Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Back where it all began...

After my first trail experience at the Afton 25k in the summer of 2005, I knew I wanted to do more of this. 3 days later I was emailing Larry and hence began my love affair with the Superior Hiking Trail. I came across the email exchange today while doing a search for a work project. I had to cringe at my asking Larry about water crossings! And his response about the "nice bridges" makes so much more sense now that I know him - I can just hear his brain thinking this will be good... I am looking forward to another visit up there next week. It will be my 7th annual! Chris is running the 100 again and I will volunteer Friday and then pace him for the second half. It is always an incredibly fun weekend and a great chance to catch up with everyone. I am sad not to have spent much time on the SHT this summer. It is definitely one of the major drawbacks to the California move. So we will just have to make the most of this big weekend up north. And perhaps one of these years I will actually run a race here again...

From: Lavin, Helen
Sent: Thursday, July 07, 2005 1:52 PM
To: 'Larry Pederson'
Subject: RE: Superior Trail Marathon

Hi Larry,
I just mailed my entry form! Unlikely to get up to the trail before Sept. but will do some training out in Afton.


-----Original Message-----
From: Larry Pederson
Sent: Tuesday, July 05, 2005 8:17 PM
To: Lavin, Helen
Subject: RE: Superior Trail Marathon

Hi Helen,

Welcome to the world of trail running. Most people that try this really enjoy themselves and some never go back to the roads again. The marathon on the Superior trail is more difficult but mostly because of all the rocks and roots. The hills may be a little bigger but not by much. I would plan on walking more on the Superior course mostly because of the footing but also because you will want to enjoy all the scenery as well. I would guess that you could probably double your road marathon time on this trail. I have designed this marathon with this in mind and have the only cutoff time at about 18 miles (the last aid station) at 7:00 PM which is 10 hours for the marathon at that point. Any one making it out of the aid station by then will be allowed to finish with an official time. Also we are requiring any one leaving that aid station after 5:00 to have a working flashlight with them-it probably will be very dark before you would finish. This is the same cutoff time for the 50 milers so there will be a few of them out there about the same time. There are river crossings but there are really nice bridges over all of them. there may be some spots that would be a little wet if we have a lot of rain before the race. If you have never been on the Superior hiking trail it might be worth a trip up there before the race just to hike some of it. There are links to trail maps on the race web site. Let me know if you have any other questions and hope to see you in September.


PS. I was the guy recording the times at the race on Saturday-the one with the beard.

From: "Lavin, Helen"
To: Subject: Superior Trail Marathon
Date: Tue, 5 Jul 2005 13:27:51 -0500


I am interested in the trail marathon on Sept 10 but would like an honest opinion on how the course compares to the Afton trail. I did the 25k last weekend - it was my first trail race so I wasn't sure what to expect but I really enjoyed it. I finished under 2:30 and felt pretty good afterwards (despite 2 falls!) but I've no idea how this would translate into a full marathon. Looking at the Superior trail there certainly seems to be lots of hills which I guess I could handle - but I'm not sure about river crossings etc - is there stuff like that? 

Thanks for the info.


Olga said...

So, did you move to CA, and where to?
Oldies bring back memories, it's like being young again, with questions, apprehensions, is a great state of mind. Not even sure which one I like more, the "newbie" feelings or the realization you can pull through anything. Have fun and enjoy trails and friends!

SteveQ said...

You just brought back some memories for me, like when I ran on the Superior Hiking Trail for the first time (50K) and thought, "oh, THAT's what they mean by 'corduroy' when talking about bridges" or the first 2 miles of the course, going up Mystery Mountain and thinking "there's no way I could've trained for this in the city."

What aid station are you working? I may stop by.

Helen said...

Olga - moved to Los Gatos, just south of San Jose. Close to the Santa Cruz mountains and lots of great trails... though I do miss the midwest tree roots! I'm still traveling back to MN most weekends - will make a more 'permanent' move sometime in the next 6 months. Good question on which is more fun but I suppose we always have the chance to try new trails and feel like a 'newbie' again :)

Steve - I am at Split Rock in the morning and then Tettagouche from afternoon onwards. I'll be pacing Chris later so will head over to Finland early evening. Do come up and visit. It can't be as bad of weather as last year!

sea legs girl said...

Why do I feel like I miss having you in Minnesota when I live in Denmark?! Life is weird. Isn't it also odd how 2005 is, like, a long time ago now?? Also fun to think that Larry had no clue he was talking to a future trail running star - but what a thoughtful email he wrote.

Which races are you planning to come back to the Midwest for? I think we will be running Ice Age Trail and Voyageur. (I figure if I'm there, you won't want to miss it ;).

Hope you continue to enjoy California. It's always exciting but tough moving to a new place. I can hear a baby crying...

Jannick Kjaer said...

Hi Helen,

I am sorry I am leaving a comment, I can't find your email. I am writing you in the hopes that you want to participate in an e-book we are writing about ultra runners.

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We would ask you to answer a question about your experience with ultra running. Please note that these questions are related to your mental state and require that you are able to explain quite specifically what is going on mentally when running.

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All the best,

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