Looking for a reason to test out those new trail running shoes you just picked up at Fin & Feather? How about an awesome trail or adventure race to train for? Even better yet, how about a trail race close to home? Lucky for us Iowa City denizens, if don’t mind a short drive there are several awesome adventure and trail races coming up soon across the state of Iowa.
Ottumwa, Iowa – May 27th
Mark your calendars now for the Olmitz Miner Adventure Race because it’s happening in May. Hosted by the Happy Mutant Adventure Race Series, this 72 hour / 300 mile adventure race will put your everyday athlete to the test when it comes to canoe paddling, mountain biking and land navigation. Each team (up to 4 members) is required to reach certain checkpoints in this all-day, all-night adventure race, and it isn’t a recommended event for your first experience outdoors. Sure to be a good time, if not brutal. If the Olmitz Miner is slightly out of your league right now you might consider using some of these other trail runs to train for next year!
Booneville, Iowa – May 28th
Looking for a real way to test your grit? How about signing up for a 100 mile race spanning the backroads of Booneville, Iowa and touring the fabled bridges of Madison County. Chances are, if you haven’t been training for a 100 mile race already you won’t be signing up today for your chance at glory. Instead consider the other race options, all with a little more manageable distances and just as good views.
Decorah, Iowa – June 4th
Every age in the book can enjoy the pleasant surroundings of Decorah, Iowa, and nearly every age can enjoy the spirited fun of the Driftless Discovery Trail Run. Featured as a family-friendly event (kids under 13 register for free), this engaging trail run takes you through Van Peenen Memorial Park and uses a portion of trail that is included in Decorah’s 27 miles of singletrack. A great way to see a beautiful part of Iowa, this trail run will be a great experience for anyone that wants to stretch the legs a bit.
Ida Grove, Iowa – August 20
Travel back through history with the Moorehead Park Trail Mazathon in August. This inagural event will take runners around an 8.8 mile lap (with options to do it once, twice or three times for a full marathon), along an old stagecoach road passing one of the first settlements in the area, as well as a historic cemetery which runners are asked to pay their respects to. This course will have hills not all Iowan’s are accustomed to, but the scenic beauty and changing landscape will be enough fuel to keep you going.
Shenandoah, Iowa – September 10th
Looking for a scenic way to qualify for the Boston Marathon? How about a 26-mile course that isn’t concrete? Well then look no further than the Wabash Nature Trail Marathon in Shenandoah this spring. Comprised primarily of the Wabash Nature Trail, an old converted railroad line, this long-distance course ends in beautiful downtown Shenandoah with trees lining your whole way there. A great run for a qualifier or just for fun, the Wabash Nature Trail Marathon may take some training but it will be well worth the miles once you cross the finish line.