Local ultramarathoner Dwayne Sandall has been running every day since 2008. That’s what us regular folks call dedication.
Sandall has been organizing an increasingly popular foot race at Spruce Woods Provincial Park for the past four years. The task of organizing such a huge event, now approaching several hundred participants also takes dedication.
“Trail Run Manitoba was created because there were no trail races in Manitoba at the time,’ explains Sandall. “While there have been a few others, we are the consistent team putting on and growing our race offerings.
“This year is by far the biggest event we’ve put on. We’re seeing a whole lot of runners take the leap from the half marathon up to 50km, skipping the ‘traditional’ road marathon step before tackling an ultra. That of course will be both challenging for them as the trail is a bit tough, but also rewarding knowing that they will likely persevere and get it done.”
The event starts on Fri. May 8 for the 100 milers, and on Saturday for most of the other events. There is a 50-mile, 50-kilometer, 13-mile half-marathon, 10-kilometer, and a 10-kilometer fun run in the dark.
Scott Senior has run the last two years at Spruce Woods, and this year he has decided to spend the weekend helping out when he’s not racing; giving back to an event that has brought him so much joy.
Night running with headlamps under a clear star lit sky, with good friends and good cheer, sounds just too good to pass up for Senior.
“I will run the night run (10 km) as I think it will be quite the little party…and I am all about the party, community and off the cuff races,” says Senior.
“I am also so pumped to help out Dwayne (Sandall) with the race as well. That’s what makes our little running community feel big,” he adds.
Local ultramarathoner Scott Burton and his beautiful daughter Emma volunteered last year.
“It was amazing to be the person placing medals on racers at the end,” recalls Burton. “I got to see amazing people at the exact time they accomplish something truly special.”
Another volunteer is also organizing an adventure race at this very same park on July 25. Rheal Poirier, who also holds free winter runs including a winter marathon within Winnipeg, will be out volunteering and is happy to answer any questions about the canoe/map reading/trail running/mountainbiking day race, The Adventure-O.
The final day of registration for the Spruce Woods Ultra is May 7, just two days before most of the events.
Everyone is welcome to participate, volunteer, or just come out and cheer. You can be certain these people will welcome you with open arms. Don’t forget your Provincial Park Pass (available at Canadian Tire, CAA and other locations).
All photos by Gregory McNeill