Sunday, June 28, 2015

 100 Miles- Bighorn Mountains Race Report

Approximately 17,500 feet of climbing and 18,000 feet of descent.

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This 100 mile race was an 11am start on Friday, June 19th, with 330 other runners hoping to cover the distance in the beautiful Bighorn Mountains of Wyoming, USA.  It is described as an “
extremely challenging” race, on an out-and-back course with elevations up to 10,000 feet.  We started in soaring temperatures of 30+ celsius degrees with not a single cloud in the sky.  It was hot!  I had sweat dripping from my chin within minutes.  It was the kind of heat that had our elbow creases sweating.  Need I say more!  330 runners, soaked, climbing a ~13 miles mountain, hoping to stay ahead of dehydration and heat exhaustion.  Looking up and looking back, it looked like we were in a huge conga line.  What an exhilarating feeling!  

So how did I do?  Well, if you look up my results, it may look like I did horribly.  

Here are my stats:

Gun time - 32:15:35
Overall Finish - 144 / 193 (finishers) Remember, 330 people started
Gender Finish - 23 / 36
Age Group Finish - 10 / 12

But sometimes numbers don’t tell the whole story.  My race started great!  I was comfortable, eating and drinking with no issues.  It wasn’t until the ~78 mile marker that things started to go badly.  

I climbed back up to either Bear Camp or Stock Tank (can’t remember which), taped up some toes and headed to Cow Camp (76.5 miles).  By this time, my feet were swollen.  Wedged in my shoes, excruciating pain in my feet/toes, I walked out of this aid station.  With no bigger shoes to changed into, I trudged the next 6 miles back to Dryfork.  At this aid station, with the help of 2 great volunteers, they taped up my whole feet in hopes that the swelling/blisters would decrease.  Stomach and hydration still good, I hoped I could pull things together to finish the race running.  Nope!  Unfortunately, the tape didn’t help.  I took out my orthotics on the side of the trail, to give my feet more room.  Well, that just killed my feet. This downhill section was the worst!  I’ll admit, there were lots of tears!  Hobble hobble hobble…. and now with 5 miles to go, the TR TH blister volunteers helped me take off my tape, soak my feet in freezing river water, re-taped my blistered, put my orthotics back in and encouraged me to finish the race.  

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Normal feet ----------------  feet getting taped ------------------ sausage toes/feet

This next section was a dirt road, and flat all the way to the finish line.  It felt never ending!  I saw a panda bear beside the river on this section.  I guess that’s what being awake and running for so long does to ya.  Panda bear or no panda bear, I got threw it with a finish time of 32h15m, with tears in my ears, a smile on my face and the hand of extraordinary stranger in mine. 

So, it wasn’t the breakthrough race that I trained for, but I am proud that I didn’t DNF.  To be honest, I never once had the thought of quitting.  Even though I went into this race with the goal of a podium finish, I didn’t want to DNF.  With my family in my heart, the encouraging words of fellow runners,  I hobbled on.  That's just the kind of stubborn person that I am.

Dryfork 13.4 miles (20.8km) climb, 7480’ elevation,  3h09m
Footbridge 30 miles (50 km), 4590’ elevation, 6h57m
Jaws 48 miles (77 km), 8800’ elevation, no data
Footbridge 66 miles (105 km), 4590’ elevation, 17h53m
Dryfork 82.5 miles (132 km) 23h23m
Finish line 100 miles (160 km), 32h15m

I can not finish this blog without talking about the friend that I made: Alan Lam.  Alan and I met at approximate 10 mile.  We talked and shared stories and we even have some of the same friends.  What a small world!  You really get to know someone when you spend that much time together.  I still can’t believe he stuck with me when times got tough for me.  Thank you Alan!!!  Truly, truly, truly...Thank you!  (Sorry for all the tears.) I hope we could race together again soon.

Now what? I have a fire in my gut that is always growing. I love this sport and I am not going anywhere.  I’m recovering well, and looking forward to my second peak this fall.  Golden Ultra and Oil Creek 100k, here I come!!!
Follow me on my Facebook page.
With warm regards,
As always, thank you to everyone that help make my racing dreams come true!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Last night, I was honoured to be part of the OCAA (Ontario College Athletic Association) Hall of Fame Ceremony.  We all gathered in Oakville, ON.  Athletes, Coaches and Builders were recognized for their hard work and contributions to their respected sport.  Inductions occur every 2 years.  

Induction Information

"Inductees (athletes) are chosen on the basis of their athletic skills and abilities, fair play, leadership, individual statistics, and team accomplishments both while in the OCAA and/or at a higher level after their college career. All persons elected have graduated from their respective institutions."

It was a special night for me.  College was over 10 years ago, so I was excited to old friends.

Chantal Demers is my maiden name.  

The MC stated that only 2% of all College Varsity Athletes will ever be inducted into the Hall of Fame!  I am so honoured to have been inducted!  I'm quite speechless about the whole thing.  Cambrian College was were I really started to run competitively.  

I was a basketball player before that.  I actually played College basketball as well, for Seneca College. (#5, All-Star).  I even got to hang out with my Seneca College basketball coaches last night!  They are such cool guys!!  It was so good to see them! 

Here are my 3 OCAA Cross-Country Championship Banners that are hung up in the Cambrian College Gymnasium.  :)

Monday, April 6, 2015

Super stoked and honoured to have been picked as a scholarship recipient for this cool Canadian 3 day Ultra race in our beautiful British Columbia this September.

Check out my Q&A:

Want to take part! Use "GoldenDays" for a 5% discount when you sign up. Hope to see ya there.

Thanks to those of the Golden Ultra committee!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015


Like any race prep, nutrition needs planning as well.  How do you know that you are getting enough Carbohydrates, Protein and Fats (vitamins/minerals) to fuel your body and recover from training and racing?   One way to find out is to see a Nutritionist, like myself.

Otherwise, a good starting point is as follows:

Take your weight, add a 0 at the end.  Add 5-10 calories for every minute of exercise you do.


1.  I weight 120 lbs;  Add 0 at the end = 1200 calories (Basic Metabolic Rate Needs)

2.  Add 7 calories for 60 minutes of easy/moderate effort run = 420 calories

3.  Add the two together:  1200 + 420 = 1620 calories

Therefore, on this day, my caloric needs are 1620 calories.

Other factors are involved, but for a healthy, active adult, this is a simple way to calculate your caloric needs.

Take away point: Be sure to adjust on off days/off seasons.  

Happy Healthy Eating!

 - Chantal

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The hills today weren't massive, but as I pulled my 3 year old and chariot (~40+ lbs) over the hills and valleys of Duntroon Highlands, I couldn't help but think how strong this cross country skate skiing is making me for mountains of  Bighorn 100 and the Golden Ultra.  #stronglegs #determinedmom

Join me at the Golden Ultra and use "GoldenDays" for a 5% discount code when registering.  It's going to be an epic race!!

Also, be sure to follow me on facebook!!

- Chantal

Friday, March 6, 2015

Trying something new here!  Be sure to check often for more of my "Tips of the Trade".  The life and tribulations of an running, working mom!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

I am in the midst of a Leadership class as part of my degree.  Last night, I had to complete an
assignment.  Here was the first question.

Assignment 2: Building Trust, Leveraging Diversity, and Strengthening Others
February 27, 2015

Part A: Building, Maintaining, and Regaining Trust

How do I inspire trust? (16 marks)
Let me briefly tell the story of who I am. I am a 35 year old mother of two young girls, who juggles a part time paramedic (and acting supervisor) career, a sole proprietor holistic nutrition consulting business, a university student schedule, and an ultra trail running training/racing schedule.  How do I do it?  With the right support system, and impeccable time management, I am able to do all of the above exceptionally well.  What I take away from all of experience is what I truly value the most: inspiration and trust.  I’ve been told that I inspire others.  I am sincere and have established the trust of friends, family, patients, co-workers, clients, and fellow athletes/competitors.  What’s my secret?  I take the time with each and every person that I can.  I listen and thus gain their confidence and trust.  I am honest and express my views through one-on-one talk, group talk, seminars and social media.  I work with sound ethics, integrity and am consistent with my words and actions.  I lead by example and follow up with my commitments.  
(I have this letter from a friend that I keep to remind me of the person I am:

Words cannot describe what an inspirational individual you are for me.  You are the most beautifully determined girl and I feel truly blessed to be your friend.  You give unconditionally, selflessly and whole heartily. What you do for those around you defines your true character.  Your personal determination and mental fortitude will take you anywhere you can dream, if you first believe.” )

I really like this class cause it forces me to take moments and look internally. I really do like the person I have  'grown up' to be :)  I am so fortunate to have such wonderful friends, family and extended family. #feelinggrateful

Proud athlete of:

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Proud Athlete of Icespike

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