Superior 100 Mile Trail Race

Yes, it’s that time of the year again. This fall’s Superior 100 Mile Trail Race, to be run Friday September 9th, will also include a 50 miler and a 26.2 mile marathon distance -all  along a rough portion of the Superior Hiking Trail (SHT).  The first 100 miler was in 1991; forty-seven runners started and twenty-seven finished.

The 100 mi. race starts at Gooseberry Falls and finishes at Lutsen Mountain. The Superior uses a lottery system, and there are 250 spots allocated for this year’s 100 miler, 175 places for the 50 miler, and 325 spots for the marathon – all filled within the 12-day registration period that began February 28th. Both the 100 and the 50 mile races have qualifying  requirements. All races run on the SHT and finish at Lutsen.  See this article by Sarah Barker, for an excellent description of the terrain covered and a good historical overview of the Superior 100 Mile Trail Race. It should be noted that the Superior 100 Trail Race is not associated with the Superior Hiking Trail Association (SHTA) – and be sure to check out their new website!

What a challenge. I’ve hiked the entire SHT north of Two Harbors, much of it many times, and I’m all too familiar with the constant ups and downs associated with the dozens of river and stream valleys all along the big lake. And the rocky and root-lined trail drops down into into each and every valley and then climbs up and over the next ridge, hill and mountain. It will be a challenge for the runners and I’m sure they have chosen their foot wear carefully.

We have  many options today as far as hiking and running footwear are concerned. The 100 mi. section of the SHT these runners will face is pretty challenging terrain, and it would be interesting to see just what these athletes will be wearing on their feet!

I met my blogging-friend Jonathan, on his blog, sweetwilder, as he recently thru-hiked the Long Trail in Vermont and posted about his adventure daily, including some great pictures. Jonathan’s posts on the Long Trail caught my eye since I’d hiked a short portion of it in the Green Mountains of Vermont, and I even visited the Long Trail Brewery, while on my way to the White Mountains in New Hampshire and Baxter State Park in Maine a couple of years earlier.

Katahdin

The Trail Back Down, Mt. Katahdin, Maine

More recently Jonathan posted his thoughts on hiking footwear, mainly ‘trail-runners,’ on his blog here. While Jonathan admits to an affinity for the more traditional, heavier hiking boots, he sounds pretty sold on the newer, light-weight, trail-running variety for understandable reasons on most of the trails he hikes out east. Be sure to check out Jonathan’s blog (above).

Naturally I had to comment to Jonathan about my affinity for the more traditional leather hiking boots such as Vasque and Zamberlan, among others, that I tend to wear when hiking in mountainous areas out west, and in other rocky places like the SHT, the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho, or Glacier NP. You can read our brief discussion in Jonathan’s post referenced above.  In my comment to Jonathan, I included a link to a recent review by Drew Robinson on new ‘trail-runners’ expected to hit store shelves later this fall or early next year.

And more recently, Drew posted another interesting article on how to choose the perfect trail shoe for running and hiking, on his blog Trail to Peak.  I originally started following Trail to Peak because of Drew’s outdoor adventures and his photography – some very stunning photos of the many beautiful places he’s hiked! Many of Drew’s photos brought back good memories for me! Be sure to check out Drew’s blog (above).

And if you’re interested in running in next year’s Superior 100 mi., 50 mi. or 26.2 mi. races, mark your calendar now so you can get your ducks in order in a timely fashion!

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About Mike Hohmann

I did lots of camping/hiking as a kid in the Scouts, and I still strive to 'be prepared.' After high school, I got bored with more school and enlisted in the Army Corps. of Engineers, doing two tours in Vietnam. Post military, I completed BS and MBA degrees and spent several decades with Corporate America, working mostly in the areas of conventional and renewable energy. I also spent over a decade as a self-employed small business consultant in marketing and finance. As a young family man with a wife and two kids, we spent many vacations camping and hiking in northern Minnesota. I spent additional long weekends fishing the rivers and camping/hiking along the North Shore of Lake Superior. I retired early and hit the trails hard-- in the lower-48, Alaska, and western Canada. These days I backpack, car-camp and day-hike, go snowshoeing, and try to get the grand-kids out to teach them the ways of the trail. Other interests include American Revolutionary War and Civil War history, 19th and 20th century firearms, Native American history; business and macroeconomics. I'm a recently-licensed amateur (Ham) radio operator, and I look forward to many radio-related adventures in coming months. Life is good! Member, Superior Hiking Trail Association; Member, Appalachian Mountain Club; Member, REI; Member, ARRL- Amateur Radio Relay League, the National Assoc. for Amateur Radio; Twin Cities Metro Skywarn Spotter; Twin City FM Club; Richfield Amateur Radio Club; QRP ARCI, Low-Power Amateur Radio Club International; Life Member, National Rifle Association
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4 Responses to Superior 100 Mile Trail Race

  1. ray says:

    so what are you doing ?? the 100 meter segment !

    • Mike Hohmann says:

      I’m reporting on the upcoming race event, Ray. A 100 mi., a 50 mi. and a 26.2 mi. marathon race event, all three run along the Superior Hiking Trail. Now I’ve got to get back to finishing a post on recent travels in north-central Wyoming. Stay tuned!

  2. Great post. Will look forward to your reporting.

    • Mike Hohmann says:

      I will not be at the race, but I’ll watch for reports from local sources. It would sure be interesting to get some detail on the footwear the runners are wearing; along with some details on the race itself! Thanks for stopping by, Jonathan.

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