Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
Trophy Series runners embody trail running’s appeal to athletes of all ages
Age-group Trophy Series leader Louis Levesque, age 13. Photo courtesy of LeeAnn Levesque.
As the 2014 Trail Runner Trophy Series draws to a close [if you’ve run a Trophy Series race this year, this is the last week to be entered in a weekly sponsor giveaway for shoes and other gear! Learn more and enter here], we caught up with three runners who demonstrate that trail running holds appeal to athletes of all ages, all over the country.
We chatted about life on and off the trails with non-ultra male 10-19 age-group leader Louis Levesque, 13, of Owego, New York; male ultra leader Stephen Bridson, 52, of Stayner, Ontario; and female “miles mogul” Vivian Doorn, 47, of Seattle, Washington.
(See the next page for an updated Trophy Series leaderboard.)
1. How long have you been running trails? How did you get your start?
Louis Levesque: I’ve been running trails for about a year and a half now. I started by running with my mom and with the Valley Running Club, and I found a lot of inspiration in John Johnson and Jeff Lister.
Stephen Bridson: I’ve been running for as long as I can remember. I played League Rugby for many years, most of them in Montreal. Around 32, I retired from rugby and ran my first ultra, “The Slough of Despond” in Wiarton. I ran a few marathons when I lived in South Korea for two years. Took about a 14-year break, just running for fun/exercise and then got the real trail bug about six years ago.
Vivian Doorn: I started running more trail races in 2011 to add variety to road marathons. After I signed up for my first 100-miler in 2012, most of my races have been on trail.
2. What does a typical training week look like for you?
LL: Typically 15-25 miles, unless there’s a long race and then it could be more.
SB: I run to de-stress, so I don’t like to put any pressure on myself. Most people don’t like to hear this, but my training averages around 37-50 miles per week (probably why, as of yet, I haven’t attempted a 100-miler). I don’t wear a watch and never have been successful at keeping a running journal. I like to get up at 4:00 in the morning and run, or run as means of transportation. Most of my mileage is done on country roads.
VD: When I’m in training, a typical week is 50-70 miles and strength training at gym, plus a little yoga and swimming.
3. What can you be found doing when you aren’t running?
LL: I enjoy skiing, golfing and traveling. Mount Rainier, Tahoe, Germany, Austria, & Abu Dhabi are all great places to enjoy the outdoors, and I like to experience international people and different foods. Most of my traveling was done before I started trail running last summer, but I did do a great trail in Tahoe with my parents in June. We plan to go back to Tahoe next summer to do more trails there.
SB: I’m a Grade 7 teacher, employed by Simcoe County District School Board, and use ultrarunning to inspire my students. When not teaching I am traveling the world with my family, and running has allowed me to take routes less traveled and experience more remote areas. My favorite place to run is in the Himalayas. Most of my trail running (and my longer runs) are done on the weekend as races in the Trophy series.
VD: I work for a small software company in Seattle as a production designer. I started as full-time, but have worked my way up to part-time so I have time to run and sleep!
4. What’s your favorite Trophy Series race?
LL: That’s a really hard choice, but I guess the Dam Scramble. It has a lot of variety and very interesting terrain in general.
SB: I have three top favorite races, The Dirty Girls race in Mansfield, Haliburton and OFF the Grid in Mattawa. I enjoy all to these because the have a fair amount of technical running that makes you truly feel connected with the wilderness and because of the awesome people you meet and run with.
VD: This year, probably the Badger 100 and Thunder Rock 100 are tied. If I really can only pick one, it would be the Badger 100. The bad weather this year made it very hard, and now memorable and special.
5. What’s your favorite post-run snack?
LL: I’d have to go with chocolate milk … but I always appreciate a good Shot Blok, even after a race.
6. What do you find most difficult about running ultra distances?
SB: The most difficult thing about ultrarunning is stopping.
VD: Putting myself together after I mentally fall apart during the race.
Check out the next page for an updated leaderboard or, if you’ve participated in a 2014 Trophy Series race, go here to learn how to be entered in our final random gear giveaway from Series sponsors Merrell and Flora Health …
2014 Trophy Series Leaderboard, as of September 29, 2014
(May be missing some results that race directors have not yet submitted to us)
1. Stephen Bridson, Stayner ON, 52, 4 races, 200.57 miles, 605.11 points
2. Jeremy Bradford, Denver CO, 36, 2 races, 200 miles, 600 points
3. Clay Williams, Guelph ON, 53, 1 race, 139.75 miles, 559 points
1. Jenny Kroeger, Toronto ON, 28, 1 race, 149.73 miles, 598.92 points
2. Mindy Coolman, Missouri Valley IA, 32, 4 races, 186 Miles, 589 points
3. Traci Falbo, Charleston IN, 42, 2 races, 150 miles, 550 points
- 10-19 Louis Levesque, Owego NY, 13, 4 races, 49 miles, 120.7 points
- 20-29 Blake Davenport, Murphysboro IL, 27, 4 races, 52.96 miles, 177.74 points
- 30-39 Adam Russel, Rome PA, 35, 8 races, 111.16 miles, 357.28 points
- 40-49 Jeff Smucker, Woodward PA, 48, 6 races, 102 miles, 173.9 points
- 50+ Llew Williams, Sinking Spring PA, 56, 10 races, 133.08 miles, 399 points
- 10-19 Leslie Opatril, Revelstoke BC, 19, 2 races, 28.52 miles, 114.08 points
- 20-29 Johanna Ohm, State College PA, 23, 4 races, 76.5 miles, 196 points
- 30-39 Brianna Bair, State College PA, 38, 5 races, 75.3 miles, 143.4 points
- 40-49 Kathy Blair, Casper WY, 43, 2 races, 31.7 miles, 126.8 points
- 50+ Nola Kinaston, Fairfield CA, 57, 2 races, 37.1 miles, 126.8 points
Miles Mogul (Most Series Miles Run)
- Ali Turfe, Ann Arbor MI, 300.8 miles
- Vivian Doorn, Seattle WA, 281 miles
Trail Fiend (Most Series Races Run)
- Llew Williams, Sinking Spring PA, 10 races
- Tied 5+ women at 5 races