Admiring the buckle

2014 marked my second full season on the trails, though it was not without its setbacks. At the end of 2013, I stated that my main goals for this year were to stay injury free and to complete my first 100 miler – one out of two ain’t bad!

My racing season started and came to an abrupt halt with the Diez Vista 50k in April. I managed to finish in a respectable 5:04:37 for 9th place overall, but I was on crutches for several weeks and had to take almost two months off from running. That meant skipping Sun Mountain 50 miler in May and delaying plans to run my first 100 miler at Cascade Crest 100 in August.

I was running again by June, and began building volume towards my new focus: Chimera 100 miler in November. In the interim, I made the most of summer by packing in the backcountry and adventure runs. Highlights included spending several days running in the Southern Chilcotin Mountains, a week in the background at Cathedral Lakes, and an unsupported circumnavigation of Mt. Rainier on the Wonderland Trail.

In between, I squeezed in a relay race at the inaugural TrailStoke in Revelstoke in July, the Squamish 50k in August, along with a few shorter races like 5 Peaks Cypress Mountain, the CMTS Run Ridge Run 25k, and the CMTS Cap Crusher 8k where I got my first podium finish.

Chimera 100 turned out to be a huge success and I think I owe that at least in part to the forced downtime mid-season from which I came back stronger and hungrier than before.

I was also lucky this season to have been asked to join the Salomon Flight Crew, and to have become a sponsored CLIF Bar Ambassador and Hillsound Equipment ambassador!

Totals for 2014

Time on Feet: 480 hours
Distance: 3,010 km (up from 2,900 km)
Ascent: 125,525 metres (eerily close to 2013 – within a few metres)
Clif Bars Consumed: Too many to count..

Big Plans for 2015

This year I’ll be stepping it up another notch, with the goal of really testing my limits. I’ve found I really enjoy the ‘adventure’ part of adventure running and I like the challenge of covering large distances completely unsupported.

I’ll be starting the season off by seeking redemption at the Diez Vista 50k, where I’ll aim for sub-5 hours (an age-group placement would be nice too). This means a focus on speed work over the coming months along with plenty of time training right on course.

Then it’s off to the Sun Mountain 50-miler in May which had been my first 50 miler back in 2013, but one I of course didn’t get to run last year, so I feel there’s some unfinished business there as well.

On June 6th, I’m planning on running the Vancouver 100k which is basically a self-supported, back-to-back Knee Knacker, as a training run. The rest of the summer will be for adventure runs, which will most likely include a couple of unsupported circumnavigations around the likes of Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens, and Mt. Adams.

That will all be in preparation for my goal race for the year: the Fat Dog 120 miler. My hope is that if I can execute a similar race to that of Chimera for the first 100 miles, I should be able to finish the distance in a decent time.

Five weeks later I’ll be off to the Grand Canyon for the Grand to Grand Ultra, North America’s only unsupported stage race, covering 272 km through the desert in 6 days (that’s 465 kms of racing over 6 weeks).

I’m not going to set any distance or elevation goals for the season, nor any sweeping statements about trying staying completely injury free. But I will be doing my best to step up my game in terms of recovery, nutrition, strength work, and just being a smarter athlete.

Special thanks to Salomon, Suunto, Clif Bar, and inReach Canada for the amazing support this year. Looking forward to even bigger and better things in 2015!

Watch highlights below from my 2014 season, all of which can be seen on my YouTube channel.

Jeff Pelletier
Written by Jeff Pelletier
I’m a trail and ultra runner from Vancouver, a proud member of Teams Salomon and Suunto Canada, and a Sponsored Ambassador for CLIF Bar and inReach Canada.