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5 Peaks Race Series Review

If you are like me, you get attached to certain races or series. The 5 Peaks Race Series has been a mainstay for me ever since I first tried trail racing about 5 years ago. This race series has a bit of a national presence in that you can find the 5 Peaks races in Ontario, British Columbia, Central Alberta, Northern Alberta and I was sure they had fired up a Maratime race series but I don’t see it advertised. As the name suggest, this series is all about running up and down peaks. If you are in BC, the peaks are bigger than Ontario, but even in Southern Ontario, where this series is based, we have the Niagara escarpment and other assorted conservation areas to challenge us. The Ontario series is totally based out of conservation areas, where you have the highest chances of finding trails (if you haven’t figured it out yet, this is a trail series). The races typically offer two distances – a sport option at 5-7K and an enduro option at 9-14K (it all depends on the available trails at the conservation area and how easy it is to tie it all together). The various venues can have a mix of trail conditions ranging from gravel to wide open grass lanes to tight and twisty single track and there seems to be no shortages of hills. Expressions of, oh s___, not another hill, have been rumored to be heard far and wide. The races are well organized and the post race food is pretty decent and plentiful. Single pass races will set you back anywhere from $50 to $75 depending on race distance and after the various online, park fees and HST are totaled up. If you can commit to the entire series up front, then it could cost you as little as $250 (plus park fees and taxes) for five races and you also get a commemorative shirt to remember the series by – not a bad deal. The swag is pretty decent and there are draw prizes as well. Awards are given for the top three finishers in each race category for each gender as well as for 10 year age groups. So all-in-all, not bad value for the money. (If you are looking to race on the cheap and don’t need to collect any more swag, then check out the MEC race series). I’ve volunteered at these races and as a volunteer they will cover the race fee for your effort. Erin Sheard did a great job as race director these past four or five years and in 2017 Eric D’Arcy took over the helm. I’ve met a bunch of great people over the years, both from volunteering and racing. It’s an experience I would recommend to anyone. Cheers

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