Michael Koppy, of Hermantown, MN, will attempt to set a Fastest Known Time (FKT) on the Wisconsin portion of the North Country Trail (NCT), starting on the Wisconsin-Michigan border in mid-May 2021. He will then run 210.5 miles totally unsupported to the Wisconsin-Minnesota border, located near Jay Cooke State Park, in about five days, a record setting time. (See map of trail here). Koppy will be carrying all of his food and supplies without any assistance of any kind from anyone. He is 70 years old!
He will be wearing a tracking device so that anyone, including his 1500+ Facebook followers, can monitor his live progress online here.
People are allowed to encourage him by sending texts to 218 522-0309, but they should not expect a reply back.
Koppy is also running to raise awareness of and to generate financial support for the WaterLegacy organization. Its mission is “to protect Minnesota’s water resources and the communities who rely on them.” It focuses on preventing toxic industrial pollution from sulfide mining, protecting human health and treaty resources in the Lake Superior Basin, and defending Minnesota water quality standards from industry rollbacks. Koppy believes that protecting the northland’s priceless clean water from toxic pollution is vitally important! To donate, go here.
Koppy is also asking others to make a financial pledge to the WaterLegacy organization for each mile of the NCT that he completes or in a fixed amount. Koppy has agreed to match up to $3000 in donations! So double your impact by donating to this worthy cause by going here.
Koppy started running long distances in high school. His coach challenged each member of the cross-country team to run a thousand miles during their summer break from school, an average of 13 miles per day. Koppy accomplished this after his junior year and was initiated into the school’s “1,000 Mile Club”.
More recently, Koppy has completed numerous ultra-marathons with astonishing results for a man in his late 60’s. Last year, he set the record for a supported through-run of the 310 mile Superior Hiking Trail by completing it in 5 days 3 hours 44 minutes. In Sept. 2019, Koppy ran the “Tahoe 200 Endurance Run”, a 205 mile race with 40,000 feet of vertical gain. At age 69, he was the oldest finisher, and came in 17th overall out of 251 starters. In 2017, Koppy ran the “Moab 240” at age 67, the second oldest participant. He finished the 238 miles event in 82 hours, finishing 22nd overall out of 144 starters.
Koppy also hopes to inspire others to set meaningful and challenging goals for themselves and then work hard to accomplish them.