[ You are receiving this email because you are registered for the 2021 Superior Fall Trail Race – September 10 & 11, 2021. As with most of the info I put out, this email is detailed / comprehensive, so allow some time to review it, if you don’t you will be pretty lost come race weekend. ]
We are just under three weeks out from the 30th Annual Superior 100, 50 and 26.2 mile trail races! Superior was founded in 1991, the 100 mile race is one of ten original 100 mile races in the country (there are well over 200 now). I am so grateful that we all get to be part of this historic and transformative event! We have over 220 volunteers signed up to help make the race a reality, and I expect about another 25 between now and race day. Most volunteers give a minimum of 12 hours of their time, many 24 hours or more and some up to an entire week. If you have a minute and want to see something incredible, have a look at our volunteer assignments https://www.superiorfalltrailrace.com/volunteer-assignments/ – this should give you a pretty good glimpse into the logistics involved in a point to point 100 mile trail race and the lengths to which our volunteers go for you! It is going to be a smaller field than in years past and that is AOK. We have the following number of registered runners: 100MI = 200, 50MI = 105, 26.2M = 279. It is going to be awesome.
The reason for my email today is that I had promised I would get back to you, with ample time prior to the race, with some answers on the items that were noted as ‘outstanding’ / ‘subject to change’ when you first reviewed all of the race info prior to signing up. After the tumultuous last year and a half, I do so with the ongoing disclaimer that things are still subject to change between now and race day, so stay nimble, but below is what we are currently planning for and in turn you can start planning for as well.
Please note that some of the items below are race distance specific, while others pertain to all distances.
• The Thursday 100 Mile pre-race event is still happening from 5PM until 8PM at the Lake County Fairgrounds 4H Building and will still serve as the mandatory packet-pickup and drop-bag dropoff, but we WILL NOT be holding the formal pre-race meeting / presentation OR the spaghetti dinner. Remember, we only accept drop bags at packet pickup on Thursday, never on Friday at the race start.
• Specific drop bag info / guidelines are clearly spelled out on the race website, so I am not going to reiterate those here (beyond telling you that we WILL REJECT drop bags that are not within the specified size limit.) You will mark your drop bags with the aid station location, your name and your bib number, the list of bib number assignments can be found HERE https://www.superiorfalltrailrace.com/2021-bib-assignments/
• Friday’s Marathon and 50 Mile packet pickup is still happening from 5PM until 8PM at Caribou Highlands lodge, but, we WILL NOT be holding the optional pre-race meeting.
• We have made some tweaks to how things are arranged around Caribou Highlands / race headquarters / finish area. All changes are shown on the diagram HERE https://www.superiorfalltrailrace.com/wp-content/uploads/caribou-highlands-lodge-finish-diagram-rev-8-22-21.jpg The primary changes are as follows a.) Marathon and 50 mile packet pickup will no longer be in the Village Chalet, instead will be under a tent on the South side of the property. b.) The shuttle buses to the start of all races will no longer pick you up right in front of Caribou Highlands, rather, you will get on in the large gravel surface lot on the other side of Ski Hill Road c.) Races this year will not finish next to the pool, rather you will run another couple hundred feet to the South, finishing near the Caribou Highlands recreation area (same as the Spring race if you were there).
• If you are riding the shuttle bus to the race start(s) for the 100, 50 or 26.2, masks will be required. As long as those around you are OK with it and it is not too cold, feel free to open up some windows during the bus ride as well.
• We are planning to be able to allow crew, pacer and spectator access at all aid stations that have allowed crew, pacer and spectator access in the past (pacers for the 100 milers only, crew and spectators allowed for all three distances) per THIS https://www.superiorfalltrailrace.com/wp-content/uploads/Superior-Fall-Trail-Race-MASTER-Aid-Station-Logistics-Revised-8-19-19.pdf – if you have crew, pacers and spectators they need to review and print the info HERE https://www.superiorfalltrailrace.com/crew-pacer-family-member-spectators-information/
• Water at aid stations. Remember, we are now a cupless race, if you want to drink water or soda out of a cup, you have to have your own (each aid station will have a small stash of paper cups should you lose your reusable cup along the way.) If you are not familiar with these reusable cups they are easy to find and procure prior to the race, HERE https://hydrapak.com/products/speed-cup-200-ml is an example. Note that we WILL provide disposable cups for things like coffee and soup at the aid stations. Secondly, as far as filling your water bottles / bladders goes, the protocol will be as follows… We ask that you DO NOT fill your own water out of the water jugs, instead, take the cap off of your water bottle, soft flask or open your hydration bladder and hold it out for a volunteer to fill, from a pitcher.
• Aid station food. Reminder; we will not have any gels, electrolyte tabs or sports drink. Over the last number of years everyone seems to have their own preferred brand and we spend more time reading expiration dates and throwing things out than you do ingesting them, and we can no longer justify the waste. We will have several types of salty and sweet pre-packaged snacks, and most should be vegetarian and vegan (think chips, cookies, crackers, trail mix, fruit snacks). We are in the procurement phase now, once we know exactly what we have, we will try to provide some more detail regarding the specific items. We will have Coke and Ginger Ale. From County Road 6 through the finish, we will be providing the aid stations with chicken noodle and vegan soup mix and aid station captains / crews will also be providing their own unique hot food item or two (usually simple things like grilled cheese, mashed potatoes, etc.)
• There is currently and will very likely be a fire ban in Northern Minnesota come race weekend, just be aware that if you don’t see the usual campfires at the aid stations, this is why.
• Post race food. We are planning to provide pre-portioned cups of chili (regular and vegetarian), cornbread and cookies in a sanitary, grab-and-go format for runners once they finish. Please remember the chili is for registered runners only and please only have one serving, so the last runners will be able to have some too. Caribou Highlands will then have both a quick / burger-stand and sit-down dining options for you and your family / crew / spectators (to purchase) once you are ready or obviously you are welcome to grab your own stuff or go out elsewhere.
• Awards. There will be no overall or age group awards / trophies. Early in the season at our other races we just did away with them in order to eliminate one more congregation / touchpoint, where things are at now and the fact that everything is outside, we could obviously have awards… that said, we have really liked the vibe, resonance, and lack of duality of not having awards and we are going to roll with it for a bit. Note this is just the dozen or so overall and age group trophies… all runners will grab their t-shirt at packet pickup. All finishers will be handed a medal as they cross the finish line, and 100 milers will be handed their buckles. 100 milers will grab their finishers sweatshirts and name patches (if they have not received one in the past), and all 100 mile finishers will grab their star under the tent.
• Merchandise. We have had a number of questions pertaining to whether or not we would have Superior / RSR merchandise for sale at the event this year. We will. We will have stuff at both packet pickups and at the finish all day Saturday… cash or check only please.
• After a big change to their organization and system, we should be all set up and good to go so this year’s races will qualify (like years past) for UTMB qualifying points.
• If you want to check it out, HERE https://www.superiorfalltrailrace.com/2021-race-shirt/ is this year’s race shirt
OK, that was a lot! Homework between now and race day remains the same, review the website – everything you need to know is on there (if you find something that is not and have a question, please email me, I am always happy to help). About a week out from the race, we will consider the information on the website final, and I will send one more email with any final updates… until then, enjoy the last couple weeks of Summer! Hopefully we get some nice Fall-like weather on the North Shore in September.