of endurance in the American ski world,” says Loppet Nordic Racing Head Coach Piotr Bednarski.

The new course follows the “old” freestyle trails through Theodore Wirth Park and the Chain of Lakes but then diverges from the “old” course at Lake Calhoun. Rather than heading up Lake Street, the course follows the Lake Calhoun shoreline before veering into the Minikahda Club trails with roughly six kilometers to go. The course follows the four-kilometer Minikahda Club Trail before heading back onto Lake Calhoun one final time. Skiers exit the lake in the North Beach area, cross Calhoun Parkway, and climb one final hill at the Calhoun Executive Center before finishing in front of the crowds in the new Loppet Village area of Uptown. See full course map.

Loppet Founder Genevieve Johnson is excited. “Wow, the Loppet has always been a fabulous event, but now it’s bigger and better than ever. What a unique opportunity and amenity in the heart of a large metropolis . . .”

And one last thing. To celebrate this exciting change and the fact that we now have a definitive distance for our events, we are running a sale on Loppet registration fees: 10% off registration through Tuesday, October 8 – the day of the Foundation’s Annual Meeting. To receive 10% off, please register online and then enter the coupon code: “marathon.” Click here to register now.

For more information on the new course, the Loppet Challenge, the Loppet Festival or the Loppet Foundation visit