Updated Lemming Loop Results

In light of recent revelations of a participant at the Lemming Loop having cheated at other timed loop races, I undertook a review of our split times and sought further information from other runners at those events. Based on this review, and this runner provided information, I have disqualified Kelly Agnew from the 2015, 2016 and 2017 Lemming Loop.

Further information can be found here and here.

2018 Update

Trail Run Manitoba regrets to announce that the Spruce Woods Ultra will not be taking place in May 2018. We’ve been fortunate to have the local trail running community support and participate in this race for growing numbers for six years. In 2017, the event had over 400 participants. We’re incredibly proud of that.

However, Trail Run Manitoba is run entirely by volunteers. The amount of work required to sustain the race takes a significant toll on our own running, work and personal lives. The Spruce Woods Ultra takes place in a relatively remote area, which poses unique challenges in terms of on-course communications and reaching aid stations. We have to bring in our own water, toilets, and finish-line shelters. The ongoing cost of procuring these items and then storing equipment between the races is prohibitive.

Trail Run Manitoba will continue to be active in the local trail running community. This includes trail running advocacy, trail building, and coaching & clinics. Our volunteers are passionate about bringing people together over a shared love of trail running. We apologize for any inconvenience this may pose, and we’ll miss seeing you at Spruce Woods in May. We wanted to let you know now so you can adjust your race plans for 2018 accordingly – there are some other great races out there.

Thank you for making it so rewarding to put on the Spruce Woods Ultra since 2012. If you have any questions, please contact me, Dwayne Sandall, dwayne@trailrunmanitoba.com.

Online Coaching Services

Our on-line coaching service is now on-line at trailcoach.ca. Get working on being a faster, stronger trail runner now.

Gear Swap at the 2017 Trails In Motion Film Festival

Update: We have posted the fourth edition of the gear swap “catalog” at the bottom of this post. It will be updated as more people contribute their gear.

Including your gear in the catalog makes it more visible, increasing the chances of people buying your stuff. To have your items included, email mallory@trailrunmanitoba.com.

Trail Run Manitoba is proud to announce it will be hosting a gear swap and sale on March 8, 2017, at the Park Theatre. The gear swap will take place between 6:00 and 7:00pm, right before the Trails In Motion Film Festival kicks off.

We love gear swaps because:

  • Your old and under-used gear can get a second life with a new owner
  • You can use selling old gear as an excuse to upgrade and buy new gear
  • Reusing items is one very easy way to look after this world we love to run on

So, how will this year’s gear swap work? Trail Run Manitoba is acting as the host. We will provide the venue and we are putting together a “catalog” of items that will be for sale to help people who are selling gear get advance interest in their items. Trail Run Manitoba will charge a $5 flat fee to everyone who registers to sell gear to cover that work. We’ll put the money toward new equipment for our races.

We think this format will work very well because people selling gear will have access to lots of like-minded outdoor adventurers. People looking to pick up used gear will be able to inspect it in person without any commitment. Gear swaps are an especially good opportunity for novice trail runners, or experience trail runners who want back-up gear they can put in their drop bags for longer races.

How to participate if you want to sell gear:

  • Gather up items you’ll want to sell – as many as you want
  • Register with Trail Run Manitoba so we know to save you a table
  • If you email mallory@trailrunmanitoba.com with photos and descriptions of the items you want to sell, she will add them to the “catalogue” so that people can see your gear in advance, making it easier for you to sell your stuff
  • Bring your items to the Park Theatre on March 8
  • You’ll be responsible for all transactions, so you’ll have full power over pricing, haggling (or not), whether you’ll offer a return policy, etc.
  • We encourage you to bring change in case you need to break bills. Trail Run Manitoba and the Park Theatre will only have limited change.

How to participate if you want to buy gear:

  • Keep an eye out for the “catalogue” once it’s available. It will be updated regularly before March 8 so you can see some of the gear that will be on offer.
  • Come to the Park Theatre at 6:00 p.m. on March 8
  • Bring cash to purchase gear. We understand that the Park Theatre has an ATM.
  • Have an awesome time.

We hope to see you there. If you have any questions about the gear swap, or you are interested in selling items, you can email Mallory at mallory@trailrunmanitoba.com.

Gear Swap catalogue v4_2017 02 28


Summer Trail Series


Trail Run Manitoba has been holding trail races in Birds Hill Provincial Park since 2008. Our races have a reputation for being well-organized and a lot of fun. The laid-back atmosphere makes our races popular with runners of all stripes and speeds. Many runners who do their first trail race with Trail Run Manitoba have gone on to become passionate, and possibly obsessed, trail- and ultra-runners.

The Summer Trail Series was born after we heard from our runners that our weekend Try-A-Trail races were a lot of fun, but that their timing conflicted with long runs, camping trips, or weekends at the cabin. Now in it’s second season, the series takes place on Thursday evenings in the summer so you can throw down some speed in between your other summer adventures.

See all the details over at http://www.summertrailseries.com

Spruce Woods Ultra update

Sorry, but there won’t be any live updates from the race this year due to the last minute changes to the course.

Spruce Woods Ultra 2016 – Always Getting Better

By Mallory Richard

Are you excited for the Spruce Woods Ultra? Whether it’s your first year at the event or you are a veteran, you are doubtlessly putting time and energy into getting the best result you can. We want to help.

In the lead-up to this year’s Spruce Woods Ultra, we are going to post some information and updates to help you prepare for your event. This post is all about tips we want to share based on runners’ previous experiences at the Spruce Woods Ultra. An upcoming post will highlight some of the improvements we are making to the organization of the race so you can look forward to some more bells and whistles to make your race more fun – and the suffering more worthwhile.

So, without further ado, if you’re preparing to run your first trail race or improve on a previous result at the Spruce Woods Ultra, here is a collection of advice and observations we gathered from previous years’ runners:


Don’t underestimate the morning temperatures

This is especially true if you are registered for the 100km or 50 mile races. Early May can bring some very warm weather, but the mornings are often cold. In 2015, some runners in the 50-mile event who were using water bladders found the water was freezing in the hose during their first 10km and therefore had trouble drinking. Keep an eye on the forecast in the week leading up to the race to see how the weather may impact your gear choices. There is an aid station at the start/finish that can pour some hot or warm water into your water bladder before you start the race to help keep your water from freezing.


Study the course

This is true of any trail race. Trail races tend to have fewer runners than most road races. That means you can’t necessarily follow other runners like lemmings. It also means the race budget is smaller and so there probably aren’t barricades funneling you down the correct path. On a happier note, it also means your race will feature beautiful scenery that is largely untouched. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that our course markings will be untouched. We will have volunteers checking the course regularly, especially at points that confused runners in previous years. There is a precedent for people who aren’t associated with the race accidentally moving course markings, and we don’t want something like that derailing your race. More importantly, it’s harder to concentrate when you’re tired and you don’t want to get lost or take a wrong turn that adds extra distance to your race. Study the course map in advance and get a sense of your route.


Carry the essentials with you

The Spruce Woods Ultra boasts some well-stocked aid stations operated by friendly volunteers. In 2016, we plan to have even more supplies at our aid stations and we’ll use a future post to give you an idea of what you can expect to see. That being said, you are running a trail race to test yourself – your endurance, your grit, your ability to execute a good race plan. Please account for the necessities in your race plan. Can you only survive on one type of gel? Do you get nausea in every race? Do you need to smear a thick coat of petroleum jelly on yourself every 10km? If you answered yes to any of these, consider carrying some supplies with you. Our race volunteers will be doing their very best to help you, but you will race better and run with confidence if you take control of your race and any issues you might face.


Watch for wildlife and make some noise

This year we’ll have more runners than ever before in events that run through or start at night (100 miles, 100k, night run). The extra traffic means it’s less likely you’ll be surprised by any large wildlife on the trail. To avoid surprising or being surprised by any large animals, be aware of your surroundings and use headphones with caution. If you see a bear, make some noise while you’re still quite far away from the bear so that it has time to react without feeling confronted and defensive.


Do not treat the Prairies like a dystopian wasteland

Yes, you might feel like you’re just trying to survive as you push yourself toward the next aid station. And yes, you might see a fellow runner lying on the ground in the fetal position, undone by fatigue. But you should help that runner. Say encouraging things. Offer him or her a gel. Do not “scavenge” his or her gear. To be clear, this has not actually happened yet, and the runners (ahem, Greg) who keep threatening to do it are probably just joking. But we need to cover our bases, for insurance reasons.

Team Turtle – Super Duper Fun Run!!

Would you rather do your long run in the company of other like minded crazies?
Does the thought of pounding the pavement for hours on end leave you feeling ill?
Are you done with winter running & itching for spring?
Are you afraid of the dark??
If you answered yes to any of these questions, do we have an event for you!!Team Turtle presents, our first ever group training night run!
Many of our SWU training plans are hitting the top of their pyramid this upcoming weekend & call for some long miles, which got us to thinking: how can we make this more fun & still get valuable training miles in?Here’s the plan:Meet other eager Turtles at the main parking lot of the Assiniboine Forest trails at (Grant Avenue at Chalfont) for a brief course overview at 11:45 pm on  Friday April 1st and plan to start running at 12 midnight.

Run through the night & watch the sun come up, run for an hour & go home to bed or stop by anytime between the start & anticipated finish of 1 – 2pm Saturday April 2nd to log your miles.A course distance of just under 4.5 miles has been mapped & will be marked with reflective flagging, courtesy of our other nutty buddies at Trail Run Manitoba – thank you!!
Course map to follow.Please note:

 ~ This is a self sufficient run. Bring whatever you will need: food, hydration, change of clothes etc.
~ Headlamps will be REQUIRED during the night
~ There are no toilet facilities on site, you will have to make like a bear or head over to Tim Hortons at Grant Avenue & Laxdal which is 24 hours. While there you can also get warm beverages & food.
~ Please do NOT litter, there is a great deal of wildlife in the Forest and we do not want to impact that by leaving any garbage behind.
 ~ Trail conditions may vary between icy, wet, muddy, or any combination of the above.
 ~ Be aware that there are a large number of dog-walkers in the Forest during daylight hours.

We hope you are as eager as we are to get in some valuable night training & have a ton of fun along the way.
Please let us know if you can make it.



Sign up to race, win a trip to race!

We love the enthusiastic response our new Summer Trail Series is receiving. We had runners signing up for the race series the moment registration opened and there are lots of reasons you should register, too. First off, these races are going to be a blast. Join us for three Thursday evening races in July and August to test yourself on some of Birds Hill Park’s most technical trails, then stick around to enjoy a postrace bonfire with your fellow racers.

Secondly, we are psyched to announce that we have partnered with The North Face for a new contest. If you register for the entire series and either the Spruce Woods Ultra or Lemming Loop by May 15, you’ll be automatically entered into a draw for a free trip to race The North Face Endurance Challenge at Blue Mountain in Ontario. The prize includes the costs of travel, race registration, and accommodation. Sign up today to qualify, or contact us for more details. If you’re already registered in the qualifying races, your entry is already in the hat.

Check out the details on our qualifying events at:

Spruce Woods Ultra Training Run

Mark your calendar for Saturday April 16th! We will be venturing out the Epinette trail for a group training run. The plan is have groups doing either 11 miles or the full 25 mile loop.

Meet in the parking lot of The North Face store at Grant/Kenaston (park in the row closest to Grant please!) for 6:30 am or meet us at the trail head for 8:30 am.

The TNF store can be found here: https://goo.gl/maps/NZK3wXdMcGH2

The trail head of the Epinette Trail head is here: https://www.google.com/maps/dir//49.7292561,-99.2917896/@49.7313921,-99.2941499,2350m/data=!3m1!1e3

To help us better plan for this event, please sign up using the form below: