Xtrail Mont Orford

Xtrail Mont Orford

Xtrail Mont Orford

( 1 review )
100% of reviewers recommend this race
  • Mont Orford,
  • October
  • 3 miles/5K, 6 miles/10K, 10 miles, 12 miles
  • Trail Race
  • Event Website

Tim Snow

10 5
"That last 5k..."
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Race Management
Tim Snow's thoughts:

This is a well organized trail race in the beautiful Eastern Townships of Quebec. Door to door it is a 2-hour drive from Montreal and is well worth the drive as the race happens during peak foliage season. On a good year (like last year) it seems the trees are on fire with color! This year was a bit underwhelming due to our warm and dry autumn...the colors never really materialized. As I say no sense in complaining about weather as we can't do anything about it!

As I said I have run this race 2 years in a row now...it is just that fun! There are a few different distances
- 1k fun run for kids
- 5k - 480 ft of climbing
- 11.5k - 2027ft of climbing
- 20k - 2800ft of climbing
- 23k - 3195ft of climbing

I have chosen the 20k distance both times and it is absolutely gorgeous with a little surprise at the end. The first 10-12km are beautiful rolling cross country ski trails and are a blast! You almost forget that you are racing, settling in to a nice pace and talking with friends and fellow runners. Save your energy here...you'll need it later in the race! I've seen people be sucked into the ease of the trail and pay for it at the end!

Around the 14th kilometer you start slowly climbing...and keep climbing...here's the twist. This race is on a ski hill and you spend most of the morning running away from it. And then slowly back to it. And then over it. From kilometer 14-17 you gain 1300 or so feet on some already tired legs. This is where lots of people, myself included, walk. It is a challenge and it makes you curse, and it is a good reason why I love this race! Part of the climb is technical singletrack, then some of it is a straight shot up the mountain before you hit some switchbacks.

The final 3km are downhill; you get around 1km of reprieve on a fire road flying by leaf peepers climbing to the summit and get a bit of encouragement, but then it is back into the woods for some technical singletrack to test your tired quads. You re-emerge from the woods and onto a black diamond ski slope for the final KM, but that is also pretty technical...watch your step or you will go down!

Some final notes: the finish meal is great! A nice chicken and cranberry sandwich, some cheese and some chocolate milk! as the race is in October a hot meal would be nice; it's pretty chilly outside! Not unbearable but definitely puffy jacket weather. There isn't an expo but some vendors are set up at the start/finish area including Salomon and as I'm a Salomon ambassador I made sure to stop by and say hi...they had some nice puffy chairs and my friend and I made sure to take full advantage!

The shirt and medal are nice, and though there isn't a ton of crowd support it does have a small town feel to it. They lose some points for organization in my eyes as all of the signage/announcements are only in French. I am bilingual so it doesn't bother me but if anyone was traveling to this race from NY or VT it could be a problem for them...hate for them to miss the start of their race or any important information!

Overall, a great race that I am sure I will three-peat next fall!

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