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Article Teaser: If you thought Canada's national sport was hockey, think again. While hockey is huge, the official national sport is lacrosse.

Keep reading below...

The Sporting Life

Copyright (c) 2007-2017 Travel Alberta, All Rights Reserved
Written by:

Lacrosse

If you thought Canada's national sport was hockey, think again. While hockey is huge, the official national sport is lacrosse. Similar to its ice-bound cousin, lacrosse is played in an arena with teams of six a side attempting to score goals in their opponents' nets. It's a rough-and-tumble event that's gaining in popularity as a spectator sport, and nowhere will you find it more thrilling than at a Calgary Roughnecks game. As players run and score to a thumping rock 'n' roll beat, the action comes from every direction at a feverish pace. As defending league champions, the Roughnecks are a good bet to make it to the final, played this year on May 14. For a uniquely Canadian sporting event, try lacrosse.


Football

The pigskin tradition is an old one in Alberta, with two rival football teams in the province's major cities...the Edmonton Eskimos and Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League. This year, the season opens on June 22 and closes in late November with the playing of the Grey Cup. Dating back to 1909, the Grey Cup is the oldest consistently awarded trophy in North American pro sport. This year, the Eskimos and Stampeders both have their sights set on the cup, and the fiercest battles will be the ones when Calgary hosts Edmonton on September 5 and Edmonton returns the favor on September 9.


Two Wheels

The wilderness trails of the Rocky Mountains offer the ideal challenge for extreme adventure cyclists. But be cautioned: these are events not for the faint of heart...or leg.

The ultimate experience is undoubtedly the TransRockies Challenge, in which participants cover more than 370 miles of rugged mountain terrain and more than 7 miles of elevation over a 7-day period, finishing up in Canmore. Every day, the hundreds of racers who start at 8am need to reach a movable tent city by 6pm. Just finishing this event is an amazing accomplishment.

Only slightly less wild is the 24 Hours of Adrenalin in Canmore, where mountain bike riders pedal through the night to see how far they (or their team) can go before the 24-hour clock runs out. This event features a loop course that begins and ends at the Canmore Nordic Centre, site of the 1988 Winter Olympics Nordic events.


Two Feet

The Death Race. If the name doesn't scare you off, this could be the running event for you. Picture a 100-mile course over three mountain passes that you have to finish in 24 hours, including a river crossing where you hand a coin to the Grim Reaper for a boat ride across. It doesn't get much more extreme than the Canadian Death Race in Grande Cache, which is considered by many to be the toughest running race in Canada. Of course, if you don't want to do it solo, you can always take the "easy" way and race it in a group of five.

Another 100-mile mountain running race is found further south, this time in Kananaskis Country. The K-100 Relay pits teams of 10 against each other in a weekend of family camping...and extreme adventure.

If you like your running events more on the urban side, there are scores of races all summer in Alberta. The largest of these are the Calgary Marathon (Jul 10) run along the Bow River in the foothills of Alberta and the Edmonton Marathon (Aug 21) run alongside the mighty North Saskatchewan River.


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Copyright (c) 2006 Travel Alberta, All Rights Reserved

Travel Alberta is the destination marketing organization for the Province of Alberta. Guided by the Strategic Tourism Marketing Council, Travel Alberta is the steward for the effective delivery of tourism marketing programs. For information about our organization, please visit our Travel Alberta industry web site at http://www.travelalberta.com

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Internal ID: #4445
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Word Count: 581

Total Views: 2897

Article Rating: 2.88 of 5
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