Dear Runners,

My last email to you was just over a week ago. If for some reason you missed it, or would like to review it again, it can be found HERE

A lot has happened over the last week. Our alternate course utilizing forest roads was approved by the USFS and DNR. It warmed up and most of the snow melted. We had a 70+ degree day on Tuesday, and we had heavy rains on Wednesday and Thursday. While the trails did not need any more moisture, the good thing about the rain is that it helps to melt snow and helps to drive frost out of the ground. As expected we are seeing those frost out conditions I described. I have been out on the normal Superior Hiking Trail race course and our alternate forest road race course each day; observing, clearing trees and doing “trail plumbing”. We will be doing the same each day through Wednesday.

I have been seeing a fair amount of good trail out there, but where it is bad, it is too bad to run, as of today at least. If the race were tomorrow, we wouldn’t hold it on the SHT. If the race was in two weeks, I would feel pretty confident that we would be good to go. We have one week until the race, it is going to come down to the wire and it could break either way. I know you do not like the uncertainty, I don’t either, but regardless of the course it will be a gift to run together on the North Shore and congregate at Caribou Highlands.

As mentioned in my previous correspondence, we will make and communicate a final decision to you regarding what course we will use no later than the end of day, Wednesday May 18.

If you have questions please make sure you have reviewed the race website, my initial correspondence regarding this issue and the FAQ at the end of that correspondence. I don’t say this because I do not want to communicate with you, but because I may be slow to get back to you as I will be out on the trails from sun up to sun down each day over the coming days.

Thank You,

John Storkamp
Race Director

Superior Spring Trail Race
50KM, 25KM & 12.5KM
Lutsen, Minnesota
Saturday May 16, 2020
50KM 7:00AM
25KM 8:00AM
12.5KM 9:00AM

Registration / Lottery:
Opens Wednesday January 1st, 2020 – 12:01AM CST
Closes Wednesday January 15th, 2020 – 11:59PM CST
* Due to high demand, registration for the Superior “Spring” Trail Race is held via a lottery, more details about the lottery can be found HERE

Directions to Race Start:
Caribou Highlands Resort / Lodge
371 Ski Hill Road
Lutsen, MN 55612
Google Maps Directions HERE
Approx Travel Times
1:15 North of Two Harbors, MN
1:45 North of Duluth, MN
4:00 North of Minneapolis, MN

Terrain / Course Description:
The Superior 12.5KM, 25KM and 50KM Trail Races are extremely hilly, rugged and technical out-and-back (100% trail) trail-races which traverses the Sawtooth Mountain Range on the Superior Hiking Trail in the far reaches northern Minnesota .  The course parallels Lake Superior, the greatest freshwater lake in the world, climbs to near 2000′ peaks with breath-taking vistas of the lake and inland forests and crosses whitewater rivers and serene streams while meandering through mystic Boreal forests.  The races start and finish at Caribou Highlands Resort in Lutsen Minnesota.

Superior 50KM
25KM Out & Back Course = 50KM (31MI)
Elevation Gain 4,200 FT
Elevation Loss 4,200 FT
NET Elevation Change 8,400 FT
4 Aid Stations
9 Hour Time Limit
Starts at 7:00AM Saturday
Compete 50KM Info HERE

Superior 25KM
12.5KM Out & Back Course = 25KM (15.1MI)
Elevation Gain 2,300 FT
Elevation Loss 2,300 FT
NET Elevation Change 4,600 FT
1 Aid Station
8 Hour Time Limit
Starts Saturday at 8:00AM
Complete 25KM Info HERE

Superior 12.5KM
12.5KM Point to Point Course. 12.5KM = 7.75MI
Elevation Gain  900 FT
Elevation Loss 1,050 FT
NET Elevation Change 1,950 FT
NO Aid Stations
7 Hour Time Limit
Starts Saturday at 9:00AM
Complete 12.5KM Info HERE

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.