Anna Lahti Enroute to the 25KM Win – Photo Credit: David Markman


An Interview with 2019 Superior 25K Women’s Winner Anna Lahti (AL) – Interview conducted by Kevin Langton (KL)


KL: Hi Anna. Congrats on your win at the Superior 25k. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

AL: Sure. I grew up in Southern CA. I moved to Duluth at eighteen. I didn’t run in high school. I only ever wanted to be a gymnast but it wasn’t feasible for my parents with five kids. In my early 20’s I ran here or there but nothing far. I eventually started attending races with friends but never enjoyed it. That is true up until the first time I ran on the SHT. I felt exactly like a kid in a candy store. I remember running WAY too fast. I didn’t get far! My excitement got the better of me. Like a kid eating too much candy then ending up with a belly ache. I just naturally started to enjoy running once discovering the SHT.


KL: You’ve been running this race since 2012. I count this as your seventh finish and fourth visit to the podium (though she’s never placed lower than fourth)! It’s obvious that you love the race and that you do well here. What is it about this race that keeps you coming back year after year?

AL: This is my favorite race! I love running in the woods on single track. I love the technical sections. There aren’t many races that I’ve experienced that have the technical downs like the Superior 25K. I enjoy that the most. However, I do enjoy the climbs as well. Keeps things fun and different. It’s not a boring race, that’s for sure!


KL: What were your plans or goals for the race and how did the race play out for you?

AL: My only plan was to start a little further back than I normally would to keep me slower in the beginning. This race is a little early in the season for me so I’m always on the nervous side about making it through feeling good and not defeated. I’ve experienced races enough times going out too hard that you’re just not quite ready for. I wasn’t going to do that. So it played out well for me because I had a strong finish and even if not a PR, it is quite fun to push the finish when you’re feeling strong.


KL: What best prepared you for such a race?

AL: I think the fact that I’ve done this race a lot. I feel like there is muscle memory. I also stay active year-round. I’d rather ski in the winter than run. That keeps me strong on the hills. Then it is just a matter of getting in a few trail runs beforehand if the weather allows. If not, I’ll just continue running road but try picking hillier routes.


KL: What’s something non-running that helped you at Superior?

AL: I’ve been going to a kettlebell class for 10 years. It helps to keep me agile and strong. Adam Dailey instructs, which is the key. He’s good at what he does. He’s like a secret weapon. But kettlebells are great for core, functional strength, and overall conditioning.


KL: Did you have any low points during the race? If so, what helped you through it/them?

AL: I really didn’t. I felt good the entire race. I started slow enough that I was able to just keep clipping along at a good pace. Other years or races when things get tough I just keep pushing through. Sometimes it gets better, sometimes not. Sometimes just wanting the misery to end is enough to help push through tough moments. I tell myself, “It’s only going to take you that much longer if you slow down here.”


KL: Bonus question: Please make your own question (and answer) that reveals something you think we should know about.

AL: Q: How would you best describe racing on the SHT? A: It feels like you’re in a video game when things are going well and you have a steady pace. That’s exactly what it feels like.

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.