By nature, top level
athletes remain constantly focused on their search
As an entity, the Conquer
the Crater race weekend in Sudbury is not a whole
Preparing for the fifth
year of the multi-faced event that forms an integral
part of the XTERRA race circuit and serves as a
wonderful fundraiser for the Miles Against Cancer
campaign, the weekend of fun and fitness is set
to invade Kivi Park on the weekend of July 21st
to the 23rd.
"We try and incorporate
the feedback (or participants) as much as we can,"
noted race coordinator and co-founder John Macdonald,
who along with spouse Tracy Hayes have been at the
forefront of these efforts since the very beginning.
"Each year, we
like to add a few things."
There is certainly
some momentum to build on in these parts.
Based on comments from
participants that were shared in providing coverage
of the 2022 Conquer the Crater as well as the opinions
that made their way to Macdonald and his crew, the
northern Ontario entry into the racing calendar
for those of this particular ilk has definitely
gained some traction.
"Just the amount
of people who were from out of town and who really
enjoyed the event - for me, that was big - just
knowing that there is a draw for folks to come to
Sudbury," said Macdonald.
"They swam in
a gorgeous lake, biked and ran on some amazing trails
- and the weather, if anything, was too hot - which
is hard to complain about in this region."
"People were able
to take a breath and just enjoy themselves."
physican herself, Hayes shares the sentiments of
so many of her fellow competitors.
"I think people
are excited to be out and competing in person; that
goes without saying," she said. "But you
look at the ultra runners who tend to go to events
together. It's a very collegial family-type of weekend
It's also a sector
that wished to incorporate some camping into the
Sudbury and area excursion, with Hayes and Macdonald
only to happy to assist.
With the addition of
a team division for the sprint triathlon and a sprint
distance for the duathlon along with a few other
tweaks, the 2023 Conquer the Crater registration
pool has already surpassed the previous year, with
more than a week still remaining for those last
minute local entries.
"This year, it
seems to be from all over," said Macdonald.
"We have a lot from southern Ontario, a lot
from Québec. Last year, we had a big contingent
from Québec and they loved the terrain, how
different it was from the Eastern Shores, from Tremblant."
And while he is more
than happy to discuss all facets of the race weekend,
from the specifics of the multitude of athletic
offerings to the beer garden and music festival
that sees their group parnered with Stack Brewing
this summer, Macdonald never loses sight of the
"At the heart
of the event, it's still a fundraiser for Miles
Against Cancer," he said. "Four more families
recently had children diagnosed with cancer. There
is still lots of need - and we've increased the
automatic support that we provide to families from
$2000 to $3000."
Providing that kind
of assistance can only be achieved being remaining
consistently vigilent towards constant improvement
- and that is something that both athletes and organizers
alike can relate to.