Jan Kotyk (pictured) plans to run the Golden Ultra again this year. Photo Submitted

Kicking up dust at the Golden Ultra

It’s time to kick up some dust once again as the Golden Ultra returns, with the same favourite races, and a few added extras this year.

What is described as “three days of mountain bliss” takes runners through 120 kilometres of trails, traversing from south of Golden, all the way up to Eagle’s Eye on top of Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, and beyond.

The “Eat – Run – Sleep” event is the longest run of the weekend, spanning 113 kilometres throughout the Golden area.

There’s something for everyone, big and small, at the Golden Ultra. For a “full pint” Golden Ultra experience, “the blood” is the first stage. Known as the vertical kilometres, runners will gain 1,000 metres in elevation over five kilometres of trail. The course begins at the base of Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, and travels up a service road from there.

“The sweat” is on the second day of the Ultra, which covers 55 kilometres of trail and a 3,600-metre gain in elevation. It begins at 7:30 a.m., and the finish line closes at 8 p.m.

The final stage of the Golden Ultra, “the tears,” is a half marathon that takes runners on a 20 kilometre loop of some of the best trails in town.

For those looking for a “half pint” experience, the Golden Ultra offers a three kilometre climb, which is the half pint’s version of the blood. The course spans around three kilometres, and takes on a 750-metre elevation gain, participating in the most beautiful and challenging parts of the blood course.

“Conquer” is the second day of the half pint, but it is also the most challenging, covering 32 kilometres and 1,005 metres elevation gain.

Those who want to take on a victory lap, can enjoy the half pint’s “cruise.” The final stage loops through the CBT Mainline trail, ascending 250 metres before returning to town.

During the weekend, there will be a free kids’ race on each day of the event, ideal for children under age 10.

“This has been really well received by the community in the past,” said organizer Magi Scallion.

Along with the staple events the Golden Ultra hosts each year, organizers are adding a few extra special events to top it all off.

New this year, the 120-kilometre ultra marathon takes runners on a 25-hour journey through a giant U-shape from Spirit Square to Mount 7, back across the Valley to Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, and finishing in Spirit Square. Already, three locals are registered for the event: Greg Porter, Tom Jefferson, and Jan Kotyk.

On Sunday, runners are invited to bring their four-legged friend along to run a 10-kilometre route. Both humans and dogs must register, and will receive finish line awards.

Smartwool is hosting a fundraiser for Special Olympics Golden, and will be selling smartwool socks by donation from the event expo on Saturday and Sunday in Spirit Square.

To find out more about the event, or to register, go to www.goldenultra.com.

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