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/half 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 75 participants (in each event) and now offering 2 distances- the trail marathon (approximately 42km) and the trail half marathon (approximately 21km). 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.
Please Note: The Marathon will take place on Saturday, September 11, 2021 at 9:00am and the Half Marathon will take place on Sunday, September 12 at 9:00am.
The cost for the full marathon is $100 and the half marathon is $80.
When you click on the registration button it will show the registration fee as $80 for the full and $60 for the half. However, a $20 donation to the Beaver Valley Bruce Trail Club will be added to this fee (which you can get a tax receipt for). We are doing this for 2 reasons: First, your donation will go directly to the club. Second, this way you don't pay HST on the donation.
This donation will go directly to the Bruce Trail Club, without which, this event would not happen.
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 and the newly added Kimberley Side Trail at the very end of the race). 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!
Marathon: The race will start and finish at the Beaver Valley Ski Club. Runners will 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 right at the start of the race. 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, marathon runners are 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 past the beautiful Eugenia Falls (bring a camera, if you can) 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. Once you make your way up, up, up, up to the very top, you will run along the top section of the ski hill and onto some rolling single-track trail. You will run all the way to a road, where you will turn around. From this point, the final 4-5km are MOSTLY flat/downhill. Easy peasy.
Half Marathon: The race will start and finish at the Beaver Valley Ski Club. Runners will 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 right at the start of the race. 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. 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?.
Once runners are back on the West-side of the valley, they will venture back North to the Beaver Valley Ski Club. Once you make your way up, up, up, up to the very top, you will run along the top section of the ski hill and onto some rolling single-track trail. You will run all the way to a road, where you will turn around. From this point, the final 4-5km are MOSTLY flat/downhill. 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. The fact that it is a marathon with an 11 hr cutoff should tell you something about the course. 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)
The Half Marathon will have a 5 hour cutoff.
This year we were able to get our hands on a really cool piece of swag. We will be giving participants each a Falling Water Back Pack! We love it and we think you will too!
We were also able to get our hands on some AMAZING finisher's medals again this year. They are still being made and we don't want to spoil the surprise!
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.
Approximately 21.1km but, let's be honest, everyone's GPS will show a different number. We will make sure it is close enough. This is a VERY challenging half marathon course!
CA$60.00Feb 1 - Sep 4
Waitlist for the Half Marathon
FreeFeb 1 - Sep 4
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$80.00Feb 1 - Sep 4
Waitlist for the Trail Marathon
FreeFeb 1 - Sep 4
- September 11 8:00 AM EDT - Race Kit Pick-Up
- September 11 9:00 AM EDT - Marathon Race Start
- September 12 8:00 AM EDT - Race Kit Pick-Up
- September 12 9:00 AM EDT - Half Marathon Race Start
- Event contact
- Jeff Rowthorn