Hike, Bike and Paddle Your Way Through Elkwater

Posted on : Monday, April 26, 2021


The Medicine Hat Massacre is truly a unique way to experience Elkwater.

The adventure race takes teams of outdoor enthusiasts through Elkwater on foot, on bike and on the water.

The race has been a southeast Alberta tradition for over 15 years, and after a year off in 2020, the race quickly sold out this year.

“We’re packed full and ready to go this year,” said one of the race’s organizers Paul MacKenzie. “We’re having a great time with this, and it’s clear that there is a desire for the race this year.”

The race was originally put together by local Doctor Gerry Prince, before the South Eastern Alberta Search and Rescue Association stepped in and took on some of the organizing duties. Every year the race raises crucial funds for SEASAR.

The nine-hour race incorporates an on-foot, water and mountain biking sections.


“It’s like a giant game of geocaching,” MacKenzie said. “[Participants] have an electronic marker and they find as many marked points as they can.”

“It’s a lot of fun and we’re all looking forward to it.”

Within each section of the race, there are between 15 and 30 points that teams need to locate. Participants have about three hours on foot, on their bike and on the water to find as many markers as possible.

“Not only is this a lot of fun, it’s a really nice challenge,” said MacKenzie. “If a team was to find every point in the entire race, it would be about 85 kilometres of travel.”

“The great thing is that people can make this as difficult as they’d like. You can go for as many or as little points as you’d like.”


In addition to the main team race, there is a family event taking place this year. It’s a lower intensity route, and people of all ages and skill levels can participate.

“We’re calling it the Massacre Lite,” said MacKenzie. “We have a handful of families of four and five, so we’ll see parents and kids taking this on.”

“The race is only three hours and I think it will be a really enjoyable day for these families.”

The races are being held on May 8 and are sold out.

MacKenzie says that community support and sponsorship have been outstanding

“Just a big thank you to everyone who has supported us this year,” he said. “It’s great to see so many people help out and have our back.”

For more information about the Medicine Hat Massacre Race, visit: www.mhmassacre.ca