July 13-20, 2019 | Alberta, Canada
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"Jobs fill your pocket,
adventures fill your soul."
- Jaime Lyn Beatty
Vacation Races: Global Adventures- the name says it all! We will be taking you on an adventure that includes trail running, hiking, canoeing, exploring glaciers, relaxing in hot springs and soaking in the splendor of the Canadian Rockies. We will be running, exploring, and adventuring our way through some of the most beautifully rugged terrain our world has to offer in Banff National Park.
What to expect on the trip?
Every day we will take you on a trail run through Banff and Jasper National Parks. All runs will be around 3-6 miles in length and have some elevation gain. We use the term “trail run” loosely here, as lots of the time you will be hiking because it’s uphill, or because you just want to slow down and take in the scenery. After our runs each day, we will eat lunch together, followed by either free time in the afternoon or another adventure. We’ll end the day with dinner and more relaxing.
Our trip to Banff is our inaugural event and we expect to keep our numbers small to be able to provide the best experience possible as we work out this adventure travel format. This trip will be limited to 20 adventurers. As it is our first event, there will almost certainly be a few hiccups to work through, but no matter what happens you will most certainly be able to rely on the high level of service you’ve come to expect from Vacation Races.
July 13th-20th, 2019
Trip Meeting Time: Arrive at the Calgary Airport by 4:00 pm on Saturday, July 13th. From the airport you can take the airport shuttle to our accommodations.
Trip Departure Time: We will have you back to Calgary on the evening of Friday, July 19th where we will have our final dinner along with our closing ceremonies for the trip. Most people will be leaving in the morning on Saturday, July 20th. You’ll have a room booked on Friday night but welcome to leave any time once we’re back in Calgary.
This is an all-inclusive adventure! That means that ALL the details of planning your trip are taken care of for you by the Vacation Races Staff. Included in the trip are most meals, hotels, transportation in Canada, park fees, and other adventures included in the itinerary below.
What's not included?
The main thing not included here is your airfare to and from Calgary. All of your meals will be covered except for one dinner and two lunches, where you’ll get to explore the culinary options of Banff on your own. Apart from that, the only thing you would be expected to cover is any souvenirs or additional food or drink.
Lake Powell Half Marathon Runner
Day 1, July 13: Arrive in Calgary
Arrive in Calgary, Canada in the afternoon and take a complimentary shuttle from the airport to our lodging. We’ll check you in and get everyone oriented for what to expect throughout the week, as well as its your first chance to meet your fellow adventurers! Dinner is included. Our lodging for the evening will be at a hotel near the Calgary Airport.
Day 2, July 14: Run Sunshine Resort and Canoe through Banff
We’ll wake up and make the gorgeous drive from Calgary up to Sunshine Resort, where we’ll do our first run. After arriving, we’ll take the gondola up to the trailhead where we’ll run through high alpine meadows and lakes with views for miles. After our run, we’ll have lunch at the resort, followed by some canoeing in the Bow River in Banff. You will be blown away of the views of Mount Rundle. Dinner together will end our day together. Our lodging for the evening will be in Banff, where we will stay 3 nights.
Trail run: 3.6 miles; Elevation gain: 1,000 feet; Lollipop loop run
Day 3, July 15: Run Lake Louise and visit Moraine Lake
You have never seen water so blue in all your life! Today we start out with an early morning visit to Moraine Lake to take some photos of this gem. After Moraine Lake, we will make our way to Lake Louise where we will run past a high alpine tea house and give you unforgettable views of the most famous lake in Canada. You’ll have the afternoon to discover the charming town of Banff and for dinner you’ll be free to explore wherever your taste buds take you. Our lodging for the evening will again be in Banff.
Trail run: 4.7 miles; Elevation gain: 1,400 feet; Lollipop loop run
Day 4, July 16: Johnston Canyon Run, Peyto Lake Overlook, Upper Banff Hot Springs
Today we’ll run through an incredible canyon: Johnston Canyon. This trail runs along the river and includes waterfalls and wonderful vistas. After our run, we’ll drive up to Peyto Lake for one of the most iconic vistas of the trip. It’s just a short 0.8 mile hike up to the viewpoint that will knock your socks off.
Lunch will be on the trail today, after which we’ll drive back to our Banff to enjoy the Upper Banff Hot Springs and our last dinner in Banff. This is our last night in our Banff hotel.
Trail run: 3.2 miles; Elevation gain: 800 feet; Point to point run
Day 5, July 17: Run Bow Lake and visit Columbia Glacier
A visit to the Canadian Rockies wouldn’t be complete without walking on a glacier. Today we will make our way from Banff up to Jasper along the Icefields Parkway. After leaving Banff we will stop at Bow Lake and run along the lake up to Bow Falls. After experiencing Bow Lake, we will continue our drive north for maybe the highlight of the trip: The Athabasca Glacier! We’ll ride on busses with monster truck wheels to make our way onto the glacier for an experience you’ll never forget. After the glacier, we will finish our drive up to Jasper for a nice dinner. Tonight will be our first night of two staying in Jasper.
Trail run: 5.4 miles; Elevation gain: 870 feet; Out and back run
Day 6, July 18: Maligne Lake Run and Maligne Lake Boat Cruise
Jasper National Park brings us more unreal rugged terrain, if not a bit more remote than Banff. We’ll start off our day with a late morning run around the end of Maligne Lake, followed by lunch at the lake. After lunch and exploring the area, we’ll take you on a boat cruise of Maligne Lake where we will visit Spirit Island, which is only accessible by boat. We’ll then end our day with Dinner back in Jasper. This is our second and final night sleeping in Jasper.
Trail run: 3.5 miles; Elevation gain: 700 feet; Loop run
Day 7, July 19: Maligne Canyon Run and Icefields Parkway back to Calgary
This morning we will run through Maligne Canyon, a narrow twisty canyon juxtaposed with turquoise water, black rocks, and green foliage. We’re ending our week with a run that is all downhill! After our run, we’ll make our way back down the Icefields Parkway to our last lodging for the trip back in Calgary. We’ll finish off the trip with a dinner and closing ceremonies where we will celebrate our successes, look back on our week of adventure, and best of all, enjoy the company of our new friends we made along the way.
Trail run: 3.5 miles; Elevation gain: 0' feet!; Point to point run
Day 8, July 20: Depart from Calgary
All good things must come to an end, until the next adventure that is! Depart from our hotel near the airport via the complimentary shuttle bus.
Glacier Half Marathon Runner
Pricing and Deposit
$2,900 includes everything mentioned in the itinerary. Deposit of $500 is due at registration, after which the remaining $2,400 balance will be billed to you 90 days prior to the trip departure.
Based on Double Occupancy
This pricing is based on double occupancy of all hotel rooms. If you register with a partner, you will be able to stay with them. If you register as solo adventurer, we will pair you with someone else of the same gender in a hotel room.
Limited Spots Available
This is an inaugural event and the number of participants will be significantly smaller than event sizes of the Vacation Races National Park Half Marathon Series, or the Ultramarathon Series. Spots are very limited and we think it will sell out fast, so don't delay. Please keep in mind that once the event sells out, our permits won't allow us to increase participant capacity.
Cancellation and Transfer Policy
Our cancellation policy is as follows:
The deposit of $500 is refundable up to 90 days prior to the event (April 13). After April 13th, the deposit is non-refundable unless we are able to transfer your registration to another participant.
The remaining balance of $2,400 is due 90 days prior to the event. If you choose to cancel within 90 days of the event, there are 3 options available to you.
Option 1: Convert your $2,900 total payment into “store credit” that you may use at a future event
Option 2: Transfer your registration to another participant if you are able to find someone willing to take your place. A $90 credit card processing fee applies here.
Option 3: Receive a refund. If you choose to receive a refund within 90 days of the event there will be a hotel fee of $1,000 applied, which covers the cost of the hotel where we must guarantee rooms.
Yellowstone Half Marathon Runner
How difficult are the runs and hikes? How good of shape do I need to be in?
Each day we’ll be running/hiking between 3-6 miles. Most of the runs will have a decent amount of elevation gain (Yeah, we’re in the Rockies!), not to mention that we’ll be at 6,000-8,000 feet of elevation. Most everyone will be walking the uphills of our runs while running the flats and downhills. We expect runners to maintain roughly a 25-minute pace on these trail runs.
Do I have to run every day?
This is your vacation- you should do what you want! If you want to take a brake for a day or two, then by all means do it. Our goal is to make sure you have the best possible experience on the trails, whatever that means for you.
Are there aid stations?
There are no aid stations in these trail runs. Most people will be either using a hydration backpack or carrying a water bottle in hand, along with a few gels or other snacks if needed. You are required to bring your own hydration system. We are partnered with Nathan Sports, which provide awesome hydration options: Shop Nathan Sports
What other adventures will we be doing?
Other adventures during the trip are scheduled to be: canoeing in the Bow River in Banff, touring the Athabasca Glacier and standing on the Glacier Skywalk , soaking in the Upper Banff Hot Springs, and boating in Maligne Lake.
Are there any discounts available to Global Adventures?
We do not offer any discounts on our Global Adventures at this time.
Are there options for a partner that doesn’t want to run?
If you want to bring a partner to the event that doesn’t want to participate in the runs, that’s totally fine. We will knock off $300 from your partner’s registration fee if you choose this option. Just sign up for the event as a regular participant, but let us know in the registration notes that your partner is not running. Your $300 will be refunded 90 days before the event.
What will the weather be like in July?
You’ll most certainly see all four seasons on your trip to Banff! This is the Canadian Rockies and even though we will be traveling there mid-summer, there’s a possibility of any type of weather at any time. Most likely highs will be in the 60s or 70s, with lows in the 40s. We’ll probably get a little rain on a few days, but usually most days have plenty of sun. And if you’re lucky you’ll maybe even see some snow...
What are the accommodations like?
We have 3-star lodging booked for you. Rooms will be comfortable and clean and safe, but no frills; a place that you would feel ok relaxing in.
What about Vegan and Vegetarian food options?
There will be vegetarian options for our runners at all meals. Most meals will also have vegan options, but we can’t guarantee vegan options for all meals.
How much free time will we have?
Expect to have a few hours of free time each day, either exploring the towns we’ll visit or wandering around turquoise lakes and just taking in the grandeur of the place. Our goal is to have enough adventure to fill your days without feeling rushed from location to location.
How much money should I expect to spend?
There are 2 additional expenses that you need to plan on. First, your travel to and from Calgary. Second, you will be on your own for 2 lunches and one dinner. Apart from that, any souvenirs or additional food & drink would be at your own expense.
What about animals on the trails? Bears? Moose? Mosquitos?
If you are lucky, you’ll get to see these animals! We will be visiting wild places and encounters with animals are always a possibility. However, we will be on well traveled trails which tends to keep the animals away. We are also partnering with expert guides from the area to provide tips on staying safe on the trails. As for mosquitos, some years are better and some are worse, but you should plan on bringing mosquito repellent.