Get your feet dirty with 5 early season BC trail runs

Ignore the white stuff, dream of the mud

The weather outside is frightful as the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island are caught in the icy grips of old man winter. And he is a total jerk. But, that won’t stop us from looking forward to getting our feet dirty this on the trails soon enough. For those eager to plan, here are five early season trail running events to whet the competitive appetite. (It also helps to ignore, old you-know-who.)

The Dirty Duo, March 9
This is a scenic and rather hilly race set in North Vancouver on the Capilano University grounds and Inter River Park and will challenge runners of all levels on these sweet North Shore trails. Runners can choose from a 50K, 27K and 15K distance. Runners can also participate in a relay with a mountain biker or can do a 27K run and a 30K bike for the ultimate challenge. This event is part of the Foretrails Run Series,

The Cap Crusher, March 16
Break out the four-leafed clover running kit and celebrate spring and St. Patrick with this challenging run around the upper Capilano Canyon and along the river. This trail system is quite beautiful but can also offer technical workout for runners. There is both a 12K (8:30 a.m. start) and 24K (9 a.m. start) option as well as a kids race (8 a.m. start). It all gets underway at 8am at Cleveland Dam. For more information go to

MEC Greater Vancouver Trail Race One, April 7
The first MEC Greater Vancouver Trail race of the year features 5K and 9K courses through Pacific Spirit Park, chip-timed results, coffee and bananas, finish-line massages, plus unlimited high-fives from stoked MEC members and staff. Runners will enjoy a course that passes through the beautiful forest trails of the northern section of Pacific Spirit Park. For information go to

The Marathon Shuffle, April 28
Head to the Sunshine Coast and the drop-dead gorgeous Sunshine Coast Trail for the annual Marathon Shuffle. The event takes place along a 29 kilometre section of the trail and passes through the settlement lands of the Tla’amin Nation and is a collaborative effort between Powell River Parks and Wilderness Society, Tla’amin Nation, Club Fat Ass and the BOMB Squad. Registration opens Feb. 22. For more information go to

The Cumby, May 11
The Comox Valley Road Runners are hosting the 4th annual Cumby trail race set in the Cumberland Community Forest located in the hills about the historic village of Cumberland. The race day event lineup includes the full Cumby 25K race as well as the 13K Half Cumby and new this year the 5.5K family-friendly Mini Cumby. Walkers are also welcome to join in the Mini Cumby to take in what the Cumberland Community Forest has to offer. For more information go to



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Explore Fund Grant-Giving Program

The North Face Announces 2015 Explore Fund Grants Open for Applications

The North Face today announced the 2015 Explore Fund grant-giving program is now open through October 31, 2015 for applications and $30,000 will be awarded to organizations this year. The Explore Fund provides grants to organizations that connect people to the outdoors in meaningful ways, with youth as the primary focus.


“For 2015, we are looking to identify programs that will provide experiences that nurture an enduring appreciation of the outdoors,” said Ann Krcik, Director of Outdoor Exploration, The North Face. “We want these programs to encourage people to explore and appreciate the outdoors in their favorite ways, whether that be hiking, skiing or camping – we want to be the catalyst.”


All grants are evaluated on the clarity of proposal, the projected impact and alignment to the spirit of adventure and exploration. Proposals that leverage collaboration and partnerships within communities are encouraged. The Explore Fund reviews grants by individual merits and as part of a balanced portfolio that includes such factors as geography, type of program funded, target audiences, and more.


To be considered for an Explore Fund grant, applicants must be non-profit organizations or in a formal relationship with a qualified fiscal sponsor. All applicants must fully complete the online submission process and provide the required application information.  Explore Fund grants are for one year and funding in a giving cycle does not guarantee future support.


As part of its mission to start a global movement of Outdoor Exploration, The North Face introduced the Explore Fund ( in 2010 and the program has since provided more than $1.5 million in grants to organizations committed to inspiring the next generation of outdoor explorers and conservationists.


For more information and to submit an application before October 31, 2015, please visit