Plans in works for Ul­tra­ma­rathon

The Drumheller Mail - - Sports - Patrick Ko­lafa

This fall the fittest of the fittest are hop­ing to de­scend on the val­ley for the X Ul­tra Marathon.

The event is being planned by X Warrior Chal­lenge. Al­ready lo­cal ul­tra­ma­rathoner Mor­gan Syvert­sen has been busy cre­at­ing a ten­ta­tive route. They are plan­ning for the event to take place in Mid­land Provin­cial Park.

“We love the area and we have al­ways wanted to host an event in the Drumheller area, we love the land­scape and the ter­rain,” said Darcy Chal­i­foux of X Warrior Chal­lenge.

Syvert­sen says he and Karen McMil­lan met with Chal­i­foux and toured the area.

“He was ab­so­lutely sold, ex­plains Syvert­sen. “He does it dif­fer­ently, does it good. Peo­ple he is getting out for these events are se­ri­ous ath­letes.”

They have been work­ing on a low im­pact 50-kilo­me­tre route that uses ex­ist­ing es­tab­lished paths and game trails. The race also stag­gers its starts so there is no mass ex­o­dus.

“We are not going to be cre­at­ing trails,” said Syvert­sen. “Karen McMil­lan and I went out and found a bunch of re­ally great trails.”

They are await­ing ap­proval from Al­berta Parks for permission to use the park.

“We are re­ally hop­ing to work things out with the prov­ince, I think it is the right venue for us with a smaller event to make sure we do it right and then see where it goes,” said Chal­i­foux.

He said the ten­ta­tive date is Satur­day, Septem­ber 2. While X Warrior does many kinds of events such as ob­sta­cle cour­ses, this will be a straight­for­ward 50-kilo­me­tre ul­tra.

“It is straight run­ning, four legs, and peo­ple can com­pete as soloists or two teams of four,” said Chal­i­foux. “Over the last two years sea­soned rac­ers in our com­mu­nity, a lot of peo­ple are branch­ing out look­ing for the next en­durance event and trail run­ning is cer­tainly a big part of what we do. We lis­ten to our par­tic­i­pants.”

He also un­der­stands the eco­nomic im­por­tance of events such as this.

“That is the goal. We want to bring ev­ery­one in at least the night be­fore. We want peo­ple to make a week­end out of it, fill ho­tels, host a pre-event din­ner and raise a lit­tle bit of money for char­i­ties,“he said. “We want to make sure the whole com­mu­nity wins so we are not just rolling in and rolling out… that cer­tainly is not what we want to do. We want to to be­come a part of the com­mu­nity cal­en­dar.”

Those in­ter­ested can go to www.xwar­rior­chal­lenge.com and sign on up a pre­reg­is­tra­tion wait­list. Those on the list will have the first opportunit­y to sign up when the event is con­firmed.

“The more peo­ple getting ac­tive, the more we all win, that is our goal with this com­pany. I want more peo­ple to get off the couch, func­tional fit­ness is ev­ery­thing,” he said.

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