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Written by FBC Social

Our team FBC member on the Island Morgan aka Morgs is here to share her passion with us. Running!

Morgan grew up on Vancouver Island where she discovered her love for the trails – loooooong trails. She took the time to chat to us a little bit about how she got into running, what her plans are for 2023, and what advice she would give to someone who would want to follow in her footsteps.

So, sit back, grab a Hit the Deck Hazy IPA (Morgan’s favourite FBC brew), read on, and get inspired for tackling those trails on foot this summer!



FBC: We know that you’re big into trail running. How did you first get into the sport?female runner on rock

Morgan: Growing up on Vancouver Island, the forest is just constantly out your front and back door. So, I was always a runner, and I grew up doing track and field in school of course, but then quickly realized that the sound of the gun and the fact that we got ribbons actually made me quite anxious as a kid.

Then cross country became a thing, and I really enjoyed the fact that it was on the trails and a bit off-road. I was like: “Wow, this just like takes the pressure off entirely!” I would say that I started in high school and then going to university I ended up taking a bit of a hiatus from trail running. In my early twenties I connected with a friend who was really into trail running. He had run the Squamish 50. So, I started running, keeping in mind that running an ultra would be cool one day.

Around four or five years ago, a friend that lived out in Mackenzie asked: “Do you want to go up to Valemount and do the Mount Robson to Berg Lake Trail? It’s about 50km!”  So, we hiked and ran it, and we got up to the lake, came back down, and by the time we were up and down it was about 12 hours. I couldn’t believe it.

That summer and I signed up for the Finlayson Arm 50. I remember connecting with my friend Paul, who was a pretty avid ultra runner, and I said: “How does somebody train for that?” And he’s like: “We’ll see how many times you can go up and down Mount Prevost in Duncan, and then we’ll see what your time could be like.”  So, one day I went up and down Prevost three or four times which is about 30 to 40km and 3,000 meters (in elevation).

But then, a week before Finlayson Arm, I got super nervous and was like: “I don’t know if I can do this.”

I realized that I started to experience a little bit of a phobia with heights. There’s this infamous ledge on Finlayson Arm that people talk about because you can’t bypass it. It’s quite the drop off, maybe 150 to 200 feet. The ledge itself is about two and a half feet wide, and there’s a massive rock wall next to you. You can’t hop over it or anything. So anyways, I decided: okay, I’m just gonna give it! I’m just gonna give it my all! I’m gonna try it! And I ran my first 50km!

FBC: What are your running goals for the new year?

female runner in raceMorgan: I’m racing the Diez Vista in Port Moody on April 9th, that’s a 50km. I’m very excited for it, but I’m trying to go into this race as my B race, I guess. Just to shake out the body, shake off the cobwebs, see how my body responds to the distance and elevation.

The race that I’m prioritizing and focusing on is the Quebec Mega Trail 80km, which is on July 1st. I’m super stoked! Then perhaps the Ultra Trail in Quebec in September, then, fingers crossed, I’m trying to get in for the Javelina 100.

FBC: What is your favorite running area on the island?

Morgan: That’s an easy one. A few years ago, I lived in Maple Bay. I really got to know the mountain and I could run the same mountain every day but run a new trail. One side of the mountain is a beautiful forest with big cedar trees, and the other side is all coastal and rugged and shale rock. I just loved the diversity of it and that I could do it all on one mountain.  And then I would say the Cowichan Valley.

FBC: Do you think trail running in the winter is much different on the island than it is in Fernie?

Morgan: Oh, yes, definitely! I feel like when I see photos of people running in Fernie, oftentimes from November or end of October onward, you guys have a lot of snow. Like right now I’m looking outside and maybe there’s a fresh dusting of snow, but we usually only get about seven to 10 days of snow on the mountains that people are running on. The mornings here are icy, very frosty, but we don’t have that soft powder snow that you guys get.

female in front of waterfall

FBC: Last question, do you have any advice to people who would love to get into running or trail running?

Morgan: Yeah, my advice stems from two conversations I’ve had with my Dad: “You can, and it is possible!”

You can. All you have to do is put the shoes on and put one foot in front of the other. And dream! If you just dream of this goal and you think about it every day and you just put little steps in every day to get towards that goal. Next thing you know you’re dreaming of another goal because you’ve already attained that one. I remember driving 100km in my car, and I would be like: “Is it possible?” And I always tried to talk to myself in the same way that I would talk to other people.

It is possible. And if you can think about it, you can do it. You just have to dream hard enough, and you have to be willing to put the work in, because as like anything in life, nothing happens overnight, right? If you’re passionate about it enough, it’s possible!

Thanks to Morgan for letting us in for a sneak peek into how she started, where she’s going and what it means to her. To keep up with Morgan as she blazes trails, and conquers fears, be sure to follow her on Instagram at @morgzontherun.

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