WATCH ABOVE: Alissa St. Laurent became the first woman to win the Canadian Death Race – a gruelling 125-kilometre ultra marathon. Lisa Wolansky has her story.
EDMONTON — She knew that if she had a good day, she’d have a successful race. On Saturday, Edmonton’s Alissa St. Laurent muscled out a 125-kilometre run, beating every other solo runner.
The victory made her the first woman to win the Canadian Death Race.
“Being the first woman is great, but knowing that I had a great race is even better.”
“You just kind of want to take that time to silence everything and soak it in for a few minutes,” said St. Laurent.
“It’s a pretty amazing feeling.”
The ultra marathon takes athletes through three mountain summits in Grande Cache, Alberta and over 17,000 feet of elevation changes.
St. Laurent crossed the finish line at 13 hours and 53 minutes. That means, the 31-year-old was running an average of 10 kilometres every hour.
“I’m very competitive and I know that, I’ll admit that. But that’s not my intention – to just beat anyone – but to run the best race that I can,” she said.
“At this point, I really just enjoy it for what it is and I just want to keep focused on that.”
She finished almost 90 minutes ahead of the top male racer – another Albertan – Graham Glennie of St. Albert.
“I had done the preparation, the training was there for me. I knew that I could have a successful race if I had a good day,” she said, “and I did.”
St. Laurent took the top spot less than one month after she set a course record during the Sinister 7 race in the Crowsnest Pass. During that event, she ran a 161-kilometre race in just over 18 hours.
“I’ve gone into it pretty calm and really prepared… just in the right mindset, that it’s something I can do.”
“It doesn’t feel like work for me. It’s a passion. I can’t imagine not wanting to do this.”