Let me set the scene. We’re talking about the North Face Endurance Challenge, Bear Mountain 2018. I was originally registered in the 80k race, dropped to the 42k race two days before race. The odds were stacked against me even participating in this race. Roughly 2 months earlier, I had a full ankle lock-out, necessitating x-rays and a self-funded MRI to expedite results. Verdict was fully torn ligaments (3), as well as ‘loose bodies‘ (one 5mm in diameter, the other 8mm, with more possibly hidden…) which were the likely cause of my locked ankle, and reason I’m currently awaiting surgery (sometime in this decade I hope!!). In addition, the past 2 weeks, I’d been extremely sick with bronchitis (avoided doctor and antibiotics until the week AFTER the race). However, given that an orthopedic doctor had cleared me to ‘run’ two weeks prior to race, I decided to go ahead and give things a whirl. Yes, saner people may have thrown in the towel, but I figured worst case, I’d hike my way through the course. Read on to hear how it all went down. Continue reading Don’t Call it a Comeback
Time to wrap up my series of winter racing stories for this year. And what better way to do so than to re-cap the three Mad Trapper snowshoe races that I took part in this winter. Normally, this series starts off in December, and features a total of 4 races, but over the years, it has become challenging to predict the snow conditions for December, so instead, race director Mike decided to make this a 3-race series for 2018, with 2 daytime races, and one nighttime outing. As per usual, I signed up early for all three races, since that is the best bang for buck, and ensures I’ll eat delicious brownies at least three times! Read on for the full recap on how the races went for me this year. Continue reading Triple Crown at the Mad Trapper Snowshoe Races
Hot off the heels of securing my permanent bib at the Canadian Ski Marathon, I found myself once again boarding a bus, skis in hand, ready to tackle another great adventure. Less than 6 days after finishing the 167km journey of CSM, I was set to race two days back-to-back at the 40th Annual Gatineau Loppet! Day 1 would be the 51km linear Classic race, followed by repeating the exact same 51km course the next day, but this time on skate skis. Beyond the challenge of just mentally preparing for such a feat less than a week after CSM, this time, I had to put myself in ‘race’ mode. As CSM was not a race, but an event, the mental game at the Gatineau Loppet was different. The reward however, is that by completing both weekends, I would once again be successful in getting my name on the wall of the ‘Triple Ski Challenge‘, a relatively small group of folks who tackle the full marathon, plus the two back-to-back long loppet challenges. Continue reading Doubling Down at the Gatineau Loppet
Hello friends! Seems like my blog posts are becoming fewer and farther between, but I assure you it is not for a lack of my being active. On the contrary, I’m still up to my tricks, training and racing whenever the urge strikes. However, I find these days with other platforms around, I often just scratch out a short FB post instead to summarize some of my exploits. However, sometimes, it’s still worth me archiving results in a more permanent way with a full story. This post it such a time, as it will talk about my recent [successful] completion of my 7th Canadian Ski Marathon completion in a row as a Coureur des Bois. Having 5 gold camp finishes under my belt scored me a permanent bib this year! Read on for the whole story. Continue reading The Seven Year Itch – Getting a Permanent CSM Bib!
My trail running race season had wrapped up. It was time to turn my focus to winter sports. So why then did I find myself on a Thursday night hitting ‘register’ for a 50k trail race in 2 days? Some might say I have an addiction of sorts. They would be correct. The bottom line was that my feet felt good, my legs felt good, and I was looking for that little bit of motivation to keep active going into winter. Plus, the race was taking place at the Ark, which has a soft spot in my heart. All told, I couldn’t really find a reason NOT to race on the weekend with friends in the beautiful fall colours. So begins my tale from the Mad Trapper Relentless 50k Trail Race. Read on, friends. Continue reading Spontaneous Trail Triumph
As I crested yet another little rise, feeling the many kilometers in my entire body, I could utter only a single word to myself in my internal monologue: “run”. So goes the simple existence of an ultra-runner deep into a long race. In this case, it was the 106km Midnight Moose Ultra, taking place in Gatineau Parc, so near my house, yet so far away mentally. The mantra I trained myself to repeat ad nauseum is simple: “Run where you can, walk where you have to”. This truly is the key to getting through an ultra. You need to simplify, and try not to get into your own head. This race was slated to be my final race of the 2017 season, so I had entered it with a couple goals. Firstly, I wanted to complete the race in under 13 hours, and the 2nd goal was to reach the podium. I’ve been happy with my season (yes, including the DNF at Sinister 7), but the true podium had eluded me all season. Read on to hear more about this backyard ultra, being put on for the first time. Continue reading Chasing the Moose through the Darkness