We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

Hey there, Don't forget to log in and join the conversation Log in

Canadian Death Race

01-Aug-2020 Grande Cache, Alberta, Canada


Image Mask
Mountains Race Race Terrain
125KM / 78Miles
2 Days - 1100 Runners

Alternate Distances: 42KM/26M

DIFFICULTY Race Difficulty Advanced  

Entry From $300 CAD

Since the start of the millennium, racers have come to the Canadian Rockies to cheat Death in one of the world's toughest ultramarathons. The 125km course begins and ends on a 4200-foot plateau, passes over three mountain summits, and not only includes over 17,000 feet of elevation change but a major river crossing at the spectacular Hell's Gate canyon at the confluence of the Smoky and Sulphur Rivers. Each year, extreme athletes push themselves to the limits of their endurance against the breathtaking background of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Well-trained and totally committed, they battle heat, cold, altitude, and their own demons. Finishing is the prize and the bragging rights are priceless.


Event Organiser
Brian Gallant



Elevation: Very little change < 500 metres. Benign running terrain, not technical.

Suitable for: First ultra runners completing a marathon or doing regular long distance running in the last six months.


Elevation: Increase of up to 1000 metres

Suitable for: Runners who have completed at least one ultra distance race (or similar event) or are doing long distance running (>26 miles) regularly, with elevation shown.


Elevation: Increase of up to 1500 metres

Suitable for: Runners who have completed several ultra distances or similar events, or are doing long distance running regularly, with elevation shown.


Elevation: Increase of up to 2000 metres with some challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity or heat) and or technical terrain

Suitable for: Experienced runners who have completed at least regular ultra distances in last 12 months, or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races may be subject to evidence of recent qualifying race participation and recent medical examination certificate. Check with the race organiser regarding entry requirements.


Elevation: Increase of up to 2000 metres with very challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity, heat or at high altitude) and or technical terrain.

Suitable for: Very experienced long distance ultra runners (min 3 years’ experience) or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races is often subject to evidence of recent qualifying race participation and recent medical examination certificate. Purchase of specialist kit is often recommended for these races.

Endurance - Multi-activity

Type: An ultra distance race including at least two of the following activities such as running, swimming, cycling, kayaking, skiing and climbing. It may also include different climatic conditions (eg ice, snow, humidity, cold water, mud or heat).

Suitable for: Experienced multi-skilled athletes who have trained for the different activities included in this event. Admission to these races may be subject to receipt of a recent medical examination certificate. Check with the race organiser regarding entry requirements and any specialist equipment required such as a wetsuit, skis or a mountain bike.

Global - Virtual

Type: A virtual race which can be run at any time shown on the dates shown, on any type of terrain in any country.

Suitable for: For runners from beginners to experienced as you choose your own course and challenge based on the guidelines and options set by the virtual race organiser.

Review Canadian Death Race

You must be logged in to add your review, click here to login or register

Comment Arrow


12:42 17-08-16

The Canadian Death Race was definitely one of the most stunning and challenging ultras I have done to date. More than a race, CDR is a journey both internally and externally. Each leg of the race was like a little piece of the story and had a different challenge to overcome. In leg 1 (the easiest leg), everyone was feeling fresh and full of energy, so it's easy to get excited and get ahead of pace. Leg 2 involved 2 mountain passes with a mud fest of epic proportions in between. The final descent from leg two is NOT to be underestimated. It is steep beyond description and, although I do an extraordinary amount of strength training and thought I was pacing myself well, my legs were absolutely shattered by the time I arrived back at Grande Cache after leg 2. Leg 3 is full of undulations and forest and some pretty river trails. The challenge here for me was the rocky terrain, especially on wobbly legs. Leg 4 I was so grateful to pick up my hiking poles at the check point (I definitely could have used them on Leg 2, in retrospect!) which was a welcome break for my legs as I climbed/hiked all the way up to summit of Mt. Hamel. If you are tackling leg 4 (or the full Death Race), practice your fast hiking! Use poles! Leg 5, the challenge was the darkness, smaller climbs, and just continuing to run after a tough 100km. Overall, the CDR is super well organized, has a fantastic community vibe in an extraordinarily friendly and inviting town, and will challenge the toughest runners out there. I have already registered for solo 2017 :)

Comment Arrow


06:09 13-08-16

The Canadian Deathrace is one of my events! It is a little pricey for an ultra, at $350 per person, but we keep coming back every year! In 2013 I ran Leg 4 (38K), in 2014 I ran all 125K on my own. In 2015 I ran legs 2 & 3 and 2016 I ran Leg 1. I was supposed to solo this year but due to injuries sustained in a car accident I had to drop out, but couldn't handle the thought of missing out on the fun so joined a team and ran the shortest leg at 19K. It's always a fun weekend in the gorgeous mountains of Alberta with energized and awesome people!
There are 5 legs, and each leg provides something different. My favourite part is on leg 5 when you meet the grim reaper and must hand over your coin to cross the river. It is challenging and there is no better feeling than when you finish, knowing that job defeated Death! And the Coin and Plaque you receive for finishing are pretty fun too! Definitely will be back next year as a solo and with kids for the 5K kids race!!!

Comment Arrow


05:25 08-08-16

This is a very well organized race for the immense size of the course. All 125-km are well marked. The aid stations have everything needed if you haven't already packed what you need in your camelback. All 5 legs have different profiles and terrain suited to the ability of your team members. If you wish to run solo or the marathon portion it will be tough yet one the best experiences of your life. The scenery throughout the course, especially at the summits of the mountains are to die for! What is also special about this race is that it takes places in a small town. The town welcomes you with open arms and makes this a weekend-long event with restaurant specials, bands, children's carnival, etc...

I ran Leg #4 in 2016.

Comment Arrow


07:35 11-08-15

It's not the most beautiful place (plan to drive through Banff/Jasper for that) nor does it have the greatest trails but the CDR will give you a tough all-day mountain experience amongst the comraderie of the Canadian trail community for the August long weekend. Plan on supporting yourself and utilizing your own crew at the four leg transitions and pay attention to some of the quirkier details like the coin and time chip. Train for vertical and long hours on your feet in rough terrain. This was my first big ultra race, longest prior being 50k and I had an amazing day- one of the best days of my life. Carry the required gear, you can get every season in one day. Pricey weekend but a priceless experience. - 2013 Death Racer

Have you run one of these races?

Add your race review
to the race page for your
chance to win great kit
like these

Not a member?

Join Now

It takes less than
a minute