*Below is a copy of the email that was sent to all registered runner pertaining to the cancellation of the 2020 Superior Fall Trail Race on 7/30/2020.

Dear Friends,

It is with great sadness that today, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are announcing the cancellation of what would have been the 30th Annual Superior Fall Trail Race on the North Shore of Lake Superior in Northern Minnesota. Race weekend includes the Superior 100 Mile Trail Race, Superior 50 Mile Trail Race and the Moose Mountain Marathon. The races were scheduled for September 11 & 12, 2020 / the weekend after Labor Day, just as they have been for the last 30 years.

I am so sorry that we cannot come together as a community to race this year. I will miss greeting you at the finish line in Lutsen. More than that however, I am sorry for any of you personally, your friends or family, that have suffered firsthand effects of the virus and for the collective toll that this pandemic is taking on all of us.

In my last update, which was about six weeks ago, I promised that we would continue with a wait and see approach. During that time we continued making preparations for the race – heck just yesterday we got the 100 mile finisher sweatshirt name patches in the mail, my heart sank when I opened the package and looked through all of the names. In mid June we felt that there was at least some cause for optimism that come Fall, a modified race might be possible. Minnesota had seen some progress with COVID-19 cases, the state moved into Phase 3 of its reopening plan and we were hearing some rumblings that we might be on track to begin Phase 4 sooner than later. Since that time, the country as a whole has seen increased cases, with increased safety measures implemented. Talk of further reopening in our state has gone quiet.

As of today and for the foreseeable future, Minnesota state guidelines do not allow an event of our size and scope to take place, even with modifications. Our major permitting agencies are bound by state guidelines and are administering our permits accordingly. As a result, we are unable to proceed with the Superior Fall Trail Race.

I would like to take extra care to note that just as this decision was out of our hands, it was also out of the hands of our permitting agencies. State guidelines and ultimately the trajectory of the virus made this decision for all of us. We believe that the safety of our runners, volunteers and communities that our race interfaces with should be the greatest priority. We remain grateful to our permitting agencies and all of our community partners for their longstanding support of the Superior Trail Race. These relationships have been fostered over three decades of the Superior races, and working closely and collaboratively with these partners in the coming year will be crucial as we make plans for the races to return in 2021.

I know I have subjected you all to a lot of updates and a lot of reading this year, so thank you for bearing with me. Rather than blow up your inboxes with what is a significantly longer and more comprehensive writeup regarding the cancellation, I am providing a link to it below. I encourage you to read it when you have time. https://www.superiorfalltrailrace.com/covid-19-update-7-30-20-2020-superior-fall-trail-race-cancellation

Below are just a couple of key takeaways I want to touch on before closing:

Assuming that sufficient progress is made with virus in the coming months / year and we are able to proceed with the Superior Fall Trail Race in 2021, everyone that made it through the lottery this year will be guaranteed acceptance into next year’s race should you choose to register. You will still need to register yourself during the lottery registration period (dates TBD) and you will be required to pay the 2021 entry fee in full. You will not have to requalify – meaning, you can use the same qualifying race that you used when entering the 2020 race. We will stay in touch with you over the Winter as we continue to monitor progress with the virus, coordinate with our permitors and stakeholders, and zero in on when / if we can open registration for the 2021 race. Should we be able to proceed, the date(s) of the 2021 race will be Friday September 10 and Saturday September 11, 2021.

We will be mailing you this year’s t-shirt. Expect to receive it around the time that the race would have been held. We will use the mailing address that you provided when you registered. If your mailing address has changed since you registered, shoot us an email so we can get it updated in our records. Please keep in mind that the Superior t-shirt is not a finishers shirt – this is the same shirt all runners (regardless of finishing or not) and volunteers receive and that your friends and family have the ability to purchase after each year’s race. Rather than finishers shirts, our shirts are Superior-experience / Minnesota-proud–trail-lifestyle shirts. We think you will like them and hope that you will wear them to show your support for and solidarity with the race.

As ultrarunners, we go out and do what many people consider impossible and we never shy away from a challenge. But, in order to have a long and healthy running career, or to become a race on the cusp of its 30th annual, we need to take the long view. What that means to me in this case is that taking a DNS ‘did not start’ means that we ‘did nothing stupid’ and DNF ‘did not finish’ means that we ‘did nothing fatal’. Sometimes you just have to live to fight another day; there is no shame in that, whatsoever. We learn, we adapt, we grow and we come back better than before. We will race again when the time is right.

Finally, I think I can sum up my feelings, and speak to many of your feelings by saying that I am just plain sad that this cancellation is what will punctuate our race season. I cannot tell you how much we miss sharing the trails and the experiences with all of you. Until we can all share the trails again, please take great care of yourselves and each other.

If you need anything or if you have any questions, please reach out and I will get right back to you.

John Storkamp
Race Director

Superior Fall Trail Race
100MI, 50MI, 26.2MI Trail Race(s)
Lutsen, Minnesota
(approx 4hrs North of Minneapolis, MN)
September 11 & 12, 2020
100MI Friday 8:00AM
50MI Saturday 5:15AM
26.2MI Saturday 8:00AM

Registration / Lottery:
Registration via 15 day lottery registration period.
Opens Wednesday January 1st, 2020 – 12:01AM CST
Closes Wednesday January 15th, 2020 – 11:59PM CST
Complete Lottery / Registration Details HERE

100MI Start: Gooseberry Falls State Park, MN HERE
50MI Start: Finland Rec Center – Finland, MN HERE
26.2MI Start: Cramer Road – Schroder, MN HERE
Races Finish: Carbibou Highlands – Lutsen, MN HERE

The Superior Fall Trail Races 100MI, 50MI & 26.2MI are run on rugged, rooty, rocky, 95% single-track trail with near constant climbs and descents.  The race is held on the Superior Hiking Trail in the Sawtooth Mountains paralleling Lake Superior in Northern Minnesota / not far from the Canadian border.  The race located approximately 4 hours North of Minneapolis, Minnesota.   The Superior Fall Trail Races are very difficult / challenging races and are probably not a good choice for your first trail or ultra race (see Registration Info for qualifying requirements).

100 Mile:
Point to Point 103.3 Miles
Elevation Gain 21,000 FT
Elevation Loss 21,000 FT
NET Elevation Change 42,000 FT
13 Aid Stations
38 hour time limit
Complete 100MI Info HERE

50 Mile:
Point to Point 52.1 Miles
Elevation Gain 12,500 FT
Elevation Loss 12,500 FT
NET Elevation Change 25,000 FT
7 Aid Stations
16.75 hour time limit
Complete 50MI Info HERE

26.2 Mile:
Point to point 26.2 Miles
Elevation Gain 5,500 FT
Elevation Loss 5,500 FT
NET Elevation Change 11,000 FT
3 Aid Stations
14 hour cutoff
Complete 26.2MI Info HERE

More About the Race:
The Superior Trail 100 was founded in 1991 when there was no more than a dozen or so 100 mile trail races in the USA, back then if you wanted to run a 100, you had choices like Western States, Hardrock, Leadville, Wasatch, Cascade Crest, Umstead, Massanutten and Superior . Superior quickly earned it’s reputation of its namesake today – Rugged, Relentless and Remote and is known as one of the tougher 100 mile trail races.  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. Shortly after the inception of the 100, the Superior 50 was started and in the early 2000’s the Moose Mountain Marathon was added. 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.

More About the Area:
The North Shore of Lake Superior runs from Duluth, Minnesota at the Southwestern end of the lake, to Thunder Bay and Nipigon, Ontario, Canada, in the North to Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, in the east. The shore is characterized by alternating rocky cliffs and cobblestone beaches, with rolling hills and ridges covered in boreal forest inland from the lake, through which scenic rivers and waterfalls descend as they flow to Lake Superior. The shoreline between the city of Duluth to the international border at Grand Portage as the North Shore.  Lake Superior is considered the largest freshwater lake in the world by surface area. It is the world’s third-largest freshwater lake by volume and the largest by volume in North America.  The Superior Hiking Trail, also known as the SHT, is a 310-mile long distance hiking single-track hiking trail in Northeastern Minnesota that follows the ridgeline overlooking Lake Superior for most of its length. The trail travels through forests of birch, aspen, pine, fir, and cedar. Hikers and runners enjoy views of boreal forests, the Sawtooth Mountains, babbling brooks, rushing waterfalls, and abundant wildlife. The lowest point on the trail is 602 feet above sea level and the highest point is 1,829 feet above sea level.