2018 Superior 25K Womens Champion Cassie Pratt – Photo Credit Jamison Swift

An Interview with 2018 Superior 25K Women’s Winner Cassie Pratt (CP) – Interview conducted by Kevin Langton (KL)

KL: Cassie, congrats on your win in the 25k (2:05:41). Please tell us how your race played out.

CP: This was my first time running the Superior 25k, and I would easily run it again. The course was beautiful, and just the right amount of challenging terrain. I hadn’t been on this course before, so every obstacle was a surprise to me, which made pacing tricky. I knew going into the race that I wanted to be the first female finisher. From the beginning I had a feeling people would spread out and I might be running alone, but I didn’t know if I could keep up 25k with the first place male and I didn’t want to hang back for the next group. I did run mostly by myself, occasionally seeing some of the guys in front of me, but on the way back I was amazed by the support from the remaining 25k runners! Near the end I overestimated the distance to the finish line and felt that it snuck up on me before I had a chance to see if I had an end-kick in me. I’m very happy with how it all turned out!

KL: Your Ultrasignup page says this is only your second trail run (also a 3rd place finish at Afton 25k last year), but you’re not new to running. Tell us a bit about your history and your move to trails?

CP: I ran the Hixon 25k in La Crosse, WI a couple years ago and that was the first trail race that hooked me. I’ve always enjoyed running, but not always competing. I ran for UW-La Crosse, but afterwards realized that the trails along with longer distance races were more of my style. I started training with Jake Hegge and I have been a part of Trail Transformation ever since. While I’d like to say that I would’ve eventually found my way to trail running, it was really the community in La Crosse and the trail system that caught my attention. The group of people you find off-road running have a huge sense of adventure and a way of sucking you into the trail culture!

KL: Is there any pressure, living in LaCrosse, to win the race if you show up at Superior? Seriously, aside from a great and challenging trail system, is there something about that town that fosters fast runners?

CP: While La Crosse has quite a lot of fast runners, and access to a vast trail system, I felt no pressure when arriving at the Superior 25k. Everyone on the trails in La Crosse has been so inviting and rather than solely focusing on the competition aspect, there is more emphasis on the thrill of trail running and being out there together. Jake Hegge, Michael Borst, and Tyler Heinz have done an amazing job building a strong, trail-loving community in the La Crosse area!

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

CP: Aside from running, to prepare for Superior I took on the weight room this winter. Approaching technical uphills and downhills requires so much more strength than a regular paved pathed path and weight lifting has given me the confidence to run the obstacles that are inevitable in trail running. I think just putting time on the trails is key, and when I’m not running I am usually hiking on them!

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

CP: Do you have any upcoming trail races planned? I do have a couple in mind, but nothing set in stone. I would love to use trail running as a means of vacationing in the future! Many of my bucket list destinations would be 10x better via trail running (and racing)!

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.