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Amy Puzey cues comeback with Grizzly win

Giving birth five months before a race isn't something you see in many training plans. Nor is balancing a full-time job with the demands of a young family limiting your training time.

Giving birth five months before a race isn't something you see in many training plans.

Nor is balancing a full-time job with the demands of a young family limiting your training time. But the recipe still worked for the unbreakable trail champion who took first place in the Grizzly Ultra solo women's division, Sunday (Oct. 9) at the Canmore Nordic Centre.

Amy Puzey, 34, hadn't raced since the summer of 2015, but was still able to maintain an incredible pace for 50 km, crossing the line in 5:06:20. Canmore's Courtney Post was second (5:08:56) and Kathryn Durell took third (5:19:45).

“The longest run I did before this was 22 kilometres. I didn't really plan to race. I just decided to try and see if I could finish,” Puzey said.

Born and raised in Canmore, Puzey knows the Canmore Nordic Centre trails like the back of her hand, which served her well in slippery and snowy conditions. She maintained her top female position for much of the race, and pushed hard on every leg, since she didn't know the size of her lead.

“It was hard to get out of bed after being up with the baby all night,” Puzey said.

When asked what kept her going through the pain and the distance, a tearful Puzey said her inspiration is simple.

“Jake and the kids.”

Men's solo winner Jacob Puzey was waiting for her with open arms at the finish line. She later stood on the podium with her newborn, stating that was what she was looking forward to at the finish line.

Post, 26, is emerging as another runner to watch in the Bow valley, and was incredibly fast in the first 50 km race of her life. She and boyfriend Tyson Smith spent much of the summer running through the backcountry, which proved to be excellent training.

“I've had it in my head for a year that I wanted to try 50 km,” Post said. “It was tough, mostly on the muscles, less on the cardiovascular system. At 35 km, everything started to tighten up.”

A former competitive soccer player and track and field athlete, Post said she's fallen in love with trail running and is already making plans for next year's run.

“If I do this next year, I will do more actual running in preparation. This summer we did a lot of power hiking,” Post said.


Rocky Mountain Outlook

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