20 Years of Regional Racing, Bow Corridor Style Dec 23rd, 2009
By: Kevin Baggott

December 28 kicks off the 20th year for the Bow Corridor Regional Race (BCRR) series and Bow Cup for youth.

Fresh off the 1988 Olympics, Canmore was blessed with a world class nordic facility – the Canmore Nordic Center (CNC). In conjunction with the National Training Center, Mike Mappin, long-time nordic enthusiast and coach started a series of regional races with the key goal of providing some quality training and racing opportunities at the CNC. Local nordic racing clubs Canmore Nordic and Foothills provided the volunteers and many of the racers.

Over the past 20 years the BCRR series has come a long way. In the mid-90’s coaches from local clubs realized the value of local low-key races for skier development and a key FOCUS of the series became youth development – initiation for younger athletes and training opportunities for development athletes. Many different formats have been tried over the years including a duathlon before pursuit races became standard, infamous “Challenge-Cup” courses, and tournament-format sprints. Often the focus of the events is less about the competition and more about the FUN and team participation.

Many current and past National and Olympic athletes have and still take part in the BCCR races. Olympians Chandra Crawford, Brian McKeever, Robin McKeever, Phil Widmer and Sara Renner to mention but a few of our great local athletes who got their competitive careers started with the BCRR events.

The Bow Cup for youth includes the BCRR races, local loppets and other FUN activities in a 6 event series. Participation has been the key goal for youth with the key award being for those achieving the Challenge 500 points. Last year was one of the best for youth. The sprint tournament at COP saw loads of action under sunny skies and no Chinook winds! Our windup event included the crazy FUN challenge course relays where the “outfits”, hair and face painting became the focus of the kids “competition”.

The growth of the race series saw a couple of least years events with over 170 skiers, more than half of them youth! All of the local racing clubs have stepped up and continue to run great races whether it be FUN events for youth or competitive races that often include national team athletes. World Cup Academy coach Mike Caveliere commented last year that the well-run BCRR races are one of the benefits of training in the Bow Corridor.

This year’s BCRR and Bow Cup should again provide some great race opportunities. Something new this year for juvenile to masters racers will be distance-based individual races (5 or 10K) rather than by category.

December 28 - Canmore - Teams Sprints

January 16 - Canmore - Individual Classic

February 20 - Canmore - Individual  Skate

March 21 - C.O.P. - BOW CUP Windup Event

For series and race information, or to register, check out

Jan 9-10: Alberta Cup 3 & 4 more»
Jan 16: Athabasca Loppet more»
Feb 4-7: Alberta World Cup (Canmore) more»
Feb 4-7: AB Winter Games more»
Feb 12-14: Western Canadian Championships more»
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