Starting Saturday morning, the hills–actually ski slopes–and trails around Blue Mountain Resort will fill with several hundred runners taking on one of several challenging courses as part of the two-day event.
One of only six events to take place across North America, this is the sole Canadian destination in the Endurance Challenge series. There are seven race options available including the Gore-Tex 50 mile, the Atmosphere 50K, marathon and marathon relay which all run Saturday. A half-marathon, 10K and 5K go Sunday morning which means there’s a race/distance for everyone. In total, some 1,000 plus participants are expected.
— Endurance Challenge (@thenorthfaceECS) July 9, 2016
Offering what is said to be the most pronounced elevation gain of any Ontario trail race, participants can expect to face hardships both ascending and descending the trails, some of which are technical.
From the depths of valleys to the top of escarpments, through densely-wooded forests and grass-filled meadows, participants will be rewarded with vast and sprawling views of the rolling countryside–not that they’ll have the time or energy to enjoy them.
The courses are tough in the best of times but could be made worse by stifling heat and humidity. And hope it doesn’t rain or else some sections can become slick and slippery. Needless to say, the races will challenge the most seasoned and experienced trail runner. As for those new to the sport, prepare to experience (and appreciate) running in a whole new way.
After the races, runners and their families can enjoy the finish line festival complete with music, food and refreshments as well as free product samples, trials, demonstrations and draw prizes.
— Holly Richardson (@hollyr2188) July 13, 2016
And in case you’re still on the fence about it, did we mention there are skittles and M&Ms at every aid station?