superior_fall_website_device_mockup

We are super excited to announce the unveiling of the new Superior Fall Trail Race website!  This post probably gets a little more technical and delves into the nuts and bolts of why we designed our site the way we did than the average reader (runner) may be interested in – but besides trail / ultrarunning, web design and user experience is another thing we are very passionate about – so here goes!

Too often I find myself going online to check out a race that I just heard of or click a Facebook link to a race a friend has signed up for only to learn, well… nothing or at least nothing very easily.  As a potential participant, when I go to a race website there are a few basic things I am looking learn and hopefully, learn very quickly without having to look too hard.

• Where is the race held (region, state, nearest city)
• When is the race (what time of year and what is the exact calendar date)
• What does the course / race look like (beautiful, ugly, mountainous, flat)
• When does registration open, close and are their field limits etc.

From there, if the prospective race fits the criteria for something I would like to run, I will take the time to dig further into the website and hopefully that website is laid out intuitively.

When we decided to retool the Superior Fall Trail Race website we started with the name / URL.  You now find the Superior Fall Trail Race website at https://www.superiorfalltrailrace.com  Next, we were determined to give people the best feel possible of what this race is all about and what better way to do as much than with beautiful photography.  We have been blessed to have (since the inception of this event) some of the most dedicated and talented volunteer photographers I have ever seen and we really wanted to showcase their work!  It is hard to sum any trail / ultra up in words or a single image, so we went for it and sorted through 1000’s of images and came up with about 100 awesome photos that we feel represent the race and put them all on the homepage, front and center.  With the help of some fancy code that makes it manageable to load this many images without completely bogging down the site, it worked out wonderfully and gives you an immediate feel for the race – like they say, a picture is worth a 1000 words!  So while we made the home page of the site very visual we made sure that that basic bullet list of items I listed previously can be found quickly and easily and we did this via a couple of strategically placed “Quick-Info” links that activate a nifty “Flyout” slider containing all of the most important information.

From there, we stayed with a similar layout of the old site but grouped most of the key content / pages into “mega-menus” so when you hover over the header “Race Information” for example, a large menu with all of your options appears and you can quickly make a decision about where you want to go.  We kept our unique results section where you can not only see results from a single year, but can compare year to year results and analyze result in several ways via search and sorting via the column headers.  We retooled the Course Records page into a “Records” page, and put the focus not just on the fastest times run, but accounted for those runners with the most finishes and highlighted the youngest and oldest finishers of each distance.  We reorganized the race reports page and continue to encourage anyone that has written about their experiences at the race to please submit their race reports for inclusion on the race site – your first hand experience as runners is invaluable to anyone considering running one of the events!  We retooled the sponsors and volunteer sections of the website – as you all know, we would not have an event without volunteers and sponsors and wanted to make sure that volunteering is as painless as possible and that our sponsors get proper recognition!

Well, I could go on but I digress and encourage you to spend some time exploring the site.  If there is something that you are looking for and it feels like it took more effort than it should have, please drop us a line.  We thank you; runners, volunteers and sponsors for your continued support of our awesome event – we look forward to seeing you all in the Fall at the Superior Trail Race!

Sincerely,

John Storkamp
Race Director
Superior Fall Trail Race

+ Click HERE for Quick Info

Superior Fall Trail Race
100MI, 50MI, 26.2MI Trail Race(s)
Lutsen, Minnesota
(approx 4hrs North of Minneapolis, MN)
September 8 & 9, 2017
100MI Friday 8:00AM
50MI Saturday 5:15AM
26.2MI Saturday 8:00AM

Registration / Lottery:
Registration via 15 day lottery registration period.
Opens Sunday January 1st, 2017 – 12:01AM CST
Closes Sunday January 15th, 2017 – 11:59PM CST
Complete Lottery / Registration Details HERE

Directions:
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

Terrain:
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
16.5 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 17MI 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.