Trail Marathon & Half Marathon – Saturday Sept. 24th, 2022


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.

2022 FORMS: 2022 Forms will be available the week of the event. In 2021 the following forms were required  to be filled out and submitted online prior to arrival at the host site. Each participant will need to fill and sign the; waiverhealth information form and Canatrace Covid Pre-Screen Test. The waiver and health form can be filled out at any time, however the Canatrace Covid Pre-Screen Test must be filled out the morning of your respective event. Be prepared to show the green checkmark produced by the Canatrace test upon arrival.

Wave Starts: Smaller wave starts may be utilized if Covid mitigation measures are still required at the time of the event. Waves will be based on gender and age breakdowns.

2022 Planning: In 2021 we implemented a loop-based course for Covid mitigation in order to reduce passing and eliminate the need for bussing of participants. In 2022, we hope to return our normal point-to-point style event with busses provided for 1/2 marathon participants. We won’t know for certain which format we’ll use until roughly a month before the event when the picture around Covid will be more clear. For information purposes, details on the 2021 courses can be seen below. Our normal course generally follows the Bruce Trail from Cyprus Lake to Tobermory.

Note: The Marathon Relay has been removed from the event program as it’s logistical challenges have become too onerous, namely parking and busing to the hand-off locations.  

2021 COURSE LENGTH & DESCRIPTIONS (****for information purposes only, we hope to return to our normal point-to-point courses in 2022****)

The 2021 course has been adjusted to accommodate guidelines from Athletics Ontario’s Return to Competitions document. This means we’ve created a more looped based course and removed as much two-way passing on narrow single track trails as possible.

Much of the course is similar to previous years, however the Marathon, Marathon Relay and ½ Marathon will all be starting and ending in Tobermory. The course does not go as far south as the Grotto and Overhanging point but we have done our best to get you some new bits and shoreline views.

Marathoners – part of the return course will be a new trail  and is a bit more like adventure running than pure trail running. This part of the course can be muddy and has brambles etc on it. Your comfortable but not favourite LONG SOCKS/TIGHTS recommended. Full details of the course will not be released until race day.

Click here to view a map of the 2021 courses. Pre-running is only permitted on publicly accessible roads and trails. Participants must not pre-run any sections of the course that cross private property and are not open to the general public.

Trail Marathon

42km of scenic trail.  Difficulty Level: High

Distance Map Section Description
Start to ~ 7.72 km Start to A to B Paved road, gravel path, crushed gravel trail.
~7.72 km to ~ 11 km B to C to B Single track easy to moderate technical trail – clockwise.
~11 km to ~16.5 km B to D to E to F Single track with some moderate technical trail and double track trail.
~ 16.5 km to ~ 22 km F to G Paved road, single track technical trail. Bruce Trail from Little Cove to Driftwood Cove.
~ 22 km to ~25.3 km G to F Adventure section – Gravel road, double track  with exposed bedrock and occasional waist high vegetation.
~25.3 km to ~ 30.5 km F to H to D to B Gravel road, single track with some moderate technical trail and golf course.
~30.5 km to  ~34.12 km B to C to B Single track easy to moderate technical trail – clockwise. Burnt Point Loop.
~34.12 km to 42.2 km B to A to Finish Paved road and gravel path, single track trail and crushed gravel trail.
Half Marathon

21km of scenic trail.  Difficulty Level: High

Distance Map Section Description
Start to ~ 4.5 km Start to A to B Paved road and crushed gravel trail.
~4.5 km to ~ 7.9 km B to C to B Single track easy to moderate technical trail – clockwise. Burnt Point Loop.
~7.9 km to ~13.2 km B to D to E to F Single track with some moderate technical trail and double track trail.
~ 13.2 km to ~ 19.5 km F to F1 to H to D to B Paved road (big hill), gravel road single track with some moderate technical trail .
~ 19.5 to 21.1  km B to  Finish Paved road and gravel path.

NEW: Minimum Age Requirements

All half marathon racers must be age 16yrs or older.  All marathon racers must be 18yrs or older. 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. New for 2021! All racers must check-in and pick up their bib & package on the morning of the event at the Tobermory Community Centre between 6:00am and 7:15am. This is so we can confirm your Covid Pre-Screen Test on the morning of the event. We suggest coming to the Community Centre and parking, going inside to pick up your race-kit, which will include a free parking pass for the Legion Street Public Parking Lot. Drive to the Legion St. lot to park for the day then come back to the Community Centre for your respective wave start time.

3. All participants MUST watch the pre-recorded pre-race briefing video the week before the event. The video can be viewed at this link (link provided the week of Sept. 13th).

4. Aid Stations. Aid stations have been removed and participants are expected to carry their own hydration and nutrition needs. Marathon runners will be permitted to leave a drop-bag at race-kit-pick-up, which will be transported by race staff to the 25.2km mark on the course.

5. The Start and Finish for all races will be outside the Tobermory Community Centre.

6. Cut-Off Times:
a)All Racers: 11:30am at Little Cove Checkpoint “F” on maps (marathon 25.2k mark) (half-marathon 14.2k mark)
b)Marathon Only: 1:00pm at Burnt Point Checkpoint “B” on maps (marathon 30.5k mark) runners will be directed to skip the Burnt Point Loop and continue on-course to the finish.
c) Marathon Only: 2:00pm at Brock and Head St Checkpoint (marathon 35.5k mark) runners will be directed to skip the Bay St. out & back section and continue direct to the finish.

7. 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.

8. 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 hydration and nutrition for the event.

9. Spectators. Unfortunately, spectators are not permitted at the Start/Finish Area, or on the grounds at the Tobermory Community Centre. This is a stipulation of our permit with the municipality and public health to host the event. Due to constraints on parking spectators realistically can only view racers shortly after the start while on town streets, or shortly before the finish (also while on town streets).

10. 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.

11. 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.

12. Passing and Drafting. No drafting of another participant while on course (maintain 2m distance or more). Passing rule implemented: person overtaking informs person ahead of desire to pass in an area where 2m distance can be maintained. No ear-buds permitted to ensure clear communication at all times

13. Mandatory gear includes a whistle and minimum 500ml of water carrying capacity.

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 2-3 newsletters with relevant info.


The First Racer Newsletter for 2021 is here.

The Second Racer Newsletter for 2021 is here

The Third Racer Newsletter for 2021 is here