North Van runner's FKT attempt on Mount Brunswick chronicled in stunning new video
When North Vancouver trail runner Jeanelle Hazlett capped off her season by attempting a Fastest Known Time (FKT) on Mount Brunswick, it was chronicled on video by her friend and fellow Salomon Vancouver runner Brice Ferré. The result is a gorgeous new short film released on Ferré’s YouTube channel last week.
“He and I have worked together on many photo and video projects for the past 3 years,” says Hazlett. “I told him about my FKT goals and laughingly suggested how it would be fun to create an FKT project video. He immediately agreed and the rest was history.”
Hazlett, a former nurse who now runs full-time in addition to coaching and personal training, says she was inspired to make the FKT attempt by her coach Mike Murphy of Squamish. She says, Murphy, over the course of three weeks the previous year, had taken the FKT "triple crown" of three of the gnarliest mountain on the North Shore: Mount Brunswick, Mount Harvey, and the West Lion.
“I was inspired by his accomplishment and decided to start with Mount Brunswick, the only mountain of the three I had been up, and see what I could do,” she says.
Mount Brunswick, 1,788 metres, is a summit in the Britannia Range of the North Shore Mountains. Hazlett says the summit attempt was the culmination of her season.
“My preparation was laced into all the hours and miles training and racing that started in May last year,” she says. “My fitness was in peak form from racing some intense mountain races: Sun Mountain 50k in May, Broken Arrow 52k in June and Squamish 50 in August.”
Hazlett had only been up Mount Brunswick on one previous occasion and was relying on that memory as well as intel from her coach and researching other people’s experiences in making her attempt.
”I remembered the terrain was intense once you get past the tree line, particularly one 10 foot long section that drops off on either side, so that was definitely a large challenge to this FKT,” she says. “It required a big balance of strong pace while also being cautious and respecting the jagged, gnarly mountain that Brunswick is.”
Hazlett was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, and grew up hiking the Rockies, which is enough to instil a love of the mountains in most people, as was certainly the case for her.
In 2016, she ran her first two mountain races: Valley to Peak and the mountain ultra, Whistler Alpine Meadows (WAM) 55k,
“I was hooked!” Hazlett says. “I love the challenge of seeing how fast I can get up a mountain and love moving about in alpine terrain. I also love and respect the unpredictable nature of the mountains. You really have to be safe and prepared for absolutely any weather and circumstance.”
Hazlett has competed for Canada as part of the Canadian Mountain Running Team but isn’t sure yet if she will do so again this year. But she will return to the races she did in 2019 including the Sun Mountain 50K, Broken Arrow 52K and the Squamish 50K. She’s also got a few more FKTs ahead.
“I've laughingly proposed my next FKT project to Brice, a few big FKTs back in the Canadian Rockies: defending Lady MacDonalds FKT and chasing after the Canmore Quad - a 53K 4892m FKT that includes starting anywhere in the town of Canmore then summitting Grotto, Lady Mac, Ha Ling and EEOR with running between then finishing at the same spot you started. So, I’ve got my season cut out for me.”