Kelsey Hogan won’t ever be accused of being too lazy to get out of her own way.
The 23-year-old Steady Brook native, an ultramarathon runner who works as an engagement organizer with the Nature Trust of New Brunswick in Fredericton, finished fourth overall and first on the female side in a field of 32 competitors at the 2018 Gaspesia 100 Ultra Trail Saturday in Perce, Que.
Hogan conquered the 100-km trail system, a solo journey that had to be complete in one day, with a final clocking of 14 hours and 33 minutes, a venture that started 8 a.m. on Saturday and ended with her crossing the finish line around 10:30 p.m. with a headlamp helping her negotiate the last leg of the journey.
“It was beautiful seeing sunrise to sunset,” Hogan said of the experience Monday from Fredericton.
She has completed several ultramarathons at various distances and the course for all was different than the others, but this event was unique in that it was the first 100-km race she’s done that couldn’t be done in stages over a couple of days so that was exciting for her.
She was in good spirits when she completed the race. She was stiff and sore, but she wasn’t ready to go to bed with some of her friends still trying to push through the course.
She wanted to be on the finish line to support friends who were attempting their first ultramarathon, trying to finish the race because they didn’t the last time or others who were back again trying to beat their personal best time.
She got lots of support and encouragement from fellow runners and spectators along the race route so she made sure her friends felt the love too.
“There was a lot of really good energy and just really inspiring people on the trail,” she said.
She has enjoyed a life that puts running near the top of her list of favourite things to do. She grew up as an adventurous child who explored the woods and trails of the west coast with her family and she’s always found peace when she’s pushing the limits with an outdoor experience like an ultramarathon.
“It’s a pure joy. I’m energized from the trails,” she said.
She has a few local races she’s eager to race in over the summer, but then she’s looking forward to getting back to Newfoundland in August.
She plans on visiting both the east coast and west coast of the province during her stay with hopes of checking out some of the gems she left behind and others she hopes to discover in the wonderful landscape she calls home.