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Young alumna places ninth in the Grand 2 Grand Ultra marathon

Author: Young Alumni

Posted on Oct 31, 2017

Category: UNB Fredericton , Young Alumni , Inspiring Stories

Photo credit: G2Gfoto

 UNB young alumna Kelsey Hogan (BPhil'16) placed second among women and ninth overall in last month's Grand 2 Grand Ultra Marathon (G2G). Facing her toughest ultra marathon to date, Hogan tackled the 273 kilometres from the North Rim of the Grand Canyon to the summit of the Grand Staircase as not only one of eight Canadians, but also as the race's youngest competitor.

The Grand 2 Grand Ultra is a six stage, seven day footrace through the Utah and Arizona desert, and is the first self-supported stage footrace in America. The challenging terrain involves trekking through rock canyons and over sand dunes, while carrying enough food, gear and first aid to be self-sufficient.

Having only competed in two ultra-marathons prior to G2G, Hogan proved that she has the passion and grit to make it far in this sport -and she faced each day on the trail with a big smile and a positive outlook. For Hogan, the outpouring of love she received from the Fredericton community and from her hometown of Steady Brook, NFL was most energizing about the experience.

“I hadn’t really expected to go in and race it, but to be minutes away from the lead female it sort of became a race,” says Hogan. “I ran faster and harder than I knew I could and the experience pushed me in ways I didn't expect.”

Hogan graduated from UNB with a Bachelor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies in 2016 and not long after began following a training schedule, which included developing an individualized nutrition plan and organizing her pack.

Photo credit: G2Gfoto

As a youth ambassador for Impossible 2 Possible (I2P), a not-for-profit organization that empowers youth around the world through mental and physical challenges, Hogan's entry into G2G  involved setting a personal $5,000 fundraising goal with all proceeds going directly to future youth expeditions with I2P.

“As someone new to ultra running, being coached by world-class athletes and trainers like Ray Zahab, Derrick Spafford, and Mike Stashin has been incredible" she says. “Taking moments to appreciate the beauty of the natural world around you or talking with runners as you pass them is all part of the experience.”


She joined I2P just two years ago, where she was selected to take part in in Expedition Death Valley in September 2016. Hogan also competed in the Bad Beaver Ultra 150k, a three day stage race in Gatineau Park, Quebec, which she says was the biggest physical, mental and emotional challenge - that is until meeting the Grand 2 Grand.

“One of the big things that attracts me to distance trail running is that the focus isn’t as much on pace or time, but instead on managing your energy and fueling properly.”

“We (trail runners) share an appreciation for the way it can challenge you to learn more about yourself, while also bringing people together from all around the world.”  

Photo credit: G2Gfoto 


Photo credit: G2Gfoto