June 11, 2010

Death-Fest Here I Come!

This time last week I was contemplating how I was going to get good training in for Kneeknacker 50km on July 10th. Funny how things change in one short week 'casue now KK seems like a cake walk compared to what I have just got myself involved in: Death Race in Grande Cache!!! Of course I have heard a lot about Death Race and always said - no thanks, I'm not crazy enough for that, but now after one email from a stranger out of the blue and I'm signed up! I got a facebook message last Sunday from Richard Davies, the Alberta North Face rep (DR is a North Face event) saying he could probably swing me an entry to DR if I wanted. So basically the offer was 'Do you want to come to the 125km pain-fest that encompasses 17, 000ft of elevation change over mountain terrain in weather conditions that no one can predict?' Oh no! At first I almost wished Richard hadn't asked as now I was in a dilema and I am terrible at saying no to such things!

So I ummed and ahhed all week, got a few runs and run-hikes up Sulphur in and thought whether my hamstrings will be able to take the training involved and whether it was a race a really really wanted to do, as it is going to involve some pretty intense and mountainous training - in the next .... 7 weeks ... cause that's how long it is til race day! This was a key consideration as I have got lots of miles in this year but lots of real flat running miles and to put it into perspective, last years male winner (fellow Montrailian Sean Meissner) crossed the DR finish line in just over 15hrs and took 2.5hrs to climb the longest hill. Oh my!

But I have thrown caution to the wind and kindly accepted Richard of North Face's kind (if that's the right word!) offer, afterall apparantly no one has ever actually died at the Death Race so this is very encouraging news!

And I have to say that Richard's email is just one example of the super warm welcome that the Alberta ultra community has given me since I moved here. I've had offers to go for runs, offers to be in relay teams, and now an entry to Death Race!

So if I don't blog much over the next 7 weeks, please excuse me but I am probably out running somewhere :)

Check out the craziness at: www.canadiandeathrace.com


  1. Hah...good luck!! That race is on my list of to-dos as well and I heard that it is getting quite hard to get into as well so looks like ya scored. Just out-run the reaper!

  2. That's awesome Ellie! The Death Race was my first big race so I've got fond memories of it. It's their 10th anniversary so it'll be a good year to do it. Don't lose your coin!

  3. oooohhh...a wee bit jealous! Can't wait to read your post-race write-up! And good luck with the training...

  4. I'm running leg 2 of this beauty. It will be my first time running in mountainous terrain at altitude so I am expecting a fair amount of pain and suffering, but isn't that why people choose ultra trail running?? The awesome thing I found about this trail running thing is that it seems that the elite athletes are so accessible and mainly just regular folk who like to get out and enjoy creation. See you in Grande Cache

  5. Good luck with it Ellie, looks like it will be another amazing adventure. I am dreaming up my trail running tour of Canada, so might have to add to the list. Just over 2 weeks until Gold Coast Marathon, feeling petty good and hoping for a Boston Qualifing time (just in case!!) of 3.15, is in my grasp I reckon.