Superior by Kevin Langton

One of the books I am currently reading is Superior by Kevin Langton. This is a non-fiction/memoir look at the Superior 100 mile run held every Fall in the Sawtooth Mountains of Minnesota. I think it’s safe to say the Superior 100 is one of the toughest and prettiest hundred mile runs in the country. For someone not familiar with ultra runs or this particular race the book is a good introduction to the challenges of the run and the thoughts that go through the runners’ minds.

However, if you have ever done an ultra or have run on the Superior Hiking Trail (the SHT) then you may find yourself getting a little anxious reading parts of the book. While I haven’t run a 100 miler (yet) I keep finding myself reacting to parts of the story as if I was there…running the race. The nervousness at the start. The joy at making to an aid station. The doubt about how you got yourself into this. Maybe that’s because I’ve not only run on the SHT but I ran the Superior 50 mile the same year the book is describing. I can’t say I ran into any of the people described in the book on the trail but I was certainly out in the middle of the woods at the same time as them.

I’m especially interested in the stories of animals people run into out on the SHT. Those woods are known to hold moose, mountain lions, bear, and occasional wolves. When I ran the 50 miler the last several miles were in the dark with a headlamp (ok, I’m slow). At one point I could hear something moving in the trees along with me. Something larger than a rabbit or squirrel. I didn’t try to find it with my light and just kept moving down the trail telling myself…I don’t wanna know what it is…I don’t wanna know what it is…