Pre CDR- Hal Koener Interview

This is the 4th in a small series of interviews in preparation for the Canadian Death Race, a 125km race in Grande Cache, Alberta, that I will be lining up in as part of the Salomon Running Team on the 30th July! You can check out my first CDR post HERE.

So far we have caught up with 2010 woman’s winner Ellie Greenwood, 3x CDR winner Jack Cook and Sean Meissner.  Today- 2010 CDR winner and record holder Hal Koener. Not only does Hal have the CDR title and CR in what was his 100th ultra marathon, Hal also has the 2007 and 2009 WS100 titles to his name- as well as a heap of other ultra wins.

-Canadian Death Race- first thing that comes to mind? – Imposing

– Best thing about the CDR? – Grande Cache. I loved the town and the enthusiasm of every citizen, the wilderness’s desolate vibe, the chance encounter with real wildlife, and the grande scale of such a unique event.

– Least favourite thing about the CDR?  – Slugfest, are you kidding?  🙂:)

– Hardest section/leg in the CDR?  – 4, Hamel never seemed to end and then you aren’t even close to finished with the leg.

– Tip for racing the CDR? Bring lots of water!

– Did you/would you use poles- why/why not? -I didn’t use poles, I didn’t think there was enough Steep un-runnable terrain.  But I’m warming up to the idea.

– Best place in Grande Cache for pre race fuelling? – I had Pizza in the mall, not too bad.

– Best place in Grande Cache for a post race brew?  I sat in my hotel room and drank a Wildcat, I did have breakfast at Milos the next morning and that was divine.

THANKS HAL!

Pre CDR- Sean Meissner Interview

This is the 3rd in a small series of interviews in preparation for the Canadian Death Race, a 125km race in Grande Cache, Alberta, that I will be lining up in as part of the Salomon Running Team on the 30th July! You can check out my first CDR post HERE.

So far we have caught up with 2010 woman’s winner Ellie Greenwood and 3x CDR winner Jack Cook. Today- 2009 CDR winner and Montrail athlete Sean Meissner. Sean has a long list of top race results and if you follow the “Kilian’s Quest” series you might recognise him as one of the paces on the Tahoe Quest.

-Canadian Death Race- first thing that comes to mind? Very tough race with lots of camaraderie between competitors.

– Best thing about the CDR? That it’s a very self-sufficient race. Although there are aid stations, there aren’t many for a race of this magnitude. When you do get to an aid station, you’re extremely thankful for all of the volunteers there to help get you refueled, and send you off with a “Go Death Racer” for the next 2-4 hours!

– Least favourite thing about the CDR?  It’s really hard (but that’s also a huge reason about why it’s so cool!)!!!

– Hardest section/leg in the CDR?  Leg 2- 2 big climbs, very rugged, extremely technical descents – extremely steep, rutty, rocky, rooty. A couple times while running down Flood, I fell back on my butt and slid downhill about 10-20 feet.

– Tip for racing the CDR? The 1st and 3rd legs are the easiest; don’t get sucked into going to fast on leg 1, then use leg 3 to turn the legs over a bit before the long, grinding climb up Hamel. Stay very hydrated and take lots of electrolytes. Doing these things will make you feel much better, enabling you to eat more calories, which then give you the energy needed for this crazy race!

– Did you/would you use poles- why/why not? I didn’t use them, and didn’t even own them at the time. But now I have a pair and I would most definitely use them on legs 2 and 4. Both of these sections have really, really long and steep climbs, so I think poles would be very beneficial in taking some of the work off of my legs. Although leg 5 has a steep climb right after the boat, I think it’s short enough to not want to carry poles the entire section.

– Best place in Grande Cache for pre race fuelling?  I can’t remember what or where I ate the night before, but if there was a Subway in town, I probably had my usual pre-race dinner – a foot long Spicy Italian.

– Best place in Grande Cache for a post race brew?  When I finished, I was too beat to do anything except go back to my hotel, shower, and painfully twitch all night. In the morning, I can’t remember where I went for breakfast, but I do remember consuming lots of greasy bacon and lots of cheesey homefries. Mmmmm…

Thanks Sean!

Pre CDR- Jack Cook Interview

This is the 2nd in a small series of interviews in preparation for the Canadian Death Race, a 125km race in Grande Cache, Alberta, that I will be lining up in as part of the Salomon Running Team on the 30th July! You can check out my first CDR post HERE.

Yesterday we caught up with Ellie Greenwood– today we chat with 3x Canadian Death Race winner Jack Cook! Jack has a slick personal best time of 13hr48min for the CDR and is set to tow the line again at this year’s race after a DNF in 2010. I really appreciate Jack taking the time to answer a few questions and look forward to catching up with him on “leg 6”.

-Canadian Death Race- first thing that comes to mind?– a true town even

– Best thing about the CDR? the festival atmosphere and the people of Grande Cache

– Least favourite thing about the CDR? not being able to finish

– Hardest section/leg in the CDR? for me leg 3 as my back spasm after leg 2

– Tip for racing the CDR? leave your expectations at home and enjoy each moment

– Did you/would you use poles- why/why not? no, I do not find them useful

– Best place in Grande Cache for pre race fuelling? pre race pasta dinner

– Best place in Grande Cache for a post race brew? Grande Cache hotel, also known as leg 6 and the music of what we refer to as big patio

Jack Cook Photo by: Steve Baker

CDR- Ellie Greenwood Interview

This will be the first in hopefully 4-5 small interviews pre Canadian Death Race with some past Death Races. Hopefully we can get a little more insight into the Death Race and what to expect.

Today- Ellie Greenwood. Ellie’s winning time last year- 13hr28min- is the second fast time ever on the course (only 45mins behind Hal Koerner’s 12hr45). Check out Ellie’s results on Ultra Signup– 99.5%- kind speaks for its self. One thing I couldn’t see on Ultra Signup was her World 100km title. Oh, and check out her latest result- a slick 17hr55 at WS100!
– Canadian Death Race- first thing that comes to mind?  friendly small town hospitality and beautiful trails and terrain

– Best thing about the CDR?  the way it takes over Grande Cache and locals who are likely not runners are out manning aid stations, cheering runners on and generally welcoming racers to their town

– Least favourite thing about the CDR?  worrying you are going to lose your silver coin that you need to cross the river at something over 100km into the race!

– Hardest section/leg in the CDR?  Hammel – 65km down but still 60km to go which incs the biggest climb of the race

– Tip for racing the CDR?  nothing special – just enjoy the scenery and atmosphere, check out the course profile before hand so you know there the runnable sections are and where the big climbs are so you can mentally prepare for your least favourite parts and also look forward to sections that play to your strengths.

– Did you/would you use poles- why/why not?  I used poles on legs 2 & 4 and would stick to same plan again. The otehr legs are runnable so they would be a hindrance and not a help, but on the big climbs and steep downs they are a definite benefit and save the leg power for other sections.

– Best place in Grande Cache for pre race fuelling? Noelle’s cafe

– Best place in Grande Cache for a post race brew? back at the campsite with fellow racers!

Thanks heaps Ellie!

HERE is Ellie’s CDR report from 2010

latest….

Been a while since I’v put any thing up here. Just been cruising along- same same really. A bit of running, some work with Dynafit/ARVA and iclimb.co.nz and even this week I managed to get out for a ski during a lull in the crazy storm that has gripped the country.

Been running in the snow a heap. Last week it was from the south and super windy, so no snow for skiing in the Craigieburns- it had all blown into the valley which made for super fun running. Now we have a shit load of snow, but still crazy 100km+ gale winds from the NW, so in the valley it is. Did the Hogs Back today. Normally about 55mins out to the Cheeseman Rd/Texas Flat, but with the deep snow today it was more like 1hr25. Lots of walking and slogging in the snow- was fun. Once I was on the Cheeseman rd it had been plough and was much easier running up to what use to be Middle Hut, around 1300m.

In between those 2 storms we got over to the West Coast/Brunner – I run and Jane waddled……

Have a new supporter in Peter from Voyager- they do Leppin and Clif Bar. I have not used Leppin that much at all, but haven been enjoying the Vanilla EA drink mix and I think that the Ultimate Electrolyte caps will really come in handy at the end of the month. I have used Clif Bar products for ages now and love them. I use to buy the bars at the super market in Truckee for ski touring trips, have used the gels on and off for running and really got in to the Bloks this past summer- pretty much they were the only thing I could really eat late in the Tarawera 100k and TNF100. Add to the fact that I like Clif is that they are  all-natural and organic- something that is getting more and more important in my food choices these days. Thanks for the support Peter (Leppin/Clif Bar)!!

Wrote a story on the Canadian Death Race and my build up for it for Sportz Hub- click HERE to check it out. Only about 3 weeks now!