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Superior 100 Mile Trail Race

06-Sep-2019 Gooseberry Falls State Park Visitors Center, Minnesota, USA


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Trail Race Race Terrain
161KM / 100Miles
1 Day - 150 Runners

Alternate Distances: 80KM/50M

DIFFICULTY Race Difficulty Advanced  

Read Ian Corless' review of the 2014 event HERE.

Photo credit: Ian Corless.

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Elevation: Very little change < 500 metres. Benign running terrain, not technical.

Suitable for: First ultra runners completing a marathon or doing regular long distance running in the last six months.


Elevation: Increase of up to 1000 metres

Suitable for: Runners who have completed at least one ultra distance race (or similar event) or are doing long distance running (>26 miles) regularly, with elevation shown.


Elevation: Increase of up to 1500 metres

Suitable for: Runners who have completed several ultra distances or similar events, or are doing long distance running regularly, with elevation shown.


Elevation: Increase of up to 2000 metres with some challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity or heat) and or technical terrain

Suitable for: Experienced runners who have completed at least regular ultra distances in last 12 months, or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races may be subject to evidence of recent qualifying race participation and recent medical examination certificate. Check with the race organiser regarding entry requirements.


Elevation: Increase of up to 2000 metres with very challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity, heat or at high altitude) and or technical terrain.

Suitable for: Very experienced long distance ultra runners (min 3 years’ experience) or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races is often subject to evidence of recent qualifying race participation and recent medical examination certificate. Purchase of specialist kit is often recommended for these races.

Endurance - Multi-activity

Type: An ultra distance race including at least two of the following activities such as running, swimming, cycling, kayaking, skiing and climbing. It may also include different climatic conditions (eg ice, snow, humidity, cold water, mud or heat).

Suitable for: Experienced multi-skilled athletes who have trained for the different activities included in this event. Admission to these races may be subject to receipt of a recent medical examination certificate. Check with the race organiser regarding entry requirements and any specialist equipment required such as a wetsuit, skis or a mountain bike.

Global - Virtual

Type: A virtual race which can be run at any time shown on the dates shown, on any type of terrain in any country.

Suitable for: For runners from beginners to experienced as you choose your own course and challenge based on the guidelines and options set by the virtual race organiser.

Review Superior 100 Mile Trail Race

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10:57 14-09-17

Ran in 2015. I figure enough time has elapsed to add a review. My therapist says we have worked through enough of the suppressed memories from the race that I can begin to open up…a little.
Superior 100
I finished. There were times during the race that I thought that I wouldn't, that I couldn't, but I finished.
I thought I would answer a few of the FAQ's which have been circling me like the aid station attendants:

How long was it? 103.3 miles, but it is called a 100 miler. I don't know why either.
Why did you run a race that long? I was in it for the money.
Did you win? Yes. A finish is a win. I was the 66th person to win this year. Unfortunately they ran out of all prize money by the time I finished. Out of the 250 entrants, only 161 were able to finish.
How long did it take you? 32 hours and 50 minutes. We started at 8 am on Friday morning and I ended at 4:50 on Saturday afternoon. The cutoff was 10 pm.
What do you get if you finish? I received a metal belt buckle, a customized sweatshirt, a finishers medal, and as many blisters as I could handle.
Didn't it hurt to run over 100 miles? Yes…Yes it did.
I have a sibling/parent/cousin/fake relative who has run a marathon. Isn't this the same thing, only longer? Yes, in the same way that Peewee Herman and Mike Tyson punch the same, but one is just a little bigger.
Where was the race held? It was held in the Sawtooth Mountains of the North Shore, following the Superior Hiking Trail from Gooseberry Falls to Lutsen.
Did you ever stop? Yes, normally just to curl up and cry by a fire while the aid station attendants tried to figure out how to get me moving again. There were aid stations every 5.5-10 miles.
Did you sleep at all? Only once, on accident, while I was running at night. I learned my lesson after stumbling off the trail.
Did you run with anyone? I had several running partners. I started with Chris Hanson who is a skilled veteran at this race. He has finished 11 times (which basically means he is "awesome" personified). I realized early on in our 25 miles together that he is the Captain America of ultra running. He knows, talks to, and cares about everyone on the trail. Even at mile 20 he was busy moving rocks and sticks off the trail for everyone coming behind him. Without Chris' knowledge and encouragement, there would have been no way I would have attempted the race. Thank you…I guess…
I ran the next 25 miles with different people I met on the trail, sticking with them as long as I could bum snacks or tips off of them.
I started mile 52 about 9 pm with a running friend from Brainerd, Mike Porter. He graciously volunteered to run through the night with me, covering the hardest part of the trail while at my lowest emotional state. I think that qualifies him for sainthood, or psychological evaluation. He kept me moving through the middle of the night when I was convinced that I should lay down on the trail and let the wolves have my body. We covered 32 miles from 9 pm to around 11 am.
The last 20 miles I had Mark Barrett running behind me. When he wasn't forcing gels down my throat, he was giving me constant affirmation of my hobbling run and encouragement to pass the next runner. Through his incredible coaching I knocked off over 2 hours from my estimated finish in those last miles. His mantra was, "If you throw this up, we can fill you up again. Take another one." His promises of steak and the world's greatest hamburgers lengthened my stride considerably.
The final running partners were with me the entire race. Crystal and Tanzen came to the pre-race meeting, the aid stations, and the finish line. They carried in gear, filled my hydration pack, gave me hugs and kisses, and constantly cheered me on with the shouts and smiles. With them, every aid station is like the finish line when I see them waiting.
What do you think of the race? Rugged. Remote. Relentless.
A huge thank you to the race director, the many volunteers, and the friends who showed up to run with me, encourage me, and congratulate me at the end. I enjoyed the experience…at least the parts that I haven't blocked out of my memory.

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09:35 24-03-17

Ran in 2014. It's a fair drive to get to this race from the Twin Cities but that's what makes it so special. Northern Minnesota is very remote making the point to point race course even more intriguing. Don't be fooled, the relentless up and down hills add up as does the inconsistent footing. Great people, difficult course, in a beautiful area. If you're lucky you'll hear wolves howling at night! The majority of the aid stations are easily accessible if you have a crew and if not all the volunteers are ready to help. Highly recommended!

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