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The epic Mind Over Mountain adventure race returns this fall

One of Canada’s most exciting and popular adventure races is back in operation this year and would-be participants are already lining up to get a crack at the Mind Over Mountain Adventure Race (MOMAR) set for Sept. 25 in Cumberland, BC.

Race director, Bryan Tasaka, is happy to be back with a physical event in 2021, and by the response thus far, so is the adventure racing-loving public.

“We are thrilled that the MOMAR can go ahead for 2021,” he says. “It was disappointing that we had to cancel last year and we weren’t very optimistic that this year was going to happen either.”

 

Adventure racing got a bona fide shot in the arm when the Eco-Challenge returned a couple of years back, but with the pandemic, it was hard to solidify that new fan base. But, MOMAR is already nearing a sell-out, so something is clearly working.

“Based on the registration response, we do feel that everyone is eager to return to racing, and being that the MOMAR is held outdoors and participants are naturally spaced out, I think everyone will feel comfortable,” Tasaka says. “We have over 650 people signed up and we’ll cap the race when we hit 700.”

That doesn’t leave a lot of time for those looking to get in on the action in 2021, but this race is on a lot of adventure racer bucket lists.

The race has been around for 21 years, and this will be the 41st event. It all started in the Cowichan Valley with one race and 44 racers, Tasaka explains.

“I think we had more volunteers than racers,” he says. “So much has changed but the essence of the event — challenging race, unknown adventure, and killer after-party — has remained true to the first event. We’ve held races in Squamish, Sechelt, Ucluelet, Ladysmith, Shawnigan Lake, Burnaby, Lake Cowichan, and Duncan but the Cumberland venue can’t be beaten and that’s a big reason we’ve been there for 20 years in a row.”

Tasaka describes Cumberland as an adventure racer’s dream destination, which is filled with world-class singletrack, breath-taking terrain, all set in a cozy historic mining town. 

The event features a 30-km sport course, which Tasaka says is very achievable for most (as long as you don’t get lost), and a 50-km enduro that will push the fittest athletes to their limits. The Enduro course features approximately 10K of paddling, 25K of mountain biking, and 15K of trekking. The Sport course is 30K with approximately 5K of paddling, 15K of mountain biking, and 10K of trekking.  

“The MOMAR is a very unique experience that has adventure mixed with competitiveness on a challenging course. The event is really fun too and most teams are just out there to finish,” Tasaka says.

“Each stage of the race — mountain biking, trail running, orienteering, and paddling — could stand on its own as a race,” he adds. “Also our awards dinner and after-party are legendary for the buffet and the dance party.”

This year, Tasaka is working on a new map for the orienteering stage and the transition zones will also change. It’s part of the fun of organizing an adventure race that the route changes every year, and returning teams won’t know where they will be going until 90 minutes for the race.

“The unknown is a big part of the adventure so we always strive to keep it fresh,” he says.

For more information on the race or to register, go to Mindovermountain.com.
 

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