Incredible feats of athleticism were commonplace over the weekend, as the Beaver Flat 50 brought both local and international talent to the Saskatchewan Landing.
The Beaver Flat 50 is a unique, high-endurance race designed to challenge even the most seasoned runners. With over 2300 meters of vertical gain and extreme natural conditions such as inconsistent terrain and unpredictable weather, it is for good reason the organizers nicknamed it “The best worst thing you do in September”. Multiple race lengths were available for athletes to choose from, including the 50k, 20k, 10k and 5k, as well as a kid's fun run.
Jeff Dudar, the race director with Prairie Sky Running Company, says what made the seventh annual race different was being able to host the NACAC international trail and mountain running championship, in addition to the local competition.
Dudar stated the 50k is the most popular, with over 200 participants this year.
Chris Balestrini, a med student at Western University, won the NACAC 50k for Canada, and demolished the previous trail record by over 26 minutes.
Balestrini spoke on how he felt after his outstanding run.
“Really good. I think the Beaver Flat 50 is always pretty competitive, but this year with being a NACAC championship, Canadian, American, Mexican, and a few other nations represented in the field for some really good competition.”
Weyburn's Beatrice Fiola-Johnson finished 18th in the 50 km female overall open and Trevor Tessier 79th in the men's 50 km open race. In the 10 km event, both Terra Jacobsen and Jim Greig of Weyburn podiumed in their division with Terra placing 2nd in the female master's race and Jim 3rd in men's masters. Glenn Rogers also ran the 20 km race placing 16th overall and 3rd place in masters.
Jessica Kaiser, one of the runners representing Team Canada in the 10-kilometre race, welcomed all the challenges that the trail could throw at her.
“The race was fantastic, a super fun mix of rolling hills, some technical single track and some steep climbs. The atmosphere was absolutely fantastic between the spectators and the race participants, it was a truly awesome event.”
Another notable young athlete was the winner of the men’s 20k race, 15-year-old Colter Folk, who managed to beat out the competition by over 9 minutes.
You can view the results of each race’s participants here.
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