Run the Ranch cross country race returns to Sask. grasslands

Staff at Broken Arrow Youth Ranch have once again broken out their lawn mowing equipment to carve a series of trails across their rugged prairie backyard to host Run the Ranch.

The cross-country event in southern Saskatchewan is a fundraiser for the non-profit, faith-based working ranch that works with families and youth in crisis.

This year’s event takes place on June 22. Here’s what you need to know.

What: The one-day event features 3km, 4km and 5km events for students aged 16 and younger as well as 5km and 10km events for all ages. Races are run on mowed trails cut through the Saskatchewan grasslands.

“Last year everyone thought the trails were great, beautiful and challenging,” says Lara Moroz, the administrative director of Broken Arrow who personally cut the trails for last year’s inaugural race using a push mower. “Not everyone had realized there were hills in southern Saskatchewan.”

All races kick off Saturday June 22 at 10 a.m. and then participants are encouraged to hang around the ranch for lunch, music, hayrides and a wiener roast. Those who go wandering around the ranch are likely to encounter cows, sheep, chickens and pot belly pigs.

“We’re trying to create a family atmosphere,” Moroz says. “People should consider coming for the weekend. If you stay long enough, our sunsets are incredible.”

Runners tackle the trails at the inaugural Run the Ranch.
Runners tackle the trails at the inaugural Run the Ranch.

Where: Broken Arrow Youth Ranch is, Moroz admits, “in the boonies.” It is located 20 kilometres south of Wood Mountain and roughly 420 kilometres south of Saskatoon.

Those looking to stay overnight nearby might want to look at hotels in Limerick, Rockglen or Assiniboia or book a campsite at Wood Mountain Regional Park or the East Block Rock Creek Campground in Grasslands National Park. For more information on where to stay, check out Run the Ranch’s Race Roster page.

Why: The race is a fundraiser for Broken Arrow Youth Ranch, a non-profit Christian organization that works with children and families with the aim of keeping families together. It receives no government funding and relies entirely on donations to keep operating.

“We like to say we are one big family helping other families,” Moroz says. “We work mainly with teens and their families. Teens come and live out here and get an opportunity to get away from the peer pressure and the stresses of their life and just focus on themselves and do some healing that way.”

How to register: Registration is open through Race Roster. The cost for student races is $15 while adults pay $75.