July 2005 Happenings
Keweenaw Trail Running Festival welcomes Kenyan runners July 8-10
COPPER HARBOR -- Like the sport of trail running itself, the Keweenaw Trail Running Festival (KTRF) continues to grow. In past years the event has attracted runners from 26 states, Canada, England, and Austria. The sixth running of the event
from Friday through Sunday, July 8-10, will feature four runners from Kenya.
|Irene Chuma (in blue) is one of four Kenyan runners
who will compete in the 2005 Keweenaw Trail Running Festival. (Photo
courtesy Jeff Crumbaugh. Reprinted with permission.)
Coach Lee Chirchir, who directs a high-altitude training camp on the Kenyan-Ugandan border, contacted Jeff Crumbaugh, KTRF director, in early May to inquire about invitations for four of his top runners. Irene Chuma, Silas Soy, Edward
Kitur and Julius Tarus will make the trip from the mountain village of Kitale, just north of Eldoret, in eastern Kenya. The quartet of elite distance runners are not Kenya's top runners but still boast 10-km times in the 28-29-minute range and marathon times between 2:11 and 2:14. The Kenyan runners are looking forward to the rugged Keweenaw trails, which are increasingly viewed as some of the best in the world.
|Julius Tarus, right, is another Kenyan runner who
will participate in the 2005 Keweenaw Trail Running Festival. (Photo courtesy
The KTRF has made several changes this year to improve the experience of its participants.
The 10-km race on Saturday has been moved from McLain State Park to Gratiot River North, near Ahmeek. The 10-km route is a moderate-to-easy route that features views of the Gratiot River and trail along rugged Lake Superior shoreline.
A 2-km Youth Run will also be held at Gratiot River North on Saturday. Parents
may accompany their children.
The 5.8 km Hill Climb on Saturday evening will remain in Eagle Harbor. Runners will make the 821-foot climb starting at the beach in Eagle Harbor and run 5.8
km to the summit of Mt. Lookout. This Keweenaw peak features some of the best panoramic vistas in the entire region and keeps runners coming back every year.
Following the hill climb, runners traditionally enjoy a plunge in Lake Superior and a lasagna dinner at the Shoreline Café in Eagle Harbor.
Sunday's 25-km event has been moved from the Maasto Hiihto trails in Hancock to the trail network in Copper Harbor, with the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge serving as the event's home base. The 25-km
race will start and finish at the Mountain Lodge and feature trails along French Annie Creek, Lake Manganese and Lake Fannie
Hooe. It is a technically challenging route
with a stream crossing and hilly terrain.
After the 25-km event on Sunday morning, the staff at the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge will serve the runners a breakfast featuring all organic or locally grown foods.
The KTRF has enjoyed national media attention in Runner's World (2001 and 2003) and in June 2005 issue of
Running Times Magazine.
Runners receive Organic cotton t-shirts and locally crafted pottery for their efforts in the multi-day trail event.
Event sponsors include Downwind Sports, Vasque, Montrail, Patagonia, Inov-8, Smartwool, Gregory, Petzl, Hammer Nutrition, Smartfuel, Pearl Dove Foods, and Guayaki Teas. An expo featuring these products will be held from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, July 8, at the Mountain Lodge.
Runners who are interested in participating in the KTRF can visit www.keweenawtrails.com
or call 715.823.9138 for more information.
Visit the KTRF Web pages on Keweenaw Trails for the event schedule.
Visit the Keweenaw Now discussion forums to comment
on this article.
Want to stay in the K-NOW? Don't miss out on the whole story. Find out how you can help.
Hire a Writing Pro
Does the writing on your Web site leave something to be desired? Thesis grammar getting you down? Find out how we can help.
Lure Our Readers to You
Our readers share your passion for the Keweenaw Peninsula. Lure them to
you through banners, sponsorships, and more.