Well friends, it all boils down to this blog post for 2018. The big one. The main event. The one for all the marbles. Yes, it’s finally time to spill pixels and re-tell the tale of my experience in Chamonix, France for the CCC (Courmayeur, Champex, Chamonix) trail race. For the uninitiated (shame on you!), this is essentially the super bowl of trail running on the global stage. Road runners have the world majors, trail runners have the UTMB trail races that take place in Chamonix. Even getting to the start line has its own strict requirements, that for some racers can take years of trying. For starters, you need to qualify. This means collecting points in other races. Each race requires a certain amount of points collected in a certain number of races. Once you have the points, you have to enter a lottery (yes, for real), and hope you get drawn. Once you secure an entry, you have to finalize registration, submit a medical certificate, and stay healthy till the main event in September (lottery is in January). What follows is my story of the event (but not the entire journey!!).
Fresh off the heels of my successful running of the 100k Quebec Mega Trail, and leading up to my next major race of the year (the Canadian Death Race), I decided I wanted to keep the momentum going by taking on a shorter race not TOO far from home. After consulting a calendar (and past experience), I decided to head on down to Ithaca, NY and tackle the Cayuga Trails Marathon race course. I’ve done the 50 miler twice, but decided that a single loop of this beautiful yet challenging course would be enough for a good weekend workout. What’s more, I had friends going AND Deanna was also going to run the marathon. Sounds like a great weekend, right? Read on for the story of the event!
Continue reading Staring Down the Stairs in Ithaca
Good day friends! Well, after the last unsuccessful race outing (in my mind anyway), it’s time to put that in the past and look at another race I took part in. This would be my first long ultra of the season, the 100km Quebec Mega Trail, taking place around Mont Ste Anne in Quebec. The race took place over the July 1st long weekend, so we opted to make a fun weekend of it, hanging out with friends before and after the event. All others were doing shorter distances, but I figured I should still be fine for some post-race celebrating! Read on to learn more about this race, and how I fared on the inaugural running of the 100k distance!
When you last heard from me, I was gallivanting through the hills of Bear Mountain, NY, struggling through my first trail run of the season, which also happened to be my first race of the season. Fast forward 2 weeks, and I was back out there competing in another race. However, I opted to go back to one of my other passions, Adventure Racing! I figured that since my foot has been a problem, I should dive a bit back into multi-sport racing. So with that, I found myself at the start line of one of my favourites, the 8-hour Raid Pulse Adventure Race with many old friends. Although it was my first AR in 2 years, I had high hopes, and was racing solo. Whatever the course may hold, I knew either way, it would be fun. Did it all go to plan? Definitely not, so read on to learn more about his adventure!
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
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