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The Ultimate Endurance Test

Frontline policing and marathons have a lot in common. They both require physical stamina, mental toughness and the same ‘never give-up warrior attitude’.


December 23, 2016
By Isabelle Sauve

Most people are likely familiar with the standard (42 km/26 mile) marathon, halfmarathon and shorter races such as the 10K. There are numerous races held around the world, including the Boston Marathon, probably the most famous race of all.

Beyond the marathon is the ultramarathon, which typically begin with 50 km (31 miles) and extends to much-greater distances on often difficult courses.

Completing a marathon requires plenty of training and many of the same physical and mental characteristics required by frontline police officers. Setting small goals and consistently working to achieve them helps lead to realizing larger goals.

I recently completed my inaugural “Racing the Planet – 4 Deserts Race at Atacama Crossing” ultramarathon event in Chile, a 250 km, self-supported, six stage foot race across the oldest desert in the world. (Athletes running a self-supported race must carry all needed supplies in a rucksack.)

I was honoured (and surprised), to finish third in the women’s category with a total time of 35:30:04, less than five minutes behind the winner and just 23 seconds behind the secondplace finisher.

We are all capable of more than we think. I encourage law enforcement officers to challenge themselves in new ways to maintain physical, emotional, and psychological wellbeing and survive tough situations.

Cst. Isabelle Sauve is a 10 year OPP veteran currently with the Emergency Response Team (ERT) at the Almaguin Highlands Detachment in Burks Falls, about 300 km north of Toronto. Contact: isabelle.sauve@hotmail.com