Northern Trails Running Series
The Northern Trails Running Series was started in 2008 with a mission of increasing the participation in local trail races and introducing runners and hikers of all levels to new trails. The series, created by Matias Saari, had six events in 2008: Masochism on Moose Mountain, Ester Dome Ass Kicker, Granite Tors Trail Run, Chena Hot Springs Run & Soak, Mount Healy Challenge, and Run for the Refuge (10k).
For the current Northern Trail Running Series many of the events from the inaugural season remain unchanged. The Wickersham Dome Trail Run was added in 2010 and the Musk Ox Run and the Toghetthele (formerly the Annihilator) were added for the 2011 season. The Angel Creek 50 Miler was added as an exhibition event in 2016 and is now included in the Trail Series. In 2020 the Angel Creek 50 Miler was renamed Drew’s Angel Creek 50 to honor Drew Harrington, one of Alaska’s top endurance runners and inspiration of the Angel Creek 50 Miler who passed away much too soon.
- Toghetthele Trail Run *
- Masochism on Moose Mountain
- Wickersham Dome Trail Run
- Ester Dome Ass Kicker
- Drew’s Angel Creek 50
- Chena Hot Springs Run & Soak
- Granite Tors Trail Run
- Musk Ox Run
* The Toghetthele Trail Run (‘TOG-uh-TEE-lee’, which in Athabascan means “hill on the river”) is the new name of the first race of the series, as of 2019. The course will be unchanged, but the new name better honors the Alaska Native history of the area and reflects the name of the area. The event is now a fundraiser for the Nenana High School XC team. We use the name with the permission of the Toghetthele Native Corporation.
A new point system tracked runners in the 2011 season. The new point system is intended to account for increased participation in trail series events since the inaugural 2008 season. The age groups (29 & under, 30 to 44, and 45 & over) were updated to the present age groups (29 & under, 30-49, and 50 & over). In previous seasons runners scored points in their best four races in the series. This restriction was removed for the 2011 season; runners may now score points in all trail series events in which they compete.
Awards for the overall Northern Trail Series champions, age group winners, and the “Going the Distance” award for runners who complete all eight of the trail series events are presented at the annual Running Club Social in the fall.
In 2023 changes were made in the point system to include the Drew’s Angel Creek 50 event. This simplified and added consistency to the series. In previous years there was confusion as to how points were awarded for overall and age group categories. Also instituted was a policy similar to the Usibelli Running Series where participants in the series are classified by their ages as of May 1st and will remain in that age class for the duration of the series.