Racers looking to avoid being mauled by the Grizzly Ultra Race coming to Panorama Mountain Village on the Labour Day long weekend will have to keep their limbs limber to complete five challenging legs of the running and mountain bike challenge.
The race, which was secured in February by the resort, was designed by Grizzly Mountain Events race director Tony Smith and features a 36-kilometre running race on August 31st and a mountain bike challenge over the same terrain the next day.
“Mr. Smith is an avid trail runner and mountain biker and was able to incorporate some of the most scenic trails available at Panorama Mountain Village,” said Jamie Hurschler of Panorama Mountain Village. “The five leg format was modeled on the very popular Grizzly Canmore Ultra Marathon with runners starting and finishing at a base hub.”
The race, which can be run in a relay format or individually, features a claw rating system for each leg of competition. The first section begins on the Mad Trapper Trail and is described as a relatively flat and wide double track trail, which is suitable for novice competitors because of its three-kilometre distance and low elevation change.
Any comfort gained while traversing the Mad Trapper Trail will soon vanish as competitors immediately head into the hardest stage of the race in leg two – a four-kilometre, 513-metre climb to the top of the Mile One Quad chairlift.
“The tag off from Leg Two to Leg Three takes place at the top of the chairlift, providing the most spectacular vistas,” Mr. Hurschler added.
The lung-expanding challenge of Leg Two exhales down a 10-kilometre, 601-metre descent back to the start area via the Let It Ride and Delphine Trail systems. The fourth stage of the race passes by the historic Hale Hut and is the lengthiest leg at 11 kilometres, with a 307-metre elevation change. The fifth stage of the race is an eight-kilometre stumble over two laps of the Mad Trapper single track trail, which is rutted with roots, rocks and 192 metres of elevation change.
“All skill levels are encouraged to participate in the relay event,” said Tony Smith, race organizer. “The solo event would suit more seasoned runners and would be perfect for anyone with their sights set on the more challenging Grizzly Canmore 50-kilometre Ultra Marathon or the Canmore Mountain Bike Enduro.”
The mountain bike race, scheduled for the following Saturday, will run over the same course with experienced participants encouraged to tackle both events.
“Both Panorama Mountain Village and Grizzly Mountain Events encourage the Columbia Valley to support the event,” Mr. Hurschler added. “It is expected that the weekend will attract many out of town participants and will have a very positive economic impact for the valley.”
The entry fee to compete in the race is $250 per team (up to five members) or $80 per solo racer. For more information on the race and to register, please visit www.panoramaresort.com/grizzlyultra .