Here at Almanzo we have always embraced the idea that we don’t go where we’re not wanted. 

In the years between 2009 and 2010 we saw some pretty exponential growth. Between those two events, our numbers went from 90 participants to somewhere north of 400. 

With the growth came some pain. In 2009 we held the start and finish in Rochester, Minnesota. When we went to make arrangements for 2010, the city of Rochester pushed back and wanted a ton of fees in an unusually short amount of time. In return they offered the allowances we needed to run a successful event. That pain forced us to look at alternatives and we ultimately landed Spring Valley, Minnesota...where we were welcomed with open arms. 

For the last nine years we have called Spring Valley home. The first half under the direction of myself, and the latter under Kathy Simpson. This year the event changed hands again, as you know, and is back under my command.

On Monday of this week, I reached out to the city of Spring Valley to inquire about reserving a space to host sign-in for the 2019 events. 

My inquiry was met with an odd, unnecessary question and a very cold declaration of the fees and expectations associated with reserving the space. The exchange was less than welcoming. 

I felt a little defeated...so I reached out to the city of Preston to see if they would be interested in hosting the start and finish for the event. Surprisingly, they declined and said that they don’t have the services to host an event like Almanzo. 


In the time that has past since, it has occurred to me that these communities have their own things to worry about and it’s a very real possibility that the novelty of having more than 1,000 people in their community has become a burden and not a benefit. It happens. Life marches forward. 

With that, I would like to inform you that we have begun discussions with the city of Northfield, Minnesota and will likely come to an arrangement in the coming weeks. It appears, at this time, that we have found our new host city. 

Yes, this means the courses will change. That said, we are committed to finding the best possible routes with stunning views and new challenges. 

Sometimes things change.

Every time we adapt.

Every time we get better. 

We have lots of work to do are we are excited to get started. 

We hope you join us. 


Chris Skogen

Christopher Skogen