The city of Sudbury played host to the Xterra world-championship qualifying races the weekend of July 22nd and 23rd, 2023. Off-road duathlon and triathlon events were held on Saturday, and trail run events on Sunday.
Sunday’s trail races included 5K, 10K, 21K, 42K, and 63K events using all or part of a beautiful 21K looped trail; I took part in the 21K. I really enjoyed the fact that all trail run events ran concurrently with a staggered start; the small field of athletes in the 21K could have made for a very lonely run for a back-of-the-pack runner such as myself, but there were always other runners around.
The course was beautiful, a mix of crushed gravel, winding single-track, and rocky Canadian Shield expanses. It was impossible to get lost with how well the trail was marked! There were also ample aid stations along the route with extremely friendly and supportive volunteers.
The weekend festivities also included live music, games and activities for kids, a vendors market, and a beverage tent, making it an awesome weekend for the entire family. This was the first time my mom was able to join me to spectate one of my trail races, and she absolutely loved the atmosphere and the people.
One of the most important features about Xterra Conquer the Crater is that 100% of all proceeds raised by the event support the Northern Cancer Foundation’s Miles Against Cancer Fund, dedicated to improving the survival rate and quality of life of children impacted by paediatric cancer in Northeastern Ontario. The 2023 event raised over $124,000!
This was one of my favourite trail events; it was extremely well organized, it supported a great cause, AND because it was a small field of athletes in the 21K, I managed to qualify for the 2023 Xterra Trail Run World Championship in October in Maine.