Race completed! The Superior Trail Series 12.5K is in the bag and it was a fun event! The weather ended up being perfect – about 50’s. It was cloudy and windy which wasn’t super ideal but the temp meant that it didn’t get overly hot while running. It may have sprinkled a little bit, or it could have been water falling off leaves from the overnight rain.
The quick details:
12.5K – 1:23:49 40/228 overall
- (7:36 pace) for the last .75 miles
My race plan had essentially been to take it easy until around mile 6 and then start pushing the pace. I executed that fairly well, except that in mile 5 we hit our first (and really only) major climb! That explains the sudden drop in my pacing. One thing I had forgotten was how rooty and rocky the trail is. There were quite a few sections where the group slowed down to make it through a section of roots, especially on the downhills. The Superior Hiking Trail Association has done a great job of putting bridges or planks over the worst marshy areas, but given that it is spring there are still some muddy sections throughout! The section of trail was amazing! If I wasn’t running the race I would have taken a ton of pictures.
Starting at Cathedral of the Pines was beautiful, running along Agnes Lake and the Poplar River were spectacular and of course some of the views from the peaks were amazing! I didn’t stop or really get to look at them – so I will be coming back to hike this section still. There was still snow on the ground – but only where Lusten Mountains had created man-made snow for the ski hills. We never got close to it, but I did see it once and think – yay we are getting close to the finish!
My only complaint – and it was already addressed by the race director – was that it wasn’t super clear that we could bring sweats to the starting line and it was chilly standing around for 30 minutes waiting. This was a point to point race unlike the other two that were out and backs. We got taken by bus to the starting line. Otherwise it was a well produced event! I got some video of the 50k and 25k starts that I might get around to smashing together! Part of me regrets not taking my phone or a camera on the run, but it was also nice to just focus on running and racing again!
Given that the race was almost 4 hours from home, I went up the night before and camped at Lamb’s Resort. They have some nice campsites right on the lake if you want to pay a little extra. I opted for my little backpacking tent and I to stay at nice site where you could still here the waves crashing even in the woods! This is the first time I ever remember camping the night before a race. I will definitely do some things differently next time, but I think that camping added to the overall experience of a trail run. I can’t imagine being one of the many who stayed in the Caribou Highlands – such a pampered experience!