Like Pain? Try A New ‘Survival Run’

“Men and women wanted for hazardous journey, tight cut-offs, bitter cold, long hours of complete darkness, constant danger, completion doubtful – honor and recognition in case of success.”

survival run Canada application
Fuego y Agua Nicarauga 25K winner, Cristian Villavicencio, shows up with a busted nose, and nothing on his feet but socks

So states the open application call for the first ever “Survival Run Canada.” The August 26, 2017 race sounds equal parts enticing and frightening. Qualification for the “graduate level” race is contingent upon completion within the last year of either two 50-plus-kilometer ultra-marathons over technical terrain, or one 100-km ultra-marathon over technical terrain.

This is not your average, everyone gets-a-banana-and-a-hug ultramarathon. Here’s what you need to know before you apply for the inaugural 2017 event.

Survival Run Canada

First, you won’t know exactly what you’re getting into. Expect to run, swim, climb, and probably tumble, for at least 100 km (62 miles).

In addition, organizers list carrying, throwing, and digging among the race’s challenges, which will take place an hour north of Vancouver, in and around Howe Sound fjord.

Second, you will probably not finish.

survival run canada
Expect unexpected challenges in Fuego y Agua survival runs, like carrying huge firewood bundles 10 miles in

According to the race page, the attrition rate is anticipated at over 50 percent. Why? Well, the powers-that-be aren’t divulging any details about race specifics, but the race could take up to 36 hours (cutoff time) and is completely unsupported – no food or water stations along the way.

The race page also advises prospective participants to become proficient in bouldering and mountain climbing. In organizers’ words, “Ropes and bars are for gyms.”

Finally, wildlife encounters (read: bears) are not out of the question. Know how to avoid making them close encounters, or face a serious (and terrifying) delay.

Gear List

The mandatory equipment for entry into Survival Run Canada reads like a manifest of Jason Bourne’s everyday-carry. Here’s what you’ll need IF your application is approved.

”Survival

  • $500,000 travel insurance policy
  • $100 Canadian dollars / credit card
  • 2-liter canteen
  • 100 ft. paracord
  • Bivvy / survival blanket
  • First Aid Kit
  • Water purification system
  • Warm layers, coat, hat
  • Rain wear
  • Food and water
  • Rock climbing harness and helmet
  • Crampons / spikes
  • Headlamp

Fuego Y Agua Endurance

Survival Run Canada will be the latest in the global adventure run series put on by Fuego y Agua Endurance. The organization was founded in 2007 with ultra trail runs in Nicarugua.

survival run canada

The group now also hosts adventure, endurance, and survival races in Australia and Morocco. Next year’s Canada run will be the first on North American soil.

Fuego y Agua Endurance is now accepting applications for the Canada race. There is an application fee of $20. If you qualify, you have until Sept. 1, 2017 to register. If you think you have what it takes, apply and register early – registration fees go up as the event nears, from $550 to $750.

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Adam Ruggiero is an all-sport activity junkie - from biking, running, and (not enough) surfing, to ball sports, camping, and cattle farming. If it's outside, it's worth doing. Adam graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BA in journalism. Likes: unique beer, dogs, stories. Like nots: neckties, escalators, manicured lawns.

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