Brash. Beastly. Beeline. All words we would associate with The Blood, presented by Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. Over the next few months, we will be highlighting a different 2019 course every couple of weeks to give you a play by play of what you can expect out there on race day. Our day 1 tried and true seemed like a good place to start: deceptively a taster, only 5 km in length...but don’t let this fool you - it includes more than 1000m of elevation gain.
Starting at the bottom of the resort, by the base of the Gondola, runners will have a so-called warm-up before the real climbing starts....if you call an uphill a warm-up. Leaving the base and heading up the old t-bar road, runners will enjoy some smooth surface and mellow grades.
After a kilometer, the course departs the t-bar road and heads straight up an alpine ski run, known as Little Ben. Not maintained in the summer, the surface is still quite smooth and easily runnable.
Little Ben ends at the top of the Catamount chairlift and runners will join the service road for about 500M and a nice kick in the face climb... before it beelines up Show Off. Show Off is a winter alpine run that is directly below the gondola. It’s gnarly. It’s rocky. It’s STEEP.
After Show Off, at tower 15 of the gondola, runners hit their first single track of the day, and it’s a real beaut! Known as the Bowl Over Loop, runners will head 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... if you have one left!
The finish line is a sight to behold, beyond your elation for completing the tough course. At the summit of a mountain, you’re treated to 360-degree views, deep into the Purcell Mountains, along the Columbia River Valley and back to the Rocky Mountains. Relax for a few moments and cheer for the other finishers before you head back to the bottom on the Gondola for a delicious dinner.
Check out the elevation profile and download the Google Earth file here.