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FOUNDER Mark Sutcliffe GENERAL MANAGER Ben Kaplan ADVERTISING SALES Jenn Price 416.938.6556 MANAGING EDITOR Anna Lee Boschetto ASSISTANT EDITOR Priya Ramanujam EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Megan Black CONTRIBUTORS Andrew Chak, Krista DuChene, Rick Hansen, Rick Hellard, Karen Karnis, Patience Lister, Joanne Richard, Ray Zahab. CREATIVE DIRECTOR & DESIGN Tanya Connolly-Holmes GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Jamie Dean Regan Van Dusen CHIEF PHOTOGRAPHER Darren Calabrese


STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Melanie Winter iRun is a publication of Sportstats World CEO Marc Roy Canada Post Publications PM42950018

Sportstats 155 Colonnade Rd. #18 Ottawa, ON K2E 7K1 (Canada) 613-260-0994



Oh, the places yOu’ll gO!

A nine-PAge TrAvel guide for on The roAd rAces

There’s never been a better time for being a runner with a wanderlust, as cities all over the world open up their streets to new starting lines. Our farflung correspondents report from destination races, from Jamaica to Iceland to Thailand to Spain.

There is no finish line ISSUE 04 2015

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Ed Whitlock shows off his first track shoe—a leather and steel contraption from 1950. ED WHITLOCK, PHOTOGRAPHED AT HIS HOME IN MILTON, ONTARIO. PHOTO BY DARREN CALABRESE


After coming back from a broken leg to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics, Krista DuChene, 38-year-old mother of three, reflects on the lessons she’s learned both on and off the race course.


At Ottawa Race weekend, we asked 100 runners why they’re running, and their frank, funny and touching responses left us inspired. What makes you lace up your sneakers? Enjoy the feature, and find out how you can be on our pages next month.


Erin Karpluk, the spunky marathon-running former Being Erica star, turns eight of the most popular Pan Am Games into exercises runners can do while cheering on next month’s Pan Am Games in Toronto.

iRun for my mental health, to get outdoors and feel the fresh air in my face. — Chantal March, Newfoundland

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5607 Hazeldean Road | Ottawa | 613-831-3604 203 Richmond Road | Ottawa | 613-792-1170 shop online at 6

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I CAN DO THAT! In an ongoing effort to improve your race performance, this month Karen Karnis investigates the elusive, evasive, impressive Negative Split.


hen Paula Radcliffe set her world record time of 2:15:25 at the London Marathon in 2003, she ran a negative split by 19 seconds. She told BBC Sports, “I had learned the importance of negative splits – that it was much easier getting to halfway comfortable and then pushing on.” It’s a strategy used by all of the very best distance runners in the

world. Yet if you search the Internet, you will find different advice on the subject. “I am going to feel like crap by the end no matter what, so I’m better off gaining as much time as I can in the first half and hanging on for dear life after that,” goes the argument. When I run that by Kevin Smith, coach at Marathon Dynamics in Mississauga, he’s passionate in his reply. “People don’t

willingly slow down during a race. You slow down because you can’t hold the pace you’re running,” he says. Smith has coached hundreds of runners, and he says that when people knock a race out of the park, overwhelmingly they ran a negative split. He adds that the bigger the improvement you are looking for, the more important the negative split becomes, and so

he has his athletes practise finishing strong in every single training run. “The interest you pay back in the second half far outstrips what you bank in the first half,” he says. “You always give back more than twice what you banked.” Smith says that there are basically three outcomes with a negative split strategy: The first is that you start out at a slightly slower pace and speed up,

hit (or destroy) your goal and maybe you have a little left in the tank. You wonder if you could have given a little more, but hey, it’s a good day! The second is that you start out a little slower than your goal pace and find you can’t speed up. That means you run an even split. The third is that you start out a little slower than your goal and can’t even hold that pace. “If that’s the case,” asks Smith, “how would you have had a better day if you had started out even just a little bit faster?” Karen Karnis writes the Endorphin Junkie blog on

iRun because I was told I would not be able to because of bad knees and asthma. To prove to my daughter and myself that you can do anything if you apply yourself – Crystal Worthington-Dunbar iRun_ISSUE04_June 11.indd 7

√ Remember that you’re not adjusting your pace by a lot in a race—just a few seconds per kilometre. Seriously, like five seconds/kilometre total. √ Practise on every run. √ For intervals, make the first repeat the slowest, and save the “fastest for lastest.” √ For mid-week steady runs, do the first half five to 10 seconds per kilometre slower than that run’s target pace, and the second half five to 10 seconds faster than target pace. √ For every long run, every three to four weeks, make it a progression run. Do the first third about 20 seconds/kilometre below your long run pace, the middle third at long run pace, most of the final third about 20 seconds/kilometre faster than long run pace – and the last two to three kilometres faster than your current race pace for the marathon or half marathon you’re training for. √ Smith calls this “an aggressive negative split run,” and is much more of an adjustment than you would aim for in a race. √ Plan your race. In a half marathon, run the first 10K slightly slower than your goal pace, the next 10K slightly faster than your goal pace, then, if possible, nudging it up a little more over the final 1.1K. For a marathon, run the first 10K slightly below, then run the middle 20K at your target pace, nudge it up by a couple of seconds for the next 10K, then give it all you’ve got when you hit 39! — K.K.


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PRACTISE PLEASURE, DON’T PRACTISE PAIN Chris McDougall, author of Born to Run, returns to history to explore man’s potential in an astounding new book entitled Natural Born Heroes. By Ben Kaplan


n the morning I meet Chris McDougall in his publisher’s office, he’s nursing a shoulder injury. The night before, he’d hooked up with a local parkour group in Toronto and spent the evening jumping off walls and leaping through trees. “I suck at parkour and bashed the hell out of my shoulder, but what the hell?” says McDougall. “It’s good to be sore at 53.” Parkour, a high-flying movement exercise designed to increase agility and efficiency, is featured in Natural Born Heroes, along with knife throwing, bear crawling and running 100 miles overtop mountains on a diet of plants. The book, a Gladwellian study of how the people of Crete resisted the Nazis, presents a new approach to healthy living gleamed from the


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behaviour of a few brave women and men. Like Born to Run, which sold three million copies and launched the minimalist shoe movement, it looks back to provide a way forward for how we can better live now. Q) What I like most is the new book’s ethos—you present your heroes as outsiders, rebels and misfits. In general, is that what you like about running? A) What I’ve learned about running—what I love—comes from the ultra runners and the trail runners and that’s simply this: running should not be a punishment or a chore, it should be something you love. I think that also applies to me, my approach to running and, incidentally, my work.


iRun because I sit in a cubicle all day and look forward to the open road, fresh air and scenery. — Wendy Tokeson, Ontario

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STARTLINE Q) I like this notion of “heroes.” In modern-day life, I feel like it’s more popular to self-identify as a poor schlub. A) Turns out that being a hero isn’t something that you’re born with or not, but it’s more like the answer to a simple question: Am I being useful or am I showing off? What being a hero is all about is: let’s focus on the stuff that actually matters. We’re talking about practising functional fitness. Q) How does this approach affect your personal training? A) My normal run is down this dirt road and there’s a railing and I’ll do vaults back and forth, do some precision jumps. There’s a steep part of my trail and instead of walking it, I bear crawl it— bear crawl up the trail. Q) That’s awesome. I’ve never bear crawled on a run and I’ve done 10 marathons! A) I don’t have to, but why not? All these things—like, there’s a tree branch that hangs out where I run and I squat on top of the branch. Add variety and the run is done before you know it. Q) What advice would you give a would-be marathon runner? A) Be a little wild. Q) You’re known now as the minimalist shoe guy. Tell me about your relationship with sneakers. A) It’s strange to me. Remember, Nike came out with Free before Born to Run. They picked up on the fact that “stabilization” and “pronation control,” had crested and they knew there was no science behind it. Shoe brands had gone way

out there with the Emperor’s New Clothes. Q) Both books seem to have a ‘back to nature’ approach to running. A) We’re naked animals in the wilderness and when we didn’t have any of this junk— mankind thrived! Is this junk actually helping? Usually it’s not. I’d gamble that the junk gets in the way of the skill. Q) So talk to our runners: what’s not junk? What do we need? A) Get back to skills. Functional human movements, things you think you know how to do. Can you climb a rope? Can you jump on a table? I think skills that are good for the whole body and especially things that incorporate four-limbed motion. We have four limbs. Yet we isolate them and only use two at a time? Q) In the new book, you talk about “empathy as a survival skill.” Can you explain that concept? A) It’s about perceptiveness. Compassion is all about being aware of your world. Realize you’re connected. We’re all connected and we should be useful and help. Q) How is running useful? A) It becomes a cycle of self-fulfillment. You go on a run, it feels good and makes you do it more and, with that good feeling, you do something good—the cycle rewards everyone from the runner to those they come into contact with. Q) Tell us about Matthew McConaughey being cast in the Born to Run film. A) He’s playing Micah, Caballo Blanco, our first connection to the Tarahumara people. With

the film, I’m involved, though I didn’t do the script. They hired this big name screenwriter who does a lot of Hollywood films and we’re waiting on him and it’s driving everybody crazy. Q) How come? A) He’s postponing it and not finishing! Q) Well, you got McConaughey. Gotta get it right. A) I don’t know, man. It feels brutal. Get a move on! I feel like it’s payback for all the deadlines I’ve blown. Karma’s biting me in the ass. Q) What do you eat to stay healthy, to fight karma? A) I stay away from bread, rice, pasta, rolls—anything of a grain. Q) And how strict are you with your diet? A) Someone offers me a Subway sandwich, I’ll murder it. I’m not a purist, I guess. Q) I love your outlook on life. A) Have fun, have a good time. Barefoot Ted’s thing is practise pleasure, don’t practise pain—have fun and then you’ll want to keep doing it. Q) What would you say to runners? A) It’s not so serious. You’re not saving the world from evil. Have fun. If you’re having a bad day, stop and pet a dog. You’re just getting sweaty. Enjoy it, that’s what keeps you coming back for more. Chris McDougall is the author of Born to Run and the new book, Natural Born Heroes, published in Canada by Knopf ($32). For more on McDougall, see

iRun because it’s the best way to start my day or the best way to finish the day and one thing that will always go right in my day. — Heather Richardson, Ontario

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iRun because it makes me feel good. — Tammy Butler, Newfoundland

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“I have run races against men who dislike women bettering their performance. They get over it.” — Krista Duchene on What She’s Learned

HOW TO WIN Lessons from on and off the race course.


n April, Krista DuChene, a year after breaking her leg, ran the Rotterdam Marathon and qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympics. A mother of three, Duchene is a 38 year old from Brantford, Ontario, and an iRun contributor. We asked her what she learned over the course of her remarkable year. > Patience. Humility. Perseverance. Wisdom. Dedication. Discipline. > No one else has to do it to prove it can be done; I can beat the odds and the unknown. > I can run when pregnant. > I can run and keep breastfeeding. > I can get faster after having children. And with age. > I can get faster on a treadmill. > I can get strong, pushing a child in a running stroller. And even stronger pushing two! > I can run with a plate and screws in my leg.

> People say I’m inspiring and a role model. I’m honoured by this and do not take it lightly. I put a lot of thought into my social media action and my day-to-day life decisions. Most importantly, I aim to model a God-honouring life—especially for our children, who see and watch my every move. > When I was young, I enjoyed being a versatile athlete; from an anaerobic tough hockey game with a team on a cold, winter evening in the city to an early morning sole aerobic long run on a country road! It was important to have a change with the seasons and not focus on one, single event until I had to choose, when I was older. > I am tough and strong, to nearly a fault. From resisting a C-section in labour to breaking a leg in a race, I just can’t and won’t give up. God can use me for His plan; my identity has nothing to do with my performance. It’s not all about me. Whether I’m in an ambulance after a race or celebrating an Olympic qualifying standard, God is good. > My children are always watching. I am a role model to them. My actions speak so much

louder than my words. > Team DuChene makes it possible. We each have important parts to play, sacrificing and putting others first. > I have run races against men who dislike women bettering their performance. They get over it. > The hard work in training and execution in racing comes from passion and dedication. > My difficult training routine becomes normal. It seems difficult at the time, and it should. When out of that routine, you miss it.

incredibly awful and difficult. However, my faith remains the same, regardless of my trials or accomplishments. It is a wonderful feeling, better than anything imaginable.

> Enjoy what you are doing, when you are doing it. I often advise new moms to not feel like they should be with the baby when running, and running when with the baby.

> I run my own race at the pace for which I have trained. I do not get caught up in mind games, over-analyzing, or unnecessary race tactics.

> Completely enjoy your off time. The training will return soon enough.

> Consistency in training produces results; one good or bad workout won’t make or break it. > The joy is in the pursuit; the daily training routine is what I truly love.

> My ceilings become my floors.

> Set the bar high. Achieve. Repeat.

> My success has been a very slow and steady process. Becoming one hour faster took 10 marathons over 11 years. It has always been enjoyable. Training and racing has always been the best combination of fun and hard work with a passionate drive to always be better. The moment one of these changes, I will know it and be ready to head down another path.

> Do a bit more, each time, while sticking with what works.

> Losing my parents to cancer as a young adult, collapsing at the world champs and breaking my leg were

> Let go of the uncontrollables; focus on what you can change. > Listen to your body. Follow your plan. Enjoy your routine and the process. > Your fastest time may not necessarily be your best performance. > Indulging in those things you sacrificed will be worth it; the sweets I avoid while training taste so good afterward.

> Think about your post-race story. Have no regrets. Everyone is hurting as much as you. > When starting over (like after having a baby or a major injury), aim for goal race pace at shorter distances, working your way up to the marathon. > Use wisdom in choosing races. Decide how many balls you want in the air, or one will drop. > Each race could be my last. Or feel like it’s my first. > Hope is the confident expectation that something better is coming. Krista DuChene holds the second fastest female marathon time in Canadian history. Racing the Canadian Half Marathon Championships last April in Montreal, DuChene finished the course on a broken leg. She took second place. Her website is Kristaduchenerunning.

KRISTA DUCHENE ON APRIL 12 AT THE ROTTERDAM MARATHON UPON HEARING SHE HAD REACHED THE OLYMPIC STANDARD WITH A TIME OF 2:29:38. (SHE NEEDED TO BEAT 2:29:50). iRun because the birds are singing, the sun is shining, and spring is finally in the air! — Sue Wemp, Ontario

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On May 22 and May 23 at Ottawa Race Weekend, we asked readers ‘Why They Run’, and their frank, funny and touching responses left us inspired. Here’s some of the people we cheered for at the race.


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iRun to heal from smoking 20 years and from an operation a had. — Eric Silins, Québec

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sweetener ranks second highest (after water) on the ingredient list. Quenching your thirst with plain water or unsweetened coconut water is a healthier habit.


NOT SO SWEET Unmasking the hidden sugar so-called “healthy food.”


ealthy choices feel good. So when you bypass the sorbet in search of vanilla yogurt or buy dried cranberries to curb your craving for fruit gummies, you should feel proud of how you choose to fuel your body. But these healthy choices are not always as upstanding as they first appear. Crafty labelling and wholesome looking packaging can make it hard to distinguish the real health foods from the imposters. This makes it easy for added sweeteners to sneak their way into your diet more often than you’d expect. In fact, study results published in a 2014 issue of Nutrients show that added sugars account for 11 to 13 % of the total calories eaten by Canadians. The World Health Organization recommends that you aim to limit your intake of added sugar to 5 % of your total calories, which is approximately 25 g or six to seven teaspoons of sugar per day for an adult. But with the addition of sweeteners to inherently healthy foods, it is easy to eat beyond what’s recommended – potentially

increasing your waistline along with your risk for erratic blood sugar, diabetes, and heart disease. If you’re tired of sweeteners sabotaging your healthy foods, it’s time to get sweetener savvy. Here are eight “healthy” foods that don’t make the cut.

GRANOLA Granola’s wholesome reputation overshadows its dirty little secret – sugar! Typical store bought varieties contain between 10 and 15 g per half cup. And who really eats just half a cup? If you’re set on granola, look for options with less than 10 g of sugar per serving and at least five g of fibre. Or, satisfy your hankerings for oats, nuts, and fruits with an unsweetened muesli.

VITAMIN WATER These thirst busters deliver key nutrients and inspiring health claims, but may do more harm than good. Each 591 ml bottle adds approximately 32 g or eight teaspoons of sugar to your diet, and just like cola,

iRun to see how far I can go. — Kim Curtin, Ontario

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The protein, calcium, and probiotics in yogurt offer countless nutritional benefits. But, with up to 20 g of sugar per serving, flavoured varieties can yield serious spikes in your blood glucose. Low calorie yogurts may sound tempting but are often riddled with artificial sweeteners. Your best bet is to buy plain yogurt and flavour it with fresh fruit, cinnamon or vanilla bean.

GRANOLA BARS These convenient midtrail snacks may look nourishing, but are often akin to candy bars in disguise. Typical store bought granola bars can serve as much as 20 g of sugar each. The healthiest options are high fibre brands with less than 10 g of sugar per serving, or fresh, homemade bars. *See recipe.

VITAMIN GUMMIES A teaspoon of sugar helps the medicine go down. The same applies to adult vitamin gummies, which can contain up to two teaspoons of sugar per dose. When taken daily, the combination of sugar and gummy texture is a recipe for tooth decay. Although gummies make taking vitamins fun, there’s no need to sugar-coat this otherwise healthy task. Stick to unsweetened brands.


Homemade granola bars are a wholesome, allnatural way to boost your energy and fuel your hunger. INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup dried dates, pitted 1/2 cup prunes 2 tbsp water 1/2 cups old fashioned oats 1/2 cup sunflower seeds, hulled 1/4 cup wheat germ 2 tbsp chia seeds 1/4 cup dried coconut flakes 1/4 cup coconut butter 1 tbsp maple sugar 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract Optional ingredient: 1/4 cup dark chocolate, finely chopped DIRECTIONS:

Process dates, prunes, and water in a food processor until a doughy consistency is reached. Add oats, sunflower seeds, wheat germ, chia seeds, dried coconut, and the optional dark chocolate. Process on low until well mixed. In a pot, warm the coconut butter and maple syrup until a runny paste is formed. Pour it over the batter and process on low until well mixed. Line an 8 x 8 inch pan with parchment paper. Press batter into pan until level, then cool for 30 minutes. Cut into 12 bars and store covered in fridge.

DRIED FRUIT A handful of sweet dried fruit makes for a great pre-run energy boost. While many varieties are wholesome sources of minerals and antioxidants, others, such as cranberries, pineapple, and banana, tend to ramp-up their flavour with a sugar dip

before drying. Don’t give up on dried fruit altogether. Check the ingredient list for added sugars or syrups and limit your intake to the recommended serving size.

FLAVOURED MILK ALTERNATIVES Whether you drink hemp, almond, or soy milk, choosing flavoured varieties can unexpectedly boost your sugar intake by up to 16 g per cup. Don’t be fooled by reading “cane sugar” or “brown rice syrup” on the ingredient list – they are sweeteners in disguise. For health conscious consumers, unsweetened is the way to go.

CANNED FRUIT Canned fruit has a rep for swimming in sugary syrups, so when you see “no sugar added” on the label it’s easy to assume that it’s not sweetened. Don’t be fooled, these cans are in fact sweetened artificially with ingredients that, just like sugar, are linked to obesity and diabetes. When fresh or frozen are not options, choose canned fruit that is unsweetened or packed in natural fruit juice. Patience Lister is a food scientist and natural health product researcher. She writes frequently about health and nutrition. Her website is


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“There’s nothing quite like running where there are no maps.”

AWAY WE GO Ray Zahab on the lure and lustre of traveling outside your comfort zone, in sneakers.


hen I was a kid we couldn’t wait for the summer holidays. The end of June meant the end of school and, isn’t it funny? Summer sure felt a lot longer as a kid than it now does in middle-aged land. Anyway, I digress… Back then, summer holidays meant the occasional travel to see family, hang out at a cottage or long summer days spent at our neighbour’s pool. Nothing exotic. But at that point I wasn’t concerned with far off places. Fast forward to now. I often get asked what’s my favourite part of the running expeditions that take me to some of the most remote parts of the planet and truly the answer is the people and the extraordinary locations. I love meeting new friends in these far


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away destinations. At this point, I’m drawn to the experience. And trust me when I say: there are amazing people everywhere. In 2013, I ran over 2,000K across the Gobi Desert in Mongolia. Mongolia is the least densely populated country on Earth, yet I still drank fermented mare’s milk and ate dried cheese with nomads on more than one occasion in yurts that are quite literally in the middle of nowhere. We’re not in cottage-land anymore. I’ve been fortunate to become close friends with many of the people I’ve met on expedition, and have stayed in touch through the wonders of technology. Mohamed Ixa, who helped facilitate our 7,500K run across the Sahara, has even stayed with my family in Chelsea, Quebec. He

loves our forests. In the Atacama Desert, I met with miners living in small pop-up mining communities scattered through Chile. Not an easy life, considering that the Atacama is the driest place on Earth—and one of the hottest. Obviously running in these amazing places (as difficult as it can sometimes be) has tremendous rewards: the scenery, the people and the challenge of running in places where very few people have been... There’s nothing quite like running where there are no maps. With impossible2 Possible, and our i2P Youth Expeditions, we believe in a philosophy that life-changing learning experiences come from travel. And these experiences become even more amplified when combining travel with running. When you’re in places that are only accessible by foot, the incredible becomes reality. It’s life-altering learning

not only about the people and geography of a place, but also about oneself. So get out there and explore! Whether it’s an unknown trail in your area or it’s to a far off desert land, lace up your running shoes and head out on an adventure where there’s no Wi-Fi, and no stress. People ask me all the time. “OK, how do I make it happen?” Here are my five tips to enjoying a great run out town.

I always encourage people to bring what you absolutely need and nothing more. Lighter is always better and it keeps movement from plane to train to feet much simpler.

5. Dream the destination. Make it a place that you really want to visit, so you can roll with the ups and downs of your journey.

1. Record your experience. Take lots of photos. Capture the memories so you can relive them with family and friends!

4. Research, research and more research. Do as much reading and gather intel on the place you want to go. There’s always a way to make things come together— just know your options, and stay fluid.

Go for it, remember: there’s nowhere that you cannot go.

3. Prepare to go light. When travelling abroad on a running journey,

2. Budget, then add 25%. My wife came up with this one after my repeated attempts to keep costs down—and always pushing my budget beyond what I thought! Better to have no surprises.

Ray Zahab is the founder of Impossible2Possible, which educates youth through adventure training. An ultra marathoner, public speaker and author of Running for My Life, Zahab is an iRun contributor. His website is

iRun to keep myself sane! — Bobbi-Jo Lodewyks, Manitoba

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OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO! There’s never been a better time to be a runner with a wanderlust, and races all over the world are opening their starting lines to Canadians in droves. In tribute, we present our readers’ eight favourite travel destinations and their postcards from the street. But these represent only a fraction of what’s out there. Where have you run and conquered? Where do you want to go next? Post on Twitter or Instagram, using the hashtag #iRunWanderlust or email and we’ll publish your adventures online!


iRan to lose weight. iRun to keep those 122 lbs gone forever! — Karin Fortin Jackson, British Columbia

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TRAVEL PACKING TIPS TO KEEP YOUR GEAR IN CHECK Chris Heuisler is Westin Hotel’s run concierge, an expert in both travel and running. Here, he tells us about what race to choose. “Decide first upon your goal. Is it speed, experience or scenery, the thrill of exploring the exotic? Determine your number one priority, then decide upon your limitations: how much are you willing to spend? Will you stay in Canada, travel to Europe or go somewhere even further far-flung? Once you start wheeling down these questions, including how much time you have to explore, you can narrow down your world of possibilities. Now, I encourage that runners give themselves a week, but that obviously works for me professionally. If you have only something like three nights, I like both Dublin and Madrid.”


“For miles there was only the glacier, the volcanic sand beneath my feet, and the shock of green moss slowly overtaking the stark mountains.” ICELAND The

race began at Landmannalaugar, an eerie landscape of jagged black mountains outlined with verdant green moss, where a field of windblown tents had been pitched on the floodplain. The first 20K stage of the race crossed this stark and surreal mountain range, passing boiling hot springs where we were buffeted by waves of sulphurous steam. Signs warned us to keep our distance from these places – they might melt one’s shoes, or worse, one might fall through the brittle surface into boiling, gaseous water. If the hot springs weren’t treacherous enough,


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the cold—even in July—was even more threatening. As I ascended higher on the barren ridges of orange and red soil, there were fog-enshrouded snowfields where I had to wade through thigh-deep ice water, and passing rock cairns dedicated to hikers who had perished in sudden storms. As I traversed the long flat section of the trail, the silvery grey tongue of the glacier Eyjafjallajökull appeared in the distance, growing larger so that it engulfed the mountains on the horizon. Under it lays the volcano that erupted in 2010, spewing ash and

steam into the upper atmosphere and stranding travellers all across Europe. For miles there was only the glacier, the volcanic sand beneath my feet, and the shock of green moss slowly overtaking the stark mountains. Approaching the edge of the glacier, the trail descended into a deep canyon and crossed a narrow bridge over a river that was metallic in colour, and roiled with such violent turgidity that contact with its waters could only mean instant death. Here I could hear boulders being pounded into gravel and imagined so many early Icelanders losing their lives, falling into

rivers like this in search of missing sheep or lost in snow. During the last ten kilometres the terrain was gentle and the air was warm. Despite my tiredness, time passed quickly as I descended to the finish line at Thórsmörk. Here there was roasted lamb and beer, and a group shower made of a dozen garden-hoses with hand-sprayers, like a multi-headed serpent from a Home Depot nightmare. Crossing the finish line I didn’t feel the fatigue or numbness, my satisfying sense of exhaustion was matched by a feelings of euphoria and awe. — By Amish Morrell

iRun to stay healthy and young and to inspire my children. — Pierrette Boutin, Nova Scotia

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“Runners are a little neurotic, but the last thing you want to do is race in something that you bought at the Expo, especially if you’re in a foreign country, which might favour materials you’re not used to. Over pack a bit; weather can be unpredictable, and bring some clothes you don’t care about, that you can easily chuck at the start of your race. Also: bring flip flops. When the race is over and you have a plane to catch, the last thing you want are uncomfortable toes.” — CHRIS HEUISLER, WESTIN HOTEL

iRun because I see more of my community then I do from my car window. — Paul Gilbert, Ontario

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BIG SUR There’s tons

of wildlife in Big Sur and I’d warn anyone planning to make this trip that they should keep their windows shut when they are trying to sleep if the sounds of barking seals at night are going to be a problem. Personally, I slept like a baby the night before the race with the sea air, barking seals and the sounds of crashing waves. The elite field is competitive due to U.S. Olympic hopefuls that use the race as a qualifier, and an “out and back” section allows you to see them speed past. The route cruises by beaches, through Cannery Row and Lover’s Point so there are plenty of distractions for the

tougher portions of the race if you need them. On the home stretch, when you come flying along the seaside trail that brings you into the finish area, there are energetic crowds and free beer waiting to reward your efforts. We took advantage of all of those things and since we were in wine country, there was a little of that too! This is my first race review and the Big Sur half had so many things that we enjoyed, from the moment we landed, right through to the In-N-Out burgers we had before we got on the plane home, that you will have to forgive me if I almost forgot to mention the seals. — By Mike Anderson


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“Think like a vegetarian. ive in a town to race. That gets you in a healthier mindset and you’ll make the better choice. If you’re in another country to race, eat what you’ve already been eating. The last thing you want to put in your system is something you’ve never had before. Now, if you’re just running for the experience, I don’t care what you eat—as long as it’s not stupid. And remember, even if you’re running in Vegas, that also goes for what you drink.” — CHRIS HEUISLER, WESTIN HOTEL


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RUNNER’S HIGH: When Ashley Land arrived at the starting line of Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in Madrid, she saw the mayor, partiers celebrating last night’s victory by Real Madrid, and men with parachutes dropping in from the sky.

MADRIDThe actual

course is a lot hillier than expected and I soon loathe the incline, but I keep on running. It’s the people cheering that keep me going as I continued towards the finished line. One spectator patted me on the back and urged me to keep going on a water break. The race was 42.2K of great spectators, wonderful views and awesome unique entertainment. I guess you never know what to expect when you head out of town for your races. You might even find someone falling from the sky! — By Ashley Land

iRun because it brings me pure joy! — Leanne Douglas, Ontario

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to Kenya to run over anywhere else because it’s the perfect environment to be in to be a dedicated athlete, from the beautiful soft terrain, nice weather, so many people to workout with, plus the food is healthy and the high altitude makes me strong. The African saying “train hard win easy” is no lie; they really do push themselves to the limits on hard sessions and the opposite for easy runs by going slower than I can even handle some days. I truly believe I’m in the best shape of my life and am looking forward to seeing many PBs this year and feeling more confident than I ever have in my fitness and where I’m going in life with this running career. Kenya, for that, I say thanks.” — By Robert Brouillette

“Check the race’s website. Most of them list hotels that are partners with the race. The best is if your hotel is close to the starting and finish line. Ask if they’ll allow a late checkout, early breakfast and if they have a gym that’s opened 24 hours. If you’re racing, you probably won’t need a gym at 2 a.m., but if the hotel caters to athletes, if they’re at least knowledgeable that there are guests out there that may want that, that’s usually a good indication that they’ll cater to you. verseas trip. They’ll cater to you.” — CHRIS HEUISLER, WESTIN HOTEL

“The problem was, I had never run anywhere in my life and now suddenly found myself running a 10K.” JAMAICA Have you

ever found yourself in a situation where you’ve agreed to something months in advance, only to find yourself at the Reggae Marathon’s 10K in Jamaica, realizing you’ve done nothing at all to prepare for it? Friends, this exact same thing recently happened to me. It’s not that I didn’t have the best of intentions. I bought running shorts and a sports bra, went to the gym (once), got my jogging playlist together and even consulted my pal Ben Kaplan, author of Feet

Don’t Fail Me Now. The problem was, I had never run anywhere in my life and now suddenly found myself running a 10K with exactly 30 minutes of training on a treadmill under my belt. But if I was ever going to have a first go at long-distance running, Jamaica during the winter was the time and place to do it. We arrive at the start line in the darkness of a morning yet to come, stars shimmering high above, ganja smoke wafting all around. And then … we’re off!

I’m OK for the first 5K, running straight through while grabbing water and good cheer from the volunteers lining the road. The next 5K are predictably harder, but the steel drum bands and sound systems blasting reggae along the route keep my spirits high. Even so, I’m pretty happy when I spot the finish line and sprint toward it like the wind. Sadly, it turns out to be an unrelated flag a few kilometres before the finish, so I run out of steam, coming in at 1:09, which admittedly is not a great time, but not too bad for a

first-timer who had sprinted toward a mirage. And then comes finisher rewards of sweet bananas,

coconut water straight from the coconut and a 6:30 a.m. Red Stripe. With my first 10K in the bag, from

iRun to prove to myself there is always room for improvement and my body can do amazing things given the chance. — Neysa McLeod, Ontario

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here on in the only running I will be doing will involve not being late for dinner. — By Amy Rosen


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MUSIC A) Zero goals. I run to keep myself honest. Q) How about your gear—are you loyal to a certain kind of sneaker? What are you wearing right now? A) I was sent these amazing ACER shoes —blue and gold—by the SportChek people after my story that appeared in the National Post about running. They’ve really, really helped. I love them.


Dave Bidini explains the total body buzz he gets from running, describes his favourite sneakers and looks back at his band’s rich catalogue to design and exclusive iRun playlist.

By Ben Kaplan


he creative force behind The Rheostatics, currently at work with Barenaked Lady Kevin Hearn on music inspired by the Group of Seven, tells us why he laces up his shoes. Q) You always have 50 things going on at any one time. How do you make time to run? A) It’s only 20 minutes usually, so there’s always time at some point in the day. Usually at night so no one has to see me, or me, them. Q) Do you feel like it fuels your creativity? A) Not really. Hockey


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provides that more, I’d say. Q) Can you describe your most astounding run? What got you interested in our sport? A) No great distances for me and no great locales, but I think I just enjoy going a little longer—a little faster can create small triumphs. Q) Ever write a song on a run? A) No. I can’t be musical or listen to music because of the tempo of breathing, which, I guess, is a kind of music all on its own. Q) If you forgot about breathing for a moment and just wanted to rock, what would you play?

A) Hitsville, UK by The Clash. Q) What is it you get out of the sport? Is it mental, physical, a little of both? A) I’d say it’s purely physical for me—it engages the entirety of the body from head to toe, although, yes, you feel more mentally strong, I think, after conquering whatever distance you’ve set. But it’s a total body buzz, and I don’t think there’s anything like it, partly because it’s hard and partly because there’s always another wall for you after one has been passed through. Q) You’re 51 and also a

big hockey guy. Do you find running agrees with your body? A) Strangely, yeah, it does. I know some people who have had difficulties, but, knocking wood, my knees, ankles, upper legs—everything has responded fine, and even though I’m mildly asthmatic, I’m OK when I’m on the move. Hockey is more bruises and some arm issues, but frankly, I feel I’m in worse shape the less I do. Being still damages me, so I try to not be. Q) I know you run but I never see you out at the races. Do you currently have a running goal?

Q) You’re also a bonafide explorer. Do you bring your sneakers when you travel overseas and on tour? A) I’ve run a little wherever I’ve gone, but, honestly, I find that I walk so much when I’m away that it usually does the trick. Q) Last thing, please, I have to ask you—could you make us a little Rheostatics running playlist? If you had to pick five of your songs to put on my playlist, which five would they be? A) Sure: 1. Dope Fiends and Booze Hounds (Whale Music) 2. Rock Death America (RDA) (Whale Music) 3. The Tarleks (2067) 4. Claire (Introducing Happiness) 5. Horses, from Double Live. Q) Thank you. A) Enjoy. For more information on The Rheostatics, Dave Bidini and the Group of Seven show at the AGO with Kevin Hearn, see

iRun to remind myself why I stay sober — Christa Leigh Davidson, Ontario

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iRun because 4 years ago I could barely walk. — Lara Camille, Ontario

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On July 10, the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games kick off in Toronto, taking the sporting world to the world at large. As a runner, what’s it to you? A chance to open up your repertoire to all new cross-training ideas! We asked Erin Karpluk, formerly of Being Erica and now acting in Rookie Blue, to turn eight great sporting events into exercises for runners. Step up your race game while watching the best athletes in the world!


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SHE’S GOT PLUCK! By Anna Lee Boschetto Erin Karpluk is all in. When the actress, best known for her starring role on Being Erica, was approached by World Vision (an international advocacy organization working with children living in poverty-stricken communities) to run a portion of the BMO Vancouver Marathon in support of the charity, she knew she’d run the entire distance. “Running a marathon was one thing I wanted to check off my bucket list, so naturally I wanted to run the whole thing,” she explains. Combining her experience with triathlon training, Karpluk realized she needed a solid training plan to get her across the finish line. So she looped back to her triathlon trainer, an old friend Paul Regensburg, who

has also trained Canadian Olympian Simon Whitfield. As much as Karpluk focuses on her training efforts, she’s just as passionate about teaming up with World Vision. What’s the best part of charity running? “When you can’t be there and help directly, it’s nice to know that in some way I’m raising awareness, helping people and putting out good vibes.” With her work on Rookie Blue, a show Karpluk joined last season, keeping her busy, she doesn’t have her next race date set. In the mean time, Karpluk lent her athletic ability in demonstrating the training exercises based on the sports of the Pan Am Games. Exercise program written by physiotherapist Lindsay Scott, @LindsayScottPT

ROLLER—SPEED SKATING Similar to a speed skater gliding on one leg, runners must be strongest when we’re on one foot. This is designed to strengthen your gluts, quads and balance as you power through a plane of motion that’s often weak in runners. EXERCISE: Do a lateral jump and reach your opposite hand to the outside of your planted foot. Complete 2-3 sets of 12 reps.

CYCLING Cyclists depend on a strong, stable core to develop power through their legs. This exercise is designed to train you to effectively use your core, allowing you to become faster, have greater resistance, and avoid injury by improving your stability and generate power in your legs. EXERCISE: Lie on your back and draw your bellybutton to activate your deep core muscles. Bring one leg at a time into a “table top” position with your hip and knee bent to 90 degrees and your shins parallel to the floor. Place a hand on each leg, just above your knee. Apply slight pressure into your leg, while resisting any movement with your leg. Slowly extend one leg at a time, while maintaining slight pressure on your opposite leg. Return to the start position and repeat on the opposite leg. Complete 2-3 sets of 15 reps on each leg.

CANOE/KAYAK SLALOM Canoeists must fight against rushing water to maintain a stable position in the boat. Runners can take a cue from these paddlers and maximize their efficiency by strengthening their core to fight rotational forces. By resisting the twisting motion of the band, you build strength in your core, and especially in the obliques. EXERCISE: Kneel on one knee with the resistance band anchored beside you with moderate tension. Maintain a strong core and neutral spine as you push both arms straight out in front of you, resisting the rotational force of the band. Complete 2 to 3 reps on each side. 22

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RUGBY SEVENS When a rugby ball goes out of bounds, teams line up and “boost” a teammate into the air to reach for the ball being thrown in. Practising this quick, explosive jump increases your ability to recruit more muscle fibres, which allows you to use oxygen more efficiently to fuel your muscles. EXERCISE: Lower down into a squat position, keeping your back straight. Jump up quickly. Focus on landing softly and avoid letting your knees collapse together. Complete 2 to 3 sets of 12 reps. iRun because being a role model and healthy for my two sons is the most important thing to me. — Paul Merrigan, New Brunswick

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SWIMMING For swimmers and runners, the muscles that make up the core work collectively to stabilize the trunk and provide added strength and efficiency to your arms and legs. This exercise is designed to train the core muscles in your lower back which are called into action as you pick up your pace. EXERCISE: Lie face down. Lift one arm and the opposite leg. Hold 3 seconds. Relax. Repeat on opposite side. Repeat 2-3 sets of 12 reps on each side.

There are three planes of motion in which the human body can move: the sagittal plane (forward and back), the frontal plane (side to side) and the transverse plane (rotation, like a golf swing). Squash players, who spend most of each match fighting for position, are strong in all planes of motion. Runners, on the other hand, are not. This will strengthen the lower body in all planes of motion.


1. Lead with your left leg as you do 5 lunges forwards, to the side, at a 45 degree angle half way between the side and straight back, then straight back. 2. Repeat 5 times in each of the four directions on the opposite side, leading with your right foot

GYMNASTICS Have you ever looked at a gymnast and marveled at their arm strength? The upper body is often overlooked by runners, but it can make a huge difference to your performance. With every foot strike, your arms drive your body forward, saving energy for your legs and helping you to maintain proper cadence and rhythm. EXERCISE: From an elevated plank (arms straight with your hands on the floor directly beneath your shoulders), bend your left elbow, lowering down so your left forearm is on the floor. Do the same on your right so you’re now supported by both forearms. Straighten your left arm, then your right, moving back to an elevated plank position. That’s one rep. Complete 2-3 reps of 12 on each side.

BOWLING Similar to bowlers who must maintain a strong single leg stance in a dynamic environment as they release the ball, runners maintain a stable position as they repeatedly move from one leg to the next. One of the most common underlying causes of knee injuries is weakness in the muscles that stabilize the hips. A strengthening program focused on the hip leads to reduced variability in knee mechanics – or less “wobble” at the knee. EXERCISE: In a single-leg stance, squat down and reach hands to three targets: 45-degree angle left, straight ahead, 45-degree angle right. Stand all the way up between each position. Complete 2-3 reps of 12 on each side.

iRun because I can, to feel alive, to honour god’s gifts and to push my limits. — Julie Michelle, Ontario

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While senior running narrows the margin between health and health problems, there are a number of guidelines to manage running’s effects on the aging body. These include cutting back mileage but increasing the quality of runs, adding more rest days to your plan to avoid overtraining, increasing variety in cross training and increasing warm up and post workout stretch time. Dr. Kenneth Riess from the School of Health Sciences points to the importance of a high VO2max for endurance sports, and its inevitable decline by 10% per decade after the age of 30. “Exercising throughout life, especially while aging, reduces this decline in VO2max by slowing the negative effects on the muscles, heart and vasculature,” says Riess, “but it still happens.” Exercising early and throughout one’s life is invaluable to accumulate a “bank account” of fitness in anticipation of VO2max withdrawals. Taking up running later in life has innumerable benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, blood pressure and cancer. What’s especially important for masters’ runners is that the risk of developing these conditions grows as you get older. Running improves muscle strength, coordination and bone density, which reduces the likelihood of falling, fracturing bones and increases the prospects of living independently. Anyone, at any age, can be like Ed. However, there’s risks. “The older you are, there’s more pieces of the puzzle that need to be considered,” says Reid Ferber, director, Running Injury Clinic. Start with your doctor, then see a gate specialist, for issues such as sarcopenia (the degenerative loss of skeletal muscle associated with aging) and a sports physiotherapist. Ferber reminds us, “It takes a village to raise a runner.” — By Megan Black


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“I think I have a great deal of what you might call perseverance.”

iRun because it helps me be the very best version of myself! — Geneviève Nicole, Ontario

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THERE IS NO FINISH LINE Ed Whitlock may be the greatest masters runner the world has ever known. With an unusual training routine and aversion to bells and whistles, Whitlock is an education in dogged determination and he’s still on the road running—in pursuit of the marathon at 84. By David Berry



t was not a burning desire that got Ed Whitlock, maybe the finest senior runner that’s ever lived, to lace up his running shoes again in his early 40s. Though he was a fine, front-of-the-race runner in his youth, it wasn’t some hunger to relive past glory or wistful wish about what might have been, either. It was not even some nebulous desire to battle middle-aged paunch. No, it was just a suggestion from his wife that set him on the path to a very particular kind of glory. By the time he and his family had wound up in Montreal, safely in his middle age, he’d let his running habit slip, lost in the rough roads and conditions of northern Ontario, where he’d been working for various mining concerns the past decade and a half. His son, though, had taken it up, and it was at one of his meets that Whitlock’s wife struck up a conversation with an older boy, who mentioned that his running team was looking for a coach. Knowing about his past, Whitlock’s wife mentioned the opportunity. “She told me, ‘You ought to go up and see about that,’” Whitlock explains, pausing a second while a smile creeps up

iRun today to help me heal as I start my journey to my new life — Leanne Loney, Ontario

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his cheek. “So I went up. And saw about it.” If the chatty teenager and his wife were eager to get him trackside, though, his fellow coaches were less enthused. His first time up, he ended up standing around without much to do while the other men barked orders at the boys. Standing around does not ever seem to have been an activity that much interested Ed Whitlock. “I thought, rather than hanging around, I should jog around,” he says, and soon he was circling the track. The reaction was one he’d grow to get used to over the next 40 years. “They’d never seen an old man run!” he exclaims, beaming. “This was before the jogging craze—the teenagers in this club had never seen a man of 40 run before. Men of 40 didn’t do anything back then.” Call it the first time Ed Whitlock showed a group of runners something they’d never seen before. He still looks like a man bound to surprise anyone who doesn’t already know his legend. Sitting on the porch of his Milton home, the first hit of spring sun brightening the day, it’s not immediately apparent that Whitlock has redefined

expectation for masters-level runners. In his racing gear —scooped tank-top, slightlytoo-baggy shorts—he is gauntly muscular, the shock of white hair that meanders about his head the only real distinguishing mark from the classic runner’s physique. In home gear—wool trousers and a soft polo, oversized digital watch weighing down his wrist—he looks a bit like clothes someone has left on the hanger. But there’s magic in that wire frame: if the distance is longer than 1,500 meters, odds are better than not that the 84-year-old Whitlock holds the record for it in every age group over 70. The longer the race, the more thorough his dominance: 10K, 15K, half, marathon—he’s the fastest in every category above 70 that he’s so far aged into. His 2:54:48 marathon at the age of 73 isn’t just the benchmark for septuagenarian distance running: some argue that, factors of age taken into account, it might be the single best marathon ever run. No one else in that bracket has even managed to crack three hours. “That’s one of those good days that one has now and again,” Whitlock says with a slight creak. “But that’s getting to be an old story now. I’m 84.


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in Ottawa the in Ottawa oror onon the web web at at Join author and iRun Founding Publisher Mark Sutcliffe and adventure runner and iRun Runner-in-Chief Ray Zahab as they talk running and welcome iRun contributors and other interesting guests with the best advice on nutrition, training and reports from great race experiences across the country and beyond.

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It’s more than a decade since I did my 2:54. And any subthrees—well, I’ll never do that again, that’s for sure.” From Whitlock’s mouth, this doesn’t seem so much like a pessimistic attitude as a plain one. When he’s talking about his life—his time studying mining engineering in postwar England, his jumping around eastern Canada for work, the retirement that’s let him devote his time to runnin —he is cheery and spry, quick to smile or follow a tangent. Whenever he begins to talk about running, though, he seems almost clinically detached, dissecting himself, his performance, his methods, his competitors, their methods, the sport’s history and its future like he was surveying a machine schematic, identifying its plot and parts. He’s neither modest nor boastful; not prone to pride or pity. He simply works through it, turns it over and examines every side of it before offering some matterof-fact assessment. “I think I’m a very non-emotional person,” he explains, his cadence slowing. “I don’t think of myself as having a tremendous will to win, or anything like that. I don’t have great confidence I can put out more on the home straight than anyone can. “But,” he adds, pausing on point, “I think I have a great deal of what you might call perseverance.” That’s as close as Whitlock will get to explaining why he’s able to do the things he’s done. Though it might not sate any scientists, his circumstances seem to bear it out. As Whitlock himself explains, there should have been another sub-three 70-year-old, even before him: many runners’ 69-year-old times suggest it’s entirely possible, and yet for whatever reason many high-level

“You go to the cemetery, and by comparison to everyone else there, you’re in good shape.” runners simply fall off at the seven-decade mark — drop well below their average level if they even manage another marathon at all. Not Whitlock: he kept running. His training regimen, too, doesn’t really involve goals or plans other than simple stick-to-it-iveness: famously, he runs laps around the cemetery near his home, ignorant of pace, distance or time, simply circling until he feels like he’s had a good run. There isn’t even any particular rhyme or reason to the location — well, other than the lack of competition: “On the roads, you kind of have to look respectable,” he says, that smile creeping up again. “You go to the cemetery, and by comparison to everyone else there, you’re in good shape.” When we talked, it had been a little while since he’d done his laps around the graves: injured, he was on self-imposed rest, the only treatment the doctor-averse Whitlock has ever really submitted to. Injuries have been more frequent for him of late and have kept him out of some of the shorter races he

uses to prepare for marathons. He doesn’t seem particularly fazed: “Like a running pal of mine says: ‘we race between injuries.” It does not seem smart to bet against him pushing through: that 85-90 record is beckoning, after all, and well within reach if he keeps strapping on his shoes. It’s quite the way to come for a guy who was only supposed to be coaching a teenage running team. But, says Whitlock, that’s just how it goes sometimes. The reasons might be elusive; the important thing is to keep putting one foot in front of the other. “Many things that happen in your life are not really planned. Things just happen,” Whitlock explains. “I don’t know that I ever really planned to leave England, but that’s how it ended up. Why did I run in the first place? I don’t know. “Things happen,” he says, shrugging, “and that happened.” David Berry is the associate features editor of the National Post.

iRun to be happy! — Janice Luke-Smith, Ontario

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@RunCRS 2015 National Marathon Championships

iRun to be with friends and to keep my sanity. — Deborah Walsh, Prince Edward Island

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This year, 49,439 runners found their at the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend. Thank you for making Ottawa Canada’s marathon capital! Registration opens September 1st! Make Ottawa your marathon destination in 2016.

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iRun so I can eat whatever I want! – Kevin Johnathan Smith, Ontario

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iRun because I can, even though for a long time I thought I couldn’t. — Dany Whittom, Québec

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iRun because I love it! — Rob Tolman, Ontario

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Help Bring them Home #EndKidsCancer


Inspire Motivate

Encourage TORONTO


iRun to keep my diabetes in check! — Stephanie Morand, Ontario

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5 K • 1/2 MA R A T H O N

SE P TE MB E R 20, 2 01 5



PATRONS OF THE RUN In 2013, Their Excellencies the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, and Mrs. Sharon Johnston became Patrons of Canada Army Run. This year, they’ve invited the ½ marathon participants to run through the grounds of Rideau Hall.

Presented by


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iRun to give my brain a break and my body a workout. — Susan Young, Ontario

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Major Sponsors:

W W W .A RM Y RU N . CA Media Sponsors:


iRun because NO ONE can do it for me. — Johanne Kenney

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PEI Marathon 2015 iRun Mag Ad.indd 2

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iRun because my kids are watching. — Brent Smyth, Ontario

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iRun because I am a mom, and I want to teach my youngest daughter strength, discipline and the sweet taste of achievement earned only by hard work. — Suzanne Conner, Ontario iRun_ISSUE04_June 11.indd 35

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[ WEST ]

SUNDAY, JUNE 14 Edge to Edge Marathon Ucluelet, British Columbia FRIDAY, JUNE 19 Blueshore Financial Longest Day Road Race Vancouver, British Columbia longest-day-race SATURDAY, JUNE 27 GoodLife Fitness City Chase Vancouver, British Columbia Goodlifefitnesscitychase. SATURDAY, JUNE 27 Tenderfoot Boogie North Vancouver, British Columbia WEDNESDAY, JULY 1 Run Canada Day Vancouver, British Columbia SATURDAY, JULY 18 Totem to Totem Marathon Skidegate, British Columbia SATURDAY, JULY 25 Vancouver Pride Run and Walk Vancouver, British Columbia pride-run-walk SATURDAY, AUGUST 8 Annual Loop the Lake Invermere, British Columbia SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 12 Mount Robson Marathon Valemount, British Columbia SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 13 Blue Heron Half Marathon10-15k Creston, British Columbia


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FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 25 Vancouver Night Race Vancouver, British Columbia [ PRAIRIES ]

SATURDAY, JUNE 13 Millarville Run to the Farmers Market Half-Marathon Millarville, Alberta SATURDAY, JUNE 20 Summit Run Prince Albert, Saskatchewan WEDNESDAY, JULY 1 High River Half-Marathon High River, Alberta

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 12 Edmonton Gorilla Run Edmonton, Alberta

SATURDAY, AUGUST 29 Course TROIS 2 1 GO Montreal, Quebec

SUNDAY, AUGUST 9 Age of Sail Marathon Port Greville, Nova Scotia

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 13 Dinosaur Valley Marathon Drumheller, Alberta

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 5 Night Race Toronto, Ontario

SUNDAY, AUGUST 9 Emera Marathon By the Sea Saint John, New Brunswick

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 26 Run for Calgary Calgary, Alberta

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 12 Toronto 5K Toronto, Ontario

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 11 Maritime Race Weekend Eastern Passage, Nova Scotia

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 27 Heartbeat Run Calgary, Edmonton and Saskatoon, Alberta

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 19 Downtown Dash Burlington, Ontario

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 10 The Dam Run Perth-Andover, New Brunswick

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 20 Island Girl Half Marathon and 5K Toronto, Ontario

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 18 BMO Nesbitt Burns PEI Marathon Charlottetown, PEI


SATURDAY, JULY 4 The A-Moose-ing Race Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan

SUNDAY, JUNE 14 Spring Fling Toronto, Ontario

SUNDAY, AUGUST 16 Yorkton Charity Road Race Yorkton, Saskatchewan

SUNDAY, JUNE 14 Shoppers Drug Mart Run for Women Montreal, Quebec

SUNDAY, AUGUST 23 Edmonton Marathon Edmonton, Alberta SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 6 Spruce Meadows Run Series Summers Gone Calgary, Alberta SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 12 Dino Dash Calgary, Alberta dino-dash SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 12 Fit for Motion Half Marathon Barrhead, Alberta fitformotionhalfmarathon

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 27 Nutrience Oakville Half Marathon Oakville, Ontario

WEDNESDAY, JULY 1 Commonwealth Run Ottawa, Ontario

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 27 Run For The Grapes Half Marathon and 5K Vineland, Ontario races/grapes

SATURDAY, JULY 18 GoodLife Fitness City Chase Ottawa, Ontario

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 27 Toronto 10-Miler and 5K Toronto, Ontario

SATURDAY, AUGUST 15 Night Race Ottawa, Ontario SUNDAY, AUGUST 23 GoodLife Fitness City Chase Toronto, Ontario SATURDAY, AUGUST 29 Toronto Womens 10K – 5K Toronto, Ontario

[ EAST ]

SATURDAY, JUNE 27 EPIC Canadian Run for Canada Dartmouth, Nova Scotia SUNDAY, JUNE 28 Miramichi Rock N Run Miramichi, New Brunswick

[ U.S. ]

SATURDAY, JUNE 13 Bellin Run 10K Green Bay, Wisconsin SATURDAY, JUNE 13 Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Half-Marathon Seattle, Washington Seattle THURSDAY, JULY 4 Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peachtree Road Race Atlanta, Georgia SUNDAY, JULY 12 Utica Boilermaker 15K Utica, New York SUNDAY, JULY 19 Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago Half-Marathon Chicago, Illinois Chicago

iRun because it feels amazing from head to toe. — Jennifer Adams, Alberta

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SUNDAY, JULY 26 Warf to Warf 6 Mile Santa Cruze, California SUNDAY, AUGUST 16 Kauai Marathon Kauai, Hawaii SUNDAY, AUGUST 16 Pikes Peak Marathon Manitou Springs, Colorado SATURDAY, AUGUST 22 Seattle Marathon Seattle, Washington THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 3 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend Anaheim, California SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 20 XTERRA Trail Running National Championship Ogden, Utah SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 20 Maui Marathon Maui, Hawaii SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 26 Hamptons Marathon and Half East Hampton, New York SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 27 Lake Tahoe Marathon Lake Tahoe, California [ INTERNATIONAL ]

SUNDAY, JUNE 28 Tangamanga Int’l Marathon

Tangamanga, Mexico SUNDAY, JULY 5 Gold Coast Airport Marathon Gold Coast, Australia Goldcoastmarathon. SATURDAY, JULY 25 Australian Outback Marathon Terrigal, Australia Australianoutback SUNDAY, JULY 26 Fort William Marathon Fort William, Scotland Fortwilliammarathon. SATURDAY, AUGUST 15 Helsinki City Marathon Helsinki, Finland SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 19 Scottish Half Marathon Edinburgh, Scotland Scottishhalfmarathon. com SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 27 BMW Berlin Marathon Berlin, Germany Bmw-berlin-marathon. com SUNDAY, OCTOBER 4 Turin Marathon Rome, Italy SUNDAY, OCTOBER 25 Osaka Marathon Osaka, Japan

iRun because my perfect morning is: coffee, paper, run. — Elke Blinick, Ontario

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t’s one thing to be in motion during the cool wind and rain, throwing one foot in front of the other, generating a bit of heat, motivated by the quest of fulfilling a dream, ticking a box high up the bucket list, savouring the joy of a onceunachievable goal finally realized. It’s another to be stationary under a drenched poncho hour after hour, no medal or achievement as your reward, yet still smiling warmly, cheering loudly, greeting thousands of strangers like each is the first soul you’ve encountered on Christmas morning. I arrived in Boston in awe of the marathon. I left in appreciation of the volunteers and spectators. I barely cracked the top 15,000 but from the moment I eagerly boarded a school bus in Boston Common until I flopped onto my hotel bed seven hours later, I was treated like a champion. And so were the other 26,609 runners before and after me. As we walked through Hopkinton to the start line, I don’t know how many times someone said, “Have a great run.” Through Ashland and Framingham and Natick and Wellesley (oh yes, Wellesley) and Newton there were relentless cheers and signs both poignant and funny (“Go, Random Stranger!”). And just past the finish line, there was a hero’s welcome and an unforgettable moment: an emotional reunion with a woman I’d never met. The 2015 Boston Marathon was my victory lap. For more than two years,


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getting to the start line was my sole training objective. Only after I earned a spot in the world’s most coveted race did I even think about the finish line. Even then I pictured only those final few hundred metres up to and including that blue painted line on Boylston Street. Who knew that one of the most memorable events of the entire experience would come on the other side of it? A few months before the race, I interviewed Tim Scapillato, a Canadian runner who was preparing for his 15th trip to Boston, on the iRun podcast. A couple of days later, his wife Marian sent me a note. Marian is also a runner, but she has never qualified for Boston. Rather than simply tag

along with her husband every year, she volunteers at the race, handing out medals at the finish line. “Would love to connect with you in hopes that you choose me, as the only Canadian volunteer in this team, to present you your finisher’s medal,” she wrote. It was an offer I couldn’t refuse. Marian sent me instructions, including a handdrawn map of the finish area. “Stay to your right. Look for the red cap with the white maple leaf.” A few days before the marathon, she sent me another note. “Just do what you know how to do,” she wrote. “Your medal will be in my hand waiting for you!” I savoured every moment

of Boston, especially those final thousand steps, my hands high in the air, on Boylston. In the finishing chute, I was greeted by a dozen other volunteers. “Congratulations!” “Way to go!” “You did it!” You never would have guessed they’d said it 10,000 times before. I found Marian quickly; once I introduced myself, she threw her arms around me. It was at that moment that it hit me: after all that training, racing, failing, qualifying, running. I’d finally finished the Boston Marathon. I always knew I would cherish my first Boston experience. But I never imagined how much I’d be won over by the volunteers and the people of Massachusetts. The race was amazing but it was Marian and her colleagues who stole the show and made my day. It’s not unusual for me to be emotional at any finish line, but under these circumstances I was a complete wreck. The marathon breaks you and leaves you raw, ready to fully experience joy and relief and, in this case, the warmth and generosity of a new friend.

Mark Sutcliffe is the founder of iRun and the author of Why I Run: The Remarkable Journey of the Ordinary Runner. DOWNLOAD the iRun Podcasts: LISTEN to iRun | The Running Show: FOLLOW him on Twitter: @_marksutcliffe SEE excerpts of his book:

iRun because the streets are lonely on Sunday morning. — Brian Naraine, Ontario

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RUN YOUR ROUTE Out the front door, under the bridge, loop through the park (watch out for the ducks) and back home again. Paths, trails, gravel and grass, run your route with gear from MEC.

MEC.CA/RUN Mike Savage

Get the MEC app

Follow @mec


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SeEkyourYoU sHalL FinD and

plaCE the Universe. in

Michelle Collins

Astronomer, currently seeking to uncover the mysteries of dark matter in the New Ride 8

Be A SeEkEr > FinD Y O U R s T R O ng See her story at

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