The North Face Endurance Challenge Series, the largest trail running series in the world, has officially opened registration for all distances in all six races for the 2016 season. The series of weekend race festivals takes place between April and December in six locations across North America including Washington D.C., New York, Ontario, Wisconsin, Utah and California. Each event includes seven distances ranging from 5K to 50 miles and a Kid's 1K race. Ultrarunning stars from The North Face athlete team, including Dean Karnazes, Rob Krar, Dylan Bowman and Rory Bosio, are expected to make appearances at events throughout the series.
The iconic Endurance Challenge race series was born out of Karnazes' 2006 quest to run 50 marathons, in 50 states, in 50 consecutive days. The North Face launched the race series the following year and it has since grown into a full-weekend festival with a challenge for every fitness level. The first year saw a total of 1,387 runners, and in 2015, the series hosted more than 16,000 runners over six weekends. In the nine years that Endurance Challenge has been in existence nearly 90,000 runners have participated.
Through The North Face Mountain Athletics Training Events, free coached workouts in select cities, The North Face provides the tools to prepare for Endurance Challenge races or any outdoor goal.
"The Endurance Challenge motivates runners at all levels to experience the trails and challenge their physical limits," said Katie Ramage, director of Sports Marketing at The North Face. "We are thrilled to bring the series back again this year and attract more people to the sport of trail running. We've seen urban marathon runners who have never run on trails and novice runners revel in the success of their first 5K."
Each event will be held over two days, with the GORE-TEX 50 Mile, 50K, Marathon, Marathon Relay and Kid's 1K race held on Saturday, and the Half Marathon, 10K, 5K races and Kid's 1K race held on Sunday with support from sponsors, including GORE-TEX, Repreve and Sierra Nevada. The Endurance Challenge Championship offers largest prize purse in the sport of trail racing ($30,000 total), awarding $10,000 to the top male and female runners in the 50 Mile distance.
The 2016 race schedule includes:
- April 9-10 – Algonkian Regional Park, Sterling, Virginia (Washington DC)
- April 30-May 1 – Bear Mountain State Park, Bear Mountain, New York
- July 16-17 – Blue Mountain Resort, Blue Mountain, Ontario, Canada
- September 17-18 – Kettle Moraine State Park, Eagle, Wisconsin
- September 24-25 – Park City Mountain Resort, Park City, Utah
- December 5-6 – Marin Headlands, San Francisco, California
The North Face Endurance Challenge Series has one of the most popular International trail-running series with additional events in China, Singapore, Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, Philippines, Brazil, Australia, Italy, Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Columbia and Peru.