PRESS RELEASE 3/12/20

COVID-19 (NOVEL CORONAVIRUS) IMPACTS ON ROCKSTEADY RUNNING TRAIL AND ULTRARUNNING RACES INCLUDING THE ZUMBRO ENDURANCE RUN, SUPERIOR SPRING TRAIL RACE, AFTON TRAIL RUN, SUPERIOR FALL TRAIL RACE AND ENDLESS SUMMER TRAIL RUN SERIES.

On March 11th, 2020 the World Health Organization classified COVID-19 as a pandemic. According to the World Health Organization a pandemic is the “worldwide spread of a new disease”. Just as public and private entities from every sector are creating protocol and planning contingencies in order to address COVID-19, so must running events. Rocksteady Running, in concert with our key medical volunteers, are keeping apprised of the latest news on the pandemic along with guidance from the World Health Organization, the National Centers for Disease Control and the Minnesota Department of Health. As of this writing (3/12/20), neither the National Centers for Disease Control nor the Minnesota Department of Health have placed a moratorium on mass participation events in the state of Minnesota. However, organizations in every sector are self-electing to cancel events, public gatherings, classes, etc. We are also staying in contact with the cities and counties where our events are held as well as with permitting agencies, including the United States Forest Service and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. To date, none of these municipalities or agencies have placed a moratorium on “mass” participation events.

As of this writing, we are in full swing continuing to plan and prepare for all of this season’s races. At the same time, we are also working diligently to create contingencies should we be compelled to, or should we self-elect to, cancel any of our races. Given that this is such a fluid, dynamic and rapidly evolving situation, we will make and communicate necessary determinations as new information comes available in the coming days, weeks and months.

Trail and ultrarunning races face some unique challenges in the face of COVID-19. Thankfully, one of our long-time medical volunteers is a both a trail / ultrarunner and a leading Infectious Disease Specialist here in Minnesota. Considering the recommendations and best practices set forth by the World Health Organization, National Centers for Disease Control and the Minnesota Department of Health, consulting with other race directors from around the country, and seeking the trail / ultrarunning specific recommendations from our very own expert, we are in the process of creating specific safety / hygiene guidelines for our races should they proceed. We are also creating plans, protocol, contingencies and communications ready to set in motion should we have to cancel any of our races. In the event of a cancellation, our registration, cancellation, reschedule and deferment policies will remain in effect and unchanged.

In the event that we should cancel any of our races (Zumbro Endurance Run, Superior Spring Trail Race, Afton Trail Run, Superior Fall Trail Race or the Endless Summer Trail Run Series), we will make every effort possible to do so within a reasonable number of days prior to an event / well before runners start to mobilize for and travel to the event. Due to the quickly evolving nature of the pandemic, we cannot commit to any set timeline, either for these determinations to be made or for our next communication(s) to be made public.

For our first two races of the season that take place this Spring; the Zumbro Endurance Run (April 10 & 11) and the Superior Spring Trail Race (May 16), we realize that participants have made, are currently making, or will be making travel plans shortly. We strongly encourage anyone flying to Minnesota for one of our events to purchase travel / flight insurance. Several airlines have recently announced more flexibility / leniency in regard to cancellations and rescheduling. Travelers should review the specific information provided by their airline. Participants should also familiarize themselves with the cancellation policies of rental cars and lodging / accommodations if either apply.

As we have all witnessed, there is an abundance of both good information and misinformation out there. As lay-people, it is not always easy to decipher one from the other. Organizationally, we believe in science, and place the findings and guidance of the scientific community first. Regardless of the pandemic’s effect on our ability to hold our races in 2020, we hope for everyone’s sake that the worse-case scenarios being prognosticated do not come to fruition. Our thoughts and prayers are for the health and safety of our frontline medical professionals and of course with our most vulnerable citizens who are ultimately comprised of our family, friends, neighbors and fellow runners. We will keep you posted on developments related to our races, as they unfold. In the meantime, should you have any questions, please feel free to contact me directly.

Respectfully,

John Storkamp

Race Director – Rocksteady Running /
Zumbro, Superior(S), Afton, Superior(F), ESTRS

You can reach me directly at: john@rocksteadyrunning.com

 

Sources for reliable and trustworthy COVID-19 information:

World Health Organization https://www.who.int/

National Centers for Disease Control https://www.cdc.gov/

Minnesota Department of Health https://www.health.state.mn.us/

University of Minnesota http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/covid-19

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.

Due to COVID19 the 2021 Superior Spring Trail race date, registration open date and additional details are yet to be finalized. You can find more information HERE