The longest Bree Denning has run is about 50 kilometres, a distance she covered in just over six hours. 

But that's nothing compared to what she's taking on next.

Denning hopes to finish 150 kilometres in 19 hours and 30 minutes at a race in Calgary at the end of the month. 

"I'm very nervous about it. I'm not sure I can do it," she said, adding that she thinks the cause might help push her those extra... hundred kilometres. 

Denning, who's the executive for the Yellowknife Women's Society, wants to raise $50,000 to buy sports bras, workout gear and running shoes for women who can't afford them. She also wants to start fitness classes in town that aren't so expensive. 

"It can be really prohibitive for people, especially families that are struggling to make ends meet, to actually access services in town that they can afford," Denning said. 

Bree Denning

'I'm very nervous about it. I'm not sure I can do it,' says Bree Denning, who's training for a 150-kilometre race that's happening in Calgary later this month. (Loren McGinnis/CBC)

Her 150-kilometre race is the kick-off to raising the money, she says. The proceeds from the five-kilometre Mother's Day run being held by Yellowknife Multisport Club this Sunday will also be donated to her cause.

'Mental capacity' put to the test

Denning hopes she won't psyche herself out before the big race. 

With eight years of running marathons and ultra-marathons — not to mention many hours of training these past few months — Denning thinks she's physically capable of completing the 150-kilometre race. What she's really concerned about is her mental state during the race. 

"So much of distance running at a point is psychological and pushing yourself to keep going," she said. 

"And I think when you lose that mental capacity, you start to get anxious, you think, 'I'm going to die on this mountain and there's no way I'm going to get down.'

"And so I think that having a reason to do [the run] will help to propel me along and help me go a little bit further than I would normally if it were just about me trying to do something for myself," she said.


  • A previous version of this story stated that Bree Denning was the organizer of a five-kilometre Mother's Day run this Sunday. In fact, the event is being organized by the Yellowknife Multisport Club.
    May 14, 2017 7:11 AM CT
With files from Loren McGinnis