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2013 Great Hawk Chase | Great Trails, Great Turnout, Great Race

By Troy Melhus, 07/15/13, 1:00PM CDT


More than 300 racers turned out to Duluth's Lester Park on Sunday, July 14, for a great day of racing and family fun.

DULUTH, Minn.–The rains came so hard and fast on the Friday before the 2013 Great Hawk Chase that organizers almost canceled the race. 


Series organizers were even Tweeting and Facebooking that racers should check the day of the race before making the drive to Duluth.

But on that Sunday morning, Mother Nature smiled. 

And aside from a couple of minor course adjustments, Race Director Jim Metry declared the trails fit for competition.

Good thing: More than 300 racers turned out Sunday morning at Lester Park, for what could easily be called one of the best mountain bike races in Minnesota.

"We're really happy with the turnout," Metry said after the race, "especially given the weather in the days leading up, and the trails being so sloppy."  

"There were some spots that were greasy, but it was a great course," said Citizen Racer Kelli Meckle. 

Personally speaking, the Great Hawk Chase is among my favorite courses in all of the Midwest. The trails—particularly those overlooking the canyon-like gullies along Lester River—are reminiscent of trails that one would encounter out west. That and Duluth's natural charm make this one of the best road-trip races (at least for those of us in the Twin Cities) of the series.

"It was a ton of fun," said racer Cole Geschwind. "It was pretty flowey in some sections, some rocks and roots in others—it was a mix of everything. It was crazy."

Troy Melhus rides for Peace Coffee Racing. He can be reached at