The XCX Marathon is a marathon-style cyclocross / mountain bike race at the Canmore Nordic Centre in Canmore, Alberta, Canada.

The course is either two or four laps of a 17.5 km loop with ~325 m of climb per lap. You can enter either the Half Marathon event (35 km with ~750 m climb) or the Full Marathon event (70 km with ~1500 m climb).

All bikes are welcome: cyclocross, gravel, mountain, fat, etc., though certain course components will change based on your bike selection:

  • The main loop (cyclocross bikes) will be 100% on the XC ski trails, which are wide, hard-packed, mostly  smooth(-ish), rolling with some steep climbing sections and some fast downhill sections.
  • Mountain bikers will be required to ride mandatory singletrack sections that parallel the main course. These will be short sections that veer off then reconnect to the main course (think “suspension tax”). These tracks will include gritty climbs, flowy speed sections, and technical descents.

To clarify: everyone races against everyone, regardless of which bike (i.e. which course) you’re on. We spent a great deal of time riding trails at the Nordic Centre with a stopwatch (big sacrifice) to find the perfect course balance. A strong mountain biker may have a slight advantage on a mountain bike, while a strong CX rider may have an advantage on their cross bike.

In 2017, the podiums were split basically 50/50 between CX and mountain bikes. You probably want to pre-ride the course on both bikes before you choose which to use. Yes, you can change bikes mid-race (at the lap/tech zone).

This is a club-sanctioned (no ABA points) event, hosted by the CMC Bow Cycle club. You can be confident that it will be a quality event in the Cyclemeisters’ tradition.

All your questions are likely answered in the Tech Guide. If not, ask us.

Now go riding.