2014 Superior 50 Mile Trail Race:
Race Date: Saturday Sept. 6th 2014
Start Location: Finland Rec. Center (Superior Hiking Trail trailhead outside of Finland) Northern Minnesota
Start Time: 6:00 AM
Shuttle to race start from Caribou Highlands / race finish leaves at 4:30AM
State = Minnesota | Race start is 3.5 hours north of the MSP International Apirport | 52.1 Mile point-to-point 100% trail ultramarathon – 99% single-track | Founded 1990 | Elevation Gain 12,500 FT | Elevation Loss 12,500 FT | NET Elevation Change 25,000 FT | 7 Aid Stations | 16 hour cutoff | Field is limited to 200 runners | Reputation as one of the toughest, most scenic and best marked trail 50′s in the country | Field limit will be met early.
Superior 50 Mile Trail Race / Endurance Run Description and History:
The Superior 50 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 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 while meandering through mystic Boreal forests. The race starts at the Finland Aid Station / Finland Rec. Center outside of Finland Minnesota, and finishes at Caribou Highlands Lodge in Lutsen. Runners will have access to seven aid stations between the start and finish, and will never go more than 9.4 miles without an opportunity for aid. The Superior 50 Mile is put on by ultrarunners for ultrarunners.
Registration will open on Saturday March 15th 2013. You can register online or fill in the online form, print it and mail it in your check. The fee is $85.00. Registration will close on Sunday August 31st 2014 at 11:59 PM or once the field limit has been met. There will be no registration after Sunday August 31st 2014 at 11:59 PM. There will be no registration at packet-pickup or race-day registration. Runners registered by August 15th will have their names custom printed on their race numbers, those registering after August 15th will not.
The Superior 50 Mile Trail Race is one of the most difficult 50 mile trail races in the country (easily in the top 10 most difficult in the country). In order to register you must have finished at least one 50KM trail race in the previous two calendar years or any previous years Superior 100 Mile, 50 Mile or Moose Mountain Marathon. Qualifying races submitted on the race application will be checked and those not meeting the requirements will not be allowed entry to the race – if you knowingly attempt to register without meeting the qualifying standards you will be banned from future editions of the race.
2013 field limit for the 50 mile race is 200 runners (subject to minor change in 2014).
Refunds – Transfers – Switches:
Entry fees are not refundable under any circumstance, race registrations are not transferable to other participants or to future years races and we do do not allow transfers between distances. Please consider these factors carefully before registering – thank you.
What you get:
Transportation to the race start from Caribou Highlands. A well marked course with plenty of aid and tons of friendly, experienced volunteers. All registered runners will receive a long-sleeve technical T-shirt. These are unisex sized but do run big for both men and women so please size accordingly. A wood finishers medallion. A complimentary post race meal.
The race start is approximately 4.5 hours north of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Minneapolis has a world class international airport and traveling to the race is a breeze. There is also a regional airport in Duluth MN.
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 50 Mile racer. Call 1-800-642-6036 or visit their Website at www.caribouhighlands.com. Caribou Highlands’ address is 371 Ski Hill Road, P.O. Box 99 in Lutsen, MN 55612.
There are many camping option 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 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 in and out of there. http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/
Friday, September 5, 5:00 – 7:00 pm, Caribou Highlands Lodge, downstairs conference room Saturday and September 6, 5:00 – 5:45 am at the race start / Finland trailhead.
Caribou Highlands Lodge, downstairs conference room Friday, September 5, 7:00 pm
Bus Transportation to Starting Line
A bus will be available to transport participants from Caribou Highlands to the starting line in Finland. The bus will leave Caribou Highlands promptly at 4:30 am. It is about a 45 minute ride to the race start. There is no additional charge to ride the bus.
Please keep your drop bags as small as possible. 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. Bring your drop bag(s) to Caribou Highlands Lodge, downstairs conference room between 4:00 and 8:00 pm on Friday, September 7. All drop bags must have the runner’s name and aid station name clearly printed on the outside of the bag. All dropbags for aid stations must be brought to the Friday night packet pickup. 1 bag for pre-start gear will be transported from the start at Finland to the dropbag area at Caribou Highlands. All aid station drop bags will be delivered to the finish area by aid station personnel by 8:30 pm on Saturday.
Lights are required after 5 pm in order to leave the Oberg aid station. Know your pace and your approximate finishing time – if you are a slower 50 mile runner you will need lights to navigate the course and finish the race, plan accordingly. Look at past finishing times, this is not a fast 50 miler!
Whether and Clothing:
Early Sept. in Northern Minnesota – we can have highs in the mid to high 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.
Saturday, September 6, 6:00 am – Finland Rec Center. All runners must check in race morning prior to starting otherwise you are unofficial / not in the race (this is your responsibility!)
Race numbers will be assigned by the Monday prior to the race. 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. More info about race numbers can be found HERE. 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. Racers registered by August 15th will receive their name custom printed on the race number as illustrated below – if you register after this date, your name will not be on your number. 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 personell will have access to information pertinent to your care should something happen.
We will be using chip timing for the race. Your chip will be on a velcro strap that you should attach to your right or left ankle only or attached to your shoe – no other spot on your body is acceptable. You must wear your chip at all times.
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 50 Mile primarily follows the Superior Hiking Trail – you can also look for the offical 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 miler the only time you will ever take a “Spur-Trail” or a trail that is not the superior hiking trail is at the Sonju Lake Road Aid Station – 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. The other instance is 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 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.
Our aid stations are manned by volunteers, many of them spending a good part of their weekend out there – please be sure to thank the volunteers! A complete list of the aid stations can be found HERE
Food and Drink – Aid stations will have the following beverage and food choices available:
(All aid stations) Water, Hammer Heed, Hammer Gel, Soft Drinks, Peanut Butter Sandwiches, Turkey Sandwiches, Potato Chips, Potatoes & Salt, Cookies, Candy, Fruit
(Mile 50 and Later) Soup, Coffee, Misc. Hot-Foods
*If you have special dietary requirements, please make sure to make use of your drop bags.
Pacers & Crew:
Pacers are not allowed for the 50 mile race. Obviously you can “pace” with another registered runner, but any runner found running with a pacer who is not a registered runner (“a bandit”) will be disqualified. Your crew members may offer support but at the aid station locations only, no other spot on the course is acceptable.
Due to our past experience with people wearing headphones on trail runs such as these, we discourage their use however we won’t tell you can’t wear them . 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 use common sense.
Don’t do it. If you see some trash someone else has dropped, pick it up. Keep the trail clean.
The Superior 50 has intermediate and race finish cutoff times that will be strictly enforced. The finish line cutoff for an official finish is 16 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.
Aid Station Mileage Time / Day
Sugarloaf Road 21.1 Sat 11:30 AM
Cramer Road 26.7 Sat 1:30 PM
Sawbill-Britton 39.5 Sat 5:30 PM
Oberg Mountain 45 Sat 7:00 PM
Lutsen / Finish 52.1 Sat 10:00 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 stations 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.
1st Place Overall Male and Female
1st place Open (age 39 – under) Male and Female
1st place Masters (age 40 to 49) Male and Female
1st place Grand Masters (age 40 to 49) 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.
Caribou Highlands Lodge will furnish shower facilities and towels for runners who are not staying at the lodge.
Post-Race Meal (Subject To Change):
We will be a simple / basic bag lunch meal for each runner after the race – please sit and break bread with us and share some stories.
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. 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 moreby visiting the Superior Hiking Trail online HERE
Next years race date:
Saturday September 5th 2015
The Superior 100 Mile Trail Race is a Rocksteady Running LLC event and is put on by ultrarunners for ultrarunners. Race Director: John Storkamp