Joy’s Birthday Party: Sept. 10

Hello, welcome to my birthday party!

I turn 37 on September 8; to celebrate, I am running the Ultra Trail Harricana 65K on September 10. This race is my birthday party! I invite you to attend my birthday party digitally, or in person if you would like to travel to Quebec.

To attend my virtual birthday party, on September 10, please pull up this page and follow the directions below. They will transport you to the backcountry of Quebec in La Malbaie. They will bring you to the amazing Ultra Trail Harricana 65K course, which is 40 miles.

Joy’s Virtual Birthday Party

It is September 10! Let’s celebrate my birthday!

As you arrive at my birthday party, I invite you to watch this awesome Ultra Trail Harricana video (here). It shows you the majesty of my race course.

The race has a cutoff time of 12 hours and 15 minutes and requires a headlamp.
I will start at 8:30 a.m.; when I finish, it will likely be at 8 or 9 p.m. in the dark.

Now, imagine you are there at the start line at 8:30 a.m. EST on September 10.

A crowd gathers including elite runners from around the world. I am there in my teal running vest, probably trying to stay warm. In my vest, I have the required gear: a space blanket, a breathable rain jacket, a winter hat, a headlamp, a liter of water, my phone, and sufficient food for the journey.

At the start line, I am thinking about many things. I am thinking about how rugged this race is, how intense the climbs will be, how the rushing downhills will bring me back to life. I will remind myself that I easily hiked 38 miles and 8000 feet elevation gain in 15 hours. I have easily run 31 miles. I will tell myself that I have what it takes to do this race if I pace myself, if I persist. I will surrender to the race. All other thoughts or worries will fall away. There is no changing the past; there is only the intensity of the now, of my own breath, of my own heart that will beat hard as the uphills require my full attention. There is no frustration for adverse situations, only anticipation for every situation that could go wrong, only preparation for every weather event – heat, cold, rain. Nothing will turn me from my path unless it is a cut-off time, and even that I can master. I started running in April for the first time since the pandemic started. This race is ambitious, and I will give it everything I have. My heart. My lungs. My mental acuity.

Then suddenly, just like that, the race will start; I will be off at a jog, preparing myself for the journey ahead.

Track my race

Track my race through SportStats. (This is through my chipped bib; it will give you the times at Epervier, Split Naak, and the finish line.)

Alternatively, track my race through LiveTrail. (For this, the volunteers will manually update the site when they see my bib number and have cell phone signal.)

To look me up, you can use my name (Joy Perkett) or bib number (6350).

Now picture the race course.

Ultra Trail Harricana describes it this way:

An authentic trail running experience in Canada’s wild backcountry. Trails dense with rugged nature and wildlife. A rich ecosystem in a unique UNESCO world biosphere reserve. Summits where the wind carries the scents of the St. Lawrence River and the boreal forest.

Below is the breakdown of my race.

Start: Parc des Hautes Georges

First trail section: 4.1 miles
328 feet elevation gain
524 feet elevation loss

This section takes me into the forested hills near the Malbaie River.

Aid Station: Water Station Geai Bleu

Second trail section: 9.5 miles
1870 feet elevation again
492 feet elevation loss.

The trail is humid and narrow. The course follows a creek up 1870 feet elevation gain. I will face mud, bridges, beaver dams and majestic lakes. The course is now deep in the dense boreal forest.

Aid Station: Coyote

Third trail section: 11.4 miles
1328 feet elevation gain
1771 elevation loss

This section is split in two. The trail starts out narrow and technical in some places, before opening up onto an easy ATV trail. The second part is technical and narrow segment with no elevation. The last kilometer of this section is on a logging road.

Aid Station: Epervier

Check my online progress!
This will be the first place to record my race progress.
Send me encouraging vibes.

Fourth trail section: 4.2 miles
836 feet elevation gain
705 feet elevation loss

Long and narrow. The course climbs 836 feet and then descends. The last kilometer is on an ATV trail.

Aid Station: Split Naak

I have to reach this aid station by 6:09 p.m.
Check my onlines progress here as well.

Fifth trail section: 4.5 miles
1312 feet elevation gain
459 feet elevation loss

ATV trail, narrow at times. This is the last uphill segment of the race. The trail widens. The ground here is lichen, pleasant and vast. This section ends on a gravel road.

Aid Station: Montagne Noire

I have to reach this aid station by 7:36 p.m.

Sixth and final trail section: 4.6 miles
328 feet elevation gain
380 feet elevation loss

Descending ATV and forest trail. The trail is wide. After 2km of trails, the course merges to a motor road. It continues through the rolling mounds of a cross-country skiing trail.

Finish line: Mont Grand-Fonds

This will be my last time update for my race if I make the cutoff times. You have followed me through daybreak, midday, and into the dark of the evening. At the finish, if I am there, I will run to the end guided by the light of my headlamp.

Matt and my friend A will be there to greet me and cheer me on. You are there, too. I am thankful for your encouragement.

What a day!

Thank you so much for coming along on my virtual birthday celebration!

Here’s to my next turn around the sun.

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