15 Fall Trail Races Under 15 Miles - Page 7
Dirty Duel 5K or 6K
Grand Rapids, MI
Nov. 15, 2014
Photo by Jamie Geysbeek, courtesy of Mark VanTongeren.
“3 dirty trail systems, 2 dueling courses, 1 tough decision,” says the Dirty Duel website. All runners begin together, then arrive at a fork in the first 100 yards and must decide which course to tackle—the “Long and Difficult 6K,” which takes place on lightning-fast singletrack, or the “Short and You’ve Gotta Be Kidding Me 5K,” which is packed with challenging sand dunes, corn fields and off-trail scrambling. Says race director Mark VanTongeren, “Man-made obstacles get all the media attention these days but we want to demonstrate that trail running can offer natural obstacles superior to man-made versions.” Runners celebrate at the finish with homemade donuts and apple cider from the race course host, Robinette’s Apple Haus and Winery.
Corn maze! Terry Johnston Photography, courtesy Red Bull.
Living History Farms 7-Mile
Nov. 22, 2014
Photo courtesy of the Living History Farms race website
Now in its 36th year, the biggest cross-country race in North America promises to challenge its runners on “the world's richest farm land as you wade through creeks, dodge farm animals and claw your way to the top of gullies with 7500 (limit) other runners of questionable senses.” Crazy costumes abound on the supremely muddy course, complete with icy creek crossings and, in true Iowa style, heaps of cow manure. At the finish line, hot food and door prizes await. The terse FAQ section on the website features just five questions: “Will it be cold? Probably! Will I get wet? Probably! Will I get dirty? Probably! Do I need gloves? Yes! How far is it? 7 miles.” ‘Nuff said.