If you’re curious about mountain running, but don’t know how to start, 2019 is the year to test the dirt. For 2019 only, the Canadian Mountain Running Championships are open for anyone to register. On June 30 Quebec Mega Trail will host the Ultra Trail Canadian Championship, which combines the Canadian Mountain Running Championships as well as the Canadian Ultra Trail Championships. This unique festival of races is just outside Quebec City, and open to runners of all levels and abilities. The President of the Canadian Mountain Running Association Adrian Lambert says that 2019 is the year for “everyone to try out mountain running. Next year there will be a qualifying system.”  

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Each year, the mountain running championships alternate between an all-uphill year (even years), and an uphill-and-downhill year (odd years). The 2019 Canadian Mountain Running Championship race course is an uphill-and-downhill year. The course totals 11.5K with 673 metres of elevation gain, with equal elevation loss. The course is moderately technical, with a 2:30 cut-off.

The 2019 results will determine the Canadian National Mountain Running Team for 2019 World Mountain Running Championships hosted by Argentina this November. A male, female, and junior team (under 20 years old) will be announced. The 2018 World Mountain Running Championships were held in Andorra, Spain, and Canadian Emily Setlack finished 11th.

In previous years, runners qualified for the National Mountain Running Team through a regional qualifying race in regions across Canada. There will still be a 2019 Regional Mountain Running Qualifying Race Series, which will provide the opportunity to qualify a year in advance for the 2020 Canadian Mountain Running Championships. The association decided it was in the best interests of athletes and race directors to qualify well in advance for the Canadian Mountain Running Championships–meaning, in 2020, runners will need to qualify for nationals by running in one or more regional mountain running qualifying series races the previous year.

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For example, all five 5Peaks Ontario race series races will be qualifying races. Runners will need to finish top five in their age group in at least two of the races to be eligible to compete at nationals in 2020. The association is still currently working on these details, and will be making an announcement very soon.

Canada’s combination of Mountain Running and Trail Running Championships is part of a global trend. Lambert explains that there is a movement “on the international level to combine some of the non-track-and-field disciplines to a single championship. In 2021, the World Mountain Running Championships will be held in conjunction with World Trail Running Championships.” 

Registration for the 2019 Mountain Running and Trail Running National Championships can be found here.

RELATED: First look at Canadian nominees for 2019 Trail World Championship

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