You are receiving this email because you are registered for the Superior Spring Trail Race on Saturday May 20th, 2023. The following is an important update regarding conditions on the North Shore and our race course. I always try to err on the side of keeping you informed / giving you too much information, vs surprising you if things don’t go according to plan.
We had a lot of snow on the North Shore again this Winter. We had a really nice period of thawing and snow melting the week of April 10 (something we did not get last year until after the first week of May). It was starting to look pretty good! Then on April 16 we got around a foot of new snow. On April 20 we received another foot. Since that time it has been cold and cloudy and we are still sitting with a good amount of snow on the trail for May 1. As of right now we are optimistic that the snow will melt, the ground will thaw and things will set up and dry out so we can hold the Superior Spring Trail Race as normal, on the Superior Hiking Trail. If / when this does happen, it may not come good until the week of the race. That said, if it stays cold, we get more snow, or frost is coming out of the ground the week of the race, we may elect to (or may be asked / required to by the US Forest Service) to use the alternate race course that we used last year. My suspicion is that much of the frost is already out of the ground and once the snow melts, the trail should set up fairly quickly. Some mud is well within our tolerance for hosting the race, running on trail that is not ‘set up’ / ‘frost-out conditions’ are not.
Since the Superior Spring Trail Races inception in 2003, last year was the first time that the race was modified due to trail / climatic conditions. The Superior Fall Trail Race, founded in 1991, has never been modified due to trail or climatic conditions. As we all know, weather and climate has been unpredictable the last number of years. Regions all around the country have been impacted by more frequent and unusual snow, rain, flooding, landslides, high wind events, forest fires, and more. These impacts have been felt by races around the country whether they are held spring, summer, fall or winter. There seems to be few predictable months / windows for hosting races. Zumbro was modified this year due to flooding but overall we got lucky and ended up with a good window for holding the race. A week before Zumbro we had a significant snowfall and our race course flooded in key areas – almost forcing us down to a 5.5 mile loop. Three days after Zumbro we had all-time record temperatures reaching 90F. Ragnarok, a long-standing gravel bike race in the area Zumbro is held, which falls a week before Zumbro, was heavily modified due to flooding. The long-established Trail Mix Races in the Twin Cities area, held a week after Zumbro, were canceled due to flooding (it is not easy to offer a modified race and understand that not all organizations have the ability to do so). Races throughout the West are facing a lot of uncertainty due to extremely heavy snowfall this Winter, after extreme fire last summer and fall. Many races, like Western States have published very similar statements to the one I am providing today.
Here is my ask of all of you regarding this year’s race. If the race cannot be held on the Superior Hiking Trail this year, please keep your lodging plans, come up, and participate. Last year’s modified event ended up being an extremely special day of celebration and community. You can see some photos from last year HERE https://www.superiorspringtrailrace.com/photos-2022-highlights/
And HERE is what I wrote in my recap, the week after last year’s modified event… “The following is an understatement. What ensued on the (modified) race course on Saturday was special. Maybe it was the sleep deprivation talking, but this day, that on paper could only be a compromise or even a disappointment, was one of the most inspirational and high-vibrational days on a trail that I have ever witnessed. The normal linear energy of small pods of runners going from point ‘a’ to point ‘b’ or out-and-back on a trail, was now a unified group running in a harmonious loop of gratitude, positivity, encouragement and spirit-conjuring throughout the day. 12.5K runners with 50K runners, young with old, all connected in this movement. Religious or secular, the concept is available to all – if you have never had a spiritual experience or knew what one was, now you have, and now you do. I have put together a page of thoughts, experiences and testimonials from our runners from this years race HERE https://www.superiorspringtrailrace.com/testimonials-2022/ “
I was hoping this year’s giveaway would be appreciated upon receipt, and put to use on chilly nights this Spring / Summer, or this coming Winter, not needed on race weekend – hopefully it won’t be. You can check it out HERE https://www.superiorspringtrailrace.com/2023-race-beanie/
Bib assignments for this year’s race have been made and can be found HERE https://www.superiorspringtrailrace.com/2023-bib-assignments/
Next steps. We are hopeful that we can race on the trail and are working diligently towards that end. Should we need to use the backup course, here are the preliminary details https://www.superiorspringtrailrace.com/superior-spring-trail-race-backup-race-course-information/ Over the next couple of weeks we will be clearing trail, keeping a close eye on conditions by spending a lot of time on the trail, and staying in contact with our permitting agencies. I will provide you with additional updates as things develop.
Please enjoy Spring as it emerges, train well, and be ready for either a race on the traditional Superior Spring Trail Race courses, or another “party in the pit” or “soiree in the quarr-ay”? I don’t know, I am still working on the name.
Thanks for being awesome. I will be in touch.
Superior Trail Race