Up North: Runners Finish Just Shy of 100 Miles in First-Ever 'Last Runner Standing'

Eyewitness Sports
Updated: June 14, 2018 12:20 AM

It's a race that determines how many races a runner can complete before they can't run any longer. In its inaugural year, Race Director Andy Holak said he wanted to try and bring something different to Duluth.

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"I had heard about a race down in Tennessee that has a similar concept, so we decided to try and do something like that up here," said Holak.

The concept of the Last Runner Standing, is what convinced Hailey Boehmer and her husband, who were visiting from Madison, Wis. to sign up.

"It the most unique race I've heard of before. A lot of races are point to point and have a specific distance, so we're excited to try something new," said Beohmer following the first two races.

So how does the race work?

Every runner must complete the 4.2 mile loop course in exactly an hour going at their own pace. However, they must finish the race within the hour and be ready to start the next race within 60 minutes. If a runner failed to return within the hour, they were eliminated.

"It's a good way to get in a long training run without having to go really hard because you kind of have to pace yourself," said Michael Borst who was training for a 100 mile run later on this year.

With a new race starting every hour on the hour, strategy came into play. Especially since the course started off flat on the Superior Hiking Trail, before taking the plunge down Spirit Mountain.

"It's quite a steep decline and with kind of all the loose gravel right now it makes it a little extra tough. By the end of the race, you'll definitely hurt," added Borst.

"Definitely the trail setting is tough. There's some pretty steep parts out there," Boehmer said about the decline down Spirit Mountain.

Holak and his volunteers said that the race would continue to run until they had a winner.

"We'll be here until they have one runner left. It could be 20 hours, it could be 24 races or 24 hours or it could be maybe longer," said Holak.

Twenty-two hours and 22 races later, Nicholas Whitbread of Thundery Bay who had accumulated almost 100 miles claimed the first title of the the first-ever 'Last Runner Standing.'


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