Afton Trail Run Volunteer Email 3 2021

Date: Thursday June 24, 2021
Subject: Afton Trail Run Volunteer Email 3 2021 – ( 2021 Afton Trail Run Volunteer Assignments )

Hi All!

Thank you so much for your willingness to help with the 27th Annual Afton Trail Run on Friday July 2 and Saturday July 3, 2021. I am excited for this one, I hope you are too! Cheri and I were both born, raised and still live in Hastings – I have been visiting Afton State Park since I was a little kid. We have been directing Afton since 2007 and we are grateful for the opportunity to usher the race back after the tumultuous year-and-a-half we all just experienced. Normally 200+ volunteers, we have paired it down to 82 this year – the best of the best 😉 When you have a chance please review the following information.

Volunteer Assignments:
Volunteer assignments have been made and are available HERE – please be sure to search the list by both name and by job, keeping in mind that you may be assigned multiple days and multiple jobs/locations. As always, I do the best with the information that you provide to me; but I have been known to make some assumptions, take some liberties and make some mistakes, so please let me know if something does not look right or work for you!

General Feel of The Event:
While many things at this year’s Afton Trail Run will be similar to this year’s Zumbro Endurance Run and Superior Spring Trail Race as far as the modifications go, some modifications are going away, and we are taking a step towards a little more normalcy on a few things. If you are fully vaccinated you do not need to wear a mask. If you are not vaccinated you should wear a mask. Also feel free to wear a mask if it makes you feel more comfortable. Generally / where possible please give folks space as everyone has a different comfort level as we emerge from the pandemic. Please hand-sanitize frequently throughout the event. Afton will be a busier race than both Zumbro and Superior Spring as there are more runners per wave and per day, the state park is a busier venue with general-public visitors than Zumbro and Superior Spring, and we will be adding a few more amenities (and volunteers) to the aid stations. That said, it will still be much quieter than years past. Right now we have under 300 runners registered per day and they are all prepared to be more self-sufficient than normal – normally Afton has 950 registered runners in a single day event.

Thursday Setup:
Those helping with Setup on Thursday July 1, please meet at our trailer which will be in the parking lot adjacent to the start / finish area. We will be setting up tents and getting supplies and equipment out to aid stations.

Packet Pickup / Check-In Volunteers:
Packet pickup this year will be under the tent in the field adjacent to the start / finish line(s), NOT in the Visitors Center as it has been in years past. Check-in volunteers should report to Cheri Storkamp on race morning(s).

Parking Volunteers:
Those volunteers helping with parking, please report to Bill Pomerenke on Friday, and Bill Pomerenke / Roberty Litchy on Saturday near our trailer which will be in the parking lot adjacent to the start / finish area. You will be issued a vest and flag, may exchange phone numbers with Bill and / or Robert for coordination and will be given direction from there.

Aid Stations Protocol:
We want runners to have the ability to, and be given the option to fill their own water bottles and bladders via our hands-free jug filler (we only have enough for one per aid station), but we will also communicate to them in advance that they can ask the aid station workers to fill their bottles / bladders from pitchers (these are the same things you can ask them when they come into your aid station, “can I help you with anything or would you like to do it yourself?”). Afton is a hot weather event and for safety, we will have ice as in years past. We ask that runners NOT self-serve ice, that volunteers give it out to runners using the provided ladles (used as scoops) in order to fill bladders, bottles, put in hats, shorts, sports bras etc (if specifically asked to do so of course). Note, there will be no sports drinks, salt pills, soda or cups at the aid stations. We are going to be providing 3 or 4 types / varieties of pre-packaged snacks (probably Goldfish Crackers, Teddy Grahams, Nut/Vegan Trail Mix, fruit snacks and gels). We are thinking that there should be one table where a small number of each snack can be placed directly on the table so runners can grab a package and not contaminate other packages by reaching in with sweaty hands / arms / bodies (we will try to mock up a table in advance and send you a picture of what we are thinking). Generally we want to be more hands-off than in the past and ask runners if they want assistance rather than just helping them without asking as everyone has different proximity / “germ” tolerance as a result of Covid.

Aid Station Captains:
Aid station volunteers can report directly to your aid station / aid station captain.
Aid Station 1/2: Brian Klug
Aid Station 3/4: Mark Smith (Friday)
Aid Station 3/4: Mark Smith (Saturday)
Aid Station 5: Jeff Miller
Aid Station 6: Alex Bartley

Aid Station Parking / Directions:
Aid Station 1/2 (park at Afton Alps)
Aid Station 3/4 (park in main lots, furthest North)
Aid Station 5 (park on road to group camp, camper cabins and yurts)
Aid Station 6 (park in main lots, aid station is adjacent to the start / finish lines.

HAM Radio:
There will be one radio operator at each aid station. Should you need more water or ice, other resupply, have an emergency, a DNF to report, etc. all communications should be routed through your radio operator.

Medical Support:
Historically we have had Hastings EMS on stand-by with an ambulance at Afton. We are still awaiting to hear if they can cover this year’s event as staffing / scheduling has been really crazy for them over the past 18 months. Chalayne Palmgren, an EMT will be volunteering for the race both days.

Finish Line:
There will be no picnic as in years past but we will have some volunteers handing out cans of Coke, Ginger Ale and Freezies to runners when they finish.

Additional Reading Assignment:
If you have not read it already, I would like to ask you to take a look over this year’s event info for runners on our website HERE Being familiar with this information will help make you the best resource possible for the runners.

That is everything I have for you today. Please let me know if you have any questions and I will get right back to you. Thanks so much, I look forward to seeing you all next week!

Thank You,

John Storkamp
Race Director



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.