Team Wolverine closes trail running events


The organizers who brought the Puddle Jumper Classic ultramarathon and the Sunshine Coast Trail Series to the coast have decided to refrain from planning future events following COVID cancellations.

“2020 would be a landmark year with more numbers and people from the coast having people from further afield to attend the events,” Mike Chadwick, co-founder of Team Wolverine Athletics, told Coast Reporter. “I would say, as you know, 2020 did not go according to plan.”

Trail running races and similar events must have their costs covered upfront, he said. There is insurance, medals, permits, and other costs to pay for. When the COVID restrictions came into force in March 2020, some people had already registered for this year’s events. The Wolverine Athletics team has decided to close registration and consider postponing events.

In 2021, it looked like fall events might be possible, so Chadwick reached out to various organizations and was informed that they would need permits for Crown areas and trails. Given the current backlog of applications, Chadwick said they would not get the necessary permits for 24 months.

“That didn’t seem very sustainable to us,” he said after taking on previous expenses and taking into account the application fee for the required tenure.

“It was pretty disheartening because we put our heart and soul into it. I know some of the other race directors in BC and it’s not something to make a fortune out of. It’s a passionate project, ”said Chadwick.

“We invested a lot of time, so it is disappointing that because we couldn’t get government funding, because there is this bureaucracy with the provincial government, we somehow have to leave. ”

Chadwick and his partner Randi formed Team Wolverine Athletics after moving from Port Moody to the Sunshine Coast in 2016.

“We were surprised at how many trails there were, how good the trails are, and – it was pretty surprising – you could go out for five or six hours and really see no one because there are so many trails,” said Chadwick.

When they realized there were no trail running events in the area, Chadwick said they had decided to run a classic ultra marathon.
In 2017, Team Wolverine Athletics launched the Puddle Jumper Classic with 50 or 25 kilometers. The following year they were expanded to include a variety of shorter distance races in the Sunshine Coast Trail Series and the Soames Grinder endurance race. And while they were planning plans to roll out a backyard ultra called On the Edge of Insanity in 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic cut many plans in the works the following year.

While Team Wolverine Athletics’ event planning on the Sunshine Coast has come to an end, Chadwick said they’d love to meet with anyone on the coast who wants to host future events and share their experiences.

Chadwick said he would like to thank the sponsors, volunteers, and donors for their support and understanding.

Chadwick and his partner will be volunteering at the Squamish 50 races this October to continue to support the running community.