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5 Peaks Trail Race - Sunridge

I love volunteering at races. It gives a different perspective to things and makes you realise just how much time and effort goes into organising these running events. For somebody like me that likes to race a lot, it also allows me to put something back into the sport that I love, to give encouragement to other runners and to help them to have a successful race.
A few weeks ago, I volunteered to help out on one of the aid stations during one of the 5 Peaks trail races up in Edmonton. I spent 4 hours handing out water and gatorade to people I had never met, laughing and joking and generally having a great time. Along with my aid station buddy, we clapped and cheered for a good couple of hundred people racing that day - some new to trail running and needing that reassurance, others experienced but still clearly grateful for that encouragement. I loved it!
Aside from the benefits of seeing people achieving their goals, volunteering for 5 Peaks also brings a free race entry to one of their…
Recent posts

Running, Camping and Having Fun :-)

It's been several weeks now since I ran the Blackfoot Ultra and I have to say it's been somewhat strange having such a huge gap between that and my next big race. I did have a few days recovery following Blackfoot but I was soon back into training and starting to prepare for my next 50 miler.
Iron Legs is a mountain race and takes place in Kananaskis Country near to Calgary. I ran this race back in 2014 and finished 5th lady in a little over 13 and a half hours. There's considerable climbing involved and on my first attempt, I was still predominantly a road runner that was more focused on speedwork that hill work.
Things are different this time. My body is no longer built for speed and I'm finding it harder to knock out those faster miles after so many years of competitive running. However, I am able to plod for more than a few miles and in the past 5 years, I have ran close to 50 trail races compared to about 10 on the roads. Yep, times have changed and the trails ar…

Blackfoot Ultra 50-Miler - the Longer Version

Back in January, I was selected to represent Great Britain at the European 24 Hour Championships but about a month later, we found out that we would be making the move back to Canada. Having already done 2 international moves, I was well aware of the stress and chaos that accompanied these things and by the end of March, I had made the decision to withdraw from the GB team. I just felt that I wouldn't be able to give running my full attention which meant I wouldn't be at my best for an international race.
Although I had withdrawn from the team, I still wanted to do an ultra around about the same time as I needed a focus to ensure my running didn't take much of a back seat. I knew that the Blackfoot Ultra took place in May and being the same weekend as the Europeans, it fitted perfectly with my plans - I could still follow the same schedule but without the same pressure, and it really didn't matter if I missed some of my key sessions as I would be competing for myself …

Road Racing Again - MEC Edmonton 15k

It's hard to believe that 6 years ago, I would happily have called myself a road runner and would have had no hesitation going to races with the sole aim of running as fast as I could. It would be a test of strength and speed endurance and I'd feel confident knowing that I could cope with the pace which could be anything between 5.30 and 6.30 minute miling which used to feel "comfortable".
These days I dread the thought of having to run fast, even for just a mile, but I know that speed work is a huge benefit to my overall running goals, whether long or short, road or trail.
When moving back to Canada, I was hopeful that I would continue to be coached by Adam. His plans over the past 18 months have been the perfect fit for me and I can say for sure that I've had a good streak of races where I've achieved or even exceeded my own expectations under his guidance. I wanted to keep that continuity and hopefully have some good race results here too - it's getti…

Doggy Fun!

Those that know me well will know that I have 2 passions in life – my dogs and my running – combine the two, and I am completely in my element! That’s why last weekend was probably the best I’ve had in a while.
A couple of months ago, I became aware of a Canicross event that was to be held in Canmore, and all proceeds would go towards the Canadian Coalition for Sled Dogs. For those that don’t know, Canicross is a big thing in the UK and across Europe. As the name implies, it involves trail running with dogs and it can be competitive with championship events held throughout the year with distances ranging from a short couple of miles to 10km or more. Whilst I used to run with my old boys Sam and Leo when living in the UK, I never competed with them, and when Wilson arrived on the scene, he was just a young puppy that wasn’t physically mature enough to run at the time. We then moved to Canada when he was just 12 months old and whilst I started to run with him whilst living in Calgary, Ca…
Since I last wrote just over a week ago, things have already happened that have had an impact on our lives here in Leduc.
Firstly, last Monday we lost our little cat Khayman. Although he was an old man, his passing was unexpected and so sudden that I still haven't got my head around the fact that he isn't with us anymore. He'd been fine on the journey up from Phoenix and he appeared to have settled into the new house quite comfortably, but by late Sunday evening, he was very lethargic and just wasn't himself. By 2am he had passed over that rainbow bridge and the little cat died in my arms whilst I cried my heart out. I felt guilty that I couldn't do anything to help him, but I was grateful that I had been there with him and he wasn't alone at the end. I still wonder if there was something I could have done but the reality is that at almost 20 years of age, his little body had more than likely had enough and it was just his time to go. I'm happy he made it …

Finally ..... a Little Update :-)

It's hard to believe that we only left Phoenix just over a week ago after an emotional goodbye to the city we had called home for the past 2 1/2 years. Sitting here now in our new home in Leduc, the intense heat and the desert trails to which I had become so familiar seem so far away in both distance and time. It's been a strange week - I've been so excited to be on the road heading north to start a new chapter in our lives, but I've felt pangs of longing when I've seen friends' pictures of those same trails on social media.
The build up to our move was pretty stressful what with Andy working away most of the time and me having to pack and arrange pretty much everything in his absence. Looking back, I'm surprised we managed to get moved on time and I'm pretty sure if our amazing friends Skye and Ian hadn't been there to help us load up in those last couple of days, we would have really struggled. Thankfully we hit our schedule and the truck with al…