Training Camps - General Information

Print page

The Canadian Institute of Extreme Racing
Training Camp Details

Welcome to the Canadian Institute of Extreme Racing’s High Performance Centre.  You are about to embark on a  major 3-day adventure in the Rockies, home of The Canadian Death Race.
Camps are geared toward soloist and racers running multiple legs. You should come to the camps reasonably fit. By “reasonably”, we mean “reasonable after you’ve actually read through the details and know what you’re in for”.  You must bring (very highly recommended at any rate) a mountain bike (and bike helmet) so you have the option of riding a section if your legs need a break.  Also strongly recommended is a pair of ski poles, hiking poles, or other type of walking stick (collapsible poles are not recommended but better then nothing it that is all you have).
 The Training Camps include two training sessions per day, one morning session and one evening session, and Pizza lunch on course on Saturday (vegetarian varieties are available).  During the Training Camps runners will get a chance to see the entire 125km Death Trail, which is a major psychological, not to mention strategic, benefit over those that will not get a chance to visit the trail.  The instructor is Dale Tuck (along with a second experienced aid) who brings a wealth of experience in extreme racing in many disciplines and knows the Death Trail like no one else.  Camps function in a relaxed, comfortable atmosphere.  Bring all the gear you will be training in and using in the race.  This is a great chance to test your equipment in a training environment as opposed to race day where there are always the last minute surprises.
Training Camp Schedule (While unlikely, the schedule is subject to change, and final schedules will be handed out Friday at noon)
Morning – Travel day to Grande Cache.
Afternoon Session:
12 pm - meet at Grande Cache Tourism Centre for info meeting (15 minutes), registration and waiver sign.
12:15 pm - quick bike ride from the Tourism Centre to the start/finish line zone at the recreation center, Must bring a mountain bike and your helmet (30 minutes).
1:00 pm – Depart from the Tourism Centre - jog/walk/hike Flood Mountain leg 2 (6 hours).  We start this portion of the camp with a brief pole running clinic – learn to tame those beasts and save your legs by getting the most out of your racing poles.
10:15 p.m. – Meet in the Lobby of the Grande Cache Hotel for optional night hike/run on 5km of the “Tunnel” section of the 5th leg.  Bring your headlamp and clear eye protection.  This will be a valuable night running experience on part of the Death Trail (45 minutes).
Morning Session:
9:30 am - meet at the Grande Cache Hotel for third leg.  Highly recommended that you bring your mountain bike (must have helmet) to do this section (2 hours 15 minutes).
1 pm - pizza lunch included with the Training Camp (1hour).
Afternoon Session:
2:30 pm - 4th leg (Hamel Mountain hwy40).  This leg is so long and tenuous that it will really be a hike and jog affair.  Come fully equipped for 5-7 hours of hiking.
   8:00 pm - Dinner/Social at Grande Cache Hotel.  Just a recommended place to meet and share the experience of the camp with all those that want to attend.  Food and drinks are available from the restaurant but are not included with the camp.
Morning Session:
  8:30 am - meet at the Grande Cache Hotel for trail run portion of 1st leg, followed by mountain bike road portion  of 1st  leg (2 hour 30 minutes).
  11:30 pm- Break for lunch (1 hour not included with camp).
Afternoon Session
12:30 pm - meet at the Grande Cache Hotel) and shuttle to race start line at the Recreation Center, then to Trail head for hike to Sulphur Gates (Hell’s Gates)  and trail run the 5th and final relay leg. Finish is at the recreation center (2 hours 45 minutes).  (3km short hike to the East bank of the Smoky River and then running (walking/hiking/crawling ??) the final 15km back to town, finishing at the rec center).
Recommended Equipment List
·       Moleskin, Band-Aids, duct tape
·       Fanny pack or small backpack      
·       Hydration system (large reservoir) and/or two to three - large water bottles             
·       High-energy food and drink                 
·       Long lasting waterproof and sweat proof Sunscreen & lip balm (at 6000 to 7000ft skin burns quite easily even on a cloudy day)
·       Vaseline
·       Sunglasses (anti-fog lens work best)
·       Rain Gear
·       Headlamp
·       Night eye protection
·       Hiking/trekking/ski Poles (optional but recommended.  We highly recommend fixed poles (ie non-retracting poles).  Proper height is to the top of your shoulders, a little shorter is okay but not as efficient, we’ll even show you how to use them in our pole running clinic on course.  Heck bring an extra pair for those silly silly people that don’t think they need them and will be begging you to rent them for $100 an hour by the final training camp day.)
·       Running shoes (x2)
·       Biking shorts (very nice)
·       Mountain Bike & bike helmet (we will be riding some of the Death Trail during the running camp, as an option – it is highly recommended that you beg, borrow or “steal” a mountain bike and ride it a few times before the camp.  You should know how to change gears and have the seat height adjusted to the proper height (slight bend in knew at bottom of the pedal stroke), and tires at the correct pressure (ie not flat).  A small tool kit is also advisable.
·       Minimum one spare bike tube (you don’t have to know how to change a tire we can do that for you if you flat).  Here are a list of things that people have forgotten in past camps, 1) bike tires, 2) bike seat, 3) pedals, 4) helmet, 5) knobby tires 6) brain !  Please bring all these things that others have forgotten, heck bring an extra set just so you can be the hero and save other peoples bacon.
·       Extra Batteries for headlamp.
·       And finally, you must have a hat or insulated head band, gloves and jacket for any of the legs where we summit mountains (ie leg 2 and leg 4).
Come to the Camps fit but well rested.
Hey and ride that bike at least once !  I mean it . . . do the breaks work (you’ll need’em)?, can you change gears (don’t embarrass yourself)? Is there air in the tires (they work waaaaay better that way) ?, And don’t brink clipless pedals if you have never used them before.  Helmet, Helmet, Helmet . . . Sheeeeeeeeeeeeeshh . . . you guys !
More . . .
Getting to Grande Cache:
Grande Cache, Alberta is located 142 km north of Hinton, and 184 km south of Grande Prairie on Bighorn Highway 40.   Grande Cache is nestled on top of a 4,200 ft plateau and is surrounded by 6000 – 7000 ft mountains on all sides.  The scenery is as impressive as the challenge that lies ahead.
Ahhhh . . . the mountain bike & helmet (at a running camp?)
A very good question. You do not need to have a mountain bike at the run camp; you can run the whole thing, but (and this is a very big but), everyone that has come to the camp has brought a bike and they were eternally thankful that they did.  We are going to see the entire 125km of course in just 2.5 days (that's like doing three full marathons in a row - hey and these are not flat marathons here; it’s like mountains - no kidding).  You will be glad you brought the bike to do the flatter easier sections, so you can save your legs for the tough stuff. It is just a suggestion but it is highly recommended. (Believe me it will be plenty tough enough with your bike.)  Injury is a distinct possibility if you actually run the whole training camp.  Remember the goal is to see the course and mentally prepare, plus we'll share some helpful training tips and philosophies.  We don't want to kill ourselves. (We can do that on race day!)  So, leave your bike at home at your own peril. At least you will have the option to ride or run if you bring it. We use the bike for the race start part of the road section of leg 1, and the end of leg one, and for all of leg 3.   Also, please make sure you ride the bike a couple of times (at least) prior to the training camp to make sure it works (gears, brakes).  Know how to change the gears, use the brakes, fill the tires to correct pressure, (about 45 psi.) and adjust the seat height so that at the bottom of the pedal stroke your leg is extended with a slight bend in the knee.  Oh, and knobby tires only (no slicks), absolutely no road bikes, and only cross bikes (with knobby tires) if you are an experienced rider.  So that’s about it.  See you soon!

Ps. CDR staff will meet you and the beginning and end of each morning/afternoon session with first aid, sunscreen, bug spray, backup supplies, and food/water during the pizza lunch and ambler loop on leg 4 (plus beer!). However, please ensure you bring your own supplies and are prepared for the rest of the trail.