Ham Run Happenings
There is still time to sign up for the 6th Annual Ham Run Half-Marathon and 5k Fun Run on the Gunflint Trail. The event is this Sunday, May 5th and the races begin at 10am with the Little Runts Run to begin around 1pm. It’s a great excuse to get some exercise, visit the Gunflint Trail, get outdoors and not feel too guilty about eating some ham!
Some people still aren’t sure why we named the race the Ham Run. It has to do with the fact the Ham Lake Fire of 2007 is why the race was started. The fire took off and ran along the Gunflint Trail leaving patches of charred landscape. The Gunflint Trail community wanted to commemorate the event and help the forest recover so Gunflint Green Up was started.
Ham Run takes place during the Gunflint Green Up where folks help with various green up projects. The Ham Run strives to be a "green" race offering online registration, eco-friendly shirts, re-usable race bags, cup-free racing, composting, recycling, ride share and compostable tableware. I’ve been told serving ham at the end of the race isn’t very "earth-friendly" but it fits the name and I don’t claim to be perfect.
It’s a great community event because people come together for a common cause. The support of the community during the Ham Lake Fire was overwhelming and this is a way to say, "Thanks" and to give something back to the community that was so generous in 2007. It’s a good reminder that we have each other’s backs and can work together toward a common goal.
The Ham Run wouldn’t be possible without the help of many volunteers and area non-profits. The non-profit groups that participate at the Ham Run receive a small donation toward their organization for helping out. We have groups such as the Boy Scouts, Cook County Hockey Association, JO Volleyball team and downhill ski racing teams working water stations. Other groups helping with meals or other tasks include the running team, Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Great Expectations Charter School, Blue Line Club and Cooperation Station Daycare. The race wouldn’t be possible without the help of the Gunflint Trail Volunteer Fire Department and the Boundary Waters Amateur Radio Club. There are almost as many volunteers as runners at our event, not something many other races can boast.
If you’re looking for a good way to support the community or a reason to visit the Gunflint Trail this weekend now you have it. Come support the Ham Run, we’d love to see you on the Trail Less Traveled.