A few people have been asking me for more details about the 2017 Steaming Nostril course. My previous blog gave some teasers, but they wanted more details!
I still can’t reveal the course itself, but I can provide a few more hints. For 2017, the start/finish has moved to the Waterloo Rod & Gun Club in St. Jacobs on Be De Lane. The first 5 km or so winds through the St. Jacobs area before heading west in search of some of the nice gravel/dirt roads in the area. There are some paved sections that connect the gravel sections, and if the wind is from the west (as it usually is), this first part of the race could be tough (but don’t be discouraged… it means you’ll enjoy a tail wind in the second half!). The longest paved section is about 5 km.
There’s a section of rail trail in this first half of the race. It’s about 8 km in length and the conditions could vary depending on the weather. In summer, it’s dry and hard-packed crushed gravel for the most part, but in winter/spring, it could have snow or ice patches (doubtful for April, but don’t quote me on that!). If it’s been raining a lot, the crushed gravel could get soft and mushy.
There are more gravel roads after the rail trail, with some paved sections. Eventually, the course takes you back eastward. If the wind is from the east (not common, but it does happen around here), it will be in your face. This could make the second half of the race tough (but don’t be discouraged… it means you’ll have enjoyed a tail wind for much of the first half of the race!).
Oh hills… there’s no BIG hill (like the finish on Martin Road in Paris to Ancaster). The Region of Waterloo has some good-sized hills in the area (Wilmot Line, Hawkesville), but these are not featured in this race. The Region has no escarpment, but the topography features the Waterloo Moraine that has some elevation changes. The race will have some flat sections. The first half will be net uphill (don’t be discouraged… because…) the second half will be net downhill.
In fact, here’s a profile most of the course:
As was the case last year, there’s a short section on private property, but that’s all I can say about that right now.
The total distance is about 62 km for the longer Steaming Nostril, and around 42 km for the Runny Nose.
If you’re on the fence, sign up. If you’re worried about the distance, sign up for the Runny Nose with me. I’m riding my fat bike!
I leave you with the words of Team Colin, who left a note on my blog about this race:
I’m in! It’ll be my third, and I can’t wait. Throw 69 steps at me. Give me the longest kilometer ever. It doesn’t matter. I’ll be there with a smile on my face, a cramp in my legs, and a bunch of grunge on my bike. Awesome.
And some photos of what you might see if you enter: