* The following was emailed to all registered 2020 Superior Fall Trail Race runners and volunteers on Thursday May 7, 2020.

Dear Friends,

I hope that this email finds you and your family healthy and safe during these extraordinary times. In all honesty, these have been very stressful times for Cheri and I. We have been worried about our races, our business and our future. More importantly than that, we have been worried about our at risk parents and our fellow citizens. I am sure that you all are dealing with your own unique set of circumstances and worries, and we are thinking of you.  We will get through this, and maybe we will even be better for it – strength through adversity.

The reason for my email today is to give you an update regarding the Superior Fall Trail Race in light of COVID-19.  I will start by saying that above all, our primary concern and the determining factor behind the decisions we make will be runner / volunteer and community safety and health. 

I know that many of you have been to the Superior Fall Trail Race website and have seen our more comprehensive updates that primarily focused on two of our early season races that we have already had to cancel, the Zumbro Endurance Run and the Superior Spring Trail Race – https://www.superiorfalltrailrace.com/covid-19-press-release-4-9-20/  – I cannot tell you how hard it was to have to cancel these races.  That said, we have been blown away by the outpouring of support from so many individuals following the cancellation of these races – I know that we are not alone, our community is strong, we are all in this together and we will get through this.    

At this time the Superior Fall Trail Race is still scheduled and we are continuing to monitor the situation.  The Minnesota “Stay at Home” order is currently in effect through May 18 (although this could be extended).  Even though September is a ways off, the information I have been reading, watching and listening to indicates that non-essential “group and mass gatherings” will be the very last thing to come back, that there is significant potential for second and third waves of the virus, and that it will be quite some time until there is a vaccine.  We are just over four months out from the race, so we believe it is worth taking a wait and see approach as things unfold over the coming months. As much time and effort as it takes to host a race, it takes a significant amount of communication and coordination to cancel one – so we will continue to prepare to sanely and systematically carry out either decision. During this time we will monitor the situation generally, while keeping in touch with our many permitting agencies, the communities where the race is held, and other local authorities.  

Regarding travel: While I realize that participants coming from out of state would normally start making travel plans in the coming months, I strongly encourage anyone planning to fly to Minnesota to not book anything at this time. If you are already booked I would advise reviewing the specific information provided by your airline – several airlines have been offering more flexibility / leniency in regards to cancellations and rescheduling. Participants should also familiarize themselves with the cancellation policies of rental cars and lodging / accommodations if either apply.  

Regarding training: Obviously 26.2, 50 or 100 miles on the Superior Hiking Trail is a major undertaking and the training required is intensive.  I know that at some point you will be looking to ramp up your training more, or if the race is to be canceled, may be inclined to take things down a notch. While I wish I could provide more clarity, each person is just going to have to make the best decisions they can for themselves and finesse it the best that they can.  I know that some people are training more than ever because it is a stress relief for them and will do so regardless of races happening this year.  I also know that there are others who are finding that the stress of running, on top of the stress of daily life, is just too much right now.  Regardless, I implore you, do not be too hard on yourselves and at a minimum, try to get out for some fresh air and exercise a few days a week, it does not need to be anything major – I think we all need that for our mental health right now. 

Regarding if you will be in a position to, or will even want to race this Fall should the race proceed: I know that there are those who have been more severely impacted by this pandemic than others.  Some who have contracted the virus, others that are facing financial hardship and still others that are just generally and emotionally having a hard time coping with all of this.  For those of you that do not feel like you will be in a position to race this Fall we do not want you to feel any pressure or add to your stress by having to worry about skipping this year’s race (in the event that it should proceed) and not being selected in the lottery next year.  So, even if the race does go on this year, if you cannot, or choose not to race, we are guaranteeing you a spot in the 2021 race (assuming that it happens).  You would still need to enter the lottery during the lottery registration period and pay the registration fee, but we will guarantee you a spot. 

Obviously, on the list of our collective priorities right now, racing does not rate real high.  That said, at some point, things will start to return to normal (or normal’ish), and when they do, we plan to be ready.

I will be back in touch.  If in the meantime you have any questions, you can reply to this email and I will get right back to you.  Until then, stay safe and be well.

Thank You,

John Storkamp
Race Director
[email protected]

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.