News & Stories

2023 Loopet Loppet Recap

I’ve been part of dozens and dozens of amazing trail races, but this Saturday I was reminded that there’s something special about the start of the Loopet, when the ribbon of headlamps zig zags up the switchbacks behind the Trailhead in the pre-dawn darkness. It was a proper start to a beautiful day–we couldn’t have asked for better weather, or for better people to be there! 

We had 179 runners and 50+ volunteers who helped make the 5th running of the Loopet Loppet an amazing event. Our participants ranged from 11 years old to 74 years young, and came from 10 different states and provinces. We had individual finishes ranging from 5 to 69 miles and team totals from 24 to 93 miles. This means that two new course records were set! Nicholas Horton’s 69 miles beat the previous men’s category individual record by 2. And, the Lowry Lads’ 93 miles broke the previous team record by 6 miles!

Just as impressive were the number of folks who shared with me that they had set personal bests–whether that was a first ever trail run, hitting a distance PR with the first loop, a first race back after a new baby, reaching a first ultramarathon distance, or talking a nervous family member into joining a relay team. And, the number of folks who completed (or almost completed!) a lap in the last 10 seconds was one of my favorite things of the day–it’s not whether or not you made it to the line in time–it’s that you tried! Many people broke into tears as they told me their accomplishments of the day, and I couldn’t help but get choked up as well. 

While we love to see our course and personal records tumble, our number one goal for the Loopet is to be the most welcoming and approachable ultra endurance event around. We are proud to be part of the Loppet, where all events now recognize awards in a non-binary category. We were certified as a Trail Sisters Approved event for the first time this year – and a full 45% of our participants were in the Female category. There’s still room for growth in this area, and if you have any thoughts or ideas about how we can improve, please reach out! 

Huge thanks to the most amazing set of volunteers. There were volunteers on site well before any runners arrived, and long after all the runners had left. These volunteers worked tirelessly to get the course, start/finish area, and aid station set up and taken down. They patched you up when you found a root and took a tumble. They made sure to keep you well fueled. They made sure that we were able to track you all throughout the day and that a friendly face was there to help you make the confusing left turn. And they gave out an enormous amount of door prizes!

I also want to send a huge shout out to our hosting organization, our partners, and our sponsors without whom we would not be able to make this happen.

The Loppet Foundation

The Loppet’s mission is to connect people to the outdoors through experiences that grow community.

Missing Link Running

A trail running club coached by Loopet Race Director, David Bitner, based in the Twin Cities, Missing Link helps people build strength and endurance for trail runs ranging from 5k to 100 miles.

Performance Running Gym

You saw this amazing crew, helmed by the incredible Jake Wyant, every time you came through the amazing Loopet Aid Station. Performance Running Gym is the Twin Cities Gym for runners and endurance athletes, and also facilitates the Loppet Run Club.


Growing plants and supplying much-needed oxygen to Loppet athletes since 1885.

Precision Performance Physical Therapy

Precision Performance Physical Therapy’s Cara Battles is one of the Loppet’s most popular endurance strength coaches. Precision will get you back on track to improve your body, balance, and quality of movement.

ZIP Running

Minnesota-based Zip Running Company designs running backpacks and gear specifically for run commuters. Maybe you tried on one of their awesome Commute Packs on Saturday? For 10% off your order, enter the discount code: Loopet

In a world where the  “no candy” route may always be the easiest, we are thrilled that you all chose to take the extra steep and winding “candy” route by stepping up to the Loopet start line. We hope you all are enjoying the sweet rewards, and we hope we’ll see you next year.

David Bitner | Missing Link Running Coach | Loopet Race Director

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