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Canyons by UTMb

The first race of the 2024 season took place on the other side of the Atlantic in Auburn, California, USA, at the Canyons Endurance Run 100K.

I arrived in San Francisco five days before the race, feeling it was enough time to adapt to the time change and to do a little running on the course with my teammates. The preparation before the race had not been ideal; I had been suffering from inflammation of my vocal cords that affected my breathing during training and making it impossible to talk without sounding like a hungover rockstar.

But, fortunately, it got better by race week and I didn´t feel any symptoms during the race. I was really excited to finally run again after a long winter of training!

The race started at a place called China Wall, in the middle of nowhere on a gravel road at 05:00. The American national anthem was played before the start, and the atmosphere was really nice.

The pace was easy and relaxed at the start. I ran and chatted a bit with Adam Peter(god)man and Tim Tollefson.

When we hit the single trail, I went in front to avoid getting stuck behind and to stay out of trouble. As sunrise came, it was a clear and cold spring morning, and the light through the trees and over the canyons was just amazing.

I felt good, pushed the climbs, and tried to put some pressure on the others. Rob Farvard and my teammate Steven Kersh ran strong and got a gap shortly after Michigan Bluff. I ran together with Drew Holmen, and we came into Forest Hill together a few minutes after Steven and Rod.

After that, my legs started to feel weak, and my energy was dropping. I couldn't keep up with Drew or the others who passed me. I dropped from 3rd to 9th position in what felt like just a couple of minutes. I thought the race was over, and my goals of getting a spot in UTMB and Western States would be ruined. I walked into Call 2 and stayed at the aid station for a while. I drank, ate, and pulled myself together. I focused on what I could do to come back, all the effort I had put into that moment and my values when starting this season - intention, purpose, and joy. When leaving, my legs and body felt like they got new life, and I found my pace again when running up to Driver´s Flat. I moved up to the 5th position, an improvement, but I knew the race was far from finished. If I kept working, I could finish strong, maybe even catch the guys in front, even though I heard that the gap was quite big.

I felt good and felt like I was flying on the beautiful trails. Many people have not given enough credit to the nice terrain and trails they have around Auburn. I had the impression that it would be a flat and boring race, but it was tough, demanding, and with beautiful trails that I really enjoyed.

When running down to Mammoth Bar, I could see Makai Clemons leaving the aid station. I rushed through the station, passed him, and Steven not far after. The gap did not grow fast, and I could feel them chasing all the way to Auburn. When entering the last mile, my team manager stood beside the trail and yelled, "Drew Holmen might not take the ticket, you will go to Western States if you don't get passed!"

I was like, "Holy shit!" I could not believe it! From feeling like it was all lost, I was suddenly 3rd in the race and had a chance to get the golden ticket!

But I could see Makai just a few hundred meters back, and there was still a bit to go. I took my last gel and prepared to push as hard as I could in the last bit. My whole body hurt, and my legs wanted to collapse, but the finish line was not far away, and I wanted that ticket!

It was an emotional finish. I had not finished a big competitive race since July 2023, and the relief was huge. I finished 3rd, but it felt like a victory. I know I have things to improve in the future to be able to win, but finishing strong after having such a bad dip felt good for sure!

But I was not sure if I would get the golden ticket. Only the top 2 were guaranteed, and I was nervous waiting by the finishing area while Drew was thinking it over. Then, Drew Holmen asked to talk to me behind the finish area.

"Do you want to go to Western States," he asked?

"Yes," I replied.

"Then you should go!" he said and gave me the ticket. I started to cry and gave him a huge hug! I never met Drew, but he is an athlete I truly admire and I am hugly greatfull for this oppertunity.

I waited for Steven at the finish line; he ran so bravely, he deserved to be on the podium!

Huge congrats to Rod, Drew, Makai, Steven, Katie, and all the other runners! Thanks a lot to Julia, Emma, and TERREX for all your support during the race,!


Adidas TERREX Agravic Speed Ultra

Adidas TERREX Prototype Singlet and shorts

Adidas TERREX Prototype Trail Vest

Adidas TERREX Wind jacket

Adidas TERREX Hat

Adidas Stella Mcarney Socks

Coros Apex Pro 2

2*500ml Soft flask


Start - China Wall

1 Maurten 240 Bar before start. 2*500ml Maurten 240, 4 100 Gel Maurten, 1 Empty softflask with Maurten 320

Deadwood 1

Refill 1 bottle

Devils Thumb


Devils Thumb 2

500ml water

Deadwood 2

500ml 240, 1Gel + 250ml Cola

Michigan Bluff (Crew)

2*500ml Maurten, 250ml Redbull, 3 Maurten 100 Gels

Foresthill (Crew)

2*500ml 240, 4 Maurten 100 Gels, Coke, 1 empty flask with Maurten 240. 1 Maurten 240 Bar

Call 2

Some candy, water and electrolytes (I think, pretty bonked)

Drivers Flat (Crew)

500ml Water, 500ml Maurten 320, 4 Gels, 1 Empty SF

Mammoth Bar

500ml Water


500ml Coke

Finnish - Auburn


1 Comment

Nik B
Nik B
May 22

YESSSS Petter. Way to go!!! Looking forward to see you and cheer for you in a few weeks!

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