Held in late June in the Candian rockies, meet the minotaur is the only north american race in the skyrunner race series. The skyrunner series is the worlds most technical racing circuit, which means you better be ready to move fast over steep, technical & rugged terrain. The race brings together the absolute best of the best of Candian mountain runners and often many European runners looking to gain points for the sky runner series.
Course Record: M: 4:06:48.4 F: 5:01:56.8
Median Time: 7:17
Cut Off: 12 hours
Elevation Gain/Loss: 2950m/2950m
DID YOU KNOW
The second descent is called the “shoe shredder” because the descent is over 300m of loose, chossy rubble.
Typically the end of June is mostly clear of snow in the southern rockies and has a fairly high chance of being clear and not too hot like July / August. However, deep snow years and freak storms could make this a very tricky race due to the technical nature of the route.
Steep power hiking is a must have skill. No one, not even the podium athletes are running those uphills. The descents are tough and will wreck you if your legs can’t handle them. Make sure you focus on training eccentric either in the gym or on the trails.
If you can, get poles. You’ll notice almost all of the top 30 runners have poles. It can really help offload some of the climbing from your legs and onto your upper body. It’s highly unlikely you’ll descend 2900m and not slip once, so having a pair of lightweight gloves can help reduce the chance of you slicing your palm or fingers open if you do.
There are three aid stations on the route. At 12.2km, 17.5km and 28km. Although there is a third aid station, it’s only 5km from the finish, 3km of which is on road. So it doesn’t feel like it adds much. Make sure you stock up with fluids to carry you to the finish from aid station 2 because you will likely be in the heat of the day and you’ll be spending a substantial amount of time high up on the ridge.
CRUX OF THE RACE
Moving fast over technical ridges and on steep descents. This is where the most amount of time can be made up.
TOP RACE TIP
Go out fast and cement yourself high up in the pack. This may seem counter productive given all the advice about not starting fast. However, once you hit the first climb the trail is single track and very steep, making it almost impossible to pass people without surging hard. The trail opens up about half way up the first climb but it’s still technical rock you have to move over.
CRITICAL TRAINING PHASE
April & May with lots of hiking and descending. It’s very tricky to match the 175m of elevation change per km in training, but it’s super important you do as much as you can.
DON'T MAKE THE MISTAKE I MADE
If you want maximum time in bed before the race, book your accomadation in Blairemore as soon as you get your race entry. Rooms sell out fast. If you sign up late or leave it until last minute there will likely be space in Fernie, which is a 50 minute drive away.