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Fire Fighter's 10-Mile Road Race

Competition or Sporting Event

Runners on the last leg of the race about a mile out coming toward the finish at May St. – Jim Cameron - 10-Mile Road Race

The Fire Fighters 10-Mile Road Race is a Thunder Bay tradition dating back to 1910.

If you are an avid runner, a trip to Thunder Bay, Ontario, on the Canadian May long weekend is a must to take part in one of Canada's oldest road races.

Held each year on Victoria Day Monday, this exciting and historic race has featured top runners from around the world. In fact, the course records for both men and women are held by runners from Finland, a direct tie to Thunder Bay's Finnish cultural roots.

Course Records

Pekka Paivarenti's fastest time of 47:09 was set in 1975, while Erja Ervonen ran 57:16 in 1994. Kenyan runners have won the men's race the past few years, while Minnesota runners are always contenders in the women's division.

Thunder Bay runners have excelled in the race with Sue Kainulainen holding the record for the most victories (7) in the women's division and Jonathon Balabuck posting 5 consecutive victories in the men's division.

Attraction for Visiting Runners

In recent years, the popular race (which also includes a relay event) now attracts anywhere from 700 to 1000 runners. Each year, visiting runners travel from Minnesota, Wisconin. Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario for the popular spring run.

The Course

The 10-mile course is a beautiful out and back course with the start/finish on May St. in the down-town south core near City Hall and the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame. The race connects the former cities of Fort William and Port Arthur with the turnaround point looping through beautiful Marina Park on the scenic shores of Lake Superior over looking the Sleeping Giant in Thunder Bay harbour.

Strong Community Support

The race would be nothing without the cheering spectators that line the city-long route especially along the final mile on May St and also in Bay-Algoma Neighbourhood known as Thunder Bay's connection to Finnish heritage.

The race draws strong community support from the almost 200 volunteers involved with the race who along with local spectators play an enormous role in generating excitement and spurring on every runner to perform to their potential. Anybody who has participated in this event will attest to the powerful impact of a cheering crowd as they compete.

Fresh Air is the Presenting Sponsor offering cash prizes to the top male and top female finishers. The Thunder Bay Professional Fire Fighters Association continues to be a proud supporter of this event, as many of their members will be running the full race and participating in the popular relay event.

Participation Requirements (if any)

Open to Male and Female Runners.


Online registration for 2018 closed May 14th.

Anyone still wanting to participate can come to kit pick-up to register in person. Race fee is $100.

Kit pick-ups times are on:

  • Thursday, May 17th from 5 - 7 pm. at Fresh Air
  • Sunday, May 20th from 4:30 - 7 pm. at the Knights of Columbus Hall

You do not have to pick up your own kit - you can have someone do that for you.


We have maxed out at 60 relay teams for 2018