No ice to skate on? No problem! Cross the Rideau Canal virtually on foot, by walking or running the distance.
Each winter, the historic Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, becomes the Rideau Canal Skateway, the world’s largest skating rink.
Virtual Run Canada is proud to partner with the National Capital Commission (NCC) in offering the first Rideau Canal Skateway Challenge, a unique challenge that will let you explore this amazing wonder from anywhere in Canada! You will have approximately 2 months to complete this Challenge, giving you and your family a welcome motivation to enjoy our #WinterCapital.
When open (weather permitting), the Rideau Canal Skateway is free and accessible 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. You can explore any section of the 7.8 kilometres thanks to its universally accessible facilities like access ramps, heated change rooms and washrooms. There are also many benches to lace up your skates, and food concessions. Non-skaters can walk along the edges of the Skateway (away from skaters), or on the pathways above the canal. Visit the NCC website for updated reports on ice conditions and to plan your visit.
Who can participate? The Rideau Canal Skateway Challenge is open to everyone, adults and children alike. You can register your whole family, and every member will accomplish their own personal challenge.
How does the challenge work? The Challenge must be completed between December 1 and May 30, 2022. To complete this challenge, you will record 15.6 km of skating or running. This is the equivalent of the 7.8 kilometres Rideau Canal Skateway distance back and forth. Our results platform will keep track of your cumulative distance you submit until you reach the goal. This can be done over multiple sessions or all at once.
Do I have to skate? Is it a race? Absolutely not! This is your personal challenge and not a timed race; you get to complete it at your own pace. When you submit results, you will be able to select what type of activity you used to complete the distance. You can walk, run or skate for this challenge.
How much does it cost to participate? Regular registration is free and includes a digital bib; participants can download it immediately after registering. You can also choose a paid package that includes a medal or an official t-shirt ($25 each or $45 for both), in addition to the digital bib. This package also includes a donation to a community partner or a charity of the participant's choice.
Is there a Rideau Canal Skateway Challenge medal? Yes! You can add a medal to your order here, or purchase the complete package here. You can purchase the package with both challenges, medals, bibs, and the t-shirt here.
When will my order ship? This package is in stock and now shipping! You will receive an email confirmation when your order has shipped so that you know to keep your eyes peeled.
When can I upload my distances? You can upload your results between December 1 and May 30, 2022.
How do I upload my results? After you register, you will receive an activation email. You can use any app or GPS device to track your run. You can submit results by connecting directly to your Strava, Garmin, fitbit, POLAR, COROS, or manually entering your activities!
Share your Challenge pictures with us! Tag your posts with #VirtualRunningSquad and #WinterCapital!