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Our top secret Ninja CyclovaXC reporting team came back from the Buck Rut Run at Winter Park in Minocqua, WI with rave reviews! An annual event held on the spectacular XC Ski Trails at Minocqua's Winter Park, this is event is becoming a classic for many, and is a sure sign that snow and ski season are just around the corner!

With an affordable entry of $20 for pre-registered participants ($25 day of race), this is a great way to spend a weekend in early November. This year's 5k race was held on a beautiful November day that left the racers wanting more after the finish. The course is generally hilly, with many ups and downs. As a reward for all of those climbs, the final half mile is a gradual descent. There were about 100 runners participating this year, including a couple of school cross country teams. The winning time was fast considering the course at 17:11 for 5k. The race was ran very smoothly and the organizers and community obviously take a great deal of pride in this event. The results were nearly immediately ready after the finish and deemed accurate by all.

Following the finish is where many racers find their stride, and the Buck Rut is no exception. As you approach the finish line, you notice the sweet fragrance of a barbecue and the tailgates of countless pick up trucks down. This could only mean one thing - a good old fashioned tailgating party! To wash down your brats and burgers, there was also of course beer and lots of good company.

How could the day get better? Well, how about by winning some free swag while drinking you beer. It turns out there were many cool and some fun/quirky door prizes given out at this race at all. As the finale, everyone leaves with a sweet T-Shirt, a piece of true Northern Wisconsin Style (check out the logo on the shirt at the right).

For more info on "premium events" here in the Midwest, see the Cyclova XC Events Calendar.

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