Building off the relative success I had a few weeks earlier at the Raid Pulse 8 hour adventure race, I decided that it might be time to put the ankle to a real test and sign up for a real trail running race. To those ends, I’d already committed to racing the 80km Quebec Mega Trail race on the July 1st long weekend. However, that wasn’t quite good enough for my liking. My training volume had been quite low to date, and I didn’t want to go straight into a 50 miler without a bit of a test. And I found just the thing to serve as that test: The Mad Trapper Backyard Ultra! My reasoning for this? Well, a ‘backyard ultra’ has not fixed distance. It is a ‘last person standing’ race, where competitors run for as long as they can on a looped course. At the top of every hour, you start a new loop until you either can’t complete a lap or drop out. At the beginning, everyone is tied for first place, but by the end, everyone except for one person is officially DNF! Sounds great right? Read on to see how I fared. Continue reading A Race with No End…
Holy cow is this post late!! Here I sit in the cold winds of January typing out a race report for a race that I took part in almost 3 months ago! You may be asking yourself why I’m so tardy with this season-closing post, especially given my pretty good result? Well, less than 1 week after the race, I was leaving for a 3 week expedition / vacation in Patagonia, and upon my return, I discovered I was going in for ankle surgery less than 1 week later. Since that time, my focus was on recovery and a host of other pre-occupations. Nonetheless, dear readers, I did NOT forget about you, nor did I forget about the race. With that rambling apologetic introduction, let’s get into it, and try not to go too deep into analyzing a race I don’t fully recall at this point :-).
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!!).
The Canadian Death Race. What does the name of this event conjure up in your minds? Well, as you may guess, it isn’t a stroll through a lovely forest trail, I can assure you of that much! To my knowledge, no one has *actually* died while taking part in this event, but I can’t say that with 100% certainty. In case you haven’t figured it out yet, welcome to another race report. This time, we whisk you off to Grande Cache, AB for the 19th annual Canadian Death Race (now under new management…). This is a 125km, 5 leg race (total of 7 aid stations) that featured some monster climbs, great scenery, and some tight cutoffs. I basically tackled this bad boy over an extended long weekend, flying solo to the race. Read on for the whole sordid tale.
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
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