2017 Superior 50 Mile Winner Kelly Teeselink – Photo Credit Amy Broadmore


An interview with 2017 Superior 50 Mile winner Kelly Teeselink (KT) – Interview conducted by Kevin Langton (KL)




KL: First, congrats on an incredible race and a great season (including a win at Kettle Moraine 100). Please tell us how your race played out.
KT: Thank you! It’s been a fun year so far. I went into the race not knowing what to expect. My plan was to run strong but comfortable and I was hoping for an 11-12 hour finish, but I also wasn’t too focused on time and wanted to respect the course. I passed a huge conga line around mile 6 and then found out I was in the lead at the first aid station—which is not how I usually roll. If it’s in the cards, I prefer to hunt rather than be hunted! I never knew how far behind the second female was during the race so was a bit anxious I would get passed eventually if I slowed down at all. But I just continued to run my own race and ended up having a really good day out there holding a steady pace for the most part.


KL: This is your first time racing this course (as far as I can tell). What did you think of the course and how did you prepare for it?
KT: I absolutely loved it—the course, volunteers, runners, everything about this race was awesome. I was prepared for rocks, roots, and hills (which were plentiful) but was surprised how much I could open up a bit, too. I really had a fun time out there. I didn’t have a ton of time between Kettle and Superior but did get about two months to really focus on this race. I’m coached by Matt Flaherty and he had me working on getting good vert in—which as you can imagine is hard to do in Iowa! We did this with uphill workouts on the dreaded treadmill and I did a bit of traveling to trails on the eastern border of Iowa along the Mississippi where long climbs are easier to come by. Most of my long runs were not super long—but I would focus on quality so stronger running on the ups/downs, faster finishes, etc.


KL: What is something besides running that helped your race? How did it help?
KT: Deep tissue massages! With just a few months between my races, recovery was super important. I did not want to dig myself into a hole. I’ve got the best massage therapist in town and I take full advantage. I don’t know how many little aches/pains he’s prevented from becoming full blown injuries—and I don’t want to find out!


KL: What was the lowest point of your race? What helped you get through it?
KT: I usually always have a bit of a low point right before the halfway point and this race was no different. I was able to get through it because I saw my friend and 100-mile runner Tanya Giannottii on the course right before the mile 26 aid station! She was going through a low point too so we were both happy to see each other. I stopped and checked in with her and we even took a photo together. That encounter lifted my spirits tremendously and I never really had a low point after that. I also got to see her finish and that was definitely a highlight of my Superior experience.


KL: What’s something we should know about you that doesn’t have to do with running?
KT: Let’s see. This is hard. A lot of my life revolves around running in some way. Before I was a runner, I used to be a somewhat competitive golfer in my high school days. I also used to smoke. Ew.


KL: Bonus question! Please make up a question you think we should know about and answer it.
KT: To piggyback on the previous answer, I started running when I was 23 with the Couch to 5k program.  A lot of people who hear about ultrarunning think they could never do it and that us ultrarunners all have a running background. Truth is—a lot of us don’t! That’s not saying everyone should go run ultras but if you really have the desire to do it, it’s 100% possible. I am so thankful I found trails and the ultrarunning community. Both have made a huge impact in my life and can’t imagine my life without either!


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.