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What’s Up in Ultra This Weekend — July 6

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What’s the best cure for a Western States hangover? Getting right back on the trails at one of the 27 events on this weekend’s UltraRunning Magazine race calendar!

Quebec Mega Trail

We kick off this week’s What’s Up in Ultra at one of the most prestigious and competitive trail races in Canada, the 12th annual Quebec Mega Trail. Featuring 10 races total and four ultra distances (100-mile, 110k, 80k and 50k), runners will tackle some of the most beautiful and challenging trails in Canada where they’ll make their way along the magnificent St. Lawrence River from Charlevoix to Mont-Sainte-Anne. All distances provide their unique challenges including technical trails, heat and humidity, and plenty of elevation gain with 21,325 feet of climbing in the 100-mile race, 16,000 in the 100k, 11,500 in the 80k and 7,545 feet of gain in the 50k race. In addition to trail racing, the festival-like weekend features live music, exhibitor booths from top brands, family fun events and more. You can follow the live broadcast here.

Afton Trail

Our next stop takes us to beautiful Afton State Park, just east of Minneapolis, Minnesota, for the 30th running of the Afton Trail 50k. Run along the banks of the St. Croix River, the popular race attracts hundreds of runners annually, with 352 participants currently registered for this year’s ultra distance (and over 650 in the accompanying 25k). Runners will start and finish at the Afton State Park Visitors Center where they’ll run two 25k loops winding through woodlands and prairies on the park’s well-maintained trail system. Each loop features seven long climbs and descents rising from the river valley combining for a net elevation gain of 4,670 feet for the entire course. The Afton Trail Run makes a financial donation to the state park each year and contributes hours of volunteer work to keep the trails in great shape for everyone to enjoy.

Silver Rush 50

Heading west (and up in altitude), we journey to Leadville, Colorado, for the 16th running of the Silver Rush 50. Starting at over 10,000 feet above sea level and climbing as high as 12,000 feet, Silver Rush will leave your lungs burning and your heart racing. The out-and-back route begins and ends at the Cloud City Ski Hut where participants will navigate 7,500 feet of climbing and descending on dirt roads first set by miners and their burrows. The course takes runners between historic gold and silver mines, and features stunning panoramas of the surrounding 14,000-foot Rocky Mountains. Silver Rush 50 is part of the Leadville Race Series and awards 50 qualifier coins into the Leadville 100. There will be 25 slots awarded based on results, and another 25 distributed through the event lottery. Participants have 14 hours to complete the course for an official finish.

Wild Card: Buckeye Trail 50k

For this week’s Wild Card Race (where we feature an event you may not be familiar with), we travel to Brecksville, Ohio, for the 30th annual Buckeye Trail 50k. Starting at Brecksville Reservation, the out-and-back course takes runners through the heart of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park where they’ll climb and descend 2,500 feet on rolling trails complete with rocks, roots and stream crossings. The Buckeye Trail 50k is recognized as the oldest trail 50k in Ohio and is an extremely popular event with the Northeast Ohio trail running community, and many runners return year after year.

Other events this weekend include Silverton Alpine (Silverton, CO), The Kan (Spokane, WA), Run Under the Stars (Corydon, IN), Limberlost Challenge (Lake of Bays, ON), The Raven 50 Mile Ultra & Relay (Whitehorse, YT) and Redwing Trail Challenge (Lagrangeville, NY).

Happy Fourth of July and good luck to everyone racing this weekend!