Superior 100 Mile Trail Race Information
Race Date: Friday September 6th, 2019
Start: Gooseberry Falls S.P., Minnesota
Finish: Caribou Highlands / Lutsen, Minnesota
Start Time: 8:00 AM
Shuttle bus for 100 mile start departs Caribou Highlands at 6:00AM
Course Maps and Aid Station Charts can be found HERE
What is This Page All About?
This page and included links are your race booklet, please read in its entirety and keep in mind that information may be updated and changed up until the race as needed. Nearly everything else you need to know about the race can be found on this page and THIS page. Registered runners can expect a welcome email from us with any new / additional information around 1 week out from the race.
State – Minnesota, Race start is 3.5 hours north of the Minneapolis (MSP) International Airport, 103.3 Mile point-to-point 100% trail ultramarathon – 95% single-track, Founded in 1991, Elevation Gain 21,000 FT, Elevation Loss 21,000 FT, NET Elevation Change 42,000 FT, 13 Aid Stations, 38 hour cutoff, Field is limited to 265 runners, registration via lottery, Reputation as one of the toughest, most scenic and best marked trail 100’s in the country.
Superior 100 Mile Trail Race / Endurance Run Description and History:
The Superior 100 Mile Trail Race is a point-to-point (95% trail) ultramarathon which traverses the Sawtooth Mountains on the Superior Hiking Trail in the far reaches Northern Minnesota near the Canadian Border . The course parallels the North-Shore of Lake Superior, the greatest freshwater lake in the world, climbs to near 2000′ peaks with breath-taking vistas of the lake and inland forests and crosses countless whitewater rivers and serene streams and meanders through mystic Boreal forests. The race starts at the Gooseberry Falls State Park Visitors’ Center, MN, and finishes at Caribou Highlands Lodge in Lutsen, MN. Runners will have access to thirteen aid stations between the start and finish, and will never go more than 10 miles without an opportunity for aid. The Superior Trail 100 was founded in 1991 when there was no more than a dozen 100 mile trail races in the USA, back then if you wanted to run a 100, you had choices like Western States (’74), Old Dominion (’79), Wasatch (’80), Leadville (’83), Vermont (’89), Angeles Crest (’86), Mohican (’90), Arkansas Traveller (’91) and Superior (’91). Superior quickly earned it’s reputation of its namesake today – Rugged, Relentless and Remote and is known to many as one of the toughest 100 mile trail races in the USA. Superior lives on now as one of the “legacy 100 milers” and is considered by many to be one of the most challenging, prestigious and beautiful 100 mile trail races in the country. None of the history or tradition of this race has been lost and is a great event for those looking for a world-class event with a low-key, old-school 100 miler feel. The Superior Trail Race is put on by ultrarunners for ultrarunners.
Registration is handled via a lottery and there is a qualifying standard for the 100 mile race – complete registration dates, details and information can be found HERE https://www.superiorfalltrailrace.com/registration-info/
Refunds – Transfers – Switches:
Entry fees are not refundable under any circumstance, race registrations are not transferable to other participants, future years races or other Rocksteady Running events and transferring between distances (up or down) is not allowed. Please consider these factors very carefully before registering.
What you get:
Transportation from Caribou Highlands (race finish) to the start (Gooseberry Falls State Park). A well-marked course with plenty of aid and tons of friendly, experienced volunteers. A complimentary post race meal. A high quality Tri-Blend T-Shirt – you can check out past years shirts HERE. All runners who finish the race within the 38 hour cutoff will receive a finishers buckle and a wood medal – you can see them HERE. As of 2012 you will receive one lifetime, Superior 100 hooded finishers sweatshirt when you finish the race (not a sweatshirt each year you finish) – you will be given a patch with your first name on it to sew onto the left chest and an orange star for each year that you finish – (starting with the left sleeve, down at the cuff as illustrated). If you have completed the race previously, we will provide you with stars for your previous finishes as well – some people will already be working on a second full sleeve! This is a fun way for others to know who you are (your name patch) and a cool way for others to see how many finishes others have achieved. Sweatshirts will be high-quality heavy 10 oz Cotton-Poly blend and will holdup for a lifetime! Unisex sizes Extra Small through XXL. You can see the sweatshirt HERE.
The race start is approximately 3.5 hours north of Minneapolis, Minnesota (Caribou Highlands is about 5 hours). Minneapolis (MSP) has a world-class international airport. You may also try to fly into the much smaller Duluth airport (DLH) which is only about 1 hours from the race start.
Caribou Highlands Lodge in Lutsen, MN is the race host hotel – the race finishes at Caribou Highlands and the finish-line will be just a short walk to your room. We recommend that you stay here and support Caribou Highlands as they do a great job supporting us! Special room rates are available if you mention you are a Superior 100 Mile racer. Call 1-800-642-6036 or visit their Website at http://www.caribouhighlands.com. Caribou Highlands’ address is 371 Ski Hill Road, P.O. Box 99 in Lutsen, MN 55612.
There are many camping options in the area but the best bet is probably one of the Great Minnesota State Parks! Below is a DNR Map showing all of the state parks on the North Shore. Gooseberry and Split Rock are very close to the race start – Tettegouche is more in the middle between the start and finish and Temperance and Cascade are closer to the finish (although Cascade is on the far-side / past the finish in Lutsen). Crosby Manitou is in the middle as well but the camping is not very close to Highway 61 & you have to take a lot of back roads to get there. Here is a complete list of Minnesota State Parks http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/
Thursday Packet Pick-Up & Pre-Race Briefing (Mandatory) & Spaghetti Dinner:
Thursday, September 5th, 5:00-8:00 pm
Packet Pickup: 5:00-8:00 pm
Pre-Race Briefing: 6:30 pm, lasts approximately 45 minutes
Spaghetti Dinner: 5:00-8:00 pm
Spaghetti dinner with bread, salad, and dessert. Cost is $10.00 for adults and $5.00 for children under 12 (not included in race entry). This is a fund-raiser for the Lake County 4-H clubs. Crews, volunteers, friends and family are welcome. Please be sure to thank everyone.
Lake County Fairgrounds 4H Building – 1381 Fairgrounds Road, Two Harbors, MN 55616
*From Duluth, take Highway 61 through Two Harbors. Turn Left (North) on 4th Street / County Road 2 (Holiday Gas Station is on the corner). Drive approx 1 mile to Fair Grounds Road / County RD 205 and take a right (East), follow for 1/2 miles to Lake County Fairgrounds / 4H building – park in lot across the road / under telephone poles.
Please keep your drop bags as small as possible. Your drop bag may be no larger than 15″ L x 10″W x 7.5″ H. Drop bags must be left during packet pickup on Thursday evening. Absolutely no drop bags will be accepted at the start on Friday morning. Each drop bag must be clearly labeled with the runner’s name, race distance, race number, and the drop bag’s destination aid station name. Make sure you items are in a plastic bag or something waterproof as we cannot guarantee that they will stay dry. Do not put valuables in your drop bag. Do not put canned liquids in your drop bag (Red Bull, Coke, Etc.) as they have the tendency to break open. Once the aid stations close, drop bags will be delivered to the finish line and likely will not be available until 8:30PM Saturday night. Drop bags will remain outside, unattended / unmonitored near the finish line until approx 9:00AM on Sunday. Unclaimed drop bags will not be mailed to you and will be donated to charity.
Every year runners get caught in a section without lights and it has a serious effect on their race! Remember, there are no drop bags at Tettegouche – most runners will want to pick up their lights at Silver Bay, only faster runners can make it all the way to County Road 6 without lights – know your pace and do the math and prepare for the unexpected! Sunrise is 6:30AM and sunset is 7:30PM.
Weather and Clothing:
Early Sept. in Northern Minnesota – we can have highs in the mid 80’s and lows in the mid 30’s or a combination of both. Rain is not uncommon. Be prepared, watch the forecast and plan accordingly. The official average high is 65F and the average low is 47F. Records are 81F and 37F. One item that we highly recommend for runners is a plastic bag, poncho or rain jacket that you can carry with you for a cold overnight or a down-pour – don’t succumb to a DNF because you did not have the proper clothing.
Bus to Start:
Runners are encouraged to leave their cars at the finish area (Lutsen / Caribou Highlands) and catch the free shuttle bus to the start. The bus will leave Caribou Highland at exactly 6:00 am to arrive at the start area around 7:00 am. We do not have a shuttle service after the race back to Two Harbors or Gooseberry State Park so please plan accordingly.
Friday Morning Check-In and Race Start:
Gooseberry Falls State Park Visitors’ Center – Friday, September 6th, 8:00 am. All runners must check-in race morning, we will start checking runners in as early as 6:30 – if you fail to do so, you are not officially in the race – this is your responsibility. There are toilets at the race start and we will have coffee compliments of Peets Coffee.
You will have the option of sending “warmups” / clothing from the race start back to the finish – please place in a plastic bag (these bags will not be protected from the elements) and label as “Warmups” with your name, race distance and race number. Do not put valuables in bags as these bags will get placed outside, near the finish line and will unattended / unmonitored.
Race numbers will be assigned prior to the race and made available on the website. You must wear your race number and it must be clearly visible at all times. If you are registered by August 15th you will have your first and last name custom printed on your race number, if you register after this date, you will not. The Superior “Fall” Trail Races host three races simultaneously, the Superior 100 Mile, the Superior 50 and the Superior / Moose Mountain Marathon. Each distance will have its own unique race number (unique color and number series) so runners can be easily identified by race officials, volunteers, spectators and other runners. We ask that all competitors wear their number on the front of their body on their outer-most layer at all times. Runners will be tracked coming into and out of each aid station. If we cannot see your number, we cannot track you or take your finishing time and if we cannot do that, you will be disqualified and will not earn an official finish. Your emergency contact information will be printed (in small print) on the front of your race number. If you have any medical conditions, allergies etc. you may write this information on the back of your race number so emergency personnel will have access to information pertinent to your care should something happen.
Pink Ribbon In Lieu of Back Bib:
Because the 100 mile race is not the only race happening during race weekend (50 mile and marathon runners start on Saturday Morning) we have often thought about implementing a “back bib” / race number for 100 mile runners, rather than do that and make it mandatory we came up with the idea of a piece of pink ribbon. You are welcome to take the piece of pink ribbon and tie it to the back of your hydration pack, waist belt etc. so you can easily be identified by runners doing the other distances, you will get tons of encouragement and will be passed with more care by these fresher / more energetic runners. It is NOT mandatory that you participate in this but 100 milers who have in the past have nothing but good things to say about it. 50 milers will similarly be issued a blue ribbon.
Your timing chip will be affixed to the back of your race number. Do not remove your timing chip. Do not bend or fold your timing chip or crumple your race number – this may break your timing chip. Your race number and your timing chip must be pinned on your outer-most layer at all times. Above guidelines must be followed in order ensure that split times and finish times are recorded. This chip is disposable and does not need to be returned. More info can be found HERE https://www.superiorfalltrailrace.com/chip-timing/
A comprehensive section on course markings with photos can be found HERE
The Superior 100 Mile Trail Race runs South to North. The course will be marked with Orange flags, which will always be on the left hand side of the trail. For sections encountered at night, the flags will also have reflective strips tied to them. Some of the critical danger areas such as cliffs or drop offs will be marked with reflective X’s. The Superior Trail 100 Mile primarily follows the Superior Hiking Trail – so look for official Superior Hiking Trail signs for assurance that you are on the right trail. Throughout the race you will encounter intersecting trails and Superior Hiking Trail “Spur-Trails” – the only time you will ever take a “Spur-Trail” or a trail that is not the superior hiking trail are as follows (these areas will be well-marked with our supplemental flags):
1.) To access the first aid station in the race, Split-Rock – follow the Spur trail to the aid station (check-in and get aid) then return to the Superior Hiking Trail on the same trail you came in on, continue north on trail.
2.) At the Finland aid station – follow the Spur trail to the Superior Hiking Trail parking lot / Finland aid station, (check-in and get aid) then return to the Superior Hiking Trail on the same spur-trail you came in on, continue north on trail.
3.) Sonju Lake Road – follow the Spur trail to the Superior Hiking Trail parking lot / Sonju Lake Road aid station, (check-in and get aid) then return to the Superior Hiking Trail on the same trail you came in on.
4.) Nearing the race finish shortly after crossing the Poplar River you will get off of the Superior Hiking trail and will follow orange / reflective flagging into Caribou Highlands / the finish line at the pool behind the building.
*It is unfortunate but is not unheard of at many of the major trail races that course vandalism has occurred and flagging has been intentionally moved or removed by small-minded individuals – it is important that you study the course prior to running and have a concept of where you are going – also, always remember, you are supposed to be on the Superior Hiking Trail ( – except in those specific instances listed above) and thousands of people navigate this trail from point to point each year without additional markings.
You must visit (and be recorded) at every aid station / you may not skip any aid stations. Our aid stations are manned by volunteers, many of them spending a good part of their weekend out on the race course – please be sure to thank the volunteers! A complete list of the aid stations can be found HERE. Aid stations will have the following beverage and food choices available: (All aid stations) Water, Hammer Heed, Hammer Gel, Soft Drinks, Peanut Butter Sandwiches, Potato Chips, Potatoes & Salt, Cookies, Candy, Fruit, Soup, Coffee, Misc. Hot-Foods (hot foods/coffee will be served from mile 34.9 on) If you have special dietary requirements or “make or break your race food items”, please make sure to make use of your drop bags.
Pacers & Support Crew:
Pacers are allowed in the 100 mile starting at mile 43.5 / County Road 6 after 6:00 PM – Pacers should not “mule” for runners. Runners will pick up pacer bibs along with their bib numbers at the pre-race meeting on Thursday night – all pacers must wear this. Crew (not including pacers) may only administer aid to runners at the aid stations, not at other points on the course. 100 mile runners may have ONE pacer at a time starting at County RD 6 / 43.5 miles after 6:00PM. 100 Mile runners may have up to TWO pacers for the last section of the race, Oberg to Lutsen. If you are looking for a pacer ask a friend, someone in your local running group or check the Superior Trail Race Facebook Page. Usually the best thing is to find someone who knows you as a runner – preferably someone you have done long runs with or have run long races with – that way they will know how to read you, anticipate your needs, push you when needed and hold back when required. If you don’t have someone like this to help, another experienced ultrarunner will work. What you don’t want is someone that YOU will end up having to take care of.
Info For Crews, Pacers, Spectators and Family (runners please share this with your crews):
It is unlikely that anything a runner does will ever put another participant, crew, pacer, spectator or the Superior Trail Race as a whole in jeopardy – more likely it would be a runners crew or a spectator inadvertently doing something in a vehicle near or at an aid station that could negatively impact the race – thankfully, to date, we have had very few problems! Please review the following link and forward this link on to your crew, pacers, family members and spectators. https://www.superiorfalltrailrace.com/crew-pacer-family-member-spectators-information/
Headphones are permitted but we ask that you use common sense. Full awareness of one’s surroundings, and the ability to communicate with other participants, race volunteers, and trail users not associated with the event are critical to everyone’s safety – please keep your volume low and or keep one ear out.
Trekking poles are allowed, please be cognizant of those around you when using your poles.
Don’t do it. If you see some trash someone else has dropped, pick it up. Keep the trail clean.
The Superior 100 has intermediate cutoffs at all but one aid station. The finish line cutoff for an official finish is 38 hours (Saturday, 10:00 pm). Intermediate cutoff times are listed in the table below. All cutoffs will be strictly enforced – we do however reserve the right to pull (or allow to continue) any racer as we see fit. Please keep in mind that these cutoffs are meant to give runners the benefit of the doubt that they can speed up after a tough section but we find that those that are pushing any of these cutoffs within as much of a half hour will struggle to finish – please do your own analysis of the course to determine proper pacing.
Intermediate Cutoffs – SUBJECT TO CHANGE
If You DNF:
Should you need to drop out of the race, remove your number and your chip and give them directly to the HAM radio operators at the aid station you are dropping at – if you are not sure who that is ask around until you find them. If you leave the course and fail to notify race officials, you will be asked not to come back to our race in the future.
The Superior Trail Race takes place on a very rugged, single-track hiking trail, running on such a trail comes with inherit risks that runners accept upon entering the event. In addition to trail conditions other potential dangers include but are not limited to of note to; Wet / slippery trail conditions (mud, roots and rocks), wet / slippery boardwalks and bridges, bees / bee stings, road crossings (use caution when crossing just as you would if you were a regular hiker on the trail or like you do on your training runs) and steep drops / cliffs. Hydration, all runners should have sufficient water carrying capacity to make it from aid station to aid station (water bottle or hydration pack / system).
Medical & Emergencies:
Emergencies dial 911. While the Superior Trail Race does have its own communications and medical support team, the event covers a lot of miles / area and our team cannot be everywhere at once. Additionally our teams primary goal is to provide communications and help with minor issues – we will rely on local emergency services for any major medical incident.
Two Harbors / Lake County
*For use from Two Harbors, Gooseberry Falls (Race Start) to Cramer Road Aid Station
Lakeview Memorial Hospital
325 11th Avenue
Two Harbors, MN 55616-1360
(218) 834-7300 Lake County Sheriffs Office
Lake County Law Enforcement Center
613 Third Avenue
Two Harbors, MN 55616
Grand Marais / Cook County
*For use from Temperance River Aid Station to Lutsen / Caribou Highlands (Race Finish)
Cook County North Shore Hospital and Care Center
515 5th Ave West
Grand Marais MN 55604
218-387-3040 Cook County Sheriffs Office
Cook County Law Enforcement Center
143 Gunflint Trl
Grand Marais, MN 55604
1st Place Overall Male and Female
1st place Open (age 39 – under) Male and Female
1st place Masters (age 40 – 50) Male and Female
1st Place Grand Masters (50+) Male and Female
Awards will be presented at approximately 8:00 PM Saturday – if you have won an award and have to leave early please let us know and we will get it to you before you leave.
Caribou Highlands Lodge will furnish shower facilities and towels for runners who are not staying at the lodge. Please be sure not to track any mud into the lodge, we will have hoses and brushes to scrub bodies and shoes outside prior to going into the building.
We will serve meat and vegetarian chili, with fixings and cookies. Food is for registered runners only, not crew and family members. Limit one meal per runner, please.
Results will be published in real time as runners finish the race. We will have a couple of computers available near the finish for runners to check results but more conveniently if you save the results link on your phone you will be able to check them at any time. The 100 mile also will have live runner tracking, a link to this can be found via the main navigation menu of our website.
Lost and Found
Any personal items left after the race will be donated to a charity or to other local runners in need. We will not ship items to you.
The Superior Fall Trail Race are qualifying races for a number of races throughout the world. The information contained on this page is not intended to be a comprehensive list of those races, instead highlights just a few of them. Participating in any of the Superior Fall Trail Race(s) that are qualifiers for other races does not guarantee you entry into any of those races. It is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with those races qualifying and registration / lottery requirements and procedures well in advance of any race that you would like to run. https://www.superiorfalltrailrace.com/qualifying-races/
We are always looking for them. Do you have friends and family coming but don’t really need them to follow you around to crew – see if they want to volunteer. Learn more by visiting the volunteer page.
Superior Hiking Trail Association
The Superior Hiking Trail is one of the premier long-distance single-track hiking trails in the WORLD (not exaggerating). We cannot thank you all enough for your donations to the SHTA. The trail would not be this well maintained without all your help. Consider becoming a Superior Hiking Trail Association member, it is very affordable and each contribution makes a world of difference. Learn more by visiting the Superior Hiking Trail online HERE
Next years race date:
The Superior Fall Trail Race is held the weekend after Labor Day weekend. The likely date for 2020 (subject to approval of permits / subject to change) is Sept. 11 & 12, 2020