Vernon’s Lisa Heidt does some climbing in a rainstorm in the World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships in Premana, Italy. (Photo Submitted)

Heidt goes high in Italy race

Lisa Heidt enjoys leisurely trail running with her husband and two children.

Lisa Heidt enjoys leisurely trail running with her husband and two children.

The 40-year Vernon Jubilee Hospital ER physician took trail running up a few levels by competing in the recent World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships in Premana, Italy.

Heidt was a member of a Canadian senior women’s team which tackled some wicked weather and tough terrain. The race was 32 kilometres and featured 2,900 metres of elevation gain, largely in three major ascents. Heidt’s team finished a solid sixth.

“The crux of the run for me was the descent from Bochetta Larecc, the highest point of the race, due to rain, fog, and hail making a steep and technical descent even more challenging,” said Heidt, born and raised in Vernon. “From there, the weather improved, the views were spectacular, and the spectators incredibly enthusiastic. It was definitely a challenge, but I was thrilled to have the opportunity to compete internationally.”

Heidt was joined by Shelley Doucet of New Brunswick, Marianne Hogan of Quebec and Natalee Peters of B.C. each team member ran the entire race.

The Seaton grad, who attended University of Victoria and UBC, ran up to a dozen hours a week, including one four-hour jaunt, in training. She also did yoga and worked on core strength.

Heidt returned to her roots following completion of her medical training.

“I only recently got into trail/mountain running, as a result of watching my husband push the boundaries of any sane person (he is an accomplished ultra marathoner and has done several 100 milers which can take 20-24 hours). I ran on the cross-country team for both UVic and UBC, and got into road marathons after that. I’m not getting any faster as I age, but my endurance is still improving, and I love the access to beautiful spaces as well as the camaraderie that comes with the sport. My nine-year old son, Simon, is a budding runner, and it’s been really fun to share some sunrise runs with him.”

Other interests for Heidt include trying to keep up with her kids, re-learning how to play the piano, and nordic skiing.