Sylvan Island hosts Magic Island Mayhem 4 mile trail race in Moline on Saturday, April 24th


2020 was the year that runners had to put aside going to events to keep safe and take to the streets and trails on their own. It was on one of those runs on Sylvan Island in Moline that local runner, Brandon Bartz and his running crew thought of a way to support the trails he was running and get the Quad Cities back to running together this year. “I caught wind that F.O.R.C. (Friend of Off-Road Cycling) was building a pavilion out there and try to sort of keep up with the place and keep up with traffic and build something cool so people can go there and hang out ,” explained Bartz. “So I was like I’m going to put on a race and the whole idea was just to raise money for that pavilion and going forward when that pavilion is built to raise money for FORC because they do a standup job keeping the trails rideable and runnable in the area.”

And with that, the Magic Island Mayhem 4 mile trail race was born which will take place on Saturday, April 24th at
Sylvan Island at 8am. And if running again this year at organized events isn’t magical enough, Bartz explains how the name for the event came about. “The story is, with my run group we always send someone to check if it’s runnable that day or night,” said Bartz. “And it seems like everywhere else is flooded or wet and it will be like a full downpour and someone will report back that the island is good, and so, it’s like magical. It was like a year ago we coined it Magic Island.”

Being one of the minds behind the annual Illiniwek Race the Night trail run, Bartz knows the challenge behind planning events in the area and especially as people are just now getting comfortable with live events again. “I think you’ve seen in the last year in general, trail races sort of came back to life a little quicker than the road races,” said Bartz. “its partially because of the numbers are lower and just the fact that your spread out in the woods, I’m not a doctor but I feel the risk is lower when you are spread out on the trails and away from people.”


As the weather continues to get better and more people get comfortable to come out and enjoy life again, Bartz and F.O.R.C., hope they can continue to make people excited about the natural side of the Quad Cities that most don’t know even exists. “I encourage people to come out and support the island,” said Bartz. “I think it’s been a staple in Moline for a long time. Even if you’re not a trail racer I just want people to come out and join us and walk the trail and experience it. It’s just a cool way to see something try to grow in the area and see some positivity in a time like this.”

For more information or to register for this event visit here


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