Superior: 100 Mile Endurance Run, One of America’s Oldest, Toughest, and Gnarliest Ultramarathons is a brand new paperback book just released by Kevin Langton, a Minnesota runner who has completed the race himself on more than one occasion.
“The Superior 100 is one of the most rugged, remote, and relentless 100 mile footraces out there. It’s beautiful and challenging. This multi-genre book is part nonfiction novel, part history, part memoir, among other things. It follows eight runners through the race. It follows crew members, volunteers, course markers, sweepers, and the race director. It dives into race history. With lyric and memorable narrative, it captures the physical, mental, and spiritual journeys of the competitors as they run through the night, through the forests, rivers, and ridgetops of the Sawtooth Mountains of northern Minnesota.”
I’ve run part of that course myself several years back and I was there as a race photographer the year this was written. I know Kevin as well as many of the other real life characters in the book and am proud to call them friends. They are some of the toughest, selfless, amazing and humble people I’ve ever known.
The landscape is drop dead gorgeous! The course covers more than 100 miles of the rugged single track Superior Hiking Trail with relentless ups and downs that are littered with roots and rocks for more than 41,000 vertical feet of elevation change (that’s not a typo). Anyone who tells you Minnesota is flat hasn’t seen this part of it. There are more waterfalls than you can count and you occasionally catch of glimpse of Lake Superior or other inland lakes during the course of the race. The runners go from 8 am Friday morning until they finish (there is a 38 hour cut-off), running with headlamps during the night. Aid stations are typically 8-10 miles apart, so each athlete must be fairly self sufficient while out on the course.
I highly recommend reading this book about the Superior 100 Mile Endurance Run! And then I highly recommend getting yourself out on the Superior Hiking Trail to see for yourself what the terrain is like. You definitely don’t need to go to a gym to get a good workout! Better yet, sign up to run or volunteer at the race and witness this epic event first hand 🙂