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COVID-19 Update

August 27, 2020


After consultation with our permitting officials and the City of Duluth, we have made our decision about this year's Wild Duluth races. We have good news and some bad news. The good news is that the Wild Duluth races are on, well half of them anyways. And the bad news is that we are forced to cancel the 100K and will also be cancelling the 10K on Sunday. State guidelines at the present time do not allow for out and back races. Our 100K is an out and back race and therefore would not be permitted. The feasibility of developing an entirely new course that doesn't utilize any out and backs for the 100K at this time is unrealistic. For the registered 100K and 10K runners, we sincerely apologize. We will allow all runners to move from the 100K to the 50K and the 10K to the Half Marathon in 2020. 100K and 10K runners will have a guaranteed spot in the 50K or Half Marathon if you've already registered. We will also allow currently registered 100K and 10K runners to defer their entry to 2021 if they so choose. 100K runners that choose to drop down to the 50K in 2020 will receive a credit toward their race entry next year if they so choose, to offset the cost difference between the 50K and 100K. You will need to contact us next year to ask for this credit should you choose to do this. Please let us know as soon as possible what you would like to do.

A few highlights of the changes that will be in place for the 2020 running of the Wild Duluth 50K and Harder n' Heck Half Marathon:

  • Both the 50K and Half Marathon will be capped at 250 runners. This is consistent with State guidelines and what our permitting agency, the City of Duluth, has told us.

  • The 50K will remain on Saturday October 17 and the Half Marathon will remain on Sunday October 18.

  • We will still be hosting the Wildman/Wildwoman Challenge for runners completing both the 50K on Saturday and Half Marathon on Sunday

  • We will most likely not be charging a late fee to enter the race this year.

  • For both races we will have wave starts of no more than 25 runners at a time with 10 minutes between each wave. We are still determining how we will set up our waves and will let you know the process prior to the race date. We are also still determining mask requirements for the start line.

  • We will have chip timing this year to accommodate wave starts.

  • No large gatherings or groups at the start.

  • No spectators at the start/finish and no spectators in general.

In addition to these highlights, race day, race support and pre and post race activities will be quite different this year.

  • Pre-race briefing will likely be via Zoom meeting the night before the race

  • We will have no pre-race gathering as usual. Runners will be assigned to waves and will arrive at the race "ready to run".

  • Volunteer staffing will be greatly minimized to protect the safety of our volunteers.

  • Aid stations will be unstaffed and will not serve any food items at all this year. In essence, they aren't really aid stations but only water stops.

  • We will have water jugs in place at our regular aid station locations. Prior to entering each aid station, we will have a hand sanitizing station. Runners will be REQUIRED to wash/sanitize their hands prior to moving on to the water jugs. Failure to do so will result in disqualification from the race. We will have one volunteer at each aid station to ensure that water jugs are full. You will either fill your own water bottles/reusable cup/bladder after cleaning your hands or the aid station volunteer will fill your bottle/cup/bladder for you.

  • You will be required to carry a mask with you. You will not have to wear a mask while running, but may need to put on the mask when in the aid station if you cannot maintain appropriate physical distancing while in the aid station. We recommend runners just put on their mask when coming into an aid station. We are considering making masks mandatory in aid stations as well but haven't decided yet on this one.

  • You will have to be much more self-sufficient at this year's races. You will need to carry all of your nutrition, food, hydration drink mix powder with you. As such, you will need a running pack if you plan to carry food or nutrition.

  • We will be allowing drop bags for the 50K at our regular drop bag intervals. You can access your drop bag for extra clothing or nutrition items at those locations. When accessing your drop bag, if other runners are present, please wear your mask.

  • Unfortunately, there will be no post race meal this year. Runners will be encouraged to finish the race and leave soon after. Essentially, we can have no more than 25 runners in a location at any time. This will unfortunately require that runners leave shortly after finishing. The social aspect is one of the best parts of our race, but this is what we must do if we want to hold the race this year.

  • We will be testing runners temperatures when they arrive at the race site or enter the corral prior to their race start. We'll be working these details out.

  • If you're feeling ill at all, exhibiting any Covid-19 symptoms, or have been exposed to someone with Covid-19, please stay home.

  • There will most likely be no packet pick up the night before the race. When you arrive in the morning for your wave start, you will get your race number, race shirt and official race face mask. You will be required to wear a mask when you're picking up your race stuff and we will have marked lines while at packet pick up to ensure physical distancing. You will get your finishers award when you finish the race. We'll be working out these details as well and will let you know if anything changes.

  • Race start times for the first waves will likely remain the same.


We believe with these measures in place we can host a safe race. Nothing is certain, but with care from both race staff and runners, we can make this work. As of now, the race is on. Of course things can change prior to the race date, guidelines could be changed and protocols updated. We will let you know as soon as possible if anything changes. We may be updating our race protocols as we get closer to race day and will post updates on our facebook page and website.


With runner limits of 250 for each race, we believe both races will fill. We would recommend registering soon if you want to race Wild Duluth in October to be sure you have a spot. Please let us know if you have any questions or additional recommendations. We hope to see you all on race day! Stay safe and stay healthy!

Take care,

Andy and Kim

June 27, 2020


We hope you are all doing well and staying safe and healthy.  It's been a crazy year and we're doing our best to try to move our events forward and stay afloat, but the challenges for all of us continue to mount.  We'd like to provide you with a little update of where things currently stand for our October 17-18 Wild Duluth races.


As of now, we are still planning to host our races in October.  We hope that things will settle down again and by mid-October and we'll be able to safely move forward with our events with additional safety protocols in place.  That said, if our events were scheduled for this weekend, they would have to be canceled.  Fortunately, we have some time for things to improve and for us to plan ahead.


We want you to know that we're working diligently to develop protocols for our race management that follow current best practices should we be allowed to move forward with our races as planned.  We're working with our permitting agencies to be sure we're operating within their Covid-19 safety parameters.  We'll post our specific Covid-19 race safety protocols once we've finalized them and we're getting closer to the event.  It's possible our event won't be permitted to go ahead as planned or the situation may not be safe enough, in our estimation, to proceed.  We hope that's not the case, but we have to be prepared for that scenario.


For those that have already registered for the event or those that might be planning to register in the near future, in the event of cancellation, our plan will be to:


1.  Allow runners to defer their race entry to next year’s race (2021). 
2.  Allow runners to defer their race entry to another race that we direct later in the year (Last Runner Standing or Duluth Winter Trail Running Series). 

3.  Runners may donate their entry if they choose.


Wild Duluth races have a no refund policy, as is common with most races in the country. Unfortunately, many of the expenses races have, including permits, venue rental and supplies are committed far in advance of the race and we rely on race entries to cover these costs. Deferring entries to other races and the following year will certainly have an impact on our bottom line, and from a financial standpoint it is a challenging and difficult decision, but it will not be as severe as full race refunds would be. We hope you understand this policy and if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us any time.


We don't anticipate offering a virtual race option for Wild Duluth, but are working on another virtual race event that runners could participate in should Wild Duluth be cancelled.  We'll let you know about those options as soon as they're finalized.  


We really hope Wild Duluth can go ahead as planned.  We know this year won't be the same, with the need for social distancing, staggered starts, PPE/masks, minimizing crew support, restrictive aid station protocols, minimizing pre and post race mingling and other precautions but we'll do the best we can to create a safe and fun event should we be able to proceed.  Stay tuned for more information as plans evolve and please stay safe and healthy.


Happy Trails,

Andy and Kim

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