In the early days of 2020, and after 10 years of planning, we launched Challenge the Shield, Ontario's newest adventure races. As former members of Canada's National orienteering team and organizers of numerous XTERRA off-road triathlons (Wil Smith) and DontGetLost Adventure Runs (Mike Waddington), this was a dream of ours - to combine our race-hosting expertise to offer awe-inspiring wilderness endurance challenges on the rugged Canadian Shield. As an added bonus, these races would be in our hometown of Parry Sound, allowing us to raise money for local trail development and kids adventure programs - two things we are both passionate about.
A mere three weeks before our first race, the pandemic forced the cancellation of that event. Working closely with the local public health unit, we ultimately made the difficult decision to postpone our races over the last two years, to help keep our volunteers and the community safe.
Now that things are opening up again, other cancelled, postponed and rescheduled races have made developing a race schedule difficult this year. Originally we had planned to host the inaugural Challenge the Shield on the last weekend of September, but that race date would put us into the middle of an unexpectedly packed schedule. This would not be ideal for racers or organizers, and certainly would not be ideal for our inaugural event. When things calm down we will be excited to work with other event organizers to develop an awesome 2023 Ontario adventure race race schedule.
Canadians have flocked to the great outdoors during the pandemic. Together with a resurgence in outdoor endurance adventure sports, this has increased demand for adventure racing events, making us even more committed to the Challenge the Shield series. Despite the September date no longer being tenable, we are still keen to offer an adventure race this year and so are excited to offer a virtual Challenge the Shield this summer instead! Using your smartphone and GPS technology, our virtual event allows adventure racers the flexibility to participate any time from late-July to late-September 2022. We know you will enjoy the challenges in our virtual event as much as we have enjoyed preparing them, and maybe we will even see you out there on the trails and water of the beautiful Parry Sound region this summer. We also look forward to seeing you at our inaugural (in person) race in 2023!
-Mike and Wil
Registration for this summer's virtual Challenge the Shield opens on Canada Day, July 1st.
We have three (in-person) events planned for 2023 but the dates are tentative until we finalize discussions with other race organizers. All races near Parry Sound, ON. All races are teams of 2.
February 2023: Winter 3-hour Adventure Race - Granite Valley
May 6, 2023: Raid the Wild 6-hour Ultra Adventure Run - Georgian Nordic
(This event may be part of the DontGetLost Adventure Running Series)
August 26, 2023: Summer 6-hour Adventure Race - Georgian Nordic