HER QUEST is a new women-only virtual run and speaker series from Sinister Sports
Sinister Sports is the team behind some seriously rugged Canadian races. But their new virtual event is a fresh and new take that includes both a women-only race combined with three online speaker sessions designed to encourage females of all ages to lace up and tackle a new challenge.
HER QUEST will be held from Aug. 22 to 30.
The event is hosted by the women of Sinister Sports: new Assistant Director and former NCAA dual-sport athlete and coach Michelle Parke, along with Training Camp Coordinator Keri Bowzaylo, who recently launched Pilates for Runners and an Intro to Running course.
“We have seen over the years how there is a significant difference in the ratio of men to women in the longer distance ultras and we continue to brainstorm ways we can build on our #WomanCrushWednesday series!” says Parke. “As female racers ourselves (Keri and I) we know that the preparation is half the battle when deciding to sign up, so we’ve made this experience one that the racer should feel prepared to take on a new challenge — whether their first race or their first attempt at a new distance — after listening to the speaker sessions.”
HER QUEST has 5k, 10k, Half Marathon, Marathon, and 50k distance options. The top three racers in each distance will receive an award, and there will be a Stroller Race with the top three getting awards because it can be that much more difficult for new moms to prioritize their training. Special categories will include Mother-Daughter and Sisters where racers will have individual times but also entered into sponsored prize draws.
According to Parke, although women might traditionally shy away from big distance races such as ultras, they do have some natural advantages when it comes to major mileage.
“Women often have additional barriers keeping them from signing up for races, especially the ultra distances”, says Parke. “Women are, however, physiologically suited to endurance events by having large Type 1 muscle fibres.”
Having a women-only race experience provides the opportunity for women to challenge themselves and discuss sensitive topics they may not feel confident sharing in a general setting.
"We experienced this first hand at a 'Women's Strength Training' session we hosted as part of the North Star Trail Festival in June where participants were able to ask their questions through the Q & A feature on Zoom, and we were surprised how open and specific the inquiries were," adds Parke.
She says participants in Her Quest will find a network of support and the knowledge to be able to complete new racing goals with confidence. Runners can also post their bio or story at www.herquest.run and there is also a private Facebook group just for this race.
Race entry includes a custom buff and a handmade jewellery piece, in addition to the virtual sessions.
For more information check out Her Quest.