The flags are planted, the prize bags are filled, and the course maps are drawn: Vernon B.C. is ready to welcome more than 350 athletes to the first-ever Canadian Mountain & Trail Running Championships.
Hosted in Okanagan’s Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park on September 17, the championship combines the two events, which were previously held separately.
“We are so excited – we can’t wait for Canada’s best to touch down right here in Vernon,” said Dawna Jodoin, race director and coach with Bush Babes and Bros Trail Running, the championship’s host organization. The ultrarunning club has organized many events around B.C. over the years, but these championships might be their largest undertaking to date, with 100km of trails to prepare, three massive aid stations to build, and 70 on-course volunteers to coordinate.
Jodoin said the packed start lists make it all worth it.
“We have interest across all events, with many Canadians competing, and also people coming from as far as Texas and even Australia.”
The event will comprise five championship races, each with a women’s and men’s category: three in mountain running (Senior Classic Up and Down, the U20 Classic Up & Down, and the Vertical Uphill) and two in trail running (40km short course, and 80km long course).
Each championship race will offer a prize purse of $300, $200 and $100 for first, second and third finishers, respectively, for a total prize purse of $4,800.
The course includes no pavement: it’s one per cent dirt road, 95 per cent single-track and four per cent double-track, a good combination of challenging and scenic, with tons of climbing throughout,” said Jodoin.
Several internationally-competitive athletes will be in attendance. Courtney Mueller will compete in the 80km long course after already collecting two bronze medal finishes already in 2022 at a pair of B.C. 50km races: Slay the Dragon and Nimble Bear 50k.
Brandon Miller, meanwhile, is a favourite in the men’s long course race, after finishing second at the Dirty Feet Cal Park 50k back in May, and winning Alberta’s Lost Soul Ultra 100km race last year.
The event will serve as the Selection Trials for the 2023 World Mountain & Trail Running Championships in Innsbruck and Stubai, Austria in June of next year.
For more information, visit our event page here.