The North Face Endurance Challenge Ontario
The North Face Endurance Challenge Series’ international expansion within North America, offering an event in Ontario, Canada at Blue Mountain Resort, located 90 miles outside of Toronto. Featuring the most pronounced elevation gain trail race in all of Ontario, The North Face Endurance Challenge cruises along the Niagara Escarpment on the western shores of the Georgian Bay and navigates through the ski trails of the Blue Mountains.
Race DetailsSelect Race
Start Date/Time July 15, 2017 @ 4:00 pm
End Date/Time N/A
Address Blue Mountain
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Reviews Write a Review
An excellent event - well organized, well-stocked aid stations and clearly marked paths. I ran the 50K event this year and it was also my first ultra-marathon distance. The elevation gain according to my Garmin watch was 1,479m (over three times the height of the CN Tower) so this course is not for the faint of heart.
An added challenge was the fact that it rained the night before so some wooden bridges, rocks and grassy areas were a bit slippery. This was problematic when running down steep downhills when it was very difficult to have any sort of traction. The scenery and views from the top of the Blue Mountains was spectacular. This is a top-notch event and would definitely consider it again.
My only suggestion (as alluded to below) is that during the 50K course, some aid stations were approximately 8K apart from each other and some additional ones would be great (I think it was the aid stations at 25K-33K-41K). The course between these aid stations had very little or no shade and some runners might need some help much sooner than 8K. If this isn't possible, then the runners should be encouraged to take extra gels and snacks with them due to the long trek to the next station.
Very well organized event, with amazing staff and volunteers. Difficult course! overall lived up to its name, endurance challenge....
Ready to return next year to improve my time. Need aid stations a bit closer, even if only a bare minimum water station as the weather was so hot.
Top class event, no expense spared.
Hardest race trail in Ontario, was extremely well organized and the course was very easy to follow.
I ran the half marathon, I found it very competitive, which I liked, but also found many other runners enjoying themselves and having fun. So a good variety of runners.
Be ready to be pushed out of your comfort zone, however that is what they market.
2nd year racing the 10km distance. Found the course longer this year even though it seemed the same - gps measured 11.3km. Super hot day. Awesome trail. Agree there should have been an aid station somewhere between the 5km and 7km instead of at 9ish-km mark. Course was well marked for the 10km. Great tshirt. Medal average. Not much post-race food surprisingly!
Fairly well organized. The course was very challenging, which was a plus. Plenty of shade in the trees made it surprisingly more comfortable than expected given how hot it was.
I did the 10k and my only complaint was that with just over 1 km to go we merged with the finish of the 5k. This caused a bit of a bottleneck with faster runners in the 10k stuck behind slower runners in the 5k. This wouldn't have been as much of a problem if it weren't for the fact that the last 1k is the most technical with steep slippery steps. So very difficult to pass. Not sure what can be done about this given how multiple events are happening at the same time.
All in all, I enjoyed this race and will probably do it next year.
the 5k was a great introduction to trail running and it was great. challenging and beautiful! well organized by north face!
Great event....all the key boxes are checked off (5 bananas)....despite the HOT weather both days the Race Crew stayed on top of all little details.
Maybe a few more water stations would have been a bonus and the 5km route could have been made "easier" to allow the newbies an easier intro to trail racing.
A lot of people in the half seemed to be new to this formet and they struggled mightily.
This event was amazing. I ran the marathon. Given that it was the first year running in Blue Mountain, one expects some hiccups. But I was impressed by the online support (even shout outs on Twitter), the virtual goody bag (included a free years magazine subscription and discounts at a running store). The website, course info, and map were extremely comprehensive and informative. I received my t-shirt with free silkscreen ing of the event as well as a great pair of socks alongside the bib.
Race day (for the 80k, 50k and marathoners) was quite hot. With relentless climbs and dodgy foot placement requirements (par for the course for trail ultras), the course was true to its name in an Endurance Challenge (felt like a death march at one point). However, the water/food/medical support was top notch. An amazing variety of salty and sweet to at least temporarily replenish the runners were all very welcomed. When not agonizing over the ascents (and descents) the scenery was a welcome distraction.
At the end of the race, the ice baths were welcomed for my aching feet as the finishers regaled on their trials on the trail.
This is definitely a must do event for trail and distance runners. While I will not say I loved every minute of it, it is a memorable event that I now look back, and am keen to do again!
An excellent event especially considering its the first year!
Communication was great, the event was well organized, well marked trails, wonderful festival in the Blue Mountain Village, great swag, customized shirt, great aid stations with gels, shot bloks, electrolyte drink and water ... the list goes on.
I ran the 10k and it was slick, hilly and brutal. Exactly what you would expect hitting the trails after rain in Blue Mountain!
This was a top notch event and there were plenty of smiles on all the muddy people I saw.