Carolyn Wensley at River Ridge Trails.

New trail race a love letter to River Ridge Trails

On a summer day 33 years ago, Carolyn Wensley was running along a dirt road north of Langham and feeling a bit bored. She wasn’t thrilled with the idea of continuing along the same road to home, so she hopped a fence into a farmer’s field and found herself running toward the River Ridge Trails.

“Immediately I just felt a sense of freedom. The ground was softer and I just felt like it was like a new adventure,” Wensley recalls.

In the years that followed, Wensley has developed a deep love of trail running — and is hoping to share her passion by organizing a trail run at the trails that sparked her love of the sport.

The Run Wild trail run, hosted in partnership with lululemon, takes place at the River Ridge Trails on Sat. May 20.

“I have run the 5Peaks Trail Run Series, Powderface Ultra and Trailstoke … I know what a well-organized trail run looks like and how fun they can be,” Wensley says. “My goal is for Run Wild to be a fun yearly event that keeps ’em coming back for more!”

A view from the River Ridge Trails.

Here’s what you need to know about the race:

What: The race includes 5- and 10-kilometre events plus a 2km walk. Wensley hopes to have a DJ, lots of volunteers and some “deadly race package items.”

Where: River Ridge Trails are located just north of Langham off Range Road 3074, about 40 kilometres northwest of Saskatoon. The trails run along the riverbanks of the North Saskatchewan River.

“It’s got some little steep sections through the trees and it’s got some flats and some dips. It gives you a good variety, but it’s not uber technical, it’s not intimidating at all,” Wensley says. “I feel like it’s really a forgiving area for anybody that’s wanting to jump into this sport.”

A view from River Ridge Trails.

Who: Wensley says Run Wild is a great event for veteran trail runners or road runners looking to give the trails a try.

“Maybe even people that are preparing for the Sask. Marathon the next weekend can kind of use it to burn off a bit of energy, Wensley says. “Trail runs are kind of made for everybody … I’ve seen young, I’ve seen old, I’ve seen everybody out there just having a good time and that’s kind of I’m just hoping to get at Run Wild.”

When: The Run Wild trail run takes place at the River Ridge Trails on Sat. May 20.

Participant bib and race package pickup will be on site between 8:30 and 9:40 a.m.

Runners in the 5- and 10-km events take off at 10 a.m. while walkers in the 2km start at 10:15 a.m.

How to register: Registration is through EventBrite at a cost of $35. Fees will cover the cost of the race, with any excess money being donated to charity.