Top 10 outdoor sports and adventure stories of 2019
Here are the people, places and predicaments that inspired our readers this year
There were so many fantastic moments in 2019, and we were happy to be there to chronicle a few for Get Out There. Here are our top 10 beginning with the earliest to the most recent.
1. Meet the Bedens
For 91 days, this father-and-son team from Burlington, Ont. by way of England, rowed across the Atlantic Ocean. Our Q&A with both father and daughter revealed some of the challenges and rewards of the experience.
2. Morgan McKay tackles the Barkley
There is really no ultra-marathon that is more challenging, both physically and mentally, than the Barkley Marathon. Canadian Morgan McKay is a phenomenal athlete who decided to give the venerable Tennessee race a shot. Like hundreds before her, she failed. But she had a good enough experience to consider trying it again. Our Q&A with her following the race was one of our top stories of 2019.
3. Gunnar set to defend Paris to Ancaster title
The 2019 edition of the legendary Paris to Ancaster bicycle race was shaping up to be the most epic yet. Professional road racers were ready to line up alongside cyclocross racers, mountain bikers, gravel aficionados and weekend warriors. Gunnar Holmgren went into the race as defending champion having dominated the field the last two years running. We checked in with the young cyclist about his World Cup season and gearing up for another big Paris to Ancaster adventure.
4. Mathea Olin is the future of Canadian surfing
This year, Canadian surfing took another huge step forward as the national team prepares for the upcoming 2020 Olympic Games. A young hotshot teenager from Tofino, BC named Mathea Olin is one of those leading the charge. But what's equally impressive is the young surfer's character and her cool lifestyle growing up in and around the ocean in Canada's official surf capital on the west coast of Vancouver Island. She even shot a cool movie with Paige Alms on Haida Gwaii. Watch out for Olin.
5. New trail running series celebrates the mundane
Jeff Rowthorn, of Happy Trails Racing, teamed up with some colleagues to launch a series of Crappy Trails Racing events celebrating the mundane. Its immediate success proved that runners love a good bit of punishment. The first event, the Meh Marathon of Endless Hell, was a hit right out of the gate with more on the way.
6. Treetop cycling in Belgium
When people think of cycling destinations and cycling meccas, the top of the list is generally Copenhagen, Amsterdam etc. But Belgium is pushing to the top of the list as the place that is taking cycling tourism to the next level. Case in point: the incredible Treetop cycling trail in Limburg. The concept really seemed to pique the interest of our readers.
7. World Skyrunning Series coming to Alberta
The Minotaur Skyrace in Crowsnest Pass, Alberta has officially been named a stop on the Skyrunner World Series — a 16 event series that covers 11 countries.
8. Anne Champagne wins the Trail du Bourbon
This Quebec ultra trail runner just keeps on winning. Champagne travelled to the Réunion Island for this epic 133K race, and brought home the victory.
9. Nick Troutman nails first descent of China's Detain Waterfalls
Former world champion freestyle kayaker Nick Troutman along with Dane Jackson (current world champion) travelled to China to appear on a reality-TV show and become the first kayakers to paddle over the famous Detain Waterfalls. In an exclusive, Troutman recounted the tale for our readers.
10. Olympic champion kayaker Adam van Koeverden gets political
We have followed the career of Adam van Koeverden for years — multiple Olympic medals, former world champion etc. So when he decided to throw his hat in the political ring and run for a seat in the federal election on behalf of the Liberal Party of Canada, we were intrigued. And so were our readers. As it turns out, it was a good move, as Van Koeverden won the seat and is now a bona fide Member of Parliament.