The Conquer is the most challenging stage of the Half Pint race series, covering 30 km and 660m of elevation gain. After a steep Day 1 at Kicking Horse Mountain, we head into Golden for the start and finish of Day 2, located at Spirit Square. Spirit Square is in the heart of Golden’s downtown, immediately next to the historical timberframe bridge that spans the Kicking Horse River.
To start, participants will run along the Rotary Trail & Kicking Horse Trail (roadway), heading west, on the north & east sides of the Kicking Horse & Columbia Rivers. The first 2 km of this leg is mellow and flat, until runners cross the single-lane bridge over the Columbia River and hit the trails. Starting on CBT Mainline and traversing “Take it Easy” alongside the Columbia River the views are spectacular and the running is “rolling.”
Once runners cross the Elk Road and start heading up Gold Rush, things get elevated. Gold Rush is a “preferred direction downhill” style trail, built for mountain biking and climbs steadily for a few kilometres. At the top of Gold Rush, runners get a slight breather with the topography flattening out but remaining primarily uphill for the next 12 km. The trails following Gold Rush – Old Age and CBT Mainline – were built in the past 5 years and are buff and flowy.
CBT Mainline meets the Tallus Forest Service Road at approximately the 12 km point in the course. Runners follow the Tallus Road for about 500 m where they enter the Cedar Lake/Moonraker Trail System and pass the first aid station.
Once past the first aid station, you continue along the same trail as the Sweat (60km race) for about 2 km until the courses split at the intersection of Arrowhead (the trail you’ll be running on) and Barking Dog. It’s a sharp right but you get to go downhill and see a beautiful view of 2nd Cedar Lake.
You follow this trail along the lake until it starts to climb. There is 1.5 km or so of climb before you hit an intersection with Talus Forestry Road and then get to start your descent. First stop is the aid station you just passed (yum!) and then you descend the exact same single track trail until the intersection of CBT and Old Age, where you stay left on CBT.
Runners will follow the meandering and flowy CBT Mainline right to the Columbia River. From the end of the trail, runners follow the same route they did at the start for the final, flat 2 km to the FINISH line at Spirit Square.