As a full time Personal Trainer I am passionate about training and nutrition. "Only passions, great passions, can elevate the soul to great things". Everyday, I strive to share and transfer this passion to my clients, my friends, and my family in order to help them live a healthy lifestyle. I refuse to be average: I am willing to risk going too far in order to find out how far I can go.

"The human body is capable of amazing physical deeds. If we could just free ourselves from our perceived limitations and tap into our internal fire, the possibilities are endless" - Dean Karnazes. This has inspired me to commit to the journey of ultramarathon races.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


 I would like to start by saying: THANK YOU to my client & good friend Marysol for pushing and reminding me every week to write about my last post. Because of her I was able to write and share about my defeat in Haliburton September 2011, and mostly today, to accept it.

Thursday the 22nd of March at 1pm my pops and I left for an 11hrs drive to The Wintergreen Mountain Resort in the State of Virginia ; and was it ever a long day. I woke up at 5am in the morning headed to the gym and trained 6 clients.  I was picked up by my dad afterwards, and thanks to him,  made it to our location just past midnight.

Friday felt like a vacation; we had a breakfast of champions and we ate like kings all day. We went for a little 30min jog in the trails and drove to every checkpoint to familiarize ourselves with the course.


The race start was at 730am. I woke up at 5am. It was pouring rain and about 5-6 degrees Celsius. I have been fighting a pretty severe cold for the past week but I was committed to the race. We packed up the equipment and drove to the starting line. 110 runners/warriors took the challenge that morning to run through those wet and vicious mountains of South Virginia. 

I felt AWESOME for the first 21kms. Standing in 4th position, the course had a lot of ups and downs, some single trails, gravel roads and pavements. Met my dad at the 21k mark, 2h15min in and I only took enough time to give him a “high-five” then kept on going as the race was pretty tight from 1st to 10th place.

At the 3hrs mark I started to have stomach problems again. My body was failing on me again, I knew what was coming. I started to have very severe cramps, from my abdomen to my tiptoes. I was 10kms to the next checkpoint so the only thing I had to do was to keep moving forward and hope for the best. I walked for 90mins mostly up-hills fighting those cramps. To be honest at that point I did give up on myself. I told myself to make it to the next checkpoint and then call it a day.  I was done; I was in pain, it was still pouring rain, my feet were wet for the last 4hrs and my hands were freezing cold. It was the first time ever, during a race, that I mentally QUIT. In that 90mins, I went through a lot of emotions. Some I have never felt before and I can’t explain today. Questioning myself over and over again, why am I doing this? It seemed that every Ultras I have been having those problems and just couldn’t figure it out. 

Reminding myself why I was really doing this over and over again and how many friends, clients and family members were behind me, I managed to run the last 2kms and made it to the half way mark (40kms), where my Pops was waiting for me. 

I took a good 30min at that checkpoint. I had to readjust my goals and regroup.  I haven’t admitted this until now but, seeing my dad waiting for me at that checkpoint was the reason I was able to finish that race. It made me realise how lucky I was to have him as a dad. He drove 11hrs to Virginia, woke up at 5am on a Saturday morning stayed in the pouring rain for hours waiting for me, unable to do anything but hope for the best. MY POPS gave me the strength to keep on going that day. I will always remember that moment. 

I went back on the course as strong as I ever was that day for the last 40kms. I felt like I could run forever after that point. Running at a quick pace, still pouring rain, I was catching up to the top 7 runners. 


The second half course started with a massive climb. It was very long but runnable. I went uphill for a great hour before I reach the next checkpoint. I was pumped at that point because I knew the next 5-6kms were going to be a gradual downhill. As I flew down the mountains it finally stopped raining and I reached the 62kms mark where my Pops was waiting for me with fresh clothes. I started to feel some cramps in my quads and hamstring again. My friend/client/doctor texted me the day before saying that my potassium was low according to the blood test I did the prior Monday. So I tried to eat as many bananas as possible.

Heading back to the course I ran 8kms on pavement to the next checkpoint, I ran at a fairly good pace on a good rolling course. 


8kms to go!!! Feeling strong and catching up to the 6-7th place I knew I had to give everything I had to be able to try and get a top 5 finish. We did a quick transition and I left for the last 8kms, telling my dad to expect me in 45-50min. The first 5kms were all pavement followed by a 2kms descent -wow my quads were killing me- and then by a ridiculous steep climb of 3kms. Finally I got back into the trails.  


To this day, I don’t understand how, but I got lost. Being so in the zone and exhausted, it took me a while to realised I had been running for more than 9hrs and I had taken a wrong turn.  I kept going on that trail second guessing myself for about 1hour. I sat down 10min to see if someone was coming behind me. NO ONE! I knew at that point that I was lost and very very far from the trail and the finish line. I spotted a cottage just up the mountain. An old couple was sitting outside enjoying a cocktail. I came out of nowhere and ask them if they knew where the Greenmountain Resort –the finish line- was. They directed me and they told me I was about 3miles to the finish line. 


2h15min after leaving the last check point I got to the finish line. Poor dad, he must have been so worried!!! I was a bit mad at myself for getting lost but I was also very satisfied to reach the finish line. I came in 14th out of 110 racers, 2nd in my age group 20-29 and running an extra 7-8 miles for a total of 57-58miles/91-93km in 11h15min. 

I didn’t reach my original goal of winning that race or finishing top 3. I did understand and learn that support is a key to success. My dad felt bad after the race as he felt he forgot technical details at the checkpoints. I can say today, that if it wouldn’t have been for him, I was quitting at half point. THANKS DAD! Furthermore, getting lost also taught me that even if you train for a specific distance (e.g a 50 miler), your body is still capable of continuing past your initial expectations when desire, will and lack of other choices comes into play.  

Again, the human mind and body is magical and proof of that can only transpire when one pushes their limits. 

Monday, June 4, 2012


“Mat, take this race as a learning experience.” Those were my coach’s, Ray Zahab’s, final words when we talked 2 days before race day.

On Friday the 16th of September 2011, I left Ottawa towards the beautiful forest of Haliburton. Land of the living forest, an ecosystem at the southern edge of a vast and uniform, northern borealforest.  Comprising of over 80,000 acres of rolling hardwood forests, with meandering rivers make it a runners dream. The course has been redesigned threatening to be the most challenging course in the Ontario Ultra Series. 


Friday evening was pretty cool; a racer’s dinner was organized in a big log cabin. I got to sit down and chat with lots of my fellow competitors. I met some awesome people that evening. Sitting down with a bunch of Ultrarunners with the same passion, drive and desire is a very humbling and inspiring feeling: got to love the Ultra Trail Running community, people are running for themselves and always ready to help others do the best they can. By 10pm I was in my tent, yes we were camping at the race starting line, ready to sleep to be well rested for my 6am start.


The start was at 6am. It was approximately 5-6 degrees Celsius, clear sky but it was still very dark when we woke up. Meeting was at 530 am at the cabin where the rules and prayer were announced. At 5:55am some music from a live bag pipe ensemble directed us to the starting line. It was VERY cool. My good friends and training partners, Mike Bigelow and Pierre Paquette were starting at the same time as me for the 50k race. Supported by my twin brother, my dad, my buddies Marty, Louis and Alex I was under great hands for a long day.


Prior to the race, I had been fighting an ankle injury for 2 weeks. My biggest concern however, were the stomach problems I had on previous races. I had started to work with a Naturopath a month before the race and had been taking natural supplements and vitamins to regulate my adrenaline gland and digestive systems. I was hoping it would do the trick!


I felt pretty strong the first 40km coming in at 4hrs on the nose. My support crew was there with everything I needed every 7-8kms at every station. In second place at that point, I was 5min behind 1st place. Finally at the 65k mark, I was able to catch up to the leader, even telling myself to slow down a bit because the race was still young. We ran together and chatted for a good 15k until we cross the half-way point, 50miles (80km), together at around 8h35min. I’ve heard that Mike and Pierre both had AWESOME races, even if Pierre got lost for a few kms they both place very well. CONGRATS GUYS!

The day was beautiful.  Fighting for 1st place and on pace for a top 3 best times of all time on that course I was sticking to the game plan by taking all my vitamins, supplements, salt tablets, electrolytes; you name it I was taking it! At the 100k mark, my feet were starting to feel a bit tight but not enough to slow me down significantly. I was stopping every 8-10k to stretch them a few seconds and get back on track.
120k, 2nd Place Overall, 13 hours and 30 minutes in…

I arrived at the 120k mark at just over 13 hours and 30 minutes. Still on pace for a very solid time for that course, in second place, 5min behind first, I had a solid lead ahead of third place. My twin brother was ready to run the next 20k with me. My dad was racing in the 26k race that day and just learned he did awesome, WELL DONE POPS, first trail race under your belt; I gave him a high-five and left with my brother towards the last 40kms.


Every 30min my watch was set on a timer that  would remind me to take my electrolytes and salt tablets in order for me to remain hydrated on this warm 24-25 degrees day. 10-15 minutes after we left the last aid station my timer beeped and as I reached into my bag for my electrolytes and salt, none were left.  I had totally forgotten to tell my support crew that I was out and needed to restack at the last aid station. The next aid station was another 15-20k. We decided to push it through. 30 minutes later it started to hit me. My legs were starting to cramp and seize up. It was getting very dark out there and hard to see. The pain was becoming more and more severe. I was only able to speed walk 2min and run 1min for a while since my feet, knees and hips got really sore and were getting inflamed. Just trying to make it to the next aid station I was starting to have nausea and had a rough time walking in a straight line. 


Thanks to my twin brother that who kept me safe and helped me push it through to the next aid station and also to my AMAZING support crew, my dad, Marty, Louis and Alex who also significantly helped. They were all waiting for me in the middle of nowhere, keeping warm beside a small fire camp. Thanks to Mike and Pierre that were waiting for me in their cars at the finish line after a long 50k race.


At the aid station I tried to refuel and change for bigger shoes since my feet were too swollen to finish those last 16kms in my own shoes. I was presently in 3rd place since I had lost a lot of time in the last miles. I tried to do a couple steps after taking 5-10 mins at the station but my feet were in very severe pain I couldn’t handle it. I then decided to lie down in the back of the car for an hour to see if the swollenness in my feet was going to go down. When I woke up from my little nap just having my shoes on was too painful to tolerate. After discussing with my twin brother, we made the very difficult decision that I had to quit at that point for the sake of my health.


It took me a while to accept that I was defeated that day. Before this day, I honestly thought I was physically and mentally unbreakable. I thought I could take on any challenge and failing wasn’t an option. I was very disappointed with myself thinking of all the people that came to support me in the bugs, dark, cold, hot, in the middle of nowhere, and that couldn’t see me run those last 16kms and cross that finish line. It took me more than a couple of days to accept it; it took me a few months actually. It is probably the reason why I stopped writing  about my races. I felt like I disappointed and let down a lot of people, including myself. Today and as I write this, I understand everything I gained in experience that day and how this race was a learning AND life experience. 

“As I said there is nothing wrong with failing. Pick yourself up and try it again. You never are going to know how good you really are until you go out and face failure. “ -Henry Kravis 


Tuesday, August 16, 2011


The 30th of July 2011 i was standing on the starting line of one of the toughest adventure race in the world.     The Canadian Death Race is 125km in The Rocky Mountains in Grand Cache Alberta. 3 summits, with a change of elevation of 17 000 feet, dirt, mud, water up to your knees, freezing rain, temperature varying from 28 degrees to -2 degrees, climbs of more then 10km, downhill steeper then 45 degrees and a time limit of 24 hours were only a few things that were going to stand in my way on that day. 


At 8am, 1500 runners were standing on the starting line. Only 360 runners were attempting it solo. The others, were racing as relay teams from 2 to 5. Grand Cache as a population of about 5000 people. The race start was in the centre of the town and over 2000 people were there to cheer us on this early saturday morning.

FIRST LEG (19km)

After 5k on the road we finally got in the trails. Welcoming us with a sign saying "Only 120km to go" lol. I flew through the first leg. I compare that leg to the toughest trails in Gatineau Park. Ups and downs, really muddy with some fast and technical downhills. It took me a bit less then 1h30min to complete it. My support crew were waiting for me at the checkpoint. Louis-Philippe Daigle one of my best buddy from Ottawa, Cassandra and Chris a couple from Grand Pairies and Mike a guy that knows the trails like the bottom of is hand were all part of my support crew. I took a quick bite, changes shoes, refilled my hydro pack and hand bottle. In 5min i was back out and running, ready to attack the hardest leg of the race. 


About 20k in the second leg, i started to feel pain in my stomach. The course was just ridiculous!!! I was not expecting that at all. Climbs that were never ending. Downhills so steep that some runners were sliding on there butt to get down. I started to feel a very very sharp pain in the upper part of my abdomen and started to vomit. In the middle of nowhere i had no choice but to keep moving forward. Every time i attempted to run, the pain was so intense that i was vomiting. Not able to walk in a straight line, my legs cramping very badly and still vomiting i was 1.5 km from the checkpoint. I felt that i was close to pass-out and for the first time     since i started my Marathon and Ultramarathon career a was ready to quit. Two mens that were cheering on racers beside the trails saved me. They refused to let me quit. I told them "Guys i'm done, i cant go on anymore i have been in so much pain for the last hour. I gave all i had. Would it be possible to give me a ride to my support crew." They said NO! If we have to walk by your side will walk with you but your NOT QUITTING. At that point 1.5 km seems impossible for me. After lying down for 15min i decided to go on again. 30min later i made it to my support crew.  After lying down in the grass for 2h and being sick a few times again i was able to relax and eat again. I told my support crew "i'll give it another shot and make sure i got pizza waiting for me at the end of leg 3". 

LEG 3 (21k)

I still don't understand today where i found the energy to go back out again. With almost nothing in my stomach i ran 21k in 1h50min. I felt amazing! All i had in mind was how much time and sacrifices i made to get here. The hours of training, the time off from my job, the expense to get here, the early morning on weekends, the early nights in bed on Fridays and Saturdays. At the checkpoint in 5min, i had 2 slices of pepperoni and cheese pizza, a Mountain Dew and a Coca Cola and went back out for the longest leg of the race, leg 4.

LEG 4 (37k)

This leg was the longest one. Took me a bit more then 5h to complete. For the first 2h i was going up hill. It was unbelievable it seemed like a never ending climb. On top of Mont Hamel it was very very cold and  it started to rain, but sooooo beautiful. In my little pack sack i was carrying a coat, gloves, a tuque and my headlamp. I took a minute to put them on and also set my headlamp cause it was starting to get dark and continued my run. During that leg i met a girl from Calgary. She was an awesome runner. She was running it as a relay team of 5. We ran the last 20k of leg 4 together. We've talked the whole way, it made the time past by quickly. We got caught by freezing rain at one point. Running into the dark me and Gen killed the last couple of Ks and arrived together at the last checkpoint. I ate 2 poptarts, some chips and chocolate and a coca cola. I have been racing for 16h at that point.  

LEG 5 (25k)

I left around midnight for leg 5. It was dark and all single tracks. It was still raining and very cold. The course was super wet and muddy. Keeping focus i had one thing in mind, I wanted to finish strong and enjoy every second of it. Running with two lights on me,  one of them stopped working 15k in. We also totally forgot to put extra batteries into my pack sack. So now only one of my light was working. I was stressing out that this one also was going to die anytime soon and i would be stuck in the dark in the middle of The Rocky Mountains, GREAT! To be honest it kind of push me to go a bit faster. I was in a race against my headlamp battery life lol. I can say that i really enjoyed those last 25k, i felt amazing. Realizing what i have been through in the last hours was an insane feeling for me. Finally i crossed the finish line just under 230am in a total time of 18h29min.


125km in The Rocky Mountain, 18h29min, 20th overall, 2nd in my age group (20-29) were my results. Only 130 out of 360 solo runners manage to finish the whole race under the cut off time of 24h. At 24 years old i ran my first Marathon, my 1st 100 Mile race and now i have completed one of the most challenging race in the world. It wasn't easy! I have learn later on that my stomach pain were Ulceres and i had lost more then 1L of blood. I have learn that in those kind of race it doesn't matter how incredibly fit you are, its how bad do you want it. Today i can say that i witness how can the mind of the human body can be so much stronger then your physique. There no better feeling then being able to surpass your physical capacities.

Again a special THANK U to everyone that supported me trough that adventure. I have one more race this year. I'll be tempting in a few weeks to complete my 3rd Ultramarathon (100k and over) in 2011 at The Haliburton 100 Mile race the 10th of September.   


Monday, July 18, 2011

1st 100 Mile Race

Here is a video of my 100 mile race in Pittsfield Vermont made by my cousin Maxine Beauchamp. He did an amazing job. Thank u so much!!! Enjoy :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Eh guys! So CTV Sports News did a montage on me. It went on air The 11th of July at 6pm. They did an AMAZING job. Thanks to Corey Ginther for is fantastic work. See the link below for the video clip and search for Ottawa Ultra-Marathoner runs 24h in a row. Hope u enjoy it!!!

Monday, July 4, 2011

"To be able, at any moment, to sacrifice what we are for what we could become.”


Dream, Believe and Sacrifice! Those are three powerful words. Three words that once put together, are the key for new Opportunities that will lead to Success then Happiness!!!

DREAM: Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith, vision, hard work, determination, dedication and self belief.

BELIEVE: There is no limits to the power of the human mind. Trust your abilities. 

SACRIFICE: Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what!!! Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.

OPPORTUNITIES: Learn everything you can, from anyone you can, at anytime you can,.You'll be grateful at one point that you did.

SUCCESS: Success is not to be measured by the position that one as reach. But by the obstacles which he as overcome.

"No one is in control of your happiness but you; therefore, you have the power to change anything about yourself or your life that you want to change." - Barbara de Angelis 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Next Challenge - Canadian Death Race

Here we go again, 8 weeks till my next big race. The 30th of July i will be participating in The North Face Canadian Death Race that will take place in Grand Cache, Alberta, Canada. Since the start of the millennium, elites racer have come to the Canadian Rockies to cheat Death in one the world's toughest adventures races. The 125 km course begins and ends on a 4200 foot plateau, passes over three mountain summits and includes 17,000 feet of elevation change and a major river crossing at the spectacular Hell's Gate canyon at the confluence of the Smoky and Sulphur Rivers. During the August long weekend each year, extreme athletes, individually and in relays, push themselves to the limits of their endurance against the breathtaking background of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Each year, well-trained and totally committed, they battle heat, cold, altitude and themselves. There are no big prizes for winning: finishing is hard enough. And the bragging rights are priceless!!!

After the 100 miler in Vermont i was fighting an injury for over 3 weeks that kept me away from training. I had a tendinitis in my foot. My tendon that attach to my 4 little toes was really damage and inflamed. I had to go for deep tissue massage and take a break from running for over 20 days.

I met with Ray Zahab my new coach this Monday morning. He will be fully training me and preparing me for the Death Race. Its awesome to have one the best Ultrarunner as your coach. A strict nutrition plan and intense training schedule as started this week. Here is a brief resume of my training schedule for Week 1 & 2:

Monday: YOGA
Tuesday: Speed Run (12k)
Wednesday: Tempo Run (15k)
Thursday: Hill Training (10k)
Friday: OFF
Sat: 40k Trail Run
Sun: 30k Trail Run

Can't wait to get back in the trails this weekend and to enjoy my day off of training tomorrow! YEAH!