Saturday, July 27, 2013

Ontario Trails News - Mountain Bike Championships and Run for the Toad announcements - taking place on Ontario Trails

Hardwood Hills prepares for games

Orillia Today
The countdown is on and staff at Hardwood Ski and Bike is well aware nothing short of perfection will be acceptable.
On July 10-26, 2015, elite mountain-bike riders from around the world will descend on the Oro-Medonte facility, looking to win gold at the Pan Am Games.
“I think it's really exciting for our area and it will give us a chance to showcase some of the great facilities," said Hardwood facility general manager Jack Sasseville.
A total of 14 municipalities will host events, with many building new facilities as part of Toronto’s $2.4 billion bid.
The fact Hardwood was chosen to host mountain biking events was not a big surprise to Sasseville.
"We feel we have some of the best facilities in Ontario, if not Canada, and being chosen to host this event in mountain biking reinforces what we have believed all along.
“There are few other facilities who have the kinds of challenging trails that we do," he said.
Since receiving the news, Hardwood has been holding regular on-site meetings with Pan Am Games staff.
Earlier this month, staff at Hardwood faced a major pre-Pan Am Games test, when it hosted the Canadian championships. Various members of Canada’s Olympic team, including Emily Batty, Catharine Pendrel, Geoff Kabush and Max Plaxton, were on hand to compete at Hardwood and get a feel for the new trails.
Hardwood will also host the 2014 nationals next July.
John Sustersic, Hardwood spokesperson, said the national finals offered a preview of what to expect in 2015. About 2,000 spectators and racers flooded the course at nationals.
Hardwood also hosted a recent spartan race, an obstacle course event that attracted close to 10,000 individuals.
“By comparison, if we look at the number of participants at the Pan Am Games, it will probably be under 100,” he said.
But the Canadian finals created the foundation for the on-going work, in preparation for the Pan Am Games.
“This year, Hardwood has invested heavily in trail building and, through an Ontario Trillium grant the Ontario Cycling Association received, they were able to hire a crew to work on the course at Hardwood for the national finals,” said Sustersic.
“We’ve added a couple of rock jumps. We’ve added an MBX course. On that course, we have redone one of the turns. We’ve added a walled berm,” he said.
Sustersic noted a lot of the features built into the course were added as a result of feedback from riders.

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Run For The Toad To Host ACU Canadian 50km Trail Championships At Pinehurst Lake

Preview of Event , Athletes This Weekend
Published 07/23/2013 | By Kw Now! Local Sports News
ACU, Run For The Toad, 50km marathon, Kw Now Media
ACU 50 K Event To Attract Big Names In Sport
Run for the Toad To Host ACU Canadian 50km Trail Championships

The Run for the Toad has been selected by the Association of Canadian Ultramarathoners (ACU) to host the 2013 Canadian 50km Trail Championships.

The Toad is entering its 12th year and is Canada's largest trail running event garnering 1250 athletes in the 25km run, 25km walk and 50km run and 50km relay distances offered at Pinehurst Lake Conservation Area 4km north of Paris, Ontario.

Many of the top runners in the sport have taken part in the Run for the Toad over the past decade including Canadian Olympian Reid Coolsaet and World 100km Champion Ellie Greenwood. The event draws competitors from all over Southern Ontario, across Canada, from all over the US and even a delegation from Great Britain is committed to taking part in this years event.

This year offers a $7000 prize purse in the 50km event which is attracting some of the top names in the sport to attend. Cleve Thorson, the 2012 winner and course record holder, will be back to defend his title. Roburt Tranter from London, Ontario who just represented Canada at the Wold Trail Championships in Wales will be competing to challenge Cleve for the win. On the women's side Stacey Cleveland and Stacie Carrigan, both from the Okanogan Region in BC, will be competing at the 2013 event. Both represented Canada as well earlier this month in Wales leading the Canadian women to a 4th place finish in the team event. Stacey Cleveland finished 7th overall in the field and Stacie Carrigan close behind in 13th.

In addition to the athletes listed above, a total of 11 individuals who have represented Canada at a World Championship are on the entry list to compete this October 5th.

To highlight some of these athletes the Run for the Toad and the ACU will be hosting a press conference to kick off the Toad Training Run Saturday July 27th at 8:30am. The training run itself garners more participants than most trail races in Canada with numbers ranging between 350-400 turning up to get a preview of the trails they will be racing on in October.

In attendance for this training run will be the Race Directors George & Peggy Sarson, Armand LeBlanc as the representative for the ACU, Nadeem Khan, the Media & Communication Representative for the International Association of Ultra Runners, defending champion Cleve Thorson, Pinehurst Lake Park Superintendent Brad Straus, Grand River Conservation Foundation Executive Director Sara Wilbur.

Please join us Saturday July 27th at Pinehurst Lake Conservation Area at 830am to take part in this exciting panel of athletes and officials to kick off Canada's Largest Trail Race at the 2013 Run for the Toad. Just a reminder registration for the Toad Training Run closes at 6 pm on July 24, 2013.

Related Links:
Run For The Toad Website
Learn more about Run For The Toad competition
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