Summer Trail Race Series

May is fast approaching, so the summer running season is about to begin! Finally, the last remnants of snow are rapidly melting. Boot Race is right around the corner, and the Thursday after Boot Race will be the inaugural evening of the Summer Trail Race Series!

At the RRRC Christmas Party, I presented an idea to the membership. The idea started with a visit to the Offroad Syndicate webpage, who have been conducting a summer trail race series for mountain bikers for over 10 years. My interest was sparked – why couldn’t we do something similar for the RRRC? Further web based research revealed the Frank McNamara race series in Edmonton and a Road Warrior ranking system used in Ontario. The popularity of the Frank McNamara series was encouraging. About 300 runners participate in the chip timed event, where a different course is offered each week, for a cost of $30.

The RRRC has not had strong showing for group runs, but it is an important part of a club to get together regularly. So, I proposed a race series over the 4 months with the longest days where we can get together and run. But, we will still be aiming for our own best performance. Each month we will visit a new trail and test it out once/week for that month. The group attending the Christmas Party received the idea well, so we are planning a trial run of the series in 2013. As with any new endeavour, feedback will make it better!

Goals for the Series

  • Provide an event for regular camaraderie amongst club members
  • Encourage running in new, challenging locations
  • Low cost
  • Simple to manage and execute on a regular basis
  • Offer short and long distances to encourage recreational and competitive runners
  • Provide participant rankings that fairly reflect their performance and participation (for prizes)
  • Finite (May – August)

The Details

When: Thursday nights (weekly), 18:00. Course overview and instructions at 17:55. Series will begin May 9
Course: Short and long course at each location. Long course will be 2 loops of the course. Courses will NOT be marked. Maps will be made available electronically
Timing: Self timed. In order to be eligible for the evening, be signed in by 18:00. Timing is on the honour system. Any deviation from the course must be addressed by the runner
Aid Stations: None
Course Marshall: Member in charge for the evening (to start with, this will be me). This person will be participating as well
Who: RRRC members. Guests are welcome to come for one evening race, but will be expected to buy a membership the next time
Cost: Free for RRRC members
Registration: None required. Just arrive in time to get your name recorded
Results: Will be posted online weekly


  • Moderately styled after Nascar and tennis rankings
    • points awarded to those in attendance
    • top score goes to the first person across
    • point value based on total number registered
  • Most improved (based on pace)
  • Fastest overall
  • Steadiest
  • Eligibility for prizes has not yet been fully developed. More details will be made available as the season progresses.

The Trails

  • May
    • Douglas Park Hill – same course as Offroad Syndicate (they race on a different day)
    • Meet at the observation deck (start/finish location)
    • Likely impassable when wet, so an alternative course may be used. Be sure to be subscribed to the blog or Facebook for last minute updates.
    • Distance is 4 km. Long option is 2x around.
May Course map

Douglas Park Hill race course (courtesy Offroad Syndicate)

  • June
    • White Butte trails
    • potentially wet and muddy (location may be changed if necessary)
  • July
    • Wascana Trails
  • August
    • McKell Nature area

5 thoughts on “Summer Trail Race Series

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