Trail time with friends – Photo Credit Cary Johnson


I have a confession to make. As I’ve gotten older, there are times I have feigned, hedged and ‘toned it down’ as to not sound like a running / endurance sports fanatic. Surely running is only so important. Surely it is too selfish an endeavor to occupy too prominent a role in our adult lives. After all, there are relationships to manage, kids to raise, bosses to please and mortgages to pay. And sometimes it’s true, I have more than enough energy for Saturday’s long-run and none leftover for Sunday’s yardwork. Even the most righteous act taken out of balance can become harmful.

Maybe there were times early in my running that too many eggs went into the running basket. Then again, running literally helped save my life.  As an adult, it routinely saves my sanity. We live in a time with heartbreaking rates of depression, addiction, overdose and suicide. Less dramatic but maybe more insidious is the general sense of anxiety, discontent, disconnect and malaise that so many feel. Running it turns out, is natures perfect medicine. Time outside, fresh air, exercise, time away from technology, an easy and accessible form of meditation, friendships made, meaningful conversations, shared interest and community are just some of the gifts we receive through running. These are all scientifically proven corollaries of mental, physical, spiritual health and longevity. In studies of the ‘blue zones’, those places on earth where people live the longest and most meaningful lives, one of the common and unifying factors is a sense of community. While many of us are fortunate to find ourselves part of multiple (family, faith, work) communities, we are blessed to be a part of this running community as well. You, as volunteers, are the vanguards of this community – trusted leaders that help create experiences and facilitate connections through these annual rituals that we call ‘races’. Thank you for doing these important works with me. For all of the gifts that we give, I know we in turn receive as many, if not more in return. My apologies if any of that sounds over the top – maybe I am a running fanatic after all.

I encourage you check out the complete event recap HERE

Thank you all, for everything. As always, please reach out if you need anything.


John Storkamp
Race Director
Afton Trail Run

Afton Trail Run
50KM & 25KM Trail Races
Afton State Park – Hastings, Minnesota
Saturday July 4, 2020
50KM 6:30AM
25KM 7:30AM

Opens Wedneday January 1, 2020 at 12:01AM CST
Closes Friday June 26, 2020 at 11:59PM CST
*Or once the field limit has been met
Complete Registration Details HERE

Directions to Race Start:
Afton State Park
6959 Peller Avenue South
Hastings, MN 55033
Hastings, Minnesota
Google Maps Directions HERE
Approx 25 minutes East of St. Paul, MN and 40 minutes East of Minneapolis, MN

Terrain / Course Description:
The Afton Trail Run consists of a hilly 25K loop (two loops for the 50K), winding through Afton State Park’s trail system. The race is held 100% off road, primarily on very runnable / not very technical single double and single track. There are 7 long climbs per loop, rising from the river valley and down again with a good mix of rolling and flat terrain between the hills.  Be sure to see maps, elevation charts and stats provided on this website HERE.

2 x 15.5 mile loops =  31 miles
Elevation Gain 4,670 FT
Elevation Loss 4,670 FT
NET Elevation Change 9,340 FT
11 Aid Stations
9 hour time limit
Complete 50KM Info HERE

1 x 15.5 mile loop = 15.5 miles
Elevation Gain 2,335 FT
Elevation Loss 2,335 FT
NET Elevation Change 4,670 FT
5 Aid Stations
8 hour time limit
Complete 25KM Info HERE

More About the Race / Area:
The Afton Trail Run is one of the most challenging and beautiful trail races around.  The race was established in 1994 and is now one of the oldest, largest and most competitive trail races in the country and routinely draws runners from all 50 states and beyond.  The race takes place entirely within the borders of Afton State Park.  Afton State Park lies on a glacial moraine, scribed with deep ravines running down to the St. Croix River.  The 169 mile St. Croix River was one of the original eight United States rivers to have significant portions placed under protection by the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968.  Within the park sandstone outcrops have been exposed in some of the ravines. The vertical drop from the blufftop to the water is 300 feet.  A few patches of remnant prairie survived the decades of farming that took place on the blufftop. Today the former fields are being restored to prairie and oak savanna. The ravines leading down to the riverbank are thickly wooded with oak, aspen, birch, and cherry.