Monday, December 14, 2015

Creemore: A Canadian Skyrunning Race???


That pretty well sums it up.  Of the more than 1,200 road, trail and ultra runners that have stood at the starting line in Creemore, Ontario, waiting for the gun to fire, very few were thinking "Gee, I wish this course had more hills".  And as per the literature, there are only 4 hills.  I see no reason to cloud descriptions of the Creemore course with words such as "incline", "grade", or "cliff".  Four hills and one valley should be sufficient to get across the message that Creemore is not overly flat.  Where is this diatribe heading?

About a month ago, I got an email from the Canadian Skyrunning Federation (CSF) asking if I would consider submitting the CVC as a Skymarathon.  My first thought was no, I would not consider it.  Mainly because it had never occurred to me that Creemore COULD be part of the Skyrunning Series!  As it stands (this will explain why you have a bad feeling about the above paragraph and why I started this Blog entry with one word) Creemore has almost enough vertical to meet the minimum requirements of a Skymarathon.  The CVC could be part of the Canadian Skyrunning Series, if I could add another hill.  Someone out there knows how to challenge me!

One problem with trying to find a hill in the Creemore area is that there are too many options.  I would like to keep most of the course intact.  It works well,with aid station placement, recovery (granted, lean in this area) and to minimize the number of marshals.  But there are several hills that I would dearly love to add, as some have incredible views, others offer raging technical trails and one has a pleasant flat part.  Guess which one I have already discarded!

So, there will most likely be changes to the CVC course for 2016.  This causes me a bit of angst, as the 50K men's record (Calum Neff) is a blistering 3:25:52.  This is 35 minutes faster than the next best time.  With a new course, the record books will have to be rewritten.  Also of concern are the hundreds of less-than-happy runners that will not like me, for adding another hill.  Come to think of it, they already don't like me, so no loss there!

So, please take a look at the Skyrunning Canada website.  As a note to the runners who enjoy hills, you can accrue points at Creemore for the Canadian Skyrunning series.

The Creemore Vertical Challenge is looking up!


  1. Sounds interesting to me, and hey with what you already have, what's another hill :)

  2. Wow Pierre, a great opportunity and interesting predicament! Being part of the Skyrunning series will surely increase participation including high caliber athletes but its too bad the classic course will have to change, as much as I would love my record to stand forever (which it appears it will) I would like to see it challenged! I guess this means only one thing, I will have to be back for a third time! I look forward to some fast company and excited to see what you have in store for hills- if there is one thing I've seen from Skyrunning its how gnarly the courses are, so don't be afraid to add sections considered "un-runnable".

    I meant to tell you, I was in Wales in September for the World Mountain Running Championships and what did I watch on TV but a Creemore Springs Brewery tour... how bizarre?!

    Cheers and hope to see you next year,


    1. Hi Robin, Pascale and Calem. Yes the chance to bring Skyrunning to Ontario outweighed the drawbacks, but I doubt if anyone would (or will) ever break 3:25 for the CVC 50K, so it is a shame to relegate it to the archives. Calem: Interesting that you mention adding terrain that is unrunnable... If I can get permission from one land owner, there is a steep hill that should be "enjoyed" by more runners! Nice short film "Epic in Turkey" on your website.