By Liam Walke November 28 2020
A committed endurance athlete since my highschool years (in road biking and cross country skiing), I made the switch to trail and mountain ultra running in my mid-20s. What started as curiosity and a local 50k trail race has become a lot of things – it has changed my life:
I’ve had the privilege of running some big mountain races in Canada, South America, and Europe, and chasing some audacious solo goals in mountain and backcountry terrain. No matter the distance or terrain though, I keep coming back to the same principles. Running is life boiled down: it’s about work and play, laughter and tears, love and heartbreak, success and failure. The way we get through it all smiling is to love the process through passion and commitment. It’s about being present in every moment, even when some moments are truly not fun.
To me, running isn’t a sport. It’s a commitment to myself and my community. It’s a way of life! And nothing brings me more joy than sharing and guiding others to that same passion through coaching.
The three pillars:
If I want to throw up, 5k cross country.
But I excel at what I love, and I love moving fast in steep mountains, running alone through the night, and gulping pickle juice at km 95. So it would have to be a 100k mountain race.
Every single time an athlete sends me a picture of them beaming, or tells me of some small revelation or milestone. Big breakthroughs are great, but they’re never all that surprising because they’re built on a broad base of small achievements, successes, and (quite frankly) failures. It’s the daily smiles and miles, finding joy in the mundane.
Summer: post-run iced espresso or lemonade by a lake
Winter: post-ski Cafe Palmier in Chelsea Quebec with a good crew, a breakfast sandwich, a brownie, and coffee