A highly competitive trail race at the Saskatchewan Landing Provincial Park is adding some international competitors this year.

The Beaver Flat 50 will be the host site for Canada's 2023 NACAC (North American, Central American, and Caribean) Mountain and Trail Running Championships on September 16.

Warren Dudar, a co-race director for the Beaver Flat 50, said the idea blossomed from hearing NACAC was searching for a Canadian host site. After looking over the requirements for elevation gain, they decided to apply to be the hostess. 

"We definitely feel confident enough as race organizers to host these runners and do a really good job showing them a race that we think will measure up to some of the other races they've run all over the world," he said.

It's unknown how many professional runners from outside of Saskatchewan will make the trek for the southwest event that has four different race distances. Although Canada, Mexico, and the United States are all expected to bring full teams of 16 runners each. With part teams potentially coming from countries like Cuba, Dominican Republic, Jamacia, and El Salvador.   

"We have a lot of really good local runners that come out every year," he said. "I'm actually curious to see how they measure up compared to these international runners. It will be interesting to see how they fair in the hills just with the local competition being more used to a course like this with a lot of ups and downs.

"It could be a surprise to some of the international competition. They might be thinking that they're coming out to a pretty easy prairie run but they might be surprised at how challenging the hills are out there."

Dudar expects the teams to enter half their racers in the Beaver Flat 50-kilometre event with the other half taking on the 10-kilometre Trail Blitz.

"It runs in conjunction with the normal race," he said. "The international runners will go out at the same time; they're running essentially the same event with the other runners... Then we just take the results and separate them into the two different races at the end."

This will be the seventh installment of the event that normally features over 500 runners. With more competitors this year, the race will need more help from the local public to make sure it's a success.

"If this is something new for you and you want to come and check out the championship race and cheer on some local runners, it would be a good year to give it a go," he said. "We're definitely going to need some extra help out there."