The Phantom Run Trail Race by Mountain Madness race took place on Saturday, November 14, 2015 in North Vancouver at the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve. Hillsound was excited to be a sponsor of this great event and attended on race day with a booth and giveaways.
24.5 km race start- The Phantom Race.
The trail race gave participants the opportunity to take part in a 12.5 km, 19.5 km, or 24.5 km run. All proceeds went to North Shore Rescue and the surrounding food banks. In 2014, the Phantom Run Trail Race raised over $1,100 for North Shore Rescue, an organization dedicated to search and rescue missions in the Vancouver mountains. In addition to a monetary fee to participate in the race, runners were asked to contribute canned goods that were donated to the local food banks and homeless shelters.
Photo Credit: Mountain Madness
“We were thrilled to be part of the Phantom Run Trail Race for the third time,” said Hillsound Equipment Marketing Manager Jessica Greinke. “The philanthropy behind the event is so important to us. It is humbling to have the ability to sponsor the race and to be part of something that has such a great impact on the community.”
Awards were presented along with a potluck soup lunch after the race. In addition, a raffle took place with many draw prizes, including crampons donated by Hillsound Equipment.
Hillsound was one of eight sponsors for the race, including Alete Sports Nutrition, Bremner Foods, CLIF Bars, Forerunners, Moveo Sport and Rehab, Seymour’s Pub, and Waves Coffee.
Hillsound brand ambassador Jeff Pelletier raced the Grand to Grand Ultra last week, completing 7 days of unsupported running across the desert. The course covers 170 miles of unique landscapes, from canyons to valleys to two-billion year-old rock formations. Jeff completed the race in 35 hrs and 45 mins, accomplishing an impressive 4th place overall and 1st in his male age group. Hillsound caught up with him for a race re-cap.
H: Hi Jeff! A huge congratulations to you on this super successful 7-day ultra!
J: Thanks very much!
H: Have you done any multi-day racing before?
J: While I’ve become very comfortable in racing distances between 50 km to 50 miles, this was my first time doing so back-to-back – certainly my first time racing 7 days straight!
H: Seven days of running sounds intense. Did you know what to expect? What were some of the unexpected obstacles?
J: I have some experience with multi-day trekking and fastpacking, so a lot of the logistics around gear, food, and just taking care of my body weren’t completely unfamiliar. But what was new was having to apply a longer-term racing strategy over the course of the week. Pacing an event like this was of course going to be different, and I was unsure how my body would feel several days into the event. Fortunately, I found that I was actually getting stronger as the days went on.
Challenges with this particular event also included running in sand – the 80 km stage was almost entirely sand, including 5 km of actual sand dunes. I had ordered some special sand gaiters from overseas which unfortunately didn’t arrive in time, so I had to simply deal with having to empty my shoes occasionally, especially when running through the dunes.
H: How did you train for this mega ultra? It certainly must have been very different from training for a regular ultra.
J: Since I had been pretty focused on the Fat Dog 120 miler this summer, which I considered to by my ‘a’ race for the year, I didn’t actually do any specific training for G2G. With only 5 weeks between the two, I had to concentrate instead on simply my recovery, and to hope that my fitness would carry over.
Temperatures in the desert at this time of year can get over 30 degrees celsius. We had a pretty warm summer here in the Vancouver so I found that I seemed to handle the heat okay, despite not having done any specific heat adaptation training.
Something I would have done different would be to do more upper body strength training as well as training with a heavy pack. I didn’t have any specific problems with my pack, which I had managed to get down to 15 lbs. excluding water, but I may have been able to run a little more efficiently with better training.
H: Have you ever run in a similar environment to the course at the Grand to Grand Ultra?
J: The race started right on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Two years ago, I ran the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim – from one side of the Canyon to the other and back again, a total of 46 miles with roughly 13,000 feet of elevation gain. So I was mentally prepared for similar terrain and temperatures to this.
What I wasn’t prepared for was the cactus fields that we had to run through in the first two stages of the G2G. Trust me when I say that it doesn’t feel good to kick a cactus!
H: What is the biggest thing you’re taking away from this race?
J: Staged racing really is its own sub-culture and community within the ultra running world. Everyone becomes like family at the end of the week, and it was really cool to see how close people had become who knew each other from other races. There are those that race nothing but staged events, so you could imagine how close and supportive that community becomes.
This was a great chance for me to experience another aspect of what our sport can offer, and I’m definitely planning on including another staged race in my racing calendar next year!
H: You must be exhausted (yet feel so good about finishing with such good results!). How are you cooling down at the moment? When will you run next?
J: I took a couple of days off after the race and just focussed on eating to try to put back on some of the weight that I’ve lost. I joined my usual Tuesday night crew for a recovery run this week on the trails and the legs are feeling great! I promised my coach I’d take it easy for a while though, so definitely no more racing for at least a few weeks 😉
H: Thanks for your time Jeff! We can’t wait to hear about your upcoming adventures!
H: Hi Camille! Thank you for your time. I know you’ve been very busy the past couple weeks. How were all your trips?
C: My trips have been great. I never imagined I’d be able to do so much traveling at such a young age. I’m living my dream life and couldn’t be more grateful.
H: What is your favorite part of guiding fishing trips?
C: Meeting new people, seeing new cultures and getting to experience new places with others are all things I really enjoy about doing trips. Sharing this wonderful sport with others and watching people learn about how important our natural resources are is so gratifying. I love being able to share things with others and for me, this is the best way to do it.
H: You have some incredible photos shared on your Instagram account. I love that you tell a story with each fish you catch. What’s one of your most memorable ones?
C: My most memorable one is actually a recent one from my trip to Kamchatka a couple weeks ago. I caught the largest rainbow trout of my life which was on a mouse. I call it my Unicorn (the rarest, most elusive fish). I’ve been fishing all my life for a fish like that and words truly can’t express the feeling of finally getting to hold it, then watching it swim away. I’ll never forget it.
H: We know you started fishing at a very young age. Could you tell our readers what has motivated you to keep fishing and continue to have a strong passion for fishing?
C: I’ve always loved to fish and, truthfully, has been my motivation. The opportunity to travel the world and share the sport with others has also made it easy for me to keep going in the industry. I love everything about it.
H: To anyone who wants to start getting into the sport, what would you say is the most important thing to remember when starting out?
C: Be patient, things don’t happen overnight. Fly fishing is a tough sport to learn as there are so many aspects to it. Don’t get discouraged and be open to learning from others. Don’t give up if that loop isn’t perfect or if you’re constantly tangling up your line. It’ll get better with time, you just have to give it a chance.
H: You’ve travelled to so many beautiful places – where is your favorite place to fish?
C: While I love the tropics and fishing without waders, I truly love to fish in cooler climates like Alaska or Kamchatka. Kamchatka has probably been one of the most eye opening and enriching experiences I’ve ever had. The culture, the wildlife, the remoteness, the helicopters, the food and, of course, the fishing has made a permanent staple in my heart. Kamchatka truly is Alaska 100 years ago.
H: How do you train and master tricks and techniques to catch each type of fish? Is it all studying or more through experience and practice?
C: I’ve never had to ‘train’ myself to target a certain species. Usually, the first day of any trip is like an orientation where you learn where the fish hold in a river, what fly they’re eating, how to present the fly and how to fight the fish. The first day is always a major learning curve because every fishery is different. Even if you’ve fished all over the globe, you still have to keep an open mind and understand you don’t know everything about every fishery. Nobody does! Experience allows you to understand a fishery quicker but never to master it. That’s one thing I love about this sport, no matter how good you are or how long you’ve been doing it, you’re still learning new things every day.
H: What are some of the dangers of fishing? How can one prepare for the different environments when planning a fishing trip?
C: Drowning is the most dangerous and prominent aspect of fly fishing simply because anglers are always dealing with water. There are many things that can go wrong when spending a day on a river, lake or ocean but drowning is by far the scariest reality for any angler. The scenarios I’ve dealt with mostly occur in conditions where anglers are wearing waders and are in cooler climates, typically in Alaska, Montana or Kamchatka. Waders can be your worst enemy when they fill with water, causing you to sink and struggle to stay on the surface. It’s VERY important for fishermen & women to wear a wading belt every time they go fishing to help prevent water from rapidly filling their waders in the event they fall in. Anglers also need to be very conscious of where they are wading at all times. Drop offs, ledges and steep banks typically have very loose gravel and can easily give way when stepped on. Swift currents are almost always present near drop offs and can take you into areas where there’s brush and other obstacles that can suck you underwater. Put simply, always wear a wading belt, be aware of where you’re wading and don’t put yourself in dangerous positions. I’ve watched too many people go swimming while trying to retrieve a 2 dollar fly and no life is worth 2 dollars.
H: In one word, could you describe the momentous feeling you get when you have the fish you caught in your hands?
H: What do you have planned for the upcoming months?
C: I leave for the Seychelles the end of September for three weeks, then in December I have a hosted trip to Argentina to Patagonia River Guides.
H: Do you stick to the warmer months for fishing or do you like to fish under all kinds of conditions?
C: I usually fish under all conditions. However, when temperatures reach the single digits and below, I stay home, drink hot chocolate and watch movies!
H: Thank you for answering our questions! Keep in touch and we’ll look out for your next project!