There are a lot of custom Superior 100 pacing charts, graphs, spreadsheets and web based tools floating around out there, but the one that four time Superior 100 Mile winner and course record holder Mallory Richard created and shared with us is one of the more unique expressions of past runner data / split times that we have seen.  As with any automated pacing chart that is outputting data based on a massive amount of input / detail and making complex calculations, please note that there could be errors, or over time, could fall into disrepair so before implementing any of this data into your own race plan, be sure to do some of your own calculations / checks as well to make sure this info makes sense for your particular race plan.  Thank you Mallory for sharing and making this guest post!   – Superior Trail Race


Mallory Richard at Mt Trudee – Photo Credit Ian Corless


In August 2019, race director John Storkamp issued a challenge to the trail community: “What skills do you have that can strengthen our events and in turn our trail community?”

Challenge accepted.

The Superior Fall Trail race is my favorite race and always the highlight of my season. I cannot exaggerate how terrified I was going into the race for the first time, and four finishes later I still have a healthy fear of the course. It’s easier to face that fear now because I have gotten to know some of the wonderful people the race attracts. Sure, the course is going to chew me up and spit me out, but there are hundreds of people out there who have my back.

So, when John called on all of us to contribute something new that would benefit the trail community, I had to get creative. I don’t live close to the trail, so it’s hard for me to do trail maintenance in the region. I can crunch numbers, though. I had been poring over the splits from previous years to figure out where I might be able to improve on my 2018 finishing time. I realized that with a little extra work, I could find a way to share my analysis with other runners.!/vizhome/SuperiorFallTrailRace–100MileRaceData/SuperiorDashboard?publish=yes

Tableau is a visualization software product that I use at work. I took the public information on 100-mile splits (available HERE ) for all runners since 2014 and created a master spreadsheet. From there, I used Tableau to calculate the number of DNFs at each aid station and the average pace and leg time between aid stations.

How to Use this Tool:

  • Please note that this tool was designed for viewing on a desktop/laptop, as opposed to mobile devices
  • If you have a goal time when you’d like to finish, you can use the “Finishing Time” filter to bring up the average paces for each leg and use those to plan your race
  • You can use the average leg times to give your crew some more informed estimates of when you’re likely to arrive at the next aid station
  • You can use the paces and DNF stats to anticipate which sections of the course are the most challenging
  • If you hover the cursor over the question mark icon or the pace chart, you’ll get some additional information

Some Notes on the Methodology:

  • Most years, there aren’t splits available for the aid station at Sonju Lake Road. Therefore, the split times for Crosby-Manitou reflect how long it takes to get from Finland to Crosby-Manitou. Similarly, if anyone dropped at Sonju Lake Road, I recorded them as dropping at Crosby-Manitou instead because that’s the next aid station where they should have had a split, but didn’t.
  • I only used the splits of runners who finished the race when calculating average paces. I figured that their paces might skew the average if, for example, runners DNFed after starting out too fast or after getting injured and walking to the next aid station, their pace isn’t a good indicator of a steady pace that would get you a finish within your goal time.
  • You’ll notice that the Finishing Hour filter rounds down. So, for example, if you aspire to a finishing time with a “32” in it and you’d be happy with 32:47, then the “32” on the filter will work for you. If, on the other hand, your goal is to finish under 32 hours, then you’re better off selecting “31.”
  • I included the filters for year, age group, and gender for your curiosity. Filtering by year may help you if you want to see the average paces for a hot year, or a muddy year, etc.


I hope that you enjoy this. I look forward to seeing you at the race.

– Mallory Richard

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.