Trail Marathon, Half Marathon & Relay


Running the Bruce Trail is not for the faint of heart. The trail is rugged, slippery and requires runners to adapt to scrambling and slower pacing where safety dictates.


The course is for the most part the Bruce Trail between Tobermory and Cyprus with a few different connections.  Full details of the course will not be released until race day.

Trail Marathon

42km of scenic trail.  Difficulty Level: High

Half Marathon

21km of scenic trail.  Difficulty Level: High

Trail Marathon Relay Option

42km in total.  Difficulty Level: High.

Relay teams consist of 2, 3, or 4 members to split up the 42km marathon distance.  There are 4 trail running stages to the Relay of roughly (within ~2km) equal distance.  Relay team members can race any stages that are consecutive, or if they want they can race stages 1 and 4.  (example: It’s ok for Jon to race stage 1 & Bob races stages 2, 3 and 4)  (example: Bob is not allowed to race stages 1 & 3, neither in a 2-person nor a 3-person team)

NEW: Minimum Age Requirements

All half marathon racers must be age 16yrs or older.  All marathon racers must be 18yrs or older.  All marathon relay racers must be 16yrs or older with no runner under 18yrs old completing more than 21.1km.  If you would like to race underage you will need to contact us to be considered for an exception, certain restrictions may apply.


1. TRAIL CONDITIONS – The Bruce Trail is a fabulous hiking trail but it can be incredibly strenuous, runners should accept the fact that they may occasionally have to walk or even scramble due to trail conditions.

Trail conditions include:
  • Brief gravel packed trails and roads
  • Cobble stone beaches
  • Root and rock covered trails
  • Rocky steep cliffs
  • Rock crevices
  • High cliff edges
  • Uneven footing

2. All racers (or just one member of Relay Team) must check-in and pick up their bib & package on Friday night in Tobermory at the Community Centre between 5pm and 10pm. Relay teams need to have signed forms from all team members. If a participant cannot attend race-kit pick-up Friday evening they can have a friend or family member pick up their race kit, however the friend/family member will need to provide: email confirmation of your registration, signed waiver, signed image release, signed release of liability, and filled out health information form. You must also email and provide the name of the person who will be picking-up your race kit.

3. All racers (including ALL relay team members) MUST attend the Pre-race briefing the morning of the race at the start line in downtown Tobermory at 6:30am.

4a. Start for the Marathon and Relay are in downtown Tobermory, Ont.

4b. Start for the Half Marathon is at Cyprus Lake Campground – Bruce Peninsula National Park.  Transportation for Half Marathoners and all Relay team members is provided by the organizers.

5. Marathon runners and Relay Team Member 1 start at 7:00AM downtown. Half-Marathon runners start at 8:00AM in Cyprus Lake Campground.

6.  The Finish Line for all Races at the Bruce Trail Cairn in Tobermory.

7. The Marathoners’ & Relay midway TIME CUTOFF is 11:00am at the Cyprus Lake Checkpoint (21.2 km) and there will be a 2:00pm cutoff for ALL RACERS yet to arrive at Little Cove CP northbound (34km mark for full, 13km mark for half)

8. Transportation to and from the Half-Marathon start line and Relay Exchange Points will be provided by Race Management. Approximate bus times are here, but a final version will be available in the race kits. If you take your own vehicle parking is limited and there is a risk you will not get to the area in time for your race.

9. At all times runners must follow the directions of race officials.   If you are withdrawing from the race, you must inform the nearest race marshal or official (friendly volunteer with race lanyard & badge) or else you risk being missed by our sweep team.  If you do not notify a race official,  a search & rescue operation will take place at your expense.

10. Due to the narrow trails and steep drop-offs, slippery rocks, etc. no dogs, push buggies, supporters or bicycles are allowed. Take care with and be courteous to other trail users. These are public trails and other users can use the trails while the race is underway. If you see a hiker or a biker, let them know you are coming and try to avoid disrupting their trail experience.  Mandatory gear is only a small whistle, but we recommend carrying a small list of first aid supplies and enough water carrying capacity to get you to the next checkpoint.

  1. Spectators are welcome to join the racers at various places over the course. Due to constraints on parking in certain areas spectators realistically only have the following spectator opportunities:
  • Start or Finish Line in Tobermory or on town sidewalks
  • Cyprus Lake – No Transport available, paid parking and park fee in effect

11. Runners are expected to be courteous and respectful to volunteers, other racers and visitors. Anyone found mistreating a volunteer, or member of the public will be disqualified.

12. Exercise care and caution and common sense on trails. Especially when passing other runners on the trail. Let others know you are coming and that you intend to pass.

13. Mandatory gear includes a whistle and 500ml of water carrying capacity. New for 2019, the event is cup-less so racers need a method to drink and carry liquids at aid stations.

14. Safety on this course requires racers look out for one another:

  • If you leave the race for any reason, make sure you tell the nearest race volunteer.
  • If you encounter a runner in distress, offer assistance and/or report the situation to the nearest aid station.
  • Whistle protocol (three blasts if lost or in need of help, two blasts in response if heard)

15. Racers are expected to pack in and pack out or make use of the garbage receptacles provided. Any racers found littering will be disqualified from the race.

16. Headphones/earbuds must not be worn while on the course. There will be a spot check for headphones at some point on the trail this year with a ½ hr time penalty for those found using them.

Once registered, racers will receive 3-4 newsletters with relevant info.


The First Racer Newsletter for 2019 is here.

The Second Racer Newsletter for 2019 is here

The Third Racer Newsletter for 2019 is here