Joanna Ford is a 37 year old trail ultrarunner from Calgary, AB. On July 15th she finished 6th female at Hardrock 100 Endurance Run. She was second Canadian female behind Stephanie Case, and ran in a women’s field that also included Courtenay Dauwalter, Darcy Piceu, Megan Hicks, and Maggie Guterl. We couldn’t wait to talk to Joanna about her race, as well as learn more about her personal running story.
In this episode, we discuss how Joanna prepared for Hardrock, including the 9 years it took her to gain entrance in the lottery. Hardrock is a bucket list race for many runners, and requires that one qualify and enter a lottery for the chance to toe the line each year. Hardrock is a 102.5-mile run with 33,197 feet of ascent and descent for a total elevation change of 66,394 feet with an average elevation of 11,186 feet. The run starts and ends in Silverton, Colorado and travels through the towns of Telluride, Ouray, and the ghost town of Sherman, crossing thirteen major passes in the 12,000' to 13,000' range. Entrants must travel above 12,000 feet (3,700 m) of elevation a total of 13 times, with the highest point on the course being the 14,048' summit of Handies Peak. We talk about all the things that make Hardrock the iconic race that it is - the elevation, the unpredictable weather, the punishing terrain, and the inevitable stomach issues that come with running so high. We also talk about Joanna’s crew, her pacers and her favourite experiences during the race. Joanna has a love for mountain peaks, big climbs and fast downhill running. She even managed to secure the Strava crown for the descent down Grant Pass during the race! We know you will be inspired by her endless energy and her stories.
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