Photo Credit: Ian Corless

Those of you that know me, know that when I sit down to write the thank you letter to our amazing team after each years race, I have big themes on my mind – all of the emotion and team spirit from the race yet to recede from the surface. My focus almost always on the raw, honest and emotional level vs the superficial, practical or functional. Well, I am there per usual, but a thank you note from a runner that made its way to my inbox yesterday cut through my post-race cloud-nine daze and hit me with the reality of what we have been able to accomplish, working together as cohesive and consistent group year after year. I am humbled to say the least. I think that you will be too.

“I want to keep this short and sweet because I can’t imagine how busy you are directing these races. Thank you for doing everything you do to make Superior the event that it is. This was my first year running it after pacing and crewing for Bob S. last year. I wasn’t successful in completing the race, but I’ve had a lot of time to reflect and it’s definitely the best race experience I’ve ever had. The support, the volunteers, the aid stations, everything is steeped in excitement and tension the whole way (at least what I was able to get through). The SHT speaks for itself in what a wonderful and challenging trail it is. My friend James came out with me from the DC area to crew me. He’s run dozens of 100s, has done the Grand Slam, has run UTMB, regularly crews for Mike Wardian, and he said that he’s never seen support for a race like he saw at Superior. The packed station at Tettegouche particularly impressed him. What you have going on is really special, and I hope that you continue to helm the race for years to come. My wife and I are moving to Germany for a few years in a couple of month’s time here, but I’m already planning on doing everything I can to make that lottery for next year and every year after. I need the buckle and sweatshirt. Thanks again, I hope you and yours can rest for a bit here. It’s well deserved.”

Better read that again…

“He’s run dozens of 100s, has done the Grand Slam, has run UTMB, regularly crews for Mike Wardian, and he said that he’s never seen support for a race like he saw at Superior.”

UTMB is a race in France that is hands-down the biggest highest profile ultrarunning race in the world. The Grand Slam includes the following races, maybe you have heard of a couple of them… Old Dominion 100 Mile Endurance Run, Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run, Vermont 100 Endurance Race, Leadville Trail 100 Run, and Wasatch Front 100 Mile endurance Run.

And are these sentiments unique? Not in the least. I have the pleasure of speaking with people from all over the country that come to our race, after having raced dozens and not uncommonly 100’s of times all over the country (and world) and I frequently hear much the same. When people say Superior “is the best at…” or “has the best…”, it is not meant to put down or say that other races are not great (because they most certainly are), but it is also not hyperbolic, there is something really special here. YOU facilitate this. YOU make this possible.

I am also equally humbled by the number of phone calls, emails and interactions I have had with our team leaders (aid station captains, marking and sweeping leads, finish line coordinators, radio operators, timers etc.) that are already talking about tweaks and plans for additional refinement to make the experience even better in the years to come. Couple this with the first, second and third year volunteers who are already making their plans for next year. Thus the words on the t-shirt, right? SUPERIOR COLLECTIVE – FOREVER RISING.

Thank you all. Until next time.

John Storkamp
Race Director
Superior Trail Race

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.