Adventure racing is not just a summer activity; winter adventure races add another level of complexity and excitement to the mix. Here are five adventure races happening across Canada this winter:
Ice Donkey — Winnipeg, MB
The Ice Donkey is an all-new race slated for February 8, 2014.The race will take place on what was formerly the Southwood Golf Course in Winnipeg. In this 5K, teams (or solo runners) will need to use their wits as well as their muscles to overcome a series of difficult obstacles to reach the finish line. The race was created by the minds behind Swamp Donkey and Pain In The Assiniboine, so it is sure to be a lot of fun.
Stars Winter Adventure Race — Wasaga, ON
Stars Winter Adventure Race takes place every February at Wasaga Beach Provincial Park. Before the actual adventure race, guests can participate in smaller ski-only or snowshoe-only races. However, the main adventure race will combine both snowshoeing and skiing. Participants will use maps, compasses and clues to reach checkpoints where they will grab either skis or snowshoes to complete the next leg. Winning times in the past have been around two hours, so racers should expect around two to three hours of action. (The course closes after four hours.)
Wycliffe Adventure Race — Calgary, AB
The Wycliffe Adventure Race is a yearly event that takes place on the second weekend in February (Alberta’s Family Day). Racers are taken to the Rocky Mountains outside of Calgary for a challenging adventure race like no other. This is one of the most physically demanding winter adventure races, as getting to the checkpoints involves summit-bagging and even some ice climbing.
Salomon Adventure Challenge — Caledon Hills, ON
The Salomon Adventure Challenge (brought to you by the same people who brought you Salomon Snowshoe Raid) is a winter adventure race that takes place each year in Caledon Hills, ON, over the last weekend of January. This all-day affair has participants push their bodies to the limit with the varied modes of transportation throughout the race. The race includes running, snowshoeing, biking, tobogganing and skiing to get to all the checkpoints before reaching the finish line. Not only does this race demand physical stamina, but also good navigational skills and teamwork to reach all the checkpoints while still making good time.
Frost & Fire — Wakefield, QC
The Frost & Fire race, in Wakefield, QC, has participants running, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing through the rolling hills and dense woodlands outside of town. Hundreds of racers throughout Canada come out every January for this event in order to help Aegle Events fulfill their mission of promoting a new and exciting perception of fitness. While struggling through all the challenges that a Quebec winter can provide, participants will be raising money for local charities. For those new to cross-country skiing, brief lessons will be provided prior to the race.