Superior Fall Trail Races Ultra Marathon

100 Mile


Superior 100 Mile Information

2016 Superior 100 Mile Trail Race
Race Date: Friday September 9th 2016
Race Start: Gooseberry Falls State Park Visitors Center (Northern Minnesota)
Start Time: 8:00 AM
Shuttle bus for 100 mile start departs Caribou Highlands at 6:00AM
Be sure to view this page as well:

Quick Stats:
State = Minnesota | Race start is 3.5 hours north of the MSP International airport | 103.3 Mile point-to-point 100% trail ultramarathon – 99% single-track |  Founded 1991 |  Elevation Gain 21,000 FT | Elevation Loss 21,000 FT | NET Elevation Change 42,000 FT | 13 Aid Stations | 38 hour cutoff | Field is limited to 250 runners | Reputation as one of the toughest, most scenic and best marked trail 100’s in the country | Field limit will be met early.

Superior 100 Mile Trail Race / Endurance Run Description and History:
The Superior 100 Mile Trail Race is a point-to-point (100% trail) ultramarathon which traverses the Sawtooth Mountain Range on the Superior Hiking Trail in the far reaches northern Minnesota .  The course parallels the north-shore of 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 countless whitewater rivers and serene streams and meanders through mystic Boreal forests.  The race starts at the Gooseberry Falls State Park Visitors’ Center, MN, and finishes at Caribou Highlands Lodge in Lutsen, MN. Runners will have access to thirteen aid stations between the start and finish, and will never go more than 10 miles without an opportunity for aid.  The Superior Trail 100 was founded in 1991 when there was no more than a dozen or so 100 mile trail races in the USA, back then if you wanted to run a 100, you had choices like Western States, Hardrock, Leadville, Wasatch, Cascade Crest, Umstead, Massanutten and Superior.  Superior quickly earned it’s reputation of its namesake today – Rugged, Relentless and Remote and is known as one of the toughest 100 mile trail races in the world!  Superior lives on now as one of the “legacy 100 milers” and is considered by many to be one of the most challenging, prestigious and beautiful 100 mile trail races in the country.  None of the history or tradition of this race has been lost and is a great event for those looking for a world-class event with a low-key, old-school 100 miler feel.  The Superior Trail Race is put on by ultrarunners for ultrarunners.

Registration will be handled via a lottery process and there is a qualifying standard for the 100 mile race, complete registration details and information can be found HERE

Refunds – Transfers – Switches:
Entry fees are not refundable under any circumstance, race registrations are not transferable to other participants, future years races or other Rocksteady Running events and transferring between distances (up or down) is not allowed. Please consider these factors very carefully before registering.

What you get:
Transportation from Caribou Highlands (race finish) to the start (Gooseberry Falls State Park). A well-marked course with plenty of aid and tons of friendly, experienced volunteers. A complimentary post race meal. A high quality Tri-Blend T-Shirt. All runners who finish the race within the 38 hour cutoff will receive a finishers buckle – See it HERE  As of 2012 you will receive one lifetime, Superior 100 hooded finishers sweatshirt when you finish the race (not a sweatshirt each year you finish) – you will be given a patch with your first name on it to sew onto the left chest and an orange star for each year that you finish – (starting with the left sleeve, down at the cuff as illustrated).  If you have completed the race previously, we will provide you with stars for your previous finishes as well – some people will already be working on a second full sleeve!  This is a fun way for others to know who you are (your name patch) and a cool way for others to see how many finishes others have achieved.  Sweatshirts will be high-quality Rocksteady Running 10 oz Cotton-Poly blend and will holdup for a lifetime!  This is a vision we have had for a while and will take a little work (getting your patches sewn on), but will be a pretty neat way to show off your participation in the race and represent the Superior 100!  Unisex sizes Small through XXL.  You can see the sweatshirt HERE.

The race start is approximately 3.5 hours north of Minneapolis, Minnesota (Caribou Highlands is about 5 hours).  Minneapolis has a world-class international airport and traveling to the race is a breeze.  You may also choose to fly into Duluth Minnesota (2nd tier airport), which is only about 1 hours from the race start.

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!  Special room rates are available if you mention you are a Superior 100 Mile racer. Call 1-800-642-6036 or visit their Website at Caribou Highlands’ address is 371 Ski Hill Road, P.O. Box 99 in Lutsen, MN 55612.

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.  Gooseberry and Split Rock are very close to the race start – Tettegouche is more in the middle between the start and finish and Temperance and Cascade are closer to the finish (although Cascade is on the far-side / past the finish in Lutsen).  Crosby Manitou is in the middle as well but the camping is not very close to Highway 61 & you have to take a lot of back roads to get there.  Here is a complete list of Minnesota State Parks

Thursday Packet Pick-Up & Pre-Race Briefing (Mandatory) & Spaghetti Dinner:
Thursday, September 8th, 5:00-8:00 pm
Packet Pickup: 5:00-8:00 pm
Pre-Race Briefing: 6:30 pm, lasts approximately 45 minutes
Spaghetti Dinner: 5:00-8:00 pm
Spaghetti dinner with bread, salad, and dessert. Cost is $10.00 for adults and $5.00 for children under 12 (not included in race entry). This is a fund-raiser for the Lake County 4-H clubs. Crews, volunteers, friends and family are welcome.  Please be sure to thank everyone.

Lake County Fairgrounds 4H Building – 1381 Fairgrounds Road, Two Harbors, MN 55616
*From Duluth, take Highway 61 through Two Harbors. Turn Left (North) on 4th Street / County Road 2 (Holiday Gas Station is on the corner). Drive approx 1 mile to Fair Grounds Road / County RD 205 and take a right (East), follow for 1/2 miles to Lake County Fairgrounds / 4H building – park in lot across the road / under telephone poles.

Drop Bags:
Please keep your drop bags as small as possible.  Your drop bag may be no larger than 15″ L x 10″W x 7.5″ H.   Drop bags must be left during packet pickup on Thursday evening. Each drop bag must be clearly labeled with the runner’s name, race number, and the drop bag’s destination aid station name.  2014 race numbers can be found HERE once available (about 1 week prior to the race).  Make sure you items are in a plastic bag or something waterproof as we cannot guarantee that they will stay dry.  Do not put valuables in your drop bag.  Do not put canned liquids in your drop bag (Red Bull, Coke, Etc.) as they have the tendency to break open.  Absolutely no drop bags will be accepted at the start on Friday morning.  Once the aid stations close, drop bags will be delivered to the finish line but  may not be available until late Saturday night.  Unclaimed drop bags will not be mailed to you.

Every year runners get caught in a section without lights and it has a serious effect on their race!  Remember, there are no drop bags at Tettegouche – most runners will want to pick up their lights at Silver Bay, only faster runners can make it all the way to County Road 6 without lights – know your pace and do the math and prepare for the unexpected!  Sunrise is 6:30AM and sunset is 7:30PM.

Weather and Clothing:
Early Sept. 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.  Be prepared, watch the forecast and plan accordingly.  The official average high is 65F and the average low is 47F.  Records are 81F and 37F.  One item that we highly recommend for runners is a plastic bag, poncho or rain jacket that you can carry with you for a cold overnight or a down-pour – don’t succumb to a DNF because you did not have the proper clothing!

Bus to Start:
Runners are encouraged to leave their cars at the finish area (Lutsen / Caribou Highlands) and catch the free shuttle bus to the start.  The bus will leave Caribou Highland at exactly 6:00 am to arrive at the start area around 7:00 am.  We do not have a shuttle service after the race back to Two Harbors or Gooseberry State Park so please plan accordingly.

Friday Morning Check-In and Race Start:
Gooseberry Falls State Park Visitors’ Center – Friday, September 9th, 8:00 am.  All runners must check-in race morning, we will start checking runners in as early as 6:30 – if you fail to do so, you are not officially in the race – this is your responsibility.  There are toilets at the race start and we will have coffee compliments of Peets Coffee.

Race Numbers:
Race numbers will be assigned prior to the race, once made, number assignments can be found HERE –  You must wear your race number and it must be clearly visible at all times.  If you are registered by August 15th you will have your first and last name custom printed on your race number, if you register after this date, you will not.  The Superior “Fall” Trail Races host three races simultaneously, the Superior 100 Mile, the Superior 50 and the Superior / Moose Mountain Marathon.  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. Your emergency contact information will be printed (in small print) on the front of your race number.  If you have any medical conditions, allergies etc. you may write this information on the back of your race number  so emergency personnel will have access to information pertinent to your care should something happen.

Pink Ribbon In Lieu of Back Bib:
Because the 100 mile race is not the only race happening during race weekend (50 mile and marathon runners start on Saturday Morning) we have often thought about implementing a “back bib” / race number for 100 mile runners, rather than do that now and make it mandatory we came up with the idea of a piece of pink ribbon.  You are welcome to take the piece of pink ribbon and tie it to the back of your hydration pack, waist belt etc. so you can easily be identified by runners doing the other distances, hopefully you will get some cheers and passed with care by these fresher / more energetic runners.  It is NOT mandatory that you participate in this but it is there as an option that we would like to test this year to see if it adds anything to the experience of 100 mile runners.

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.  More info can be found HERE

Course Markings:

A comprehensive section on course markings with photos can be found HERE

The Superior 100 Mile Trail Race runs South to North.  The course will be marked with Orange flags, which will always be on the left hand side of the trail.  For sections encountered at night, the flags will also have reflective strips tied to them.  Danger areas such as cliffs or drop offs will be marked with reflective X’s.  The Superior Trail 100 Mile 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”  – the only time you will ever take a “Spur-Trail” or a trail that is not the superior hiking trail are as follows (these areas will be well-marked):

1.) To access the first aid station in the race, Split-Rock – follow the Spur trail to the aid station (check-in and get aid) then return to the Superior Hiking Trail on the same trail you came in on, continue north on trail.

2.) At the Finland aid station – follow the Spur trail to the Superior Hiking Trail parking lot / Finland aid station, (check-in and get aid) then return to the Superior Hiking Trail on the same spur-trail you came in on, continue north on trail.

3.) Sonju Lake Road – follow the Spur trail to the Superior Hiking Trail parking lot / Sonju Lake Road aid station, (check-in and get aid) then return to the Superior Hiking Trail on the same trail you came in on.

4.) at the race finish shortly after crossing the Poplar River you will get off of the Superior Hiking trail and will follow orange / reflective flagging into Caribou Highlands / the finish line at the pool behind the building.

*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 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 ( – except in those specific instances listed above) and thousands of people navigate this trail from point to point each year without additional markings.

Aid Stations.
You must visit (and be recorded) at every aid station / you may not skip any aid stations. Our aid stations are manned by volunteers, many of them spending a good part of their weekend out on the race course – please be sure to thank the volunteers!  A complete list of the aid stations can be found HERE.  Aid stations will have the following beverage and food choices available: (All aid stations) Water, Hammer Heed, Hammer Gel, Soft Drinks, Peanut Butter Sandwiches, Potato Chips, Potatoes & Salt, Cookies, Candy, Fruit,  Soup, Coffee, Misc. Hot-Foods (hot foods/coffee will be served from mile 34.9 on)  If you have special dietary requirements or “make or break your race food items”, please make sure to make use of your drop bags.

Pacers & Support Crew:
Pacers are allowed in the 100 mile starting at mile 43.5 / County Road 6 after 6:00 PM – Pacers should not “mule” for runners.  Crew (not including pacers) may only administer aid to runners at the aid stations, not at other points on the course.  You may have up to two pacers at one time and no more.   If you are looking for a pacer ask a friend, someone in your local running group or check the Superior Trail Race Facebook Page. Usually the best thing is to find someone who knows you as a runner – preferably someone you have done long runs with or have run long races with – that way they will know how to read you, anticipate your needs, push you when needed and hold back when required. If you don’t have someone like this to help, another experienced ultrarunner will work. What you don’t want is someone that YOU will end up having to take care of.

Info For Crews (runners please Share this with your crews):
It is unlikely that anything a runner does will ever put the Superior Trail Race in jeopardy, more likely it would be a runners crew or spectator doing something in a vehicle near or at an aid station that could negatively impact the race.  Cell phone coverage is poor to unavailable at many points along the course and internet access to the race website / race directions and documents is unlikely and unreliable at best – please print any and all documentation you think you may need as we will not have any of these printed materials available for you.  Crews may only visit the aid stations that are crew accessible per the aid station spreadsheet HERE and may only give aid to runners at aid stations and nowhere else on the course.  Crew members should exercise extreme caution when driving between aid stations keeping in mind that many of the roads they will be traveling on are narrow, remote country roads – so please keep speed at or well below the posted speed limits and exercise extreme caution when approaching aid stations as in these areas the trail and runners almost always cross the road.  Crews should park in designated areas only and at the aid stations where there is no parking lot, be sure to pull well off to the side of the road, parking on one side of the road only.   Never stop in front of or unload in front of an aid station, you may have to haul gear quite a ways so make use of a backpack. RVs and motor-homes are not allowed at any of the aid stations – we understand that the definition of an R.V. or motor-home is broad but basically any vehicle that is longer or wider than a standard pickup truck is how we define it – this is due to many extremely narrow roads leading to aid stations where cars will also be parked on one side of the road.   Best case… failure of crew members to obey any of the above guidelines will result in a time penalty being assessed against their runner – worst case will be the disqualification of their runner.  A Minnesota State Park pass is required for any and all vehicles entering any Minnesota State Park – for your convenience you may want to purchase one in advance

Crew Ambassadors:
Starting in 2013 we implemented a very simple yet very effective ‘Crew Ambassador’ program.  It works like this – if you have been at this race crewing for runners several years and have a good handle on the back roads, directions, what happens when, do’s and dont’s and would like to be a resource throughout the two days for other runners crews who may be doing this for their first times we will make a strip of flourescent yellow / green ribbon available to you to tie onto your hat, belt etc – indicating to others that you know your stuff and are willing to answer questions, give directions and generally help those that are new to the area / new to crewing a runner at the Superior 100.  We will have ribbons available at the pre-race meeting on Thursday and again at the race start on Friday.

Headphones are permitted but we ask that you use common sense.  Full awareness of one’s surroundings, and the ability to communicate with other participants, race volunteers, and trail users unassociated with the event are critical to everyone’s safety – please keep your volume low and or keep one ear out.

Trekking Poles:
Trekking poles are allowed, please be cognizant of those around you when using your poles.

Don’t do it.  If you see some trash someone else has dropped, pick it up.  Keep the trail clean.

Cut-off Times:
The Superior 100 has several intermediate and race finish cutoff times that will be strictly enforced.  The finish line cutoff for an official finish is 38 hours (Saturday, 10:00 pm).  Intermediate cutoff times are listed in the table below.  All cutoffs will be strictly enforced – we do however reserve the right to pull (or allow to continue) any racer as we see fit – if you are uncomfortable with those terms, consider running another race.

Intermediate Cutoffs

LocationMileDayTime of Day
Silver Bay25Friday4:00 PM
Tettegouche34.9Friday7:30 PM
County Road 643.5Friday10:30 PM
Finland51.2Saturday2:00 AM
Sugarloaf72.3Saturday11:45 AM
Cramer Road77.9Saturday1:40 PM
Sawbill90.7Saturday5:30 PM
Oberg96.2Saturday7:00 PM
Finish / Lutsen103.3Saturday10:00 PM


If You DNF:
Should you need to drop out of the race, remove your number and your chip and give them directly 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.

Safety Considerations:
The Superior Trail Race takes place on a very rugged, single-track hiking trail, running on such a trail comes with inherit risks that runners accept upon entering the event.  In addition to trail conditions other potential dangers include but are not limited to of note to; Wet / slippery trail conditions (mud, roots and rocks), wet / slippery boardwalks and bridges, bees / bee stings, road crossings (use caution when crossing just as you would if you were a regular hiker on the trail or like you do on your training runs) and steep drops / cliffs.  Hydration, all runners should have sufficient water carrying capacity to make it from aid station to aid station (water bottle or hydration pack / system).

Medical & Emergencies:
Emergencies dial 911.

Two Harbors / Lake County
*For use from Two Harbors, Gooseberry Falls (Race Start) to Cramer Road Aid Station

Lakeview Memorial Hospital
325 11th Avenue
Two Harbors, MN 55616-1360
(218) 834-7300 Lake County Sheriffs Office

Lake County Law Enforcement Center
613 Third Avenue
Two Harbors, MN 55616
(218) 834-8385

Grand Marais / Cook County
*For use from Temperance River Aid Station to Lutsen / Caribou Highlands (Race Finish)

Cook County North Shore Hospital and Care Center
515 5th Ave West
Grand Marais MN 55604
218-387-3040 Cook County Sheriffs Office

Cook County Law Enforcement Center
143 Gunflint Trl
Grand Marais, MN 55604


1st Place Overall Male and Female
1st place Open (age 39 – under) Male and Female
1st place Masters (age 40 – 50) Male and Female
1st Place Grand Masters (50+) Male and Female 

There will be NO duplication of awards, and NO ties. Ties will be broken at the whim of the RD – trust us, you don’t want that! Awards will be presented immediately after the 50 mile awards at approximately 8:00 PM Saturday – if you are due an award and cannot stay until 8:00PM you can pick up your award prior, however there will not be a presentation.

Post-Race Clean-Up:
Caribou Highlands Lodge will furnish shower facilities and towels for runners who are not staying at the lodge.  Please be sure not to track any mud into the lodge, we will have hoses and brushes to scrub bodies and shoes outside prior to going into the building.

Post-Race Meal:
We will serve meat and vegetarian chili, with fixings. We will also have loaves of bread, and cookies.  Food is for registered runners only, not crew and family members.  Limit one meal per runner, please.

Results will be updated regularly at the finish.  Preliminary results will be available on the website within a couple of days of the finish – final results (with any corrections) will be posted on our website within a few weeks of the end of the race.

Lost and Found
Any personal items left after the race will be donated to a charity or to other local runners in need. We will not ship items to you.

We are always looking for them.  Do you have friends and family coming but don’t really need them to follow you around to crew – see if they want to volunteer.  Learn more by visiting the volunteer page.

Superior Hiking Trail Association
The Superior Hiking Trail is one of the premier long-distance single-track hiking trails in the WORLD (not exaggerating).  We cannot thank you all enough for your donations to the SHTA. The trail would not be this well maintained without all your help. Consider becoming a Superior Hiking Trail Association member, it is very affordable and each contribution makes a world of difference.  Learn more by visiting the Superior Hiking Trail online HERE

Next years race date:
Likely date BUT (subject to approval of permits / subject to change) Sept. 8 & 9, 2017

The Superior 100 Mile Trail Race is a Rocksteady Running LLC event and is put on by ultrarunners for ultrarunners.  Race Director: John Storkamp