Jeff Crumbaugh, longtime runner, race director and founder of race management company Great Lakes Endurance, is known for his commitment to “ecologically mindful running races.” Since 2000, Great Lakes Endurance has provided runners with exceptional trail running experiences while giving back to organizations involved in land conservancy, environmental education, and sustainable silent sport trail construction or maintenance.
I’ve written about these races here on the blog and talked about them on the podcast—they’re among my favorite running events here in Michigan. Topping my list of best trail running races is the Grand Island Trail Run, which includes a half marathon, marathon and 50K on the stunning island in Lake Superior near Munising. (This was in fact the topic of the very first MRG Podcast, back in summer 2015.)
Jeff, who teaches high school physics and environmental chemistry as well as coaches high school runners, joined me on the show this week to talk about the Grand Island Trail Run as well as the others he and his team organize each year in northern lower Michigan, the Upper Peninsula and in northern Wisconsin, where Jeff and his company are based. There may just be some new races coming in the not-too-distant future, too… {Listen to this latest episode of the MRG Show by clicking on the player at the top of this post}

Finishing the Tahqua Trail Run 25K, summer 2013.

The next Great Lakes Endurance event is the third annual Two Hearted Trail Run, a 50K, marathon and half marathon on Saturday, June 24 on trails between Paradise, Mich. and the mouth of the Two Hearted River. A special race discount code is shared with listeners during the show.

Runners on the beach during the Grand Island Trail Run. /photo courtesy running.competitor.com

You’ll also hear all about Great Lakes Endurance’s other races held throughout the year, including two winter snowshoe races.

Great Lakes Endurance events in 2017-18:
Michigan races
Two Hearted Trail Run – 50K, Marathon, Half Marathon, Paradise, Mich., Saturday, June 24
Waugoshance Trail Run – Marathon, Half Marathon, Marathon Relay, Emmet County, Mich., Saturday, July 8
Grand Island Trail Run – 50K, Marathon & Half Marathon, Grand Island, Munising, Mich., Saturday, July 22 {Read my race report of this race here »}
Tahqua Trail Run – 25K & 10K, Tahquamenon Falls State Park, Paradise, Mich., Saturday, Aug. 5 {Read my race report of this race here »}
Treetops Trifecta – 5K, Hill Climb, Half Marathon, Gaylord, Mich., Nov. 4-5
Tahquamenon Snowshoe – 10K & 5K, Paradise, Mich. Feb. 18, 2018 {Read my race report of this race here »}
Wisconsin races
Conserve School Trail Run – Half Marathon & 5K, Land O’ Lakes, Wis., Sept. 17
Iola Twilight Snowshoe, Iola, Wis., February 2018
Iola Trail Run – 15K & 5K, Iola, Wis., April 2018
Pigeon River Classic – Half Marathon, 10K, 5K, One Mile Kid’s Race & 5K Walk, Clintonville, Wis., May 2018

*If you enjoy what you’re hearing on the Michigan Runner Girl show, we’d be so grateful if you’d take a few moments to write a review on iTunes. This will help more runners and Michigan lovers like yourself find the podcasts. Thank you!! Also, the quickest way to get the podcasts is to subscribe to the show via iTunes or via Stitcher or your favorite podcast app. 

A special thanks to Mike Moran, Mike Youker and Jonny Tornga of Quarter After Productions in Traverse City, Mich. for producing the show. Check out this studio’s work here.

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