Northern Minnesota is calling me…
In just 4-weeks, I will be heading out to the USA to work on and photograph the Superior 100.
Superior 100 will be my only trip to the US this year and I am really stoked to be part of a race with such an incredible history. To add to the experience, 1992 Superior 100 race winner and US ultra running legend Eric Clifton is coming back to run! Eric has a list of palmares that goes back to ‘89’ when he toed the line Vermont 100 and he only went and won the race in 15:48:59. Since then, Eric has been an ever present on the racing scene and in addition to winning Vermont 100 multiple times he has topped the podium at races such as:
- JFK 50,
- Old Dominion 100,
- Mohican 100,
- Rocky Racoon 100,
- Bull Run 50,
- Umstead 100,
- Massanuten 100,
- Crown King Scramble 50,
- Ice Age Trail 50,
- Kettle Moraine 100,
- Badwater 135,
- Mount Rushmore 100,
- Heartland 100,
- San Diego 100,
- McNaughton Park 100
Eric’s most recent victory came in ‘08’ at Noble Canyon 50km. Just reading Eric’s victory list blows my mind but a take a look here, the list goes on with a plethora of top-10 places and race finishes. A true legend of the sport and I can’t wait to chat and have my horizons opened to a world and a series of races that I have only previously read about!
Founded in ‘91’, Superior 100 is one of the oldest 100-mile trail races in the country. Way back in the day it was one of an elite band of 10-12 100-mile races in the US. Founded by Harry Sloan, the race did have a name change some time back when it was called, Sawtooth 100, however it was changed back to its original name and that has stuck to present day.
Minnesota, the home of the Superior 100 has a long and proud ultra running history and I have to say, this Brit just can’t wait to immerse himself in the experience. Much of my year is now spent working on races all over the world. In just the last couple of years I have seen the calendar explode. To go back to a ‘pure’ race excites me and I have to say, it will be my first real experience of one the corner stones of our sport.
‘Rugged, Relentless and Remote, Superior 100 is known as one of the toughest 100mile trail races in the world! Now known as one of the ‘legacy 100-milers’ the race 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 it 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 ultra runners for ultra runners.’
Be honest, how could you not be pulled in by that quote!
A point-to-point ultra marathon that is 100% trail! The race route traverses the Sawtooth Mountain Range (hence the old Sawtooth 100 name) on the Superior Hiking Trail in the far reaches northern Minnesota. Lake Superior, the greatest freshwater lake in the world provides a stunning backdrop to a race that climbs to near 2000′ peaks with breath-taking vistas of the lake and inland forests. Crossing countless whitewater rivers and serene streams the 100-mile route meanders through mystic Boreal forests. Gooseberry Falls State Park Visitors’ Center, MN hosts the start of the race and a welcome finish awaits each and every runner at Caribou Highlands Lodge in Lutsen, MN.
I will be heading out to the US on September 2nd and heading back to ‘Blighty’ on September 8th. It’s a whistle stop tour but I plan to immerse myself in the experience, culture and I hope to meet up with so many friends, virtual or real, in and around the trails of the Superior 100.
If you are racing, spectating or crewing, good luck! An awesome experience awaits us all.
Images ©Superior Endurance Runs (Fall Races)
Don’t forget, the race also has the Moose Mountain Marathon and the Superior 50-miler all happening at the same time. (Entrants for all races HERE)
Superior Trail Races 2014 Friday September 5th 2014
100 Mile Starts 8:00 AM Saturday September 6th 2014
50 Mile Starts 5:30 AM
Marathon Starts 8:00 AM
Registration opens Sat March 15th