Welcome to Race the North Face!
Date: Saturday Sept. 9, 2023 - Registration opens Jan. 21 2023 at 0800
Distances: 10km, 25km, 50km Ultra
Location: Brandon Hills Wildlife Management Area - Treaty No. 3 Land
"Hands down the most beautiful trails in the province"
- Anneke F.
The Brandon Hills are a well kept secret, with over 90% gnarly single-track and unrelenting hills, to long climbs up "The Spine" a 2.5km long ridge-line which rises above the forest giving absolutely stunning 360 degree views of the prairies below. This is all made possible by a massive glacier deposit which formed this area many years ago. Please note that The Spine is on private property and requires permission prior to accessing.
All three distances are challenging in their own rights with the 10km being a great introduction to true trail running (you know, rocky, rooty, climbing and descending all those fun things!). The 25km shows competitors all the Brandon Hills have to offer, including running The Spine, with it being a full loop of the area. The 50km Ultra is 2 loops so you know what kind of hurt is in when you take on round 2... the views are worth it, right?
Early Bird Entry Fee 2023:
-10km $60.00 plus tax and service fee
-25km $90.00 plus tax and service fee
-50km $125.00 plus tax and service fee
-Some of the BEST single-track in the prairies
-Custom finisher medals from Aravaipa Artworx
-Mom's homemade BEAVER TAILS!
-Race the North Face Decal
-Top 3 finisher trophies by Aravaipa Artworx
-Safety by Brandon Regional Search and Rescue
-Donation made to Westman Trail Association
-Stocked aid stations
-Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB) index points
-Collect UT of MB points
The following outline is for general information only, it is not intended to be a navigational guide. Anyone that uses it as such, does so at their own risk. The course will be marked with marker flags and directional signs the day of the event. It should also be noted that the area on the east side of the Brandon Hills called The Spine is on private property and permission must be granted prior to using. Most of the trail system does have decent cell service and is well marked compliments of the Westman Trail Association.
All 3 distances start at the open field just inside the main gates at the Brandon Hills Wildlife Management Area parking lot.
25km/50km (two loops)
Date: Saturday Sept. 9/2023
Gain/Loss: 1200m for 50km and 600m for 25km
Strava Route: Race the North Face 25/50km route
The course starts in a small grass field just past the gates at the east end of the WMA parking lot. The course very quickly narrows down onto the unrelenting rolling hills of The North Face for which the event got its name. If trying for a podium spot we highly recommend going out quick! You will follow this trail for just over 5km until hitting the fire road where you take a right and start climbing some more... This is one of the few spots where the route breaks from single-track.
A short ways up you'll take a hard left onto the rocky and rooty Merglan, then you will officially hate the RD as you run up and down the sides of a ravine on Twist it Up. The course then finally heads on an extended descent where you can open up the stride on the Grand Downhill. Don't forget... what goes down must come up! As you hit the bottom of the Grand Downhill the route swings right and the long climb across The Spine starts. It's along this ridge-line on Howpark Farms that you will see some absolutely spectacular views of the prairies.
You descend back down The Spine into the forest where at roughly 12.5km you will come upon Aid Station 1 (which is aid station 3 on 2nd lap of 50km) . Report in and stock up on supplies, use the portable toilet if needed then get back to climbing up Gun Club and Ron's Hill. After Ron's Hill you hit some more double track until you take a left eventually passing a fire tower and a little ways further you will see an old blue car, turn left BEFORE the car! This takes you on a short loop until you will start hitting some crazy flowy single-track heading back toward the finish line. This is the location of Aid Station 2 for the 50km runners which is at 25km.
"the first half of the course will take your soul away, while the second half gives it right back to you"
Date: Saturday Sept. 9/2023
Strava Route: Race the North Face 10km route
This route starts in the same spot as the 25/50km just past the gate at the east end of the WMA parking lot. You start in a small grass field with the route narrowing down into single track very quickly! You will spend the first few km on the unrelenting hilly North Face which the race is named after. There will be a wooden bench on the side of the trail that you continue straight after with you eventually hitting the fire road. Take a right here and get ready to climb!
After a ways on the fire road you will take a sharp right and end up on Burning Bush where you will start your way back on this awesome flowy singletrack heading towards the home stretch, eventually making your way back to the festival ground!
Men - Christian Baun - 4:34:18 (2021)
Women - Patricia Roney - 4:28:44 (2022)
Men - Mikail Gerylo - 1:52:11 (2020)
Women - Karly Tardiff - 2:23:20 (2022)
Men - Jonas Pazer - 47:29 (2021)
Women - Erin Selci - 50:58 (2021)
-Race day at Brandon Hills parking lot starting at 0645.
Schedule: 50km start 0800, 25km start 0900, 10km start 0945.
Mandatory Pre-race Briefing: 15 minutes prior to race start at start line
Finish: All 3 race distance start and finish at the same spot.
Parking: Located at the Brandon Hills Wildlife Management Area. We recommend car-pooling if possible to maximize the parking available.
Aid Stations: The aid stations will be well stocked with your usual aid station fair, water, electrolyte drinks, CRANKED Energy Bites, fruit, chocolate bars, chips, and maybe even pickles... If you have specific nutritional requirements we recommend you carry those in your running pack.
AS #1 Spine Saver- 12.5km with a cutoff time of 3 hours. (only one on 25km route)
AS #2 Home Base- 25km in at start/finish. 50km runners are allowed a crew here and there will be an area to leave a drop bag at your own risk. Cutoff time of 6 hours
AS #3 Spine Saver 2.0- 37.5km cutoff time of 8.5 hours.
There will be basic first aid kits located at both aid stations.
The total cutoff time for the 50km is 10 hours and all participants must be off course by 1800. We are not allowing pacers or pets on course. As mention previously you can have a crew at the 25km Aid Station along with a drop bag. We DO encourage people to come by the festival grounds, bring your law chair, cowbell and cheering voice! Poles are allowed but please be very careful when swinging them. If you are caught with a pacer that is not registered for the race, you will be disqualified.
Mandatory Gear: Hydration - every person must carry some form of hydration on course be it a handheld, vest, hydration pack etc. Bring them to the race filled as there is no running water at the Brandon Hills and we haul it all in.
-Nutrition - plan adequate nutrition for the race, aid stations are there for fluids and to assist you on the way, but should not be solely relied upon.
-This gear list may change depending on the weather forecast.
-Electrolyte Tables (such as salt sticks)
-Anti-chafe cream (body glide, nut butter, etc.)
-Phone (decent cell coverage in the area)
-Small First Aid kit
Safety: We are extremely fortunate to have Brandon Area Search and Rescue on site directing first aid and safety services for our event. The number 1 priority for all of our events is the safety of all parties involved.
Washrooms: There will be basic portable toilets at the start/finish area and at the 12.5km/37.5km aid station. Please note there are no permanent washrooms or places to change at the event grounds.
Leave No Trace/Trail Etiquette: This is simple enough, pack out what you pack in! Anyone found to be littering on course will be disqualified and banned from further Trails of 'Toba events. Although this is an individual race, please work as a team on the trails. If you see someone in distress, please offer assistance if possible. Be it staying with the participant until help arrives or taking note of their location and reporting it to the next aid station so appropriate support can be dispatched. This is also a cupless event, so bring a collapsible cup if you want something to drink from other than your water bottle!
Withdrawing from Race: If you decide to withdraw during the race, you must do so AT AN AID STATION and inform staff/volunteers that you have pulled out. This is extremely important so we have accurate participant counts, and don't contact search and rescue for a missing person.
Please remember, while you can cheer your friends on you are not allowed to provide any other form of support or supplies, unless you are crew, and only at the start/finish aid station!
There will be a small festival grounds at the start/finish area. We have some exciting things planned in regards to this for 2022 so stay tuned for details! You are more than welcome to pack a lawn chair, bring a cowbell/cheering voice at the start/finish area.
Please car pool if possible as parking is limited!
CanadInns - This is the official hotel for Race the North Face. We have a block of rooms at a discounted rate of $99.00 a night but you must CALL to book and specify Race the North Face while booking. Call 1-888-332-2623 for booking. For families there is Splasher's Indoor Pool and Waterslide along with Aaltos and Tavern United for dining within the hotel. Located 15 minutes from race venue.
Meadowlark Campground - located within 30 minutes of race venue.
Turtle Crossing - located within 30 minutes of race venue
Spruce Woods (Kiche Manitou) - approximately one hour from race venue.
We have been fortunate enough to have an excellent relationship with the Westman Trail Association who keep the Brandon Hills trail system in top notch shape! The many cyclists you see on course monitoring participants are there because of the trail association. They are a volunteer group with a passion for the outdoors and we really couldn't do this without them!
Our gals at The Spine Saver aid station, Krista, Kyla and friends have been helping out since day 1! Ask anyone that has run RTNF before and they will let you know the crew are aid station MVP's. The energy and encouragement they bring has truthfully gotten people through to their 50km goal.
If there are any issues, please remember they are to be taken up event staff at the start or finish and NOT the volunteers. Our volunteers DO have the right to remove participants from the course if they do not meet cutoff times or they feel the participant is not fit to continue. Safety is the number one priority here!
If you or someone you know is interested in volunteering, we do offer 25% off of registration to our events and its another really fun way to be involved in this fantastic community!