A terrific setting for a trail run, Morin is a resort town nestled in the Laurentian Mountains of Quebec. The races are on June 21 and are all off road. A great adventure in trail racing, the terrain is tough and rugged.
The RegionThe race site is conveniently located only 45 minutes from the Montreal International Airport (Aeroport International Pierre-Elliott-Trudeau, YUL), and 45 minutes from downtown Montreal, one of the most beautiful and vibrant cities in North America.
Val Morin is a resort region on the fringe of the wilds of the northern woods. The trees, yellow birch (Provincial Tree), maple, beech, and various conifers seem to stretch on for miles and miles. The glacial lakes and Laurentian Mountains create a rugged area scoured by glaciers in the last Ice Age. This is an ancient land. It is the fringe of the Canadian Shield, and is home to some of the oldest volcanoes on earth.
The Adirondacks are an extension of these mountains. Rocks and rock-faced cliffs found here add to the adventure and the unique beauty. Some date as far back as one billion years.
Not only is this region a great place to run, but kayaking, canoeing, rock climbing, hiking, swimming in Lac Raymond, unique crafts and other shops, the largest yoga center in the world and Santa's Summer Village are all within a short distance.
Creativity also has a home here as the region is known for its outstanding artists, writers, artisans, and craftsmen.
The RaceThe mountains and the thick boreal forest seem to go on forever. You would never know you are close to a major metro area when you are out on these trails. And don't expect groomed trails. You will get plenty of mud and dirt on the run, no matter which distance you choose. This is most definitely a trail or cross-country race. You will be climbing steep cliffs, crawling over immense boulders, crossing streams, and bushwhacking between trails. You can commune with nature. And you might even get a few mouthfuls of it too.
Forget about getting a qualifying time. The cut off for the halfway point of the marathon is four hours, and for the half marathon, three hours, and there are no mile markers on the course. In fact, even the race director doesn't know how long these races are--they are approximate. But that is part of the enjoyment.
Saturday night following the race there will be live music and a fireworks display. June 21 is Saint Jean Batiste Day (A Quebec Provincial Holiday similar to the U.S. Fourth of July). There will be a lot to do for the entire family, but there will also be a great party atmosphere for singles. This run is designed to recall and admire the "coureur des bois" or fur traders of the woods. Those guys knew how to go cross country and navigate obstacles--and they knew how to party just as hard when they got back.
Jacqueline Gareau, Canadian Olympian, B.A.A. Boston Marathon winner, and Mount Washington Road Race Champion, will be the Honorary President for this event. You will be able to meet her and discuss racing with one of our great runners.
The SchedulePick up numbers and T-shirts on Friday, June 20, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., and race day morning from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
The marathon starts at 8:00 a.m., with the half marathon setting off at 9:00 and the 10K at 10:00 a.m. The kids' 2K will start at 11:00.
There will be a mandatory race meeting for each group one half hour before the scheduled start of each event.
Aid stations will be located every three to four miles with energy foods, water, energy drinks and first aid if needed. There will be experienced sweepers behind all runners, and volunteers on the course. There are several locations where spectators will have a chance to see the participants during the races.
The awards ceremony will begin at 2:00 p.m.
There are four price breaks, so the earlier you register the better the price. Please check the race website for fees and registration instructions. And please note this event takes on-line registration only, with a cutoff of June 15 (except for the kids' 2K, which will be open up to race day morning.
You can also check the website for accommodations. This is a very popular destination, so be sure you get your reservations early.
The French have selected the Ultimate XC Jay Mountain Marathon in Vermont--the organization's original event--as a qualifier for the famous Mont Blanc 100, the circumnavigation of Europe's most recognized mountain. The selection process is a very difficult one, so this is a real compliment to the series and the organization, and tremendous recognition for the quality and high level of this series of events.
The Jay event will easily sell out next June, so Ultimate XC is branching out to create a series. In addition to Jay and Val Morin, there will be a new adventure in Moab, Utah--50K, half-marathon, and 10K this fall on November 15. This will be a totally different kind of challenge on vastly different terrain.
And in addition to the expanded running adventure series, they manage a terrific series of mountain biking competitions, and their unique three-day adventure (run, bike and kayak).
These are very innovative, well managed events. Again, if you like easy, smooth, flat, paved or manicured race courses this adventure series is not for you. If you enjoy the difficulty and advantages of trail running and "playing in the woods" as the race director stated, then go for it--this is your kind of race, your type of challenge.
The organizers of the Ultimate XC Quebec adventure races have been very creative in preparing these outstanding events for you, the venue is amazing, the natural beauty inspiring and the organization top shelf. All they need is you. All you need is this challenge. We'll see you there!
Don't miss the expo. Keep in touch via the Forum. Check out the on-line store, and if you have questions please get in touch via the contact info on the Website.