A week after finishing the long-distance epic known as the Outrun Backyard Ultra, local ultrarunner Britt Ivan has reflected on her staggering achievement.
No stranger to long distance, Ivan was introduced to the Backyard Ultra in 2020 where she completed 100 km.
In the weeks leading up to the race, Ivan trained and set her sights on a goal of 100 miles/160 km or 24 hours of running. The Ultra kicked off July 30 with runners completing a 6.71 km route over and over until one is left standing.
Sporting a large sunhat she battled through heat, rain and hail and eventually reached her goal and hit 24 hours on Sunday, July 31 at 7 a.m.
"I was just waiting for the plague of locusts to make the day complete" chuckled Ivan "It felt good. I was just happy to be done, to be honest. I was like 'oh good, I get to quit running now' It was really a relief."
"My blisters had blisters from running through the water through that downpour ... If it's too easy, then you're not ready to quit yet." ~ Britt Ivan
Only seven runners hit 24 hours, with Ivan and one other ending their run at that 100-mile milestone.
"The last four hours were a little bit, you know, they're supposed to be unpleasant. If everything is fine you should keep running. The outside of my ankle was starting to hurt a little bit. I had sharp pains with that. My blisters had blisters from running through the water through that downpour.
"There's that point where you should feel like you're really counting down and looking forward to the end. If it's too easy, then you're not ready to quit yet."
It wasn't her goal but she is credited as the last woman standing in this Okotoks Ultra. One of her highlights comes from moving away from the treadmill, running alongside, and learning from other runners.
"Yeah, it was a lot of fun because you chat with people along the way, and you know you learn a lot of things from the other runners too because a lot of them have quite a lot of experience. There were lots of jokes. Everybody was pretty jovial about it, even through the hail. It was just a bunch of people laughing.
"It's really motivating too, because if you're just on your own, it’s kind of easy to go, ‘Yeah, you know what? Maybe I'm done,’ but now there's other people so let's get going."
Her celebration won't last long as she's already set her sights on her next goal.
"I'll do a couple of shorter races in the next little bit, probably a half marathon 'cause that requires no equipment whatsoever. Just something fun and short and fast. Next year the Backyard is coming back to Okotoks again so we'll see how that goes. See if I can put some more laps in."
Her goal: 30 Hours.