Monday, August 31, 2015

ELM Runners are 'Ultra' Fit

  Ultra runners, running to the finish at the Fat Dog in Manning Park.  Image: Brian McCurdy


Over the past two weeks, 6 local trail runners have made their mark on ultra distance trail running events around the Province. Coached by Kinesiologist and owner of Equilibrium Lifestyle Management (ELM), Sarah Seads, runners are finding a new challenge and sense of accomplishment with ultramarathon distances.

Ultrarunning events take you to some pretty awesome places with fantastic scenery. Ultra's can take you through alpine meadows, along endless ridge lines and to the top of big really is amazing where you can go with your own two feet! Combine stellar views with the great vibe of ultra events and it is pretty easy to see why more and more of our trail running athletes are starting to get the ultrarunning bug.”  Seads

An ultramarathon is defined as any event that goes beyond the 42km marathon distance. Ultra events range from 50kms to 200kms as well as multi-day staged racing events. In recent years, ultramarathon running has seen a massive growth in popularity with the number of events and finishers increasing exponentially.
Chanance Vanderheide climbing one of the 'seven false summits' at the Fat Dog 50k in Manning Park. Image: Brian McCurdy
ELM runner, Chanace Vanderheide placed 4th in her first ever ultra this month - the Fat Dog 50km race in Manning Park. Brianna Lawrence and John Murry, both had strong first-ultra finishes at the uber technical Squamish 50km last weekend. And veteran ultra duo, Paula and Murray Galloway tackled the epic Squamish 50/50- running 50miles on Saturday and 50kms the following day. This 50/50 was just a 'training weekend' for their main event, the Javelina 100miler in October.

Brianna Lawrence celebrates after a strong finish at her first ultramarathon in Squamish. 

The human body is an amazing machine. I have watched many novice runners progress over time and successfully reach ultra distances. Combining the key training principles with time, dedication and desire, I believe that nearly anyone can complete and ultra marathon. Long distance training is an art and a science and becoming an intuitive runner is an important part of the journey. Like any sport, it is 90% mental and 10% physical.” Seads

And Seads has put a few miles under her sneakers too. This year she competed in both the Miwok 100km run in San Francisco as well as the Fat Dog 80km run in Manning Park where she placed 2nd female and 8th overall in the worst weather the event has ever endured. 

Coach Seads, running to the finish of the Fat Dog 50miler in Manning Park. Image: Brian McCurdy.
It was heinous. It rained for 8 of the 10 hours I was on the course. But it was also an awesome journey. 3300metres of climbing, amazing volunteers, lightening, thunder and a close encounter with a Lynx on the trail. I'd run through rain for 8 hours to see that cat again! I love running in the mountains. That is really what ultra marathon running is all about for me. And races are a great way to spend time with other runners who share the same passion for traveling through the wilderness on human wheels.” Seads

ELM offers coaching and clinics for all levels of runners, from beginners to experienced ultra athletes. For more information go to

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