The Golden Ulta is a unique trail event and festival that is either a three-day stage race or a one-day ultra marathon that takes place in Golden, British Columbia, Canada, a hidden gem in the Kootenay Rockies region. The Golden Ultra is more than just a race. It’s an opportunity to explore the legendary trails of Golden, surrounded by six national parks and two majestic mountain ranges. It’s a chance to connect with fellow runners, local residents, and the vibrant culture of Golden. It’s a way to experience the beauty, adventure, and hospitality of Kicking Horse Country. Golden Ultra is part of the TransRockies Race Series (see below) and rated by Strambecco as a Best-in-Class Event.
The Golden Ultra offers something for everyone, whether you’re aiming for a 13km run, your first ultra marathon, or a full-stage race. You can choose between two-stage race distances (the Full Pint or the Half Pint) or single-day options on Saturday or Sunday. Here’s what you can expect from each stage:
- Day 1: The Blood. This vertical-kilometer race will test your lungs and legs as you climb 1000 meters in 5km (Full Pint) or 500 meters in 3km (Half Pint). The reward is a spectacular view of the town and the Columbia River Valley from the top of Mount 7, one of the most iconic peaks in Golden.
- Day 2: The Sweat. This is the longest and most challenging stage, a 60km ultra-marathon (Full Pint) or a 30km trail run (Half Pint) that will take you through Golden's diverse and scenic terrain. You’ll run along the Kicking Horse River, through lush forests, across alpine meadows, and over rocky ridges. You’ll also encounter some technical sections, steep climbs, and fast descents that will keep you on your toes.
- Day 3: The Tears. This is the final and most fun stage, a 22km trail run (Full Pint) or a 10km trail run (Half Pint) that will make you smile and cry at the same time. You’ll start from the base of Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, a world-class ski and bike destination, and run up and down the ski slopes, enjoying the views of the Rocky Mountains and the Columbia Wetlands. You’ll finish at the Kicking Horse Pedestrian Bridge, Canada's longest freestanding timber-framed bridge, where you’ll be greeted by cheering crowds and a festive atmosphere.
The Golden Ultra is not only a well-organized and well-marked race but also a well-supported and well-celebrated one. You’ll find everything you need to make your race experience enjoyable and memorable, including:
- Aid stations: There are several aid stations along each stage, stocked with water, electrolytes, snacks, and medical supplies. The aid stations are also manned by friendly and helpful volunteers who will cheer you on and take care of you.
- Shuttle service: There is a free shuttle service available for all runners and spectators, to and from the start and finish lines of each stage. You don’t have to worry about driving or parking; just hop on the shuttle and enjoy the ride.
- Bag drop: There is a free bag drop service available for all runners, where you can leave your personal belongings and extra clothing at the start line of each stage and pick them up at the finish line. You don’t have to carry anything you don’t need; just focus on your run.
- Timing and results: There is a professional timing and results service provided by Sportstats, the leading provider of race timing and results in Canada. You’ll get your official time and ranking for each stage and the overall race, as well as a personalized certificate and a finisher medal.
- Photos and videos: Professional photographers and videographers are on course, capturing your best moments and expressions. You’ll get access to free digital photos and videos of your race and the option to purchase prints and souvenirs.
- Entertainment and awards: There are plenty of entertainment and awards activities throughout the race weekend, including live music, yoga sessions, kids races, beer gardens, food trucks, and more. You’ll also get to attend the pre-race briefing, the post-race party, and the awards ceremony, where you’ll mingle with other runners, sponsors, and organizers and celebrate your achievements.
The Golden Ultra is not only a race but also a vacation. You’ll get to discover Golden, a small but lively mountain town that offers a range of attractions and activities for visitors of all ages and interests. Here are some of the things you can do in Golden before or after your race:
- Explore the history and culture of Golden, which dates back to the fur trade, the railway, and the logging industry. You can visit the Golden Museum, the Kicking Horse Culture Centre, and the first gurdwara (Sikh temple) in North America, built-in 1905.
- Enjoy the nature and wildlife of Golden, which is home to a variety of flora and fauna, including bears, wolves, elk, deer, eagles, and more. You can go hiking, biking, fishing, kayaking, rafting, or wildlife viewing in the surrounding national parks and wilderness areas.
- Experience the adventure and thrill of Golden, which is known as a hub for outdoor sports and recreation. You can go skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, or ice climbing in the winter mountain biking, paragliding, ziplining, or bungee jumping in the summer.
- Relax and unwind in Golden, which offers a range of amenities and services for your comfort and convenience. You can stay in one of the many accommodations available, from cozy cabins and lodges to hotels and motels to campgrounds and RV parks. You can also dine in one of the many restaurants and cafes offering local and international cuisine or shop in one of the many stores and boutiques offering souvenirs and gifts.
Golden Ultra is part of the TransRockies Race Series, a series of events that span road cycling, mountain biking, trail running, and gravel biking. The events occur in some of North America's most beautiful and rugged destinations, such as Alberta, British Columbia, Colorado, and Utah. The TransRockies Race Series is not just for elite athletes. It is designed to cater to both competitive and recreational participants, with different categories, distances, and formats to suit different levels of ability and experience. Whether you want to race solo or as a team for one day or for six days, you will find an event that suits you.
The TransRockies Race Series is also more than just a race. It is an adventure that combines fitness, fun, and friendship. You will get to enjoy the stunning scenery, the diverse terrain, and the friendly atmosphere of each event. You will also get to experience the camaraderie and support of fellow racers, volunteers, and organizers. You will make memories and connections that will last a lifetime.
The TransRockies Race Series features ten events over nearly 40 days annually. Strambecco covers several of their events, including Moab Run the Rocks, Moab Rocks, Moab Fondo Fest which includes the Gran Fondo Moab and Gravel Fondo Moab, Golden Rush, Gran Fondo Badlands, TransRockies Single Track-6, TransRockies Run, TransRockies Gravel Royale, TranSelkirks Run, and the Golden Ultra.
We consider their races and events to be some of the best out there and have been featured in a handful of our popular 'Best' articles including: the best road cycling race events in the Southwest, the best MTB race events in the Southwest, the best gravel cycling race events in the Rockies, the best Mountain Bike Events in the Northwest, and the best cycling race events in all of Canada.