Landscape Minnesota Special Event Special Offer Trails

Superior Fall Trail Races

I was one of the race photographers for the Superior Fall Trail Races again this year. With distances of marathon, 50 miles and 100 miles – all on the rugged Superior Hiking Trail in northeastern Minnesota – it means I’m usually pulling an all-nighter to shoot the races. This year, we were blessed with perfect weather, clear skies, and an appearance by the Aurora Borealis dancing over the 100 mile runner’s heads.

Ultramarathon Trail Runner, Superior 100, Northern Lights, Aurora Borealis, starry sky

Running under the Northern Lights

I managed to sneak away from the race for a bit and caught the Big Dipper reflecting in a perfectly calm lake – even caught a shooting star going right through the Big Dipper!

Big Dipper, Aurora Borealis, Shooting Star

Aurora Borealis with Shooting Star thru Big Dipper

After the 50 mile race started the next morning in pre-dawn dark, I snuck away to Tettegouche State Park to watch the sunrise over Lake Superior while I had breakfast on the beach.

Tettagouche Sunrise

Tettagouche Sunrise

Then it was back to the races again for the rest of the day! Lugged two cameras, a tripod and a backpack up the Caribou River gorge to get the 50 mile runners as they passed right next to a small waterfall. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring the flash for the camera and the light was tricky, so I apologize for the quality of that set of photos 🙁

50 Milers running alongside the Caribou River

After Caribou, I hiked from the Sawbill aid station in to the bottom of the very steep and rocky Carlton Peak, where the marathoners had already gone through but the 50 and 100 milers were still navigating their way to the finish less than 20 miles away. All of my race photos have been posted on the North Woods Photos Facebook page if you’re interested in looking at them. There are a few bonus photos for my Facebook fans as well 😉

I’ve had a couple of inquiries from runners of both this race and the Afton Trail Races if they could purchase copies of photos I took of them running, or the Milky Way photo from last year as well as the Aurora shot from this year. The answer is Yes! Just let me know which ones so I can upload them to the online gallery. I won’t be keeping the individual runner photos for more than a few months after the event, so get them NOW if you want them! I just don’t have the space on my hard drive to keep photos that most people aren’t interested in purchasing after the race has come and gone. You are welcome to download and use the low resolution photos that have been uploaded to Facebook for your personal use for free – just be sure to give me photo credit (a link to this website would be greatly appreciated, too). 🙂

In addition, I’m offering 20% off anything you buy until October 31, 2015 with promo code SUPERIOR2015, so this would be a great time to treat yourself to a photo of your race, or even do a little holiday gift shopping and check out all of the other galleries 😉

Happy Trails!

Minnesota Special Event Trails

Afton Trail Races

Afton State Park

Instead of running the Afton Trail Races for the first time in many years, this year I was one of the race photographers.

The Afton Trail Runs 25K & 50K are hosted at Afton State Park annually on the first weekend in July. It’s notoriously hot and humid (this year was relatively cool with highs in the mid-80’s), with nearly 5000 feet in total elevation gain & loss on the 25K loop. A potential additional challenge this year was the air quality, since we’ve had hazy skies caused by wildfires in Canada for the last few days. Anyhoo, back to the photography…

I will be posting race images first on my North Woods Photos Facebook page, so if you want to see them as soon as possible, like my page 😉 At some point, they will probably be linked up to the race site. I’ve got almost 2000 images to process, edit, and upload, so hang tight 😉

I shot a short video of the 50K start before moving to the down slope of the Northern Hill, then up to the Campground, and finally for a short bit near the home stretch towards the finish. I was hoping to capture some of the scenery of the St. Croix River Valley in addition to the runners, but the increasing haze throughout the day may have scrambled my plans a bit. I tried to get photos of as many runners as I could, but I’m sure I missed some folks. I know that I missed some of the 25K runners while I was changing cards in one of my cameras – sorry about that. I’m not sure where Kevin or Todd shot, so hopefully they caught anyone I may have missed.

Here is the video of the 50K start:

Congrats to everyone who toed the line at this year’s Afton Trail Races 25K or 50K! It was a blast seeing you out having fun in the sun on the trail 🙂