Gotta Run Podcast

Gotta Run Podcast

Trail and Ultra running stories as told to us by average and not so average athletes. We seek the untold tales of everyday runners. Brought to you by GottaRunRacing Series. Please join your hosts Norman and Jodi, Directors of as we discover the ascents and descents of trail running. Website - YouTube - Facebook - Instagram - Twitter - Support us on Patreon here:


July 11, 2024 32 mins

Join Norm and Jodi in the latest episode of the Gotta Run Podcast! Fresh from their experience emceeing at the Meet the Minotaur SkyRace event in Crowsnest Pass Alberta.  They share their exciting journey through Canada's only SkyRunning race in the SkyRunning Series.

From breathtaking views at the foothills of the Canadian Rockies, they recount their attempts at the 10K Minitaur Canada's hardest 10k, (video now on GRR YouTube Chan...

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In this episode, we're thrilled to feature Ontario's own Chantal Demers, whom we have fondly declared as the "Queen of FKTs".  Chantal has held an astonishing 37 Fastest Known Times (FKTs) since 2015 and recently captured the Oak Ridge's 271 kilometre self-supported FKT in an impressive three days, seven hours, and 21 minutes.

Chantal shares her journey from basketball and triathlons to her transition to trail running which include...

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Join us on this episode of the Gotta Run Podcast as we dive into the world of SkyRunning with Jackson Cole, the reigning champion of the Minotaur SkyRace, North America's only event, in Blairmore, Alberta, Canada.

Originally from New Zealand, Jackson shares his journey from collegiate track and field in Colorado to becoming a La Sportiva sponsored athlete conquering some of the most challenging SkyRaces across the globe.

Discover t...

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In this episode, Norman and Jodi chat with Esther Fellhofer, a 34 year old ultra runner from Austria.

Esther shares her inspiring story of being a non-athlete for most of her life to becoming a trail-running champion who has conquered some of the toughest races in Europe.

Esther talks about her transition to trail running after moving to the mountainous region of Tyrol, her impressive wins in races such as the Eiger Ultra Trail and...

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Hey, everyone! We're back with another exciting episode of the Gotta Run Podcast. It's been a busy two weeks in the world of Gotta Run Racing, and we're thrilled to bring you all the action from the Sulphur Springs Trail Race, Canada's oldest ultra, which was vying for a Western States 100 qualifier.

We kicked things off with a recap of our Lost Treasure Trail Race in Mansfield, which went off without a hitch. Then, we headed to An...

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Norm and Jodi are Gladiators! That's right, we recently completed the 62K course at Ultra Trail Vipava Valley in beautiful Slovenia which is themed around an epic battle that took place in this region over 1600 years ago.

In this episode we chat about how we chose this particular race and our experience from race kit pickup to crossing the finish line.

It all started with Gladiators leading us out from the start line to unpredictab...

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We are off to Slovenia soon to race the Ultra Trail Vipava Valley UTVV for short on April 27. It will be our first time there and it came on our radar after our chat with Canadian Galen Reynolds in Episode 81 who lives and trains near the capital, Ljubljana.

Since we know very little about this part of the world or these trails we figured why not ask someone who has run the course, so we reached out to runner Anze Sobocan who not o...

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Returning to the podcast is Ihor Verys.  Based in Chilliwack, British Columbia, Ihor is the first Ukranian-Canadian finisher and ultimate winner of the 2024 The Barkley Marathons!

Ihor has been very busy since we last spoke to him after his Fat Dog 120 win in 2022 including runner up at Big’s Backyard World Championship running over 715k last year and a win at Hurt 100 this year.

We touch on a few key elements from those two races ...

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The Sulphur Springs Trail Race is a 20K loop course, in the Dundas Valley Conservation Area just outside of Hamilton, Ontario that has been running for more than 30 years, making it the oldest running Ultra Marathon in Canada!  Distances offered include 10k up to 100 miles. 

This year, the race seeks to become Ontario’s first Western States 100 qualifier - which would be a huge accomplishment - so we reached out to the trio of Race...

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Jonathan Albon is a 34 year old multi-discipline athlete originally from the UK, now living in Norway.

Jon has left his mark on many sports including Obstacle Course Racing where he recently took home the largest prize in OCR history by crossing the line first in Saudi Arabia; completing 100 kilometres in 8 hours with 20 obstacles per 10K lap! 

He has some equally impressive results in trail and ultra running including top spots at...

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On this episode, we feature 53 year old Jeff Bond, an ultra runner from Manitoba.  He has competed in several ultras including the Canadian Death Race, Epic East Gate in Riding Mountain National Park and the Dead Horse Ultra.

He just completed 100 miles on foot at the Yukon Arctic Ultra; a race not for the faint of heart! You can choose your mode of discipline at this event either by foot, cross country skis or mountain bike.  


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Lauren Puretz is a 40 year old practicing gynecologist in Colorado Springs, CO.  She has been running ultras for a few years now and has always been in the mix of things - 5th at Bandera 2021, 7th at Black Canyon 2022, and 4th at last year's Javelina Jundred. 

She is a member of the Colorado Aravaipa running team. Fun fact - she won the Sawatch Ascent 50K in Colorado outright last year and the only other woman to do that was Court...

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Rachel Drake, 32, resides in Portland, Oregon. She is a new Mom to Lewis, partner to ultrarunner Tyler Green, and has her PhD in medical sciences. 

She was the first woman across the line in this years Black Canyon 100K, where she earned ultrarunning's most sought after Golden Ticket to Western States. 

Rachel started 2024 off with a win at the Hong Kong 33K, the first World Trail Majors race of the year.  And now with her win at B...

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Hot off the Arizona trails is Becca Windell, celebrating not only her podium finish at Black Canyon 100k but capturing one of the elusive golden tickets to Western States 100K.

Her passion for wildlife led her down the path to her career as a biologist, studying diseases threatening the fauna in the American west.

We also chat about her experience at The Bear 100 in 2021; her only 100 miler to date and what she learned at The Cany...

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Tania shares a fascinating chronicle of her journey into ultra running, from her initial days of being a non-runner to resolutely training and completing ultra-marathons, over 20 to date. 

She details her latest adventure, to race across five deserts (Namibia, Gobi, Jordan, Antarctica, Chile) in 12 months with the aim of raising funds for Indigenous children in Mexico. 

Find out why she chose this challenge in particular and what r...

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Jakob Herrmann is a Swiss living in California, and an experienced runner who has completed an incredible number of races including seventy-nine marathons, over fifty 50K’s, and twenty-five 100 milers. His first ultra was back in 2005 at the JFK 50 - go big or go home!   

Some of his more notable races include Javelina 100, Rio Del Largo 100, and Man vs Horse. 

Jakob is also the race director of the Swiss Alps 100 which is a quali...

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Marcus Kjellberg is an ultra runner with diabetes and content creator from Sweden.  We came across one of his YouTube videos that he created about the Val D’Aran race in Spain last year - it’s an event put on by UTMB and some say the 100 miler is equal to or harder than the UTMB’s 100 miler.

During his Val D'Aran experience it turned into a lightning show and the race was stopped,  what happened next? 

We also chat with Marcus abo...

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Wow Wow Wow !!

What a year 2023 has been, we hit 100 episodes and chatted with amazing ultra athletes.

The 4 events in our Gotta Run Racing series were a success and we have added more content on our YouTube Channel with new virtual runs, our running adventures and Podcast chats.  Head on over to our Youtube channel and subscribe to not miss any uploaded videos.

If you enjoy our show, please leave a rating and review.  We would rea...

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Holly Grahn is an ultra runner, certified registered Hypnotherapist and Life Coach living in British Columbia. She has conquered some of Canada's epic ultra races finishing the Canadian Death Race 4xs as well as Fat Dog 120 and Squamish 50 just to name a few,  through her coaching, she specializes in helping runners change their mindset, reduce stress, improve focus and visualize success! 

In our chat with Holly we will discuss he...

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On this episode, we, have Dr. Claire Heslop, an emergency physician in our home city of Toronto.

We became aware of Claire after her amazing performance at Ultra Trail Du Mont Blanc as the top Canadian in 2021.

She has competed in some pretty amazing races including the Ultra Mirage in Tunisia, MIUT Madeira, Bigfoot 200, Moab 240 and The Track in Australia - 520KM stage race in 2017.

2023 has been a big year for her, racing at Tran...

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