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An annual spring Trail Run in Copeland Forest

Celebrating over 15 years of running up and down the hills of Horseshoe and Copeland Forest, the Race Directing team of Trish Mintz and Rhonda Marois excitedly accepted the role of race directors from the amazing duo, Adam and Heather Dunlop that had started the race in 2010. In Trish and Rhonda's first year to hold the race however, the COVID Pandemic caused the race to be deferred. Held virtually, those who ran their virtual distance are amongst some of the rare individuals to now be owners of the purple 2020 PYP socks. In 2022, conditions were finally favourable to hold the race in person and we haven't looked back. We love hosting an annual spring trail race with 375 of our closest trail friends at the beautiful Copeland Forest, just north of Barrie in Oro-Medonte, Ontario. So shake that winter rust off, and get ready for the summer race season with one of the first trail races of the year.

"Our race is not for profit so we do this to have fun and give back to the community. We want you to have fun too and at the end of the race, we always donate whatever we can to local charities." - Trish Mintz, Race Director 


Our Values

Inclusion in sport

There is a significant gender participation gap in mountain, ultra and trail running. While the barrier to entering these sports is low, the environment must lead to enjoyment of the sport so that inspiring stories encourage others to participate. Races are events that define the spirit and culture of their sport and this means that race operators have the responsibility to create a more inclusive culture where women are treated equally. 

PYP is proudly women owned and operated by Race Directors Trish Mintz and Rhonda Marois. They ensure equal representation in every facet of the event including:

  • Equal prizes and recognition in awards for women.

  • Gender specific shirts for swag.

  • Feminine hygiene products in our aid station supplies.

  • Equal representation in our marketing imagery.

  • Deferral policy for expecting mothers

"I am so proud to announce that for our 2024 race year we have completely equal gender registration. There are 50% male and 50% female registrants across all distances." - Rhonda Marois, Race Director


Other-Abled Athletes

We are happy to facilitate other-abled athletes (previously referred to as athletes with disability) participate with the type of assistance they need. Race guides can participate free of charge to enable a runner. Just contact us to let us know how we can help you participate in sport.


Non-Binary Race Category

We are happy to celebrate diversity, promote equality, and break down barriers in the world of trail running and are pleased to offer a Non-Binary category open to all individuals who identify as non-binary, genderqueer, genderfluid, or anywhere along the gender spectrum. It's your chance to showcase your strength, determination, and love for the great outdoors while running alongside a supportive and welcoming community.

  • What is the course like?
    Start your race in front of the majestic arches of The Heights and head 100m out of the parking lot onto a tree lined service road. Find your spot in the pack because in another 750m you will drop into the woods near a small stream where you will continue into the beautiful winding single track of the Copeland forest. This race is 85% wooded single track, 5% service or logging roads, 5% cross country ski double track and 5% running up and down ski hills. Be prepared for climb with 430m of elevation from each loop! If you're doing the 50k, that's over 1,700m of climb! Say hi to Little Katie for us.
  • Who is Little Katie?
    Little Katie is a wonderful hill near the 2/3 mark of the course. This hill is named on the winter cross-country ski trail map and we imagine they go down it, because they sure wouldn't want to go up it - but you get to! We pictured Little Katie as a menacing little girl, so say hi to her as you make the climb and tell her how you really feel on that last time you have to see her hill.
  • What is race day weather normally like?
    Drastically unpredictable Canadian spring weather can make it challenge to plan your day in the woods. All we can do is let you know what the weather has been like and let you know that during extreme hot or cold years we support runners with either warm soup or ice at aid stations on course. The Heights is always a good place to warm up, but don't get too comfortable and forget to run your last loop or you'll miss out on the finisher's socks! 2024 Weather Temperature: 16-18 degrees Precipitation: All day Trail Conditions: Trails were wet and many runners reported very slippery mud. Ski Hill Condition: Snow left in one spot and the mud pit was a full out adventure to cross! Most runners wore waterproof gear as rain fell all day. 2023 Weather Temperature: 0-2 degrees Precipitation: All day Trail Conditions: Trails were wet but draining well. Ski Hill Condition: All snowpack had melted and the mud pit was in full effect! Most runners wore a lightweight waterproof shell as cold rain fell all day. ​ 2022 Weather Temperature: 18-20 degrees Precipitation: None Trail Conditions: Trails were dry and fast. Ski Hill Condition: All snowpack had melted and the mud pit was restricted to areas where water was flowing off the hill. Most runners wore shorts and light clothing as it was a sunny and warm day. ​ 2021/2020 - COVID Virtual Runs Weather was dependent on the location you ran your race in.
  • What's the deal with finisher socks?
    We don't give out finisher medals. They're lovely and shiny and all but you probably have enough. Have something more functional to celebrate your epic trail run - have some socks. Our congratulatory prize to you when you finish the distance you signed up for are the well known PYP finisher socks. A volunteer will be standing at the finish line, making sure you're ok, then handing you your finisher socks. No finish, no socks.
  • Is the race chip timed?
    We are so pleased to have the professional team from Chip Timing provide us with race timing. We have a single mat at the head of the loop where a chip attached to your bib will provide you with a chip timed race result. Don't like to start at the front of the pack? No problem! Your chip time reflects when you crossed the start mat to when you finished and crossed the finish mat. Please note that top 3 podium finishers are based on gun time. Volunteers enumerate your bib at each aid station in the event of any surprisingly fast finishes.
  • Is there on-course photography?
    You betcha! We're proud to have the best race photographer in Ontario join us in rain or shine and capture your photos. Sue Sitki will be capturing your glorious moments and regrets as you race through the woods.
  • Where does the race start?
    We are pleased to be able to continue to be hosted by The Heights Ski & Country Club. This venue boasts a majestic hall that helps shelter us for years when wet, cold spring weather doesn't allow us to celebrate outside (2023/2024). The Heights has a full service bar and pub if you want to celebrate your finish with a beverage, or if your family wants to grab a lunch while you're out on course! There are also washrooms in the downstairs portion of the building. We do not have porta-potties on site as The Heights has full service bathrooms available - please use them when near the start/finish. The Heights sets out tables and chairs inside the hall so you can keep your gear safely within the venue during the race. Google map location here.
  • Where does the course run?
    The course runs primarily in the Copeland Forest, a provincial forest tract but also some of it is on the private land of the Heights of Horseshoe. The ski hills you run up and down belong to our venue host, The Heights of Horseshoe.
  • Where can I eat after my race?
    As part of your race entry you will receive a voucher for a meal. In coordination with The Heights, we provide each runner a meal with these vouchers. During registration we track any dietary restrictions and work with The Heights to accommodate. Family members can pay for a meal and drink from the pub in The Heights but we do not sell extra food vouchers for family members.
  • What are your cutoffs?
    All distances have a cutoff time of 5:00pm. 50k runners must have started final lap at 2:30pm. 25k or 50k runners who cross the timing mat after 2:30pm will not be allowed to begin the next loop.
  • Can I use poles?
    For sure! There's lots of climbing and if poles help, go for it!
  • Can I have a drop bag?
    Absolutely. There is an aid station at the start/finish which is where you start your 12.5k loop. We will have an area for drop bags and it's conveniently next to the parking lot so when you are done your race, you can just grab it and go. This also means that there is no limit to the size of drop bag you can have! Want to bring a full cooler and chair to sit in? Go for it! Set yourself up with a nice spot where you can get ready to start your next loop. Just no alcohol in those coolers please. You can get a beer/cooler from the Pub at the Heights which is a licensed bar inside the venue.
  • When does registration open?
    Annually, race registration opens on December 1st at 8pm EST. The race has been selling out faster each year so we recommend setting an alarm to remind yourself. Alternately you can get added to our email notification list to receive updates when registration is close to opening. Sign up for email updates here.
  • What happens when registration is full? Are there waitlists?
    We maintain a wait list through Race Roster. As runners withdraw from the race, people on the waitlist will be given an opportunity to register for the race based on the order they registered. Selected participants will be notified via email once selected and have one week to register once the email is sent. It is important to monitor your email if you are on a waitlist and want into the race. Once emailed, you have a limited time to accept and register. The odds of getting into the race depend primarily on the amount of turnover from the registered runners list. Since we don’t have any control over this, your guess is as good as ours. When registering on the waitlist, you will be charged only if you are selected from the waitlist and you accept the invitation to become a registered runner. You will not be charged until you choose to accept the registration.
  • If I get hurt and am registered, what is your refund policy?
    We do not offer refunds. Runners can defer to the following year. Deferrals can be carried over for max 2 years. Deferrals can be made up to midnight EST on April 15 each year.
  • Can I transfer my bib to another runner if I can't race?
    This is discouraged. Registrations are specific to you including clothing size selection, food choices and eventually having a bib and hence a formal time associated with your name on public record (the internet.) If we're expecting a 66 year old male from the bib number, and a 28 year old female crosses the finish line, we're going to have some words with you. Our waitlist process also necessitates that bibs cannot be transferred. If you are not able to race this year contact us to defer your entry to the subsequent year. Your spot in the race will be used to help somebody from the waitlist join us on race day. The Grandparent exception: We love beastly, ultra trail running grandparents. If your grandma or gramps is over 70, please contact us and we will transfer the bib to them.
  • What is the "grandparent" exception?
    One of the less talked about biases in North American society is ageism and to align with our values of inclusion we have created the "grandparent" exception. If you are unable to run the race for any reason, you cannot transfer your bib to anybody else with the exception of a grandparent. We highly encourage fitness as a lifestyle and if your grandma or grandpa is still active enough to run, we encourage you to sponsor them to run our race. Please contact us to have the transfer made.
  • What is the best way to get into your race?
    There are 3 primary ways to get into PYP: Secure a spot by registering on Dec 1 @ 8pm before the race sells out. Watch for contests like #BragYourSwag or contests in association with our sponsors to win an entry. We often give away several race entries and chances to win have been anywhere from 1 in 4 to 1 in 10. These are pretty good odds for a contest! Volunteer! Volunteering guarantees you entry for the subsequent year. Volunteers receive access to registration one full month before the Dec 1 registration opens and they have 30 days to decide if they want to take advantage of their guaranteed registration.
  • What is your commitment to inclusion in sport?
    We want to express our unwavering commitment to inclusion in sport. Our race is more than a competition; it’s a celebration of the human spirit, the beauty of nature, and the shared joy of pushing our limits. We believe that the trails are for everyone, regardless of race, gender, age, or ability. Our mission is to create an environment where all participants feel welcome, respected, and encouraged to perform at their best. We are dedicated to fostering a community that supports each other, celebrates diversity, and thrives on mutual respect. In line with our values, we have taken deliberate steps to ensure our race is inclusive and accessible. This includes offering a range of race categories to suit all levels and ensuring our trails are safe and navigable for runners of all abilities. We are happy to talk about any accommodations you might need to get the most out of your PYP trail running experience.
  • What is your environmental commitment?
    Each year we try to continue to reduce our footprint on this beautiful planet of ours. In unwavering support of the environment, we are a fully cupless race event. We continue to reduce single-use plastic waste by eliminating disposable drink cups at aid stations. We encourage participants to bring their reusable containers and hydration systems and can fill them with fresh water or electrolytes at each of the aid stations positioned about 4km from each other. This sustainable initiative not only champions the protection of the beautiful natural landscapes we run through but also inspires runners to be mindful of their ecological footprint. We have taken cues from many cupless races and if the weather is cold, we will still have a cup available for warm liquids like soup.
  • How do you reduce environmental impact from year to year through your Environmental Plan?
    We are proud that as of 2022, we had reduced our total waste of our race to a single garbage bag. Aid station volunteers are instructed to separate out recycling and waste undergoes a second sorting post-race to remove organics and properly route them to composting treatment. With your help we look forward to continuing to remove as much from the landfill waste stream as possible. ​ "When I sorted the post race garbage in 2022, it was 80% cups so that seemed like an easy next step to reducing our environmental impact." - Chris Mintz, Creative Director on the PYP Environmental Plan
  • What is your local economy commitment?
    PYP is proud to work with local vendors to source race materials and swag. We encourage runners to come spend the weekend amongst the rolling hills of beautiful Oro-Medonte and Barrie area and turn your race day into a family getaway weekend to support local establishments.
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