Northern B.C. running enthusiast Samantha Kasdorf is competing in a 100-kilometre marathon this weekend in Friant, California — and is one of two Canadians to do so.
Kasdorf was originally supposed to be competing in a shorter, yet still unbelievably long, 80-kilometre ultra marathon.
But due to the wildfire that spread across the State of California, her race was cancelled.
“The whole area where I was staying went up in flames so I decided instead of just going on a vacation I would look for a race,” Kasdorf said.
It didn’t take long for Kasdorf to find a replacement race. The race is the 100-kilometre San Joaquin River Trail Run, and it takes place this weekend on Saturday, Dec. 1.
The training process for such a monumental task is a rigorous one and requires weeks of training, but Kasdorf has it down to a science.
Kasdorf said she usually follows a 21-week training program in Prince Rupert, which includes strength training, and of course endless amounts of running.
Training strength two to three times a week and running almost every day. A gruelling training regimen for a gruelling race. But working out isn’t enough, you have to match the altitude and terrain of the race you’re running. Kasdorf said she has studied the course intensively, mapping out where she will need to conserve energy and where she can give it her all.
Training at high altitude in rough terrain, and running up and down Tall Trees Trail gives her an advantage.
“Some runners will only train for the uphill, and on the downhills they end up shredding their quads,” she said.
While the race may seem like an insurmountable task to many, Kasdorf stresses that with enough training, almost anyone can do it, it simply comes down to mental toughness.
“People don’t realize, your body is stronger than you think, it’s mostly mental,” Kasdorf said.
It’s about finding a reason to keep going, something that drives you forward.
Kasdorf’s drive is the memory of her partner, Cody Scheuerman, who was an avid runner and outdoorsman, who passed away this past January.
She said that every time she runs he’s with her. She often equates running to life, with many ups and downs, rough patches and winding turns that lead to new pathways that you may have been blind to before.
Kasdorf looks forward to her latest challenge, a 100 kilometre run through the uneven stony terrain of northern a race like no other she has prepared for.
“Oh, I have zero expectations for this race, it is new territory for me,” Kasdorf said.
The last race Kasdorf ran was an 80-kilometre race this past summer, where she excelled, finishing at the top of her age group and as the fourth fastest female.
To Kasdorf it isn’t about the length of the run it’s about just getting out and doing it.
“Every time I run a race I feel good because I know I finished,” Kasdorf said.