Superior 100

Superior 100
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Superior preparation: nutrition, hydration, and gear
It’s hard to believe that the Superior 100 is just a couple days away. I’ve been preparing for this race for so long that the reality of it is jarring. It’s served as this shapeless thing, guiding my actions and fueling my motivation, but I never thought it was actually going to happen. After a nearly flawless year of training and racing, I fell down a week ago while running at Elm Creek and sustained a nasty rib injury. After grappling with some pretty intense despair for a few days, I’ve gotten down to the business of adapting my race strategy.
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Superior preparation: lighting

Superior preparation: lighting
This story started almost two years ago. I limped away from the Moose Mountain Marathon badly broken, but not dispirited. I told my parents, “Next year, I run the 50 and the following year, the 100.” It seemed like nonsense at the time. I was a mess. From mile 10, my IT band made it almost impossible to move forward. I hobbled to a cringe-worthy finish in 6:20:36. I learned a lot in the year that followed, notably the value of training and focus. In 2013 I finished the 50 mile race in 12:00, even negative splitting by 3 minutes.
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Voyageur 50

Voyageur 50
“Are you the dude who got smoked by the tree?” he asked me. “Ugh. Yeah.” I gingerly rubbed the top of my head. “How’s your pride?” I conceded that the pride had taken quite a blow, but if I walked away without a concussion, I would be happy. We had a good chuckle. I began inventorying minutia such as time of day, my first name, the names of my friends who were also running, and other small details that I reasoned a concussed man could not conjure. I decided I would keep running until obvious symptoms emerged.
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Eugene Curnow trail marathon

Eugene Curnow trail marathon
Last year I signed up for Eugene Curnow on the Monday after the Afton 50k. The race was five days away and I was in terrible shape. Consequently, I’ve spent much of the last year gloriously describing it as a work of absurdity, a course so difficult that it defies description. It is only in the past few weeks that I’ve started to wonder, “Maybe that course wasn’t so bad?” I made a last minute decision to run Afton again this year, so I was once again racing a week after a 50k. Having stacked races through May and June, that fact didn’t seem particularly noteworthy this year.
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Afton 50km

Afton 50km
After racing 6 weeks of intense racing between May and June, I wasn’t going to race Afton this year. However, after a couple days training on the SHT and then racing Bryce, I realized that I needed more time on the trail. My trail fitness was disappointing. I lagged behind both Jared and Bunda, unable to do anything more than plod along at a determined, but pathetic shuffle. Quick on the road doesn’t necessarily mean quick on the trail. After a relaxing 4:45am car drive out to the park, our crew of trail people magically assembled. This included Bekah, Jason, Bunda, Jared, and Todd.
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Briefly, six glorious weekends

Briefly, six glorious weekends
Week one: Superior 50km Post here Week two: Med City Marathon Downtown Rochester is comprised of corridors that connect in a seemingly linear fashion. You leave a point, travel to another point, and arrive there without ever diverging from a direct route by more than 100 feet. However, these linear paths are achieved via a jagged meander that reveals a look of utter disbelief when you actually arrive at your destination. “What the…” The streets are largely empty and unused, with people crammed into restaurants and skulking in the apocalypse-ready catacombs or skyways.
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Spring Superior 50k

Spring Superior 50k
The Mill City trail running crew, sans Gary and a few others, assembled at Burrito Union in Duluth. Jason declared the weekend one of no limits by eating two of the legendary Rasputin burritos—an item of such impressive volume and density that each is accompanied by a sticker meant to chronicle the achievement. Sadly, there was not an even more impressive sticker for double fisting it. Jared, Bunda, and I opted for the much less impressive, perhaps even un-American, Vegan Socialist. It was a pleasant start to the weekend. We soon arrived at Caribou Highlands.
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