Ready. Set. Go.

While trail running is an increasingly popular year-round sport, there’s no doubt it comes into its own during the three non-wintry Canadian seasons. Give or take the odd snow flurry. Just like in many other areas of your life, while spring takes seemingly forever to roll around, before you know it, it’s fall. Cue drilling spikes into your sad looking, under-used trail shoes. Sound familiar? Well here’s a little lowdown of some of the local-ish to Fernie trail racing opportunities, to help get a few races on the calendar and set some much-needed goals…

JAFFRAY OFF ROAD MAYHEM
Saturday May 27

A newer race, taking place in nearby Jaffray. Offering a 5km, 10km and Half Marathon distance, this highly approachable, super-fun community race, is a fantastic local option.
More info: Search Jaffray Off Road Mayhem on Facebook 
Difficulty rating: 1 – 2 stars

NIPIKA TRAIL RACE
Saturday May 27

Taking place at the gorgeous Nipika Mountain Resort, runners can enjoy a variety of single and double track, set along the Kootenay and Cross Rivers. With a 2.5km (kids only), 5km, 10km and 20km option, there is a race for everyone.
More info: nipika.com/crazysoles 
Difficulty rating: 1 – 3 stars

MEET THE MINOTAUR
Saturday June 24

Meet the Minotaur hit the SkyRunner World Series in 2022 and returns in 2023 for more of the same. Expect punchy climbs, technical and exposed terrain and big descents in the jaw-dropping, mountainous Crowsnest Pass. If you’re keen to rub shoulders with some elite mountain goats, this adventure is for you! 33.5km or 10km Mini-Taur option.
More info: meettheminotaur.com/
Difficulty rating: 3 – 5 stars

ROUND THE MOUNTAIN
Sunday June 25

One day, five challenges, Kimberley’s premier multi-discipline adventure event showcases some of their best trails. Racers can choose from a selection of kids’ races, 10km run, 20km run, 20km trek or 20km bike, so there is an option for everyone in the family!
More info: roundthemountain.ca/
Difficulty rating: 1 – 3 stars

SINISTER 7
July 8-9

The well-known, popular race in the Crowsnest Pass. Originally a 100mile Solo or Team race, 50km and 50mile races are also available. Regardless of distance, expect a rugged, remote, punishing and invariably hot day on the trails!
More info: sinistersports.ca/sinister7/ Difficulty rating: 3 – 5 stars

ELK VALLEY ULTRA 50KM + 15KM
Saturday July 22

Fernie’s toughest trail run. Utilizing the iconic Mt. Fernie route over to Island Lake, the rolling Provincial Park trails, followed by the grand tour of Fernie Alpine Resort, this 50km offers amazing views and 2,800m of vertical. New this year is a 15km option, (FAR Leg 3), offering more runners a taste of this popular, challenging race.
More info: stagleaprunning.com/stag-leap-services/races/elk-valley-ultra/  
Difficulty rating: 2 – 5 stars

BLACK SPUR ULTRA
August 26-27

The little sister to Sinister 7, Black Spur is a popular ultra in Kimberley. Offering 54km, 108km or relay, racers complete three loops all starting and finishing at Kimberley Alpine Resort – making it a challenging, yet manageable option for those looking to dip their toe into the world of ultras.
More info: sinistersports.ca/blackspur/
Difficulty rating: 2 – 5 stars

FERNIE HALF, 10KM + 3-PERSON RELAY
Sunday October 1

This Fernie classic is the perfect last hurrah of the season, with gorgeous fall views to boot. Offering a 10km, Half Marathon or 3-Person Relay, enjoy an undulating-to-flat, (compared to all prior options), route around town. 
More info: ferniehalfmarathon.com/
Difficulty rating: 1 – 3 stars

Abi Moore is an ultra-runner and the individual behind Stag Leap Running alongside her husband, Mike. Local to Fernie and looking to run? Check out Stag Leap’s Thursday Run Club. No charge, open to all, year-round. stagleaprunning.com/community/

Photo by Vince Mo