For the past two years, I have participated in the Bruce Peninsula Multisport Race (BPMR). Both times I have been in awe of the splendor and beauty around me. It is easy to see why people better traveled than me say that The Bruce is one of the most picturesque areas in the world. At one point, I remember stopping in my tracks; as competitors bore down on me, to gaze at the scenery around me! Due to the combination of provincial, federal, private, and first nations land traversed during the race and the few, well guarded maps, you will never be able to fully experience what I am talking about, unless you run this race! Fortunately, the lack of available maps, means that there is no orienteering at all in these races. You just have to keep your eyes open, make sure your follow the flags/signs, and pay attention to the wildly gesturing race marshals.
As the name suggests, this is a multisport race, consisting of boating, mountain biking, and trail running, or a combination of two of these disciplines. Race distances start at less than 5km for the kids, all the way up to an exhausting 100 km race, which usually takes from 7 to 12 hours to complete. You also have the choice of running these races alone, with a partner; or in the case of the 100km run; as part of a two person relay team. The equipment list can be daunting but fortunately local suppliers are available, to rent the large items like mountain bikes, canoes, and kayaks.
When you take the sheer size of this race course, the rugged nature of this beautiful land, and highly variable weather, that this area can throw at you, it would seem a wonder that the organizers and volunteers might have a hard time holding things together? I assure you; that is not the case! Both times I participated in this race, things came together very well! The volunteers at the staging area handled the equipment for hundreds of racers and flawlessly ensured that everything was transported to where it needed to be. Sometimes in spite of confused racers; like me, who are not always the best at following directions. Both times they were also able to seamlessly alter the water portion of the race when wild summer weather threatened to turn the flat water race course into the a wild and woolly ride!
This is not the type of race that you want to just jump off of the couch and run, with no training. However, with a little bit of cross training, and some careful race choices, you will get a rewarding experience you will not soon forget. I guarantee it!