iRun ISSUE02 2016

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MUSIC Jann Arden’s Long Run | MASTERS Ed Whitlock’s Fight | MINIONS Young Runners Grow | PLUS: Section française!


I will endure. I will enjoy. I shall only partake in this crazy sport I love, because I love it. And I will quit when I quit loving it. I am a representative of this sport. As such, I will do my part to take the “ass” out of ambassador. No matter how goofy somebody looks, I shall not mock. But I will mock myself. Often. I may even crack a smile. I will wave at everyone I see. When my wave is not returned, I will not shake my head. Because I do not know what’s going on in theirs. I will be inclusive. Even of the exclusive. I will encourage the beginner, the professional and everyone in between. I will place joy above performance, use my fingers for peace, not profanity, and I will focus on the scenery more than the scene. I will not be stupid. I understand that cars are bigger and faster. But I also know that cars are not my enemy. Just as I know that I am not theirs. Whatever my jersey may say, I know we’re all on the same team. Because we’re all on the same team. And when I’m suffering the most, I will remember that this is not life or death. Even if it is my life.



TABLE OF CONTENTS FOUNDER Mark Sutcliffe GENERAL MANAGER Ben Kaplan ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Sabrina Young MANAGING EDITOR Anna Lee Boschetto EDITOR AT LARGE Karen Kwan RUNNER IN CHIEF Ray Zahab ASSISTANT EDITOR Priya Ramanujam STAFF WRITER Megan Black CONTRIBUTORS Robyn Baldwin, Jean-Paul Bedard, Andrew Chak, Stefan Danis, Krista DuChene, Rick Hellard, Karen Karnis, Patience Lister, Joanne Richard, Erin Valois CREATIVE DIRECTOR & DESIGN Genevieve Biloski, Becky Guthrie CHIEF PHOTOGRAPHER Darren Calabrese ILLUSTRATOR Chloe Cushman STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Joe Elliott, Zoom Photo iRun is a publication of Sportstats World CEO Marc Roy Canada Post Publications PM42950018 Sportstats 155 Colonnade Rd. #18 Ottawa, ON K2E 7K1 (Canada) 613.260.0994


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Eric Gillis, on the floor of his home in Guelph, Ontario, gets some help from his cat Bella in preparation of his next marathon.

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A special report on a trend we love: young runners taking off and finding healthy new finish lines

Canada’s most celebrated runner has an opinion: Marathoners over 70 are running too slow By Ed Whitlock

The places, faces and frozen shoelaces of the winter Canadian running scene as submitted by iRun Nation

How do you tell a 9-year-old about Russian PEDs? Krista DuChene explains doping to her kids

The outspoken rock star on weight loss, confidence, elitism, sports bras and the exhilaration of fresh air in the lungs





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Running in Canada means running in the frigid air. Karen Karnis tells you how to battle the elements and thrive.


Fact: running 5 km in the winter makes you 50 per cent more badass than running the same route in the summer. Okay, so I made that up, but you don’t have to let the winter chase you to the gym — or worse, the couch. Another fact: if you can run through the winter, you’ll be a tougher runner when your events begin this spring. CHALLENGE: IT’S COLD OUTSIDE! It can be tough to get out the door when temperatures dip and the winds pick up – we get it! It isn’t wimpy; frostbite and hypothermia are real dangers. SOLUTION: DRESS FOR SUCCESS When Sami Jibril took up running with the Mississauga Track and Field Club nine years ago, coach Jim Van Buskirk said, “There’s no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing,” as they trained through the winter on the streets of the River Grove Community. The now 26-year-old who is making a name for himself on the Canadian running scene says it’s important to err on the side of over-dressing. “It’s better to have the option of taking off a layer than to not be wearing enough,” he says. “On extremely cold days, I use hand and feet warmers in gloves and shoes, along with Vaseline on exposed skin.” CHALLENGE: FEELING SLUGGISH If you feel slow in February, it’s not your imagination. While

Cold case: Participants at Ottawa’s Winterlude Triathlon model the latest in Canadian outdoor wear.

challenging surface conditions are a contributing factor, according to Kevin Wilson, senior exercise physiologist with PEAK Centre for Human Performance, there are some other reasons that your pace feels harder to maintain in the snow. “Muscles use and transport oxygen more effectively at higher temperatures, and they contract faster and more forcefully when warm,” explains Wilson. “You could find it a little harder to get going as it will take a bit longer to increase muscle temperature.” SOLUTION: GET WARM AND (TRY TO) STAY WARM Starting your warm-up before you leave the house can help you feel better from the beginning of your run. You’re aiming for warm muscles, so some jogging in place, jumping jacks, stair climbing, or even a few minutes on the treadmill can help. Once you’re warmed up, says Wilson, stay that way. “Keep moving, because even stopping at a traffic light is enough time for muscle temperature to start to decrease if it is cold enough outside,” he says.

CHALLENGE: TREACHEROUS SURFACES Running in packed, uneven snow can leave your legs aching in spots you’re not used to. Not only that, some surface conditions are downright dangerous. SOLUTION: PROCEED WITH CAUTION To try to keep your feet under you, shorten your stride where it’s slippery — but try to avoid messing with your technique too much. “Too much time running with a different technique could have a negative impact on your efficiency in the spring,” Wilson says. Jibril also says it’s OK to run inside. “If I find the roads are too hazardous, or there is a heavy snow storm, I run on a treadmill or on an indoor track,” he says, before adding: “We’re runners in Canada and I think that’s our advantage. Anyone can run in ideal conditions. You have to be tough to run in this country.” CHALLENGE: IT HURTS TO BREATHE! Some people are sensitive to breathing dry, frigid air. There

iRun to stay healthy and get maximum fat burn in the quickest time. — Elle Crane, Toronto, Ontario

may be discomfort or pain, or coughing after the run is over. SOLUTION: WORK UP TO IT Breathing in the cold is something you can adapt to. Wilson suggests that beginning in the fall will give you an advantage; as it gets cooler, you will transition gradually to breathing colder air with minimal discomfort. He also suggests starting with lowerintensity running so you don’t feel like you’re gasping for air. And finally, he says, be sensible. “There is a danger of colddamage to breathing tissues,” he says. So use your judgment. If you are careful, running in the winter can be extraordinary. According to Jibril, who placed 21st in his debut marathon at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon in 2:24:39, winter running can make you stronger. “Accept the challenges that come with winter running and prepare yourself for the weather each day,” he says. “With the right mindset, winter running can make you a tougher runner.” Karen Karnis writes the Endorphin Junkie blog on



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iRun because lorem ipsum something goes here tktk. — Name Name, Province

Little Feet Size 4 sneakers and miniature race shirts are revolutionizing our sport and it’s awesome By Joanne Richard



ids are natural runners and major run events are getting them started on the right foot early, paying big dividends for the health and well-being of youngsters and the running community. According to race coordinators, youth participation in running is on the rise as kids get inspired by the cheering, music, race bibs, ribbons, face-painting, yummy snacks, mascots and medals at kids

fun runs across Canada. The BMO Vancouver Marathon doubled the size of its Kids Run from 250 to 500 participants in 2015, and they added a new Kids Run to the family-friendly Granville Island Turkey Trot over Thanksgiving weekend. “Creating fun, happy and positive experiences will encourage kids to love running,” says Charlene Krepiakevich, executive

iRun for ‘me time’ as often as I can! — Kelli McRobert, Kingston, Ontario

director of the Vancouver International Marathon Society, who credits their Kids Run atmosphere with inspiring young runners to fall in love with this sport. “I love to see kids run as it’s exciting to see the next generation of runners having a blast at the races,” she says. “It’s fantastic to be able to introduce the sport of running to kids at a young age and see them encouraging one another.”



FUELING YOUR BUDDING RUNNER By Abby Langer Even in the cold of winter, kids can be active outdoors, bundled or layered up, instead of being cooped up inside all winter long. If you’re like my family and I, you’re starting to get a bit of cabin fever at this point in the season, and are feeling the need for some fresh (if not cold!) air. Getting out and running is something that kids can do with their parents, provided the distance and pace is appropriate for the child. Connecting with nature, getting fresh air, and being active all help develop growing minds and healthy bodies. Spending that time together is healthy for everyone, and doing a sport

together — like running — can develop a strong bond between you and your kids! Training for a race together — 1K for the kids, maybe longer for you — is a goal you can set together and work towards. Spring races are just around the corner! As a dietitian, I always want to fuel my girls’ little bodies so they’re ready to be active. Along with moving little bodies comes the need for snacks that are portable, easy to grab, nutritious, and delicious. Foods that won’t crush, get sticky in little hands, spoil easily, or need refrigeration are the best sort of snacks to bring along on the go to nourish kids and fill their tummies.


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My top five food recommendations to fuel your kid’s budding running career are: 1. Fresh fruit Fresh fruits like bananas and pears are seasonal and popular with kids. For a sweet treat when you return home from your run, freeze grapes and blueberries for a cold, refreshing treat that’s healthier than ice cream! 2. CLIF Kid Zbars CLIF Kid Zbars are baked, 100 per cent organic, whole grain snack bars made just for kids. My kids are obsessed with each of the three flavors — chocolate chip, chocolate brownie, and iced oatmeal cookie! These yummy bars contain a blend of carbohydrates, protein, fat, and fibre that provide energy for kids’ active and growing bodies. They also have none of what parents don’t want in their kids’ snacks: partially-hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, synthetic preservatives and artificial flavours. 3. Frozen low-sugar yogurt tubes Kids love yogurt tubes, but be sure to look for the brands that have the least amount of sugar in them. Freezing them helps avoid that icky warm-yogurt situation, and turns them into frozen yogurt. I also use the frozen tubes to help keep things like sandwiches cold. 4. Nut or allergy-friendly seed butter and whole grain crackers The good fats and protein in nut butters are important for fueling growing bodies, and whole grains provide energy for busy bodies. 5. Trail mix You can make your own using a yummy variety of nuts and seeds, mixed with dried unsweetened cherries, apricots and large organic raisins. Tossing a handful of mini chocolate chips into the bag sweetens the deal even more.


Faster than a cheetah: Vicky Theben, 6, (in red) leads members of the Tornado Triathlon Club around the track during a weekly training run.

Hamilton, Ontario’s Dr. Christian Gysin and Dr. Danielle Vuichard are literally on the run with their two youngsters, Linus, 5, and Muriel, 3. Recently the family participated in an orienteering run in Burlington, one of a number of events held by the Don’t Get Lost adventure running series. Dozens of kids, some with parents, others in teams, navigated hilly terrain, huffing and puffing and laughing, on the search for hidden checkpoints. “We try to make our activities enjoyable,” says Vuichard. Making running fun is what gets kids returning to events, says Bob Miller, of the Don’t Get Lost series, which operates in the Golden Horseshoe region. Miller is also the logistics director for the obstacle racing series Mud Hero, that introduced a kid’s race in 2015. Five thousand kids crossed a finish line. “We added the kids series last year as our participants had been asking for it,” says Miller. The Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend draws between 1,000 and

1,500 participants to its Scotiabank Ottawa Kids Marathon for Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario. “It’s structured towards getting kids active. Kids use a tracking sheet for this special marathon and start accumulating kilometres way before race day by taking part in regular physical activities,” says race director John Halvorsen. For every half hour of activity, one kilometre is crossed off — once they reach 41 km, the kids complete the last 1.2 km on the real marathon course. “They start and finish where the adult runners do, and they get the second nicest medal!” According to former Olympic coach Barrie Shepley, getting kids running cannot happen without parent involvement. “Parents drive kids to races and pay entry fees, so without parents it doesn’t occur,” he says. And he should know. Shepley’s worked with over 10,000 kids in his 30 years of coaching, from grade school age to Olympians. “There’s a direct link between parents who ran themselves or

iRun to keep things in perspective and make life an adventure (one step at a time)! — Charlotte Flewlling, Moncton, New Brunswick

iRun because

“I get muscles and it’s good for your heart. I am faster than a cheetah.” — VickyTheben, age 6 “I love track and love to go with my dad.” — Nina Arkova Tough, 6, (daughter of coach Andy Tough, Stride Ahead Tough Track) “I get to push myself to the limit and beyond. I am the fastest Grade 6 at school and the second fastest at cross country – I plan to bump that up.” — Bryce Cormier, 11 “It feels good when you achieve your goal, and you don’t have to think – it’s just that simple.” — Ashley Cline, 11 “It’s fun and I get to make new friends and see my friends more.” — Annika Theben, 9 “It gives me a good chance to go and race and try beating my records every time. Even if you come last, which has happened to me a few times, at least you tried your very best and there will always be another race to get better in.” — Katya Araoz, 9 “When I run I feel free like nothing matters anymore. I feel like a bird soaring through the big blue sky.” — Emily Theben, 13 “It’s a good stress reliever, to be with my friends, track helps me challenge myself with my other sport commitments as well, to have a purpose in my future life and to make coach Andy Tough proud!” — Amber Martyniuk, 13 “It is a mentally challenging sport and it forces me to test my own limits. I am always competing against myself and striving to become a better athlete.” — Owen Ready, 17

still do and kids who run,” he says. It’s a lifestyle worth its weight in gold, and doesn’t involve a screen. “Kids learning to run early has big benefits,” says Shepley, adding that it also helps with weight management and confidence. “Running benefits almost every other sport.” Coach Janine Theben is a big proponent of getting kids on the run — and swimming and cycling, too. She helped start the Tornado Triathlon Club in Milton, in part, for her own family, and now they all train and compete, including her husband, Stephen, and their four girls, ages six to 15. “I wanted a fitness group that existed where both the parents and the children could be active together, where all types of athletes, different ages, different abilities, could come together,” says Theben, so she founded the club with the help of her husband, personal trainer Carolyn Kubas and swim coach Sheryl Ross. There are now 47 members — half are kids — and they train in the

winter at the Milton Velodrome and at an indoor pool. “The running part of a triathlon is especially great because all you need is a pair of sneakers and a bit of motivation,” she says. “In our run practices, we incorporate games, some core strengthening and often at the end of practice we do a fun adults vs. youth challenge.” Parents have to be good role models, stresses Theben. “It’s hard to get the kids active when they see mom and dad sitting on the couch every night watching TV. With running you can start small — ‘Who wants to race to the bus stop?’ ‘We’re going to Sue’s house, let’s run for three lampposts, then walk for three, then run again.’ ” According to coach Andy Tough, of Stride Ahead Tough Track in Winnipeg, a track club is an excellent way to get kids running and establish a good training routine. “As athletes learn new skills I believe that it helps to build self-confidence and selfesteem,” he says.

Tough, who works with approximately 150 young athletes ages nine to 26, says that running is the cornerstone of many sports. But just how much is too much? Shepley believes it’s best to err on the side of long-term health and wellness. “Kids going through their permanent growth do not need hard daily run training. They’d be better off to play soccer or volleyball or tennis one day a week, where they have a lot of lateral movement in all directions, not just forward linear running.” There seems to be no consensus on long-term health consequences of repetitive impact of long distance running on developing bones. Dr. Cordelia Carter, an assistant professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Yale School of Medicine, recommends a common sense approach to managing kids who want to participate in longdistance running. “Training needs to be done with supervision — that means an educated professional — with gradual increases in intensity,

iRun because I can and there are those in this world who can’t! — Paul Brown, Southern Ontario

duration and frequency and, importantly, without pain,” she says. Encourage a variety of activities with them from an early age – “and get moving with your kids,” recommends orthopedic surgeon Dr. Dave Simon, of the Carleton University Sports Medicine Clinic and the Rideau Valley Health Centre. Simon doesn’t come across kids doing a half or full marathon as they generally don’t tend to have the mental capacity or interest in long distance running at a young age. What he does come across more and more are parents who are overly-enthusiastic about getting their injured kids back out training, and not listening to their complaints about being in pain. “You’re definitely on the wrong track if you’re asking your kid how they did before asking them if they had fun,” says Simon. “That’s not what sports is about.” Joanne Richard is a frequent contributor to iRun. She wrote about Western Canada in December.




he Association of Road Race Statisticians keep world records for each age from five to 100 for the marathon and other distances. The world marathon record for men over 85 is four hours 55 minutes, this is huge falloff from the single age record for age 73 of two hours 55 minutes. The record for men over 90 is six hours 36 minutes. I am still the only man to run a marathon in less than three hours when over 70. The 85- and 90-year-old records are soft. What are the reasons for this situation? I think the main reason is that very few men past 80 even attempt a marathon. Why is this? Largely because of society’s attitudes, it’s too difficult for people that old. Attitudes change over time. Marathons used to be the domain of a few oddball runners at the extreme limits of endurance. Now a strange mania has taken over where all kinds of people with little natural running ability have got it on their bucket list of things to do. As a bi-product of this, the numbers of 60-year-olds have greatly increased in recent years but not, so far, over 80’s. Greater numbers of participants would increase competition and the chances that a record setter would emerge. As another example of current attitudes


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limiting participation, when I raced in the Rotterdam marathon at age 74, some of the elite Kenyan runners in their 20s and 30s couldn’t fathom why a person my age would be running a marathon and certainly not in the time I did that day — 2:58:40, it blew their minds. What will it take to get the Kenyans to run when they are 70 or 80? There obviously needs to be a change in their mindset (plus I suspect some monetary incentive). When and if they do I am sure a number of the records will be broken. Before the East Africans get around to running when they’re old, I think it more likely

Fast times: Whitlock models his original track shoe from 1950; opposite page, the author, looking for someone to beat his times. PHOTOS BY DARREN CALABRESE

iRun because it helps my mental health as much as it improves my physical health. — Francine Almeida, Winnipeg, MB

that elites from the developed world will run when they’re old and lead to record improvements. This has proved elusive so far as those who have tried to continue have generally succumbed to injuries that have impaired performance, e.g. Bill Rodgers and Frank Shorter. I was a good runner in my youth and I am sure with different direction and priorities I could have been an elite runner. If that had happened the odds are that I wouldn’t be running today. Even if I had tried, injuries might have taken their toll. I’ve now been running almost 45 years since starting again. I’ve had injuries, but have always got over them. I’m not convinced that continued running accelerates terminal injury issues so I think elite runners can continue to run well into their old age. As an example Joan Benoit, the Olympic champion in 1984, is still running well at age 58. I found it surprising that no 70-year-old had run under three hours before me, at least four athletes had run in the 2:40s in their 60s, but never did a sub 3 when they reached 70. It’s now 12 years since I first did it and no one else has done it yet. A year after I first did it, I ran 2:54:49 at age 73. This indicates that the equivalent record for age 70 should be sub 2:50. Really sub 3 at 70 should not be that great a challenge for a talented marathon runner. Of course some would say: What’s the point? I may have some ability, but it took a lot of training as well; there are probably better things to do than trudge around a cemetery for three hours every day. Still that’s my thesis: in spite of the preceding paragraph, others beside me should be pushing the envelope in over 70 marathon performance. I need company, maybe it would be a goal for me to do a bit better. Currently that would be difficult as various aches and pains are preventing me from training as much as necessary for good performance. Maybe running decently when you are old is more difficult than I have argued in my thesis! Ed Whitlock, 84, holds 18 outdoor world running records. This is his first piece for iRun.

iRun to lorem ipsum something goes here tktktktk. — Name Name, Province



ERIC AND I The inside story of our 15 year friendship and a quest to become the greatest Canadian marathon runners of all-time By Reid Coolsaet


WHAT GILLIS SAYS 1. Actually, I didn’t. I

ric and I first met in 2001 at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) cross-country championships in Sherbrooke. In our first conversation he inquired why I wasn’t up with him and the leaders until the tail end of the 10 km. He figured something had gone awry, and he was right. Eric’s goal was to qualify for the world university cross-country championships (FISU) the next spring in Spain. In order to qualify he needed to finish in the top seven. The year before at the CIS XC champs I ran a steady race and finished fifth. Eric figured I’d run a smart race again so — unbeknownst to me — he’d planned on keying off me. I put a kink in Eric’s plan when I stopped 400 m into the race to put my shoe back on (someone stepped on my heel). Eric didn’t see me until the last kilometre as I was playing catch-up the whole race. Still, my absence throughout the race didn’t faze Eric as he


finished seventh, and only the top six went. Reid passed me and I was OK with that, but he dragged Steve McIntyre along. Steve wouldnt’ve passed me if it wasn’t for Reid. (Some friend).

2. Reid and I were opposites because I was a dreamer and he was a doer. I recognized this right away and knew I could learn from him. I have a tendency to procrastinate. Or at least I did. Until I had kids.

3. Both were good. Truth is: I wanted to go somewhere and knew I was going to wind up in Guelph. I just didn’t want to say yes right away.

4. I still like it! went about his business, and qualified his spot for the 2002 FISU Cross-Country Championships. (1) I got along with him right off the bat because he’s easygoing and a little goofy. (2) At that point in his running career Eric was looking to branch out from Antigonish in order to train with guys who were going to push him. I pitched Guelph as an option citing the strong training group, although I think it was the cheap rent in the summer that led Eric to give our training group a shot. (3) Eric grew up in Antigonish, NS and started running crosscountry in grade seven for something to do after school. He quickly found he had talent as a runner and enjoyed the outings to McDonalds (4) after away meets. After success through high school he enrolled at St. Francis Xavier, where he made an immediate impact on the team as their top runner. He was always numero uno in the small Atlantic town and in order to make the next step in his career he needed to be pushed by other athletes. In 2002, when Eric started training in Guelph, the Olympics weren’t on his radar. His initial goals were to adapt to the new training program and run a personal best over 3000 m. He accomplished both and was sold on the effectiveness of the training group. Personally, I was happy to know that a solid training partner and allaround good guy was coming back the following summer.


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5. It felt like I was getting a lot of information at once and it was tiring. It felt like the right place to be. I just couldn’t execute right away.

6. It was a big thing to take on, that this was going to stick with me forever. It was eye opening: I’m no longer a solo individual runner. I’m part of a continuum. I was proud.

Like many runners who join Speed River, Eric thought that coming to Guelph would magically produce results. (5) It’s the high volume, right amount of intensity and attention to details that produce results. Even though he originally thought it was going to be easy, he bought into the program, put his head down, and went to work. The results followed. For four months every summer Eric would migrate to Guelph as he finished up his teaching degree at St. FX. In 2006, when he made the full-time move to Guelph, the Olympics still didn’t register. It wasn’t until Eric ran 13:36 over 5000 m in 2007 that he started to believe he had a shot. In the spring of 2008, Eric ran 28:07 in the 10,000 m, which qualified him for that summer’s Olympic games in Beijing. (6) A month after the Olympics, Eric got married to his long-time partner Emily. They settled in Guelph and have two kids, Heidi (five) and Luke (two). Sometimes I joke that Emily is raising three kids as she’s the organized one, but Eric has thrived as a father and balances it well with elite running. He’s more serious at practice than he was many years ago. Perhaps it has to do with the maturity that comes with parenting. Eric’s someone the newer athletes go to for advice. He’s known amongst some of the younger guys as the “Twitter Police” when he points out their lack of better judgment on inappropriate tweets. For instance, he’s explained the consequences of tweeting out pictures of, well, pictures he might not want his young family to see. I envy Eric’s family life. It gives him a broader perspective on running and life. Until the snow hits, that is, at that point I’m happy to be able to skip off to Kenya for six weeks. I’ve seen athletes step up their performances after having kids and I’ve also seen athletes use it as an excuse to shy away from the sport. It comes down to attitude (and a supportive/understanding spouse) and I’ve seen a change in attitude in Eric over the last few years. (7) Before, if something wasn’t going right, he’d ruminate over it. It was all or nothing. Now, he has more than running in

iRun because I simply love it! — Raynald Cote, Nova Scotia

7. Having a family

his life. Attitude and perspective are important things. People put too much pressure on themselves. Running is their sole focus and if it doesn’t go right, you can still make progress in other areas of your life. Running’s fickle. So if you put everything on your race results, life can come crashing down pretty fast and pretty hard. (8) (Personally, I don’t have a choice, family-wise. But that’s OK. I’m pretty good at justifying everything in my head). It was inevitable that we would eventually gravitate to the marathon. So, after chipping away at the 5000 m and 10,000 m together for seven years, we began training for the marathon in 2009. When Eric made his debut in January 2010 it was apparent he found his best event. In his first marathon he ran a negative split and came home in 2:13:57. Needless to say, it motivated me and helped me believe I could improve on my 2:16:29. Over the years Eric and I have been feeding off each other’s performances. (9) When one of us runs well it gives us both confidence that we’re on the right path. In 2013, Eric ran his then second fastest marathon at Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (STWM) six weeks before I ran Fukuoka. I was coming off a horrible experience at Rotterdam that spring and seeing that his training was on the right track gave me confidence to shoot for a PB. I ended up running within one second of my second fastest marathon. It was vice versa this past fall when I ran Berlin three weeks before Eric ran STWM. We’ll discuss our training and how it translates into races to help each other’s headspace going into races. In this way, elite runners and folks trying to finish their first 5 km are the same. We all struggle with nerves and confidence. In order to run at your best you need to be happy and Eric realizes that being around his family enables him to maximize his training and performances. On a typical day we’ll run around 9 a.m. after he’s dropped Luke off at daycare and Heidi to the bus stop. (10) Eric is Mr. Consistency in the marathon.

iRun as often as I can! — Kelli McRobert, Kingston, ON

changed my priorities, changed my schedule, changed everything. You learn how to grow up real fast.

8. I have more than myself relying on me. That puts a pressure on you to become a better human being, and becoming a better runner, I think, is a byproduct of that.

9. People don’t believe this, but we’re not super-competitive in practice. I’m serious. We’re not!

His fastest three marathons are all within a 10 second window (2:11:21 to 2:11:31) and were all run at the STWM. That means his average pace for each of those three marathons is within a quarter of a second per kilometre. My five fastest marathons are within 54 seconds, which is also really close. Whereas Jerome Drayton has a one-minute, 52 second spread over his top three marathons and Sylvia Ruegger has a two-minute spread over her top three, and that’s much more common. Eric’s found a training formula that works for him. When he starts his marathon build-up, about 10-12 weeks out, he’s not pushing too hard. Instead, he focuses on his form and feeling in control. If you didn’t know his plan you would probably be worried he wasn’t on track to run 2:11. But as sure as night follows day Eric flicks a switch six weeks out and all of a sudden looks ready to run a PB. (11) When race day comes Eric is calm, focused and determined. He

10. Emily is supportive, but the Olympics isn’t a big word around my home. “Dad” is, and that works for us. I wouldn’t want it any other way.


11. It’s a selfpreservation thing. If I had to pick which six weeks to be on for, it’s the last six weeks that matter.

12. The wind that day was one of the biggest hurdles I’ve ever faced. Had I missed it, I think I would’ve been OK with it. At least that’s what I tell myself. But I don’t think there was anywhere I could’ve run harder. There’s peace in that.

doesn’t take big risks, but don’t confuse that with conservative tactics, if anything, he’s honest. His demeanor and realistic approach has worked well for him in big race situations. Both of his Olympic marathon qualifying attempts came 11 months before the big dance and both times he came through. And here I’ll digress with a bit of Gillis legend: In 2011, he hit his time by only one nail-biting second when the Athletics Canada standard was 2:11:29. Despite brutally windy conditions in Toronto that day, Eric didn’t deviate from his goal and ran 2:11:28, sprinting across the line as the crowd counted down the last 10 seconds. (12) I was at the finish line praying Eric came across that line on the good side of the standard. When I heard the time, I was more pumped for his race than I was mine. Eric and I are still pushing each other in an attempt to reach new personal heights in the marathon and we both look to be in a good position to make the Rio de Janeiro team by virtue of the times we posted in 2015. We’re ranked first and second in Canada with 2:10:28 and 2:11:31. If all goes well, this will be Eric’s third Olympics, an amazing feat for a runner. With Eric’s experience, and the fact he runs well in the heat, he looks poised to have his best Olympic finish ever in Rio de Janeiro. I should know. I’ve been running with the guy now for 15 years.












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iRun because it’s been an off and on friend for the past 20 years. — Karen Doherty Ross, Toronto, ON




To submit a photo, tag iRunNation an @ d use the hash tag #ShareMyR un on Twitter or Instagram!

The places, faces and shoelaces of the Canadian running scene


@THESIX 18 Very brief cutline


iRun because I want to be chased even when I’m 80. — Chris Chiu, Vancouver, British Columbia


RUN with thE bEst Your new crew is ready to go. Bold silhouettes from Nike and Adidas, performance tech from Brooks and New Balance, cold-weather confidence from MEC.

MEC.CA/RUN Fahim Kassam


Follow @mec 2015 ISSUE 06






La coureuse la plus renommée à remporter le Marathon de Boston—pour un temps—n’eut en vérité jamais vraiment gagné la course. Jacqueline Gareau, suivant ses victoires au National Capital Marathon d’Ottawa et au Marathon de Montréal, a vu sa première place dérobée par la fameuse Rosie Ruiz. Cette dernière fut effectivement la première à passer la ligne d’arrivée mais cédera la victoire à la Québécoise Jacqueline Gareau suite à son éventuelle disqualification. « L’euphorie de la victoire n’était pas au rendez-vous, mais la satisfaction d’avoir accompli mon objectif l’était, » explique Gareau, 62, triathlète, conférencière, massothérapeute et marathonienne, qui a également complété le Marathon de Boston l’an dernier. « Je voulais le prix, bien-sûr, mais je suis devenue plus philosophique vis-à-vis de l’expérience en elle-même. Je sais que j’ai couru ma propre course ». Finalement, Ruiz s’est vue disqualifiée. Il était évident qu’après cinq kilomètres, personne n’allait rattraper la coureuse ayant fait ses débuts de course à pied à ses 21 ans dans l’effort de d’arrêter la cigarette. La BAA (Boston Athletic Association)—embarrassée de la situation—on fait venir Gareau du Québec afin de revivre sa fin de course et sa victoire, et pour lui remettre son prix tant mérité. Aujourd’hui, l’on se souvient d’elle comme l’héroïne de cet incident. « Tout le monde se souvient de cette histoire là, mais mes autres histoires continuent, » dit-elle. « Mon cœur est encore jeune. Mon endurance ne vacille pas ».

iRun Pour pouvoir devenir une meilleure personne. — Tommy Leblanc, Toronto, ON


Philippe Viau-Dupuis, un coureur élite québécois, à couru le marathon de Philadelphie dans un temps très rapide de 2:20:42. Voici un peu plus d’informations sur cet athlète et ses plans pour 2016.


iRun: Qu’est-ce qui vous a motivé ou inspiré à débuter la course à pied? VIAU-DUPUI: J'ai fait de la compétition en cyclisme de montagne / cyclisme sur route dès l'âge de 11 ans. À mon entrée à l'unviversité j'ai réduit mon volume d'entraînement et perdu un peu l'inspiration pour poursuivre ma carrière compétitive en cyclisme. Ma conjointe étudiait à New York et c’est là que j'ai commencé à courir avec un club de course dans lequel elle avait commencé à courir. C'est donc à l’âge de 25 ans, en 2008, que j’ai découvert ma passion pour la course!

Sunday, February 7 Course MEC Longueuil #1 Longueuil, Québec Sunday, February 14 Demi Marathon Hypothermique, Montreal, Québec Thursday, February 18 Celebration Des Tuques Bleues, Montreal, Québec Sunday, February 21


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Défi Hivernal de L’Île-Bizard, Île-Bizard, Québec Sunday, February 21 Demi-Marathon Des Glaces, Ange-Gardien, Québec Sunday, March 6 Course Mec Montréal #1 Montréal, Québec

iRun: À quoi ressemble une journée typique dans votre conciliation entraînement/travail/vie de famille? VIAU-DUPUI: En règle générale, ma conjointe va reconduire ma fille à la garderie le matin. J'en profite donc pour faire une bonne sortie de course le matin pour me rendre au travail (entre 11.5k et 16k). Je travaille comme avocat au gouvernement fédéral toute la journée par la suite. Je remet ensuite mes vêtements de course pour faire une autre sortie de course d'environ une heure et termine en allant chercher ma fille à la garderie. Je coure donc entre 25k et 30k environ tous les jours de la semaine. Je fais un entraînement par intervalle le lundi ou mardi sur tapis roulant et le vendredi à la piste intérieure de l'université McGill (hiver). Petite sortie de récupération le samedi et longue sortie le dimanche (cette sortie est très difficile et devient mon second entraînement par intervalle de la semaine quand je tombe en préparation spécifique pour le marathon). J'arrive à couvrir entre 160k et 190k par semaine. iRun: Quelle athlète vous admirez? VIAU-DUPUI: Au Canada, un gars comme Reid Coolsaet est très inspirant. Il est premièrement super sympathique et un marathonien d’exception. Je suis confiant qu'il enregistrera le record canadien en 2016/2017. Sinon, à l'extérieur de la course, je suis un gros fan de boxe. Gennady Golovkin est pour moi un des grands athlètes modernes. Une vraie machine de guerre, la perfection à l'état pur. iRun: Quelle est votre accomplissement dont vous êtes le plus fier? VIAU-DUPUI: À mon deuxième marathon et 5 semaines après la naissance de ma fille, de faire 2:20:42 au marathon de Philadelphie est mon plus beau moment en carrière. Il faut comprendre que de faire 2:20 sur marathon

Sunday, March 20 Course et Marche Populaires de Lasalle Lasalle, Québec Saturday, March 26 Course Mec Quebec #1 Quebec, Québec Monday, March 28 Pentathlon Défi di Commandant , Valcartier,

Québec Saturday, April 2 Défi Salon de la Course à Pied et du Triathlon de Québec, Québec, Québec Sunday, April 10 Course Saint-Laurent Saint-Laurent, Québec Sunday, April 10

était mon objectif de carrière en course à pied... Donc de le faire aussi tôt m’a réellement remplie de fierté. iRun: Quelle a été votre pire expérience de course? VIAU-DUPUI: Le demi marathon de New York en 2014. Il faisait très froid, je n’étais pas assez habillé et j’ai complètement explosé après 10k... j’ai joggé jusqu’à mon hôtel pendant 8k, découragé et congelé! iRun: Avez-vous des conseils de course à partager? VIAU-DUPUI: C’est plate à dire mais la constance est l'ingrédient essentiel pour la réussite. Ne pas exagérer lors d’entraînements difficiles, rester en contrôle lors des entraînements par intervalles est la clé. Ensuite, la patience. Il s’agit d’un sport où il n’y a pas de secret. Le travail paiera un jour, mais pas nécessairement aussi tôt que vous le désirez. Augmentez votre volume de manière constante. En règle générale et jusqu'à une certaine limite, l’augmentation du volume mène à une amélioration des performances. iRun: Quels sont vos objectifs en 2016? VIAU-DUPUI: Je ferai le demi marathon de New York en mars et ensuite le prochain gros objectif sera le marathon de Duluth au Minnesota en juin (Grandma’s marathon). Je tenterai de m’approcher d’un 2:18 / 2:19. Ensuite, j'envisage le marathon de Chicago à l'automne, plus pour le plaisir celui là. iRun: Vous courez en hiver? VIAU-DUPUI: Absolument! J'ai fait tout mon build-up pour le marathon de Boston en 2015 dans un des hivers les plus froid de l'histoire du Québec. Story and photograph by Gary Rush.

Le Tour de L’Horloge Montréal, Québec Friday, April 15 Grand Défi LacSaint-Louis, Dorval, Québec Sunday, April 17 Course Mec Longueuil #2, Longueuil, Québec Sunday, April 17

Trail de Paques de Bromont, Bromont, Québec Sunday, April 24 Course du Printemps du Cégep de Trois-Rivières Sunday, April 24 Banque Scotia 21 de Montréal, Montréal, Quebec

iRun pour améliorer ma santé physique et mentale. — Charles Lorick, Hamilton, Ontario





e suis une femme dans la mi-quarantaine qui aime bouger malgré mes petites rondeurs. Mais quoi faire pour se mettre en forme? Dans un gym, tu dois payer une fortune, sentir les odeurs des autres et avoir un horaire. Non merci! La course était pour moi une activité dont je ne comprenais pas du tout le trippe. Chaque fois que je voyais les gens courir, je trouvais qu’ils avaient l’air de souffrir. J’ai déjà essayé de courir en 2009 et au bout de 30 secondes, j’ai vu la mort de près. De toute façon, la course c’est pour les minces athlétiques, les petites rondes ne peuvent pas courir voyons! Un jour, j’écoute une émission animé par Dominic Arpin qui parle de la course et qui nous présente toute sorte de personnes, des jeunes, des vieux, des minces, des potelées, bref, des témoignages de toute sorte de gens qui se sont mis à la course à

Sunday, April 24 Demi-Marathon des Guépards, St-Eustache, Quebec Sunday, May 1 Défi Course et Marche des Jardins de Saint Thérèse, Saint-Thérèse, Québec Sunday, May 1

Demi-Marathon International Oasis de Lévis Québec, Québec Saturday, May 7 Courir a Notre Sante Fondation Saint-Jérôme Mirabel, Québec Sunday, May 8 Défi Santé de Montagne Boucherville, Quebec

pied. Ça m’a donné le goût de m’y mettre sérieusement. J’ai débuté par ajouter une application sur mon téléphone intelligent de course pour débutant . Et c’est comme ça que j’ai eu l’appel à la course! Une journée en trottant dans un beau sentier, j’ai décidé de me filmer en courant et en donnant des trucs humoristiques sur la course à pied. Mes vidéos sont devenus viraux sur le web. Mon message est: « tu peux si tu veux! » Pas besoin de t’inscrire dans des courses, juste mettre tes souliers de course et sortir 30 minutes par jour. C’est pas compliqué ça. Ça coûte rien et tu prends soin de toi. Pour moi la course n’est pas une performance, je me fous du temps ou des kilomètres, je cours comme je veux et pour le plaisir que ça m’apporte. Il faut prendre l’air et montrer l’exemple à nos jeunes, nous

Sunday, May 8 Défi Gerard-Côté St-Hyacinthe, Québec Sunday, May 15 Course MEC Montréal #2 Montréal, Québec Sunday, May 22 Marathon SSQ de Longueuil, Longueuil, Québec

Sunday, May 22 Tour de la Pointe Rivière-du-Loup, Québec Monday, May 23 Trail du Courer des Bois de Duchesnay Québec, Québec Saturday, August 6 Demi-Marathon de L’Îsle-Aux-Coudres

iRun parce que courir me fait sentir puissante, forte et libre. — Ashley LaFreniere, Maple, Ontario

devons bouger! La motivation c’est juste toi qui peut la trouver, penses aux bienfaits que ça t’apporte après un beau 30 minutes et tu auras le goût de recommencer sans arrêt! La course à pied est bonne pour combattre l’insomnie, régler des problèmes, ta mise en forme, et une perte de poids tout ça combiné avec une bonne alimentation. Pas besoin d’aller payer pour aller dans un groupe où on te dit quoi manger et une fois par semaine tu fais la file pour la pesée du bétail, nenon. Tu n’as qu’à bien manger, mettre tes souliers et bouger. Si tu ne veux pas courir seul, tu n’as qu’à partir ton groupe de course dans ta municipalité. Tu fais ça sur les réseaux sociaux, tu indiques que c’est un groupe de coureur sans performance mais seulement pour le plaisir de prendre l’air et bouger en groupe. Et c’est gratuit! Tu vas rencontrer plein de bon monde et avoir du fun et trouver une motivation. La course à pied pour moi est une révélation, toute les saisons sont magiques pour courir. Il s’agit de bien porter les bons vêtements. Par exemple, si tu es une femme, tu dois être bien « totonnée », c’est-àdire de bien séquestrer tes seins dans un bon soutien « paddé ». L’été, si tu as des frissons et que tu n’es pas bien « paddée » tu deviendras spectaculaire pour les gens que tu croisasses car tu sais très bien ce que ça fait des seins qui ont des frissons! Si tu as des courbes, on s’en fout. Tu peux porter le leggings de course pareille et te foutre des gens. Moi aussi j’ai le derrière qui a l’air d’avoir passé deux jours dans un tas de roches tellement j’ai de la cellulite, pis ça, je les mets pareille mes leggings de course car je suis confortable! Alors, vas courir au pus vite! Bonne course et Bravo de te prendre en main! Geneviève Gagnon, reconnu pour Cours Toutoune, est une journaliste populaire. Son site Web est

Îsle-Aux-Coudres Sunday, August 14 La Valse des Coureurs Laval, Québec Sunday, August 14 Demi-Marathon de Mont-Tremblant, Mont-Tremblant, Québec Saturday, August 20

Tour de la Baie Valleyfield, Québec Sunday, August 21 Demi-Marathon Bonneville de Lachine Montréal, Québec Sunday, August 28 Marathon SSQ Lévis-Québec Québec, Québec




50KM Ultra · 42.2KM · 21.1KM · 10KM · 5KM Walk & Run · Kids Marathon 26

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iRun because lorem ipsum something goes here tktk. — Name Name, Province




t is sad, so very sad that doping is only considered unethical by “most” international sport organizations. We certainly know that Russia is one of those organizations that doesn’t consider doping to be unethical. There are numerous similarities with East Germany’s systematic doping program from the 1980s. Such a shame, disappointment, embarrassment, disgrace and betrayal. Athletics (track & field) has an extensive list of doping cases, including several highly “successful” athletes: Tyson Gay, Justin Gatlin, Marion Jones, Tim Montgomery, Rita Jeptoo, and our own, Ben Johnson, just to name a few. Race walking is particularly offensive when it comes to doping, with too many names to mention. Of course there are hundreds of additional doping cases in other sports. In baseball, there’s Jose Canseco, Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez and Mark McGwire. And in cycling, Floyd Landis and Lance Armstrong top the list. Like many, Armstrong has made the most significant impact on my mind and heart when it comes to doping. He cheated and lied for years. He extensively damaged personal and professional relationships and credible organizations. And he terribly hurt his closest friends and family members. After years of defending himself, Armstrong said that what urged him to finally confess his guilt was hearing his own son defend him to other children. His son honestly believed that his dad was not a cheater. Isn’t any child supposed to think that? What a terrible ordeal for your children to experience. Our kids don’t need to know everything about our lives, but lying for years is another thing. The Bible has some valuable pieces of advice when it comes to dishonesty. Proverbs 28:18: “The one who lives with integrity will be helped, but one who distorts right

MOM, WHY DO PEOPLE CHEAT? Krista DuChene weighs in on the ugly side of sport

and wrong will suddenly fall.” Luke 8:17: “There is nothing hidden that won’t be revealed, and there is nothing secret that won’t become known and come to light.” As athletes, we are responsible for our actions and must take ownership of that. No coach, trainer, manager, agent, friend or teammate is responsible for what we inject, ingest, or inhale into our bodies. It is our obligation to check the Global Drug Reference Online (Global DRO) to ensure that any medication or dietary supplement, which also includes homeopathic products, traditional medicines, herbals and probiotics, is not a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) prohibited substance. It’s serious. Many athletes have accidentally taken the wrong medication, thinking it was safe when it was not. The

consequences are devastating. We are well-trained about the use of PED’s. There are steroids to increase muscle mass and strength; erythropoetin (EPO) to increase oxygen delivery; stimulants to heighten one’s sense of excitement and decrease fatigue; human growth hormone (HGH) to increase muscle and bone strength and recovery; narcotics to mask pain; and masking agents to hide the signs of using banned substances. And then there is marijuana. We are well aware that there are harmful side effects and significant repercussions to using such performance-enhancing drugs. With the most recent Russian doping scandal in the news, the potential for a doping control officer to make a home visit, and my preparation to hopefully

iRun because it’s the only time in a mom’s busy life that you are able to fly on your own. — Christine Carlini Griffo, Bolton, Ontario

be named to the 2016 Olympic team, our children have asked a lot of questions: “That guy trains with so-and-so, does he do drugs too?”; “Mom, have you ever cheated?”; “Mom, why do people cheat?” Some responses are easy, but many times my answer is simply: “I don’t know.” As a 39-year-old marathoner, mom of three and Olympic hopeful, who is returning after a significant injury, I am often told that I am an inspiration, which is an honour. I use it as encouragement to continue to aim higher and be a good role model in every aspect of my life, particularly in running where I am so visible. Integrity, honesty, and respect are incredibly important traits I aim to exhibit every day of my life in everything I do. If I cheated, not only would it go against my personal beliefs, I would be a disappointment to everyone around me. Every x-country child I’ve coached, every parent at the school, and person at the sports centre. Everyone. Everywhere. Why do people cheat? There are many reasons, none of which are acceptable. For some it’s greed and for others it’s pressure. But for many, it’s a lack of respect for themselves and their competitors. They believe in an entitlement to do what they feel is fine for them, not denying themselves anything in life because they deserve what they want, when and how they want it. To retain any integrity in athletics, Russia must not be at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. We can only hope that the right decision is made. Krista DuChene holds the second fastest female marathon time in Canadian history. Racing the Canadian Half Marathon Championships, DuChene finished the course on a broken leg. She took second. Her website is KristaDuChenerunning.


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See yourself at the finish line

In my December article I invited you to pick an unreasonable goal for 2016. On my side, my “Gobi” is to re-enter and win the 2016 Sahara Race, a 250 km unaided six-day foot race. In 2011, our team of three lost by a few minutes which was devastating at the time. Five years later with two more knee surgeries, I hope we can right things – our goal is to win. In 2014 our team won the Antarctica Race, and prior, we won the 2010 Atacama. Sahara would make it a third. Due to political instability and security reasons, the Sahara race has been moved south and is no longer in Egypt – it will be held in Namibia, which makes the journey new and exciting; I’m actively perusing travel books to see what else I will do to enrich (and hedge the race); be it Skeleton Coast where shipwrecks abound on the beach, a safari, or a side trip to beautiful Cape Town a short flight away. In my previous four deserts which include my first in the 2009 Gobi, I amplified my experience by visiting a locale I would never go if it weren’t for a race. Returning for the fifth time, I know what to do and what works for my body, yet I have 25 pounds to lose over the next three months and gingerly must make it work on damaged knees. Despite my experience, right now I hurt so much I have to dig deep in my bag of tricks to stay the course. I give you my two favourite lessons for achieving a challenging success. Stéfan Danis is CEO of Mandrake and NEXCareer. Stefan was awarded the Paul Mulvihill Humanitarian award and speaks around the world. His column appears online and in every issue.

START BY LOOKING IN THE MIRROR Have you ever heard yourself whine or complain? We are all relatively intolerant of people who indulge in this behaviour, but how frequently do we look in the mirror and apply the same intolerance to ourselves? As I prepare for Namibia, I set up a “war room” and used a whiteboard to deconstruct all the components of my training regime, including a section to focus on my mental preparation focused on how to toughen up mentally. What showed up instead were all the grievances that were appearing as I trained. In the last month, more than 100 complaints surfaced. I wrote them down for my family and I to see. Over time, the intended outcome materialized: the more I looked at the board, the more I got sick

of reading about a grown man complaining. I am starting to actually find humour in my whining, sometimes laughing out loud at myself. And then, the complaining just … ceases. As it rears its ugly head I laugh, dismiss it and move on rather than giving it any importance, or worse, giving it a life force that could derail me. Any big project will invariably entail breakdowns along the way, including self-doubt and complaints. The key to overcoming these obstacles lies in our ability to bounce back, hopefully bounce forward, and over time, to lessen the frequency with which our very own unproductive “voice” comes calling. And few things are more powerful than looking in the mirror to silence the voice.

TRIGGER THE ACTIONS YOU WANT For the biggest challenge we take on, at times even wanting or needing to see it through is not enough to will us forward. What can work is to create a rallying symbol that acts as a trigger to remind us to stay the course at the most difficult moments. In the Gobi, I learned that having “my” song could provide a spark, some sort of picker upper. I chose “It’s a Beautiful Day” by U2. At my low points, I would listen to it and get moving. It worked when I ran, but wasn’t helpful without my iPod. For the Atacama Crossing, I tried to prepare with an already full calendar and I needed to give myself constant 24/7 reminders to not let the training slip. If not, my habitual life would simply dwarf it and I would show up at the start line under-prepared. To do this I used a mnemonic to instantly be at one with the Atacama. I am now doing the same for Namibia. First, I thought through what my desert

iRun because it gives me a chance to listen to the latest records from my favourite bands. — Steve Flood, Vaughan, ON

experience will mean to me and make it vividly real in my mind. I associate all the positive feelings I can come up with: beauty, adventure, achievement, camaraderie, personal breakthrough, teamwork, health, spirituality. Once I highly energized with all these overwhelmingly optimistic feelings, I associate them all to an object that can therefore symbolize my desert journey. It could be a coin, basically anything you can carry in your pants’ pocket at all times. I now have my Namibia token reminder. I wake up to it, train with it, go to work with it, and run with it. I will also race with it. When the siren’s negative call comes knocking and rears its ugly head, just touching the reminder in my pocket would serve to dissipate the issue. I have created my own Pavlovian positive stimulus response loop.



JANN ARDEN’S LONG RUN At 53, Canada’s legendary singer-songwriter decides to step up her running game. By Ben Kaplan


ann Arden has 17 top 10 singles from eight albums and a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame. She’s had a talk show, written a memoir, carried the Olympic torch and toured with Michael Bublé. Still, she says, she likes running because “it’s a triumph over herself.” In a candid interview, Arden dishes on Calgary’s weather, her father’s decline and her steadfast resiliency to crossing the finish line on her own terms.


2016 ISSUE 02

iRun because I have to catch my kids. And to support a teammate who battled breast cancer.

iRUN: What do you think about when you think about running? ARDEN: I hear the word ‘run’ and it’s laughable to me — my version of it is a slow-plodding canter. iRUN: But you get out and do it. That’s the whole point. ARDEN: I think I’m probably out of my mind. iRUN: It’s been -25 in Alberta. How do you cope with the elements? ARDEN: There was a time when I was outside running six days a week, but when it’s this freezing, I use the treadmill. I have everything in the basement. iRUN: You don’t want to go to your local gym? ARDEN: I’m too self-conscious to be in a normal gym. iRUN: So give us some background about you and your running. ARDEN: Tell you the truth, I used to consider it a bit elitist, that you’d be admonished for not having the right footwear or get shin splints if you tried for the first time, but I no longer find that to be true at all. Starting out, all you need is a pair of comfortable shoes and to try your best. It’s not like you’re sprinting 100 miles. iRUN: That’s what I always say! That there should be no barrier to entry — just get out there and have fun. ARDEN: Most people might do 200 yards before they break into a walk, and that’s cool. That other thinking

is what keeps people from starting. When I first started I had to strap my boobs down, I didn’t have a sports bra and I looked like a site gag, but 200 yards turned into a half mile and a half mile to a mile and I was blown away by how much better I got. It encouraged me to keep going. iRUN: And now? ARDEN: And now I really like it. Even if I just run for five or six minutes and my heart’s going and I’m feling that fresh air in my lungs, it’s exhilarating. And I know the alternative. I watched my dad. iRUN: Can you share what happened? ARDEN: Well, the last three or four years of his life, he got static. He got into his Laz-y-boy and no amount of coaxing would get him out of there and it ended up killing him. He lost all mobility and I said to mom, “I don’t want to be like that,” and I won’t. iRUN: You work out with your mom every day, right? ARDEN: Every day we go a mile down and a mile back, no matter the weather, and you know? Dad used to do it and he stopped and I saw him decline. I might suck. I feel awkward. But I’m enjoying it. I know I need to lose 30 pounds — easy — but I’m not going to let that stop me from being active and fit. iRUN: I feel like this is an important message for people to hear. ARDEN: I’m a healthy overweight person. I should lose weight. Ninety

per cent of us probably should. But that can’t become an excuse for not trying. iRUN: That’s an encouraging viewpoint. ARDEN: I see folks running, trudging out there in the cold and I always want to roll my window down and scream: “You go, girl! You’re doing it!” I love the idea of people doing it for themselves, not caring what anyone thinks. Those are my people. That’s a hero to me. iRUN: How do you currently feel? ARDEN: I’ve always been active, and this last year I stepped it up. It’s not about losing weight. That’s not what gets me out there. I’m going to lose 20 pounds, but that isn’t the right motivation for me. iRUN: What is? ARDEN: Not my image. Over the last 30 years of being a public person, I’ve lost weight and been overweight and I’ve heard the jokes. And I’ve still had an amazing career. For me, running is about championing yourself. iRUN: What do you mean? ARDEN: In life, lots of times you find you’re the only person cheering you on. And I like the feeling of moving. I’ve been kicking butt and I’ve been doing it for me. A person has to triumph over themselves. Jann Arden begins her winter tour on March 9 in Sidney, British Columbia. For complete dates, see

In our new music feature, we invite members of iRun nation to submit their running playlists to our music celebrity, who will then select which one they like best. In our first installment, Jann Arden selected the following list by Noelle Gallant saying: “Noelle’s playlist has that great combination of fierceness and fun! I think it keeps a great pace and will make the time go past in a jiffy!” To hear Noelle’s songs, check out “Rolling in the Deep,” Adele “Ray of Light,” Madonna “Marry the Night,” Lady Gaga “Sealion,” Feist “Steve McQueen,” Sheryl Crow “Are you Gonna Go My Way,” Lenny Kravitz

“Fly Away,” Lenny Kravitz “I Wanna Break Free,” Queen “I Never Loved You Anyway,” The Corrs “Use Somebody,” King of Leon “Does Your Mother Know?” Abba “The Look,” Roxette “New Sensation,” Inxs

iRun because it feels good, it’s my time and I have an excuse to wear running clothes all day long.

“Closer,” Tegan & Sara “A Million Miles Away,” Jann Arden “Come to My Window,” Melissa Etheridge “You Love Me Back,” Jann Arden “Mary Go Round,” Serena Ryder “Gimme Sympathy,” Metric “Set Fire to the Rain,” Adele







STRONGER TOGETHER Register today for Canada’s most inspiring race. At Canada Army Run, we run together – civilians and Armed Forces – to support each other. To give thanks. To show our strength as athletes, individuals and Canadians. This is no ordinary race.

SEPTEMBER 18, 2016 OTTAWA, CANADA Presented by


Mission Systems–Canada


CANADA ARMY RUN AND THE SPIRIT TO ENDURE Meet two of the extraordinary athletes that make the Army Run arguably the most inspiring event in the world

Giant steps: Bryan Cuerrier, accompanied by his physiotherapist Marie Andree Paquin, reaches the 3 km point on the half marathon route. Following page: The Labonte family celebrates as they cross the finish line at Canada Army Run.


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For the family of a little boy who can’t see or hear and a man missing most of his limbs, participating in Canada Army Run is participating in life. Bryan Cuerrier and the Labonté family were among the 25,000 participants from across the country who ran, walked and rolled through the streets of Ottawa and Gatineau in the 8th annual Canada Army Run last September. This unique and inclusive endurance event raised approximately $400,000 in 2015 for Soldier On and the Military Families Fund, two Canadian Armed Forces financial support programs. Here are the stories of these Canada Army Run long-time participants. You can join them at the event on September 18, 2016. Registration for this unique run opens Feb. 16.


To say that the last six years of Bryan Cuerrier’s life have been a bumpy road filled with hazards and blind turns is an understatement. However, the civilian triple amputee has met his health challenges with the spirit of a soldier, most notably at last year’s Canada Army Run half marathon event when he was the last participant to cross the finish line at five hours and 40 seconds. After 17 km and facing four more, Cuerrier, accompanied by his physiotherapist Marie Andree Paquin, was exhausted. Too far from the finish line to know that crowds were waiting to cheer him on, the route was long empty of race participants and volunteers and was especially defeating. That was when His Excellency the Right Honourable David

iRun because it’s a great escape outside after a long day at work. — Anne Gagno, Gaineau, Quebec


Johnston, Governor General of Canada, stepped in. Motorcycles, security cars, limos, all with their lights flashing, arrived beside Cuerrier as he considered quitting. The Governor General, who is also Commanderin-Chief of the Canadian Armed Forces and the patron of Canada Army Run, got out of his car and asked Cuerrier if he was tired. “It was like out of the movies,” explains Cuerrier. “I told him it was nothing that a beer wouldn’t fix.” It was Cuerrier’s road to recovery from flesh-eating disease, contracted in May 2010, which placed him in the ill and injured category of the half marathon event this past September. He lost both legs, one partially, one completely, his left arm above the elbow, and multiple fingers on his right hand. What he did not lose was his life or his warrior spirit. Rejecting medical opinion that he would never walk again, Cuerrier completed his first 5 km run in his hometown of Belleville just one year after leaving the hospital.

After several more 5 km events, including another Canada Army Run, and a 10 km run under his belt, Cuerrier decided to see if he could complete Canada Army Run’s endurance event. He spent the hot summer months of 2015 training for this new challenge. Sweat, doubt, and a particularly uncomfortable prosthesis he calls the beast, were all part of his training experience. “It takes a lot of energy for me to suit up before I even get going.” Cuerrier has to wear two prosthetic legs in order to run. The beast is attached to his left leg and is a hard plastic bucket-like socket that wraps around his entire pelvic area as he has no stump limb for a traditional prosthetic. He wears a below-the-knee prosthetic on his right leg. While he admits to bad days, he says that he persists in stepping forward to keep his life full. “There is no time to pout. I have a lot of life in front of me,” says Cuerrier. “Your perspective on life depends on your attitude and how

you approach it.” Cuerrier’s love for Canada Army Run is a result of the “exhilarating and uplifting” experience it provides. He finds that running alongside members of the Canadian Armed Forces and civilians in the ill and injured category provides him with an inclusive, supportive feeling that he doesn’t get with other runs. Cuerrier will return to Canada Army Run in 2016, but he plans to keep it short and sweet: “I will be signing up for the 5K this year. I think the half marathon was a one-time bucket list for me!”

CAMPBELL LABONTÉ’S FAMILY Campbell Labonté is a little warrior, says his mother Captain Joanna Labonté, when it comes to the big things like his 13 surgeries to date. A premature baby, Campbell is deaf blind and also has cerebral palsy. It’s the small things like teeth coming in and unpleasant sounds that occasionally challenge him.

iRun to run away from the past but toward the future. — Athena Melissa Raymond, Toronto, Ontario

Recently, Campbell has been venturing beyond his usual spots of home, school and the hospital with the help of his new cochlear implant, which was partly funded by the Military Families Fund. The hearing device has been an essential part of a year of wonder and discovery. Now at a more resilient level of health after years of medical fragility, Campbell’s parents, Capt. Labonté and Master Corporal Bertrand Labonté, saw that they were missing out on an important ingredient of family life: extracurricular activities. “Campbell had school but none of those extra activities. It was another kind of sadness: everyone else’s kids have them,” explains Capt. Labonté. In short order, Campbell was signed up for a plethora of opportunities including riding lessons, baseball, and swimming. Capt. Labonté and M. Cpl. Bertrand Labonté, both posted in Ottawa, use logistics and teamwork to manage their new schedule. “He has joy and we have joy because it’s no longer about hiding. He might be doing things differently, but he is doing them. And he is givin’ ‘er!” says Capt Labonté. All of this extracurricular activity threw a wrench into one aspect of the Labonté schedule: there was no time for training leading up to the 2015 Canada Army Run. “Regardless, we were there! We love the spirit and energy of the event.” The Labontés will return to the 2016 Canada Army Run – their sixth year participating in the event. Join them by registering at Since 2008, more than $1.6 million has been raised through Canada Army Run for Soldier On and the Military Families Fund. Canada Army Run is the single most significant event generating funds to help military members and their families. Registration for the 2016 Canada Army Run opens on Feb. 16.






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Where the Streets Have No Name: Ray Zahab photographed in the Death Valley. PHOTO BY JON GOLDEN

THE NEW ADVENTURERS Ray Zahab finds the face of the future in the eyes of his kids


hen I was a kid, we got everywhere on foot. The kids nearest to our place in the countryside of the Ottawa Valley were 40 acres across a hay field. So at a very young age my brother and I would make the trek to hang out with our friends. Although it would be years later (many years) before I’d become a runner—using my feet to get to explore—I never forgot those days of chest high grass and my brother and I avoiding the neighbour’s cows so that we could get to our buddy’s house. Fast forward tons of years, and my kids now run all over the house, getting ready for school. They run everywhere. To breakfast, to brush their teeth, to the box of mysterious plastic pieces that end up stuck in my feet. It’s like they never stop, and I love it. Both Kathy and I are runners, and without pressing the issue, we’re doing our best to introduce our young daughters to how amaz-

ing the trails are; to how incredible adventure can be in our own backyard, and to the way running helps us set goals and accomplish them. Thankfully, they seem to really enjoy it—most of the time. It doesn’t hurt that we have the inspiration of a cavalcade of ultra runners and i2P Youth Ambassadors coming through our household. From a young age they’ve been exposed to a group of people who are positive, love life and adventure, come from different places all over the world, but share a common passion—running and health. Especially impactful are the i2P Youth Ambassadors. At the age of 16, 17 or 18-21, they leave to go on expedition, and sometimes come back through our place. Mia, our eldest, has been especially infused by their energy and enthusiasm. That’s the incredible thing about these young athletes, their ability to share their passion, and

iRun because I simply love it! — Raynald Cote, Nova Scotia

what they have learned about themselves, to my kids, and to young people all over the world. And it’s not just the i2P Youth Ambassadors. In running events all over the world, I see more youth involved. There are more young

runners now then ever. By taking on running and developing more goals (we all know, that first 5km usually leads to another, then another, in some cases all the way past a marathon), our future leaders realize that they can accomplish what they set out to do. And that translates to everything else they take on in life. Running teaches us that through challenge and dedication, we can do amazing things. We can surpass the limits we think we have. Learning the power of that at as a child is a great thing. Skills that will prepare these young people to take on the challenge of the greatest adventure…life. Ray Zahab is the founder of Impossible2Possible. An ultra marathoner, public speaker and author of Running for My Life, Zahab is the iRun Runner in Chief.



MAY 1ST, 2016 EXPO APRIL 28-30




THE TREADMILL, AND A SIGN OF OUR TIMES How a tool of torture became one runner’s close friend


t all makes sense now. The treadmill wasn’t created for our modern aerobic convenience, to let us escape bad weather and burn some calories while binge-watching Breaking Bad. Turns out the device was invented almost 200 years ago as a correctional tool for prisoners. Given that the synonyms for treadmill include chore, labour, routine, drudgery, toil, slog and grindstone, perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised. According to a fascinating TED Ed video, in early 19th century England, convicts doing hard labour were set up on a giant paddlewheel that forced them to continue


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climbing. The gears they turned, sometimes for six hours straight, pumped water or crushed grain and, no doubt, a few spirits. Now you know why it can feel so much like torture: it was designed that way. A prison guard once described the benefits of the punitive device on his charges: “The monotonous steadiness, and not its severity, constitutes its terror.” Yep, sounds about right. My very first runs, more than a dozen years ago, were on a treadmill and they certainly felt like hard labour. The machines seemed designed to have an inverse effect on my heart rate and the passage of

time. I’d stare out at the gym, gasping for breath, thinking (hoping) five or 10 minutes had passed, only to look down and discover I’d been moving for about 90 seconds. In those days, I didn’t dream of crossing the finish line of a marathon, but of sitting down. If I’d been told I had only six months to live, I’d head immediately to the treadmill, just to make whatever time I had left pass as slowly as possible. Having had enough

of going nowhere fast, I started running outdoors. After that, I didn’t go back to the treadmill for years. For a decade, I made it a point of pride to run through any weather. But I gradually started accompanying my wife to the gym or sneaking off there myself when winter was just too unbearable. The experience is more bearable to me now, perhaps because I enjoy running much more than when I first started, but more likely due to the fact that I’ve gotten softer with age in the face of windchill warnings. It even adds a bit of variety to my weekly mileage. I wouldn’t want to do it every day, and I can still go months without climbing on board the spinning belt. But once or twice a week when it’s hot or cold suits me just fine. There’s scientific debate about whether you get the same benefit from a treadmill as running outside. Some say you need a small incline to offset the

lack of wind resistance. But I certainly sweat enough on the treadmill to feel like I’ve gotten a workout. And for some specific workouts, like tempo runs and intervals, I’ve found it helps to be able to lock in my pace rather than guess at it and constantly check my watch to see if I’m going too slow or too fast (it’s rarely the latter). But it says something about the luxury of our times that we volunteer to be punished in what was eventually deemed “excessively cruel” when it was banned from the British prison system. So blessed are most of us in our time and place that we must seek out the hardship and adversity that our ancestors couldn’t avoid. We sign up for boot camps. We pay money to be bused a few dozen kilometres out of town so we can then run back. Wherever and however we run, how lucky we are to be testing ourselves because the world won’t do it for us.

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 to become a better person! — Tommy Leblanc, Toronto, Ontario




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*MSRP of $27,995 on 2016 Outback (GD1 25). MSRP excludes Freight & PDI of $1,675. Taxes, license, registration and insurance are extra. $0 security deposit. Model shown is 2016 Outback Limited Package with Technology Package Option (GX2 LPE) with an MSRP of $37,195. Dealers may sell for less or may have to order or trade. Vehicle shown solely for purposes of illustration, and may not be equipped exactly as shown. See your local Subaru dealer for complete program details. *EyeSight® is a driver-assist system, which may not operate optimally under all driving conditions. EyeSight® is not designed as a substitute for due care and attention to the road. The system may not react in every situation. The driver is always responsible for safe and attentive driving. System effectiveness depends on many factors such as vehicle maintenance, weather and road conditions. Finally, even with the advanced technology activated, a driver with good vision and who is paying attention will always be the best safety system. See Owner’s Manual for complete details on system operation and limitations. †Ratings are awarded by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Please visit for testing methods.



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