Ready for a challenge? Limberlost awaits

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If you like to run and need a new challenge, The Limberlost Challenge is for you. The trail race, with 14km, 28km and 56km routes winding through gorgeous forests and alongside sparkling lakes, attracts hundreds of runners to the Limberlost Forest and Wildlife Reserve each year.

This Saturday, July 7, nearly 700 runners will take on The Limberlost Challenge in its ninth year. There’s room for a few more if you want to join them.

“TLC (The Limberlost Challenge) is definitely more challenging than other races,” said race director Neil Jefferson. “The big plus though is that trail running is way easier on the body. Almost all of the 14-kilometre loop is in the bush on well-marked trails. The course is beautiful, and follows the shoreline of five lakes. Every year the owners and staff at the reserve do an outstanding job of maintaining and upgrading these trails.”

Camping is available for racers both the night before and the night after the race, a feature that’s not usually available at the reserve. About 140 campers are expected the night before the race.

“We provide drinking water and porta-potties and there is a gorgeous lake where they can swim,” said Jefferson. “They love it! It is a chance to mingle with other people who love doing this. The ‘veterans’ of TLC willingly give advice to the newbies. Trail running is a sport where everyone looks out for the other runners.”

After runners complete their chosen distance, they can enjoy a BBQ lunch served with six different vegan salads—it has earned its nutritious and delicious reputation.

Another notable part of The Limberlost Challenge is its unique medals. Each one is made by Jefferson after the wood is sustainably harvested from yellow birch from the Limberlost Reserve the autumn before. Jefferson then dries the wood over the winter and in the spring he cuts each medal and brands them with the race logo.

The Limberlost Challenge medals bear the race logo (Photo: thelimberlostchallenge.com)

The Limberlost Challenge medals bear the race logo (Photo: thelimberlostchallenge.com)

Since its inception, the race has supported the Trails Youth Initiatives, whose mandate is to “take a group of vulnerable kids from the inner city, bring them to a school in the middle of the forest, provide them with respect and opportunity and they will become a part of the community.” The Limberlost Forest and Wildlife Reserve is the charity’s northern campus and many of their Leaders in Training help out on race day.

For more information on The Limberlost Challenge and how to register, visit thelimberlostchallenge.com.

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