Published June 02, 2009, 12:00 AM

Woman runs the entire 205-mile Superior Hiking Trail

Former Duluth resident Alicia Hudelson, 24, recently became the third person and the first woman known to have run all 205 miles of the Superior Hiking Trail at one time.

By: Sam Cook, Duluth News Tribune

This time, no moose hassled Alicia Hudelson. The former Duluth resident, 24, became the third person and the first woman known to have run all 205 miles of the Superior Hiking Trail at one time.

Hudelson, an attorney now living in Sheffield, England, completed the grueling run from May 23-27 in four days,

17 hours and 26 minutes. That amounts to running eight marathons in less than five days, all of them on rugged wilderness trails.

“It’s an incredible accomplishment, that trail being as rugged as it is,” said Duluth trail runner Andy Holak, who operates a trail-running business called Adventure Running Co.

Hudelson attempted the run last August but had two encounters with moose, one of which snorted, stomped, ran alongside her and eventually cut in front of her. She called off her run after the second encounter.

During this year’s run, Hudelson ran by day, then walked and rested at night. She napped along the trail, slept in the car of her support crew and spent part of one night in a motel. She started at the Canadian border and ran southwest to the trail’s terminus near Two Harbors.

“It was something I’d been thinking about for a couple of years and wanted to do,” said the 2001 Duluth East High School graduate. “It’s an obvious challenge.”

She purposely added seven pounds to her 110-pound body before the run, then lost 12 pounds during the run, she said.

“It went really well,” she said in a telephone interview Monday. “No knee problems. No blisters. The worst part was right around Tettegouche [State Park]. I had a 10-mile stretch where I completely ran out of energy. I just trudged along going 1 mile per hour.”

Duluth’s Erik Kaitala, 37, owner of Trailfitters, holds the record for running the trail in four days, three hours, 43 minutes in 2005. A Colorado man speed-hiked the trail without outside support earlier in May. His time was four days, 15 hours, 20 minutes in May this year.

Hudelson’s support crew included her parents, Richard and Eileen Hudelson of Duluth, and two friends.

She also has completed a 55-mile run in the Alps.

“That one has a 100-mile version,” she said. “That’s kind of the next big goal.”

And she may return to run the Superior Hiking Trail again.

“I’m happy, but I wanted to beat Erik’s time,” she said.

“So I’d consider trying it again in several years.”

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