2012 Year End Review

Yukon Arctic Ultra finish

It’s always fun looking back through your training log at the end of the year, and remembering all the great, and not so great, runs. 2012 featured some highs and lows, but I was quite pleased with my running year.

The following are some thoughts and stats from the year…

Total number of minutes run in 2012:
572 hours & 53 minutes

Total number of runs:
451 runs

Average number of minutes per day:
94 minutes

On December 25th I reached 23 years in a row of running every day.

I didn’t really have that many injuries, but the ones I did have were significant including my back injury in the spring (Killer Rooster) and achilles injury in the fall (dragging truck tires). I’m quite pleased with the progress of my achilles moving forward.

Race highlights:
The Yukon Arctic Ultra was definitely a highlight for me. Running 100 miles while dragging a sled in February in the Yukon was an amazing experience. The views were breathtaking and the landscape seemed so rugged and wild. I was pleased to finish second in the race and was happy with my time in the tough conditions. The Dirty Girls 12 hour night race in August was also great fun.

Favourite runs:
Mt Skylite & Mt Marcy loop – Sara and I spent a long day in the High Peaks of the Adirondacks and probably enjoyed one of my best runs ever. The loop we ran was very remote with highlights being summiting both Skylite and Marcy. Lake Tear of the Clouds also offered a spectacular view.

Favourite beer of 2012:
Creemore Springs Premium Lager wins my award for favourite beer of the year. It’s a lager, but tastes more like an Amber Ale. My love of this beer was mentioned on both my UltraRunnerPodcast interview and Draft Magazine article. Creemore seemed to appreciate the exposure.

Favourite new food of 2012:
Tempeh & Rooster sauce. Both were great discoveries in the year. Seasoned tempeh BBQ’d over a campfire is tough to beat. It has a meaty type texture that fills cravings nicely. As for the Rooster Sauce, it is the best tasting hot sauce that we have found…we are NEVER without it in our house.

Favourite restaurant of 2012:
Burrito Amigo – I stumbled on this little restaurant in Downtown Kingston while on the way to Subway for lunch one day and fell in love with their fresh ingredients in their Veggie Burrito.

Favourite new album(s):
I really enjoyed ‘England Keep My Bones’ by Frank Turner, ‘Angels and Devils’ by the Mahones and ‘Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes’ by Social Distortion. I think that the Mahones were the only one released in 2012, but I bought them all this year. Oh yeah, and Steve Earle’s ‘Townes’.

Favourite new shoe:
La Sportiva Vertical K – Super lightweight, low heel drop, good cushioning, glove-like fit, no seams. I have run over 6 hours barefoot in this shoe with no blisters, and used it for the DG12hr race with zero blisters or hot spots, with just a lightweight sock. La Sportiva has some amazing shoes coming out in 2013 which I’m really looking forward to trying too.

Favourite new gear:
Suunto Ambit running watch is a game changer. GPS/Altimeter/HeartRate Monitor all in one, with the longest battery life of any GPS available. The Petzl NAO headlamp also receives high praise with a bright 355 lumens, programable settings, and reactive beam…meaning you get more light when you need more light.

Best wildlife on a run:
Deer, coyotes, bears…have seen them all this year. The most memorable sighting was seeing cougar tracks on the trail during the Yukon Arctic Ultra at night. The tracks were overtop of the race leaders footsteps, so I know that it was close when I saw it. I must say this was a little unnerving while running at night in the Yukon wilderness.

Toughest run(s) to keep the streak alive:
The day after YAU100, the day after the rooster attack and a few days of the achilles injury.

A huge thank you again to La Sportiva. They continue to make the best shoes on the market and support Sara and I with our running passion. I also feel very fortunate to be a Suunto Trail Running Ambassador, and know that without a doubt, Suunto makes the best running watch for trail, mountain, snowshoe and ultra running.

Goals for 2013:
I am heading back to the Yukon Arctic Ultra again next month, so that is the biggest priority right now. I’m not sure that I’m necessarily in as good of shape as last year at this point (due to recent achilles injury), but we certainly have much better snow conditions right now compared to last year, I’m feeling healthy and I’m also hoping that my experience from last year will help as well. Aside from the Yukon, I’m not really 100% sure what other races will happen. I would like to race more, but not sure yet which races will be a focus right now. I do know that I’d like to do some more fastpacking and interesting adventure type runs with Sara too. It’s also looking like I might be going on a Youth Expedition with Impossible to Possible, but details are still being worked out. And, of course, enjoying each run to the maximum.

I’m really looking forward to seeing what the year has to offer.

All the best in your running and here’s wishing for a Happy Holiday Season and Healthy New Year!



  1. I’m sorry but the killer rootster was pretty funny, hope it’s okay to laugh out loud now! 😀 Happy New Year Derrick!

  2. Oh I think 2013 is going to be one of your best years Derrick. It will be hard to top 2012 but I am sure you will. Happy New Year to you and Sara. May you have a great fulfilling peaceful year. B

  3. A good year of running for you, and another one starts today!

    We should call Siracha sauce ‘Killer Rooster Sauce’.

  4. Thanks….but still not entirely laughing about the damn rooster incident yet.

  5. Where could someone purchase Sriracha in the Yarker area? It doesn’t seem to be in the large grocery stores?

  6. Hi John – You can actually find it at places like Loblaws and some of the other groc stores. Definitely worth checking out!

  7. Good luck on the 100 mile run this Feb, personally I think you are crazy, but that’s because I could never imagine taking on a challenge like that!!

  8. Damn. You got me by 50 hours. Everything else I have to say after this point is an excuse.

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