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Race Summary & Final Results

Race Summary

Just a short drive north of the town of Elliot Lake, 44 teams loaded into canoes for a 4:00am start on Dunlop Lake. The cloudless sky was on fire with shooting stars and an incredible display of northern lights. At the word "Go", 88 canoes charged out of the small bay and into the open waters of the lake to start their 25+ km paddle which consisted of a series of lakes and portages. With no set route and a number of options available packs of teams separated on different courses into the fog. When the fog cleared the early leaders, Team Spirit and Team Bush Pigs, had fallen significantly back as a number of teams found a shortcut through a swamp. At the end of the paddle, Team Hardwood Hills had a slight lead over Team Hugh Jass Part II and Team SOAR as they pulled into Laurentian Lodge.

From here, teams would trek roughly 15km, first going to the top of Mount Baldy and then overland across rolling hills of mature forests. Navigation would prove critical here as the majority of the trek was off-trail. Team Spirit, well-known for their navigation and bushwhacking skills, emerged first at checkpoint 5, the first transition area but hot on their heals was Team Beowulf, a team who had yet to finish a Raid the North race. The two teams rushed through the transition area and onto the 45km mountain bike leg with only 14 minutes separating them.

The mountain bike leg started with a 4km stretch of rough ATV trail that is as close to single track as you will find in the backcountry. It was a definite treat for experienced mountain bikers and a challenge for others. Once out of the single track, the teams would sprint along a paved road and then back onto logging roads down to the powerline service road. The last 15km of the ride consisted of seemingly endless hills on rough trails.

Not long into the bike section, Team Spirit was experiencing bike problems as one rider lost his derailleur. Their slow pace through the single track saw Team Beowulf catch them before reaching the pavement. After changing the lead several times the teams arrived at checkpoint 8 (transition 2) at dusk with Team Spirit holding a 15 minute lead.

Meanwhile, Team Hardwood Hills, who struggled through the trek section dropping back as far as 12th place, put in an excellent mountain bike ride to move all the way back up to 4th place just behind Team Excentric in 3rd. Team Hardwood Hills took the award for the fastest bike leg by beating the second fastest team by almost half an hour! Only minutes behind Hardwood Hills, Team Roman Legion pulled into TA2 in 5th place. With little more than an hour separating the top 5 teams, this was still anyone's race.

Following the bike leg, teams were faced with a 10km trek section to reach the rappel site overlooking Elliot Lake. This final trek proved to be an interesting navigation and strategy challenge for teams as there was no obvious best route. The straightest route looked passable but involved crossing a number of swamps. There was also the option of staying on logging roads but this was considerably longer. Team Spirit opted for the straight line and Team Beowulf stuck to the roads. Somehow, Team Spirit got turned around on some old roads not shown on the map and did not reach the next checkpoint for 5 hours dropping the back to 5th place. Team Beowulf moved into the lead but were now being very closely followed by Team Hardwood Hills who chose a route following a lake that helped them gain an hour on Beowulf. Alas, it was not to be for Hardwood Hills as they spent the next 5 hours looking for the rappel site (a trip that should have taken an hour and a half). New logging roads through the area confused many teams on this final trek who chose to follow the easy route as opposed to their compass.

The trek ended at the top of an 80 ft, completely overhanging cliff that overlooked Elliot Lake. Teams rappelled down the cliff directly into the lake and then swam past the cliffs to the shoreline where they trekked another kilometer to the final checkpoint. Here they would pick up canoes for a final 7km paddle across the length of Elliot Lake to the finish line in Westview Park. Rather than bushwhack the entire shoreline, some teams opted to swim across the bay toward the canoe put in. Team Beowulf, now with a comfortable lead over Team Excentric cruised into Westview Park just before 4:00am on Sunday morning. With this being their third Raid the North race and first official finish, they were absolutely thrilled to finish first. Just over an hour later, Team Excentric paddled to the finish line in second place, their best ever performance in a Raid the North race as well. Team Spirit rounded out the top three finishing more than 4 hours behind their rivals, Team Beowulf.

Although shorter than other Raid the North races, the course had all the challenges and thrills we could hope to put in a race. The wilderness was rugged, the scenery was beautiful and, most importantly, the navigation and decision-making was very challenging and, in the end, decided the fate of the lead teams. The race was hotly contested right to the last checkpoint and the team that won was the team that made the fewest mistakes. Congratulations to Team Beowulf and to all of the teams competing. We hope to see you back next year!

Final Results

Team Name
Finish Time
11. Dirty
09. Equipe Excentric
TD Evergreen Spirit
36. Freaks Of Nature
33. Hardwood Hills
14. Chaos
06. Canadian Outback
08. Phoenix
17. Pure Endurance
31. Mindcraft
28. Roman Legion
40. Newfie Bullet
19. BeaRBait
21. SOAR
04. Runnin Free
24. Bush Pigs
18. Equipe Esprit de Corps
42. Pain
22. Mich-Adventure
32. Spokes N' Slopes
45. Lunatic Fringe/Diabetes
25. Destiny Calling
30. Equilibrium
02. MSF-Even Flow
12. In The Making
CP 9
37. Out In Motion
CP 9
15. BeaverBay
26. The Running Company
CP 8
34. Attrition
CP 8
35. Quake
CP 8
41. Doghouse
CP 8
05. Weare
CP 7
07. Synergy
27. Bustamove.ca
CP 7
29. The Merciless Peppers of Quetzlzacatenango
CP 7
13. Blood Sweat and Beers
CP 6
16. O.A.R.
CP 6
20. Hugh Jass -Part II
CP 6
38. Motrin Maniacs
CP 6
43. Trailhead
CP 6
03. Terra Trackers
CP 5
10. Squadra Pistole
CP 4
39. I-87
44. RLA Loyalists