Epic adventure race on tap in northern Quebec with the International Témiscamingue Raid
A “raid” is an adventure race run in a series of stages. Think of the Tour de France with the addition of a variety of sports, epic wilderness, and the distinct possibility of getting lost and one might come to an understanding of just how much fun we are talking about. And, one of the best of this type of adventure race in Canada is the International Témiscamingue Raid in stunning northern Quebec.
The International Témiscamingue Raid will take place Sept. 8-10, 2023 in "one of the wildest territories in Canada where lakes, rivers, and forests form a dream playground for adventurers in search of challenges.”
The Témiscamingue region is east and slightly north of Sudbury, Ontario, and contains an abundance of natural beauty.
The people behind the race at Endurance Aventure have been putting on adventure racing, as well as gravel and bikepacking, events for a couple of decades. They are some of the best in the business with past adventures that include the Raid International Gaspésie and the Raid International China.
Part of the reason to hold an event up in Témiscamingue is to show off a very special part of the country.
“We've been organizing adventure races for about 20 years now,” says Jean-Thomas Bolly. “And, for us, it was the perfect place to like discover a new playground. It's really wild with a lot of lakes (7000!), rivers and forests. So it's perfect, the perfect place for an adventure race.”
The spectacular raid has teams of two participants navigate by map and compass 160 km of trail running, trekking, mountain biking, canoeing, and orienteering not to mention the famous ropes sections over three days of competition! But what makes it even more special is the stage race aspect.
“So everyone has a crew that is following the race, and at the end of the race day, they will meet at the camp and everybody stays together and the next day we start over again,” Bolly says. “So it really makes a really good ambiance because they're not just racing alone in the forest. With the camps, everybody gets together every day. So it makes a big difference.”
Dan Mallory has been competing in adventure racing for 20 years and is a fan of the quality of the Endurance Aventure events.
“We have competed in the Endurance Aventure Gaspesie Adventure Race and the inaugural Temiscamingue race in 2021. Of all the races we have done, Endurance Aventure puts together a fabulous race experience,” Mallory says. “Why? The uniqueness of their courses — checkpoints in the most interesting places. Rugged wilderness locations. Reliable placement of checkpoints.”
The Témiscamingue Raid is a big deal in the world of adventure racing, and there are already teams registering and inquiring from here in Canada but also internationally. One team from Brazil is already registered. But that doesn’t mean those with some wilderness experience and athleticism can’t make the most of the adventure race.
If you like adventure and you like having fun at the same time, having a great sense of accomplishment at the “end of the day, you need to do the Temiscamingue Raid 2023!” Mallory adds.
Bolly says there is an elite field of 10-20 percent of racers that have some background in endurance sport and are “really racing. But the rest of the field is made up largely of weekend warriors and those new to the sport looking for adventure.
“You have to be in good shape, of course. You have to train if you want to have fun during the weekend,” Bolly says. “You have to like the idea of maybe getting a little lost in the forest. And you just need to have a love of adventure, and to be ready to study a little bit on a map and learn to use a compass.”