This race is a must do! Put it on your bucket list (or don’t so that we can maintain the secret and sanctity of this hidden gem of the running world!).
Let me explain the details of the race and then I will try to expand on the amazing community feel of this race.
It is a 160km, 8 day, 7 stage test of running endurance. Can you believe there are many, many PB’s to be had, especially in the later stages of the event?!? Truly a testament to the motivation this race environment grants you.
Sunday – Half Marathon
Monday – 15k Time Trial (participants start 1 min apart based on previous day finishing times, with the slowest runner starting first)
Tuesday – 30k Trail Run
Wednesday – 10 Miles of Hills
Thursday – rest day
Friday – 25.6k Ski Hill Run
Saturday – 10k Time Trial
Sunday – Marathon
If you compete in all of these events, you are an Ultimate Competitor! Finish it and you become ONE TOUGH RUNNER! There is also a Sport category (compete in the final 3 stages), a Relay category (put together a team of 2-7 participants to race for a cumulative total) and an Individual Category (compete in 1-6 events). There is also prizing available for the Sport and Relay divisions.
All the events are held in different locations (varied and challenging terrain) in Waterloo Region with the hub of activity at the race directors house with subsequent pool and hot tub! A lot of out-of-towners choose to take up residence at Hotel Laurier for the week (university residence that is quite inexpensive, especially if you rent as a group) but there are also many hotels and campgrounds close by.
The post race food, massages and pictures are 3 of the biggest selling features of this race! You don’t need to worry about food because the EndurRun volunteers have you covered! There is a full course, buffet style meal provided after each race and every palate will definitely find something they like. Each event has a different menu and there is tons to choose from including salad and dessert and everything else in between. They will even make you a customized post race smoothie You may be asking for a few recipes! You also don’t need to worry about feeling sore or run down for the next stage because the great people at KW Health Connection are on-site after every stage and will massage and attend to every ache and pain. Want to see what you look like when you are running? Julie and her team take thousands of pictures each stage and post them on the web for free! These pictures are of amazing quality and tend to capture the very essence of the race. Beware- cameras have a tendency to pop out and snap a photo when you least expect it, when you are at your worst but mostly, when you are at your very best!
The race is part of the Waterloo Running Series and is organized by a committee made up by the race director and his family and friends which lends itself to the amazing community feel. There are also many, many returnees with racers (and volunteers) coming back year after year which also creates the running family feel.
The courses are very well marked and well supported. You almost feel like a pro with the amount of kudos thrown your way. The RD always wraps up each event by recognizing the results and the cumulative results with everyone. There are a lot of monetary prizes to be had including overall winner, rookie of the year, mountain stage winner and sprint king, but there are also tons of goodies for the rest of us in the form of awards, medals, shirts, posters etc. as well as swag from the sponsors! The amount of stuff you get will not disappoint.
This race most definitely gives you the most bang for your buck of any race out there! You may even surprise yourself with just how much and how well you can endure, I know I definitely did!