What is Western Canadas Toughest Hard Enduro?

What is Western Canadas Toughest Hard Enduro?

Depending who you ask your answers can vary, as will the terrain across the board and the preference of rider.


The countries landscape varies from the west to east coast greatly. One side of the country is soggy Bottom Trials Riding with Flat face rocks, Trees the size of hummers, and moss growing on your bike as you ride. Towards Alberta You pass through the great Rocky Mountains with amazing technical trails that climb to the heavens, moving further east you will find hoodoos, dinosaur trails and sand dunes.


Many of Canadas top riders escape the harsh winters in Alberta and immigrate to the coast for the colder months of the year, you can find Invermere native and Factory KTM Rider Trystan Hart roaming the hills during the winter months prepping for the upcoming season for Endurocross and American Hard Enduro Series.

Sharp soft knobbies are a must if you want to get around anywhere without doing some groan stretches every few seconds on the slick ferns and endless moss pits that layer the land, all while 500 year old trees tower around you.

2019 THE KIRK trystan hart hard enduro VIDRA BC vancouver island brap snap
2019 THE KIRK Trystan hart Hard Enduro VIDRA BC Vancouver island BrapSnap Pic.

“Soggy Bottom Trials Riding with Flat face rocks,

Trees the size of hummers,”

Riding on the west coast is truly like going back in time, Ferns are the size of elephant ears, critters everywhere watch many of the top riders in Canada train here to get ready for World Hard Enduros and the American hard Enduro Series. It truly is some of the most technically challenging terrain out there. Just like to get wet!

One very distinct feature of British Columbia’s trails is the endless moss covering everything (it has the highest precipitation in the country) and slabs of rocks everywhere that you must traverse.

The A (hard) course had sections we should have bulldogged down

If there is one thing you need to master when going to BC, is riding flat, slick rocks with zero grip full of mud, this is on almost every trail you will see and extremely unique for the area. The only other place in Canada that has these features is Ontario being the Great Canadian Shield. You can slide for 15+ feet down to your demise in a hurry.

tanksy hard enduro bc 2021 Philip Blenkiron 01
Tanksy Hard Enduro bc 2021 Philip Blenkiron

Racing Returns to BC in 2022

Vancouver Island is stepping things up with adding a

Stand Alone Hard Enduro Series.


Details are coming out but it will be in line with that of Maze Runner XC with simple Classes such as Gold, Silver, Bronze and Possibly a Veteran Class.
Hard Enduro Is quite different than any other racing you have experienced and the Classes will Reflect that.

There is no shame in being 50/200 at a Hard Enduro Event.

Simply Finishing a hard enduro is the best feeling you will ever have, and it starts a never ending addiction.

The Suffering Organizer Kitt Stringer Shows the Golden Boot, Your Award for Winning.
The Suffering Organizer Kitt Stringer Shows the Golden Boot, Your Award for Winning.

To see what some of the Hard Enduro Races are about in Vancouver check out THE KIRK (Now the Suffering) –

This race really only had 11 Finishers who did 2 laps under the time limit, we personally had one hell of a time completing 1 lap, it was the most fun we have ever had at a race that brought us back memories of Early 2000 XC races in Alberta. Top notch event and terrain.

The A (hard) course had sections we should have bulldogged down and rains the week prior made some sections so difficult your race could end in seconds. Top Pick for sure of a must do event.

If you are able to, make one of the Vancouver Island Races, They truly make amazing events, put in the gnarliest of stuff, and do not Sanitize their courses like other events do for the lower classes.

Simply trenching your way up a hill is wont cut it, and everything you learned on Instagram really is just for show. These events make you prove your worth.

2019 Kirk Harescramble Brap Snap Photos

Vancouver Island Dirt Riders Association VIDRA

Race 2022 Race Date Location Points Series Sign up
The Suffering Sept 18 Shawnigan Lake VI Hard Enduro not yet available
Tearzberg Oct 8-9 Tansky VI Hard Enduro not yet available
Monster Mash


Oct 29-30 Cook Creek VI Hard Enduro not yet available



Now that BC is out of the way. Travel East, The joke is anyone from Alberta is a FlatLander. While true for Most, Some of the best riders in the Canada come from Alberta due to its very prevalent off-road Series with a mix of Enduro, Cross Country, Harescrambles and Enduro Cross, and now with Hard Enduro making its Debut once more. It truly has it all if you want to ride many disciplines.

The Oil Province is constantly battling with multiple clubs with over 20 Events a throughout the year. You will be hard pressed to find a weekend after May long that does not have an offroad event being put on. But in Alberta’s defense, they have 6 months of winter sometimes with -35c temperatures from October to May, so they have to make the most of it.

Know for their Split Series of the more competitive AMSA offroad and SGC/RMC in Central/Southern Alberta. It also has a lesser known club of Wapiti in Northern Alberta, in the heart of the oil for Canada near Grand Prarie. Wapiti Shares offroad races near Dawsons Creek and Hudson hope.

While there has not been any “official” hard enduros by European terms. The gauntlet has been thrown around for many challenging races from the early 90s and mid 2000s.

Crowsnest XC, was a Hard Enduro Event you will never get to race.

One race in the AB offroad circuit that only the Masters and Veterans remember well is the Crowsnest XC, Know for its grueling long hills, No bullshit technical sections, and just true glorious virgin trails that made you question your own insanity.

These Races were held no question of rain or snow. Usually during signup you would huddling under an umbrella and warming by the fire before you got to the line.

One Crowsnest we remember well started in the rain, then it began to snow as you climbed your way to the top of the mountain, past all the stuck riders as you pushed, literally, your bike up a 5 step plateau hill climb that took 4 people per bike, over an hour to get to the top, this was just the 1/2 way point. Finishing times for most were over 5 hours for 100KM.

Now as we are more experienced, we can truly see, the Crowsnest XC, was a Hard Enduro Event you will never get to race.

An event that sometimes only had 1 or 2 Juniors finish with over 1/2 the field DNFing on their way back to their truck soaking wet and defeated. Complain all you wanted for it being too hard, many finished and you did not. Grab your beer and shutup.

Southern Alberta’s Rocky Mountains have some amazing and challenging trails, Events such as the Porcupine Hills XC, usually held on May Long, was almost 90% a rain race. They hold some great challenging trails with some amazing views with fast flowy singletrack that you get to duke out with a follow rider for 100KM.

Dirty moose XC 2018 CXCC-W Chris Birch fallen timber alberta
Prior to 2019, Over 150 Racers would compete at MRSI Challenge and Dirty Moose XC.

In 2022, organizers have pushed up 1 weekend to allow for some more time to clear trail as there is almost always ice and snow on the course in May still. Also in the South are events such as the Resurrection XC, and Tombstone, while more tame Cross Countrys. They truly are some of the more challenging and fun tracks out there in Alberta.

Further north towards Calgary is the Classic Dirty moose XC, this 100Km track is another enjoyable course for all skill abilities. In the heart of the Fallen Timber forests just 30 minuets west of Cochrane are flowy singletrack, challenging climbs sneaky rock sections that would slam you.

Alberta’s past few years have had what many would call “sanitized” races.

The area has thousands of KM of trails that hide in the rocky mountains few know of, a massive challenge for the zone is retentless chinook winds that bomb areas every other weekend. Hundreds of KM in singletrack has to be re-cleared every single year just to keep a slight hold on the trails. About 15 years ago the Jet Stream touched down, 180km/h winds went across the lands and devastated the trail systems, It looked as if a hand from a God wiped the land flattening trees. Still to this day trails are layered 10 feet high of downed trees.

The infamous and notable MRSI Challenge 100KM XC in the same area was notorious for challenging climbs , side hilling and swampy sections that would be created from monsoon rains of August.

The event was a slugfest and could be 35C or pouring rain with rivers flowing down the trails that were dry just days prior.  Over 130 Racers would battle it out on the slick trails, soggy conditions, just praying they never made it for Cutoff.

Racing in Alberta is very similar in style, and course length, while the difficulty varies the Cutoff Rules are a bit Different than the BC. The Province has a No Penalty Timeout Rule. You can complete as many laps as possible in the allotted time.

If you want to quit, that is on you, you still hold that position as long as no one does another lap and finishes ahead of you. However in the neighboring province, if you have 30 seconds left, and don’t wait at the timeout zone, You HAVE to complete your next lap, if you do not, you are disqualified, period. Even if say you are an hour in the lead. Not finishing the last lap you are on, disqualifies you from the event in its entirety.

Alberta’s past few years have had what many would call “sanitized” races. Groomed singletrack trails that every rider could complete with very little trouble, Making for Easier loops and less hassle for sweepers and organizers to get the less skilled and driven racers off the Course. Many of the events had a 95% finishing rate for all racers. Hardly anything close to “hard Enduros”

With a 2 year lull in racing on the more prominent AMSA and competitive races, The only events held in 2020 and 2021 were of Second Gear Club and Rocky Motorcycle Club. With the exception of Marble Mountain and Gloomy creek (RMC events) having Challenging A Sections. While having the alternative course for Top riders, they were doable by most of that caliber of racer.
Those races had some best singletrack and virgin technical sections we have ridden in some time!
Its rumored the 2022 Marble Mountain Will be truly EPIC for the top tier classes. Stay tuned for more on those.




The “harder” races with cross country sections have been lacking for over 5 years in Alberta. Many organizers retiring from the scene after putting races on for 20 years starting in the Mid 90s and ending in the Late 2000s, while they are still out riding areas and helping out,  they do not hold events themselves anymore and are taking a much needed break from kicking ass for so many years.

Can You escape the Maze?

In 2018 the Maze Runner XC broke out of the norm and introduced their “gold Platinum” Hard Enduro.

This was open to only upper tier Riders in Pro, Expert and Vet Master as it was still in the AMSA point series, It was feared, as it should have been, that anyone below Expert would have a very tough time completing the section without carnage.

While many a competitor showed their disappointment in not being able to journey to those sections, it was later proven that a majority of top tier riders were truly being challenged at the new terrain being thrown at them, any class below the allowed ones was almost guaranteed not to be able to make it out of the Maze and be a massive liability for the organizer and tax the sweepers beyond anything we wanted them to do.

Three 50+ riders would bump themselves up to Vet Master for the Event so they could do the Hard Enduro Section. Whlie they struggled, they were able to make it through the course.

For 3 Years the event lay dormant, Organizers for the event were doing double duty with holding the MRSI challenge while also Consulting and Scorekeeping for the AMSA and SGC Series in tandem.

Realizing they could not successfully do everything at once, they required a hiatus from the organizing scene.

2021 Was supposed to be the Year The Maze Would Return. Things were on track to holding the event, however mother nature would say otherwise.

Record draughts slammed Canada, monsoon Rains would take out the interior of BC. And just a month before the event, the Main Organizer had gotten heat Exhaustion when riding in 35c weather.
And then near disaster struck, the Key area the race was being held at for Maze Runner had multiple Fires that broke out near and On the race course. The event had to be cancelled.

After a summer of defeat, and record artic temperatures in the province for the winter, the Organizer Announced in mid January on Social Media , The Hard Enduro Maze Runner XC Would be happening.

Scheduled for August 20th, The only Forest Hard Enduro in Alberta would be ready for racers across Canada once again to make their way through the labyrinth of trails and attempt to find their way out of The Maze.


Their Facebook and Instagram Pages are littered with posts and clues of what is to come. From what we know and can tell. Everything posted and seen from the coverage in 2018 will be the Bronze/Silver Course.

The Gold course will be previewed earlier in the year, and as hounded by many a Pro rider. They do not want the Organizers to be able to ride the gold course themselves. Be careful what you wish for…..

Hopefully Gold is unrideable for course makers. – Trystan hart



The 50KM Loop will have challenging sections for all riders. and at the 1/2 way point, all riders will journey their way into the Labyrinth and through the Maze.
It will feature the Standard Gold, Silver Bronze Classes with the addition of TEAM Hard Enduro Class with Gold and Silver. Along with a Vet35/Iron and ATOM Class.

Noted in many of their postings and information will be that of, Hardest thing your Skill Level will Ever do.

The event is NOT and we repeat, NOT for a beginner or Average rider. 

Key for the Event will be Video Coverage, and lots of it.

Organizers have stressed the event will be extremely hard for the top level riders, and the cameras will be there to cover and share with the rest of the world.


Maze Runner Did something we have not seen at any event almost in the world. Hours after the race they had compiled Footage from the Hard Enduro Section of the course and did a Live commentary with racers who were just there battling it out on the same day.

jason scharage maze runner
A 30 Minuet Segment had Pro Racers chat about the days race while they watched coverage of the section seeing the struggles everyone had. Only few were shown to hold their composure as they struggled through the sections. steaming, helmets off, exhausted and out of water. It really showed the challenge and struggles the top racers in Alberta faced at the event. The star of the show was Trystan Hart and Shane Cuthbertson, Both Seasoned in Hard Enduro and Extreme Racing,


They showed exactly what level and caliber rider they truly were. Even against the fastest and most skilled riders in Canada.

We cant wait for what 2022 has in store! www.mazerunnerxc.com

Maze Runner XC Live Aftershow – Hard Enduro


Outliers Debut in Alberta Followed by Battle of the Hoodoos.

In 2019 Alberta Enduro Master Shane Cuthbertson brought his experience in Racing Romaniacs, ISDE and Endurocross into the Heart of Calgary Alberta.
A very unique and portable enduocross was assembled for thousands to enjoy what they would ever rarely see

Hundreds of Dirtbikers battling it out downtown Calgary Alberta in a very Candadian and Albertan Race for a 2 Day Epic event.

The Evening before the Early October race would test organizers and racers to their full extent. A Massive and record Blizzard was making its way through Alberta.

In the morning of the race roads were covered in sheets of ice, the highways were whiteout conditions and cars in ditches everywhere, However the event would be held.

The 2019 Day 2 Event was Cancelled.


Throughout the day squalls of snow would drape the course. Workers would find expanded steel and strew it wherever they could to wood platforms throughout the course.

Tires, bare concrete and K Rails would devastate riders, Everyone met their equalizer that day. Less was more, and even the best riders struggled to keep upright on the glass surfaces everywhere.

Thousands enjoyed the event and organizers had to get ready for day 2, East of Calgary 2 Hours in the hoodoos of Steveville, Alberta. Where dinosaurs once Roamed.

As with Maze Runner in 2021. the 2019 Outliers Event was met with fierce opposition of mother nature as well.

The Blizzard that hammered Central Alberta and Calgary was heading slowly towards the race site.

Just Hours before midnight, the temperature dropped 25 Degrees. and over 15 CM of snow fell on The remote location.

The hoodoos, hard to ride during the best of days, was absolutely impossible to ride during wet.

The 2019 Day 2 Event was Cancelled.


Come 2021, Outliers Returned, However with the current restrictions it was only to be a 1 day event held at the remote location east of Calgary.

126 Racers Would battle it out on a Warm August Day up and Down the hoodoos.

Black holed crevasses with animal skeletons in them littered the land as racers shot up vertical walls and dropped to their doom in a truly unique Hard Enduro.

The event saw thousands litter the hills to watch the racers from Across Canada battle it out on the very unique course.

While Hard Enduro normally is known to have trees in them. This course is a different type of race, key to success is hill climbing and the ability to keep traction on very unique bentonite.
One wrong move or fall could end your day very quickly, even doing everything right, another racer tossing their bike down the hill as they cling to their fate could be disastrous for both.

Being the event is new for this decades mainstream coverage Cuthbertson and enduro masters previous called the event Xtinction which debuted in 2010 using similar land.

Hard Enduro Was JUST making its way into North America with racers attempting events at Erzberg and Romaniacs, The itch was making it way to our country, it just took some time for it to take off.

Outliers 2022 Slated Aug.27th and 28th will bring back the 2 day Event Just a week After The Forest Hard Enduro Maze Runner  A Double Header Week of two Hard Enduros In Canada!

New for 22′ and Outliers will be that of the responsibility in hosting a race in World Hard Enduro Championship – ROUND 7.  This is HUGE.
The Hoodoo and slick Clay terrain will be something completely out of the norm for the series which hosts rounds Across the Globe in Places such as Israel, Serbia, Austria, Italy, Romanaic, USA & Spain.

2022 world enduro calendar

Western Canada is no slouch for Hard Enduro Events and races. Many are a blend of short course with technical features to long grueling cross countries that are 100KM in Length.

There may be only a few souls who know what “Hard Enduro”  truly is and should be. But for the Canadian side of things, we are just starting our Hard Enduro Journey, Courses and events are adapting and changing to the needs or clubs, organizers and riders who are willing to put themselves and bike through the potential pain of the course.

Take what you see online at face value, being at events in person, handing in your Entry Fee and lining up next to 200 other Enduro Riders is what sets you apart from others.

The Western offroad race schedule is stacked with potential events to attend, from the short course 15KM Harescrambles to the extremely Challenging Hard Enduros in the Mountains.

Pick your poison, You are bound to have an adventure either way you go.


2018 maze runner xc kathi issler pix 05
MAZE RUNENR XC – kathi Issler Photo








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