The heat stands down (and just in time): Afton recap

by Alex Kurt – Reprinted with permission from 


25k: Moore, Lee win state trail titles

Joe Moore, of Minneapolis, ran his way to a USATF-MN Trail Championship and a Course Record at the Afton 25k Saturday. He outpaced former record holder and three-time defending champ Ben Kampf, former Gopher harrier of Minneapolis, to win in 1:37:10. The previous record was 1:37:39. Kampf finished in 1:38:52. Former D-III NCAA cross-country champ and Team USA Minnesota runner Josh Moen finished in 1:40:20 in his trail debut for third.

Emma Lee, of St. Paul, narrowly missed the course record, winning the women’s race in 1:55:13 (eighth overall). Melissa Gacek, of White Bear Lake, finished second (11th overall) in 1:59:41 and Anna French, of Plymouth, finished third (13th overall) in 2:00:01.

300 runners finished the Afton 25k – a number that would likely have been smaller had Minnesota’s week-long heat wave not subsided – all but miraculously – the night before.

Complete results can be found HERE

50k: Tracy returns with style, Rukavina-Rembleski is king of Afton

Forrest Tracy, of St. Paul, won the Afton 50k in 3:54:57, holding off a late-charging Dimitri Drekonja, of Minneapolis, by exactly one minute (Drekonja posted a 3:55:57) despite fading late. This is Tracy’s first ultra since 2009 (when he placed third at the Superior 50 Mile behind Chris Rubesch and John Horns) and only his second ever. Mike Bialick, of Minnetonka, was third in 4:00:25, and Chippewa winner Rasmus Hoeg, of La Crosse, Wisconsin, was fourth in 4:06:36.

In the women’s race, Watertown’s Eve Rukavina-Rembleski took home yet another Afton 50k title in 4:21:29, finishing just over 12 minutes ahead of Rebecca George, of Bater, who clocked a 4:33:42. Rukavina-Rembleski was 7th overall and George was 16th. Tracy Hoeg (Rasmus’ wife), of La Crosse, finished third (28th overall) in 4:51:58.

Complete results can be found HERE

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.