Cain’s Quest starts up again today and the racers are now doing final preparations for one of the hardest and most extreme races in the world.
Glenn Emberley, chair of the race, said this year looks to be exciting with three new checkpoints and a full slate for the first time in the race’s history. They capped the number of racers at 40 this year and filled up fast. They held a lottery for the final spot but through the jigs and the reels having 41 teams, with everyone who registered getting a spot.
“We didn’t have the heart to turn anyone away,” Emberley said with a laugh. “We usually fill up over a couple of months with people registering at the last minute but this year it went quick. Whether it was the success of the 2016 race or that we put an official cap on it, it filled up quick.”
He said he’s very glad to see so much interest in this year’s race and said the race has been growing every year. Racer’s come from across the country and beyond but the majority are Labradorians. Emberley said it has evolved since 2006 and has become a big tourism event for the area.
“It started as an event to create some tourism opportunities for Labrador and we’ve taken that to heart,” he said. “We put together a new mission statement in 2016, what this race was about, what are we doing here and we put together a mission and objectives that came out of that. Showcasing Labrador and uniting its people. We weren’t sure what this was going to look like when we started.”
Racers in past races have marvelled at the beauty of the landscape and even Labradorians have said its shown them parts of Labrador they hadn’t seen before. Emberley said it expended his knowledge of the area as well.
“It opened up my eyes to all the people and places to see in Labrador. It really became exactly that, showcasing Labrador and its people. Cain’s Quest is probably the single event that every corner of Labrador come out to support. It’s amazing to see how this one event can bring people together like that, regardless of language, culture or where they live in Labrador. Everyone talks the language of Cain’s Quest.”
The three new checkpoints this year are Black Tickle, Charlottetown and L’anse Au Clair. Emberley said the communities are excited to be a part of the race and it helps showcase those communities to the world.
This year the first overnight stopover is in Churchill Falls, which Emberley said is to give people an idea of what they’re in for before taking the leg up north.
“The idea was give people a feel for Cain’s Quest when they do the run to Churchill Falls. It’s not an easy run by any means, a lot of teams last time got taken out on that leg. It’ll give them a chance to rest up that first night for that long journey north. I think the racers are really going to need that rest before going up north.”
People who want to track the race online can do so at https://www.cqtv.ca/. It will end in Labrador City on March 10 at the arena with a closing banquet at 6 p.m. Check the Labradorian/Aurora website for updates as well.
Emberley said this event wouldn’t be possible without the great community support and partnerships.
This year they are partnering with ACOA, Province of NL, Nunatsiavut Govt., Innu Nation, NunatuKavut and Town of Labrador City. Corporate sponsors are a big part of making this possible as well, including the Iron Ore Company of Canada, PAL Airlines / Air Borealis, Labrador Rewinding, Labrador Mall, Two Seasons Inn, Labrador Motors, United Rentals, BBA, Graybar and Rumbolt’s Plumbing & Heating.