May 28-29, 2022 saw another great year for the Back 9 Endurance Run. 33 runners came out to enjoy the trails and challenge themselves in the beautiful wilderness at the top of the Keweenaw for the 2022 Back 9 Endurance Run.
The race began promptly at 8:00 AM with a countdown by the race director, Tom Oliver. The first day of the challenge began with a calm, clear morning with comfortable temperatures in the upper 50’s. The weather remained optimal throughout the day and into the evening as the sun set. After dark, the wind picked up considerably and brought with it some light rain which resulted in several of the racers’ tents blowing down. As a result, the runners and spectators along with the scoreboard and the aid/refreshment station moved into the banquet hall at the south end of the Lodge.
The race is a 3.5 mile loop around the Lodge property. Runners choose to run for 12 or 24 hours. In that time, they run as many laps as they can. Each lap started and ended at the gazebo next to the historic Lodge building. As runners completed each lap, they recorded their lap time, and then either head out for another lap or X out on the board and call it a race!
The trail was well marked with reflective flags and glow sticks every 25-50 feet and with low light lanterns hung in the trees along the trail in the darkest part of the woods.
Near the start and finish line, the timer was set up to reflect the actual time and as runners completed a lap, they recorded the lap and time on the white board that had been moved into the banquet hall.
The race ended officially at 8:00 AM on 29 May 2022. An award ceremony was held directly after the last runner crossed the finish line. Each participant received a finisher medal, crafted by hand, by Aaron Maki of Old Hand Design Company. The participants with the greatest number of laps in each category took home a distinctive, hand-crafted, first place medal.
Registration packets included a Back 9 Endurance Run t-shirt along with a trail map were provided to each runner. Additionally, we love to educate our participants on our status as an internationally recognized Dark Sky Park. In doing so, we explain the importance of reducing light pollution and the use of red lens light sources during dark events, such as the Back 9 Endurance Run. We also explain the Leave No Trace Initiative which encourages guests to leave as little evidence of their presence in nature as possible. Guests can do this by carrying out all trash that they carried into the wilderness. Also being cognizant of other life all around them and doing their best not to cause damage to trees, plants, and other animals.
Below is a summary of the results.
- 12-hour solo: Cory McDonald, 17 laps (62.4 miles)
- 24-hour solo: Cade Meyer and Lucy Campbell, 17 laps (62.4 miles)
- 12-hour 2-person team: COVID Cavaliers , 13 laps (47.7 miles)
- 24-hour 4-person team: Total Hardness, 37 laps (134.7 miles)
More detailed results and pictures from the race can be found on the Back 9 Endurance website.
It was wonderful to see runners meeting and exceeding their goals, running their farthest distance yet, cheering each other on, and having fun. And the medals (hand made by Aaron Maki of Old Hand Design Company) and shirts (printed by Beau Warren at Tee See Tee) were a fun benefit for the participants.
We are looking forward to the 2023 Back 9 Endurance Run, and hope you are able to join us!