October 25, 2007

Slippery Slope

After becoming smitten with trail running at Afton this summer, I decided to check out what other trail races are held in Minnesota. I'd heard about the spring and fall races on the Superior Hiking Trail and decided to go up to Lutsen and check out the 25K course (which is also part of every other SHT race course). I'd hiked that part of the trail shortly after it was built almost 20 years ago and remembered it as being very rugged - not the sort of terrain I'd be able to run on very well. I also remembered it as being absolutely beautiful. I went up in late July, and as it turns out, my memory was pretty accurate.

A few weeks later I was back, this time crewing on Saturday morning at the Temperance River aid station for the fall races. This was an interesting experience because we got to see runners from all 3 events in various stages of decay. It was mile 8 for the marathoners, who were still fairly fresh. It was mile 83+ for the 100 milers, who were looking pretty glassy eyed if they even made it that far. The 50 milers came through twice: mile 18 and again at 32. I was (and still am) in awe of the folks who had the guts to toe the line and do an ultra on that terrain. Race Director Larry had warned those of us in awe that we were on a slippery slope - starting with a short trail run, crewing at another event, and next thing we're going to be out there with the others experiencing the decay first hand.

I think I'm on the slippery slope. I'm pretty sure I'll see Wayne out there too. The Superior Trail 25K in the spring and the Moose Mountain Marathon in the fall are both major goals of mine for 2008!


Wayne said...

Hey Kel... I stumbled onto your blog yesterday and had a good laugh when I looked again and saw the title of this post. You've set some good goals for next year. You are correct that I will be out there too, and early as I signed up for the Chippewa Moraine 50K (http://chippewa50.com/) in April! I plan to do something at Superior and Afton (distance tbd), and then Moose Mountain Marathon also. So cue the music: "slip sliding away..." :)
Wayne, Rochester

Runner Brewer said...


You should ask Carl Gammon about that fallen tree covering the trail in the top picture. I think he remembers it (or doesn't) really well.


Kel said...

Wayne, you are my "Slippery Slope" buddy! I think the inaugural Chippewa will be awesome, and if all goes according to plan, that one is on my radar for 2009 (I've got to get more mileage in before attempting an ultra). I may crew that one if I have the weekend off. I will probably stick to 25K at Afton simply because of the fact that it's in July. Happy trails :)

Kel said...


Was this the same tree that more than one runner tried to move out of the way with their forehead?