The renowned Beaver Flat 50 is gearing up to take over Saskatchewan Landing Provincial Park tomorrow for its 7th year.
This year's event features a blend of challenging trails, fierce competition, and a shared passion for running set with the backdrop of Saskatchewan's stunning natural landscape.
Organized by Prairie Sky Running, tomorrow’s installation is especially significant as it coincides with Canada's 2023 NACAC (North America, Central America, and the Caribbean) Mountain and Trail Running Championships.
According to Warren Dudar, Race Director for the Beaver Flat 50, the combination of runs is expected to draw in an impressive 500 runners, each with their own motivations and goals.
“It is a gruelling ultramarathon,” he said. “It's a lot of single-track trail that is barely trail; we're following deer tracks and going up and down hills... We've got a range of different runners out there; everyone's doing it for a different purpose. Some people are trying to get on the podium, some people are trying to finish, and then there's everyone in between.”
Participants can choose from the famously challenging 50-kilometre race for seasoned trail veterans, a 20-kilometre race for a moderate challenge, a 10-kilometre trail for runners seeking a rewarding experience, and a 5-kilometre race for those who want to test their shoes on the routes.
No matter which uphill battle a runner has picked, they can find relief at a number of stations throughout the whole 50 kilometres, manned by enthusiastic volunteers ready to offer first aid and high-energy encouragement.
“They're like the best part of the whole event,” said Dudar. “If you ask a runner usually what their highlight was, it's all the lovely volunteers at the aid stations. They're so fun, and they're having a great old time taking care of all the runners when they come in and just being happy and joyous and trying to motivate people to keep going if they feel like stopping.
“Back40 Wilderness First Aid comes out from Saskatoon and they will have team members at each of the stations. They'll be doing coherency checks; if someone comes in and looks like they're not doing great and maybe don't have all their wits about them, they'll start asking them questions and trying to find out what kind of shape they're in, especially if it's a hot day like is expected."
As the sun rises over Saskatchewan Landing Provincial Park tomorrow, runners from near and far will converge for a day of breaking records and hurtling personal obstacles.
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