This is update 3. If you have not been following along or would like to review again, Update 1 can be found HERE https://www.superiorspringtrailrace.com/2022-superior-spring-trail-race-update-an-extremely-snowy-winter-and-record-slow-spring-melt-could-impact-this-years-race/ and update 2 can be found HERE https://www.superiorspringtrailrace.com/2022-superior-spring-trail-race-conditions-update-2/
We have been asked by the United States Forest Service to stay off of the Superior Hiking Trail for the 2022 Superior Spring Trail Race on Saturday May 21 and instead make use of an alternate race course. Nearly all of the traditional Spring Race course, as well as the alternate course are on public lands managed by the USFS. I am thankful for the relationships we have within the agency and their communication throughout. Additionally, the Superior Hiking Trail Association is asking users to limit their use of the trail at this time, and one of the primary missions of the Superior races is to support the trail. Having successfully held the Spring race for 20 years and the Fall race for 30 years on the Superior Hiking Trail, this course change is a first for us.
From the USFS: “The Forest is asking that you use the alternative route rather than the SHT for the Spring Race. This decision was not made lightly and is considering a number of factors including the trail’s current physical condition, the upcoming weather potential, record flooding in the county, as well as messaging from the Superior Hiking Trail Association asking people to limit their use of the SHTA given the conditions.”
I want to thank my friends who helped observe, document, clear and perform water mitigation on the trail over the last week. Collectively we spent over 120 hours on the trail and the alternate course, covering each several times over. Our group on Saturday even braved about 1/3rd of a mile of waist deep water on the Caribou Trail to Lutsen section of the SHT. Over the last couple of days we started to see some improvement in conditions but it was too little too late, especially with more rain in the forecast on top of already saturated soils, a high water table and rivers and lakes at record levels. I am guessing that most of you have been keeping up with the news – if you would like to learn more about recent flooding and the damage to infrastructure on the North Shore you can Google “North Shore Minnesota Flooding”.
The alternate race course(s) are scenic and I think you will like them. The races will primarily be held on minimum maintenance gravel roads within the Superior National Forest and on a few miles of snowmobile trail closer to Lutsen (note that this section will likely be wet and mucky). While elevation gain will be less than on the normal courses, there are still some good hills. It should run faster for just about everyone.
Because we do not get to run the SHT this year, everyone that registered and made it through the lottery this year will gain automatic acceptance should they enter the lottery for the 2023 race. Please note that you will be required to pay the full 2023 entry fee should you choose to enter.
Below I will list the alternate course specifics. You should combine this new information with all of the existing 50K, 25K and 12.5K information contained on our website. This combined info will comprise this year’s participant guide.
Alternate Course Specifics:
Maps can be found HERE https://www.superiorspringtrailrace.com/maps-and-data-2022-alternate-course/
The minimum maintenance gravel roads used for the race will not be closed to traffic, but there should be very little. Please run like you would if you were on a training run (read; once the races spread out, run on the side of the road and be attentive)
Both the 25K and 50K distances will still start and finish at Caribou Highlands Lodge like they always do.
12.5K runners will still be bussed to the start of their race at the normally scheduled time. There will still be toilets at the start. There will still be no aid on the 12.5K course, you must carry what you need. The course will be a little shorter than normal – it measures about 6.8 miles. For the bus ride, masks are optional and I am guessing that within reason your neighbors will not mind if you crack a window on the bus. If you wear “warmups” to the start of the race, you can send them back to the start with us to pick up later. Please bring a bag with your information on it to place your items in and send back. As a reminder you must ride the bus to the start of the race, you may not be dropped off. No spectators are allowed at the start of the 12.5K race.
25K runners will still visit one aid station at the halfway point of their race which will be at the White Pine Lake Rustic Campground. No crew or spectators are allowed at this aid station, there is extremely limited space. The cutoff will be the same as it would be at Oberg, 1:30PM.
50K runners will have access to aid at White Pine at mile 7.75, at Sawbill (different Sawbill than normal) / the turnaround at mile 15.5, and again at White Pine at mile 23.25. The cutoff at Sawbill will be the same as normal, 12:00PM. The cutoff at White Pine mile 23.25 will be the same as it would be at Oberg, 1:30PM. 50K runners will still be allowed drop bags for both White Pine and Sawbill but your drop bag may not be at White Pine (7.75) the first time you come through, plan accordingly. Crew and spectators will be allowed at Sawbill, directions HERE https://goo.gl/maps/u5xBrP1wTP9piDgEA – crew and spectators are not allowed to drive on the race course and must travel to and from the Sawbill aid station via Highway 61 and Sawbill Trail.
While it will not be the same as being on the SHT, you will still get to run in a beautiful place with awesome people. We will congregate at the finish, count our blessings and celebrate life and health together. I look forward to seeing you all soon. Read on for a more typical “Runner Welcome”.
We are just a few days out from the 2022 Superior Spring Trail Race. 100+ volunteers are coming together to put on this year’s race. We are thrilled to have 932 registered runners from 2 countries, 22 states and 215 Minnesota cities.
NOW is also the time to review all of the information on the website again, so you are as prepared as possible come race day. I cannot stress enough how important it is to review the information associated with the distance you are running (links below) along with taking the time to review other important sections of the website.
12.5KM Info: https://www.superiorspringtrailrace.com/12-5km-info/
Below are some important reminders and a few updates:
If you are Covid positive, have had a recent exposure or are not feeling well, please stay home. We will have plenty of hand-sanitizer at the start / finish area, at aid stations, outside of toilets etc, please use it. Besides the 12.5K bus ride to the start 100% of the weekend’s activities are outside / in open air.
If You Can No Longer Run:
If for any reason you will not be running the race, there is no need to contact us to let us know – we will know you are not starting when you do not pick up your race number.
Bib Number Assignments:
Bib number assignments have been made and are available on our website HERE https://www.superiorspringtrailrace.com/2022-bib-assignments/ – Be sure to use the ‘search’ function to find your name as the list is not entirely alphabetical. Knowing your bib number at check-in is helpful. Those 50K runners using drop-bags should mark them with your name and bib number.
Bib Number Pickup and Drop Bag Dropoff:
Bib number pickup and drop bag dropoff is just that – there will be no pre-race meeting etc. Representatives from the race will be there if you have any last minute questions, but everything you need to know is on our website – study up!
2022 Race Hat:
We are doing hats instead of t-shirts this year, all runners will pick up this hat at check-in. https://www.superiorspringtrailrace.com/2022-race-hat/
A reminder that we are a cupless race, so carry your own water bottle, hydration bladder or cup.
Race results will be posted as runners finish. The link to the results is HERE https://www.athlinks.com/event/44440/results/Event/1017654/Results
All runners will be awarded a medal. We started doing new medals in 2021, a scaled back design sans year / date with space to write it in or add other info helps us to cut down on waste (no more throwing out / burning dated medals). https://www.superiorspringtrailrace.com/new-superiors-finishers-medals-2021-and-beyond/
Post Race Meal:
A huge thank you to Caribou Highlands / Moguls Grill and Taproom for doing a wonderful job catering Chili for our event and generally being a great host. We will have meat and vegetarian chili for participants after they finish the race. For crew, pacers, family members or runners that need something more, Caribou Highlands / Moguls will be doing a cookout, selling burgers and other items near the finish line as well.
We are super excited to once again be serving coffee from our fantastic sponsor Fika Coffee throughout the event. Fika is a local coffee shop, located in downtown Lutsen off of Highway 61. https://fikacoffee.com/
Swag for Sale:
We will have some t-shirts, hats, posters, stickers, sweatshirts and more for sale. Cash and check preferred.
Please be sure to check out our awesome sponsors. Besides Salomon I suppose, these are all small to medium sized local businesses. We have real relationships with all of these businesses and most of the owners and/or employees are personal friends, they volunteer, run the races and are part of our local running community.
Mill City / Saint City Running
Vaniply / Vanicream
Visit Cook County
Performance Running Gym
Bell Bank Mortgage – Jerry Schmidt
Bridge Realty – Bill Pomerenke
Blue Water Cafe
St. Croix Law
Critical Connections Ecological Services