Prelude to Niagara Ultra 100km Marathon

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

~ Martin Luther King

Words to live by. In my case, words to finish my first attempt at a 100km Ultra Marathon.

Although this is a goal race of sorts, in so much as I have a goal, to run it and finish it, and hopefully so in 11 hours or less, it is not a goal race for which I have dedicated a large amount of time to.

Sure, I run and train a fair bit, and have devoted a few weekends recently to back to back long runs. And sure I have already done 3 marathons this year so what’s another race at a mere 2.4 x the marathon distance?

A lot!

[ This next bit was added on June 28 – post race. As I wrote my race report, I wrote this bit and realized it belonged here instead. ]

I decided to run the 100k because, again, like ‘Mt Everest’, it was there. I have run the 50k at this event a couple of times, as well as the marathon the first time we were there, and the 10k with Cam last year as I decided to take a break to focus on training properly for The Scotiabank Waterfront Marathon during the summer, not that that worked out well or anything. So this would make the 5th year in a row we’ve attended the Niagara races, and when I signed up in January, for what was supposed to be the 50k, I noticed there was a 100k event added. I waited a few days to sign up to give myself some time to think about it. Withing a week, after not really thinking too hard, I was registered for the big one. Double the longest distance I have ever run!

I figured, my main goal of running a personal best in Boston would allow me to train hard, get fast, run Boston, then get the mileage up even higher with some double long run weekends and I would be set. But when Boston became a bust, the new goal for a 2012 marathon PB and Boston re-qualifier, became the Toronto marathon in early May. That meant training for the 100k would be put on hold for another month or so, as I needed to focus on Goodlife, then recover from Goodlife, and keep in mind I had commitments to  be a Pace Bunny for  Ottawa at the end of May! So, as it turns out, Goodlife went well, i took an easy week afterward, built up again and did not taper for Ottawa, managed to meet my goal of 3:45 there and went out the next day for a 22km run. When that went well, I knew I had a chance to do the ultra 100k distance.

The next few weeks went well, getting the daily miles up and doing long run weekends of 30k + 42k and 29k + 53k. Then a weekend of 10/15 to rest up and a week of 2-5k runs to rest further. Going into the race. I was feeling ready.

If it were a race I was really dedicated to, I would have probably started the double long runs a long time ago and I would have traded in racing Goodlife Marathon and Pacing the Ottawa marathon and not let the mileage drop off those weeks. The mileage drops were necessary for resting for those marathons to meet my goals of  A. A Personal Best and B. Boston Qualification at Goodlife. As for Pacing Ottawa, I was responsible for being a good bunny who finished ‘on time’ so I backed off a bit the week or 2 before it.


So, the biggest challenge now is whether I have enough endurance to run the 100km event at and not be left feeling too beaten up. I am sure, with will power and time, I can get in under the 14 hour cutoff. But I hope to fare better than that. Only time will tell and I am actually looking forward to seeing what the day has to offer. Deep down, there exists some fears and worries as well but I will keep them set aside and tackle the race with the utmost positivity.

Friday is travel day to Niagara On The Lake where upon arrival, I will do as little as possible, other than eat a nice big high carb pre-race meal. All this week I will focus on carbo-loading and hydration. The weather is looking like it will be on the warm side so hydration is crucial and I do not want to have to play catch up on race day.

I am entering into unknown territory which is always exciting for us runners. I feel almost like I did the week before my first marathon. Deep down, I know it is possible to both finish this race, and finish it in a somewhat decent time but superficially, I am a bit freaked out!



Course Map – Click to enlarge


Participant Guide

Race website:



Beaches RunnerAbout Beaches Runner
Crazy mad runner, wanting to be fitter and faster but too busy to do it right. Still, I keep trying.

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