MARITIME RUNNER
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The world comes to Brookvale on Aug. 6

Annual trail race brings winter park to life

By Andrew Wagstaff
Maritime Runner
Aug. 2, 2017

BROOKVALE, P.E.I. – Nine years ago, there were no trail races in Prince Edward Island, and very few in Atlantic Canada.
Shawn and Laurie Ann McCardle changed all that.
He had been training at the Brookvale Winter Activity Park, and decided it would be a good place to host a race. The rest is history, and the ninth annual Brookvale Ultra Trail Races will take place on Sunday, Aug. 6.
“Initially, we envisioned only 30 or 40 people being interested in doing this type of race, but the first year 67 people registered, and last year we hit 156 registrants,” said Mr. McCardle.

The ninth annual Brookvale Ultra Trail Races will take place in Brookvale, P.E.I. on Sunday, Aug. 6. Shown here are participants during the 2014 race.

Photo by Stephen Gould

. “The goal was to introduce more people to the great trail system at Brookvale.”
Starting out at the Nordic Park with single-track mountain biking trails meandering through the woods, the course heads out onto a tree-canopied heritage road and then turns onto a trail heading parallel to the alpine ski park. From there, it tours a demonstration woodlot and its hiking trails.
“It’s a great combination of sights, sounds and terrain,” he said. “Along the way, two aid stations keep you well fed and hydrated.”
Distances offered include a 25K course through the course described above, as well as a 50K, which is two loops of the 25K course. Also offered is a 10K course through the Nordic Ski Park.
“We thought one way to introduce trail running to road runners was with the inclusion of the 10K distance,” said Mr. McCardle.
“This has allowed many road runners to try a known distance and then move up to tackle an ‘ultra’ distance.”
The annual race is supported by the PEI Roadrunners Club, Cycle PEI, Provincial Parks and Forestry, and local business sponsors.
Serving as volunteers are friends and family of the McCardles, many of whom have been helping out since the beginning.
Organizers are expecting between 150-200 participants this year, with registrations already in from every Canadian province, as well as some from the United States, Australia, Hong Kong and Spain.
“Some come for a great day in the woods, and some come with their sights set on the course records,” said Mr. McCardle.
For more on the Brookvale Ultra Trail Races, visit here .