Info and updates

Competitor Update #1

January 09, 2022

Greetings! Thank you for registering for the inaugural Beaver Freezer Marathon! This cold weather will certainly help freeze up the inland lakes and creeks ensuring we have an amazing day March 6th. It is excellent to see the community support for the event and the number of people that have already registered.

Here is what we will cover in this update:

  1. Introduction of our sponsors and what will be in your race kit!

  1. Course descriptions

  1. How the race works

  1. Relay teams with kids

  1. Mandatory gear

  1. We need volunteers

  1. Safety and Covid protocol

  1. Meet our sponsors and see what they are doing for you!

Welcome Sault College! Since the conception of the Annual Beaver Freezer Marathon so many amazing things have happened. We have a presenting sponsor! Sault College has stepped up and provided fantastic support. Sault College has designed and purchased a custom Beaver Freezer buff for all competitors and volunteers! This is a $30 value! A big thank you to this amazing educational institution! It is just the tip of the iceberg for what they are doing for our community and the Beaver Freezer Marathon.

Hiawatha Highlands is awesome! Thanks for the host of the event; Hiawatha Highlands and Soo Finnish Nordic Ski Club. This group of dedicated volunteers make winter better for everyone. A special thank you to Cassandra Towle for taking on registration for the Beaver Freezer Marathon on top of everything else she does for our community.

Thank you to the City of Sault Ste. Marie! The municipality and Tourism Sault Ste. Marie have supported the eventby providing each competitor with the mandatory self-rescue ice tools required during the race. This is a great cost savings for competitors.

Cindy Pruce is a Rock Star! The Sault Cycling Club has put an enormous amount of support, work and time into this event. A huge shout out to Cindy - She is directing the social media and communications of the Beaver Freezer Marathon. Thanks Cindy!

Support your local bike stores! Special thanks to Algoma Bicycle Company and Velorution for their support of the event. Both shops will be providing prizes and swag. Swing by these hotspots to gear up for your adventure!

Raise your glass for a great winter and have a beer! Outspoken Brewing will be on site during race day for you to enjoy a cold beverage after the race.

Need a guide? Red Pine Tours has partnered with the Beaver Freezer Marathon to provide guided tours of the racecourse. Book now to pre ride the course with a professional.

  1. Course Descriptions

The course will start and finish at Hiawatha Highlands and take competitors through scenic inland lakes, meandering streams and steep canyons. There will be tough climbs on narrow snowmachine routes, undulating portage trails that will strain the camber of your skis and possibly slightly flooded sections that may wet some feet. Be prepared and bring extra gear!

Only the kilometers within the Hiawatha Highlands ski area will be groomed for skiing and fat biking. Once you pass the Mabel Lake turn off it will be wide open adventure territory including ice and snowmachine trails. The running portion within Hiawatha Highlands will take place on snowshoe trails. See the maps here. In March, these conditions are typically prime for skiing, fat biking and running.

Distances are estimates at this time. Modifications of the racecourse may occur prior to the race which couldincrease or decrease the distances slightly.

This is not a closed course. Expect to see other pedestrians and snowmobiles out on the course. There will be signage at all the intersections indicating that there is a race in progress and to guide you along the way.

  1. How the race works

Choose your own adventure! You do not have to commit to any one discipline until the day of the race. The weather can be volatile in March and you never know what you were going to get. Check the race start times prior to the race and show up when your discipline is listed. Ensure you are early enough to check in with registration and receive the race briefing. Depending on Covid restrictions, racers may have a staggered start.

See the maps here.

Short Course (10 – 15 kms)

We have added a shorter course for those that would like to stay on the “more groomed trails”. This course will bring you out towards Mabel Lake bridge and back by way of the Mable Lake ski trail. Conditions closer to race day will dictate the final design of this course.

Half Marathon (25 kms+)

The half marathon course will bring competitors out to checkpoint one (CP 1) on beautiful Island Lake and back following the normal racecourse. This can route be done with a relay team by driving to checkpoint one and meeting your teammate there for the handoff.

Full Marathon (42 kms +)

The full marathon will be a big adventure! From CP1 it will continue up to Lower Island Lake before returning to CP1/3. This portion can be done in teams of up to four people in multiple disciplines.

Relay Teams – how it could work for a 2 person team:

  • A races to CP1 at Trout Lake

  • B drives to CP1 at Trout Lake

  • A and B swap car keys, bib, safety gear and a high five

  • B races to CP2 at Lower Island Lake

  • A drives to CP2 at Lower Island Lake

  • Repeat!

Driving directions – click here to see the driving directions. Hint – stash extra clothes and snacks in your car.

Start times

Please expect to start early! Start times will be determined as we get closer to the race. The number of participants and conditions will determine start times. Longer distances will start first with runners.

  1. Relay Teams with kids – how it works.

If you are racing with kids and have concerns about your kids racing alone, we understand. Our suggestion would be to consider racing alongside your child during their section. We will have extra safety gear at registration for those that have children involved. Having a third or fourth person in your relay team will allow your vehicle to be shuttled to the checkpoints.

  1. Mandatory Gear

Mandatory Safety Equipment

All participants will be required to carry the following mandatory gear:

  • Ice picks for self-rescue (provided)

  • Emergency whistle (provided)

  • Emergency blanket

  • Windproof / waterproof jacket

  • Hat or buff (provided)

  • Helmet (Fat bikers only)

Recommended Gear

The following additional equipment is highly recommended for your safety:

Runners - anti slip mechanism for shoes such as cleats, spikes or running crampons. Snowshoes may be beneficial in some sections.

Fat Bikes - Studs in your tires are crucial as glare ice conditions are common.

Skiers - It is possible to skate or classic but prepare yourself for some sections of double polling. It will be mandatory to remove skis on some narrow downhill sections that have two-way traffic.

  1. We need volunteers!

It is impossible to run an event of this magnitude without the help of many volunteers. We are looking for trail marshals, check point staff, administrative personnel and problem solvers. Please encourage your family and friends to race...but if they can’t then please encourage them to register as a volunteer!

  1. Safety and Covid Protocol

With the colder weather of January and February we expect the lakes to freeze over nicely. Typically, the first two weeks in March are prime lake conditions for a race like this. Sault Search and Rescue will be on the racecoursechecking conditions and ensuring the safety of all the competitors. Please watch for pedestrians and snow machines on the racecourse.

Skiers will be required to remove their skis for their safety and the safety of others on steep, rocky and narrow downhill sections. There will be signs indicating this.

Due to current fluctuations in Covid restrictions we will communicate requirements closer to the race in consultation with Algoma Public Health.

Thanks again for registering for the Beaver Freezer Marathon. We look forward to seeing you on March 6th!


The Busy Beavers

All competitor updates will be posted on our website

Competitor Update #2

Beaver Freezer Competitor Update #2

We are just a few days away from the 1st annual Beaver Freezer Marathon! Here is some information to keep you updated and help you prepare:

  1. A big thank-you!

  2. Refreshments and entertainment

  3. Start times

  4. Race course update

  5. Discipline update

  6. Safety and mandatory gear

  7. Covid protocol

  8. Prizing and awards

  9. Driving directions and parking

  10. Bib pick up

  1. A BIG Thank-you!

Our crew of Busy Beavers has been working hard lining up volunteers, preparing the course and ensuring everything is ready. We are especially grateful to a few volunteers who have put a huge effort into making this happen:

Darrel Philion and Reg Peer have been out on the course night and day getting tracks down and packing it. The recent snowfalls have made it very difficult to get through areas but they have persevered!

Cindy Pruce from the Sault Cycling Club has been keeping everyone updated on social media, gathering draw prizes and organizing the beer tent.

Cassandra Nielson has been handling the hefty process of registration; handling all of the questions and sorting people into the proper categories.

Joey Kirkwood has been organizing the Transition Areas, gathering supplies and coordinating volunteers.

Wayne Westman has personally cut all 300 wood cookie medals. Not with his teeth, mind you, although he is as industrious as a real beaver in spirit. You will be able to choose your favorite beaver when you finish!

Please pass on your appreciation when you see these champs on the racecourse!

  1. Refreshments and entertainment

Barban Construction and Pino’s will be providing snacks and drinks at all the Transition Areas and the finish line.

Greg Maclachlan will be playing a few music sets for everyone starting at 1230 and again after the race once he finishes the 10km race with his daughter. Check out his new album!

Outspoken will be on site for everyone to enjoy a beer after the race and watch the finishers come in.

  1. Start times

Depending on your starting discipline please show up wearing your bib at the startline at least 20 min prior to your start time to check in. Check in will be near the backstop at the start / finish line.

42km Course 24km Course 10km Course

0800 Runners 0900 Runners 1000 Runners

0820 Skiers 0920 Skiers 1015 Skiers

0840 Fat Bikes 0940 Fat Bikes 1030 Fat Bikes

  1. Race Course Update

The race course will start and finish from Hiawatha Highlands but the disciplines will have a staggered start time to help spread the athletes out. Also, the first few kilometeres of the course vary for each discipline to also disperse the groups. Please see the attached map to help you visualize the course. Each trail will be well marked and color coded to keep you on the right track. Long distances on the lakes may be marked with the occasional spruce bow.


Once racers have turned onto the Mabel Lake trail every discipline will follow the blue flagging, signs and markings. At this point the route will be an open course and may have non racers out and about along the way including snow machines. Use caution and listen for vehicle noise especially on the narrow trails.

Marshals will be at key spots throughout the race to ensure everyone is okay and on the correct course. Depending on snow conditions there may be last minute rerouting that differs from the maps on the website. Currently we have the race going out through Caribou Lake and not St. Joe’s Lake and we are still trying to push the trail through Crystal Lake. See the maps below for the most current routes.

  1. Discipline update

Enormous amounts of snow for this time of year continue to fall. It has made the trails, streams and lakes very soft. Our volunteer groomers Darrel and Reg have a good trail laid down and Jack Trombello and Allen Orlando continue to maintain the Mabel Lake trail in an amazing condition.

The forecast is calling for more snow and cold conditions leading up to the race and a sunny -4°C day for the race.

Running - this will be slow and difficult and snowshoes will make a huge difference keeping you afloat. Be prepared for slush if you venture off the groomed trail and you are not wearing them.

Fat biking - The course has been groomed with snow machines and has been packed several times. The cold temperatures will keep it solid but low air pressure will go a long way to keep you afloat.

Skiing - The course will be tracked to the Mabel flats turn around and back. For the 24 and 42 km race you will depart classic grooming here and venture onto snowmachine / fat bike groomed trails. Currently with the amount of snow we have been getting, skating is not recommended due to narrower trails. Classic skiing will likely be the best option.

  1. Safety and Mandatory gear.

Safety is our top priority for this race and we are working with Sault Search and Rescue, Canadian Ski Patrol and over 60 volunteers to keep everyone safe on the course. The ice conditions are very safe and many people have been out pre skiing / riding the course as well as recreational users including snow machines and ATVs. They may be on the course during race day so make sure to thank them for packing down these awesome routes.

Please have a contingency plan to be picked up at a TA in case of a non medical issue such as a mechanical breakdown or fatigue. We will have some emergency transport but would like to reserve that for medical situations only. If you do leave the course, please check in with a TA or race headquarters so safety crews are not out looking for you.

Mandatory Safety Equipment

Due to recent supply chain issues our ice pick for self rescue and whistles may not arrive in time to get them into your race kits. After consulting our safety team it has been agreed that the ice is thick and safe enough that these will not be mandatory. We do still require you to have a whistle with you that is readily accessible. If you would like to bring or make your own ice picks you please do! Please learn how to use them as well. Ensure the sharp points are not in danger of injuring you in the event of a fall.

Mandatory Gear:

To be carried by each racer at all times while on the course.

  • Race bib

  • Emergency whistle

  • Emergency blanket

  • Mask protected in plastic bag in case of evacuation

  • Windproof / waterproof jacket

  • Hat or buff (provided)

  • Bottle for hydration (provided)

  • Helmet (fat bikers only)

  • Tools, pump and tube (fat bikers only)

Suggested Gear:

This may make your race much more enjoyable

  • Extra socks

  • Plastic bags or boot liners in case of a soaker

  • Hand / foot warmers

  • Sunglasses

  • Sunscreen

  • Snowshoes (runners only)

  • Grip wax and cork (skiers only)

  1. Covid 19 Protocol

Algoma Public Health has provided guidance regarding self assessment that all racers and volunteers should undertake prior to attending the race. Please take the time to do this and only attend if you are clear. Grocery stores are providing free rapid antigen tests and it is advised to take one prior to joining the event.

You are not required to show proof of vaccination for outdoor events however you are required to wear a mask if you are closer than 2m to people not in your household.

Please ensure you are wearing a mask during race check in and you stay 2m apart when not wearing a mask. For more information please visit:

  1. Prizing and awards

There will be draw prizes for competitors and volunteers closer to the end of the event so please hang around and enjoy refreshments from Outspoken while you listen to Greg Maclachlan and friends play music.

Every competitor will receive a handmade wood cookie medal with your favorite beaver image burned into it. The beavers were designed by Shannon Ramsey and the race logo was created by Conrad Wojcik. Special thanks to Wayne Westman for hand cutting over 300 wood cookies and Todd Dolk for the wood burning!

  1. Driving directions and parking

Driving directions can be found here on the website. Teams are required to get themselves to and from Transition Areas. Please drive slowly especially in the residential neighborhoods.

Parking Please park in the East and South parking lots shown on your map below. Please do not park in the North parking lot of the Kinsmen Center or in the church parking area to the South.

  1. Racer kit pick up

The Watertower Inn will be staffed with volunteers in the East Ballroom to hand out your kits on Friday March 04 from 1630 to 2000 (4:30 - 8:00PM)

Use code Beaver Freezer to receive a 10% discount off accommodations and receive a grab and go breakfast.

Algoma Bicycle Company will have any remaining kits for pick up on Saturday March 05 from 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM for anyone coming in from out of town.

Volunteer Update #1

January 23, 2022

The Beaver Freezer Marathon Volunteer Update #1

Thank you for volunteering for the Beaver Freezer Marathon. Your community support is appreciated and will help make trails better for everyone in Sault Ste. Marie!

Here is the latest information to keep you up to date with the Beaver Freezer Marathon. If you are interested in reading the competitor update it can be found at along with this document.

We will be reaching out to each of you over the next few weeks by phone and email to ensure you have what you require and know where you are going during the race. We will, of course, respect your wishes and accommodate your job preferences during the event.

Event Schedule

As we get closer to the event we will have better knowledge of the timing and spacing required to ensure public health and safety. For now, we expect the timing will look like this:

Race course set up and signage

0800 Saturday

Start / Finish set up

1800 Saturday evening

0700 Sunday morning

Racers start

0800 - 1000 Full marathon, half marathon and 10km

Racecourse closes

1400 - 1600 Last racer crosses finish line

1600 Start / Finish tear down

What to bring

Expect to be outside for the duration of the event. Temperatures can fluctuate from well below 0°C to well above. The sun can be shining, or the wind can be blowing hard. Here is a list of recommended equipment you should bring:

  • Warm clothes (dress in layers with a wind/waterproof layer)

  • Food and snacks

  • Liquids

  • Cell phone (fully charged with spare battery)

  • Folding chair

  • Foam mat / block for standing / sitting on

  • Entertainment – book, music, soccer ball...

  • Sun / rain shelter such as a tent or umbrella

  • Sunscreen

  • Competitor checklist with updates (provided)

  • Contact list for race staff (provided)

  • Personal supplies (medication, bathroom kit, hand sanitizer)

What you may be doing as a volunteer by location

Start / Finish Area will be the busiest area of the event. As racers arrive, teams will have to submit their waivers, and receive a race briefing prior to the event. Racers will be starting every 20 min depending on discipline and course length. As the racers start finishing the race their finish time must be recorded to ensure we are tracking everyone.

Transition Areas (TA’s) will be the life of the party! Costumes are encouraged! We will try and cohort you with people you are comfortable being near but there will be others on site. Please encourage everyone to follow public health guidelines and maintain physical distancing from each other. As racers arrive, please assist them with warm drinks, food, snacks and whatever else they may need. Prepare these snacks as needed by slicing fruit, warming up water and drinks and keeping the area clean and sanitary.

Porta Potties will be on site but may be located just outside of the TA where a truck is able to pull in and deliver it. The TA should be positioned just offshore where athletes can arrive without having to remove skis.

Within the transition areas teammates will be waiting for their racer to arrive. Then they will be swapping numbers, car keys and a Covid friendly high five before continuing. Please note that some parents may choose to continue travelling with their younger children during the next leg of the race – this is allowed and encouraged for safety.

Remote Check Points (CP’s) will be located at strategic locations throughout the race. These CPs are essential for wayfinding along the course and tracking of athletes. As racers come by your CP please ensure you record their number and time on your checklist. Make any notes as to how they are doing, energy level and direction of travel. This information is crucial if they go off course have a mechanical problem or injury. There might be good fishing at some of the locations!

Trail Marshals will assist racers during the first two kilometers of the race as each discipline will follow a slightly different route until they are on the Mabel Flats. These routes will be signed and flagged but it is nice to have the reassurance of a smiling face cheering you on and pointing you in the correct direction. These are temporary positions and volunteers should know the trail system and have a method of travelling there such as skis or fat bike.

There will be several other volunteer positions and special tasks that must be done to have a safe and fun race and we hope you are ready for an adventure. Once again, thank you for volunteering for the Beaver Freezer Marathon! We will talk with you by phone soon.


The Busy Beavers.

Volunteer Update #2 - Agenda

Beaver Freezer 2022

Volunteer Meeting Agenda

  1. Volunteer bag pick up

  2. Waivers - digital

  3. Course overview

  4. Start times

  5. TA placements

  6. Start Finish / Registration

  7. Radio Protocol / Emergency Protocol

  8. What to bring

  9. Volunteer placements (Marshaling points)

  10. Photography

  1. Volunteer Bag Pick Up

Now in Library Room at the Front of the Water Tower Inn

  1. Waivers

Please use the form Cassandra is placing in the chat to fill out the waivers.

  1. Course Overview

The course is snowy and has some slush.

Running course potential change



  1. Start times

42km Course 24km Course 10km Course

0800 Runners 0900 Runners 1000 Runners

0820 Skiers 0920 Skiers 1015 Skiers

0840 Fat Bikes 0940 Fat Bikes 1030 Fat Bikes

  1. TA Placements

Washrooms are available at each TA please check them for cleanliness

Tracking who comes through at each TA is the most important job

TA 1/3 Trout Lake

  • Parking will be tight.

  • Please carpool where appropriate

  • SC students - where your visi vests to assist with parking

  • Bring 2 way radios as it is a one way

  • Race staff utilize the bus turn around but be aware that others on the lake may need these spots.

  • Have volunteers utilize the parking up the hill behind the marina and racers can also line up on the road leaving enough space for people to get by easily

  • We are guests on a private road. Please be as friendly as possible

TA 2 Lower Island Lake

  • Use caution when crossing the road

  • Racers may have their head down when crossing help them

  1. Start / Finish and Registration

Setup is from 4pm - 6 pm on Saturday

  • Jobs include setting up tables, flags, fencing, power, labeling…

Race day jobs

  • Registration Lead - Gladys Westman

  • Timing Lead - Allan Kary

  • Tracking Sheets - Mike McMillan

  • Headquarters Lead - Anne Bostelar

  • Volunteer Tracking Lead - Karen Barban

  • Race Director - Lawrence Foster

  1. Radio Protocol

  • Radios will be given out at Volunteer bag pick up

  • Please keep it off until you arrive on site or depart a TA for your location

  • These are publicly transmitted

  • Think about what you want to say and how to say it

  • Speak in short concise sentences breaking up the message leave breaks for emergencies

  • Don’t sit on it or place it in a tight pocket

  • If you haven’t heard anything for a while check your channel to ensure you are on the correct frequency.

  1. What to bring

  • Dress warm

  • Bring food, liquids and personal supplies in a toboggan or backpack

  • Skiers bring warm boots

  • Fully charged cell phone

  1. Marshaling Points

  • Changes will be updated

  • Each location is labeled with names on blue tape and GPS points can be given

  • Are there any issues with where people are going and when to be in place?

  1. Photography

We are asking everyone to get some pictures during the race and upload them to our facebook site

or tag us with #beaverfreezermarathon or @beaver_freezer_marathon