According to Lucas Walters, the Boreal Trail is a pretty special destination for trail runners.
Its primary attraction? No one has ever heard of it.
After weeks of being cooped up in isolation, hundreds, maybe thousands of trail runners will hit the mountains soon. We’re all eager for some exercise in the great outdoors, but there’s a good chance it’s going to get crowded.
So what about trail running in, erm, northern Saskatchewan instead? Lucas is an ultra runner and RunUphill regular who has all of Meadow Lake Provincial Park as his playground. Meadow Lake is one of Canada’s largest provincial parks and the highlight is the Boreal Trail, a 135 kilometre trail that runs the park’s length, east to west.
Lucas, who lives in the nearby City of Meadow Lake (population 5,344), is used to having the Park pretty much to himself. He’s one of maybe two regular trail runners in town. The other is his wife, Jessica. She’s also the city clerk, in case you ever want seats to a city council meeting.
While local running culture may be sparse, Lucas says everyone’s friendly and curious about his pursuits. He says, “We definitely get strange looks when we're out running or even out training in the park, people will ask us what we're doing.” But now the locals wave when they see him behind the wheel of his E350 adventure van. “They're just kind of used to the short shorts (btw, his favourites are from rabbit) and the bright colors and they're like, ‘Oh, there's Lucas... I wonder what he's doing now.’”