Event: Iroquoia Trail Test Trail Race 2017
Date: August 19, 2017
Location: Crawford Lake Conservation Area, Burlington, Ontario
I ran this race back in 2015, and did enjoy it very much, so much so I’ve returned to run the 18k distance. This race is part of the OUTRACE series which has become very popular in the few short years that I’ve known about them. This event has three distances 7 k, 18 k and 34 km, something for everyone. I would say that the 7 km distance is a great entry race for anyone looking to see what trail running is about, whereas the 18 km distance is perfect for those like myself that want something challenging, but not as intense as the 34 km race. The event is held in the Crawford Lake Conservation area, which is perfect. There is plenty of parking and a multi function building with indoor washrooms to make the packet pick up quick and easy.
I enjoy this run mostly due to its geography. The park runs along the length of a wide valley, which is covered with dense tree cover. The course takes you along one ridge of the valley, down into the valley itself, up to the other side and back. The views along the southern most ridge give you an idea of how high you actually are, without mentioning the great views as you run along them. You will also run across almost all surface types, grass, loose gravel, single/double wide track, rock outfacing, wooden bridges, and even some pine needle trail. The fun of this race is the multiple crossing of the valley going up and down, it’s mostly single track where you meet people along the way and you have to jostle for a position, its done in a mostly polite manner, with people usually smiling as they go past you.
The date for this course falls during the hottest time of year, which I don’t excel at. The last time I ran this course, I struggled with the humidity, even under all the cover of the trees. This time around the heat was high, but the humidity stayed to something reasonable. The one problem that I encountered this year, was a fall that occurred just before the water station at km 14. It was at the base of the valley and a turning point to climb back up the far side of the valley. I was feeling good, but was not paying attention to loose gravel on the trail and turned over on my ankle. The staff picked me up, but I knew my ankle was injured right away. My problem was not that I was injured, but that I’d have to walk back out, and it was 4 km in either direction (lucky me), so I carried on the race route, limping to the finish.
The race start / finish area, doubles as the main turn around for the longer distance runs, it’s here that all the action happens. Runners are either coming in to finish, or grab something on their way back out onto the course. It’s here that you receive your Jumbo Mr.Freeze upon completion of your distance, they also have a fantastic post race BBQ meal ready and waiting.
This is a great trail race, organized by Burlington runners club and it shows they know what they are doing. Keep up the great event.