The River Restoration Trail Run
How It All Began
Accountable for many great things, synchronicity is responsible for the creation of the River Restoration Trail Run. A friend sent a friend a book, and while they later marveled over the exposure of harmful running myths, the marathon idea was first imagined and naturally would promote education on less harmful running. After hearing about the loss of Caballo Blanco, it was decided that the run would honor him, thus the White Horse and an ultra were included.
Needing to raise funds for their river restoration project, the board of Golden Lotus, Inc. (the parent organization of Song of the Morning) enthusiastically supported the proposal of a run as a fund raising campaign. They agreed to hold the marathon on thirteen miles of scenic, plush trails running through their property and supported providing environmental classes and information during the marathon weekend.
No concrete, asphalt, or hard pact stone, the trails beds are mainly plush earth through a variety of diverse ecological areas including hard and soft wood forest, river meadows, and stunning lake vistas. The rolling topography in this area of Michigan has mild elevations, but the trails do include some challenging climbs and a few steep descents. More often the trail winds up and down hills highlighting the beauty of the forest or skirts the waterway on either side of the river. You’ll know that you are in the forest as you meander through 800 acres within 90,000 acres of protected State Forest.
The half marathon, full marathon, 60k, and 80K are completed by running this amazing trail one to four times respectively. The race starts on a mile and a half of wide trail road which slowly narrows to provide space between runners early on in the run before entering sweet single track trails. Frequent passing areas naturally occur and the aid stations are provided in two to three mile increments where possible. The Pigeon River Forest is home to Michigan’s famous elk herd and all of this state’s other wild animal species; eagle sightings are common, Sasquatch rarely seen. It’s a trail you’ll want to run again and again.