Embrace the winter with Polar Rush

Obstacle race at Horseshoe Resort a blast!

Sure, we live in the great white north, but apparently, there are some amongst us who do not feel blessed and come alive when the snowy stuff starts to fly. I know, crazy right? Thankfully, Sean Ruppel and his team at Superfly Racing are on a mission to put the fun back in winter for those who need a little help awakening their inner chionophile. It’s a word, Google it.  

The team is back with the sixth running of Polar Rush on March 7 and 8. 

“I love winter, and it drives me nuts hearing Canadians complain about it and stay indoors for five months,” says Ruppel. “So the goal is trying to get people to enjoy the winter, and give obstacle run enthusiasts something to do also.”

At Polar Rush, participants, either solo or as a team, tackle 14 fun and challenging obstacles over a 5km course at Horseshoe Resort north of Toronto near Barrie, ON.

The most unique thing is running up and down hills through the snow — but for sure the best obstacle is the tube run,” says Ruppel. “Horseshoe is kind enough to let us use a few lanes of their tube run, so runners have to carry their tube up, then fly down!  The crazy carpeting is also popular, and the Teeter-Totters and A-frame at the end scare people just enough to give them a thrill.”

Approximately 300 people showed up for the first event in 2015, and Polar Rush has grown exponentially as participants get a taste of the unique obstacles and social side of things and keep coming back for more. Now, Ruppel expects upwards of 2,000 to sign on this year, and they’ve opened up the Sunday as well to allow for more fun.

“It’s always more fun to be out there with more like-minded people,” he says. 

Horseshoe Resort is about an hour north of the Greater Toronto Area and ideally situated to host the event with a gorgeous resort on site. It’s also the location at which Ruppel has been hosting his mountain bike events during the green season for the past decade. 

“Seeing the resort improve each and every year makes it a no-brainer to host Polar Rush,” says Ruppel. “They took a risk in hosting the first year, and ever since the event has really filled their rooms and introduced thousands of new people to their four-season resort.”

Ruppel says the most common participants are women in their 30s and 40s who make a weekend of the event, and they often get groups of more than 20 running together. 

In addition to the event itself, Horseshoe also has numerous Bonfires going and an outdoor BBQ and bar and as one can imagine, many participants enjoy the post-race fun for a few hours after Polar Rush finishes.  Many also stick around Horeshoe and go skiing, tat biking, or keep tubing.

“By far the biggest comment we get is that it makes them feel like a kid again,” says Ruppel “Crawling through the snow, crazy carpeting down a hill, and climbing walls really make people happy, with the twist that it gets them out of their comfort zone in the winter.”



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