Canadians took five out of six podium spots at The North Face Endurance Challenge 50-Miler in New York over the weekend.
Canadian men Mathieu Blanchard, Elliot Cardin and Alister Gardner went 1-2-3 in the Gore-Tex 50-Miler (80K) while Helene Michaux and Caroline Cote finished first and third in the women’s race. All five of the Canadians hail from Quebec.
Helene Michaux and Mathieu Blanchard
The North Face Endurance Challenge New York is a trail event featuring difficult terrain along the shores of the Hudson River and along the foothills of the Catskill Mountains. The site of the race, Bear Mountain State Park, is located approximately one hour north of New York City and five hours south of Montreal.
The three Canadian men in the 50-miler all ran faster than eight hours for the lengthy trail race. Blanchard’s winning mark was 7:32:35. Michaux’s winning time was 8:51:37. Conditions were cool and wet in New York in the latter half of the weekend as races spanned Saturday and Sunday.
Women’s 50-mile winner Helene Michaux
Gore-Tex 50-Mile sweep for Canadians
In addition to the Gore-Tex 50-Miler, the event also hosted a 50K, marathon and half-marathon, which too featured Canadian podium finishers. Derek Snider of Kingston, Ont. won the half-marathon in 1:32:05 while Montreal’s Danielle Dubois finished second in the marathon women in 5:40:17.
Footage of Derek Snider in the half-marathon
Check out the terrain
The fact that Canadians did so well at this race might be good news for what’s ahead in this series. Hopefully these performances are foreshadowing of what will come in future events. The next stop on The North Face Endurance Challenge’s circuit is in Canada, specifically Blue Mountain Resort near Collingwood, Ont. The lone Canadian stop in the series of trail races, culminating in the championship race in California in December, takes place July 15-16.