By Darren Lum
Published Jan. 30 2018
Haliburton will be hosting Storm the Trent for the first time in the adventure race’s 17 year history.
Seven hundred competitors are expected to descend upon Haliburton to compete in the multi-sport event during the May 26-27 weekend.
People of all ages from beginners to the elite competitors and everyone in between will have a chance to paddle kayaks and canoes across the lake pedal their mountain bikes up and over formations of the Canadian Shield under a canopy of mixed forests and hike along meandering trails to complete courses.
Storm the Trent founder and race director Sean Roper said Haliburton ticked all the necessary boxes of an ideal venue for the competition.
“The key features that we look for in this race largely is to be close to a body of water have a good size venue that can accommodate up to 300 or 400 people a day like a hockey arena which of course you have and proximity to trail systems which Haliburton has in spades” he said.
In the past the event had been held throughout the City of Kawartha Lakes including Warsaw Tweed and in the Rice Lake area.
This is the first time in close to a decade the event has used a new venue. Coming here is exciting for Roper and his team.
“We’re exploring new terrain and being in a new community is always exciting. We’re pretty pumped about it” he said.
Haliburton offers a greater number of connected bodies of water than in previous locations reducing portaging and the rolling terrain adds a higher degree of challenge. Around the village of Haliburton there are trails such as Glebe Park and Rail Trail which are suitable for his event he said.
Competitors can compete on their own in pairs or in teams of four including a new family category with two or four with racers aged 13 and under. Competitors will paddle mountain bike and trek or hike using navigational skills to complete their respective courses.
Volunteers who will be given a T-shirt and a lunch are welcome Roper said.
Head Lake Park will be the staging area and serve as the primary transition area while the A.J. LaRue Arena will be the home base. Roper said there will not be any road closures.
He is the founder and organizer of the RockstAR adventure race which has been held annually in the summer for several years at Bark Lake outside of Gooderham. Roper first came to the Highlands to compete in the Frontier Adventure Challenge close to 15 years ago at Bark Lake.
Thus far he said early response has been great owed to the beauty of Haliburton and its proximity to amenities and accommodations.
There has been “almost as many if not the most respondents to our early entry cutoff which was Jan. 1 as we’ve ever had in our 17 year history. There’s definitely been interest in hosting this in this region. We’ll see how this plays out in terms of total number on race day” he said.
With the vast options for race courses the only thing left to know is if final numbers prove to be strong enough for a return.
Haliburton has the potential for Storm the Trent to conceivably have years of course possibilities.
“We always want to make the race a bit different every year with a new course design. We’re always exploring new territory. That opportunity is definitely available in Haliburton” he said.
See www.stormthetrent.com for more information.