If you’ve been to our race weekend before, you know fun ranks pretty dang high on our list…so it’s only natural that we passionately endorse and encourage silliness as much as we endorse safety. That brings us to our dark horse category (pun intended)….the Hobby Horse! Once a secret society in Finland, the sport of hobby horsing is taking off in gym classes and high societies around the world. Our hobby horse category is OPEN to any and all events at the Golden Ultra!
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.
We recently featured an article on Carol Green, a 71 year old trail running goddess that has been logging some seriously impressive mileage out on the coast with the Ladies of The Trails, a women’s trail running initiative founded by her daughter, Solana Green. Carol joined us in 2018 as one of our oldest competitors ever, and absolutely crushed the Half Pint! We wanted to pick her brain a little bit more on what made her choose our race.
In Carol’s words:
Around Christmas of 2017, over many (many) beers, I had my arm twisted and agreed to run the Golden Ultra Half Pint to Celebrate my 70th year. In the past I had run a few road half marathons but my longest trail race or run was probably about 15km. This was to be my longest trail run ever plus being a stage race. What sealed the deal for me was the promise of a running buddy, a past Golden Ultra Full and Half Pint Finisher, to stick with me during each of the 3 stages.
I was surrounded and mentored by many ‘Ladies of the Trails’ and it was a truly amazing experience! I did not manage to train as hard as I should have/could have, but I did have a training plan and completed all my training runs. I even did a mock 3-day stage race in the Squamish area 3 weeks before the big weekend. Friday was a 3km climb with 900m of elevation up EVAC, under the Sea to Sky Gondola. Saturday was a 28km run to Cat Lake which included a river fording and 820m elevation gain and Sunday was a 9km romp through the local trails.
The entire time, both during training and the 3-day race, I was supported by enthusiastic and encouraging young women. This really helped me to stay on task and to stay focused. I am a pretty determined person and when I set a goal I usually stick to it. This was a really worthwhile goal! It was hard, but it was a blast and I am so glad I did it! I am really looking forward to doing it again this year and I am definitely going to try to devote more time to my training!
I encourage others to step out of their comfort zones and take on this beautiful challenge…you won’t regret it!
To check out the full article in Trail Runner magazine, click here.
One of the biggest groups we’ve ever had is coming to the Golden Ultra this year with Outward Bound Canada!
We are SO thrilled to be hosting over 20 participants from Outward Bound in Golden this fall. They will be coming from all over the country, and - for many of them - this will be one of their biggest challenges to date, mentally and physically.
So why the Golden Ultra?
We recently posted our UTMB points, so if you’re new to trail running, racing, or ultra running, you may be curious as to what the acronym UTMB stands for...well, now you can wonder no more!
The Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc circuit is comprised of 7 different races over a week at the end of August, with the namesake race encompassing a 171KM route of Mont Blanc - the tallest peak in the Alps and Western Europe. These footraces came into fruition in 2003 and are now considered by many to be the “crown jewel of ultrarunning”.
To be eligible for the UTMB, you must collect 15 points at various qualifying trail races over a period of two years prior to the race (The other 6 races have varying points requirements, which you can read more about on their website - link below).
Once you have obtained the points required, you’re entered into a lottery for a spot! Some spots are also reserved for elite athletes according to specific criteria. Around 2,500 runners from all over the world participated in 2018, making it one of the largest ultra-races of its kind (not to mention over 2000 volunteers, and 50,000 spectators!)
While elite runners complete the loop in slightly more than 20 hours, most runners take 35+ hours to reach the finish line, as race conditions can be extremely challenging every year. It’s not uncommon to not finish this beast of a race!
There are 7 total races that one can participate in, and they include:
UTMB: Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (171 km +10,040 m)
CCC: Courmayeur - Champex - Chamonix (101 km +6,100 m)
TDS: Sur les Traces des Ducs de Savoie (121 km +7,300 m)
OCC: Orsières - Champex - Chamonix (56 km +3,460 m)
PTL: La Petite Trotte à Léon (approx. 300 km +30,000 m)
MCC: De Martigny-Combe à Chamonix (40 km +2,300 m)
YCC: Youth Chamonix Courmayeur (15 km +1,100 m)
If this epic undertaking is on your radar - we can help you get there! There are 6 different ways to obtain points to qualify for the UTMB at our Golden Ultra weekend. We have 4 single day races that will get ya some digits, and two stage races that will also qualify you for a grand European adventure.
120KM: 5 points
Full Pint (85KM) Stage Race: 4 points
Half Pint (45KM) Stage Race: 2 points
Sweat (55KM): 3 points
Conquer (30KM): 1 point
Tears (20KM): 1 point
For more information on the UTMB “grande aventure” and the other races that take place during UTMB week, you can visit their website here.