Summer Trail Series runner profile: Gordon Flett

Summer Trail Series_Gordon Flett_2017 03 28

The 2017 Summer Trail Series starts on July 20. Alain, Joel and I are anticipating the series will sell out for the first time this year, so we encourage you to register early. Our website has plenty of information about each of the three races, and a handy FAQ section.

To get you excited for this year’s races, we’re going to introduce you to some of the people who participated in 2016. We’re proud of what great and talented runners we’ve managed to attract to our event. Stay tuned for profiles of these runners, which we’ll post to our website over the next few months.

Did you run in 2016 and you want or are willing to be featured? Or do you know someone who raced in our series last year who deserves to be acknowledged? Send me an email at mallory@trailrunmanitoba.com.

Gordon Flett

I met Gordon through trail running because he’s a frequent racer – and top finisher – at Trail Run Manitoba events. That seems to be the case whenever he toes the starting line, as Gordon also runs on the roads and track.

Why do you run?

I love to run because it’s my passion. I love competing but also just going for a nice, easy run. If ever I’m stressed, I always feel better after a run – the stress just melts away. Running keeps me healthy, inspired, and feeling good. In doing it, I’ve met and continue to meet many wonderful people.

When did you start running?

I ran track and cross country in junior high but then took about 35 years off. After quitting smoking after 27 years in 2004 and then ballooning up to 230lbs., I started eating healthier, working out, and walking a lot. I started running again in earnest in August of 2009, which led to me running a 4km “all comers” race at the B.C. Cross Country Championships in October, finishing third last!

What’s your favourite race or race distance?

My favourite race distance right now is the 5K. I love the combination of speed and endurance, but on the trails I don’t mind running longer ones. My favourite race is the Walk In The Park 14K-25K-50K trail racing event in Kamloops on the Labour Day long weekend (I lived in Vancouver for 33 years and only moved to Manitoba a year ago). It’s got some killer climbs and descents, plus fantastic aid stations, volunteers, scenery, and competitors. Entry is very inexpensive with a good choice of distances, great draw prizes and an all-you-can-eat barbeque afterwards. The race is supremely well organized thanks to affable race director Chris Larouche, and so well-marked nobody ever gets lost.

What’s your favourite thing about trail running?

My favourite part of running on trails is how you’re running in nature instead of the sterile environment of the roads, with an endless variety of running surfaces. When you’re racing you get to forget about any pacing and just run, with no reason to look at your watch!

If you had one piece of advice for people doing the Summer Trail Series, what would it be?

Race as fast as you can or just run it slow, but never forget to enjoy yourself!

Editor’s note: I edited Gordon’s advice for trail runners. He said some really nice things about the Summer Trail Series, but I was worried you would all think I had put him up to it, so I left that part out. My thanks to Gordon for being so kind!

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