2023 Superior Spring Trail Race 50KM Participant Guide
Saturday May 20, 2023
Superior Hiking Trail
Lottery Registration Period:
January 1st – 15th, 2023
About This Page:
The information on this page and associated links comprise the official Superior Spring Trail Race 50KM Participant Guide. It contains all of the information and links you will need in order to research, register for and run the race. Runners are required to review this page, along with the registration info page in their entirety prior to registering for the race. This information should then be referenced as needed in the months and weeks leading up to the race. Keep in mind that information may be updated and changed right up until the race, so a final review of the information about a week out is encouraged. Registered runners can expect a welcome email from us with any new / additional information about one week out from the race. This page contains the following sections:
GENERAL EVENT INFO
SETTING EXPECTATIONS FOR 2023
DIVERSITY, INCLUSION & EQUALITY
/ GENERAL EVENT INFO
Date, Time and Location:
Saturday May 20, 2023
Start / Finish Location –
Caribou Highlands Lodge
371 Ski Hill Road
Lutsen, Minnesota 55612
Google Maps Link HERE
Race Start Time: 7:00 AM
Race founded in 2003, Start / Finish is in Lutsen Minnesota, Race start is about 4.5 hours north of the Minneapolis (MSP) International Airport, 50KM (course is actually a bit short of 50KM) on 99% single-track trail, Elevation Gain 4,200 FT, Elevation Loss 4,200 FT, NET Elevation Change 8,400 FT, 4 Aid Stations, 9 hour cutoff.
Superior Spring Trail Race Description:
The Superior Spring Trail Race 50KM, 25KM & 12.5KM are extremely hilly, rugged and technical trail-races which traverse the Sawtooth Mountain Range via the Superior Hiking Trail in far Northern Minnesota. The 25KM and 50KM races are run out and back, starting and finishing at Caribou Highlands Lodge in Lutsen Minnesota and the 12.5K is point to point, finishing at Caribou Highlands Lodge. The race is approximately 4.5 hours North of Minneapolis. The course parallels Lake Superior, the largest lake in the world by surface area, climbs to near 2000′ peaks with breath-taking vistas of the lake and inland forests, and crosses whitewater rivers and serene streams while traversing through boreal forests.
The Superior Spring Trail Race is organized by Rocksteady Running and directed by John Storkamp. Rocksteady Running produces several trail and ultrarunning races in the state of Minnesota. Our races are put on by longtime trail and ultrarunners. Our focus is on sustainability, runner safety, runner experience and giving back to the trail, parks and communities where our events are held. Our mission is to create experiences that facilitate connection. All credit is due to our army of volunteers and our wonderful Minnesota trail running community.
/ SETTING EXPECTATIONS FOR 2023
In November of 2021, after hosting a season of Covid-modified races, I was updating our race website(s) for what we hoped would be (and thankfully was) a mostly “normal” 2022. While doing so, I decided to include a preface to our Participant Guide(s) titled “Setting Expectations for 2022”. It was a great way for Cheri and I to pull back the curtain and share our experience of the pandemic as race directors. It was a way for us to temper expectations for an upcoming season with many lingering unknowns. It also ended up being a valuable touchpoint for connection with you; our participants, volunteers and partners. I am taking the opportunity to do something similar again this year. In the interest of real-estate, it will not be front and center in the participant guide, instead it will reside in THIS blog post https://www.superiorspringtrailrace.com/setting-expectations-for-2023 – we would appreciate it if you took the time to read it.
/ DIVERSITY, INCLUSION AND EQUALITY
Rocksteady Running welcomes everyone to our events and into our broader trail running community. You are welcome and valued regardless of your race, gender, sexual identity, orientation, or preference, religious, spiritual, or political beliefs, socioeconomic status, age, how quickly or slowly you run. We love and respect all beings. We ask all of our participants to be kind, compassionate and open minded, and to help lift up their fellow runners.
/ REGISTRATION INFORMATION
Do not register until you have reviewed this page (Superior Spring Trail Race 50KM Participant Guide) in its entirety. Registration details including entry fees, field limits, and the link to our registration page on UltraSignup (third party registration provider) can be found HERE https://www.superiorspringtrailrace.com/registration-info/
There are No Refunds, Transfers or Switches:
Entry fees are not refundable under any circumstance. Race registrations are not transferable to other participants, to future years races or to other Rocksteady Running events. We do do not allow transfers between race distances. Please consider these factors carefully before registering.
Once a race distance sells out, we do not keep a waiting list – instead we accept extra runners up front so that everyone has the same opportunity to train, make reservations, get a babysitter, etc. This means that a withdrawal from a sold out race prior to race day does not create an opening in the race field – it just brings us down to our predetermined field limit which is set in agreement with our permitor(s). We have found that a percentage of those who register will not make it to the starting line due to injury, illness, or other real life interventions and adjust the number of allocated spots accordingly year to year based on historical averages.
The Race Director reserves the right to modify or cancel the race or course for safety concerns, trail condition concerns, natural disaster or pandemic. In such cases there will be no refunds of race entry fees. Each athlete must accept any such risk of their entry fee paid. There is no complimentary race entry to a future race. Entry fees collected are used to develop and produce the event, starting well in advance of the race date – including course preparation, race supplies, permits and administration. We will make every effort to produce a fair and safe event for all participants. Any decision we make that impacts the race date or potential cancellation is carefully considered and based on the overall event safety, sustainability and manageability.
Automatic Acceptance For Registered Runners Affected By 2022’s Change of Venue:
Automatic acceptance into the 2023 race will be given to those runners who were selected in the lottery / registered for the 2022 race. We are doing this because of the last minute change in venue that moved the race off of the Superior Hiking Trail for the 2022. This change was due due to weather / trail / environmental conditions that were out of our control – https://www.superiorspringtrailrace.com/2022-superior-spring-trail-race-recap/. Should these individuals like to participate in the 2023 race, they will still need to enter themselves in the lottery during the 15 day lottery registration period and pay the full entry fee. We will identify and select these runners using the email address associated with their UltraSignup account that they used to register for the 2022 race. If the email address associated with their UltraSignup account has since changed, they will need to contact us and provide us with the updated email address.
/ RACE SPECIFICS
A well marked course with plenty of aid and tons of friendly, experienced volunteers. Runners who register by April 10 will have their name custom printed on their race numbers. Chip timing. All finishers will receive a WOOD MEDAL. For 2023 we will either do a a t-shirt or a hat (TBD). If it is a t-shirt it will be the same awesome Rocksteady Running Tri-Blend ( non-technical / casual cotton blend ) t-shirt with a super cool design. Shirts are unisex but fit both genders really well – you can see past years race shirts and hats HERE https://www.superiorspringtrailrace.com/category/shirts-swag/. Post race refreshments and chili. Knowledge that you are supporting the Superior Hiking Trail; to date we have donated 10’s of thousands of dollars and 1000’s of volunteer hours.
Race Start / Finish Location:
Caribou Highlands Lodge
371 Ski Hill Road
Lutsen, Minnesota 55612
Google Maps Link HERE
The race start is approximately 1:15 North of Two Harbors, 1:45 North of Duluth and 4:30 North of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Minneapolis (MSP) has a large international airport and Duluth (DLH) has a smaller regional airport.
Caribou Highlands Lodge in Lutsen, MN is the race host hotel – the race finishes at Caribou Highlands and the finish-line will be just a short walk to your room. We recommend that you stay here and support Caribou Highlands as they do a great job supporting us! Call 1-800-642-6036 or visit their Website at http://www.caribouhighlands.com. Caribou Highlands’ address is 371 Ski Hill Road, P.O. Box 99 in Lutsen, MN 55612.
Finally, there is no shortage of lodging and camping options throughout Cook County https://www.visitcookcounty.com/stay/
There are many camping options in the area but the best bet is probably one of the Great Minnesota State Parks! Below is a DNR Map showing all of the state parks on the North Shore. https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/map.html
Emergencies / Hospital Information:
Cook County North Shore Hospital & Care Center
515 5th Ave W
Grand Marais, MN 55604
Friday, May 19, Caribou Highlands Lodge 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM and Saturday, May 20, 5:30 AM to 6:30 AM. All runners must check in / check back in on race morning prior to starting otherwise you are unofficial / not in the race.
Saturday at 7:00 AM on Ski Hill Road in front of Caribou Highlands Lodge
We will take drop bags up until 6:30 AM on race morning. Please be sure to have the drop bag location (Sawbill or Oberg), your name, race number and distance that you are running clearly marked on the outside of the bag. Please keep your drop bag as small as possible. Drop bags will not be protected from the elements so make sure that your drop bags are either waterproof OR that it is ok for the items inside to get wet. If you plan to use a drop bag, please realize that it may not be at the finish line right when you finish and you may have to wait for it until the end of the race to get it. Any drop bags left behind will be discarded.
Weather and Clothing:
Mid-May in Northern Minnesota – we can have highs in the mid 80′s and lows in the mid 30′s or, believe it or not, a combination of both! Rain is not uncommon and either is mud. All of the snow is usually gone but you may see a small patch here or there. Be prepared, watch the forecast and plan accordingly.
The Superior Spring Trail Race hosts three races simultaneously, the Superior 50KM Trail Race (starts at 7:00 AM Saturday) and the Superior 25KM Trail Race (starts at 8:00 AM Saturday) and the Superior 12.5KM (starts at 9:00AM Saturday). Each distance will have its own unique race number (unique color and number series) so runners can be easily identified by race officials, volunteers, spectators and other runners. We ask that all competitors wear their number on the front of their body on their outer-most layer at all times. Runners will be tracked coming into and out of each aid station. If we cannot see your number, we cannot track you or take your finishing time and if we cannot do that, you will be disqualified and will not earn an official finish. More info and a graphic illustration can be found HERE
Your timing chip will be affixed to the back of your race number. Do not remove your timing chip. Do not bend or fold your timing chip or crumple your race number – this may break your timing chip. Your race number and your timing chip must be pinned on your outer-most layer at all times. Above guidelines must be followed in order ensure that split times and finish times are recorded. This chip is disposable and does not need to be returned. HERE is a rendering of the back of your race number / bib illustrating where your timing chip will be placed.
The course will be marked with ORANGE FLAGS, which will always be on the right hand side of the trail outbound and on the left-hand side inbound. The Superior Trail 50KM primarily follows the Superior Hiking Trail – you can also look for the official Superior Hiking Trail signs for assurance that you are on the right trail. Throughout the race you will encounter intersecting trails and Superior Hiking Trail “Spur-Trails” – in the 50 KM the only time you will ever take a “Spur-Trail” or a trail that is not the superior hiking trail is to the Summit of Carlton Peak / where you will turn around to start your journey back, just after the start and right at the finish as you follow the road to the Poplar River / the SHT trail-head on the way out (reverse on the way back) – this will be clearly marked.
It is unfortunate but is not unheard of at many of the major trail races that course vandalism has occurred and flagging has been intentionally moved or removed by small minded individuals – it is important that you study the course maps prior to running and have a concept of where you are going – also, always remember, you are supposed to be on the Superior Hiking Trail only – except in those specific instances listed above.
You must visit every aid station / you may not skip any aid stations. You can review aid station locations and distances in between HERE https://www.superiorspringtrailrace.com/maps-and-data/ – Our aid stations are manned by volunteers, many of them spending their entire day out there – please be sure to thank the volunteers!
We are a cupless race, if you want to drink water or soda out of a cup, you have to have your own (each aid station will have a small stash of paper cups should you lose your reusable cup along the way.) If you are not familiar with these reusable cups they are easy to find and procure, HERE https://hydrapak.com/products/speed-cup-200-ml is an example.
Aid Station Food:
Aid stations will have salty and sweet pre-packaged snacks. We will have Coke and Ginger Ale.
Special Nutrition Items:
We will NOT have any gels, electrolyte tabs or sports drink – procure your own, carry what you need, and make use of your drop bag. With the proliferation of products on the market over the last number of years, everyone seems to have their own preferred brand and we spend more time reading expiration dates and throwing things out than you do ingesting them, and we can no longer justify the waste.
Support Crew and Spectator Access to Aid Stations:
Runners make it a race… crew, friends, family and spectators make it an event. We love your people, and want them at the event, just like you do. Runners, we have an entire page for your crew, friends, family and spectators HERE https://www.superiorspringtrailrace.com/spectator-info/ Runners, please review, then share the following link with your crew, friends, family and spectators, YOU are responsible for your people. Any failure on their part to follow the rules could lead to your disqualification – please make sure they are up to speed prior to coming to the event.
Pacers are not allowed.
50K runners have 9 hours to complete the race (by 4:00PM). Any runners not out of the the aid stations below by the times listed will be pulled from the course. All cutoffs will be strictly enforced – we do however reserve the right to pull (or allow to continue) any racer as we see fit.
The Sawbill aid station will close at 12:00.
The Oberg aid station will close at 1:30.
If You DNF:
Should you need to drop out of the race you need to report this (providing your bib number) to the HAM radio operators at the aid station you are dropping at – if you are not sure who that is ask around until you find them. If you leave the course and fail to notify race officials, you will be asked not to come back to our race in the future.
Headphones are allowed. Please keep the volume low, or one earbud out so you can hear what is going on around you. Full awareness of one’s surroundings, and the ability to communicate with other participants, race volunteers, and trail users not associated with the event are critical to everyone’s safety.
Playing music out-loud from your phone or other speakers is not allowed.
Trekking poles are allowed, please be cognizant of those around you when using your poles.
You may not run the race with your dog. That said, on-leash dogs are welcome at the race, with your crew, family and spectators at the race starts, at crew-accessible aid stations and at the finish.
Please help to keep the trail clean. Try not to drop anything, and if you see something that someone else has accidently dropped, please pick it up.
Results will be available on our website.
We do not do specific overall winner or age group awards. Every finisher will be handed a medal as they finish.
Caribou Highlands Lodge will furnish shower facilities and towels for runners who are not staying at the lodge.
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.
For those interested in volunteering, more information can be found HERE https://www.superiorspringtrailrace.com/read-first/
Superior Hiking Trail Association
The Superior Trail Races (both Spring and Fall) take place on the Superior Hiking Trail. The Superior Hiking Trail Association is the non-profit organization that builds and maintains the Superior Hiking Trail. The Superior Trail Races / Rocksteady Running make an annual donation to the trail association, organize volunteer efforts, promote membership and generally advocate for the trail. If you are not already a Superior Hiking Trail Association member, we encourage you to join, you can do so HERE https://superiorhiking.org/joisuperior/ – if you are already a member and would like to make an additional donation, you can do so HERE https://superiorhiking.org/donatesuperior/ – we thank you for your support of the Superior Hiking Trail!
UTMB Qualifying Points:
Completion of the Superior 50KM Trail Race will earn you two (2) qualifying points for UTMB, CCC & TDS races in Chamonix France.
Next years race date:
Historically the Superior “Spring” Trail Race has been held the weekend before Memorial Day weekend. The 2023 race will be held on May 18, 2024.
/ COVID CONSIDERATIONS
It is important for registrants / runners to understand that should county, state or federal mandates surrounding Covid change, be modified or reinstated, that certain aspects of our events may need to change. This could happen at any time, without warning and could change the character of an event; i.e. take what is planned for a single day event and make it a multi-day event, take what is planned for a mass start race and change it to wave starts, change how our aid stations are set up / aid is provided, etc. Worse case we could see the cancellation of a race. Listed below are the current considerations dealing with Covid.
• Runners, spectators, volunteers and staff are required to stay home if they are Covid positive, have been exposed to someone that is Covid positive in the past 14 days, are not feeling well or are experiencing any of the symptoms listed HERE https://www.cdc.gov/
• All event activities will be outdoors.
• Proper and frequent hand hygiene will be encouraged and numerous hand sanitizing stations will be available.