Dirty Feet Trail Races Trail, Kamloops, BC
Dirty Feet Trail Races is all about racing in the dirt! Trail running, mountain biking & snowshoe races take place in B.C.’s Okanagan. Whether you’re 4 or 97, this is a race all about having fun (and winning some cool prizes!)
As an events company, Dirty Feet Trail Races was impacted very hard by the pandemic. In March of 2020, everything in the events world came to a crunching halt.
The team behind Dirty Feet Trail Races had to figure out how to work within the confines of the provincial health orders. In June of 2020, B.C. regulations allowed outdoor events with a maximum of 50 people, so Dirty Feet organizers worked on plans that would allow them to host multiple races across multiple times and days to get participants back racing again.
The event turned out to be an amazing option for people whose mental and physical health were suffering due to the lockdowns. Dirty Feet Trail Races hosted 5 km, 10 km and 50 km races under this model.
However, in October, another lockdown hit and outdoor gatherings were once again restricted to no more than five people. It was a long winter and an even longer spring for the organizers while they waited for restrictions to ease.
Racing is back and Dirty Feet has some great new offerings and different trail races. In their eyes, 2022 is a fresh start for trail racing.
“The 2022 Business Resilience Award is an amazing award to receive for our efforts during the pandemic, and recognizes how Dirty Feet Trail Races was able to pivot during the pandemic and work within the health guideline parameters. We were happy to have the ability to have some very safe and modified events for everyone to attend.
We are so grateful for the recognition of resilience! This was very challenging, and it took a lot of strength and perseverance to keep trying to bring running events that people so desperately needed during a time of uncertainty and unhappiness.
Watching all the runners at the start line, although it was only four at a time, they were so happy to be there. And that smile of accomplishment as they crossed the finish line is what kept us going and organizing races. It was a lot different and made for really long days, but the people who came out really needed it, and you couldn’t wipe that smile off their face!
This was a very challenging time for everyone, and we hope we had a positive impact on people’s mental health with Dirty Feet Trail Races modified events.
Thank you, IMPACT Magazine, for this opportunity and the recognition of resilience!”
Grace and Phil Hiom, race directors
Platinum Racing Multi-Sport, Calgary, AB
Platinum Racing provides a variety of events aimed at taking your breath away. Owned and operated by Tom Bamford in Calgary, who also refers to himself as ‘Chief Sweat Officer,’ Platinum Racing puts on races all over the province of Alberta.
Platinum Racing purchased most of the major triathlons and Gran Fondo events in Alberta and several in B.C., all before the major onset of race cancellations and postponements occurred due to COVID-19.
Tom handled the very difficult set of circumstances that faced him with poise and professionalism. COVID-19 forced the cancellation of many races and left race organizers with great uncertainty. Tom refused to throw in the towel, however, and thanks to his hard work and dedication, these races were able to restart again post-Covid.
“It feels wonderful to be back. Many racers are repeat athletes, and now they are bringing their kids and even their grandkids. It’s great to see multi-generations,” he explained. “We try to create an event that gives everybody the chance to participate.”
There is something for everyone including Short Course, Duathlon, Olympic and Long Course – plus Ironman Canada 70.3. Platinum Racing has over 20 events in its roster that have become trusted brands in the running community.
Run Calgary, Calgary, AB
Run Calgary partners with the city’s most beloved institutions and causes through exceptional events.
On March 15, 2020, the world effectively paused. As the story of the pandemic was unfolding, events everywhere were cancelled, and Run Calgary was no exception.
Run Calgary’s goal has always been to create community connections and put on fun events in support of healthy living, so even though the pandemic forced race cancellations, they still wanted to find ways to engage the community and keep people moving.
In May 2020, Run Calgary rolled out the 2020 Virtual Running Festival, which included virtual Run Calgary events, plus some new virtual races and challenges. Run Calgary was able to register 9,500 participants in virtual events in 2020.
Towards the end of 2021, when many people were feeling weary from the pandemic, Run Calgary partnered with the Canadian Mental Health Association on a new challenge called Winter Moves. This event simply asked people to move outside for a minimum of five hours a week.
Run Calgary is connected to the community, having fun while also raising more than $580,000 for more than 80 local charities.
“Run Calgary is incredibly grateful for the recognition from our community for how hard we worked during the pandemic to keep people moving. This support has allowed us to continue what we do best, which is to put on exceptional in-person races. Thank you for sticking with us during a difficult season and into the future. Coming out of the pandemic, road racing will see new challenges, and supporting your local races will continue to be important to ensure their longevity in a changing world.”
Stephanie Symington, marketing manager
Sinister Sports Multi-Terrain, Bellevue, AB
Sinister Sports (formerly Full Moon Adventure Company) began in 1999 intending to create the toughest, most exciting endurance events in Canada. Sinister Sports offers several ultramarathon races, including the Sinister 7, Black Spur Ultra and the Canadian Death Race.
Sinister Sports went from its best year in 2019 to losing nearly 100 per cent of its revenue in 2020. While dealing with the fallout of the pandemic, Sinister Sports continued to try to inspire hope in their following.
Sinister Sports had two main commitments: to their customers, trying to keep them engaged and to their staff, trying to keep them employed.
The team came up with a virtual season to help people feel connected to the running community. They started channels on social media to keep customers informed about the season and also started an online store, Dirt Vert Hurt.
Brian Gallant, owner and director of Sinister Sports, helped co-found the Canadian Endurance Sports Alliance (CESA), intending to lobby support from the federal government to support the endurance sports industry, ultimately leaving CESA to pursue similar lobbying efforts at the provincial level.
With great uncertainty for the 2021 season and restrictions lifting too late into the spring, there wasn’t enough time to organize a complete race event, so Sinister Sports decided to create two smaller regional events, wanting to help satisfy the pent-up demand their customers were feeling.