The 22-year-old Steady Brook native found out what gruelling meant when she completed her first ultramarathon —the 2016 Bad Beaver Ultra in Gatineau, Que. — where she surprised herself with a third-place finish.
One year ago, she padded her rising climb in the ultramarathon world by completing an ultramarathon in Death Valley, Calif., as one of the youth ambassadors of Impossible 2 Possible — a not-for-profit organization with a mission to inspire, educate and empower youth around the world to challenge themselves to do interesting things and go beyond their perceived limits.
Hogan’s next journey will be the toughest one of her life.
The petite five-foot-one, 100-pound graduate of the University of New Brunswick will test her mettle next week at the Grand to Grand Ultra as she carries a 25-litre backpack of supplies over a 273-km trek of hills and valleys beginning at the North Rim and finishing six stages and seven days later at the summit of the Grand Staircase at the other end.
Hogan said it didn’t take her long after Death Valley to realize she would like to do something else to challenge herself, and felt she was capable of doing anything if she prepared herself for the challenge.
“I knew I wanted to try something bigger,” Hogan said from Fredericton earlier this week.
She created a training plan and followed it faithfully once she made the commitment to add the Grand to Grand Ultra to her list of things to do in life.
She knows her body will be pushed to the limit and that’s half the excitement for her, but this time around she’s going to have to put more thought into her strategy to make it to the finish line because she has to be self-supportive and will have to carry her own food and gear over seven days.
She has already begun sorting her food to ensure she has the right amount of calories each day. She will be careful not to waste anything despite the fact there will be water stops at checkpoints along the way and only tents to provide shelter.
“There is a lot of logistic planning that goes into it that I haven’t really done before, so this is a really good experience for that,” she said. “I think I feel ready for it.”
Hogan, who has decided to try to raise raise $5,000 for Impossible 2 Possible as a way to show appreciation for what they did for her, is confident she will get through the 273 kilometres one step at a time and see the Grand Staircase up close and personal.
“Oh yes, that’s my goal. That’s going to happen,” she said.