Ham Run Half Marathon


Gunflint Trail


magine a run where the beauty of the wilderness surrounds you. Where only a few buildings dot the landscape and none block out the sky. Where cell phones won’t ring and distant traffic can’t be heard. A one of a kind race that travels along a National Scenic Byway that winds its way through the Superior National Forest on the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Granite outcroppings, roadside ponds and bubbling creeks welcome you to the great outdoors.

The Ham Run takes place miles from the nearest town in a pristine wilderness where moose, wolves and deer roam. Eagles soar overhead and loons can be heard calling in the distance. Nature surrounds you with each step you take on this journey. Spring is in the air and in your step as new growth awakens in the forest and the woods come alive after a long winter’s sleep.



here are very few places on the earth as beautiful as the Gunflint Trail and there is no other race course like it in the world. It is a special place that must be treated with respect and protected for future generations to enjoy. We tread lightly and in doing so we make as little impact as possible.

Taking place during the forest’s green up just after Earth Day it is only natural the Ham Run is a green race. Every effort to conserve resources and leave no trace is taken. As an Endurance Magazine’s Race without a Trace the Ham Run is changing the world one step at a time by implementing environmentally friendly practices at our running event.

If you care for the environment and appreciate the beauty of the wilderness then make the choice to Run the Trail Less Traveled…


The Ham Run Half Marathon will be fun for everyone.

Racers may pick up their registration materials, t-shirt and race bibs beginning at 1pm on Friday, May 1st at the Cook County Community YMCA in Grand Marais, MN. Packets must be picked up by 9pm and can be picked up by a registered participant’s designated family member or friend if registrant cannot be there. Designee must provide a copy of registrant’s driver’s license or photo id to the race staff. Proof of driver’s license or photo identification is mandatory and will serve as a confirmation that registration materials have been given to the registrant’s designee.

Racers will find more detailed information about spectator spots, parking and post race festivities in their registration packet. Racers must be checked in at the race start at Gunflint Pines Resort and Campground by 9:30am on Saturday May 2nd, 2014.

Information about lodging can be found on the accommodations page of this website.

The following USATF race rules will be adopted for the Ham Run; absolutely no strollers, pets, bicycles or inline skates will be allowed on the race course and only registered runners will be allowed on the course. Transportation of sweat bags will be provided; please bring your own bag and be sure it is properly labeled.

Post-Race Festivities for the Ham Run Half Marathon will take place at the end of the Gunflint Trail at Way of the Wilderness Canoe Outfitters and the Trail’s End Café. There will be ham and fixings with free food for race participants as well as massages and more. Non-racers are welcome to attend and are asked for a nominal donation for food. The Y is also looking for volunteers for the event! If you are interested in volunteering click the following link: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0b48a4aa2ba2fc1-hamrun1

If you are interested in volunteering at this event then please feel free to contact us.

Previous race results can be found here: Race Results 2014

The Half-Marathon will begin at Gunflint Pines Resort and Campground on South Gunflint Lake Road, approximately 43 miles from Grand Marais, MN. The half-marathon and 5k will begin promptly at 10:00 AM and runners must be checked in no later than 9:30 AM.

The Half-Marathon course winds its way through the Superior National Forest along the Scenic Gunflint Trail. The hills and beauty of this race cannot be found elsewhere making this race a one of a kind. The race begins with an uphill climb for a little over one mile on gravel. Runners will reach the pavement of the Gunflint Trail and encounter numerous hills as they run northwest towards the end of the Trail. The race finish will be at the Trail’s End Campground and Way of the Wilderness Canoe Outfitters.

Half Marathon participants should plan to finish the course in less than three hours. Official finish times are not guaranteed to any participants finishing over 3 hours. The time limit is necessary to ensure the health and safety of all participants as the public roadways must re-open to normal traffic at specified times.

The 5k Fun Run will begin at the Seagull Creek Fishing Camp at the intersection of Blankenburg Road and the Gunflint Trail at 10:00 AM. Participants will run the relatively flat Gunflint Trail to the end of the Trail and Way of the Wilderness. The 5k will have the same start time as the Half-Marathon.

Average high temperatures for May are 67 degrees and average low temperature is 41 degrees so please dress accordingly.

At registration all runners will receive a re-usable goodie bag with their short-sleeve t-shirt along with other goodies. Free transportation from Grand Marais and back to Grand Marais is available for all racers and spectators. On race day participants will be treated to a complimentary ham dinner, free non-alcoholic beverages, live music and free massages. Awards will be given to top finishers and a tree seedling to all participants. We hope you’ll join us for this one of a kind run on the Trail Less Traveled.

The Gunflint Trail Scenic Byway travels through the Superior National Forest, underneath towering pines and past wilderness lakes. Moose, fox, bear, wolves and more are commonly seen on the 63-mile paved highway that leads from Grand Marais, MN to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. The scenic beauty combined with the remote location of this run makes it a one of a kind event. We invite you to participate in the Ham Run Half Marathon or 5k Fun Run on Saturday, May 2nd, 2014. We’re going to have a great time on the Gunflint Trail so sign up today and be a part of it.



Sponsorship opportunities are designed for businesses who wish to donate to Cook County Community YMCA events and receive varying recognition for their support. There are additional sponsorship opportunities if donors would like to donate to the Community Support Campaign and specific Y programs.

Note: All events will have a minimum of 75 attendees with marketing materials that will be made available for all members of the Cook County and Duluth YMCA members (over 9,000 people). Your sponsorship donation will help secure a great event as well as help support our Community Support Campaign which provides financial assistance for people in our community to participate in Y programs they couldn’t otherwise afford.

For more information a PDF is available here. If you would like to Donate follow the link here and select the Ham Run as a campaign.

For any questions please contact Emily Marshall at 218.387.3386 x506 or email emarshall@duluthymca.org


Gun Pines arrowhead Stone
G.r_ Voyageur Seagull creek

105 West 5th St.
Grand Marais, MN 55604
(218) 387-3386

A branch of the

PO Box 787
Grand Marais, MN 55604