Trail Roundup Feb 22.13

The big news this month came from the Canadian Trail & Mountain Running Association. CTMRA informed us that for the first time ever the Canadian Mountain Running Championships would be held in Quebec this year

This is exciting news for the east as it will allow an interesting crop of runners to attempt to crown them selves champion at one of the most successful and demanding races in the country.

XTRAIL Asics Sutton has quickly become a proving ground for the elite runners of the east and now for a select few Canadians as well. The event, expertly directed by Nicolas Taillefer, will be held on June 1st and will welcome 80+ elite athletes.

For more information about the race and how to qualify please follow this LINK. To learn more about the Canadian Trail & Mountain Running Association please follow this LINK

After finishing one of the hardest winter ultras in the world Derrick Spafford penned a moving race report about his run at the Yukon Arctic Ultra on his blog at Spafford Health & Adventure. Spafford has long been a hero of mine and reading his report resonated deeply with me. The challenges he faces while stepping out into the unknown is a lesson in determination and grit.

As bad as I felt after my bivy, it never really got any worse. I felt I reached as low as I could, and there was something about that knowledge that was comforting. I continued trying to sneak some food into my upset stomach. I also had to stop regularly and melt snow for drinking water, which is something that I wouldn’t have needed to do had things been going well.

To read the rest of his excellent race report, please follow this LINK. 

A little further south in Washington, 24 year old Jonathan Heinz took fourth overall at the always competitive Orcas Island 50km. Heinz, who hails from Calgary, AB challenged for the top positions most of the day and held on to finish 4th place. Coming off a win a week earlier at the Orcas Island 25 km, Heinz will surely be an athlete to follow in the years to come. Not to be outdone Canadians Stacie Carrigan of Kelowna, BC and  Lisa Polizzi of Vancouver, BC took 3rd and 4th place respectively in the overall female category.

Canadians once again dominated the Trail Runner Magazine Trophy Series in all categories in 2012 with many of the top podium winners hailing from the great white north. Age division winners in the non-ultra categories was Mike Ticker (30-39), Kelly Rupoli (40-49) and Wanda Ferguson (50+). In the Ultra division, Canadians took 3 of the possible 6 podium spots in the combined categories of male and female. Winning the women’s division was Lisa Van Wolde (38) of Innisfil, ON. Van Wolde raced 6 races in the series and took the win with solid efforts at Haliburton and Sulphur Springs ultramarathons. The Ultra division had the ageless Glen Redpath of New York, NY (Canadian citizen) capturing second overall in the standings with only 4 races! Oleg Tabelev of Calgary took the 3rd overall spot running 3 of the series races. Congrats to all the athletes that competed in the Trophy Series. If you want to learn more about the series and the races you can follow the this LINK to the Trail Runner website for more details.

Columbia’s Trial Drier WIndbreaker

Columbia’s Drier WIndbreaker

Gear Review: Columbia Trail Drier Windbreaker

Living in Kingston, Ontario forces me to be very picky about my choices of what to wear when I head out for a run. The reason is because the weather here is somewhat sketchy. I often look for jackets that can do a bit of everything and still allow me to push my effort and not feel like I am taking a bath. This is where the Trail Drier Windbreaker by Columbia comes in handy.

This ultra-lightweight jacket has a myriad of technologies to help make it one of the most versatile jackets I have test this year. The fabric is Omni-Wick EVAP, which to put in basic terms is that it is a wind-stopping ripstop material with a water-repellent coating. The other part of this technology is that the fabric remains highly breathable and help transport sweat away from the body.

I can attest to the effectiveness of this fabric as during a two night test of the coat it did an exceptional job keeping me dry and still allowing most of the sweat vapor out.

Being lightweight, the jacket can be stored when not in use, so its no hassle to have during longer outings on the trail incase the weather turns.

Some of the other features I really liked was the slightly oversized hoody, the three pocket design (one chest pocket and two hand pockets) as well as adjustable hem to keep the cool wind at bay.

Overall Columbia’s Trail Drier WIndbreaker is a do it all jacket that won’t disappoint you when it counts, on the trail.

New Owners for 5 Peaks Trail Series

Hot off the press – Amy Golumbia and Adam Campbell are the proud new owners of 5Peaks Adventures. Both Adam and Amy are top Canadian trail runners, competing internationally.

Amy, a Canmore-based nutritionist, has competed internationally for the Canadian Mountain Running Team twice and more recently has taken up the longer distances, having won two 50k races and placed 2nd in the team event at the TransRockies Run in 2010. “The transition from teaching nutrition to sharing the trail running lifestyle I love so much was natural,” says Golumbia.

Adam, a Vancouver-based lawyer, is considered one of Canada’s most accomplished trail ultra marathoners over the past three years, having finished on the podium at major international races around the world. He was recently named Canadian Trail Runner of the year.

Both Amy and Adam’s first trail races were 5Peaks races and they are both passionate about sharing the trail running lifestyle and introducing more people to the sport. As Adam says, “trail running allows us to escape the routine of our daily lives and reconnects us with nature … this applies to runners of all speeds and abilities. The races that 5 Peaks Adventures put on are in some of the most stunning settings and attract a wonderful group of people.”

Kathryn Stanton, the former owner of 5Peaks Adventures, had this to say about the change in ownership of the series she founded: “I could not be happier seeing 5Peaks go to such a great home. Getting to know Amy and Adam over the last several months, I know they are the right people to take this company to the next level. They have a lot of energy and some great ideas, and I can’t wait to toe the starting line at their events this year to do what I love most….trail run! I would like to thank the staff, volunteers and participants for all their support over the years. This is not the end, but the start of a new beginning, and I wish Amy and Adam all the success in the future of their trail and snowshoe running series.”

Registration for 2013 in now open.

~Isabel Ostrom, editor, Trail Running Canada

Trail Roundup Jan 26.13

This week marks the first Trail Roundup for 2013. The new year caught us by surprise as we get ready for issue 4 of our digital magazine due out in late January. We promise as the season ramps up you’ll get more ‘weekly’ roundups. Thanks to Columbia Sportswear for sponsoring this initiative at Trail Running Canada

Emotional. That’s the only word to describe this past weekend at the HURT 100 (miler) in Hawaii. Many of us know too well what it feels like to come back from an injury. The difficult process of losing months of training and slowly getting back to your pre-injury running ability. Yet, few of us have experienced the long and repeated setbacks that Gary Robbins went through over the past two years. A devastating foot injury followed by a short-lived comeback only to be halted in mid-stride, when he re-broke the foot while doing a pre-race training run on the HURT 100 course just one year ago. This past weekend was about redemption for Gary. All of us avid Gary fans were anxiously following his mileage ramp up to this year’s HURT 100. Personally I was holding my breath, hoping not to read another horrific post about a mountain rescue due to re-injury.

We all held our breath as the 2013 HURT 100 began and Gary and fellow Canadian and 2-time winner Jason Loutitt shared the early lead. Eventually, after five or six hours of following the race (online) feelings changed from fear to excitement as a lengthy battled ensued between Gary and Jason. These two elite ultra runners challenged each other for approximately 73 miles, pushing each other to run faster than they ever had before over the difficult roots and rocks on the HURT 100 course. Eventually, around mile 80 Jason ran into a bit of a “rough patch” as he said on his Facebook site and slowed enough for Gary to take the lead by himself. Not content just to finish at the top, Gary kept up the pace and smashed the course record, finishing in 19:35. Jason closed out second place, giving a final push to fend off surging third place runner Nickademus Hollon along with a new personal best that would’ve won the race most other years.

There was much anticipation in the women’s race as Canadian elites Melanie Bos and Tracey Garneau were on the start list, making a potential Canadian sweep at the top in the realm of possibility. Unfortunately Garneau had to withdraw before the start of race, leaving Melanie Bos the lone Canadian female elite. The first half of the race didn’t go quite as planned for Bos as she took a wrong turn and lost approximately 30 minutes. During the second half Bos dug deep and began knocking off the lead runners, moving up from sixth all the way to second place. But on this day there was no catching Hawaii native Hannah Roberts who finished a solid 25:41 just over an hour ahead of Bos who finished in 26:50.

The emotional photo above shows Gary’s true heart, as according to reports, he stayed to watch every single runner finish the race. The runner beside Gary, on the right of the photo, is an emotional Ken Michal who made the cut-off time by only 17 minutes in his fourth attempt at HURT 100. A big thanks to Little Looks Photography for the photo and story. Check them out at


2012 Trail Running Canada Award Winners

Media Release | 2012 Canadian Trail Running Awards

For Immediate Release (January 10 , 2012)

Trail Running Canada and impossible2Possible are pleased to announce the winners of the inaugural Canadian Trail Running Awards (2012). There were over 50 nominations for four award categories.

 adam Canadian Male Ultra Trail Runner of the Year – Adam Campbell

Adam Campbell from Vancouver, BC had another incredible year on the world ultra running scene, despite reducing his racing schedule due to injury. He began the year with a win at the highly competitive Chuckanut 50km in Fairhaven, Washington, USA. Adam then ramped things up, completing his first 100 miler at the Ultra Trail Mt. Fuji in Japan and placing an impressive second amongst another world class field. He then came back to Canada to win the Arc’teryx Squamish50 21km race in August before heading to San Francisco for The North Face Endurance 50. During one of Adam’s toughest races ever, with cold rain and wet muddy conditions he took a wrong turn with the lead group and still ended up an impressive fourth overall. Adam’s commitment to the trail running community in Canada, combined with his world class results and determination makes him the 2012 Canadian Male Ultra Trail Runner of the Year. Congratulations Adam.

Honourable mention: Scott Garrett for completing twelve 100 milers in 2012. 


 ellie Canadian Female Ultra Trail Runner of the Year – Ellie Greenwood

In 2012 there was only one word to describe soon-to-be Canadian resident Ellie Greenwood – unbeatable. Few people know that it all started in February, with Ellie beating the entire local field at the Frozen Ass 50k. She then followed it up by traveling south of the border to win the Chuckanut 50k followed by American River 50 miler. Greenwood then crushed the course record set by legend Ann Trason in 1994 at the Western States 100 miler by 50 minutes! No rest for the weary, she continued to storm the trail running world with wins at White River 50 mile, Arc’teryx Squamish50 50miler, UROC 100km and JFK 50 miler. The trail running world may never see another year of such dominance on a global stage at such a variety of distances. Ellie’s incredible determination, ability to perform at all distances, lovable personality and ability to encourage and connect with the trail running community makes her the 2012 Canadian Female Ultra Trail Runner of the Year.

Honourable Mentions: Melanie Bos, Abi Moore


 cody Canadian Trail Running Performance of the Year – Cody Gilles

At the beginning of 2012 rumours began to swirl about a young man named Cody with a big goal – to set a new fastest known time (FKT) for the 885km Bruce Trail in Ontario. Few in the ultra running world knew about him and I think few felt he would be able to endure the continued mental and physical toll that such a challenge was sure to pose. Over the course of the year Cody continued to pour in some big training mileage and seemed to have done all the proper planning. In addition he was raising money for a cause dear to his heart, pediatric care at Headwaters Hospital. Cody supported by trail running community in Ontario tackled the tough terrain one day at a time and finally touched the monument in Queenston Heights at the termination of the Bruce Trail with a new fastest known time of 12 days 7 hours and 39 minutes, over a day faster than the old record set back Charlotte Vasarhelyi. Along the way he inspired many runners young and old and a few days after completion he reached his fundraising goal.

Honourable mention: Ellie Greenwood Western States 100 course record

 dave-lise Canadian Trail Running Contributors of the Year – Dave McMahon & Lise Meloche

There are few people that are able to give of oneself  to others and at the same time achieve amazing personal goals. Few great coaches are also great athletes. Dave McMahon and Lise Meloche are just some of those unique people. Dave and Lise organize what may be the largest trail running club in Canada, all the while training as elite masters athletes. Together they have created many helpful trail running resources, including books and DVDs for both beginner and advanced runners. Dave and Lise’s enthusiasm for trail running has made the Ottawa-Gatineau region a hotbed for Canadian trail running. Despite being in the business of coaching, Dave and Lise offer many free trail running clinics, fun runs and advice to beginners and elites alike. They both encourage a lifelong approach to running, exercise and health that is a model for runners everywhere.

Quote from nominee:I cannot imagine there are other people more dedicated and generous in their support and promotion of the sport of trail running….this couple seem to have a bottomless well of energy and resources they freely and enthusiastically share with others….Dave and Lise maintain a rigorous free training program for trail runners that continues into winter with snowshoeing and skiing. The program is for athletes at every level and to run with the group is to feel part of something. The team spirit is strong as is the ‘team’.” ~Geoff Wonnacott

Quote from nominee: “I can’t thank Dave enough for introducing me and so many others to trail running. The thought, effort and the fun that he brings to each of his weekly organized (and free!) trail runs is amazing.” ~Suzanne Ramsay

Honourable Mentions: Jodi Isnor (Nova Scotia), Kamren Farr (Alberta)


Awards: Winners of the awards will receive a professionally custom framed 8×10 photo with text indicating the award and year, a pair of Compressport trail socks and Compressport calf sleeves and other prizes TBA.

Trail Running Canada is Canada’s premiere online media source for trail and ultra running found at Trail Running Canada is dedicated to the promotion of trail running in Canada.

The mission of impossible2Possible is to encourage youth to reach beyond their perceived limits, and to use adventure as a medium to educate, inspire and empower our global community to make positive change in the world.

Contact: Jonathan Schmidt, Trail Running Canada | | | @trailrunningCan