[ This is a copy of an email that was sent out to our mailing list on April 22, 2021, the subject of the email was ‘The Superior Spring Trail Race is On! and other RSR updates’. It contains updates for all of our events including Afton. If you did not receive this as an email and would like to join our mailing list, you can do so HERE https://www.aftontrailrun.com/join-our-mailing-list/ – as always, the best way to stay informed is to visit our website as we will not always email. Thank you. ]

Hi Friends!

In the first part of this email I am going to talk about the Superior Spring Trail Race, later in the email I will provide updates on Afton, the Superior Fall Trail Race and the Endless Summer Trail Run Series.

We are excited to announce that we will be holding a Covid-modified Superior Spring Trail Race on May 20, 21, 22 & 23, 2021. We will run the 12.5K, 25K and 50K each of the four days. There will be ten, 15 minute start windows to choose from each morning. Runners will not be grouped, held and released at the start, instead it will be a time-trial type format – start whenever you are ready within your chosen 15 minute start-window. We will provide a safe and physically distanced check-in experience, start line, a marked course, hands free water dispensers out on the course, drop bags transported for 50K runners, the overall event safety net you have come to expect from us, a finish line, chip timing / results, and a shirt and medal mailed to you in the weeks after. The 25K and 50K race courses are slated to be the same as normal – the 12.5K will be a modified out and back course and not quite as interesting as the point to point course of years past, this in order to eliminate busing. Please note, this entire event will be extremely low key. It will be much more a personal challenge to do by yourself or with a couple of friends or family already in your bubble vs the full-blown race experience of past years.

If you want a better idea of what to expect prior to signing up, ask around ( HERE is a good place https://www.facebook.com/groups/rocksteadyrunningcommunity ) and get feedback from those that ran our Zumbro race earlier in April. I also wrote up a brief recap about Zumbro HERE that you may find helpful https://www.zumbroendurancerun.com/2021-zumbro-recap/

Throughout the day today (April 22) runners that made it through last year’s Superior Spring Trail Race lottery and were subject to last year’s cancellation will be sent a special invitation to register (invitations will be rolling out slow throughout the day). This invitation will be sent to the email address that you used to register for the 2020 race. If you don’t see the invitation, please check your SPAM folder, if you still don’t see it (by the end of the day) and would like to run, please contact me so I can get you squared away. Starting on April 28, registration for any remaining spots will open, first come first served to the general public, no lottery.

** VERY IMPORTANT. We are requiring that anyone who plans on registering for this year’s race, please read THIS in its entirety prior to signing up https://www.superiorspringtrailrace.com/superior-spring-trail-race-2021/

Finally, here are some updates for those that are wondering about our other remaining events this year:

Afton Trail Run – we are hopeful that it will happen, Covid-modified of course. Afton is always held the first Saturday in July – this year that is Saturday July 3. Given ongoing state guidelines for running events, associated capacity limits and a busier than ever Afton State Park, we expect that this will be a multi-day event, exactly how many days TBD.

Superior Fall Trail Race – we are hopeful that it will happen. The Superior Fall Trail Race is always the Friday and Saturday after Labor Day. This year those dates are Sept 10 & 11. While we expect that events this Fall will still be subject to many Covid-modifications, our hope is that the races can be held over two days only (read; as normal) with numbers close to our usual field limits, but this is all yet to be seen.

For both Afton and Superior Fall, it is important for you to note; that currently, the Minnesota DNR, one of our primary permitting agencies, will not review or approve permit applications outside of 60 days. As a result of this, as things sit today, we are not announcing event specifics or opening registration outside of that window. Until state restrictions change / ease, registration for events will not be opening until we are very close to the event dates.

Endless Summer Trail Run Series – unfortunately several of the usual series races will likely not be happening, this due to parks that are busier than ever, and event economics – ESTRS always having been a very unique event in that it is a full-fledged race for only $25. That said, we do hope to be able to figure out how to hold one or two of them, later in the Summer.

That is all I have for you today – As always, thanks so much for your time!

Thank You,

John Storkamp

Rocksteady Running
Zumbro, Superior(S), Afton, Superior(F), ESTRS

Afton Trail Run
50KM & 25KM Trail Races
Afton State Park – Hastings, Minnesota
Saturday July 4, 2020
50KM 6:30AM
25KM 7:30AM

Opens Wedneday January 1, 2020 at 12:01AM CST
Closes Friday June 26, 2020 at 11:59PM CST
*Or once the field limit has been met
Complete Registration Details HERE

Directions to Race Start:
Afton State Park
6959 Peller Avenue South
Hastings, MN 55033
Hastings, Minnesota
Google Maps Directions HERE
Approx 25 minutes East of St. Paul, MN and 40 minutes East of Minneapolis, MN

Terrain / Course Description:
The Afton Trail Run consists of a hilly 25K loop (two loops for the 50K), winding through Afton State Park’s trail system. The race is held 100% off road, primarily on very runnable / not very technical single double and single track. There are 7 long climbs per loop, rising from the river valley and down again with a good mix of rolling and flat terrain between the hills.  Be sure to see maps, elevation charts and stats provided on this website HERE.

2 x 15.5 mile loops =  31 miles
Elevation Gain 4,670 FT
Elevation Loss 4,670 FT
NET Elevation Change 9,340 FT
11 Aid Stations
9 hour time limit
Complete 50KM Info HERE

1 x 15.5 mile loop = 15.5 miles
Elevation Gain 2,335 FT
Elevation Loss 2,335 FT
NET Elevation Change 4,670 FT
5 Aid Stations
8 hour time limit
Complete 25KM Info HERE

More About the Race / Area:
The Afton Trail Run is one of the most challenging and beautiful trail races around.  The race was established in 1994 and is now one of the oldest, largest and most competitive trail races in the country and routinely draws runners from all 50 states and beyond.  The race takes place entirely within the borders of Afton State Park.  Afton State Park lies on a glacial moraine, scribed with deep ravines running down to the St. Croix River.  The 169 mile St. Croix River was one of the original eight United States rivers to have significant portions placed under protection by the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968.  Within the park sandstone outcrops have been exposed in some of the ravines. The vertical drop from the blufftop to the water is 300 feet.  A few patches of remnant prairie survived the decades of farming that took place on the blufftop. Today the former fields are being restored to prairie and oak savanna. The ravines leading down to the riverbank are thickly wooded with oak, aspen, birch, and cherry.