We are very excited to be able to offer a unique trail racing event on the Beaver Valley Section of the Bruce Trail. The race is named the Falling Water Marathon after the Falling Water section of the Beaver Valley Bruce Trail that participants will get to enjoy. It's not a fast course and it will almost certainly be the most challenging marathon you will ever run but the views will be spectacular!
This course is not meant for beginners. Although there are not any specific qualifying standards for this event, runners should definitely have experience running on trails. The course is rocky, rooty, and very hilly. Your feet will probably get wet and aid stations will be further apart than many of our other events, due to the challenging terrain. Although it is a "marathon", it is not a Boston Qualifier and if that irritates you, this probably isn't the race for you! Seriously, this race is tough. There will be waterfalls, steep climbs, and incredible views. The scenery will make the challenge worth it!
In order to maximize the runner's experience and protect the trails, we are limiting the race to only 100 participants and only offering 1 distance- the trail marathon (approximately 42km). We anticipate this race selling out quickly. To be fair, we will not hold spots for anybody. Once the race sells out, there will be a short waitlist as well as 10 charity spots. The charity spots are for people who commit to raising $400 for the Beaver Valley Bruce Trail club. 100% of these proceeds will go directly to the club and these participants will not need to pay the race entry fee.
It's tough. Like, really tough.
This course has nearly 5,000' of elevation gain and another 5,000' of elevation loss. There are a few big climbs that will be difficult but it's the hundreds of little rollers that will break you down! Poles are permitted.
Almost all of the race takes place on the Main Trail of the Bruce Trail (except for the trail crossovers). The course is permanently marked with blue blazes on the crossover trails and white blazes for the rest of the course (runners absolutely MUST have an understanding of how to follow blazes). We will further mark the course with orange flags and ribbons. Our markings will be done sparingly but we will do our very best to clearly mark all important turns. When in doubt, follow the white blazes!
The race will start and finish at the Beaver Valley Ski Club. Runners will complete a short (6.5k), but challenging, out-and-back section that will spread out the runners before participants make their first crossing through the valley (East bound). This section, which takes place on the crossover trail (blue blazes) will have participants tackling one of the most challenging climbs of the day. Runners will then head South and cross back to the West side via Campbell's Hill and Graham's Hill. This will involve a run down (about 1k) to the low-point of the valley followed by a LONG climb back up the other side. This climb is approximately 1.5k long and is tough. Oh yeah, you're going to have to complete the climb again towards the end of the race! It is runnable, but only if you are a black-belt hill ninja- It is on road (quite rough and sketchy road, however) so that makes it a bit easier, right?. Runners will then head South all the way to the Southern-most point of the course, just beyond Hogg's Falls. Runners will then head North all the way back to that dreaded Campbell's Hill/Graham's Hill crossing, which they will do again. Once runners are back on the West-side of the valley, they will venture back North to the Beaver Valley Ski Club to the finish line. Easy peasy.
You will laugh, you will cry, you will probably say you are never running again, and then you will go online and register for another race. Sound familiar?
Those of you who are racing it as hard as you can will definitely suffer. No way around that. Those of you who are taking it easy will also suffer, but, hopefully a little less and you will get to appreciate the amazing scenery. Beaver Valley in September... amazing. Take some pictures along the way!
Make a Weekend of it!
Although the Beaver Valley Bruce Trail section is a great reason to visit the area, the surrounding towns are what initially drew us to the area. There are a lot of Airbnb options in the area and cottages that can be rented as well. There is a 'tiny house' that we often rent that has the most unbelievable view and the owner (Brenda) is an incredibly gracious host. There are other great places as well. In fact, last year we were able to rent a cottage at the Beaver Valley Ski Club and spend the weekend just steps from the starting line. Make sure you stop by the Kimberley General Store for some pastries, coffee, and really cool souvenirs. Top of the Rock is a great place to grab groceries (LCBO inside as well), baked goods, produce, and hot food. Our favourite place to eat is definitely Justin's Oven. Amazing!
Because of the difficulty of this course, the cut-off time will be 11 hours. There will be a rolling cutoff in effect as follows:
Aid Station #1 (approximately 8 km): 2hrs 15mins (11:15am). This section is amongst the most challenging.
Aid Station #2 (approximately 15 km): 4hrs 15mins (1:15pm)
Aid Station #3 (approximately 23 km): 6hrs (3:00pm)
Aid Station #4 (approximately 31 km): 8hrs (5:00pm)
Aid Station #5 (approximately 37 km): 9hrs 45 mins (6:45)
Finish (approximately 42.2km): 11hrs (8:00pm)
Participants can expect a very unique finisher's medal and a piece of race apparel. Last year we did socks and they were awesome. We may do socks again but we aren't entirely sure so we are going to take both your preferred sock size AND your shirt size just in case. You will probably get one or the other but who knows? Maybe we will give you something totally different. It's too far away for us to think about at the moment!
In addition, our friends at the Canadian Trail Running Co are creating really awesome special edition race gear for all of our events this year. You can check them out and order them online by clicking on their logo below:
Post Race Food:
We understand that people have different dietary restrictions, needs, and preferences. Because of this, rather than include the cost of a post-race meal that you may or may not enjoy/ be able to eat, we do not include meals in our race registration fees. We suggest checking out one of the great eateries in the area or bringing your own stuff. We will have snacks available at the finish line, just not an actual meal.
Happy Trails Racing has a new policy regarding race refunds/transfers: register with confidence knowing that you can take advantage of our early bird pricing and, if you need to back out, you can do so up to 30 days before the race with a 100% race credit that can go towards any future Happy Trails event. It doesn't expire. From 30 days out to 15 days out, you can back out with a 50% race credit. Participants are also welcome to transfer their bib without any penalty up to 15 days before the race. Please keep in mind that everything we need to order to have you at our race is done so at least 30 days out.
This is for participants that are committing to raising $400 for the Beaver Valley Bruce Trail Club. These participants do not need to pay the race registration fee and 100% of the money raised will go directly to the BVBTC. Participants are expected to raise these funds before September 1, 2020.
FreeFeb 1 - Sep 1
APPROXIMATELY 42.2k but let's be honest, this is trail running and, therefore, not exact. We could probably make it exact, but what's the fun in that? We are willing to sacrifice accuracy for the most aesthetically pleasing route. Not a Boston Qualifier and proud of it!
CA$100.00Feb 1 – Mar 22
CA$125.00Mar 23 – Sep 1
Waitlist for the Trail Marathon
FreeFeb 1 - Sep 1
- September 12 8:00 AM EDT - Race Kit Pick-Up
- September 12 9:00 AM EDT - Race Start
- Jeff Rowthorn