Karen and I started the Challenge in the very early hours (3:28AM) of the morning on October 24th. It being late Fall, it was dark for the first 4+ hours of the run (& over 5 hours at night). It also rained on and off for the first few hours as well, but that’s ok, we were excited to do our first FKT attempt together.
There are over 100km of single track trails in the Provincial Park. The Frontenac Challenge can be done between September 1st and October 31st. The goal is to run all 11 loops and note the red and yellow signs located somewhere on each loop. Parts of a trail loop that is shared with a neighbouring loop must be travelled twice. (No shortcuts).
As you could see by the map/gpx, pre-planning and navigational skills are a must! We wanted to run the loops with the least amount of steps possible, which turned out to be a tad over 105km. With a few on-the-go adaptations, we successfully completed the challenge before midnight (11:59pm) in a time of 20hrs30min.
We had a fantastic time out there. The park is so beautiful!! But like any ultra runs, there were a few barriers to overcome along the way. (Just to keep things interesting, of course). Most of the leaves were down on the trail, so I fell 4x!! That’s more than I have fallen all season combined! Karen fell once as well. Luckily we didn’t hurt ourselves.
We highly recommend giving this FKT a go. The Friends of Frontenac Park website has all of the rules and tips. Grab a friend or go solo and enjoy the backcountry of Eastern Ontario. There are lots of rolling hills (2,648m), so don’t forget your climbing legs.