Local Woman Prepares To Run Fort Chipewyan Winter Road

A 205 km winter run is a challenge a local woman is excited to take on.

Jessica Leska, the founder of ‘She Runs North’, is running the winter road from Fort McMurray to Fort Chipewyan in March.

For Leska, is all about showcasing the region.

“It’s really an untapped resource. I don’t think people appreciate our backdoors enough – where else can you live that you can just walk outside your back door and be in nature?” said Leska.

The run will be self-sustaining as she’ll be pulling a 70 lbs sleigh with includes everything she needs for the four days including food, shelter, and an extra pair of shoes.

“I plan on wearing the same shoes but I have an extra pair in case it gets very cold because the type of socks you need to wear to keep from getting frostbite are very thick.”

Leska discovered running in 2015 when the winter felt long and she was feeling ‘a little too comfortable’ on her couch. Now it’s a major part of her life, having run a 350 km race in New Zealand.

“It’s my anti-anxiety, it’s my antidepressant. You can’t run for four hours and not feel uplifted in some way. Especially being out in nature, breathing in the smells of the forest, just being at peace.  It’s like a meditation of some sort. It’s so good for mental health. That combined with the challenge of wondering if I can do it and then completing it – it’s a huge payoff for me.”

She’ll begin her adventure on March 5 and expects it to take about four days.

You can follow her journey on the ‘She Runs North’ Facebook and Instagram pages.

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