2017 Afton 50K Winner Jayna Tomalty – Photo Credit Mike Wheeler

 

An interview with 2017 Afton 50K winner Jayna Tomalty (JT).  Interview conducted by John Storkamp (JS) – Afton Trail Run Race Director

 

JS – Jayna!  Congratulations on your Afton 50K win last weekend and what I believe is your first ultra win, is that correct?​

JT – Thank you! Yes, this was my first ultra win.

 

JS – If you take some time to look down the list of past Afton 50K winners, it is an impressive list of names, how does it feel to be included on that list?

JT – Humbled.

 

JS – I called you out directly in my pre-race write-up as a favorite for the win – you have a good number of top 5 finishers at local trail / ultra races, you had a solid Superior 50K and I had heard you had been training well – it just seemed to me that you were ready for this… did it feel that way to you?

JT – I’m so relieved that I didn’t read your pre-race write-up until after the race!  Yes, Superior 50k definitely helped me feel mentally ready for Afton and I had the opportunity to get out to Afton quite a few times before the race.

 

JS – It looks like you ran a really well paced race, you were about 1 minute behind Rebekah (who ended up placing 2nd) at the 25K split and you finished just under 1 minute ahead of her! When did you pass her and did you know it was that close at the end?

JT – Yes, overall my pace felt steady. I need to work on not going too fast at the start 🙂 I ran a few miles close to Rebekah during the second loop. She has such a strong stride! Then I had to go to the bathroom so I figured that I wouldn’t see her again. It wasn’t until I was in the Snowshoe loop that I realized how close she was. I actually didn’t pass her until the last hill before the finish! It could have been either one of us.

 

JS – What is next for you after this, I am guessing you are excited to get out and race some more this year?

JT – Voyageur… this will be my first 50 mile. I’m excited and borderline terrified.

 

JS – Anything else you would like to share about the day or about your race?

JT – Thanks to all of the volunteers who worked on the trails before and after! I always had exactly what I needed at every aid station and was greeted with such enthusiastic cheering 🙂 Also, on a side note, I ran a loop the day after the race and didn’t see one single gel packet or any littering. So impressive for such a big race!

 

JS – Thanks you so much Jayna for your time!

JT – Of course! Thanks John

+ Click HERE for Quick Info

Afton Trail Run
50KM & 25KM Trail Races
Afton State Park – Hastings, Minnesota
July 1st, 2017
50KM 6:30AM
25KM 7:30AM

Registration:
Opens Sunday January 1st 2017 at 12:01AM CST
Closes Friday June 23rd 2017 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.

50KM:
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

25KM:
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.