Natalie Ward rides in the Dodge City X 2021. Frontrunners Fit Chiropractic Dodge City X, in Cumberland, will host the 2022 Canadian Cross Triathlon Championship on Sept. 10. Lorenz Jimenez Photo supplied

Natalie Ward rides in the Dodge City X 2021. Frontrunners Fit Chiropractic Dodge City X, in Cumberland, will host the 2022 Canadian Cross Triathlon Championship on Sept. 10. Lorenz Jimenez Photo supplied

Cumberland to host national cross triathlon championship

Canada’s first ever standalone cross triathlon national championship will be held this September in Cumberland.

Triathlon Canada has chosen Frontrunners Fit Chiropractic Dodge City X, an annual off-road triathlon entering its fourth year in the village, to host the championship, a responsibility that race organizers describe as “a huge honour.”

The event takes place on Sept. 10 and represents the first time a cross, or off-road, triathlon national championship has been held on its own rather than as a “sideshow” to the long-course or Olympic distance triathlon championships.

“It’s testament to the amazing volunteer community we’ve got here in the Comox Valley,” said Ryan Parton, the event’s race director. “Hosting the national championship is a great opportunity for those of us on the Island, because the race is still just as accessible to anyone who wants to participate, but the championship allure will also draw athletes from across the country, making it a great chance to see how we measure up against the best amateurs in Canada.”

Frontrunners Fit Chiropractic Dodge City X features a 1.5-km swim in glacier-fed Comox Lake, a 23-km mountain bike through Cumberland’s “legendary” singletrack network and a 9.5-km trail run through that same world-class trail system. A roughly half distance “sprint” option is also available, as is a relay category for teams of two or three.

The top three finishers in each age/gender category of the standard event will earn national championship medals and will also qualify for the 2023 Multisport World Championships in Ibiza, Spain.

“It’s a tough course, but it’s one that most participants will absolutely love,m” said Parton. “It will make you sweat for sure, but riders will be rewarded with a long, flowy descent on some of Cumberland’s most iconic trails, and the run takes you through a good mix of temperate rainforest, wildflower meadows and undulating hills. It’s pretty sweet.”

Parton adds that the bike course doesn’t feature any extreme downhills or hazards and is more than accessible to anyone who’s comfortable riding intermediate trails.

“Most of our participants aren’t vying to be national champions, they’re just out for the personal challenge,” he says. “There’s nothing quite like the camaraderie of our local trail community; we certainly punch above our weight class when it comes to hospitality.”

Frontrunners Fit Chiropractic Dodge City X is organized by local non-profit Steam Donkey Racing and supported by sponsors such as Dodge City Cycles, Comox Physiotherapy Clinic, BodyNetix, Thomas Dargie and others.

To register or learn more, visit www.dodgecityx.ca.