I don't think any review can really do this event justice. Having not done a trail race in over 20 years, the 5peaks trail race at Rattlesnake Point in Milton, Ontario may be my favourite race to date - road or otherwise.
I only decided to do this race as an add on to my trip to Ontario for another trail race and I am so glad I did. The organizers of this series and this event really have something to be proud of here. Trail racing, like road racing, is a growing sport and with events such as this it is not hard to see why.
For Rattlesnake Point, as with any 5peaks event, there are two options - the shorter "Sport" course or the longer "Enduro" course. Having another race the next day, I elected to do the 5.3 km Sport course rather than tackle the 12.7 km Enduro course. According to organizers, both courses were the most technical in the series and they did not disappoint!
Before the race, kit pickup was well organized and easy. 5peaks prides itself on unique swag for each event and I was happy to get a rubber pint glass with "How to Recognize a Trail Runner" written on its side, as well as some Kick Ass coffee. There was a small expo set up on the field with some of the sponsors selling various things, which was also well organized and low key.
The race itself was well organized. Both distances started at the same time with several waves. Elite runners and those running for time went in the first wave and others chose a later wave, each starting a couple of minutes after the previous. I was filming the course with a GoPro camera and running with an awesome Twitter friends, Caitlin, so we decided to go to the back of the third wave.
After starting on dirt road for a loop of the grassy field, we were onto the trails and they were incredible! The directors and those familiar with the course had not lied - it was breathtaking and technical! There was a good mix of scenic wider path, single track and rocky, rooty and technical trails.
The course was very well marked, with easy to spot signs directing runners. Although it was an out and back course, the return run was on a parallel trail which meant that there was not any real issues with congestion.
5peaks events do not have finishing medals, saving awards for overall and age group categories, but there was no shortage of draw prizes. It is no exaggeration to say that the handing out of draw prizes took longer than the race itself - this is one well sponsored and supported series!
I completely enjoyed every aspect of the Rattlesnake Point course and have already decided that should the opportunity to run it again arise or if I have the chance to run another 5peaks event I won't hesitate. If you haven't tried a trail race before I would suggest checking out 5peaks - they have several series in various locations and if those events are even remotely as well run as Rattlesnake, you won't be disappointed.