Lorne Reid of Deer Lake takes a breather along the Corner Brook Stream Trail where he conducts his weekly hill-repeat session in preparation for the Zion 100 Trail Run in southern Utah on April 4. — Submitted photo
Lorne Reid hopes to spread a clear message as he pushes his body to the limit in the longest race of his life.
Reid, a Pasadena native who calls Deer Lake home since retiring from the military, will be on the start line for the 100-km event at the Zion 100 Trail Run April 3 in southern Utah.
It will be the longest distance he ever faced in his desire to be among the elite in the ultra-marathon world.
“Our personal limits is really what we set for ourselves,” Reid said Wednesday about the pending venture. “I hope that by going down there I’m a good example of what a person can achieve if they set themselves a goal and then they have the will and determination to follow it really.”
Reid is the driving force behind the Deer Lake 67, an ultra-marathon inaugural event held in the airport town in 2013 in which he organized and participated in alongside a field of 50 runners.
Creating the Deer Lake 67, which will run again this year Aug. 31 with Reid saying the field is almost full already, was part of his desire to grow ultra-marathon in Eastern Canada, particularly on the west coast of Newfoundland and Labrador.
“After the 67 it was too easy to let things slide,” he said.
His focused quickly turned to challenging himself to conquer a larger distance, setting his sights on a spring 50-mile race (80-km) in Canada but with so much snow still on the ground he was limited and didn’t find anything he liked.
However, things would work out in his favour.
Back in October, the 38-year-old went looking for a coach to help him train for longer distances and eventually forged a partnership with Jeff Hunter of Prince George, B. C.
“He’s a very established ultra runner himself and coach,” he said.
Hunter and several other runners he coaches on the mainland had opted to be on the start line for the Zion 100 this year so it wasn’t long before Reid decided to do what he could to join them for the venture.
Reid has been training hard for the race and has been slowly building up for the gruelling test that awaits him. A couple of weeks ago, he ran from the Bonne Bay Marine Centre in Norris Point to his residence in Deer Lake in a time of seven hours and 42 minutes.
So, is he ready for an even bigger distance?
“I’m prepared,” he said, noting he’s looking forward to meeting his coach for the first time.
He’s confident because he’s trained hard and has followed the guidelines set out by his coach.
“The 100-km race has a 20-hour cutoff time and Jeff and I our race plan right now is for me to finish in 12 hours,” he said.
Reid and his wife Angela have two children — six-year old Aaron and eight-year-old Sophie. It is his hope that his desire to live and promote a healthy living proves to be a positive influence on his children.
He has his heart in the right place in more ways than one it would appear.
“Maybe its’ about self-discovery. Maybe it’s about finding my own personal limits,” he said. “It’s about maintaining good health and being a good example for my two kids.”
His two children will under the watchful eye of the grandparents for the venture to Utah, but his wife will be lending a helping hand as part of his race day crew.
“Because it’s such a large race there’s aid stations along the way so she’ll be at most of those,” he said. “So, for example, when I come into an aid station I will have empty bottles. I will pass her the empty ones and she will pass me full ones so I don’t have to waste a lot of time doing it myself.”
“Basically, in the race plan, I’ll tell her the things I’m anticipating at certain points,” he added.
The scenic run through the southern Utah desert adjacent to Zion National Park means racers can expect to see wildlife roaming freely at night. The biggest concern would be the possibility of stepping on a rattlesnake with many sightings during the 2012 race. But, that race was held in May, so organizers opted to hold the race a month earlier to reduce the chances of sightings this time around.
Yes, there will be mountain lions around and coyotes howling too, but there’s plenty of room to roam. That’s no big deal for Reid who admits he’s came face to face with black bears in the Goose Arm area and doesn’t worry about what could happen.
“You can’t live life fearing silly stuff like that,” he said.