Steady as she goes: First woman to complete Quebec ultramarathon hails from Steady Brook

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A Newfoundlander has made race history at the 160-kilometre ultramarathon in Gaspé, Que., by becoming the first woman to complete the course. 

Kelsey Hogan, originally from Steady Brook and now living in Toronto, was the third person to cross the finish line at the end of the gruelling course on the weekend, and in doing so cemented herself into the race's history.

This year's race was Hogan's second time tackling the course, though she took things a little farther this time around by signing up for an extra 60 kilometres in length.

"I had such a great experience that I wanted to come back, and when I heard that there had never been a female finisher of the 100-mile, it felt like a challenge to take on," Hogan told CBC Radio's Newfoundland Morning

"It's pretty exciting to not only be the first this year, but that there were three female finishers."

This year's race drew more than 700 runners, doubling the previous year's participation, according to Hogan .

The sport, she said, is growing in popularity as more and more participants push themselves to find out what they are made of. For Hogan, giving up was never an option. 

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"That was not allowed to cross my mind. I think a lot of runners talk about there [being] some low points and points where you could be suffering. I like to shift my mindset … to think about what's really positive about what's happening around me," she said. 

"There's a lot of time to have different thoughts crossing your brain, and for me it about taking in the views and the fact that I'm able to move my body. Even when it's hard and I can't move as quickly as I usually can, that's a pretty beautiful thing to realize — that I'm mentally able to keep going."

No pain, no gain 

Hogan isn't one to shy away from a challenge. Later this month she'll be heading back to Quebec to pound the ground on a 100-kilometre ultra trail course.

However, her finish in Gaspé and the 100-kilometre trail in Quebec City are both simple appetizers for an even bigger race Hogan will be running in September. 

"I'll be looking forward to seeing how my body moves through that. These two races for me are actually a bit of training for my first 200-mile race: the Tahoe 200," she said. 

"That's a bit of a reunion with a lot of other folks I've met through different trail races along the years. So, I'm looking forward to all of those."

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