Ely Marathon runners go 26.2 miles portaging canoes

[DISPLAY_ULTIMATE_SOCIAL_ICONS]The Ely Marathon must be one of the most beautiful in the country, held during peak autumn leaf color, and it boasts a northwoods twist – some of the runners portage canoes for 26.2 miles, or about 8,390 rods.

Running in the wilderness

This year’s marathon began at YMCA Camp Du Nord and trekked along Burntside Lake down the Echo Trail, through Winton and finished in downtown Ely. Divisions included the full marathon, half marathon, canoe portage race, kids race and evening 5K.

In addition to drawing runners from Minnesota, the race is gaining nationwide attention and hopes to attract more participants from across the country to experience Superior National Forest and the Ely area, visitors who might not otherwise consider an adventure to the Boundary Waters region.

Race route challenges involve inclines and declines, gravel, traffic, and the potential for wildlife. There were 18 entrants in the marathon divisions that opted for the additional challenge of carrying canoes. Even ultralight canoes can be 40lbs, which means shoulder pain and the added difficulty of balancing a boat while running. Canoe portage marathoner Dan Drehmel told Runner’s World: “It feels so cool to be part of this amazing race that’s part of the identity here in northern Minnesota.”

Time-lapse video of the Ely Marathon 2019:


Full Results From the Race here >

Ely Marathon web site here >

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