THIS YEAR THE COURSE WILL BE RUN IN A COUNTER-CLOCKWISE DIRECTION. We are switching directions every year. That means that there will be new course records in every distance- We will have "even years record" and "odd years record".
Come and join us at the Dundas Valley Conservation Area for Tally in the Valley, a race unlike any other in the area.
This race is in support of 'The Hospital for Sick Children' (SickKids). Do you want to race for free? Raise $200 or more for 'SickKids' and we will refund your entry fee for the 7k, 6hr, or 12hr events. Raise $250 or more and we will refund your entry fee into any event, including the 24hr and the Gong Show. The participant who raises the most money will also receive free entry into any Happy Trails Racing event.
Participants will run a 7km loop through the unique Carolinian forest in the Dundas Valley Conservation Area. The loop is primarily made up of groomed double track trails with rolling hills and approximately 130m of elevation gain per loop. Although there aren't any major climbs on this course, the constant rolling hills will wear you down in the later stages of the race.
Choose between running a single loop (7k) or for 6/12/24 hours and see how many loops you can complete in the time provided. Runners who complete 23 loops (100 miles/161km) will earn themselves a custom belt buckle while all other participants will also be recognized for their hard work with a custom finishers medal.
Looking for something a little different? Try "The Gong Show"! This is an elimination style event that we are super stoked about. Participants will be given 1 hr to complete the 7km loop. Runners who successfully complete the loop within 1 hr (which may seem easy at first but will eventually become very challenging), will wait at the start line until the gong is hit, marking the time cut-off for the loop AND the start of the next loop. Please note: regardless of how fast participants complete their loop, they can't start their next loop until the gong in struck, which will be every hour on the hour. Participants remain in the event until they can no longer finish a loop within 1 hour OR until the race reaches 24 hours. If there is more than 1 runner to start the final loop after 23 hours, the first runner to complete the final loop will be the winner. However, ALL runners that make it to the 23 hour mark will receive a custom belt buckle since they will have run 100 miles. Last year's event saw 9 runners (out of 35 starters) reach 100 miles, but only 2 went on to complete the 24th loop- 1 male and 1 female! This race is awesome to watch as there is quite a bit of strategy involved. Ideally, runners will want to run a comfortable pace and conserve energy but will also want to leave themselves some time to fuel-up at the aid station and have a short break before heading out for another loop.
In the 6/12/24 hour races, as well as the "Gong Show" elimination event, there are no DNF's (Did Not Finish). Each runner that starts the race will be recognized for the distance that they complete, regardless of when they stop. In the last 30 minutes before the completion of each timed event, we will have race volunteers stationed at different points on the course to mark how many kms into the loop the participants are when the time is up.
To view a course map, click here, but I wouldn't trust the elevation gain listed. Our watches consistently show 130-140m of gain per loop, not 59m as indicated on the map. Either way, it's runnable! Please note, this year the course will actually be run in the opposite direction of the map.
The first 2km are run on the Sawmill Trail and are amongst the most scenic on the course. Expect the most elevation change during this section but also beautiful sections on soft pine needle trails. Just after the 2km marker you will hit a drinking water station. This is a great place to cool down if it is a hot day. There is also a portable toilet here. The next 2 km are on the rail trail. Last year's runners felt that this was the most challenging part of the course- especially mentally. However, this year, since we are running in the opposite direction, it will be 2km of running on a very gentle decline. In theory, this should be the easiest section of the course. However, beware of the mid-day sun as this portion offers the least shade. The final 3k consist of rolling hills but I would say that there is more up than down. You will finish at our Race Headquarters in an open field where there will be an aid station and cheering spectators.
There will be one aid station on the course, which will be located at the start/finish area. Stock up in between loops. There will be water, an electrolyte drink (Skratch Labs), and all of your typical ultra running fare including sweet and salty snacks, pb and j sandwiches, potatoes, and chips. The menu will change as the day goes on. Last year there was grilled cheese, quesadillas, McDonalds fries, and Mr. Noodles. There will also be portable toilets located at the aid station.
We will be using our re-usable EcoCups at the Tally in the Valley. They can be washed, sterilized, and re-used over 100 times and then recycled. We send gratitude to our sponsor, DKOS (www.DKOS.ca), for helping us make this green initiative possible. They are made of rigid plastic and you throw them in the receptacle after using them, just like you would with a disposable cup. We will collect them, wash and sterilize them, (actually, another of our awesome sponsors, "Dream Zero" dreamzero.ca, will wash and sanitize them) and re-use them at our next event.
Just after the 2km point of the course there is a "drinking water tap" where participants can get a cold drink of water or fill up their bottles. There is also a portable toilet at this point.
For those of you interested in running in the "Gong Show" elimination event, you can hang out at the aid station (start/finish area) after finishing the loop until the gong is hit, at which point you need to get moving if you want to make the next cut-off! The faster you finish your loop, the more time you have to rest and fuel-up.
Gong Show: No pacers in the Gong Show elimination event.
6 Hour: No pacers in the 6 hour.
12 Hour: Pacers are strongly discouraged in the 12 hour day race, but allowed in the 12hr night race. Since the course is 7km, there will be a lot of participants out on the course. However, we don't ever want our participants to be in any danger so if you feel like you need one for safety reasons, by all means, go for it but only in the last 4 hours of the 12hr day event. If you feel like you will need a pacer for safety reasons before this, please message the race director before registering. Participants over the age 65 are welcome to have a pacer at any time. Pacers must sign a waiver.
24 Hour: Pacers will be permitted, if necessary, at 9pm. Pacers must sign a waiver and can only join their runner at the start/finish area. Pacers cannot mule (carry anything for their runner).
All participants will receive a really cool and buttery-soft t-shirt that you can wear around town to show everybody that you're a bad-ass. (Please note: t-shirt design is subject to change depending on supplier availability).
The race shirt cut-off date is July 1. If you register after July 1, you will NOT receive a t-shirt.
The first 100 registered participants will also receive a custom "Happy Trails" Hoo-rag multi-purpose headwear
Participants in the 7k, 6hr, 12hr, and 24hr events will all receive a rad race medal, unless you run 100 miles, in which case, you will earn yourself a SWEET belt buckle! Participant in the Gong Show get NUTHIN' unless they run 100 miles or win the event. That's part of the fun!
In addition, our friends at the Canadian Trail Running Co are creating really awesome special edition race gear for all of our events this year. You can check them out and order them online by clicking on their logo below:
Post Race Food:
We understand that people have different dietary restrictions, needs, and preferences. Because of this, rather than include the cost of a post-race meal that you may or may not enjoy/ be able to eat, we do not include meals in our race registration fees. However, we do our best to provide a food vendor at our races that will offer various selections so that you can choose to purchase food if you wish. If you choose to do so, you will purchase the food directly from them and Happy Trails Racing will not benefit monetarily in any way. We do this to give you the biggest bang for your buck and to try to enhance your experience the best that we can.
Happy Trails Racing has a new policy regarding race refunds/transfers: register with confidence knowing that you can take advantage of our early bird pricing and, if you need to back out, you can do so up to 30 days before the race with a 100% race credit that can go towards any future Happy Trails event. It doesn't expire. From 30 days out to 15 days out, you can back out with a 50% race credit. Participants are also welcome to transfer their bib without any penalty up to 15 days before the race. Please keep in mind that everything we need to order to have you at our race is done so at least 30 days out.
In order to make sure that all racers have space to enjoy the experience, we are limiting the event to 300 participants. The breakdown is as follows:
-Maximum 50 participants in the Gong Show
-Maximum 245 participants total between all of the remaining events.
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