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Canadian Mountain Running Champion Emily Setlack on falling in love with the trail

The trails have helped Setlack to find an escape from the pressure of running on the road and the track

Toronto Waterfront Half-Marathon
Photo: Tim Huebsch.

Emily Setlack is the 2018 Canadian Mountain Running Champion and 2017 Vancouver Half-Marathon Champion. Setlack also competed at the World Half-Marathon Championships this past March in Valencia, Spain. Setlack has been a runner for years, but it took her a while to find trail running. Setlack’s husband, Matt Setlack, introduced her to trail running.


The trails have helped her to find an escape from the pressure of running on the road and the track. Setlack explained, “For years I’d been so focused on times. The trail became a way for me to focus on the basics of running. I had trained so hard for the World Championships and was disappointed in my result. When I was deciding what my first race would be after the championships, I was hesitant to get on the road again.”

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Setlack decided to run the Canadian Mountain Running Championships as her first race post-worlds. She won. “The Mountain Running Championships were a perfect change in stimulus,” she says. “It was wonderful to just focus on running like a kid, from point A to point B. It was great to keep running pure and simple.”

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Here’s Setlack’s advice for the novice trail runner. “Leave your Garmin at home. Enjoy your run and have fun. Leave time out of the picture.” Her advice for a long running career? “You have to listen to your body, make it fun, let go of expectations, and remember you’re lucky. We’re all lucky to be able to run. There are so many people who aren’t able to do what we do.”

Setlack just got back from a camping trip with her husband Matt, and is resuming running workouts. She hasn’t nailed down a fall running schedule, except for the World Mountain Running Championships in Andorra, Spain this September.