Directions / location of the race start and finish and aid station 5 (West Assembly Area):
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Below is some detailed information for those who are coming from out of town, out of state or out of the country to run the Zumbro 100 Mile Endurance Run, the Zumbro Midnight 50 or the 17 mile race. Hopefully the information below will help make your trip and your overall experience one that you will not forget.
We get a lot of general questions from people traveling to the race – from our own experience, there are a few ways to travel from out of town and do a race. 1.) Fly-in and fly-out 2.) Make a short-vacation out of it 3.) Make an extended vacation out of it. There are many ways to do this for Zumbro, but below are some of our personal thoughts, ideas and recommendations - take it for what its worth.
Fly-In / Fly-Out:
If the plan is to arrive just a day or two before the start of the race and then leave right away after, I would fly into Minneapolis – MSP (city that the airport is in is actually Bloomington) , I would rent a car and would travel to / stay in Lake City – which is approximately 2 hours south of Minneapolis. If you need to sleep after your flight, there are many hotels within close proximity of the airport. Regardless of what Google says, I would drive to Hastings Minnesota then head south on Highway 61 from there – an even more scenic route would include going from the airport to Hastings, then to Welch, Red Wing, Frontenac State Park, Old Frontenac, then to Lake City – be sure to checkout each small town along the way. If you are really in a hurry, just take the most direct route. Lake City is a nice small town, they have a few modest hotels (I can’t really vouch for one over another – try the website – Trip Advisor), a few decent restaurants (Nosh is a good restaurant and there are a few others) and it is on Lake Pepin (part of the Mississippi river – it is a very beautiful lake). Once in Lake City you are about a 20 minute drive from the race start. Do the race and drive back the way you came – wala.
Now, if you are arriving extra early and want to see / do more – right after arriving (or just prior to leaving) you might want to checkout the Mall of America, it is one of the largest malls in the world and it is right next tot the airport. Uptown Minneapolis is also fun, interesting, hip and trendy with lots of shopping and restaurants – you might want to checkout the Walker Art Museum if you go to uptown or go for a walk around the lakes (Harriett, Calhoun, Lake of the Isles etc.). Grand Avenue in St. Paul offers much of the same but is a bit more sophisticated – a drive down Summit avenue showcases early mansions of the area. Both Downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul have much to offer as well, but you have to be ambitious and really want to venture into the city if you are heading to either downtown.
Now, if you prefer to get out of the city quickly and want to take in some sights I would suggest doing a kind of an abbreviated road-trip starting in Taylors Falls. This is by no means a direct route to the race start, but a neat way to see some of the state – you will start by heading about an hour Northeast to Taylors Falls, then will head south from there. Taylors Falls (and Interstate State Park – right across the St. Croix River from Taylors Falls in Wisconsin) is a beautiful area with lots of great hiking and great views. I would then go south on Highway 95, stop at the Franconia Sculpture Garden, head through Marine On St. Croix (neat little town to check out), Stillwater (very cool St. Croix River town with lots of shopping, good restaurants and history) then take Highway 61 south through Hastings (Mississippi Rivertown same thing, shopping, antiques etc.), Red Wing (another great Mississippi river town), Frontenac State Park, Old Frontenac (slight detour off the main road, but worth it the short drive) then Lake City.
After the race, if you have to get back home fairly quickly after the race but have a day or two, I would suggest continuing south out of Lake city to Wabasha, crossing the Mississippi into the town of Nelson Wisconsin (going to the Nelson Cheese Factory) then heading north on Wisconsin 35 and checking out all the cool little towns and all the great views of Lake Pepin along the way. If you have a little more time, drive south through Wabasha and continue to Winona then cross the river over into LaCrosse Wisconsin on Highway 90, then head north on Wisconsin 35. This will eventually bring you to Prescott Wisconsin, from there you can take Highway 10 back to Highway 61 and get back to the airport fairly quickly.
If after (or before) the race, you plan to spend quite a bit of time in Minnesota, I would suggest going to Duluth and the North Shore – this is quite a bit further away, but a beautiful area of our state (the North Shore is where the Superior 100 takes place so this can also be counted as a recon trip for the 100 mile race in the fall). Duluth is about 2.5 hours north of Minneapolis and the North Shore and most of the places that are worth seeing are between 3.5 and 5.5 hours north of Minneapolis. Some of the places you can google in that area are Duluth, Lake Superior, Gooseberry Falls (Superior 100 Race Start), Split Rock Lighthouse, Palisade Head, Bean and Bear Lake, Temperance River, Lutsen (Superior 100 Mile Finish) Cascade Falls State Park, Grand Marais.
Summary and Other Useful Info:
Once you arrive in Minnesota, if you have found you have forgot any running related items, you will need to get them prior to leaving the Twin Cities as you will not find any running or outdoor gear shops south of the Twin Cities. Our sponsor Twin Cities Running Company (TC Running Co.) is about 15 minutes from the airport and REI is about 10 minutes from the airport.
This is by no means a comprehensive list of things to see and do in our state but a list of a few of the highlights you could work in while coming to do the race. I hope this gives you some good ideas and a place to get started on your trip to Minnesota and to the Zumbro 100 Mile Endurance Run. Our Facebook page for the race would be helpful also – I am sure anyone on there would be happy to answer questions. www.facebook.com/zumbro100 I have been all over the world and I like it here the best and think you will like it here too!
Zumbro 100 Mile Endurance Run