By Andy Holak, Race Director
In 2018, the Wild Duluth 100K and 50K races celebrated their 10th anniversary. The race was started in 2009 to take advantage of the new segment of the Superior Hiking Trail that spans the entire length of the City of Duluth, Minnesota, staying predominantly on the ridge overlooking the mighty Lake Superior. We wanted to share this amazing trail with our running friends because the trail itself is spectacular, and the views are plentiful as the trail crosses rocky overlooks, waterfalls and creeks, under stately white pines. Runners from out of the area are amazed that this trail exists within the city limits among a population of over 80,000 people. I’ve often said we could screw up everything as race directors, and runners would still have a great time – the course is just that beautiful.
Over 10 years, we’ve grown slowly but steadily. Our 50k saw the largest field ever with over 200 finishers, and the 100k has remained about the same. With a tough course and tight cutoff, the 100k distance is a challenge not everyone is willing to attempt.
We were graced with much better weather this year than we experienced in 2017. Other than a brief snow squall that turned our half marathon start line into an arctic wasteland, the weather was perfect for running. Our women’s 100k winner Gretchen Metsa led most of the race and came across the finish line first despite dislocating her pinky finger before mile 20. Northern Minnesota runners are tough. Our men’s and overall 100k champion, John Schreier finished in 11:12:07, the fourth fastest time in race history. In the 50k, James Sorenson came in first in 4:52:06. Our 50k women’s champion was Debra Hudleston in 5:32:14. Yes, this is a tough course – rocky and rooty with lots of climbs and descents. Join us in Duluth in October 19, 2019 to find out just how beautiful and challenging the Wild Duluth can be.