More than 350 athletes took part in the first ever Canadian Mountain and Trail Running Championships in Vernon’s Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

More than 350 athletes took part in the first ever Canadian Mountain and Trail Running Championships in Vernon’s Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

Vernon plays host to first-ever Canadian Mountain and Trail Running Championships

More than 350 athletes hit the trails in Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park Saturday

More than 350 athletes hit the trails in Vernon’s Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park for the first-ever Canadian Mountain and Trail Running Championships Saturday, Sept. 17.

The championship combines the trail and mountain events which were previously held separately.

“We have interest across all events, with many Canadians competing, and also people coming from as far as Texas and even Australia,” said Dawna Jodoin, race director and coach for host organization Bush Babes and Bros Trail Running, ahead of the event.

Saturday saw five championship races, each with a women’s and a men’s category. There were three events in mountain running (Senior Classic Up and Down, the U20 Classic Up and Down and the Vertical Uphill) and two in trail running (40 km short course and 80 km long course).

Each championship race will offer prizes of $300, $200 and $100 for the first, second and third-place finishers, for a total prize purse of $4,800.

The course includes no pavement; instead, it’s one per cent dirt road, 95 per cent single-track and four per cent double-track — “A good combination of challenging and scenic, with tons of climbing throughout,” said Jodoin.

Some internationally competitive athletes are taking part in the race, including Courtney Mueller, who will compete in the 80 km long course having already collected two bronze medal finishes in 2022 at a pair of races in B.C.

Meanwhile, Brandon Miller is a favourite in the men’s long course race after finishing second at the Dirty Feet Cal Park 50 km back in May and winning Alberta’s Lost Soul Ultra 100 km race last year.

The championship serves as the selection trials for the 2023 World Mountain and Trail Running Championships in Innsbruck and Stubai, Austria, which will take place in June next year.

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Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
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