On Pace, Off Road: Races In Canada’s National Parks

Physical challenges within urban landscapes are having a moment right now. Every week it seems another gruelling marathon, sprint, triathlon, or bike race is occurring in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, or Calgary. And while being healthy and challenging oneself in the concrete jungle is pretty cool, there’s something so much more appealing about doing it in, well, an actual jungle. Thankfully, there are bunch of amazing events in the most amazing outdoor locations in Canada — our national parks.


Fundy National Park’s Bike Fest, New Brunswick


Love to bike? Join us for Fundy Bike Fest from September 29 to October 1. Everything Biking: Bike rodeo, skill development, guided night ride, group ride, trail building workshop, take a kid mountain biking, Fat Bike Demo. Activities for the whole family.

What: Mountain Biking, Bike Rodeo, Mountain Bike Relay
When: September 29 – October 1, 2017
Where: Fundy National Park
Nearest Town: Alma, NB
Cost: $20-105


Kouchibouguac National Park’s Luc Gallant Marathon, New Brunswick

Kouchibouguac is full of golden sand dunes, warm ocean beaches, a dark sky preserve, estuaries that are brimming with life, and some incredible Mi’kmaq and Acadian culture. If you get a chance to run a sanctioned event in a place like that, you take it.

What: 5K, 10K, Half-Marathon, Full Marathon
When: TBA (Generally occurs October)
Where: Kouchibouguac National Park
Nearest Town: Kouchibouguac, NB
Cost: $40-50


PEI Marathon, Prince Edward Island

An official qualifying event for the Boston Marathon, but an incredible event in its own right, the P.E.I. Marathon begins in P.E.I. National Park and continues along the Gulf Shore and on into Charlottetown, ending at Province House National Historic Site.

What: 5K, 10K, Half-Marathon, Full Marathon
When: Oct. 13-15, 2017
Where: P.E.I. National Park to Province House National Historic Site
Nearest Town: Stanhope, PEI
Cost: $43-98


Tobermory Trail Race Weekend, Ontario

While this isn’t a Parks Canada event, the race does dip through two beautiful National Parks. The Tobermory Trail offers a 5k as well as a full, half, and relay trail marathon for those wanting to test their endurance against the Bruce Trail. Festivities kick off with a Pasta Dinner at the Tobermory Community Centre. Running along some of the most beautiful coastline in Canada seems pretty amazing, and to top it all off, your race fee supports the Tobermory Primary Place daycare and outdoor sport on the Bruce Peninsula.

What: Marathon, Half Marathon, Relay Marathon, 5k
When:TBA (Generally occurs in September)
Where: Bruce Peninsula National Park and Fathom Five National Marine Park
Nearest Town: Tobermory, ON
Cost: $105 (Solo Marathon)


La Mauricie National Park’s Défis du parc, Quebec

Les Défis du Parc-Shawinigan, Canada’s biggest sport cycle gathering, is going down in La Mauricie National Park. Participants of all levels take on various physical challenges such as three different road cycling courses including the impressive 160 km GranFondo, one mountain bike race, 3 running races and a 1km race for children — all in one of Quebec’s most epic National Parks.

What: Biking, Trail Races, Triathlon, Dualathalon
When: Sept 23-24, 2017
Where: La Maurice National Park
Nearest City: Shawinigan, QC


Terra Nova National Park’s Amazing Race, Newfoundland and Labrador

While not like the typical events listed, this one may arguably be the most fun. Terra Nova has been having this unique event for the past three years. Teams will race against the clock as they complete as series of challenges such as catching a water balloon on your head in a colander. Afterward, relax for the evening and enjoy a Campfire Concert.

What: Unique Challenges
When:TBA (Generally occurs July)
Where: Terra Nova National Park
Nearest Town: Charlottetown, NL


Mount Revelstoke National Park’s Ultra-Marathon, British Columbia

The “Revy” area is consistently named one of the best trail running destinations in Canada, but it’s not everyday one gets the opportunity to run an official race in a National Park. Enter the Full Stoke Ultra-marathon. Test your mettle among snow capped mountains, pristine wilderness, and otherworldly views.

What: 44KM Marathon
When: TBA (Generally occurs late August)
Where: Revelstoke National Park
Nearest Town: Revelstoke, BC
Cost: $125 (Early Bird) Capped At 200 Entries.

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