Run Report: The Pemi Loop, White Mountains, New Hampshire

Run Report: The Pemi Loop, White Mountains, New Hampshire

After last year’s Boston Marathon DNF experience, I decided to get back to running trails, mountains and anything else I find inspiring. This Fall, I’m running in the Bromont Ultra 55 km race, so since Boston, I’ve been looking to run long and high in the mountains every couple of weeks (while juggling home and family responsibilities!).

My training this Spring and early Summer have been spent running the small mountain trails near work and home, mostly at Mount Royal in downtown Montreal, Mont St-Bruno and Mont St-Hilaire. My climbing legs have been coming back gradually after mostly flat and road training for Boston, although that kind of training did give me a great base to build upon but to get to the level I need for my first ultramarathon, I need big mountains and a big challenge. The Pemi Loop fit the bill.

So on Saturday, July 23, 2016, I planned to ran my first Pemi Loop with my buddy Mike. I knew a little more about what to expect from the Pemi Loop and the White Mountains, based on last year’s experience of “running” (mostly hiking, with a bit of running) the Presidential Traverse, which climbs and descends eight of the tallest (4,000+ ft) peaks in the White Mountains in New Hampshire, including Mount Washington (6,288 feet / 1,917m).

I knew going into this adventure that the White Mountains are a brutally tough and humbling place for road and trail runners alike and that I was going to be challenged more than most of my biggest runs to date.

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