2024 Superior Spring Trail Race 50KM Participant Guide
Race Date & Time:
Saturday May 18, 2024
Superior Hiking Trail
Lottery Registration Period:
January 1st – 15th, 2024
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:
/ ABOUT SUPERIOR
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.
About the Superior Spring Trail Race:
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.
What is Superior Like?
A picture is worth a 1000 words. You can get a good feel for the Sueprior experience by looking through the photos on the home page of our website HERE https://www.superiorspringtrailrace.com/
You can hear past participants experiences HERE https://www.superiorspringtrailrace.com/testimonials/
About Rocksteady Running
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.
All Are Welcome:
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. Please be kind, and treat others as you would like to be treated.
/ LOTTERY REGISTRATION INFORMATION
Lottery / Registration:
Registration for Superior is held via a 15 day lottery registration period beginning on January 1. 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. Entry fees will not be refunded if a runner chooses not to, or is unable to race, for any reason. Entry fees will not be refunded if the race is canceled, for any reason. Race registrations are not transferable to other participants, to future years races or to other Rocksteady Running events. Transfers are not allowed between race distances. Runners should consider these factors very carefully before registering. Runners who are not comfortable with these policies should not register.
No Waiting List Will be Kept:
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, natural disaster, public health emergency, air quality, public safety threat, severe weather, trail condition concerns, etc. 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.
/ RACE INFORMATION
What’s Included With Your Registration:
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 2024 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.
How We Will Communicate With You If / When You are Accepted to Run Via the Lottery:
If / when you are accepted into the race you will receive a registration confirmation email from our registration provider UltraSignup. Your name will also be added to the list of registered runners which can be found on our website under the menu item(s) RACE > REGISTER > WHO’S REGISTERED. You will receive a welcome email from us with any last minute updates about a week before the race. About a week after the race we will send out a thank you email / race recap. We will email you at the address that you have one file with our registration provider UltraSignup. Please make sure that your email is up to date with UltraSignup / was inputted correctly – if it is not, you will not receive our communications. You may also want to add firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org to your email providers ‘do not block’ / ‘do not spam’ / ‘white list’ / ‘safe’ list. A copy of every race email sent will be immediately added to our website HERE https://www.superiorspringtrailrace.com/news-and-updates/ Most importantly, everything you need to know can be found on the Superior Spring Trail Race website. If at any point you have questions, please contact us https://www.superiorspringtrailrace.com/contact/. You can also ask questions of your fellow runners in our online community / forum HERE https://community.rocksteadyrunning.com/
If You Have Registered and Can No Longer Run:
If you are registered to run and can no longer make it, you DO NOT need to notify us. Once a runner is registered, we do not remove them from the roster until race day, if / when they don’t show up. We handle it in this way because it is not uncommon for a runner to notify us that they will not be running, then notify us that they will be, then notify us again they won’t be, and so forth – this sort of thing creates confusion and leads to check-in and timing mistakes when we start modifying the runner database. We will know if a registrant is not running when they do not check in / pick up their race number on race day. You WILL NOT be publicly listed, or “reported” as a DNS / Did Not Start.
Saturday May 18, 2024
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.
There are also other lodging options right on Lutsen Mountain including Eagle Ridge https://eagleridgeatlutsen.com/ and the Mountain Inn https://odysseyresorts.com/mountain-inn-at-lutsen/
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
Race Number Pickup & Drop Bag Dropoff
Friday, May 17, Caribou Highlands Lodge 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM and Saturday, May 18, 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.
Cell coverage is intermittent on the race course. The majority of the time, you will not have cell coverage. Coverage is most reliable at geographical high points. There is no cell coverage at either of the aid stations (Oberg and Sawbill). There is good coverage at the race start / finish / Caribou Highlands Lodge.
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 the front of your body, 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 staffed 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:
With the vast array of products on the market, most runners have their own preferred brands of gels and sports drinks that they use in training and racing. As a result, we will NOT have any gels or sports drink – procure your own, carry what you need, and make use of your drop bag. We will have electrolyte capsules at the aid stations, ask if you need them.
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 have any doubt that your DNF was reported and recorded, please email email@example.com as soon as you have service.
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. Supervised 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.
Current year results will be available on our website under the heading Race > Results. As long as we can maintain internet connectivity, results will be published in real time as runners finish. Past results can be found HERE https://www.superiorspringtrailrace.com/50km-results/ Course records can be found HERE https://www.superiorspringtrailrace.com/records/
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 that is donated by Captain Ken’s. We will have meat and vegetarian chili for participants after they finish the race. We will also have canned beverages (Coke, Ginger Ale and Sparkling Water). 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/
Online Community / Forum:
The Rocksteady Running Community is an online forum designed for community members to have civil conversations about all things pertaining to Rocksteady Running events (Zumbro, Superior Spring, Afton, Superior Fall, ESTRS), trail / ultrarunning in general and more. We intend for this to be a safe place to connect. This online community has been built on our own platform and is free of advertising, tracking, addictive features and invasive algorithms. Feel free to discuss registering, training for and racing our events. Discussion about the race courses, terrain, training, gear, challenges, triumphs and more are welcomed and encouraged. https://community.rocksteadyrunning.com/
Superior and RSR Swag:
We sell Superior and Rocksteady Running merch both at the race, and online.
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/joinsuperior/ – 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.
Mile in My Shoes (MiMS) Fundraising Opportunity:
Rocksteady Running is proud to have Mile in My Shoes as an official Superior Spring Trail Race charity partner. Earn amazing swag and incentives, or even guaranteed / lottery-bypass entry into the race, while supporting a great cause by becoming a Mile in My Shoes (MiMS) FundRacer! Learn more HERE https://www.superiorspringtrailrace.com/mile-in-my-shoes/
Sponsors & Partners:
Our sponsors and partners provide critical support the Superior Spring Trail Race. We are very fortunate to work with so many great businesses and organizations. Please check out our sponsors HERE https://www.superiorspringtrailrace.com/sponsors/ and please if possible support them with your dollars / patronage, and / or drop them an email and thank them for supporting our event.
Next years race date:
Historically the Superior “Spring” Trail Race has been held the weekend before Memorial Day weekend. The 2025 race will be held on May 17, 2025.