PACE Multisport Dodge City X, the Comox Valley’s marquee off-road triathlon, returns to Cumberland, Sept. 18. Photo submitted

Off-road triathlon returns to Cumberland

PACE Multisport Dodge City X will once again serve as the BC Cross Triathlon Championships

After an entire year with no races on the calendar, local trail enthusiasts once again have a date to circle on their calendars. PACE Multisport Dodge City X, the Comox Valley’s marquee off-road triathlon, returns to Cumberland, Sept. 18.

“A lot of people, including ourselves, were disappointed that we had to cancel last year’s race, so we’re super stoked to be back for 2021,” said race director Ryan Parton. “While we’re hopeful that COVID-19 restrictions will have been lifted by then, we’re obviously going to follow all PHO orders and ensure that the health of our participants is front and centre in how we organize the event.”

PACE Multisport Dodge City X features a 1.5 km swim in Comox Lake, followed by a 23 km mountain bike along some of Cumberland’s most iconic trails, capped off with a 9.5 km trail run through that same world-class trail network. A roughly half distance “sprint” option is also available, as is a relay category for teams of two or three. While the sprint course will be the same as in previous years, Parton says athletes competing in the standard and relay categories will be pleasantly surprised by this year’s route.

“We’ve got a new course that I think our participants are going to love,” he said. “It’s going to make you sweat for sure, but riders will be rewarded with a long, flowy section of trail that captures some of the best of what Cumberland is famous for. Unlike in past years, neither the bike nor the run course will have multiple loops, so you’re going to be riding or running on new trail every step of the way.”

While PACE Multisport Dodge City X is billed as “Canada’s toughest off-road triathlon” and will once again serve as the BC Cross Triathlon Championships, the event is open to all competitors, including those who simply want to challenge themselves to cross the finish line. And while Parton says the course is undoubtedly tough, he adds that it doesn’t feature any extreme descents or hazards and is more than accessible to anyone who’s comfortable riding Cumberland’s blue trails.

“Most of our participants aren’t vying to be provincial champion, they’re just out for the personal challenge,” he said. “It’s such a fun and supportive event that’s made possible by more than 100 volunteers and a tonne of community support. If you’re eager to get back to the rush and camaraderie of endurance events, we’ve got a spot for you.”

PACE Multisport Dodge City X is organized by local non-profit Steam Donkey Racing and supported by local businesses such as Dodge City Cycles, Fit Chiropractic, Extreme Runners, Thomas Dargie (IG Wealth Management) and others.

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

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