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February 1st, 2017 ~ Vol. 87 No. 5
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Meet, greet and defeat the Minotaur
Expect the unexpected with the Minotaur race
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Andrew Fairhurst Photo
Registration is now open for the Meet the Minotaur race, to take place on August 26. This photo was taken in the Crowsnest Pass area this summer during a "Tuesday Night Adventure Club" outing that helped inspire the Minotaur race.
ANNA KROUPINA
Pass Herald Reporter
“Don’t expect any Band-Aids; this is more of a duct tape style of event,” says Erin Fairhurst, one of the organizers of a brand new racing experience coming to the Pass: Meet the Minotaur.

Erin, her husband Andrew, and Spry owners Susan and Ian Lowe-Wilde have partnered together to bring a fresh challenge to the Pass. The event is hosted through the quartet’s new company, Air Race Lab Inc.

“Amongst all of us, we’ve experienced so many different races over the course of our lives that to take everything and put it into a melting pot and come up with a new event is super exciting,” says Andrew.

The race challenges your physical and mental strength in a 15 to 20 km race to the finish line. And where is that finish line? Well, you won’t know until you get there. Part of what defines this race is that the location and course track are kept under wraps until race day.

“What [competitors] can expect is to gain and lose a lot of elevation throughout the course, running on a lot of varied terrain, everything from single track trail to goat trail to no trail. They’ll definitely get up high in elevation,” says Andrew.

This is the first race to challenge the Pass in such a multi-faceted way.

“There’s a quote on our website that says, ‘This isn’t an adventure race, this isn’t a trail running race, this isn’t a sky running race’,” says Andrew. “We tell everybody that it isn’t any of those items because it’s something completely different that doesn’t really exist within the racing community. So hopefully what we’ve done is created a brand new product which mixes a lot of those elements.”
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So far, approximately 75 people have pre-registered, and the mystery surrounding the race is enough to intrigue thrill-seekers from outside of the Crowsnest Pass, like Darren Clyde out of Edmonton. Clyde, who stumbled upon the event on the Internet, isn’t new to racing – he took part in the 2016 Canadian Death Race and several Spartan Races – but he says this course will be a particular challenge because he simply doesn’t know how to prepare for it.

“There’s no course layout. It doesn’t tell us the starting or ending elevation. It just says you run where the goats are,” he says “It’s a challenge and it’s something new. It’s not a typical race. Even signing up is a bit of an adventure because you don’t know what you’re signing up for.”

Air Race Lab Inc. will continue releasing course tips and hints along the way through their social media venues.

In Greek mythology, a Minotaur is a half-bull, half-beast that guards and dwells in a twisting Labyrinth. The challenge of the Minotaur is as much mental as it is physical, prompting the analogy with the race.

“You have to get past him, this beast, to get through to the other side of the maze,” says Ian. “There’s this inner challenge. When you’re really exhausted and really tired, can you really overcome and dig deep enough to push on and get it done?”

Already acting as both host and competitor in a variety of racing events all over Canada and abroad, Andrew says bringing Meet the Minotaur to the Crowsnest Pass was an obvious choice.

“Challenging and overcoming the Minotaur is one thing, but we live in such a beautiful area that we want to share that with people and have the reward of some absolutely beautiful views, something that people would want to take away from their experience,” he says.
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While Ian and Andrew don’t underplay the physical challenge of the event, they say you certainly don’t need to be a seasoned athlete to participate.

“We don’t want to shy away anybody who expresses interest in doing this,” says Andrew. “We hope that somebody that does sign up for the race is comfortable to be on their feet for upwards of anywhere from four to six hours at a time and travelling through mountainous terrain. Yes, it would help to be fit. Could you get through it if you weren’t fit? You probably could, but you would be more uncomfortable than someone who is fit.”

Although he’s never participated in adventure racing before, Troy Misseghers, an owner of Crowsnest Coffee Company, wasn’t daunted by the Minotaur.

“I haven’t ever adventure-raced, but I like to adventure. The Minotaur sounded like a really good opportunity to push myself physically and mentally,” he says. “You don’t really know what you’re up against, so it’s kind of exciting.”

The race will take place on August 26 at an as-of-yet undisclosed location. Registration for the race opened on Jan. 10 and the first 250 people to sign up will be entered to win one out of 100 Icebug shoes. A training weekend may be scheduled prior to the event to give tips on how to prepare and train.

More information can be found at www.meettheminotaur.com.
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February 1st, 2017 ~ Vol. 87 No. 5
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