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From the Canyon to the Staircase

Fredericton ultra runner prepares for Grand2Grand

By Andrew Wagstaff
Maritime Runner
Sept. 18, 2017

FREDERICTON – When Kelsey Hogan was a young girl, her parents would take her and her brothers on hikes along Newfoundland’s ruggedly beautiful west coast.
It was there, and while growing up in the nearby tiny town of Steady Brook, that she believes her journey with trail and ultra running began through her love of the outdoors.
Now she finds herself on a new adventure, as she will spend Sept. 24-30 at the Grand Canyon in Arizona, U.S.A. taking part in the Grand 2 Grand Ultra, a 273-km self-supported stage race.
“I feel full of excited butterflies, and some nerves, but confident in my training and preparation,” she said. “Overall, I’m feeling ready and excited to take on this new challenge.”
Out of the 170 competitors in the 2017 race, Hogan will be the youngest, and one of only eight Canadians.

Kelsey Hogan of Fredericton will be taking on the adventure of a lifetime on Sept. 24-30, when she takes part in the Grand2Grand Ultra, a 273K self-supported stage race from the U.S.A.’s Grand Canyon to the Grand Staircase. She will be doing it as a charity run to raise awareness and funds for Impossible2Possible. She is shown here taking part in this year’s Bad Beaver Ultra in Quebec’s Gatineau Park.

Photo by Ryan Richardson

She will be doing it as a charity run to raise awareness and funds for Impossible2Possible (i2P), a growing community of youth ambassadors and supporters who use adventure as a medium to educate, inspire, and empower others to do amazing things.
Last year, she was selected as an i2P youth ambassador for Expedition Death Valley to complete the 12th stage of the i2P World Expedition Series. From there, she and two of her Death Valley teammates completed her first ultra stage race, the three-day 150K Bad Beaver Ultra in Quebec’s Gatineau Park. While there she met two women who were training for last year’s Grand2Grand Ultra, and she went on to follow their progress there.
“They both had such amazing experiences and wonderful things to say about the race directors, the beauty of the Grand Canyon, the community and friendships that were developed there… I knew I wanted to take on the challenge myself,” said Hogan.
Big supporters of i2P, Grand2Grand race directors Tess and Colin Geddes donate one entry each year to an i2P fundraiser, and granted the 2017 spot to Hogan.
Spread across the Utah and Arizona desert from the north rim of the Grand Canyon to the summit of the Grand Staircase, the Grand2Grand Ultra is a six-stage race spread over seven days.
“Being selected as a youth ambassador with i2P was a life-changing experience for me, and being introduced to the concept of trail running and meeting incredible people taking on amazing challenges has certainly inspired me to push my own perceived personal limits by setting bigger – and seemingly impossible – goals,” said Hogan.
“There is also a growing community of ultra runners and trail runners in Fredericton that has been incredibly supportive in my training and has also helped to normalize the idea of taking on these crazy distances,” she added.
Hogan has set a fundraising goal of $5,000, which will go directly to 12P Youth Expeditions, which take teams of youth ambassadors to unique places around the globe. There they not only push their own personal limits, but offer an experiential learning program through interactive curriculum free of charge to classrooms around the world.
Donations can be made through her fundraising page at .