Page 1

2014 iRun Award winners announced! P29

Why i Run

Running's accessibility unites us P46

Carving out YOUR run time

Nurturing benign neglect in the runner's life


Hannah Georgas Boss up! Supporting and pacing an ultra marathoner


Snowshoe running The shakedown on sODIUM

How much is too much?

Weak in the knees? Try these 3 exercises! Plus: Tips to protect Your most vulnerable joints

Oops Factor

What's the secret to a successful 5k?




Speed & Distance

Music Player

Phone-Free Messaging

Live Online Tracking

Š2014 Timex Group USA, Inc. TIMEX us a trademark of Timex Group USA, Inc. IRONMANŽ and MDOT are registered trademarks of World Triathlon Corporation. Used here by permission. AT&T and the AT&T logo are trademarks of AT&T Intellectual 4 The Bluetooth 2015 Property. wordissue mark and01 logos are registered trademarks owned by Bluetooth SIG, Inc. and any use of such marks by Timex is under license. Qualcomm Mirasol displays are a product of Qualcomm MEMS Technologies, Inc. QUALCOMM is a trademark of Qualcomm Incorporated and MIRASOL is a trademark of Qualcomm MEMS Technologies, Inc. Both trademarks are registered in the United States and other countries. Coverages and services not available everywhere. Device cannot make or receive calls. 911 service not available. SCREEN IMAGE SIMULATED.

Table of Contents


29 OUTGOING Publisher & Executive CONTENT DIRECTOR Lisa Georges advertising sales Jenn Price 416.938.6556 STARTLINE AND web editor Anna Lee Boschetto COPY EDITOR Karen Karnis Contributors Anna Lee Boschetto, Andrew Chak, Krista DuChene, Rick Hellard, Ben Kaplan, Karen Karnis, Patience Lister, Bridget Mallon, Joanne Richard, Heather Roe, Robert Shaer, Katherine Stopa, Mark Sutcliffe, Andrew Vincent, Ray Zahab.




The 2014 iRun Award Winners Nominated by iRunNation!

graphic designerS Sarah Ellis Regan Van Dusen group publisher Mark Sutcliffe SubScriptions Visit

34 36

iRun's New year, new goals gear guide Cover Going for a 'burn' with singer-songwriter Hannah Georgas By Andrew Vincent

Photos by Robert Shaer

38 40

Crewing and pacing a runner: an ultra adventure By Bridget Mallon

A new movement: snowshoe running By Joanne Richard

48 Why I Run Running's accessibility unites us

10 Carving out your run time

NUTRITION 18 The shakedown on sodium PLUS: Add some flavour to your salt

By Christa Davidson

17 At the races Warm up to winter races iRun VOICES 16 Running is my teacher Get out In the cold









Subscribe at TODAY!








GUID Laurie Hunt, Ontario iRun to nourish my body, mind and spirit. E 34 PAG

By Mark Sutcliffe

TRAINING 44 Weak in the knees? Protect and strengthen your most vulnerable joints By Dr. Dale MacDonald RACE CALENDAR 42 A round-up of winter events

By Ben Kaplan

12 Marathon Mom Elite commentary

By Krista DuChene

20 Oops Factor What's the secret to a successful 5k? By Rick Hellard

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By Ray Zahab

14 Feet don't fail me now You run with your guts

iRun is a publication of Sportstats World

Canada Post Publications PM#41639025 Postage paid at Ottawa, ON Return undeliverable Canadian and other addresses to iRun: P.O Box 3814, Station C Ottawa, ON K1Y 4J8

STARTLINE 8 The Obsessive Runner Reflections for the future

Written by Katherine Stopa

PROOFREADER Patti Ryan CREATIVE Director & DESIGN Tanya Connolly-Holmes




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2015 issue 01



Reflections for the future

With the race season in our rear view, the only way that runners at any level can guarantee progress is to do one thing: learn.

By The Obsessive Runner, Andrew Chak


ou did it, or maybe you didn’t. You ran. Maybe you met your goals, bonked, didn’t even start or couldn’t finish. But whether you succeed or fail, it’s the learning from the experience that propels you forward. Now that I’ve been running for more than three years, I’ve come to realize this simple truth: fitness takes time. We can’t rush toward results, but if we’re smart about understanding our performance, we can reach our goals sooner.

Ask yourself why

If you hit your goals this past season, savour your accomplishments and thank those who helped you along the way. Next, take a moment to write down everything that worked for you: how you trained, your pre-race nutrition, what you wore, how you fuelled your body during the race, and your approach to pacing. As you write down these details, take special note as to why you believed each one worked. If you ate salty instant noodles the day before the race (don’t judge me) and felt that you had good energy throughout your event, make a note. If a light technical shirt, shorts and gloves in matching colours (grey with red accents for me) works for you in 2°C temperatures and 15km/h winds, then write that down for next time too. And if you figure out that holding back

your pace at the beginning of a race to run a negative split is incredibly effective (eighth time’s a charm for this lesson, also see Oops Factor on p.20), then consider getting it tattooed somewhere. But even if things just didn’t work out, it’s still important to write down what went wrong and figure out why. Now’s the time to commit yourself to identifying the one or two things you will do differently next time.

The truth behind goals

When I go into a race, I usually have three goals: the “everything is perfect” dream goal, the “I should still be proud of myself” OK goal, and the “oh-my-heck-will-Isurvive” just finish goal. But sometimes our goals are more like dreams if our bodies aren’t ready yet. You may have heard the sage old advice, “Don’t go out too fast” during a race. What this really means is, “Don’t go out too fast for your fitness.” If you ran a race and the first half was speedy bliss and the second half was a nightmare of

agony, you probably went out too fast. If you held a steady pace and emptied the tank at the end, you probably went out at the speed of your fitness. In either case, the result had more to do with how you raced and your fitness level, not your goal time. When it comes to evaluating goals, it’s better to focus on your progress towards your goal, rather than on the achievement alone.

Remembering where you started

Remember training for it with that underlying fear as to whether or not you would even finish? Remember when you did it and you were beyond proud of yourself for doing what you thought was impossible? Now, what would you say to yourself? What’s that one change you would make? This is the time for you to make real progress by learning from your past so that you can keep moving forward towards your future.

Take a moment to look Even if the at where re are setbac you are ks along the w today

Failure can be debilitating. As you recall the ay, dreary early You’ve you are so m u ch mornings, probably further ahe ad than the bug-eyed done that where you first hill repeats, first-race started–ne and the distance many ver forget that. unbelievably times over. long runs, it’s You’ve probably tempting to scoff even run that distance at yourself and investigate if as part of your regular couch-surfing is a legitimate training. You’ve most likely sport. It’s also tempting to become stronger, faster and judge yourself based solely more confident. Even if there on your goal race, but that’s are setbacks along the way, absolutely the wrong focus. you are so much farther ahead Remember when you than where you first started– ran your first-ever race? never forget that.

Get more tips and fun facts from The Obsessive Runner at! iRun to push myself further and further. Amanda McNulty, Ontario



Fellow runners:


n 2008, iRun was launched out of my passion for running and the inspiration I had received from all the runners I met as a runner and writer. And over the past six years, iRun has grown into a formidable community of Canadian runners. Both magazine circulation and web traffic have grown substantially, to levels beyond our original expectations, and we’ve engaged thousands who have shared their journeys as members of iRunNation. I’m excited to announce that iRun is moving into the next stage of its growth by becoming part of Sportstats. You might recognize that name from events in which you’ve participated; Sportstats is a great organization and the largest timing company in North America. During busy months,

the Sportstats team will time as many as 30 events in the same weekend. If you’ve entered a race or two in the past few years, there’s a good chance you’ve been timed by Sportstats. What does a timing company have to do with a media brand? We have a lot more in common than you might think. If you’ve run in an event timed by Sportstats, you’ve probably gone to their website to look up your time, or you’ve checked on the results of a friend or relative. Beyond being a timing company, Sportstats is a platform, a resource and a treasure trove of fascinating data. And the team at Sportstats has some exciting plans to provide more useful information and services to runners in the months and years ahead. So both Marc Roy and I – Marc is the CEO and principal shareholder of Sportstats, and a runner and triathlete – think that combining the two platforms and brands makes a lot of sense. In the short-term,

you probably won’t notice much difference. Sportstats will continue to time a growing list of races across North America and around the world, and the dedicated team at iRun will continue to produce great content for magazine and digital readers and engage the running community across Canada. Early in the new year, Sportstats will be relaunching its website with a number of significant improvements and new features.

But in the long run, we intend to provide a lot more fun and creative tools and services for both runners and race organizers. We’re very excited about this new chapter and we’re looking forward to seeing you on the roads, paths and trails and at the races. Long may you run. Mark Sutcliffe iRun founder

Learning to run: these young women from Terrace Youth Residential Services in Ottawa, ran their first 5K in the 2014 Canada Army Run. Big thanks to Active Sports Outlet in Kanata, ON for donating new running shoes to the girls. Visit At The Races at for the full story.

Visit Photo Galleries at for more 2014 race photos from across Canada! 8

2015 issue 01

iRun to the beat of my own drum — most of the time. Rob Scheifle, Ontario



Carving out your run time

Nurturing benign neglect in the runner By Christa Davidson


ach of us begins a new day with 24 hours on the clock. That seems like it should be more than enough time to get everything done, but most people would say they don’t have enough time in a day to meet all of its demands. This is a universal affliction that is felt deeply by the runner and even more deeply by the long distance runner with a full time job, a spouse and a child or two or three—each carving out their own portion of our 24-hour pot of time. With the time that is left, we strive to meet our other obligations. The piechart is an average breakdown of a loosely based 24-hour period in the life of an average runner. Only the most important and lifesustaining activities are represented on the chart, which has been cleverly created in the likeness of a dessert because runners are always hungry (you’re

welcome). What about tasks such as laundry and grocery shopping? Where do we get time for those pesky duties? Should we slip them into our recovery time slot? Throw in a load of laundry while we are stretching or foam rolling? How do we eke out the time to restock the fridge? Do we pick up the groceries during the commute home, where we might risk using more than the allotted time and go into time debt? The overdraft will not come from the running piece of the pie, we can all agree on that. So where do we gain time when the clock is fixed and there is no Keeper of Time to borrow from? We cut corners. There are no corners on the pie chart because they have been cut out! Gone! The corners would have represented all the personal and home based tasks that impose on us. They have been

@justme_Soo Perfectionism! Am much happier spending hour running than getting something “just right”!

removed from the daily draw because they can weather benign neglect, they have no firm due date or expiration window to hasten immediate action. For some, this will be a new way of thinking; others will have mastered this secret coping skill long ago in order to survive the life of a runner. Here are four tips to help guide your neglectful ways so you can become the best runner you can be.

Quality vs. quantity

While spending time with the kids can be a deeply rewarding experience, let’s face it, children suck time like leeches suck blood. The more you give, the more they take and once that cycle begins, the quality goes out the window for both of you. You begin to half-listen to the adventures of Pokémon and you start checking your social media accounts, responding

@RisenBird I'm not ashamed to say I live out of a laundry basket. And haven't had TV for years.

with an “oh, yeah” or “uh huh” when you sense it’s appropriate. Why not opt to go for your run or to the gym or any other physical activity that lets you unload and unwind, and brings you back to the present moment? Time away from your kids can allow you to spend your best time with them. It is better to spend a shorter amount of quality time with the little monkeys than a larger amount of distracted time. So, off you go… do your running ‘thang’. Then you can return with a fresh ear for the latest Mario Kart update.

TOP TIP: For those

a bit of time, as no one wants to tangle with the conviction displayed by the environmentally-friendly, until absolutely necessary. The day may come when your neighbours give you a look of exasperation that is borne of the fact that your weeds are starting to take up residence in their wellmaintained gardens. Until then, run on, my friend! Seize the day and celebrate your clever acquisition of more running time. The world will not stop because you neglect your lawn today…or tomorrow… or next week; next month might be pushing it, though.

runners who feel they don’t spend enough time with their children between work and school and other activities: make it a family affair! Get your children to be your pace bunnies by having them ride their bikes in front of you on the recreational path or quiet roads in your area.

TOP TIP: Invest in lowmaintenance, indigenous plants and shrubs—they require little care and accept neglect quite well (perfect!). Hire the neighbour's teenager (or your own?) to cut your grass once a week—a worthwhile investment and a win-win for everyone.

"I'm a naturalist!"

Get a larger hamper

Pride of ownership is a motivating factor for yard upkeep, but when you’re pressed for time, the yard can wait. The grass will grow and the weeds will flourish as you take the time to get your long run on. As the days pass and the lawn becomes knee high, you might try the ‘I am a naturalist’ defence. It will buy you

Feeding kids breakfast. Taught them young how to get it themselves cause mom's gotta run! — Deb Lowther,

Put off today what you can do tomorrow, or next week, in trade for getting your workout(s) done. The sheets on the bed will be fine for another few days as long as you are committed to showering daily, preferably at the end of your day and after all workouts. Encourage the kids to wear the clothes that are usually pushed to

If it comes to down to a choice whether to run or do housework there really is no choice. I run. — Elaine Vowles, Brampton, ON

Hamilton, ON

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2015 issue 01

iRun because it gives me a sense of freedom. Kim Sawler, Nova Scotia

4% 4% 8%



n Work n Sleep n Prepare for work/commute n Kids' activities


n Run/workout/ Recovery


the back of their drawers when their favourite and properly fitting clothes take up residence in the dirty clothes pile (which has outgrown the hamper and is tumbling onto the floor). It doesn’t matter if the shorts ride up or the pants are now capris, they will still cover all the key body areas. Matching socks are not compulsory, in fact socks are overrated and going without would stretch out the need to do laundry an extra day; so would turning your underwear inside out and getting a second day out of them; after all, you have already committed to showering on a daily basis, so it could be a fair consideration when trying to squeeze out some more running time…if they are not the same underwear you wore on your run. There are limits to living neglectfully.

TOP TIP: In consideration of saving time, why not launder your favourite running clothes by hand while you are in the shower? You have been liberated from the laundry room, now go hit the track!

Visitors beware

No one ever complained that they came home to find that the dust and dirt had grown legs and walked away. Go hammer out a few kilometres; they will be right where you left them when you return. Accepting a bit of untidiness and disorder in your home will give you some time flexibility for your training. To protect what’s going on behind closed doors, you must be aware of all approaching visitors. This hyper-vigilance will aid you in quick action, allowing you to step out to greet them on the walkway before they can get close to the doorbell and be allowed a peak inside the house of horrors. You may go on to produce a Academy Awardwinning performance of a person who is late for an appointment. This will eliminate the risk of being expected to invite in said visitor.

TOP TIP: Your non-runner friends already think you’re a crazy runner, so they may actually understand that your self-preserving, timepinching methods are not stemming from laziness. So

iRun because it helps me raise $$ for charities. Frank Fotia, Ontario

n Meal prep/plan n Social media

always keep the door open for those who love you… unconditionally. Considering the time-versus-activity ratio imbalance in a runner’s life, these tips can help you become the most benignly negligent runner you can be. These tactics aren't for everyone (two-day underwear strategy?) but we can all afford to give up a bit of what really doesn’t matter in the big picture of our 24-hour day in exchange for a little more of what truly does.

SURVEY SAYS... We asked iRunNation on Twitter and on Facebook what is the #1 thing (chore or otherwise) they let go in order to get a run in? Here are top five the answers we received: 1. SLEEP 2. Watching TV 3. Laundry 4. Floors 5. Dishes




Get out in the cold

With the temperatures dropping, here are five quick and easy ways to keep on track and actually enjoy winter running.


e all have those days when we really don’t feel like getting out for our training run, even when we know we should. I find these days seem to multiply significantly during the winter! Many of my friends love running in the cold, and many people assume that I love it too, because I’ve traversed Baffin four times, lived on the ice in the South Pole for a month, and crossed Siberia in winter. But truth be told, I much prefer to run in the heat; the hotter, the better. With so many winter races becoming popular, you have to be able to keep running in the coldest months. But what do you do when party season kicks into full gear? Staying motivated is key! Getting your head into winter-running mode is how I do it—and it’s how I advise my other warm-weather loving running clients get a handle on it too. Here are my five favourite ways to stay on track through the holiday season and all winter long!


Just go

One of the hardest things is peering out the window and seeing driving snow as you dress for your run. My best tip? Hit autopilot. Just get those layers on and head out. Once you get moving you are committed— and most of the time you’ll stay out once you get moving!


Layer up

Having the right number of layers is key, and choose fabrics that wick moisture away from your skin as your base layer. Don’t wear too much, but don’t underdress. My recommendation is to dress like its 10 degrees warmer. You will be cold when you start, but be comfortable when moving. Also

remember, comfort is key.


Adapt your program to your life

The holiday season calls for flexibility on all fronts, even in your training. Instead of stressing during the holiday period, I usually use it as a way for my clients to build volume (think extra calories=extra energy) or as a time to taper, depending on holiday schedules. It’s always best to be realistic during the holidays and preplan your running program around them.


Goals…always have goalS!

For my clients looking for that extra motivation, I recommend having a shortterm goal. There are so many amazing winter races,

and it’s a totally unique experience. With a specific race or goal in mind, it’s easier to wrap your head around a -30C training run!


Try something new

Snowshoe running, anyone? Trying new activities during winter is one great way to keep yourself motivated! One of the coolest and fastest-growing winter sport events is snowshoe running (see p.40). The success of events like Mike Caldwell’s MadTrapper Snowshoe series attracts runners of all levels looking for an awesome workout while doing something adventurous and different. Check out for info on snowshoe running.

Visit impossible2possible on Facebook to find out about the latest Youth Expedition: The Lost Coast. 12

2015 issue 01

iRun because I was told I couldn’t. Bev Mackey, Ontario

MOLLY HUDDLE | American Record Holder – 5000 m | Team Saucony Athlete

WHOA. Light, responsive and oh so comfortable. Step into a pair and feel whoa for yourself. TRIUMPH | ISO SERIES •





You don’t run with your feet. You run with your guts.


he Couch to Marathon clinic is a group of runners in Toronto who are spending the year with me, training for the marathon. We started in June as 11 strangers, making our way to a 5K race, and it's become something bigger than running. The strangers have become friends—and teammates. And while some folks have left us and others have joined, the experience remains inspiring and a lot of fun. The idea now is that we’ll do a 10K in early December and run a half marathon in February. In May, the Goodlidfe Toronto Marathon is our ultimate goal. We don’t all run fast, but some do. And we don’t all run the whole time; that’s not important. What’s important is keeping the commitment to the training, setting goals, and enjoying running. I’m seeing people change in real time. “It has all definitely been outside of my comfort zone, but something about running with the group makes me feel capable. It makes the goal of running an actual marathon feel attainable,” says Regan Canie, 27, who joined the group after our 5K. “Those feelings are carried outside of class too, because there’s something very empowering about working towards something previously considered ‘impossible.’ I was not a runner. I was not committed. I was definitely not athletic, yet all of a sudden, I am.” We work out once a week on Thursday evenings and the training rotates along a series of three exercises: long run, speed work and hills. As we train for the 10K, we’re going to run 11 kilometres in November, just so everyone feels confident that

when they reach the starting line, they can survive that much time in their shoes. But I've always stressed in the classes that things people think hold them back from running aren’t really the problem. I’ve seen runners with all sorts of different forms and all of them have been fine. It’s fine to land on your heels. It’s OK if you’re a little hunched over. I’m bowlegged. Most runners’ problems are not running. Which is why my group doesn’t always get the

going to be painful. I ran a marathon recently and afterward had a headache for three days. But I like pushing myself as hard as I possibly can. I like knowing the exact point when I don't have 19 seconds left to give. “I can’t decide if I truly like running. To me, it’s an accessible sport that I can do automatically. I run to stay fit and to feel like I have accomplished something astounding,” says Kim Stemshorn, 26, who also started the class this semester. “I look forward to

"I was not a runner. I was not committed. I was definitely not athletic, yet all of a sudden, I am.” best anatomic instruction, but is always made to feel good. “Across the group we have a range of abilities, some of us are really very fast, some of us are not as fast, but it just doesn’t matter, there is no ‘elitism’, there is no feeling of fast versus not, or anything versus anything,” says Peter Symons, 63. “We are a group and everyone is welcome and welcomed. As the token male (student) and being older than anyone else, you have no idea how much that is appreciated.” That comment means a lot to me because if running isn't something that’s making you feel good, if you aren’t getting anything back from the sport, for the life of me I can’t imagine why you would do it. There is so much grief in anyone’s life that's unavoidable. What you do in your free time—your hobby— should be something you enjoy. Of course, running is sometimes

challenging myself further and surprisingly myself. I also look forward to improving my time and abilities through training (for the very first time!).”

In the end, this class was an experiment. I designed a training program in my book, but then never actually tried it out. We’re doing that now and it’s extraordinary. It’s no secret, of course, how to build up endurance. Run a little bit, then run a little bit more. No matter what plan you follow, that’s basically what it's going to tell you to do. Stick with it long enough, and you'll get to the marathon. But writing schedules and numbers in the book was cold. It’s just math. Meeting these strangers, these friends, and training them has been something more. Something I'll always remember. It’s good to help someone become a runner. It’s better to help someone feel better about life. “I am completely off of my heart medication. My symptoms that used to occur multiple times a day now only happen maybe once or twice a month,” says Emily Tomisch, 26, who may suffer from heart problems but is the heart and soul of our group. Emily will run in the rain, volunteer for any race, and sprints the last bit of each run when we get back to Black Toe Running in Toronto. I’ve learned a lot about running from Emily: you don't run with your feet. You run with your guts. “I feel more confident in the way I look and what my body is capable of,” she says. “Not worried about how I look when I'm out running anymore, which was a huge insecurity of mine when I first started. I'm currently hung-over from postwedding celebrations and rather than sit on the couch watching bad TV all day, I'm about to go on a run.”

NEW! Visit Ben Kaplan‘s column Feet don‘t fail me now at! 14

2015 issue 01

iRun for the pure enjoyment of racing. Mike White, Ontario

Claim Your results on





Elite commentary When she cannot race, what is the next best thing for Krista DuChene? Commentating. It’s the perfect way to feel like she’s in the game, in the know, and almost as fun as competing. Almost.


y first commentating experience— covering the 2013 Ottawa Marathon—was with iRun’s Founder Mark Sutcliffe. As a dietician, mom and athlete, I’d done a lot of public speaking, so this was a great opportunity to broaden my horizons. Plus, it was a whole lot of fun. This year, after fracturing my femur while racing in Montreal in the spring, providing commentary for the Ottawa 10K race a month later, along with Sutcliffe, and Tim Hutchings, gave me something to look forward to. The opportunity to use my previous broadcasting experience came in October 2014 at the 25th Anniversary of the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. Being the second fastest Canadian marathoner at last year’s event provided me with lots of course and participant insights. Women in Broadcasting Women have come a long way in broadcasting major sports events. I played hockey at the University of Guelph with Cassie Campbell and I remember

her dream of being the first woman to cover Hockey Night in Canada with CBC, something she achieved shortly after retiring from her very successful hockey career. Quite often, I’ll use my own experiences to provide insight and keep the positive momentum moving forward when speaking about women in sport. And now I can confidently say that I have also helped elevate the representation of women in broadcasting for major Canadian running events. Sound Check Challenge Prior to live broadcast, the team performs technical checks, including sound. It is important to be able to hear yourself, your co-commentators, technical team members, and program content, such as pre-recorded and live interviews and commercials. A necessary but challenging part about using the headset? When you’re in the middle of speaking and someone from the crew speaks to you at the same time because you need to introduce the next clip, your first instinct is to stop talking and listen, but you have to keep talking smoothly while planning your next step.

iRun founder and broadcaster Mark Sutcliffe, Krista DuChene, and former UK middle- and long-distance runner (now Athletics Commentator) Tim Hutchings.

Lights, Camera, Action When on camera with bright lights, you want to make sure you have more than less makeup. You always want to look comfortable on the camera, which can be tricky when you are sitting for hours at a time, possibly outside at the finish line in cool conditions or inside a studio with no fresh air. Because you are in front of thousands of people, you also want to make sure you are having a decent hair day, in spite of your headset. Let’s just say it’s next to impossible to keep your hair in place when the earphones are so big.

Technically Speaking Commentating is definitely an art in terms of relaying giving facts and statistical information in an appealing and engaging manner. For each race, I’ve discussed beforehand what each person would speak about. For instance, some took the lead in communicating numbers such as records, specific paces and expected finish times, while I provided insight about sport nutrition, international racing, training as an elite, being an athlete and a parent, community involvement, and top Canadians and international women.

Preparing well in advance with a script is key, but you must also be able to adapt to the unknown events of the race at any given time. While I’ve received plenty of positive feedback and encouragement on my race commentary, for my next marathon, I’m planning to be racing from the start line straight to the finish. Krista DuChene, otherwise known as Canada’s Marathon Mom is a Canadian Women’s Marathon record holder and registered dietician. DuChene lives in Brantford, ON with her three children and husband Jonathan.

For the latest on Marathon Mom Krista DuChene's journey to recovery, visit! 16

2015 issue 01

iRun because it makes me feel in control. Yvonne Stewart, Ontario


Peterborough YMCA Half Marathon

Warm Up to



From supporting local charities to scoring superior finish line rewards, these eight events offer runners unique goal races to keep everyone’s motivation on the uptake even when the temperatures plummet. By Anna Lee Boschetto Santa Shuffle

Supporting families and individuals in communities across the country, the Salvation Army’s Santa Shuffle Fun Run (December 6, 2014) is a runner’s way to spread the joy of the holiday season. With fundraising incentives, including Running Room gift cards, it’s the perfect time of year to give as you receive. Find a race in your area or pledge a runner at

Winter Solstice Westwood Lake Marathon

In its sixth year, the Westwood Lake Marathon takes place on December 21, 2014 in Nanaimo, BC and includes full, half and 6K distances. This low-key event asks runners to donate canned goods for the local food bank and will be rewarded with chili after crossing the finish line. Find out more about this fun run celebration of the start of the winter season at

For anyone who has wanted to start running, why not make the commitment early in the New Year? Start off on the right foot with the Resolution Run, December 31 and January 1, 2015. With fundraising efforts in this 5K event supporting local charities in cities from British Columbia to Prince Edward Island, runners will also receive a limited-edition race jacket commemorating the 30th anniversary of this event. For more information about events in your area check out

For more than 35 years, the YMCA Balsillie Family Branch has organized the Peterborough YMCA Half Marathon (February 22, 2015) that supports the organization’s Strong Kids Campaign. Designed to challenge runners, the course is well suited for serious and recreational runners, offering a scenic tour of Peterborough, including Little Lake and the Otonabee River. As Peterborough’s largest community event, it raises more than $25,000 each year and also includes a 5K Run/Walk and a Kids’ 1K Fun Run. Learn more about the event along with volunteer opportunities at

Ice Donkey Winter Adventure

Chilly Half Marathon and Frosty 5K

Resolution Run

You can’t take winter that seriously in Winnipeg, but you can have some serious running fun, with the Ice Donkey Winter Adventure (February 7, 2015). Combining frosty obstacles with winter-inspired challenges, this 5K event also winds through a challenging trail course, that’s anything but expected during the cold winter months. Find out more about the course and obstacles at this year’s event at Race organizers will be updating the site leading up to the event.

Winterman Marathon

Whether you’re running the full or half marathon, gathering a team for the marathon relay or gearing up for a 10K, 5K or 3K distance, the 2015 Winterman Marathon (February 15) has a race for you. Held in Ottawa during the nation’s winter festival, Winterlude, this event is a qualifier for both the Boston and New York City Marathons, and offers a stunning view of the city’s skyline on your return loop. Discover more about the event at

Held on March 1, 2015 in Burlington ON, the race route for the Chilly Half Marathon and Frosty 5K weaves through the city’s picturesque downtown and along the waterfront. While it may be tough to overlook the sub-zero temperatures during the race, the promise of free chili and beer will get you across the finish line. Find out more about participating local restaurants and register soon to snag a race jacket at

HypoTHermic Half Marathon

From late January until the end of February, runners across the nation can cozy up at the start line with their fellow runners at the Hypothermic Half Marathon. As part of the race kit, runners will receive polyester/ spandex gloves featuring a fleece nose wipe and a convertible headband to protect you from the elements. In addition, the uniquely detailed finisher’s medal and complimentary brunch make it well worth the sub-zero temperatures. Register now and start fundraising for your local charity at the

For more race listings and race reports, visit At The Races at! iRun because my Dad and many others no longer can. Alison Horner, Ontario




The shake-down

on sodium D

ietary sodium is critical for muscle contractions, nerve impulses and keeping the body hydrated during exercise, but eating too much can promote high blood pressure, heart disease and kidney problems. Although society is programmed to weigh the risks of high dietary sodium, low sodium can also be a concern for athletes – recreational and competitive. Sodium is essential

Sodium is a key electrolyte that the body needs for balancing water levels in the blood and around cells. The compound sodium chloride, known as “table salt,” contains about 40 percent sodium, or 2,300 mg of sodium per teaspoon. Health Canada recommends that adults limit their sodium intake to a maximum of 2,300 mg per day because of its link to high blood pressure and related health problems. Runners may be another matter, since they typically have a lower risk of high blood pressure and can lose

The moren fit a persore is, the mo ir active the ds n sweat glae. becom sodium through sweat during times of intense training.

Sweating it out

Running can be a sweaty sport, especially at long distances or in hot weather. Because sodium is the main electrolyte lost through sweat, it needs to be replaced to avoid the dangerous effects of low sodium. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)

recommends that people ingest both sodium and water to make up for sweat loss when exercising for more than one hour. Replacing sodium is not as clear-cut as it sounds, because the amount of sodium runners lose through sweat depends on the number of sweat glands, sweat gland activity and the sodium content of sweat. Humans have up to four million sweat glands, with women having the most and men having the sweatiest. Sweat rate, as well as the sodium concentration in sweat, is partly determined by genetics, along with diet, body

weight, and how acclimatized a runner is to the conditions. The more fit a person is, the more active their sweat glands become. A study in the 2014 issue of PLOS found that the sweat rates of experienced runners were 34 to 46 percent higher than that of non-runners. The amount of sodium in sweat varies from 484 to 1,937 mg per litre, or about 1 to 5 g of table salt per litre. Runners do not need to calculate the exact concentration of sodium in their sweat, but can make a good estimate of how much they are losing by looking for streaks of salt on their running clothes and skin. Thirst is also a good indicator, because it is controlled by blood sodium levels.

Sodium highs and lows

“Everything in nutrition is and will always be about BALANCE. Too much salt is bad, so is too

little,” says BC-based dietitian, aka The People’s Dietitian, Patricia Chuey. Because a high-sodium diet is considered unhealthy, it is easy to assume that a low-sodium diet is healthy. But this is not always true. Limiting sodium can interfere with many physical processes. A study published in the 2012 issue of Medical Hypotheses found that when people followed a low sodium diet during times of heavy physical training they suffered from sleeping problems, thirst, excessive urination, and increased blood pressure. When blood sodium levels fall below 135 moles* per litre, hyponatremia sets in. This life-threatening condition is caused by *Mole is a unit of measurement used in chemistry to express amounts of a chemical substance.

Know your salt Table Salt

A fine-grained form of sodium chloride, iodine and often an anticaking agent. Its free-flowing consistency is best suited for the salt shaker.

Kosher Salt

Sea Salt

An unrefined salt evaporated from ocean water. Its trace mineral content, uneven coarse texture and variable flavour adds a gourmet touch to any food.

A coarse grained or flaky salt that contains no additives or iodine. It has a clean flavour and dissolves easily.

Follow iRunNation on Pinterest for more easy and nutritious recipes. 18

2015 issue 01

iRun to learn discipline. Simone Lylack, British Columbia

the swelling of brain cells due to an excess volume of water within their membranes. The result can be deadly or have severe effects on the brain.

Whole food approach to balancing sodium

As with all nutrients, finding the right balance is key. “My best advice is for runners to stay tuned into their natural appetite cues. Be sure to be eating enough total volume of wholesome food in the first place,” says Chuey. Most people, whether they are active or not, get enough sodium in their diets from processed foods. It is during times of intense training or increasing endurance when runners may need to up their sodium intake a little. When searching for pre- and postrun nourishment, consider the total nutritional value of

food. “Snacks that contain salt while also offering meaningful nutrients, whether protein or vitamins and minerals include: peanuts and almonds (or trail mix)—do not buy unsalted versions, cheese, quality deli meats like turkey or ham slices, tortilla chips with salsa, smoked oysters or herring, or make popcorn and sprinkle with butter and salt,” says Chuey. “To whole, real foods, feel free to salt to taste—foods like eggs, tomato slices in a sandwich, mashed potatoes, etc., are logical places to use salt,” says Chuey. It is easy to feel conflicted about sodium, but the risks and benefits all hinge on how you use it. With the right balance, runners can improve their hydration and take one more step towards optimal health and performance.

Tortilla chips

(100g, 856 mg) Also includes proteins important to recovery.


(1 oz., 175 mg) Also includes, on average, 20 per cent of the recommended daily value of calcium.

Deli turkey

(28 g, 270 mg) packs in about five grams of protein.

Salted almonds

(1 oz., 96 mg) are high in monounsaturated fat and vitamin E.

Stove-top popcorn (1 cup, 88 mg) contains fibre and is low in calories.

Flavoured salts

Flavoured salt is a simple way to add creative flair to whole foods while replenishing sodium levels. Sprinkle on salad, potatoes, roasted vegetables, or popcorn. Directions:




Sign up for the podcast and listen while you run! SPONSORED BY


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.

Combine each set of dried ingredients and grind together using a mortar and pestle.

Seaweed chili salt

Italian herb salt

Coconut lime salt

1/4 cup sea salt 2 tsp. dried seaweed flakes 1/4 tsp. dried chili flakes

1/4 cup sea salt 1 tsp. dried oregano 1/4 tsp. dried basil 1/4 tsp. dried thyme

1/4 cup sea salt 2 tsp. dried unsweetened coconut 1/2 tsp. dried lime zest

For more information, click iRun to keep up with my kids. Jason Ernst, Alberta




The ‘Oops’ Factor

Patience leads to running success


aces are hard. Long distance races. Middistance races. Short races. All of them… hard. In different ways. Long races are more about handling a sustained numbness than absorbing and feeding on what borders on the selfinflicted pain of the intense shorter events. Many clients I work with prefer longer races like half and full marathons, and even more prefer Ironman to sprint distance triathlons. Almost all the triathletes abhor a standalone marathon compared to the one at the end of an Ironman. Seems odd, really, but the longer the event, the lower the intensity, so the discomfort level is lower—athletes have to be able to handle it for a sustained period of time. It’s like ripping a Band-Aid off quickly, or slowly peeling it back. Take the 5K, for example. A 5K is quite uncomfortable from the start, and since it is not a long way to the finish line after the discomfort starts, we do our best to tolerate it. For some reason, the very wise approach of working our way into race pace gets thrown out like a pair of worn socks. Oops! It is important to remember that this strategy does not usually work.


We start with enthusiasm and intensity and we hammer off 10 seconds too fast off race pace on that first kilometre. What's a mere 10 seconds…?


The second kilometre is not too

bad at all. It almost takes care of itself.


In the next 500m, things start to get hard and self-doubt starts to creep in. At the halfway mark, we do a “discomfort check.” It’s often pretty high. We think “if 2.5K hurts this bad, it’s going to hurt twice as much to finish this stupid race. I can’t absorb twice this pain. I can’t do it! Waaaagh (with four ‘a’s, as in crying, not to be confused with three ‘a’s’ and the Urban Dictionary definition: The WAAAGH! Is the name given by the Orks of Warhammer 40,000 to the massive military campaigns they periodically unleashed on the galaxy as part of their eternal desire to seek out combat and war…but I digress...). At this point, we should remind ourselves that our warm clothes, our families, and our cars are all waiting for us at the end of the course. You have two thoughts beyond “(insert your preferred deity here) kill me now!”: a) “I could stop and live with the fact I quit,” or b) “I could back off a bit and feel better right away.” The latter is the optimum decision.


So, we don’t quit, and we realize we are now at the 3 kilometre mark. That last 500m went somewhere and we didn’t even notice it. We lost a bit of time and have come to the conclusion that we are good with where we’re at. We also agree that we’ll pick up the pace when we get closer to the finish line, where we know

HTG Sport Ottawa 5k startline 2014. PHOTO: MARK HOLLERON

we can empty the tank and still finish.


“Hmmm, not yet. I’m still not sure I can make it.”


“Nope, still not sure.”


“Not yet…”


“Now!” We straighten up, throw our shoulders back, swing our arms, and a longer stride starts to take hold. We tap into our reserves and unleash a sprint that would make Donovan Bailey proud.

Sound about right?

If we looked at the stats from almost any distance race from 800m up to marathon, we'd notice the same pattern of pacing —as well as the psychological pattern—just after halfway: there is almost always a bit of a slowdown, followed by an acceleration over the last quarter, with a lay-it-all-on-the-line finish over the last 45 seconds. The ideal way to run a race is

either with a negative split, or at the very least, even splits. The logic is simple: if you go out too hard and struggle, you run out of energy and maybe motivation before you get to the finish line. There is rarely a chance to come back from such a situation. If you go out a bit easier, and hit halfway in reasonable condition, you have the energy and can dig deep, pushing hard right to the finish. I have never been a good example of a patient racer, but I do know that almost every single best time I have, I achieved with a low-key start and built up the pace into the race. I know this, and have known this for a long time, and yet, I still have not learned to do it every time I race. I guess that’s why this column is called the Oops Factor. Tune in every issue for a new edition of The ‘Oops’ Factor. Rick Hellard, head coach of Zone3sports ( in Ottawa, is a lifelong running addict. He’s also made or seen just about every mistake under the sun, making him a worldclass expert in oops-prevention.

Visit ‘Run Strong’ at for more tips and strength training exercises. 20

2015 issue 01

iRun for finish line treats. Louise Peters, British Columbia


Welcome to Canada’s Marathon Capital! Call it a runner’s high or just hometown pride, but last year during the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend—as the world’s best ran through Ottawa’s streets, as course records fell, and as the sun came out on Canada’s largest marathon field and all of its smiles, sweat and determination—we couldn’t help but think:

Wow, Canada is pretty darn . And so is this race through its beautiful capital. All Canadian runners should experience it!

And so the campaign (or call it an anthem) for the 2015 Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon and Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend was born: “True North, Strong and ” Keep turning the pages to find out why Ottawa isn’t just Canada’s capital, it’s also Canada’s Marathon Capital.



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Don’t be scrambling at the last minute to book your accommodations for Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend 2015. Visit Ottawa Tourism online today for the best selection and great rates on Ottawa hotels and attractions. Book an extra night or two and enjoy the Capital at a more leisurely pace!


RD 1/2 PRICE †

WWW.OTTAWATOURISM.CA • 1-888-OTTAWA-8 † 3rd consecutive night at half price valid only at some participating hotels. Call or visit our website for details.


2015 issue 01


at participating hotels

In 2014, Yemane Tsegay of Ethiopia came to Ottawa and went home with the record for the fastest marathon time ever run in Canada. His 2:06:54, the first time a runner dipped below 2:07 on Canadian soil, showed not only that Yemane Tsegay is very fast, but so is Ottawa’s marathon course. With few elevation changes, the world-class organization of an IAAF Silver Label event, and an unbeatable atmosphere that pulls you to the finish, the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon is a race for personal bests and Boston Qualifiers.

Yemane Tsegay New Canadian soil record: 2:06:54 Photo: Photo Run

From Boston Marathon champions like Wesley Korir to runners taking part in their first race, one of the things people seem to agree about is that the atmosphere in Ottawa is hard to beat. With an estimated 200,000 spectators cheering on as many as 50,000 participants over the two days of races, this is a serious running party. Throw in an amazing Health & Fitness Expo that starts on Thursday night, a Celebration Stage with live music on Saturday and Sunday, and the general good vibes of Ottawa in the springtime and there is definitely something special about the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend and Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon.


From the mighty Ottawa River to the majestic Parliament buildings, from the Prime Minister's residence at 24 Sussex to the Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, landmarks dot the marathon course at every turn. 1

3 2

War Memorial


Château Laurier 4

7 6


2015 issue 01

Ottawa River


Dow’s Lake


Vieux Hull

Rideau Canal

War Museum


Museum of History


National Gallery


24 Sussex



Rideau Hall






13 3 2






































Byward Market




Charity Challenge In 2014, runners and their supporters raised over $625,000 for two-dozen local charities. This year, with the official launch of Ottawa’s own Scotiabank Charity Challenge, we know there will be an even larger unleashing of generosity across the community. In 2013 alone, the Scotiabank Charity Challenge raised over $6.6 million at running events across Canada! How does the Scotiabank Charity Challenge work? The Scotiabank Charity Challenge connects charities and runners and gives them a great online tool from Artez to create an exciting

fundraising campaign. Friends, family, colleagues—it’s easy to get everyone on your team and cheering you on! Here’s how it works:


CHOOSE YOUR CHARITY Check out the list of participating charities at challenge and choose the charity you’d like to run for. You’ll find some of this year’s charities listed below.


REGISTER FOR YOUR EVENT When registering for your event at you will find a drop down menu of participating charities. Select the charity you’d like to run for during registration.


CREATE YOUR FUNDRAISING PROFILE! Once you have completed registration, follow the instructions to set up your fundraising page. Build excitement by adding photos and a story about why you’re running. You can track your progress and send thank you notes to donors right from your page. Already registered for an event and want to sign up for the Scotiabank Charity Challenge? No problem! Just find your charity on the website, click Sign up and follow the instructions.

2015 Participating Charities



Running WILD for Food and Farmers!


hile the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon, and all of it’s 42.2 kilometres of glory, is acknowledged as the main event of the weekend, for many runners the biggest highlights come during the Ottawa 2K and Scotiabank Ottawa Kids Marathon for CHEO.

In these events, young runners get to experience the pride of crossing a big-race finish line for the first time—for many it will turn into a lifetime passion for fitness and running.

The Ottawa 2K, which happens on Saturday afternoon, has become a favourite both of young speedsters and families who want to run together. Many marathoners use it as an opportunity to run with their kids before their goal race the next morning. The Scotiabank Ottawa Kids Marathon for CHEO is something different altogether. Only open to kids in grades 3-8, the race is the culmination of weeks of exercise. It’s an amazing opportunity to encourage participation and instill the self-confidence that comes with running—while also raising money for CHEO, the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario.

So when you’re planning your race next May, now you can include the whole family as well. Find out more about the Ottawa 2K and Scotiabank Ottawa Kids Marathon for CHEO at

Maybe it will be the feeling of lining up on Sunday morning, surrounded by thousands of other runners, listening to the national anthem, and nervously awaiting the sound of the starter’s horn. Maybe it will be the sight of Canada’s Parliament and the Château Laurier rising up majestically from the Ottawa River as you cross the Alexandra Bridge.

Maybe it will be hearing a friend or family call out at kilometre 10, 20 or 30, and running over to the side for a high-five, hug and encouraging word before setting off with renewed energy for the finish.

Maybe it will be the celebration of the finish line and the knowledge that you gave it your all.

Maybe it will be a celebratory meal at one of Ottawa’s amazing restaurants, or a postrace stroll down the canal on a beautiful spring evening. Or maybe it will be all of these things, bound together by the experience of Canada’s marathon capital welcoming you and cheering you on. We look forward to seeing you in May!

Find your at


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2015 issue 01




iRun Awards

Honouring Canada’s Most Inspiring Stories

PHOTO CREDIT: Greenwood Running Company

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The Community Award

“The members of GRC make each other feel supported in their running efforts, support each other with training plans, run together, and keep each other motivated.”

The Greenwood Running Company


he Greenwood Running Company (GRC) has not only fostered a vibrant running community in Greenwood, Nova Scotia, but has also ingeniously given back to the community as a by-product of losing weight. For every pound lost, a GRC member donated one can of food to the local food bank in advance of the holiday rush. Thirty members took part in the challenge, and members lost anywhere from 10 lbs. to 117 lbs., resulting in a large number of donations. Stefan Caron created the weight loss project after being inspired by GRC’s efforts. “I see more than just runners, I see determination, courage, perseverance, and

iRun for those who can’t. Patricia McGregor, Ontario

sincere pride,” says Caron, and this project illustrates all of these qualities. In November 2014, the donations as well as videos and pictures that captured each personal journey will be displayed throughout the community, including at the Greenwood Mall. This elaborate display will illustrate the GRC’s love of running and its members’ sacrifices in achieving a healthy lifestyle, and will inspire the community to give back. One such journey is Michelle Darrell’s (pictured), a GRC member since 2013. Since she joined, she has lost a total of 115 lbs., and credits running for helping her maintain her new healthy lifestyle.

The weight loss and the “friendship and support this running community has provided” was another way for her to stay on track and to give back. “The members of GRC make each other feel supported in their running efforts, support each other with training plans, run together, and keep each other motivated,” she says. “Although each member may be at a different level of running and weight loss/maintenance of healthy lifestyle, the accountability comes in having others who understand where you are now, where you have been and where you see yourself going in the future.”


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”Dealing with cancer is difficult and scary, but with the support of friends and family, you can get through it. It isn't easy but it is possible.”

The Crusader Award Theresa Carriere

iRun to make a difference.


hen Theresa Carriere was 13 years old, she watched the Boston Marathon for the first time on her family’s new TV and was in awe. “The runners worked to complete this incredible distance, and the atmosphere was amazing with people crowding the streets of Boston.” She knew one day she would have to be a part of it. Since then, Carriere has launched ONERUN, which serves as a platform to raise money for cancer patients and their families. For three consecutive years, she

PHOTO CREDIT: Paul Armstrong

has run 100k from London to Sarnia, Ontario. Members can also participate virtually, and this year, different individuals ran one kilometre alongside her in honour of someone affected by the disease. During a few rough times on the most recent run, Carriere’s children ran on her behalf while she was with the medical team, something she is very proud of. As a breast cancer survivor, running became Carriere’s saving grace. “It allowed me to escape the stress of dealing with cancer. It gave me time for peace and soul searching—which are both necessary to stay strong,” says Carriere. “Running 100km

in one day shows that anything is possible despite the challenges along the way. Dealing with cancer is difficult and scary, but with the support of friends and family, you can get through it. It isn't easy but it is possible.” Since its launch in 2010, ONERUN has raised $540,000 directed to research and patient care programs in area hospitals. ONERUN also had a school outreach program, visiting close to 200 schools in Ontario with the message “From Challenge to Triumph”. ONERUN has also become an important symbol of hope for the community. Visit for more information.

The Impassioned Runner Award Jean-Francois Maheux n iRu 14 ard 0 2 Aw


iRun to add life to my day!

ean-Francois Maheux is no ordinary runner. After running a few different races, he wanted to bring the excitement of the racing atmosphere and the act of running to his town of StGeorges, QC. In 2011, he launched his first race with the goal of 200 runners, and in the end he got 600. In the last couple of years, the number of participants has been as high as 2,100, which in a town of only 3,900 is a huge achievement. “In 2015 we hope to have 3,000 runners,” says Maheux. “My dream is to


2015 issue 01

have more runners than we have residents.” With distances ranging from a 2K family run to a half marathon, runners at different stages can participate each year. In total, Maheux has launched the Défi Beauceron and the BeauceRun races, where partial proceeds go to community volunteers such as the Army Cadets and the Courailleux Running Club, a club that now has 300 runners. He also teaches running to beginners, and offers outreach programs to local elementary schools and high schools. Maheux took his love for the

sport further when he left his director-level job in manufacturing to open Chronocité, a running store, and to launch Intenot, a running training company. “Sometimes I ask myself why I do all this. But then, I meet someone who tells me they started running because of me, and that just makes my day,” says Maheux. Maheux is very proud: not only does his community now love to run, but it has since given back by nominating him for this iRun Award for his community engagement.

iRun for 29 different reasons. Jo Well, Prince Edward Island

XXXXX Photo submitted

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The “Good Guys” Award GoodGuysTri

Steven Thomas

iRun for those who cannot, iRun to make a difference, iRun because iCan

Mike Herzog

iRun to live life intentionally


n 2011, Ottawa endurance athletes Mike Herzog and Steven Thomas were out for a long run and discussing charitable organizations. Herzog was frustrated with the overhead charities have, and wanted to create an organization that would ensure 100 per cent of funds and donations would be directed to “doing good.” That was the day GoodGuysTri was born. Over the next three years, GoodGuysTri, or GGT as it is also known, has grown to include 12 ambassadors and hundreds of volunteers who are passionate about the causes they support. “GGT was built as a platform to empower others to come together and support our neighbours, our community and those in need. We do not have a single cause or focus, nor do we go out looking for charitable causes to support,” says Thomas. “Instead, we open our doors to others who are passionate about a cause and we support them with the tools... enabling them to ‘do good,’ be successful and make a difference”. Since its inception, GoodGuysTri has supported Ottawa’s homeless through their annual Gift of Warmth campaign, where they distribute donated warm clothing and coffee shop gift cards. In addition, they have: collected over 6,000 pounds of food for the Ottawa Food Bank; organized a run that raised $35,000 for the University of Ottawa Heart Institute; raised $8,000 for the impossible2Possible foundation; assisted with the Run Effortlessly run clinics that raise several thousand dollars each year for the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO); assisted in supporting Candlelighters, which raised $32,000 toward their budget; acted as “pace bunnies” for various charity runs; and so much more. The team has also adopted an Ottawa park, ensuring it remains clean and well- maintained for the community, and they regularly holds spontaneous “Trash & Trails” runs, where team members collect

"We open our doors to others who are passionate about a cause and we support them with the tools... enabling them to “do good”, be successful and make a difference.” and dispose of garbage on their training runs. The team’s greatest accomplishment to date is the over $200,000 raised in the past 25 months for the Sears Great Canadian Relay to End Kids’ Cancers, where likeminded runners joined the GGT team to raise money for the cause and run up to the full 100 kilometres. “Everyday WE wake up knowing we can

iRun because I was told I would never run again. Isabelle McCauley, Ontario

change the world,” says Herzog. However, they could not reach such heights of success without the community. “Whether it’s a new team member signing up, a corporate sponsor backing the team, or the stranger down the road who is inspired to graciously donate, GGT would have nothing to show in terms of success if it weren’t for the incredible community spirit that engulfs this team,” says Thomas.


Overcoming the Odds Award Sylvie Reaney


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iRun because I still can.

ttawa police officer Sylvie Reaney ran as part of the physical conditioning for her job and for her personal well-being. Running an average of 50 km per week, Reaney was at her prime when she was struck by a truck while out running in 2012. She sustained

“Runners are an amazing breed and the support and encouragement they provide each other is beyond anything I’ve experienced. I have made such wonderful forever friends as a result.” n Ru 4 i rd 1 a 20 Aw

The “Pawzing” Award Bruce Allan & Greg Armour

Stashin. “He spent so much time teaching me how to run properly and reducing the impact on my knees. Over the past 1.5 years he has mentored, guided, and supported my running progress.” It was through Stashin that she became involved with the Ottawa organization GoodGuysTri. “I wanted to give back because I could now run again,” says Reaney. “I was so inspired by the adventures and distances that my new group was engaging in that I was definitely interested in joining in and again proving to myself that I could succeed.” “Runners are an amazing breed,” Reaney says, “and the support and encouragement they provide each other is beyond anything I’ve experienced. I have made such wonderful forever friends as a result”.

life-threatening injuries, including broken kneecaps, wrist, cheekbone, nose, and a fractured skull. She required six surgeries, and was wheelchair-bound for three months. Despite this accident, Reaney vowed that she would one day run again. “I was so determined to run again and to do it better and longer than before the accident. I wanted to prove to myself and to others that it was possible.” Cut to two years later: Reaney ran her first marathon in April 2014, and in the fall ran 76 km with the GoodGuysTri team, where she raised $4,000 to fight against children’s cancers. Prior to her accident, she had never run a formal registered run. Getting to this point, however, was a long journey. Reaney credits her successful return to running to local instructor Michael

Bruce Allan

iRun to run to stay physically & mentally fit. To me it's like yin & yang, especially in the trails, where it all comes together.

Greg Armour

iRun because there’s a bear chasing me.


ruce Allan was inspired to start running in high school as a form of training for football, hockey, rugby and swimming. Today Allan runs along the North Saskatchewan Trails around Edmonton. On June 5th of this year, Bruce Allan and Greg Armour had already run 4 kilometres on the Matcheetwain Trails of Fort McMurray when a black bear began to follow them. “My immediate reaction was, ‘Oh no, a bear,’ - stop, turn around, make no eye contact and walk away,” recalls Allan. However, he adds, “That didn't work, and the bear followed me.” For almost one kilometre, Allan and Armour tried to distract the bear, to no avail. Finally the bear stopped following them, in an area where a woman had been killed by a bear the month before. A video of the ordeal, captured by Allan’s phone, has since gone viral with over 1.7 million views. The video, aptly named, “Pawzing Workout Resuming Workout,” shows the bear running curiously towards them despite their efforts to scare the bear away. Allan notes that most of the video’s comments have been supportive, commending them for how well they handled the situation. His favourite comment? “That’s so Canadian,” of course. Allan continues to run the trails, however he says the innocence of the trails is now over. “I'll always be prepared to run with bear bells, and bear spray.” Armour suggests runners take a bear awareness course, and for solo runners to have bear spray. For groups runners, he says, “get into your group and work as a team. Teamwork is what saved our lives that morning.”


2015 issue 01

iRun because I love to say I run. Deb Macfadden, Saskatchewan

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Inspired to Inspire Award Yvon Carrière

iRun because I can. iRun because it is my serenity yet challenges me to push beyond my limits.


“The universe works its magic in wonderful ways sometimes, and all of a sudden I was given the opportunity to honour my mom, raise some money for Parkinson’s Research and run my dream race – a perfect fit!" PHOTO CREDIT: Marathon Foto

ike many runners, Yvon Carrière began running to get in shape. In 2009, with a few 10 km races under his belt, he was challenged by his sister to run a half marathon. After accepting the challenge, he made running a constant part of his life. On difficult training days Carrière turned to thoughts of his mother, who suffered from Parkinson’s Disease. “Getting through a tough run seemed like nothing compared to how much she had to fight to just to get through the day.” To help support research for Parkinson’s, Carrière joined the Team Fox NYC marathon running team in 2012 to support the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. The marathon was cancelled due to hurricane Sandy, however Carrière did return to race it in 2013, and continued to raise money. “The universe works its magic in wonderful ways sometimes, and all of a sudden I was given the opportunity to honour my mom, raise some money for Parkinson’s Research and run my dream race – a perfect fit!”

Not wanting to lose momentum after the marathon, in midDecember Carrière was running upwards of 50 kms/week, increasing to 85 kms/week by March, spread over four or five runs. When he pushed his running efforts to see how fast and how far he could go, he got the idea to run from his home in the Ottawa area to his mother’s house in Granby, QC—266 kilometres. To prepare, he ran backto-back daily marathons. The big run was intended to be something personal. As Carrière puts it, it was “a shout out to the wonderful, tough person my mom was.” In fact, at the finish line “my mom was waiting with my reward: a big hug.” However, as the run was underway, “my connection to my NYC fundraising effort gave people a way to donate to the cause and support my effort.” To date he has raised over $9,500 USD over three years, and continues to raise awareness of Parkinson’s Disease. Carrière credits the support of his family, Team Fox and the running community as a whole with helping to get him to the finish line. “I am not so sure my community has grown, but I sure feel more connected to it because of running.”

Perseverance Award Krista DuChene n iRu 14 ard 0 2 Aw


iRun because God allows me to.

Run readers may be familiar with Krista “The Marathon Mom” DuChene: wife, mother of three, dietician, and elite runner. She has placed first in the women’s category in several landmark races, including the Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon and the Banque Scotia 21k de Montreal. This year she placed first in the women’s category at the Around the Bay 30km run, and as the twelfth woman in the 2013 New York City Marathon.

When she went to defend her title at the Banque Scotia 21k race this past April, she placed third, with a time of 1:16:37, despite a fracture to her left femur—yes, a fracture to her left femur—where she had emergency surgery that required one plate and three screws. Fast forward to late August and she ran her first full run without a walking break. Fast forward again, to the week of October 12, she ran her first 100+ km week. With the help of her coach, Rick Mannen, DuChene has been recovering nicely through a customized

iRun to enjoy the outside 12 months a year. George Locke, Québec

plan consisting of recovery times, workouts, and eventually monthly races. DuChene has also remained active within the athletic community by doing “the next best thing to racing these big events”: guest speaking and commentating at running expos, including the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. Through it all, of course, she has remained a devoted mother to Micah, Seth, and Leah, juggling parenting with her athletic duties and charity work. You can follow her journey to recovery via Marathon Mom at


New year, new goals

Gear Guide 10 items to get you motivated to stay focused & running in the 'off' season. As runners we love new swag and with the new year on its, now’s the perfect time to set new goals—and who isn’t motivated by new gear? The iRun team has put together a motivational gear guide to get you set to take on new challenges and feel great while doing it.

It's what's underneath that counts.

Treat your feet.

These low-profile socks from Wigwam include their patented ULTIMAX® moisture control system, which helps keep feet dry and odor-free. MSRP: $13.00 For more styles:

For the ladies: Moving Comfort's Out-of-Sight thong is moisture wicking and comes in this great blue cam print. These underwear are seamless for comfort (no irritation!) MSRP: $14.00 CDN

For the men: Abaka’s Sugar boxers are made of bamboo, which is thermal-regulating, meaning your “‘gear’ stays cooler in the summer, and warmer in the winter” claims Abaka’s website. Bamboo is also naturally wicking and anti-microbial, PLUS the Abaka clothing line is made in Quebec. MSRP: $24.00


2015 issue 01

SAYS... SURVEY think is the you What do ortant piece of most imppparel to own? running a


wered dants ans of respon R

UNDE TS A G RaMEN nswer!) (#1

iRun because nobody can say that I can’t. Rob Atkinson, Ontario

Best running cap. Ever.

This is the claim to fame of the new Ciele GoCap. Designed with runners in mind, this cap offers a number of things to love about this cap: the brim is UV protected (UPF +40), soft and pliable, which allows the cap to fold up easily, so you can stuff it in your pocket or backpack. It also comes in a sweet array of mixed colours. Also: Designed in Canada!

Connect on the run…without a phone

Timex’s first smartwatch, ONE+ GPS: an all-in-one device, including GPS fitness tracking, a builtin music player, internet connectivity and a vivid colour touchscreen display. MSRP: starting at $499.00

A new movement (see page 40)

For a new challenge, try the lightweight Aérobic run snowshoe by Faber. You can use this snowshoe at races and on the trails. MSRP: $152.70



ANCE T the ONE+O WIN GPS from Time x

A winter running necessity

The spibelt alternative

Considering running outside this winter? A balaclava is a must—it will change the way you feel about the cold. This Powerstretch Balaclava has a durable water repellent finish for those heavy snow days. Canada Goose produces 100% of it's clothing in Canada. MSRP: $40.00

The Running Buddy is a lightweight, comfortable and belt-free pouch that magnetically connects to any waistband for a bounce-free hold. Securely store your running essentials like your phone, ID, gels, keys, cards, and more.

Carry it with you

The Test Hydration Pack is light, includes several storage pockets and is perfect for long winter runs or the snowshoe trails. MSRP: $49.00

iRun for life. Andrea Paine, Québec

Be seen

We can’t say this enough. The mornings and nights are dorks and it's to your safety advantage to be wearing reflective gear like this Hyperbrite strobe by Nathan. MSRP: $20.00



iRun because it clears my mind and brightens my mood. It gets rid of any cloudy energy and always inspires me in some way.

burn Going for a

with Hannah Georgas



2015 issue 01

Close your eyes and imagine a tour bus parked outside a downtown music venue. It’s early in the morning. The concert the night before wrapped up late. Now, behind the dark paint and tinted windows of the bus, a couple of the musicians have woken up and are chatting sleepily.

iRun because makes me feel empowered. Christina O’Connor, Ontario


ne turns to the other and asks, “Want to go for a burn?” Following that old rock ‘n’ roll stereotype, one might expect the musicians who emerge from that bus to be holding something to smoke, with maybe a beer for a chaser. But then you wouldn’t be on Hannah Georgas’s tour bus, where “going for a burn”—a term coined by Georgas’s drummer Flavio, a runner—means hitting the road for a few kilometres of good old-fashioned cardio. Indeed, for the 31-year old singer, songwriter, band leader, pop-song lover, multiple Juno Award nominee, and runner, the best remedy for a late night on tour is a strong cup of coffee and putting 10 kilometres on her trusty running shoes. And those running shoes have been seeing some serious international mileage, as Georgas’s compelling voice, love of a well-crafted pop song (you’ve likely had her songs stuck in your head without knowing it), and determination to get out there and perform to new audiences, has been winning her a growing legion of fans across Canada, the U.S. and Europe.

“I always thought of myself as more of a sprinter.” Georgas grew up in Newmarket, Ontario in a large family that was as passionate about sports as it was about music. “My dad was an amazing piano player and played professionally. I could tell that was the thing that made him the most inspired and happy. That definitely rubbed off on me,” says Georgas. “My mom put me in piano lessons. And I started writing songs at a young age.” But Georgas’s father also taught swimming lessons as a job, and her parents enrolled their four competitive daughters in a wide range of athletic pursuits including swimming, figure

skating and basketball. “I’m a fish,” says Georgas, who has a triathlon on her to-do list. Self-described as “more of a sprinter” in her school days, Georgas’s distance running habit formed a few years ago while the now Vancouver-based artist was on a four-month tour supporting the well-known Canadian singersongwriter Kathleen Edwards. “When I was out on tour with Kathleen, Jim Bryson [another songwriter who was playing in Edward’s band] and I made a pact to run 10K every other day. We’d wake up and grab coffee and then go for a run. It was a great way to refresh. Going for a burn.” She laughs, “I was in better shape on the road than at home.”

“The dream is to keep having opportunities.” Home in Vancouver isn’t something Georgas has been seeing a lot of lately. In 2014 alone, Georgas has opened for City and Colour across the U.S. and Europe, played the Great Escape in Brighton, Europe’s leading festival for new music, and has just returned from a five-week U.S. amphitheater tour supporting the million-album selling Sara Bareilles. It’s all part of a plan to push hard and take opportunities as they come, even if that means putting off writing a new record for a few months. Says Georgas, “gaining traction in the U.S. is a hard shell to crack” but it’s an important step to forward her career. Her most recent album, the self-titled “Hannah Georgas”, was released in 2012 and was nominated for the 2013 Juno for Alternative Album of the Year (Georgas was also nominated for Songwriter of the Year). With the recent placement of the song “Millions” in the hit television show Girls, it’s an album that continues to be heard by new audiences, especially in the U.S. The tour with Bareilles,

who hand-picked Georgas as an opener, felt like a particular milestone for the artist. It “opened my eyes a bit,” said Georgas of what an accomplishment it is to be able play for up to 10,000 people a night at “gorgeous venues” like the Greek Theatre in Berkeley. When asked about longterm goals, Georgas says that playing rooms like the Greek as a headliner would be a big one. “To have that accomplishment in the States is a goal. The dream is to continue what I’m doing, to keep putting out records, to keep having opportunities.”

“Running for me is also a writing tool.” Asked whether she listens to music when she runs, Georgas admits to not being firmly in one camp or the other. “It’s a mixture of both. I find that it’s really fun to listen to music while running. And then sometimes it’s nice to run without it and clean out the brain.” Most importantly, Georgas says that running has evolved into more than just a great way to stay happy and healthy while on the road; it has also become a key part of her songwriting toolkit. “Running for me is also a writing tool. It’s another form of inspiration. I get a lot of ideas when I run. It’s a meditative

HANNAH GEORGAS’ Running Playlist 1 Frank Ocean—Pyramids 2 Daft Punk—Make Love 3 Tribe Called Quest— Find a Way 4 Kanye West—Power 5 Bjork—Human Behaviour 6 Arcade Fire—Afterlife 7 Interpol—Untitled 8 Chad VanGaalen—Red Hot Drops 9 Holy F--k— SHT MTN 10 Ratatat—Wildcat process. Sometimes I have to stop and pull out my phone and jot down lyrics and ideas.” The other time Georgas stops mid-run is when a slow song comes on when climbing a hill—something many runners will identify with. It’s at those times the artist searches for some hip-hop on her iPod, with Kanye West’s “Power” being a particular favourite. Now, as Georgas sits down (and laces up) to write her next album over the coming months, we can look forward to what new sounds this potent combination of international touring experience, wide range of artistic influences (check out Hannah’s running playlist for some favourites), and yes, love of running, will produce. Now, ready to go for a burn down by the Seawall?

Find out what type of runner Canadian singer-songwriter Jim Bryson’J40 is at iRun in hopes of inspiring others to get up as well. Karen Marlin, Nova Scotia



An ultra adventure Calculations, provisions and a smile are but a few things that make you a great Crew Boss. By Bridget Mallon


ere’s the little I knew, until recently, about ultramarathons: you’re supposed to walk up the hills and run (relatively) slowly. You can rest when you get tired—even take a nap. And you can eat chips (chips!) and candy at the aid stations and while running in between them. Defined in Born to Run as “an eating and drinking contest, with a little exercise and scenery thrown in,” this sounded like something I wanted to try. Technically, ultras are any distance longer than 42.2 kilometres, on trails, roads or tracks. Standard distances are 50K, 50 miles, 100K, 100 miles and up, and can also be measured by time—24 or 48 hours, or in multi-day stages. Planning to do my first 50K next year, I thought I had better educate myself before signing up. I offered to crew for my friend Marty Coulombe. This past September, he competed in the Lost Soul Ultra 100K in Lethbridge, AB. This would be his first 100K, the only Canadian qualifying race for the Western States 100. While some runners go unsupported in ultras, many runners have dedicated help at aid stations. Typically, top ultra marathoners have a crew, and many also have pacers who will do one or more segments of the race with them. Having a crew saves runners from preparing bags of supplies that get delivered to aid stations—known as drop bags— and the energy of searching through them when they get there. Instead, crew will meet


2015 issue 01

the runner at each station with whatever may be needed. The crew ideally includes a fellow ultra-marathoner, but is more often composed of family members, friends or loved ones. Despite my lack of ultra experience, I got the job and a great title: Crew Boss. I knew I’d be responsible for gear, fuel and moral support at each of the aid stations, so I turned to the experienced for advice. MONITOR YOUR RACER’S FUEL, BODY AND MIND “Keep a checklist of what your runner eats and drinks to help manage hydration and calories,” advised Ray Zahab, iRun’s Runner-in-Chief, founder of impossible2Possible and whom, as far as I can tell, is constantly running ultras in beautiful rugged places (Sahara, Siberia, South Pole). The checklist was great advice. At every aid station, I’d check how much fluid my runner had taken in before replacing the bottles as well as counting the empty gel packs before refilling them. I kept a chart with running totals, and checked them against calculations we’d made for calories and staying hydrated. There are good references online to help take into account a specific ratio for carbs, protein and electrolytes for a variety of running distances at different levels of effort. The Portman Calculator can help compute nutrition and hydration needs for workouts or races. Find it at

Sheryl Savard, an ultra-runner herself, crews for her husband Todd, who was also tackling his first 100K. We spent time together at the various aid stations, as our runners often came in at approximately the same time. In fact, they ran together and helped each other for portions of the race. Savard also crews for other ultra-runners. “Have a list of questions to ask the runner,” she suggests. “Most ultra-runners know what they need, but fatigue can make them forget simple things. I ask things like, ‘Do you have hot spots on your feet?’ ‘Do you need some electrolyte tabs?’” It is really important to check on your runner’s mental status too. “When I asked my husband ‘How are you feeling?’ and he said, ‘Everything hurts’ at 72K, I knew he was struggling because

he never complains,” Savard recounts. “So, just asking that question helped me assess how to provide emotional support for him. I told him that if he could get himself to the next aid station, I would pace him to the finish line. It was what he needed to refocus and keep going.” KNOW YOUR RUNNER AND HAVE A PLAN For my runner, the end goal was to finish the race, which had a 35 hour cut-off. Ideally, he wanted to finish well before the 24 hour mark. I knew he didn’t want to stay in the aid stations for too long, especially the one in the parking lot of the hotel at the end of the first loop—just past the 50k mark and a few steps away from a soft bed—where many drop out. The plan should include a strategy for transitions at the aid stations. “A lot of ultra-runners have a saying, ‘Beware the chair.' Once you sit, you stay longer than you thought you would—the 30 seconds you planned on resting ends up being five minutes,” says Dave Proctor, winner of the Lost

iRun because it makes me feel GREAT. Mike Lahn, Ontario

Soul 100-mile race in 2013. This year he crewed and paced his best friend and training partner, John Hubbard, to win the 100-mile distance at the same event. Top runners often just slow to a walk through the transition zone, because their crew has everything they might need at the ready. “The goal is to get in, grab what you need and go—you just eat while you’re running," Proctor says. Savard recommends discussing goal times and what your runner wants to accomplish in advance. Details like how long he or she wants to stay at transitions are important in order to keep runners focused and moving during the race. “If done on the fly,” she advises, “a tired ultra-runner can easily convince the crew that he or she needs 45 minutes at a transition instead of 10.” DO WHAT IT TAKES TO MAKE YOUR RUNNER HAPPY “John takes well to insulting jokes. I know he’s doing okay when he returns the insults,” Proctor says. “I know what he stops eating and what he starts eating when he’s starting to suffer, so I get that ready for him.” Proctor paced Hubbard through the final 53 kilometres of Lost Soul wearing 75 glow sticks and carrying a speaker blaring rock music. “I remember crewing for a 100-miler who was having fuelling issues," recalls Savard. “Nothing we had brought was working. When he began craving pizza, I raced over to the nearest pizza place and grabbed one in time to meet him at the next aid station.  It worked for him and for a bunch of other runners coming in after him, who enjoyed a slice as well.” “The worst and the best comes out of people in ultras—and the

worst is often directed at crew,” says Proctor. “Most crewers are the people you’re closest to—so we’re more comfortable being grumpy with them than other people. “It’s embarrassing but I really lost it on my wife Sharon last year. I got so frustrated because she didn’t understand what I was asking her for…looking back I can see it was because I wasn’t making sense!” WHEN TO PUSH YOUR RUNNER “Ultramarathons are never predictable.” explains Brian Gallant, one of the race directors for the Sinister 7 Ultra, a 100mile race through Alberta’s Rocky Mountains. “Sometimes the predicted leaders pull out after first the few stages due to injuries or fatigue or over-running—they can burn each other out too early in the race. Then there are runners who are consistently running their own race, they can come from behind and win. Strongest field ever this year, really pushing each other. Some of the top people who were expected to be on podium didn’t make it there.” Volunteers with medical training assess runners at checkpoints throughout ultra races for mental coherency and conditions like hypothermia and heat exhaustion. But the crew and pacers play an important role in keeping their runner-safe too. “I fell down snoring,” recalls Proctor. “My brother Dan, who was crewing and pacing me, slapped my face me three times to wake me up. I didn’t even feel the first two. I had a really high heart rate. On that cold night, I could have ended up in medical distress. I needed him to keep me going – and to keep me safe.” “The better you know

iRun because I have a goal. Quentin D. Kalyniuk, Saskatchewan

the person, the easier it is to anticipate their needs, especially when they are fatigued and not communicating well," says Savard. "For example, I figured out that every time Todd wanted a nap—it happened a few times—his blood sugars were low. Once I offered him orange slices and juice boxes, he was fine.” Ultra-community The race atmosphere at Lost Soul was social and supportive, with lots of camaraderie amongst crew and competitors. “You are competitors with each other, but the nature of the competition is very positive. It is very rare in a race not to stop to help or encourage someone else who needs it,” according to Gallant. “Sure there’s lots of selffulfillment or glory in winning a race. But sometimes crewing is a better feeling—you sacrificed your weekend to go do this, to help a friend. And people crew and pace for strangers all the time,” adds Proctor. “It’s just so cool.” “Not everyone can do a 100-miler. A lot of racers will pace other racers, it’s quite common, especially for a big race like a 100-miler,” says Gallant. “Another racer knows what you’re going through, they understand the headspace, especially when you’re really tired, and anticipate what you’re going to need.” Ultra success! The Lost Soul Ultra lived up to its claim to be “the toughest and nicest ultra on the prairies.” I’m happy to report that my runner did really well. He not only finished his first 100K race on a challenging course, he did it in 16 hours, 39 minutes, landing 24th place in a race where about a third of the people who started the race did not finish. With lots of great advice from others before and during the race, apparently I did alright as a rookie crew boss. “Best crew I’ve ever had,” according to the first time ultramarathoner.“No complaints whatsoever!” (He had to say that).




Exude energy

“Be positive, smile, be energetic to rejuvenate them when they are tired,” says Michael Stashin, who has competed in endurance events like the 250-kilometre Marathons Des Sables and the 100 Mile Yukon Arctic Ultra. In October of this year, Stashin completed 14 marathons in 14 days to draw attention to the problem of childhood inactivity. 


Be organized “As much as aid station

volunteers are super helpful and willing to assist everyone, it’s nice to have someone specifically dedicated to you, who knows you, your goals and race plans,” according to Marty Coulombe, first-time racer at the Lost Soul Ultra. “Someone who is positive, organized and adaptable to changing needs and variables.”


Have fun “Stories, dirty jokes, costumes and booze!”

offers Ryne Melcher on the role of good crew. “Booze is for the CREW, aka ‘Cranky Runner Endlessly Waiting.’” Melcher, of North Vancouver is a former elite Canadian ultra-marathoner who crews for and paces Ellie Greenwood, one of the world’s best ultra-marathoners. She won the prestigious Comrades 89km in South Africa this year, and set the course record for California’s Western States 100mile Endurance Run in 2012.



A new movement:

Veronique Fortin, Canadian National Cycling Champion; Procyclist Natasha Elliott, Pro-cyclocross racer; National Team Lise Meloche, Two-time Olympian World Cup Gold Medalist; Biathlon Nicky Cameron, Adventure Racer; Anne Jean, 2014 Canadian Ultra Running Champion; Sophia Tsouros, Adventure Racer. PHOTO CREDIT: Team Natural Fitness Lab. Digital IMAX film shoot by 02films,  currently in production, release Spring 2015.

Snowshoe running This fun, physically challenging sport can lead to superior body conditioning. By Joanne Richard


ead for the hills, parks and trails—it’s time to channel your inner Yeti. Snowshoe running is taking off and offers a great form of training throughout Canada’s long winters—it sure beats winding your way along slushy city streets, or putting in time on a treadmill. For those tempted to slow the pace over the cold months, take winter in stride and consider that snowshoe running provides excellent adventure, fitness and competitive opportunities. “You can get all the benefits of running but at much lower risk, plus more enjoyment and reward,” says Dave McMahon, pro athlete and coach at “It’s the most fun you’ll have in the snow all season,”says McMahon, who hosts snowshoeing and Nordic skiing clinics in Ottawa for all abilities and levels, from beginners to racers.


Snowshoe running is an ideal supplementary training tool and a cross-over sport that attracts athletes from multiple sports— runners, skiers, cyclists, and triathletes all compete on an equal footing, says McMahon,


2015 issue 01

an elite snowshoer who was a silver medalist at the national championships, and placed in the top 20 at the world championships in 2012. Snowshoe running leads to superior body conditioning, “building functional core strength, cardiovascular endurance, aerobic power, agility, balance, and confidence in a pragmatic, inclusive and natural environment.” A University of Vermont study reports that running in snowshoes during the winter months can actually boost overall fitness levels more than running alone. Add the resistance of hilly terrain with powder, and athletes are sure to come up fitter and faster by springtime.


“It’s the fastest-growing winter activity in North America,” says Derrick Spafford, a longtime competitive trail and snowshoe runner, and coordinator for the six-race Dion Eastern Ontario Snowshoe Running Series. “With the increased number of snowshoe races taking place, snowshoe running makes up a very large percentage of this increase.” Trail running has also shown tremendous growth and many trail runners are using

Snowshoe running events ACROSS CANADA: • Atlas Mad Trapper Snowshoe Series ( • Dion Eastern Ontario Snowshoe Running Series ( • Tubbs Romp to Stomp Snowshoe Series includes an event in Collingwood, ON ( • Also check out for more races.

snowshoe running as a way to stay on the trails during the winter months, says Spafford. “Triathletes and cyclists are also finding it a great means and enjoyable way of staying fit during their off season.” “Many athletes are now thinking of snowshoe running as their primary racing season and summer sports as the offseason,” says Spafford, owner of Spafford Health and Adventure, which is the official Canadian distributor of Dion Snowshoes. 

iRun because it makes me eat well. Chrystal Fuller, Nova Scotia

Snowshoe race promoter and runner Mike Caldwell will be competing in the upcoming 10K Snowshoe World Championships in Quebec City.


“Snowshoes have come miles in design and weight – they’re lighter, smaller and sexier, and they have one mean grip. In the last two years, there has been a huge boom in snowshoeing at the recreational and racing levels. This is a cyclic trend every 10-20 years, but now made far more accessible owing to advances in lightweight equipment,” credits McMahon. Whether you’re running to stay in shape or to compete in one of the many events on the winter racing schedule across Canada, there’s a snowshoe for every runner, says Guy Faber, an avid snowshoer and a fourth-generation owner of Faber, a family-owned snowshoe maker in Quebec for 144 years. Faber has witnessed a growing interest in what he calls “city snowshoeing,” where runners of all levels are keen on keeping up their fitness throughout winter while spending time in the great outdoors. “It’s a very tough workout and walkers and runners get to enjoy nature close to home. You can go to any park and literally within five minutes you are in another world.” Growing interest in the sport led Faber Snowshoes to release two brand new designs in high-tech aluminum for some cool running—the Challenge, for steep and icy trails where grip is essential, and the smartly crafted Aerobic (see A runner’s new year, new goals gear guide, page 34), which keeps you sure-footed for a workout in the park and on packed trails, and lets runners pick up the pace. Faber adds that there are endless benefits to snowshoeing including adventure, exercise, family fun and connecting with nature, but he admits the heart-pounding workout is a big draw for many.

5 TIPS TO ENJOY COOL RUNNING “If you can run on road or trail, then you can snowshoe run. The learning curve is very short,” says Derrick Spafford, running coach at


Sylvia Dunn can’t wait for the snow to fly so she can strap on snowshoes. “It’s a bit addictive. I started running in snowshoes three years ago and now I’m definitely fitter and faster come spring.” Dunn is even considering signing up for a race in the upcoming months. Last winter’s icy conditions in the Toronto area brought many a runner’s routine to a halt, but not so for Dunn, a 38-year-old recreational runner who works in sales. “I just layered up and got out three times a week. It broke the monotony of winter training.” She combines both running and snowshoeing during the winter months: “Snowshoe running is a far more demanding workout than runniny—my times are slower, but my energy output is much higher. I’ve read that a 5K run in snowshoes is equivalent to a 10K road run, and I believe it!” Snowshoe race promoter and runner Mike Caldwell highly recommends strapping

iRun because it makes me feel alive. Caroline Periard, Québec

in for a run. Not only is it low-cost and easily mastered, but it’s much less gearintensive and complicated than skiing. Add to that accessibility – “it can be done anywhere there is snow. Groomed trails and park passes are not required.” Caldwell hosts snowshoe races in the Ottawa region, including the Mad Trapper, which is the oldest snowshoe race series in eastern Canada. “Our races are for everyone and all levels—we have some of Ottawa’s top triathletes, adventure racers, runners and cyclists come out,” says Caldwell, a retired firefighter who will compete in the upcoming 10K Snowshoe World Championships in Quebec City. Caldwell is also a founding member of the newly formed Board of Directors for Snowshoe Canada, which is dedicated to promoting snowshoe racing and snowshoeing across Canada and internationally. Caldwell wants everyone to get in the running: “It’s the most fun you’ll ever have at a race.”

Pre-season: Before the snow flies, it’s wise to include some hill training and cycling in your training to prepare your muscles for the strength required for snowshoe running. “Using an elliptical machine at the gym is another great way to prep for snowshoe season as the motion and muscle groups involved is very similar. Lunges are also a good preseason specific strength exercise,” says Spafford. First time: “Keep your first snowshoe run fairly short as you will be using different muscles than what you’re used to,” he says, adding that after a few runs you’ll be comfortable with the motion and be able to increase the length of your runs.  Run by time: Don’t overdo it. “Since you will be running more slowly than you would be on a regular run without snowshoes, it’s best to use time instead of distance. If a normal run for you takes 30 minutes to run 5K, then just go for a 30 minute snowshoe run and don’t worry about the distance that you go,” says Spafford. Form: Be sure to find a pair of running snowshoes that are light and narrow so you can run as close to your normal running form as possible, says Spafford. “Run as relaxed as possible. Keep your stride short and your turnover/ cadence high.”  Clothing: Be sure to layer since it doesn’t take long to heat up. “For footwear, your normal winter running shoes are fine, though trail running shoes may be more helpful with keeping your feet warmer. Gaiters over your running shoes will also help with keeping your feet dry.”


Racecalendar [ West ]

THURSDAY, JANUARY 1 Vancouver New Year’s Day Fat Ass 50K Run and Freeze Your Fat Ass Swim, Vancouver

eTHURSDAY, JANUARY 1 30th Annual Resolution Run, Edmonton

eTHURSDAY, JANUARY 1 30th Annual Resolution Run, Abbotsford, Burnaby, Kamloops, Kelowna, Langley, Port Coquitlam, Richmond, Vancouver and Victoria, BC SUNDAY, JANUARY 11 Harriers Pioneer 8K, Saanichton, BC SUNDAY, JANUARY 18 Campbell Valley Stomp 5 & 10 km, Langley, BC SUNDAY, JANUARY 25 Cobble Hill 5K, Cobble Hill, BC



Hypothermic Half Marathon 2015, Kelowna, BC

Hypothermic Half Marathon 2015, Abbotsford, BC SUNDAY, JANUARY 25 Vancouver Chilly Chase, Vancouver, BC SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 1 Stevenson Ice-breaker 8K Road Race 2015, Richmond, BC

eSATURDAY, FEBRUARY 7 Hypothermic Half Marathon 2015, Vancouver

eSATURDAY, FEBRUARY 7 Hypothermic Half Marathon 2015, Calgary SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 8 The Aldergrove Mud Run 8 km , Langley, BC eSUNDAY, FEBRUARY 8 Hypothermic Half Marathon 2015, Edmonton

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 8 Cedar 12K, Cedar, BC

2015, Edmonton SUNDAY, MARCH 1 West Van Run 10K, 5K and 1K kids fun run, West Vancouver

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15 First Half 1/2 Marathon, Vancouver




Hypothermic Half Marathon 2015, Lethbridge, AB

Hypothermic Half Marathon 2015, Victoria, BC

Hypothermic Half Marathon 2015, Red Deer, AB

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 22 2014 TWU Fort Langley Historic Half, Fort Langley, BC

SATURDAY, MARCH 7 Vancouver's Hot Chocolate Run 5K and 10.4K, Vancouver

Green Sock Half & Shamrock'n Race Half Marathon, 7-miler and 5K, Burnaby, BC SUNDAY, MARCH 22 Modo Spring Run-off, Vancouver SUNDAY, MARCH 22 Comox Valley RV Half Marathon, Courtenay, BC

[ Prairies ]

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 22 Hatley Castle 5K, Colwood, BC

eSUNDAY, FEBRUARY 23 Hypothermic Half Marathon 2015, Kamloops, BC

eSUNDAY, FEBRUARY 23 Hypothermic Half Marathon

SUNDAY, MARCH 8 Synergy Health Management Bazan Bay 5K, Vancouver Island SATURDAY, MARCH 14 BMO St. Patrick's Day 5K, Vancouver SATURDAY, MARCH 15

THURSDAY, JANUARY 1 30th Annual Resolution Run, Winnipeg, MB eTHURSDAY, JANUARY 1 30th Annual Resolution Run, Regina and Saskatoon, SK

eSATURDAY, FEBRUARY 7 Ice Donkey Winter Adventure 2015, Winnipeg

Saturday, June 20, 2015 | 9:00 am


2015 issue 01

iRun because I love the outdoors. Jeff Lichty, Québec

eSUNDAY, FEBRUARY 8 Hypothermic Half Marathon 2015, Saskatoon, SK

eSUNDAY, FEBRUARY 22 Hypothermic Half Marathon 2015, Regina, SK

eSUNDAY, FEBRUARY 22 Hypothermic Half Marathon 2015, Winnipeg, MB SUNDAY, MARCH 1 Brainfreeze Half Marathon & 10K, Saskatoon, SK [ Ontario and Quebec ]

SATURDAY, JANUARY 17 Frosty Trail Run 1hr, 3hr or 6hr Ultra, Kitchener Waterloo, ON

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 22 YMCA of Central East Ontario Half Marathon, 5K and Kids 1K, Peterborough, ON

SUNDAY, JANUARY 25 36th Annual Robbie Burns 8K Road Race, Burlington, ON

eSATURDAY, FEBRUARY 7 Hypothermic Half Marathon 2015, Ottawa

eSUNDAY, FEBRUARY 8 Hypothermic Half Marathon 2015, Sarnia, ON

eSUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15 WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 1 30th Annual Resolution Run, Oshawa-WhitbyPickering, Kingston, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, Newmarket, Sudbury, ON WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 1 Resolution Run/Walk 5K, Trenton, Ontario SATURDAY, JANUARY 3 Run 4R Kids, Toronto 8hr, 6hr, 42.2km, 30K, 21.1K, and 10K Course

Hypothermic Half Marathon 2015, Montreal, QC

eSUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15 Winterman 2015, Marathon, Marathon Relays, Half Marathon, 10K, 5K, and 3K MONDAY, FEBRUARY 16 Grimsby 2015, Half Marathon, 10K & 3K

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 22 Demi-marathon des glaces, 1K, 5K, 10K, 21K, Granby, QC

eSUNDAY, MARCH 1 Chilly Half Marathon And Frosty 5k, Burlington, ON SUNDAY, MARCH 14 18th Annual Slainte Irish Pub St Patricks Day 5km, Hamilton, ON road-race.og SATURDAY, MARCH 14 St. Patrick's Day Race for CHEO 2015 SATURDAY, MARCH 14 Shamrock Shuffle 5K and 10K, St.Thomas, ON


SUNDAY, MARCH 15 16th Annual Achilles St.Patrick's Day 5K run/ walk, Toronto

Hypothermic Half Marathon 2015, Sudbury, ON



Running Factory Spring Thaw 5K, Windsor, ON SUNDAY, MARCH 29 Around the Bay 30K Road Race, Hamilton, ON SUNDAY, MARCH 29 Course et marche populaires 1K, 2K, 5K and 10K, LaSalle, QC

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 8 Hypothermic Half Marathon 2015, Moncton, NB SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 14 Amherst Valentine Run 2015, Amherst, NA SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 22 Hypothermic Half Marathon 2015, Saint John, NB SUNDAY, MARCH 1 Hypothermic Half Marathon 2015, Halifax

[ East ]

eTHURSDAY, JANUARY 1 30th Annual Resolution Run, Bedford, NS eTHURSDAY, JANUARY 1 30th Annual Resolution Run, Fredericton, Moncton, NB

SATURDAY, MARCH 14 St. Patrick's Day Run 5k & 10k, Charlottetown, PEI

eTHURSDAY, JANUARY 1 30th Annual Resolution Run, St. Johns, NL SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 1 Hypothermic Half Marathon 2015, St. Johns, NB






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Are you

weak in the


Strengthen and protect your most vulnerable joints with these tip from Dr. Dale Macdonald


staggering 84 per cent of patients that Dr. Dale Macdonald sees at The Knee Clinic in Calgary are runners. This comes as no surprise to Dr. Macdonald; himself an avid 10k competitor. Running is a high impact sport and over long distances this can have serious consequences to our joints. Paired with a driven mentality, acute or chronic knee injury can be expected. Consider that a 150lb marathoner can absorb almost 14 million pounds over 42.2 km. That’s a lot of weight for your joints to bear. But as the expression says, ‘everything in moderation’. Scientific studies show that moderate distances can actually increase the robustness of joint cartilage. So how do we protect our most vulnerable joints while continuing to enjoy the challenge of longer distances? Running surface and shoe selection are both important in reducing the risk of injury, as is strengthening certain muscles to help defray the load. Finding your ‘Goldilocks’ volume and intensity of training can further decrease risk and keep you injuryfree for years to come. To that end, here are three of Dr. Macdonald’s top strengthening exercises for runners:

Top 3 knee strengthening exercises 1. Leg lifts Runners rely heavily on their quadriceps and hamstrings, which can become

disproportionately strong over a season of running. Building proper balance of strength throughout the lower limbs can help reduce injury. Strengthening the inside and outside of our upper leg, the abductors and adductors respectively, increases stability and reduces the force placed on the knee joints. The workout: Lie on one side, bottom leg at a 90 degree angle. Lift top leg towards the ceiling with foot flexed. Do 20 reps. Place top leg foot on floor behind bottom leg. Straighten bottom leg and lift towards ceiling. Do 20 reps. Switch sides. The extra challenge: add ankle weights as strength increases. Top tip: You don’t need to do multiple sets of these exercises; a single set will give you the majority of your strength gains, and doing a higher number of reps (20) encourages development of muscular endurance as well as abduct strength 2. Drop squats Eccentric loading is the notion of a muscle lengthening as it's working (think of the landing phase of each stride and its effect on the quadriceps). Loading the patellar and quadriceps tendon in this eccentric fashion reinforces the musculotendinous junctions (muscular and tendinous tissue) around our knees—an inherent weak spot. Microscopic tears often accumulate in long distance runners in this area, leading to pain and further injury if not given enough recovery time. The workout: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, toes pointed forward, arms straight out in front of you. Beginning with your legs straight, quickly let go of


Knowing thIP: e risks may or ma y n o t stop you from ru n n in g, but allow you to m a k e simple modificatio n s to y our form or tra inin in order to g plan k you runnin eep g.

your knees as though they suddenly don’t exist. Then catch yourself as you fall into a semi-squat position. The deceleration of this exercise is the eccentric phase where benefit is derived. Speed is of paramount importance here. It’s important to heed all the typical advice regarding squat technique when performing these. For example: keep your knees behind your toes. Stick your bum out as you drop, keeping an arch in your lower back. 3. Bulgarian split squat The expression ‘specificity of training’ reminds us to focus on an exercise that mimics an action taken during the activity in which you’re training for. There’s a moment in the run when you put all the weight on one leg (called the single leg stance phase). The Bulgarian split squat imitates that moment and also allows you to have a large range of motion, increasing both strength and flexibility throughout this range. This exercise uses almost every muscle in the leg and is good for stimulating the balancing stabilizers called proprioceptors. The workout: With arms at your sides, rest the top of one foot behind you on a workout bench. Squat down until your weight bearing knee is just above the ground. Return to the starting position and repeat. The extra challenge: do this exercise while holding dumbbells or explode off the ground as you return to the start position to further recreate the running movement (called a ‘Bulgarian jump squat’).

For more pro tips from Dr. Dale Macdonald visit Smart Runner at! 44

2015 issue 01

iRun to remember fallen soldiers. Theresa Marshall, Ontario

5 tips to help protect your knees 1. Listen to your body Goal-driven athletes often ignore the signals leading up to injury. It’s somewhat akin to the ‘this-can’t-happen-to-me’ syndrome. Dr. Macdonald relates a case in point: “We saw a new patient who had recently completed three marathons, an Ironman and was looking to race another marathon in the coming weekend. He was logging in 100K per week and feeling considerable pain in his knee. A diagnostic ultrasound revealed both the quadriceps tendon and patellar tendon insertions at the patella (kneecap) were visibly and significantly torn, yet the patient was insistent upon racing another half marathon the very next weekend and couldn’t understand why his knee hurt!” 2. Cross Train “Muscles respond best to varied stimulus,” says Dr. Macdonald. “Running is a repetitive motion that repeatedly puts emphasis on the same muscles groups, often 500-600 strides per kilometre.” Varying your training by adding lowimpact activities can help reduce injury and still provides significant benefits to one’s overall health. Cycling, swimming or elliptical training use some of the same muscles as running without the same rate of loading (pounding). 3. Modify your distance Studies show that thicker healthier knee cartilage develops with running moderate distances. “10k seems to be the sweet spot,” suggests Dr. Macdonald, “Degradation starts to occur in repeated, longer distances, particularly as we enter the marathon and ultramarathon distances.” 4. Watch your stride Over-striding may make it look like you’re running fast, but it increases impact forces as well as shear forces. What’s more, the shear force at the level of the ankle is nearly 50 per cent of your body weight with each stride, acting to slow you down. A slightly shorter stride length is less injurious.


5. Walk DOWNhill Avoid too much downhill running. The simple physics of running downhill puts more load—and is genuinely harder—on the joints. If you have the option to walk down the hills, do it, especially in training.

iRun for my best time. Vincent Villeneuve, Québec



By mark sutcliffe SPONSORED BY

Accessibility unites us


en years ago, I trained for a half-marathon with a group of other runners. A few days after the race, we met at a pub to share our stories and celebrate. One of the other runners mentioned to the group that he had told one of his patients about his experience. “You’re a doctor?” I asked. I had run side-by-side with him for an hour or two every Sunday for three months. We had talked about our goals, our childhoods, our families and current events. But I had no idea what he did for a living. In fact, I didn’t even know his last name. Running is a great equalizer. It’s accessible to people of almost every background and ability. And when we run, together or on our own, we are not identified, defined or constrained by the regular roles we have at work or elsewhere. Doctors, journalists, teachers, electricians: we all run side by side in races or group runs, or pass each other on roads and paths. Sometimes on a firstname basis, sometimes without knowing even that much about each other, we share the challenges and the rewards of the sport. And we can share a lot more than that. Running is a great time to talk. It’s amazing how much ground you can cover travelling side by side with a longtime friend or someone you’ve just met. In October, I had the chance to run with a new friend, Cooper, in the Wellness Challenge, a 5K run in Ottawa. On the surface, Cooper’s life looks like that of many other runners. He lives on his own, works at a local bank and plays recreational football and hockey. And he runs. Next spring, he’s planning to complete his third


2015 issue 01

half-marathon and he’s hoping to finish in his fastest time yet. But Cooper has some challenges beyond simply becoming a faster distance runner. He has an intellectual disability, one that makes all of his accomplishments look even more meaningful.

make sure he has everything he needs. Cooper has become a big advocate for LiveWorkPlay. His message is very simple: when people get the help they need, it’s good for them and it’s good for everyone. The better Cooper does, the less help


For more than 15 years, Cooper has been a client of LiveWorkPlay, an organization supported by the United Way (I’m co-chair of the United Way campaign in Ottawa this year). They helped him find a job, get set up in his own home and connect with others to play sports. And they check in with him once or twice a week to

he needs, meaning precious resources can go to helping other people. So when people raise money for United Way or other community organizations, whether it’s in a 5K run like we did together or through any other initiative, it not only helps the client, it helps the whole community. Running has become a big

part of Cooper’s life. Of course, it’s a great recreational activity and a chance to meet other people. But listening to him talk over the course of 5K, it was clear that it’s much more than that. Running represents engagement. It means he’s participating in life completely and not relegated to the sidelines because of his disability. Just a few days after we ran together, I went out for a weekend long run and happened to see Cooper running towards me with half a dozen other runners. We exchanged a highfive as we passed each other and I got to see how much he was enjoying running with his group. Cooper looked like he was in his element, enjoying a run with people he might not have otherwise met if it wasn’t for their shared interest in the sport. If that’s one of the things I love about running, imagine how much it means to him.

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 it makes me a part of something. Ainsle Rice, Manitoba


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IRun | Digital Edition | Issue 01 2014  

The official magazine of iRun Nation

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