After an entire year with no races on the calendar, it may be fair to say that any triathlon is going to feel tough this year. Nonetheless, the organizers of PACE Multisport Dodge City X, touted as “Canada’s toughest of-road triathlon,’ think you’re up for the challenge. The race, as renowned for its small-town camaraderie as it is for its technical singletrack, returns to Cumberland, the unofficial epicentre of Vancouver Island mountain biking and trail running, on September 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,” says race director Ryan Parton. “We’ll obviously follow whatever COVID-19 restrictions are still in place, but we’re also determined to put on an event that lives up to the lofty expectations of our past participants.”
PACE Multisport Dodge City X begins with a 1.5-km swim in glacier-fed Comox Lake, followed by a 23-km mountain bike that offers twisty, rainforested singletrack, breathtaking ocean views and a long, flowy descent that will plaster a smile on any mountain biker’s face. The standard course is capped off with a 9.5-km trail run through the same world-class trail network that put Cumberland on the map. A roughly half distance sprint option is also available, as is a relay for teams of two or three.
“We’ve got a new standard course this year that participants are going to love,” says Parton. “It’s going to make you sweat for sure, but you’ll be rewarded with a sweet, sweet taste of the trails and culture that have made Cumberland famous.”
PACE Multisport Dodge City X is the third and final race of the new BC Cross Triathlon Series, which also features XTERRA Victoria on September 5 and the Whistler X Triathlon on September 12. The standard event will also once again serve as the BC Cross Triathlon Championship.
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 “blue square” trails.
“Most of our participants aren’t vying to be provincial champion, they’re just out for the personal challenge,” he says. “It’s such a fun and supportive event, and all of us over here are excited to welcome back our friends from across BC. I know our local favourites are eager for some challengers!”
PACE Multisport Dodge City X is organized by local nonprofit 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.