Running alongside Grizzly bears

“To excel in any challenge pursuit, you must either have, or develop, a heartfelt reason or passion for doing it. You need a reason powerful enough to keep you pursuing your goals through the ups and downs.” – In pursuit of excellence, Terry Orlick.

For me, it’s simply a passion. To feed it, I challenge myself with races and goals to achieve.

After having one of the best race of my life at Whiteface two weeks ago, I flew to Canmore to put on some good mountain trainings. It fact, it was an unexpected training camp. Beckie Scott and her Husband Justin needed someone to take care of their place and animals while in vacations and Les Parsons (my very first coach, who also used to coach Beckie as a kid) put us in contact… So I jumped on the opportunity!

First of all, I need to mention how Beckie and Justin are nice people. I bet their neighbours don’t even know that Beckie is a 3 times Olympian in cross country skiing and a gold medalist of the Salt Lake City Olympics. She is so humble! To make a long story short, she originally finished third but she was upgraded to gold when the winner Olga Danilova and runner-up Larissa Lazutina were eventually disqualified for the use of performance-enhancing drugs.

Beckie Scott (Right) finished third at 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics

She was awarded gold almost 2 and a half years after the Olympics ended! As of today, she works for the World Anti-Doping Agency athlete’s committee. To show how involved and committed she is in her work, when I was there I was listening to CBC news and they were always mentioning her activism in the Russian case for the Rio Olympics. I also received 2 or 3 calls for interviews with Global news, CBC, etc. Another funny thing is that her son has posters from athletes that are currently on the National team… And I was just thinking: “He doesn’t even know how of a role-model his mom is”!

To be in the zone!

I took part at the first race of the Skyrunning series USA in Whiteface, NY. The vertical kilometer (VK) on Saturday was a great performance for me. I placed 2nd, right behind one of my idole Kasie Enman; World Mountain Running Champion in 2011 but most of all, an athlete-mom role model.

From left to right: Me, Kasie Enman, Sarah Keyes. The prize money was in 0.25$ so I couldn’t hold it very high…

The next day was the Skyrace marathon. I never would have expected to be the first woman to cross the finish line because of the deepness of the field. When I passed Enman in the last uphill, I didn’t know what to say as for encouragement, I was a little shy… And I simply crushed the last downhill to the finish, realizing that it was possibility the best race of my life. I started pretty conservative; I kept passing people; and finished with a negative split in the second loop. Looking back, there is really nothing that I would change during my race. I was simply in the zone, in the moment, zen.

Generally speaking, that this is exactly what great performers have the ability to do. They are able to be in an absolute connection with what they are doing. After all, they become one with their performance through a ‘zen’ like connection and nothing else in the world exists for them during those moments in time. In essence, it comes clear to me now that this is what we are all reaching for while racing.

Besides, some people have asked me how to go fast in downhills and I never know what to answer to that question. But I might have some element of an answer now… All things considered, I would say that it cannot be described because you have to feel it. Furthermore, you can’t think about how, it is just instinct. If you think about your steps, you either crash or go slow. You have to let it go, it is like breathing; you do not think about it; it is meant to be natural. You have to become one with the trails, your feet know where to go, just follow the course.


To me, it has been by far the best place for training in Canada yet! I can get easily 1000D+ on every run, the trails are awesome, the views are spectacular, and the wildlife is everywhere. On every single runs/hikes I saw a wild animal. And of course I was carrying bear spray along with me… I haven’t seen any, but I was there during bear season (berries season) and residents were telling me that they were definitely out this year. In fact, there were three bear attacks in the Canmore area while I was there…

Bear spray training

I also want to mention that this was a good time to catch up with an old friend Marie-Eve Bilodeau Corriveau who moved to Canmore to 2 years ago. I was using her blog for my adventures, I found it very convenient when I arrived in town. She also started her own company of nice trucker hat; Take.

Showing my brand new Take trucker hat 🙂

I also met Andy Reed. He brought me to an undiscovered trail (which was amazing!) But most of all: What an awesome man he is!

What’s Next!

I finish this post with saying: Be your best friend and Believing in yourself

Top of Ha Ling Trail

 Easy to say, not that easy to do… It is easier with my boyfriend, he has faith and he told me that I am almost there when I compare my fitness to other fast ladies. He helps me believe in myself and to care less about people’s approval. I am slowly learning not to let other people’s thoughts rule my life or my day. Everybody should do so!

Mathos will be racing Single Track 6 next week. I am excited for him!

And oh! I do not know what I am racing yet. I have so many opportunities.

I need your advices, click here!


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