I decided to run Ultra’s at the age of forty. In 2017 I had ambitions of running the Canadian death race(125km). It was early spring and the race was full so I thought to myself that the next best thing would be to sign up for Sinister 7(100miles). My wife, Connie said to me “well get of the couch and see how far you can run!”. That day I ran 42km’s and had a friend pick me up due to left knee pain. I have always enjoyed a occasional jog and worked out on a regular basis.
The running journey since then has taken me to numerous ultra’s with my biggest accomplishment being placing third in the Sinister Triple in 2019.
Fort Assiniboine Sandhills Wildland Provincial Park has been an area that I have enjoyed using for my long training runs since I began ultra training.The area is relatively close to home and the landscape, terrain is like nothing else in the Province. The trails are single track and double wide with loose beach like sand in some areas and compacted sand in others which makes it interesting to run on.
In the spring of 2020 a friend of mine came to the Wildland Park with me for a training run. I mentioned to him how the trail system would be ideal for an ultra running event. I just needed to find a spot that would be suitable for a start/finish area. His exact words were “why don’t you”.
Reaching out to a hand full of landowners in the area. Henry and Marg Wierenga contacted me very interested in the idea. “If we can utilize the park as it was intended to be used, it will enhance the ability to be able to protect it”. I wanted to create a weekend event that elite runners as well as runners like myself and their families want to return to on an annual basis. I have always enjoyed weekend long running events and how the local community becomes involved.
My wife Connie and I, kids too, spent the 2020 year running all of the trails within the Wildland Park marking out all of the courses. Occasionally friends would join in on our adventures. To make 100,50,25,10km courses for the Klondike Ultra involved a lot of running as no motorized vehicles are allowed in the Wildland Park. After months of trial and error I believe we have made a running event that caters to all categories of runners. We also were able to utilize the majority of the trails in the Wildland Park. All of the courses run clockwise, except for the Klondike Kids course as the trail network wouldn’t allow it as the distance would be too great.