Don't let the distance fool ya - the Climb is a short but steep burn from start to finish. Yes, you do have the luxury of taking a chairlift to your start but you still get to run the steepest and most gnarly sections of the course.
Please make sure you're on the chairlift no later than 3:30 pm. The VK runners start from the bottom of the chairlift, you start from the top. It takes a good 20 minutes to ride the chairlift to your start line.
The VK (Blood) course passes directly past the top of the Catamount Chairlift - basically across your start line on the Kicking Horse service road. For about 500 m you're on the road before commencing an abrupt climb...just to make sure you're awake right off the bat. It then gets even more aggressive and beelines up Show Off, a winter alpine run that is directly below the gondola. The incline is real. It’s rocky. It’s straight UP.
After Show Off, at tower 15 of the gondola, runners hit a beautiful single track known as the CPR Ridge Trail, which takes runners straight up under the Gondola to the top of CPR Ridge and over to the summit of the mountain and top of the Gondola. The last 250 m will be reasonably flat so plan to stretch it out with a big sprint... or not!
The finish line is the encore, as you'll find yourself at the summit of Kicking Horse mountain. Bask in the 360-degree views reaching deep into the Purcell Mountains, across the Columbia River Valley and back to the Rocky Mountains. Relax and cheer for the other finishers before you head back to the bottom on the Gondola and refuel with a nice big meal to Conquer day 2!