The toughest multi-day race challenges in Canada

Take race day to the next level by attempting back-to-back(-to-back) distances as part of these challenges across the country

February 23rd, 2018 by | Posted in Runs & Races | Tags: , , , ,

Multi-Day Race Challenges
Photo: Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend.

Sometimes one race, let alone two or three of them, is just not enough.

As many major Canadian running events offer multiple race distances throughout the weekend, a number of challenges have emerged in recent years as runners look for new ways of pushing their limits. In this case, it’s the multi-day race challenge, which involves running various distances over two, or even three days.

Think of the following list of races as being the Canadian equivalents of the Dopey Challenge (runners must complete a 5K, 10K, half-marathon and the Walt Disney World Marathon over the four-day race weekend). And more often than not, an extra medal is awarded, in addition to each individual race medal, for completing the challenge.


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Here are some of Canada’s toughest multi-day race challenges, in chronological order based on 2018 event date:

Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend

Date: May 26-27, 2018

Multi-Day Race Challenges
Photo: Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend.

Canada’s largest weekend of running has two multi-day race challenges including the Lumberjack Challenge and Voyageur Challenge. The burly Lumberjack Challenge features four races: the Aquahaulics Ottawa 2K, the HTG Sports Ottawa 5K, the Ottawa 10K and the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon. That’s two days for four distances for a total of 59.2K.

One less event over the same two-day span makes up the Voyageur Challenge, which involves completing the HTG Sports Ottawa 5K, the Ottawa 10K and the Scotiabank Ottawa Half-Marathon. That’s a total of 36.1K. A bonus is challenge participations receive a special shirt (like the plaid one you see at the top of this page.)

RELATED: Why one run crew chose Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend…and can’t resist going back.

The Lumberjack Challenge is limited to 200 entries while 1,000 spots are available for the Voyageur Challenge.

EPIC Canadian, Dartmouth, N.S.

Date: June 29-July 1, 2018

The EPIC Canadian has two-, three-, and four-race challenges including the ‘Mini Moose’ and the ‘Bull Moose’, various mixtures of the following distances: 6.1K, 5K, 10K, Quarter Marathon or Half-Marathon.

Marathon By The Sea, Saint John, N.B.

Date: Aug. 10-12, 2018

Complete the Port City Challenge at this Saint John, N.B. race by finishing the Into the Night 5K on Friday, the Harbour Passage 5K on Saturday and one of either the Marco Polo 5K, Marathon by the Sea, Running Room Half-Marathon or GoodLife Fitness 10K on Sunday.

Squamish 50, Squamish, B.C.

Date: Aug. 18-19, 2018

The most popular trail race in Canada – it’s 1,250 spots sold out in just nine hours for the 2018 edition – has quite the distance challenge, involving 130K over the span of 24 hours. The Squamish 50/50 means runners must complete 50 miles (80K) on Saturday and then the 50K on Sunday. These events are no slouch either. The 50-mile features 3,500m of climbing and the 50K involves 2,500m of elevation gain.


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Successful runners earn a Squamish 50 trucker hat as a subtle badge of honour.

Maritime Race Weekend, Eastern Passage, N.S.

Date: Sept. 14-15, 2018

Maritime Race Weekend
Photo: Tim Huebsch.

Maritime Race Weekend’s Tartan Twosome offers the chance to run two races, on Friday evening and Saturday morning. Beginning with the Sunset 5K on Friday, Tartan Twosome participants have the option to complete the Sunrise 5K, Coastal 10K, Scenic Half-Marathon or the Classic Marathon the following morning.

Golden Ultra, Golden, B.C.

Date: Sept. 21-23, 2018

Round the bend. • • 📷: @eye_b_long

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The Golden Ultra is an 85K stage race including a vertical K, 58.2K ultra and half-marathon on three consecutive days. The race also has a half point, which is 45K split among three races on consecutive days in beautiful Golden, B.C.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Oasis Montreal Marathon

Date: Sept. 22-23, 2018

Rock 'n' Roll Montreal Marathon
Photo: Kevin Morris.

The famous party series notably features the Remix Challenge. In Montreal, runners receive the Remix Challenge race medal for completing a distance on Saturday as well as on Sunday.

Canada Army Run, Ottawa

Date: Sept. 23, 2018


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The Canada Army Run Commander Challenge has runners finish both the 5K and half-marathon on the same day. Post-race bling awarded to successful finishers of the Commander Challenge includes a special coin as well as their dog tag medals.

The Ortona Challenge meanwhile includes finishing both the 5K and the 10K on the same morning.