Farmland 5K European Style XC Challenge 2015


The Farmland 5K European Style XC Challenge introduces runners of all ages to the venue of a 5K (3.1 miles) cross country style race. Farmland 5K racing's origin is found in Europe, where foot races were held from farm to farm.
This was their website for several years and was managed and optimized by US based TNG/Earthling, Inc., with Bob Sakayama in charge of search performance. Charles Dillon hired Bob and company in an attempt to drive more interest and traffic to this unique challenge. Bob's success is probably why you're reading this. Content is from the site's 2015 archived pages.

Go to the Farmland 5K Run and Free for All Bike Facebook page for all the most up-to-date info on previous and upcoming races:
their current website found at:


Farmland 5K & Free For All Bike Race – December 5th, 2015


Farmland 5K brings cold and snow back to winter running


Welcome to the Farmland!

The Farmland 5K European Style XC Challenge is Traverse City's winter weather running and biking event held in the spirit of European style cross country held on a dedicated cross country course on private farmland. A classic turfgrass running course awaits you with knee high barriers including straw bales, fallen logs, wood fence and stone fence.

Supporting the Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities "Taste the Local Difference"
TLD is all about food and farming, and by participating in the Farmland 5K, you help support their mission! Farmland 5K organizers as well as title and presenting sponsors will once again donate $2 from every registered runner toward “Taste the Local Difference,” which connects consumers to locally grown food to increase sales, preserve farmland and create jobs.

“We want to see our community embrace healthy, sustainable living.” says Hans Voss, Executive Director of Groundworks for a Resilient Community. "Eating local year-round is something we really push that can make a big difference to our local economy, and staying active year-round is vital to a healthy lifestyle. Promoting TLD with the Farmland 5K is a perfect fit to illustrate how we can all take advantage of local products and the great outdoors even when there’s snow on the ground.”

The 100 year old Lew Rasho Farm proudly hosts the Farmland 5K

This dedicated cross country course was created by Lew Rasho, the owner of the farm land utilized in the Farmland 5K. The farm has been owned and farmed by the Rasho family for over 100 years. Lew has farmed this land all his life, and has donated the corridor surrounding his field for the exclusive use of runners and walkers in the Traverse City area. Since 2002 the course has been used by thousands of high school, middle school, and elementary runners. 

For mobile navigation or GPS set destination address as:
1154 Rasho Rd. Traverse City, MI. 49686 
(This locates a 2-track drive. Turn west into the parking area and start/finish venue.)


Also supporting Norte Youth Cycling!
By fostering an enduring relationship with bicycles and advocating for sustainable mobility, Norte! Youth Cycling is strengthening community by developing the next generation of active, engaged, and gritty leaders in Traverse City. $2 of every bike entry will be donated to Norte!
Why call it European Style?
As a competitive sport, cross-country running began in Europe (Ireland and England) with a game called "hares and hounds" or "the paper chase" in the early 19th century. In this game, a runner or group of runners (hares) laid a trail by dropping pieces of paper or other markers while following a random course over farmland, and a second set of runners (hounds) then set out in pursuit, trying to follow the "paper trail", often needing to jump fences separating the farms. The Farmland 5K course is like taking a step back in time of running history, and we've added some fun barriers to make it seem even more European!

Why December?
The weather in December is part of the challenge!
Participating in the Farmland 5K is naturally tough! Mother nature promises wind, snow, sleet or we promise a great course, hot food and great music to warm you up!

The race is dedicated to adventurous folks looking for a change of pace from their usual paved running route. Are you really tough? Rain, sleet, snow, or shine - this event is for you!

Enjoy the natural challenge of running or biking in early December! (event to be held no matter the weather). Traverse over grass or snow and ice, wooded dirt trails, and farmland running terrain. Just like in the olden days, before paved roads and concrete sidewalks. Compete as an individual or as a team and earn unique age group prizes and special awards.

Weather history: on December 3, from 1974 to 2015 is likely to have:

Temperature from 30°F to 34°F and is rarely below 19°F or above 46°F.
Sky overcast 77% of the time.
75% chance that precipitation will be observed at some point during the day.
40% chance that there will be snow on the ground. Snow depth average is 3.2"
Wind speed of 9 mph (gentle breeze) on average.
Records for this day: 61°F high/-5°F low.

Event Schedule

Friday, December 4:
4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.  - Packet Pick up at Timber Ridge Resort Main Lodge, 4050 Hammond Road East, Traverse City, MI 49686

Saturday, December 5:
10:00 a.m. - Event site opens for parking and packet pick-up.  Warm fires and porta jons stand by to keep you warm and ready. 
10:30 a.m.  - Late registration and packet pick-up opens on-site.
12:00 noon - 5K foot race, mass shot gun start.
12:30 - Post Race Party Starts!  And go ahead, set up your own tailgate party!
1:00 p.m. - "Free for All" bike race, mass shot gun start.
1:15 p.m. - Awards at the Hay Wagon, Top 3 in age category, special awards to overall, masters and super masters, teams and costumes.



A Bike Race called the "Free for All!"

he Farmland "Free For All" bike event, immediately following the run, has cyclists taking to the running course for 6 laps of fun competition (approximately 12.6 miles total), on any bike you choose. Fat bikes, cyclocross bikes, mountain bikes, maybe even a unicycle; you’ll see it all on December 5. Awards to the top Fat Bike, Cross Bike, Mountain Bike, Single Speed Bike, and deep awards for all bikes for the 12 and under category.

For the ambitious, we’ll have a combined winner as well. Test your running legs in the 5k, then hop on your steed of choice and give the "Free For All" everything you’ve got left. The combined winners will get awards for their superhuman efforts, measured by their 5k time added to their bike time. There will also be pitchfork trophies for the winners too, so there’s a lot to fight for.

Other Farmland 5K highlights include:

Off-road running or biking on a challenging dedicated cross country course.
Awesome finisher gift featuring a technical winter training hat. (guaranteed to first 500 runners and bikers who register)
Team Competition: Scored cross country "team" style, first 5 age group finish places by time.
Combined bike (Farmland "Free For All") and run time category.
Team and Family pricing (see "Fees and Awards")
Costume Prizes for: Most Scantily Clad, Farmer, Barnyard Animal, Scarecrow, Most European, 1800's "Harrier"

Free and convenient parking

Post Race Party

Great music, awards and food including: Hot cocoa and coffee, whole grain breads, chili and corn chowder.

Team Competition makes this event special - Form a Team Now!*
Team competition is very important in cross-country running. Teams are made up of a minimum of 5 runners and the order of finish in age group is determined by adding up the places in which team members finish - that is, 1 point is awarded for a first-place age group finish, 2 points for second in age group, and so on. The team with the lowest score wins.

*Register for your team (All you need is their birthdate!) and save up $12 per person!

Farmland 5K Course Records
Course Record Male: Alex Vanias - 16:28 (set in 2014)
Course Record Female: Madison Troy - 19:40.1 (set in 2014)


Fees and Awards

Donating to two Great Causes!
The Farmland 5K is donating $2 per runner registration to the Michigan Land Use Institute's “Taste the Local Difference” program which helps build new markets for northwest Lower Michigan’s farmers, connecting them to shoppers, grocers, restaurants and other food businesses.  To date, runners have helped us donate over $2100 to the cause! Find out more about the Taste the Local Difference mission by clicking HERE!

Norte Youth Cycling will receive $2 per individual bike entry!  Norte seeks to "inspire Traverse City youth through bicycling." Find out about Norte Youth Cycling HERE!

Fees for the 5K Run and/or the Farmland "Free for All" Bike Race

Early Registration Online through November 22 at midnight                                       
5k Run or "Free for All" Bike                                                                                                  $35 each
Combo 5k Run and "Free for All" Bike                                                                                    $50

Online Registration November 22 through December 3 at noon
5k Run or "Free for All" Bike                                                                                                  $40 each
Combo 5k Run and "Free for All" Bike                                                                                    $55

Walk Up Registration at Packet Pickup, December 4 (4-7p.m.)                                      
5k Run or "Free for All" Bike                                                                                                  $40 each
Combo 5K Run and "Free for All" Bike                                                                                    $60

Race Day Registration in person, December 5 (10:30a.m.- race start)                                                                   
5K Run or "Free for All" Bike                                                                                                  $45 each
Combo 5K Run and "Free for All" Bike                                                                                    $65

Family pricing is available online only and applies to immediate family members and includes reduced rates from the $35 individual pre-registered rate.  Be sure to have D.O.B. handy for all your family members!

Early Registration Family rates (online) are:
(rates go up $5 after November 22nd, 2015)

Online Early:
$64 for 2 ($32 each)
$90 for 3 ($30 each)
$112 for 4 ($28 each)
$130 for 5 ($26 each)
and $144 for 6 ($24 each)

Online Late (after November 22):
$70 for 2 ($35 each)
$99 for 3 ($33 each) 
$124 for 4 ($31 each)
$145 for 5 ($29 each)
and $162 for 6 ($27 each)

Have a team?  Contact us by November 22 for a discount when you have 7 or more members who will run on your team! 
Online rates increase after November 22, and walk up registration fees will apply after online closes December 3.
Registration is open!

Packet Pick-up
Packet pick-up and late registration is from 4-7 p.m. Friday December 4, at Timber Ridge Resort Main Lodge, 4050 Hammond Rd. East, Traverse City, MI 49696

Packet pick up and late registration is available on race day at the race site starting at 10:30 a.m., but technical hat is only guaranteed to the first 500 registrants.


We will be offering over 100 custom awards - Please plan on joining us for the awards festivities!
Results will be posted under the Event Results tab after 5:00p.m. on race day.  Awards will not be mailed out.

Run Category Age Groups Awards (1st, 2nd 3rd place award): 
We will recognize Male and Female Overall in 3 categories: Open: any age, Masters: 40-55, and Super Masters: 55 plus (6 Awards Total), and the Top 3 in the following: 10 & under, 11-14, 15-18, 19-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70 & over (27 awards Total)

Note: One award per person, if a master crosses the line first, he/she gets the overall award only.

Bike Category Awards (1st, 2nd, 3rd place award):
We will recognize Top 3 Male and Female Overall in 4 bike categories:  1. Fat Bike  2. Mountain Bike  3. Cycle Cross  4. Single Speed. And to honor the youth, awards for 12 & Under, all bike types!

Run and Bike Awards (Special Award w/plaque):
The top 2 Run and Ride (any bike type) Time Combined, male and female, will be recognized (4 awards total).   

Team Awards (Trophy w/plaque):
We will recognize the Top 2 Teams in 3 team categories: 1.  All Male Team  2. All Female Team  3. Combined Team (for teams with minimum of 2 from both genders scoring) (6 awards Total)

Note: To calculate scores for team awards, we total the age group placement of the five top age group finishers male or female.  For example: Grandma wins her age group and gets a 1, Mom gets 2nd in her age group and scores a 2, Brother gets 10th and gets 10 points, Sister gets 7th and scores 7, and Dad gets 4th and scores 4, for a team score of 1 + 2 + 10 + 7 + 4 = 24 points. 

Form your team by November 22!  All you have to do is contact us, and give us your team name for our registration site. Don't wait,


Bike and Run

Why not push it to the limit and do the Farmland 5k "Free for All" Run/Bike Combo?
Participants have the option to run the Farmland 5K and then bike the "Free for All", a cyclocross style 6 loop, approximately 12.6 mile course using the outside loop of the 5K course on the bike of your choice - fat bike, cyclocross bike, mountain bike, or single speed... choose your steed (choose wisely, there is no mid-race switching allowed)!  Register for a bike/run combo as one event for a total savings of $15 per individual!

Bike/Run Details
This is not a duathlon – there will be two mass starts, one for the bike and one for the run.  You will be timed as though you are competing in two separate events and then top awards ARE given if you register for the bike ride combination entry, plus it's a great savings!  

  • Bike helmets are mandatory.
  • There may be snow and ice on the course - choose your safest bike accordingly.
  • There will be barriers including straw bales, earth berms and troughs, logs, and tractor tires - all below knee height.  All riders must get over these barriers with their bikes with a dismount and remount.
  • Bike racers completing the run MUST  be at the bike mass start line on time for a gunshot mass start or you will not be allowed to compete. It is up to the participant to make sure you can complete the run course with enough time to get to the starting line for the bike.
  • No bike trailers, child seats, etc. are permitted.
  • Riders must pass lapped riders on the left as safe to do so. 
  • Riders are responsible for insuring that a bicycle is in good repair.

Custom, farm-themed awards will go to the top 3 men and top 3 women of any age with the fastest combined run and ride times (6 awards total).


Post Race Party and Awards 

Running a 5K on a cold and windy December day deserves some celebration.  We recommend you finish the run, congratulate your friends and family, change into dry and warm clothes and boots, then join the Post-Race Party for some hot food and hot chocolate/coffee.  We will have hot bowls and lids waiting for you so there will not be a long line!

And, in reality, the draw of active events like the Farmland 5K is the opportunity for social interaction with like-minded folks. So don't just run and dash! Stick around for the party and hang out with cool, "up and doing" people.

New: The "Free for All" bike course loops back through the village, for a great view of the bike competition!

Dress the Part!
Runners can win prizes for wearing anything farm-related with categories including "Farmer," "Barnyard Animal," "Scarecrow," "Viking," and "European," with additional recognition going to those dressing like late-1800s “Harriers” (cross-country runners) and other fun categories determined on race day!

And of course, we'll have a category for the daring, "Most Scantily Clad" (please keep it PG rated!)

Hot Food/Energizing Snacks
Every runner knows that post-race refueling is an important part of the recovery process from a hard workout. Re-fill your energy and recovery tank with a hearty bowl of chili or corn chowder and some whole grain bread. This great hot food is presented byBlue Tractor and Stone House Bread! 

Enjoy an Adult Libation
Finishers 21 years and older (Please have your ID ready to show) may enjoy two complimentary Short's beers, poured on-site at the "Straw Bale Bar." 3 types of Short's beers offered.

Gourmet Hot Chocolate and Fair Trade Coffee 
Nothing beats a great cup of fancy hot chocolate or steaming fair trade coffee.  Just Good Chocolate will be serving their secret recipe so good, you could be tempted to skip the run and just stand by the fire and sip away. (But it'll be all the sweeter after your run!)  And for a real cup of coffee, we're serving up Higher Grounds Trading Co. locally roasted of course!

Nearby Accommodations at Timber Ridge
Make the event an excuse for a team or family getaway, and stay at the nearby Timber Ridge Resort, featuring park homes and bunkhouse cabins that sleep from 6-10 people.  Check out special rates for Farmland 5K participants, including a free happy hour and barbeque Saturday after the event from 5-6p.m.