2020 Trail Rail Run COVID-19 Update

May 8, 2020
Good Afternoon Racers,
After sincere consideration of the runners’, volunteers’ and our community’s safety in compliance with Governor Bullock’s restrictions the June 6th Trail Rail Run will continue for Montana residents only.
Runners are encouraged to have a driver to take them to their starting line to decrease the amount of individuals on busses to as few as possible while still maintaining social distancing guidelines. Options are described below for out of state runners or those in state runners who do not feel comfortable participating in the race due to COVID19. The 50 Mile and 50 Mile Relay starting line will be moved to Lookout Ski Pass, on the Montana side and will have a loop added to reach the 50 mile total. Awards and certificates will be mailed after the race and the end of race events will look significantly different, this information will be included in runner’s packets. Due to COVID19 we cannot make exceptions to the out of state participation guidelines.
The following options are available for out of state participants or runners who do not feel comfortable participating due to COVID19:

Option 1:
Deferral to 2021 with no added fee
Postpone for free to June 12, 2021
Racers who have already deferred from 2019 to 2020 may also defer to 2021 this year only with no added fee.

Option 2:
Participate in a Virtual Run June 6, 2020!
**Runners must show proof of completing their distance by 10pm Mountain Time on June 6, 2020 with a smart watch or GPS**
Bus Pass will be refunded
Finisher rewards and jackets for 50 Mile participants will be mailed no later than June 30th
This option is only available to runners who were registered prior to May 8, 2020

Option 3:
50% Refund of Race Entry Fee
Includes: 100% refund of bus pass
Excludes: Processing fees
This option is being offered only because there are so many other available options to runners and in order to maintain the race we must cover the upfront costs that have already gone out for all runners.

Option 4:
Donate Entry Fees to the Trail Rail Run/St. Regis Community Council
The St. Regis Community Council is the non-profit that sponsors the Trail Rail Run. This race would not have started without them! The St. Regis Community Council works to better the St. Regis Community by hosting Montana’s largest annual Memorial Weekend Flea-Market; the free Easter Egg Hunt; the 4th of July Parade and events; a New Year’s Eve Dinner, Dance and Fireworks; the annual Christmas Bazaar and Christmas Lighting Competition; Scarecrow Row Competition and Harvest Dance; St. Patrick’s Day Dinner and Dance; a Town-Wide Yard Sale and a beautiful building available for many private events in the community. The Community Council also donates to many individual school events and extracurricular activities as well as a yearly scholarship of $1500 to a graduating senior. The Trail Rail Run works in part with the Community Council to better the trail and the communities surrounding it. This year we were able to donate $3,000 to the betterment of the trail through the Route of the Olympian project working to improve 16 miles of trail and the Night Riders Association who are working to restore the Saltese Trestle. Donating your entry fees will ensure these types of activities and projects will continue regardless of our current pandemic.

Continuing with June 6, 2020:
Registration will continue as planned!
Registration fees will be locked in the “Looking Good for Race Day” bracket
Registration fees will increase on June 1st

*No deferrals or race changes will be noted until May 11th.

Thank you for your patience and understanding through this process.
Happy Running,

Tyler M. Cheesman
Trail Rail Run Race Director
A St. Regis Community Council Sponsored Event

Introducing your 2017 Race Director…

                Eight hours of hiking the unforgiving terrain, in not the best weather conditions, and on a day that we didn’t bring any dogs to cook over a fire at lunch time. I thought my nephew was never going to forgive me when we got off the mountain around Two Mile Exit that evening.

“You still have about 45 minutes until dark,” my dad chuckled when he picked us up, “Do you want me to drop you back off somewhere?”  img_20150716_233435

“No, not today!” I laughed as I fell into his pickup.

My legs felt like they were torn to shreds and my shoulders ached from where my pack rode all day. For a moment I wondered why I would do this to myself. Then I let my head lay back on the rest and I closed my eyes. I could still see the never-ending breathtaking views from the mountain tops, I could still smell and breathe the fresh mountain air, and I could still sense the serene silence. The experience of the day is one that words can only attempt to describe but can never actually entirely explain.  The only way to grasp these moments is to actually exist and take part in them. Words and pictures can never take the place of the beauty experienced when spending time in the mountains surrounding and along the old Milwaukee and Northern Pacific Railroad grades. Awe yes, this is why I do this to myself…

I am one of the fortunate ones who are able to call this place my home and experience the beauty whenever time allows. With this love and knowledge of the area there is nothing I would rather do than share it with you as your 2017 Trail Rail Run Race Director.

To introduce myself, my name is Tyler Cheesman. I am a 3rd generation St. Regis resident, a 2010 graduate of St. Regis High School, and a graduate of the University of Montana. I currently work at St. Regis High School, I am a member of the Superior Area Ambulance Service, and I am a volunteer on the St. Regis Fire Department. I have been an active volunteer for the St. Regis Community Council from the time I was a small child and I have participated in and volunteered with the Trail Rail Run from its creation.

Although I would love to run the 50-mile Trail Rail Run someday I will stick to the shorter race distances and hiking for now. I have a passion for the outdoors, especially the I-90 corridor where the trail leads and my family shares so many years of experiences and history in the mountains. I hope to share this love of the area with you and expand the Trail Rail Run while still keeping it family friendly with its small town feel.

I’m looking forward to seeing you on the trail in 2017!


And the poll says….

Due to popular vote in 2017 we will be adding our first ever run/walk 5K! 

Our plan is to implement the 5K as smoothly as possible, as to be sure the running trail is clear for our long distance runners! We are hoping to start the 5K after the start of the 30K and before the start of the 12K to eliminate as much course congestion as possible. The 5K is a great way to get involved, get moving, and introduce yourself to the awe-inspiring experience of trail running!


Race Director responsible for managing all aspects of the June 10, 2017 Trail Rail Run race event and reporting to the St. Regis Community Council. 50 Mile Solo and Relay, 50K, 30K, and 12K race management including developing and maintaining a Race day operations plan and frequent troubleshooting of race registration issues. Working closely with Forest Service representatives to comply with permit requirements. Soliciting and organizing more than 50 volunteers to fulfill the needs of racers. Recruiting and managing race committee members, identifying roles, providing race day orientation and managing monthly meetings. Managing inventory, purchasing and distributing all Race materials. Oversee all logistics and Race Committee members on race day. Handle all events-related registration, insurance and permit paperwork. Design hard copy print materials for Race. Develop and execute media plan and establish media relations to promote race. Record radio spots for race. Submit media Recap to Council. Develop the Budget and Sponsorship plan and identify goals for participation. Manage race expenses and provide monthly reports to Council. Partner with Council to identify sponsors and develop Sponsorship Benefits Package. Identify and secure in-kind donors. Evaluate and report on Race at Council meetings. Attend and report on Race at meetings. Frequently update 3 social media accounts, website, and blog posts. Prepare and deliver all thank you notes and gifts. Expected time commitment: 300+ Hours over the course of the year plus 4 full day commitments of June 8 – June 11th, 2017.

Please email or send a letter of interest (LOI) to:John Cheesman, Chairman of the St. Regis Community Council
PO Box 278
St. Regis, Montana 59866

Or email LOI to TrailRailRun@gmail.com

Please list all race director/support related experience in your LOI.

Please postmark LOI by September 9, 2016 or email LOI by 5 p.m. MST on September 9, 2016. The St. Regis Community Council will review letters at their meeting on Tuesday, September 13.

AGENDA for 2017 Trail Rail Run Planning Meeting

Here is the agenda for our planning meeting on Thursday, August 11, 2016 at 6 p.m. (Mountain time) at the St. Regis Community Center.

Please call the number below if you cannot attend in person



 Agenda     6-7 p.m. MST

1.       Discussion of the develop of a job description and hiring process for the 2017 Race Director

2.       Discussion of successes and concerns from past TRRs

3.       Discussion of potential changes for the 2017 event-new 5K Run/Walk starting at Two Mile Creek and limits on the time to complete the 50-mile event, others

4.       Discussion of marketing for the 2017 event

5.       Discussion of runner registration and timing

6.       Discussion of awards and prizes

7.       Discussion of aids stations and volunteers

8.       Discussion of the use of proceeds from the TRR 2016 to improve the trail

9.       Other

UPDATE! More Volunteers Needed!

We need about 30 more VOLUNTEERS for this Saturday.  Please look over these open job descriptions (all times Mountain) and register or let us know if you can help:Register-Button5

Truck Driver

What:              Do you own a truck?  Would you like to see various parts of the course?   Then this is for you.  We need a volunteer to help us move signage and supplies along the course on race day.

Date:               Saturday, June 18th

Time:               4am – 9pm                  1 person


Starting Line Greeters

What:              Two of our starting lines are not aid stations.  Therefore, we need Meeters and Greeters to herald the arrival of our runners at the starting line, make them feel welcome, assure them they are in the correct location, and also check them off the list so we know who started.  This is very important!

Date:               Saturday, June 18th

50 Mile Start: 5am Idaho Time to 6 am Idaho Time – 1 person


Drop Bag Dropoff

What:              Load runner Drop Bags into truck.  Drop Bags travel to Dominion Trestle or DeBorgia and must be divided appropriately.

Date:               Saturday June 18th

Location:         St. Regis Travel Center

Volunteers:      4am – 7am                  1 person


Drop Bag Delivery and Pick Up

What:                          Deliver Drop Bags to DeBorgia and Dominion Trestle

Pick up Drop Bags from Dominion Trestle and DeBorgia and return to St. Regis.  Distribute on St. Regis Park lawn for runner pick up.

Date:               Saturday, June 18th

Location:         St. Regis to Dominion Trestle

Volunteers:      7am – 6pm                  2 people

ATV Volunteers

Course Sweep

What:              Follow the last runner beginning in Mullan, Idaho and ending at St. Regis Park

Date:               Saturday, June 18th

Location:         Mullan, Idaho to St. Regis Park, Montana

Volunteers:      7am MST to 9 pm MST                                   1 person



Medical Volunteers  

Brimstone                   8 am MST to 10:30am MST                1 person

Dominion Trestle        7:00am MST to 12:30pm MST    1 person

Saltese Trestle              7:30am MST to 1:30pm MST       1 person

DeBorgia                     8:30 am MST to 4pm MST                  1 person

Henderson                   9:00am MST to 5pm MST                 1 person

Finish Medical Tent  7 am – 9 pm                                                3 people

Course Volunteers


What:              Flagger at Savenac/Haugan under the interstate to caution traffic that there are runners on the road.

Date:               Saturday, June 18th

Time:               8:30am – 4:30pm                                            1 person


What:              Flagger on the railroad grade at Haugan/Savenac to direct runners to the aid station.

Date:               Saturday, June 18th

Time:               8:30am – 4:30 pm                                           1 person


What:              Flagger at DeBorgia under the interstate to caution traffic that there are runners on the road.

Date:               Saturday, June 18th

Time:               9am – 3pm                                                      1 person



What:              Flagger on Little Joe Road where it crosses Twelvemile Road near finish

Date:               Saturday, June 18th

Time:               10:30 am – 9pm                                              1 person


Search and Rescue

What:              Search and Rescue staff at key areas along course including Dominion Trestle, Deborgia and the Finish

Date:               Saturday, June 18th

Time:               7am – 9pm                                                      3 people


Bicycle Monitors

What:              Ride a portion of the course on your mountain bike making sure runners are okay.  Ride ahead or back to aid stations to report any difficulties.  No road or cross bikes.

Date:               Saturday, June 18th

Rider #1:      7am – 9am      Mullan, Idaho to Lookout Pass            1 rider

Rider #2:    8am – noon     Lookout Pass to Dominion Trestle      1 rider

Rider #4:         8:30am – 6pm DeBorgia – Ward Creek                     1 rider


Finish Area Volunteers

What:              Direct people to what they need.  Wandering lost looking runners might need the medical tent, a shirt they failed to pick up the day before, etc.

Date:               Saturday, June 18th

Shift #1:           10am – 3pm                                 1 person

Shift #2:           3p – 9pm                                        1 person




What:              Food Servers.  Lunch is provided for runners and volunteers.

Date:               Saturday, June 18th

Shift #2:           3pm – 9pm                                          1 person


Register at:  https://www.raceit.com/Register/?event=35827

OR call 406-370-8240.

Aid Station Distances

Not counting the finish line or the 50 Mile starting line, there are 9 aid stations along the Trail Rail Run.

Mullan Idaho (Start of the 50 Mile): 50.5 Miles

  1. Lookout Pass (Aid Station #1): 42.5 Miles
  2. Brimstone (Aid Station #2): 36 Miles
  3. Dominion Trestle (Aid Station #3): 30.5 Miles
  4. Saltese (Aid Station #4): 25.5 Miles
  5. Haugan/Savenac (Start of the 30K and Aid Station #5): 19.5 Miles
  6. DeBorgia (Aid Station #6): 16.5 Miles
  7. Henderson (Aid Station #7): 13 Miles
  8. Ward Creek (Aid Station #8): 7.5 Miles
  9. Two Mile (Aid Station #9): 4 Miles

Finish Line in St. Regis Community Park!

…or counting up from the 50 mile starting line:

  1.  Lookout Pass Ski Area (8 miles from start)
  2. Brimstone Creek (14 miles)
  3. Dominion Turn Around (23 miles) Cutoff for runners 12:30 p.m.
  4. Saltese (29 miles)
  5. Haugan (35 miles)
  6. DeBorgia (37 miles) Cutoff for runners 5:30 pm
  7. Henderson Exit Bridge (41 miles)
  8. Ward Creek Exit (44 miles)
  9. Two Mile Exit (47 miles).

Finish Line in St. Regis Community Park (50.5 Miles)

Post Race Massage $15

Post race massages will be available for $15 per 15 minutes blocks of time from Joyce Kelley, Therapeutic Massage and Mike Bingham.  These licensed massage therapists will be at the finish area from 10:30 a.m. until about 6:00 p.m.  Joyce will be staying until we close the course or the last runner finishes!  She is amazing!

“Walk-ups” welcome.  Cash only please.

The Trail Rail Run will accept cash pre-payment at packet pick-up on Friday, June 17th.   We will issue you a receipt, but you won’t need it.  We’ll put your name and bib number on a list that we’ll give to Joyce with your payment.  Prepay for as many minutes at the Friday packet pick up as you like.  If for some reason you cannot use the massage, please present your receipt for a refund.

In the past, Trail Rail Run massages have been provided for free by local physical therapists.  After diligent effort of asking many, many regional physical therapy and massage offices, we cannot offer free massages, but your purchase will help Joyce and Mike pay for their trek over to St. Regis.

What’s in a Name?

Check out these Relay Team Names!

4 Sisters No Misters

The Tortoise & the Hare

Lost in the Sauce

A.W.T.Y. Are We There Yet?

Hoppy Westside Trail Mix

Something Provisional

Recreational Runners

Pimp My Stride

Tight Butts and Sweaty Nuts.


We certainly will accept fun names for individuals – only the Lone Ranger is taken right now.  🙂

Help us reach our goal of 10 teams – sign up today!

Fun Relay Questions & Answers

Some team relay captains have been asking good questions and we’d like to share some of those along with our answers:

Are there any rules for the team relay?

Yes, you and your teammates must each wear their bib number because the team number will be checked off at each aid station.  If your team number is not checked in at each station you will be disqualified.  This rule is really just to help make sure each runner is safely tracked, so please help us keep our Forest Service permit for next year and follow this rule to the letter.

How should we assign which legs runners will complete?

You are wide open to choose whatever you want to do for sharing the relay run legs, but here are some ideas to get you started . . . Some people will choose to run the first 1/2 of the 50 Mile course and exchange only once at Saltese (or Haugen) and have a partner run the last 1/2 or so.  Some teams will alternate where they run every other leg (1, 3, 5, 7) and take a break while one or more teammates runs a leg (2, 4, 6, 8).  Some teams will have 8 people who each choose one leg with varying lengths between 3 and 9.5 miles.  You decide what works for your team numbers and members!

How does TRR track the relay team times?

This race is pretty informal as far as rules or timing splits.  Your relay team will secure the Competitive Timing timing chip to the runner that is crossing the finish line.  Thus, whoever will be running the last leg (whatever you choose that to be) should wear the one chip for the team.  If for some reason it changes during race day, please be sure to transfer the chip.  The time the chip crosses the finish line will be your official team time.

Will there be split times for legs?

No, as you can tell from the answer above, there’s only one chip so we won’t be giving out split times.  Your team can track their own split times based on the starting time of 6:00 PST/7:00 MST, or with a timing device.

Is this a competitive team relay race?

No, this is a recreational team relay race.   We don’t keep split times and we do not track or place restrictions on team numbers, ages, or gender.   This if for fun!  With that in mind, some teams may choose to coordinate with another team so that they are paired up to run with someone else (for companionship).   While we’re working on prizes for the top 3 overall relay teams, we’re working to try to have something fun for all of the teams.  Please be courteous and consider yielding to solo racers who may be competing with other solo racers for time.

Are the exchange stations the same as the aid station check points?

Yes, the check points are the aid stations.   These also serve as relay exchange zones and are on a map here:  http://trailrailrun.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/TrailRunAidStationsMap2014c.pdf. The exchange stations are essentially every  I-90 exit – *except Henderson exit* -beginning at Lookout Pass (Exit 0) and ending at Two Mile (Exit 32) outside of St. Regis, Montana.  Read more about exits here: Wiki on Mineral County and here: Third party Commercial Website

How long is each leg of the race / how far apart is each exchange zone?

The information on distance between exchange zones can be found on the Trail Rail Run website at: http://trailrailrun.com/50-mile-relay/ and that listing discusses 7 “legs”.  The most legs possible is 8 legs, and the corresponding distances are as follows:
1. Mullan to Lookout Pass (8 miles slight uphill),
2. Lookout Pass to Taft* Exit (9.5 miles downhill),
3. Taft* to Saltese (7.5 miles),
4. Saltese to Haugen (5-6 miles);
5. Haugen to Deborgia (3-4 miles),
6. Deborgia to Ward Creek (7.5 miles),
7. Ward Creek to Two Mile Road (~3-4 miles) and
8. Two Mile Road to St. Regis (~3-4 miles with about 1 mile on pavement).

Do I need to sign up for the shuttle / how do I get to exchange zones?

The only shuttle you may want to sign up for is the 50 mile shuttle.  You can choose to get a ride to the 50 miles starting line.  BUT, if you have teammates who want to sleep in – we’ll give you a ride to the starting line!  Remember, the gun goes off at 6:00 a.m. PST/7:00 a.m. MST – Sharp!   Of course, this also means that you must provide your own transportation to exchange zones!  Teams may wish to carpool as much as possible or share one large car and advance along the trail while they wait for their teammates to arrive.

Where do the names on the listing of legs come from?

The names on this list correspond to the names of the I-90 interstate exits.   The only exit between Lookout Pass (Exit 0) and the finish line (accessed via St. Regis, Montana, Exit 33) which cannot access the course is Henderson Exit because it is on the wrong side of the St. Regis river from the Trail.

Do all the members of the race need to complete equal race distances?

No, if you want to have 6 members who will run about the same distance (~7 – ~9.5 miles) then you just combine legs 4&5 and then legs 7&8 (listed above).   From there, you do the math on what sections of the race you’d like to run!

What is the course’s difficulty level and what are the legs like?

The course is on railroad grade so it is pretty level.  The first leg climbs from Mullan to the top of the pass.  The second leg descends off of the pass.  From there, it is pretty level.  There are a few long, straight stretches, and there is one patch – right after Haugen – which has been rocky in the past.  We hope to have that rocky section much improved this year.  The later legs run along the river  and over a few bridges.  The earlier legs run over 2 trestles and through 2 tunnels.

If I am running more than one “leg” at a time, will there be food for  me to eat at the aid stations?

Yes, you’ll be following the same course, at the same time, as the solo 50 milers.  This means that you’ll be encountering aid stations with the standard water, Heed, and Hammer gels, but you’ll also find real food along the trail including PBJs, fruit, cookies, and a random assortment of goodness at each aid station.  So, if your teammates leave you and head to the finish line to start drinking beer, at least the Trail Rail Run will take care of you!
Please post, email or call with any additional questions and we’ll try to share the information with other!