Viktoria Brown won That Dam Hill, outright, setting both a course and Canadian record in the process last weekend. The 45-year-old broke the women’s 24-hour Canadian soil record, which had stood for 36 years at 210K. She did so while outright winning her first-ever ultra and setting the new course record of 213.8K in 24 hours.
Brown had no intentions of running a Canadian record, which is why she didn’t have her effort marked as an attempt. In her longest race ever (by about 162K) she realized how much potential she has in the event. “They only count full laps for the course, so unless you announce that you’re attempting to break a record, they won’t measure a partial lap. If I knew that I was so close to the Canadian open record, which is 214.4K, I could’ve gone the last seven minutes and I would’ve broken that record as well. We didn’t even request a spotter because I had no idea how well it would go.” Brown is currently in the process of having her record ratified.
Brown only decided to run That Dam Hill after everything else in her calendar was cancelled. “I don’t like virtual events, so my solution was to find races that were on my bucket list to run and were happening in person. I’ve wanted to run this race for a long time, but I might not have gotten around to doing this for another few years if it wasn’t for COVID.” Her initial goals for this year were in the triathlon – she had hoped to qualify for the Ironman World Championships in Kona.
With only three weeks of race-specific training under her belt, she broke the old course record by four laps (9K) and realized that she’s got some serious potential in this event. The mother of three and owner of Hold the Carbs, a low-carb baking company, says that she’s already receiving calls inviting her to other ultras, and her goals are growing. “I would like to break the 12- and 24-hour Canadian records. Both of these records are held by a woman who lives in Australia, but she’s a Canadian citizen.”
Bernadette Benson holds both the Canadian 12-hour and 24-hour records at 133K and 238K, but Brown feels they’re within reach.
Brown explains that she came through 12 hours at the 120K mark, on a really hilly course. “So I’m sure on a flat course, I could run 133K in the same time. My only goal on the weekend was to keep going for 24 hours. I had no idea it would go this well. Frankly, I didn’t even know if I could keep going for that long. Now that I know I can do that, I can do much better in my next races.”