Announcement from Chris Winter, Director, Domestic Programs and Safe Sport for Athletics Canada.
Athletics Canada, in collaboration with the Canadian Mountain Running Association (CMRA) and the Association of Canadian Ultramarathoners (ACU), is pleased to announce that the 2022 Canadian Mountain & Trail Running Championship, the first of its kind, will take place on Sept 17 in Okanagan’s Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park in Vernon, B.C., as part of the Freaky Creeky race weekend.
The Canadian Mountain Running and Trail Running championships used to be held separately, but in holding them together, Canada follows the international trend: the World Mountain and Trail Running Championships will also be held in tandem for the first time this year.
The Bush Babes and Bros, a trail running company that organizes ultra running races in Vernon, will play host to this year’s Canadian championship. 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.
“We’re thrilled to be working closely with the Canadian Mountain Running Association and the Association of Canadian Ultramarathoners,” said Mathieu Gentès, Athletics Canada Chief Executive Officer. “Athletics Canada is track and field, road running, cross country, para-athletics, and mountain, ultra and trail running. It’s a priority of our organization to provide value and representation for participants in all disciplines of our great sport.”
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.
Dawna Jodoin, race director and coach at Bush Babes and Bros Trail Running, has hosted Ultra running events in Vernon for four years, and trail races for twelve. She expects the Canadian Championship event to be the biggest one she has seen take place on her home trails.
“I think people will fall in love with our views – the course through three ecological systems, and you see everything from Cedars to marshes to Douglas firs.”
Jodoin said her company’s events have become known locally for its stellar aid stations: runners looking for a short rest between miles will be treated to hot and cold food, BBQs, entertainment, and music for all tastes. Yet, competitors should not expect their day in the park to be too comfortable.
“You’re going to be doing a lot of climbing. We have pretty sharp hills – at one point you travel 900m in six kilometres,” she said.
“It’s a special course because there is no paved road: it’s one per cent dirt road, 95 per cent single track and 4 per cent double track – it’s a good combination of challenging and scenic.”
The competition is open to adults ages 18 and over. Learn more about the event on the Athletics Canada website.
[PRO TIP: The USATF MUT Council is currently working on the U.S. Team selection criteria for the 2023 World Mountain & Trail Running Championships in Austria. You can learn more about how the U.S. Team will be selected for the 2022 World Mountain & Trail Running Championships in Thailand on this website.]