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SUSTENANCE The Right Kind of Fat | SPEED Pointers & Plans | SOUNDS Hedley, Unlaced | SOUL Paralympians Model the Best Winter Clothes


Gold medalist Melissa Bishop isn’t stopping until she’s number one in the world By Anna Lee Boschetto ISSUE 01 2016

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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 Solana Cain 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

SUSTENANCE The Right Kind of Fat | SPEEd Pointers & Plans | SOUNdS Hedley, Unlaced | SOUL Paralympians Model the Best Winter Clothes



Gold medalist Melissa Bishop isn’t stopping until she’s number one in the world By Anna Lee Boschetto ISSUE 01 2016

GET iRun’s DIGITAL EDITION FREE: GO GREEN and get all the same content ... and more! Subscribe at DON’T MISS ANOTHER ISSUE! Go to for a complete list of the country’s best independent running stores where you can pick up your next copy of iRun for free!

20 A GOOD LOOK The best winter gear as outfitted by members of Canada’s Paralympic track and field team





Dr. Jack Daniels prescribes your 2016 workouts with exclusive iRun 5K, half marathon and marathon schedules

Meet Melissa Bishop, the small town Canadian runner whose positive attitude and iron will has translated into a gold medal career

An interactive program designed by Stefan Danis for setting and reaching both your personal and physical goals

Jacob Hoggard, lead singer of Hedley, on triathlon training, Olympic performances and the importance of his daily 10K


iRun because it’s a metaphor for my life. What I lack in speed I make up in endurance. — Sue-Ann Levy, Ontario


PUBLISHER’S NOTE, ABOUT OUR COVER: Melissa Bishop comes by her body naturally, through training and hard work. But iRun and Sportstats Media will always applaud every athlete and we recognize that not every runner — indeed, almost none — will look like Melissa. We encourage everyone, with every body, to enjoy the pursuits of their next finish line.




Over hill and dale and up mountain trails, the west is the best for going the distance — whether a leisure run or major race or just a chance to get outside and enjoy the scenery. But will Joanne Richard (from Ontario!), be convinced to flee Mississauga and catch a flight? She assembled a cast of western heavyweights to help her make the case.

iRUN: C’mon, are you really trying to tell me that the West is the best when it comes to running? How in the world do you figure that? WYKES: You aren’t going to be hounded off the closed roads by angry Toronto drivers trying to get across town for Sunday brunch. MILLER: Supernatural scenery — soaring hills, winding rivers, and crashing surf. You’d think the stunning setting might distract our runners, but it only pushes them harder to come out and crush it every time. FLEMING: Diversity of races.


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Whether you want a fast road PB, to push your limits with summits or an ultra distance or you’re looking for an awesome finish photo opp at a themed fun run, there are endless race experiences for all ages and abilities. GREENWOOD: Moderate temperatures all year round means there are competitive races literally all 12 months of the year. KREPIAKEVICH: Races for everyone! iRUN: Nope, not sold yet. Give me more. FLEMING: Clean crisp Canadian


air! You can’t beat it! WATSON: Sure it rains a bunch, but when it’s raining here, it’s a frozen wasteland back East. I’ll take rain over cold and snow any damn day! Also, we have the best training venues, mountains, oceans, rainforest and beaches. It’s friggin’ ideal! WYKES: The trails are endless. KANGOGO: It’s sea level and most runners who are looking to shed their times find themselves running their personal best (on a good day). MILLER: There’s nothing like ending a run with a swim at the beach!

iRUN: Who has the country’s best runners? FLEMING: Not sure about best... We do scramble up loose shale like mountain goats and we aren’t deterred by weather that makes your snot freeze! We put Vaseline on our faces to run when it’s -45. WYKES: West coast, best coast! iRUN: Is the West’s running scene given enough respect? FLEMING: There is awesome talent coming out of the West, distance, track and trail! Jessica O’Connell, a University of Calgary Dino

iRun because it’s my “me” time. — Laurie McCann, Ontario

STARTLINE it. Toronto’s one of my destination cities. WATSON: Heck, half the people out here are from Toronto! If anything they just hate the Leafs, and that’s understandable, because the Leafs are terrible. (Just so you know, I’m a Leafs’ fan).

CAST ELLIE GREENWOOD Elite trail runner and 100km World Championships winner DYLAN WYKES Olympic marathon runner, third fastest Canadian marathoner of all time KIP KANGOGO Elite runner, finished 2015 STWM in 2:15:26 CAM MILLER MEC’s nation activity/race coordinator ROB WATSON Long distance runner, second in 2014 Canadian Marathon Championships KIRSTEN FLEMING Executive director of the Scotiabank Calgary Marathon CHARLENE KREPIAKEVICH Executive director of Vancouver International Marathon Society

Clockwise from left: the Calgary Marathon; Kip Kangogo; Charlene Krepiakevic (middle); Dylan Wykes; Cam Miller; Rob Watson; Kirsten Fleming.

Alumni, didn’t do what she had hoped at Pan Am but is recovering from injury and still has her heart set on Rio. Kip Kangogo, of Lethbridge, won the 2015 Scotiabank Calgary Marathon shortly after becoming a Canadian citizen and PB’d at STWM in October, while Calgarian Sam Effah is Canada’s fastest man, and Vancouver-based Adam Campbell is the country’s top pro trail runner. And that’s just off the top of my head! MILLER: We get a whole lot of respect, especially after committing to running our first MEC ultra distance trail race in North Vancouver, a.k.a. the side of a mountain. We dare you to join us. iRUN: Look into your crystal running shoes: What’s the future hold in the West? WYKES: The run crew scene is

taking off in Vancouver and other cities on the West Coast. They have fun, drink good beer, and also run a lot. You’ll be seeing a lot more people with full-sleeve tattoos out enjoying the races. FLEMING: Ultra distances and multi discipline sport races are getting more and more traction. iRUN: Does everyone really hate Toronto? WYKES: Well, Ontario is called “Onterrible” by many emigrants from Ontario to the West Coast! We don’t hate Toronto so much as know Vancouver — and all of the west — is better! FLEMING: No way! We have nothing but love and respect for our people, no matter what corner of this beautiful country they’re from. KANGOGO: Toronto is a great city, was also the host of 2015 Pan Am Games and I’m glad I was part of

iRun because every run is an accomplishment of a goal that has been met. — Patricia Romano, Ontario

iRUN: Finally we agree on something! Anything else out west besides races and running? FLEMING: Good times — we excel at having fun, from street parties to backyard BBQs to barn burners. We take pride in making sure if you’re there, you’re having a good time. WYKES: Coffee, craft beer, and beaches! KREPIAKEVICH: Vancouver has no freeways downtown, has the mildest climate in Canada with little or no snow, is one of the most tolerant cities with the largest Pride celebration in the world, and is an international foodie city and home of the California roll — invented by local Chef Hidekazu Tojo. Yum! iRUN: Alright, I’m coming! What do I have to be sure to bring? WATSON: Two pairs of shoes; racing shoes and party shoes. We love to get after it on the course, but we can have one hell of a fun after party. But remember, folks, running shoes plus jeans are just not cool! KANGOGO: A camera to capture the moment. GREENWOOD: Your rain jacket — what we lack of in terms of beautiful snow in coastal B.C., we more than make up for with rain. FLEMING: A-game in everything you do, including the post-race party! KREPIAKEVICH: A couple of extra days. You’ll want to explore our parks, trails, mountains, neighbourhoods and restaurants. Plus, you’ll want to bring your friends and family to cheer you on and experience the best of the West.




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



FAS T Daniels’ Running Formula was published in 1998 and it’s still widely accepted as the best training program in the world. In an exclusive feature for iRun, Daniels himself constructs 5K, half marathon and marathon training programs for real members of iRun Nation. Have your eyes on the prize of a shiny 2016 PB? Here’s a few words from the master on how you can find success reaching a new finish line.

iRun for mental health. — Constance, Carp, Ontario



We asked three runners to share with us their 2016 race goals and then asked Daniels how he’d train them, as if they were his Olympians. He stressed that to accurately write an athlete’s program, he’d first want to test their hemoglobin count, adding that all runners need to consult their doctors before beginning strenuous training. And then he rolled up his sleeves and got down to work.

RACER NO. 1 EMILY TOMISCH Age: 27 • Distance training for: 5K When’s the race? March 6, 2016 Personal Best: 36:50

2016 GOAL: Redemption. Coming back from a ligament sprained in three places and then dealing with chronic inner ear damage. I want to come back stronger and faster than ever. JACK SAYS: For starters, try and go out easy five days a week, only light stuff, including plenty of walking. After four weeks of that, start doing 200 metre reps (people think that means “sprinting,” but it doesn’t —­ think about your rep speed as something you can currently race for one mile.) BIG TIP: 30-minute workouts are infinitely better than 20-minute workouts. On the other hand, a 60-minute run doesn’t have much more benefit than a 30-minute run does. ONE MORE THING TO KNOW: If you’re not running 40 miles per week (64 kilometres), your long run can be 30 per cent of the weekly mileage. AND FINALLY: You know how I said to get out five times a week? If you can do six or seven sometimes in a week, that’s fine. WAIT, SOMETHING ELSE: Three workouts are better than none, but getting down around three, my main recommendation is that they’re not three in a row and take four days off —­ spread those three workouts out.

SAMPLE WEEK Sunday: Get outside — Walk and jog for a combined 20 minutes. Alternate between running and walking based on how you feel. Monday: Rest. Tuesday: Do Sunday’s workout again. Wednesday: Cross-train, if possible, perhaps in a pool. Thursday: Again try the same workout and, if feeling good, start playing with the ratio of walking to running in your workout. Friday: Rest. Saturday: Try four 200-metre repetitions. Again, we’re not sprinting. We’re looking for a pace you believe you can hold for five minutes. Sunday: 30 minutes spent walking and jogging outside.



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iRun because it’s so much fun. — Eva McDonald, Montreal, Quebec


ometimes I give a talk at a running camp and if they give out shoes — Asics, Saucony, Brooks, whatever — I’ll wear them all,” begins Jack Daniels, 82, a silver medalist at the 1956 summer Olympics. “Sneakers are good and I’m a big fan of the hard work everyone’s doing, but I don’t think the sneakers have yet found a way to replace the simple adage of running a lot and running hard.” Daniels, a teetotaler despite being saddled with a moniker synonymous with booze, began coaching in 1960 and has a degree in exercise physiology. He developed his VDOT formula for determining paces in the late 1960s and coached Canadian Olympian Penny Werthner to the 1976 summer Olympic Games. The guy’s spent his whole life in running shoes. “I don’t run races anymore, but I do run every day for about 30 minutes or so,” says Daniel, who’s based in Cortland, New York. “I think what I’ve always liked about running is how good it feels to feel free.”

RACER NO. 2 ALEKA LILIUS Age: 31 • Distance training for: Half Marathon When’s the race? May 1, 2016 Personal Best: 2:18 :( 

2016 GOAL: To run three half marathons sub-two hours and then run the marathon sub four hours in the fall. JACK SAYS: It’s good to have multiple races on your calendar but be sure the three half marathons are properly spread out. To reach your spring goal, concentrate on speed work and repetitions. Try interval repeats twice a week. BIG TIP: There’s no magic number for how long your long run needs to be to complete the marathon. When I was 77, I went out and did the marathon with my daughter and prior to that, my longest training run of the previous five years was three miles. When you go for your marathon, don’t get hung up on the distance — two and a half hours should suffice. ONE MORE THING TO KNOW: Train in blocks for the season. In other words, for your first six weeks of training, focus on running. Then, running plus repetitions. After that, add interval training — that’s the hardest part of your training. AND FINALLY: Repetitions develop a runner’s speed and economy. Intervals develop aerobic power.

SAMPLE WEEK Sunday: 11 km, given her previous experience. Monday: 6 km, easy.

RACER NO. 3 AISLING MCGHEE Age: 25 • Distance training for: Marathon When’s the race? May 1, 2016 Personal Best: 3:33 — new PB

2016 GOAL: GoodLife Marathon in Toronto: 3:30! JACK SAYS: If you’re running a spring marathon, I’d recommend some shorter races beforehand, 5 or 10 km, to indicate your fitness and influence the intensity of your training. BIG TIP: Three quality workouts a week. A quality workout includes a long run, but also interval training, threshold training — basically, a long run and two variations of speed work. ONE MORE THING TO KNOW: Your long run should either be 25 per cent of your weekly mileage or last two and a half hours. Whichever comes first. AND FINALLY: If you find you don’t have time for a proper long run, bunch some runs together. For instance: Saturday evening and Sunday morning. As long as the runs occur within 10 hours, your body won’t have time to recover and so running 10 km Saturday night and 15 km Sunday morning, works like a 25 km long run. SAMPLE WEEK

Tuesday: Rest.

Sunday: Long run, 15 km, increasing tempo as approaching the finish line.

Wednesday: Tempo runs, six or eight 200-metres, maintaining a similar speed between the first and eighth set.

Monday: 8 km.

Thursday: Cross-train, either in a pool or on a bicycle. Friday: Repetitions, to keep the workouts interesting, switch distances, slow the pace down and increase mileage. Instead of 6x200, now try 4x800. Be mindful of how your speed changes and look to build upon that from week to week. Saturday: Rest. Sunday: Add a kilometre to your long run; if the program’s too challenging, reduce speed work repetitions — but remember, you’ve already conquered the half marathon distance, the goal now is speed.

iRun to stay fit and live a good life with my wife. — Saumendra Poddar, Guelph, Ontario

Tuesday: Repetition training: repeat 200 and 400-metre intervals, up to eight reps at each distance. Wednesday: 8 km. Thursday: 8 km. Friday: Six times 1 km, paying careful attention to run the sixth repetition as quickly as the first one. Saturday: Rest. Sunday: Long run, 17 km, again running your fastest 400 metres as you approach the end of your run.


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




FIVE GREAT FATS TO KEEP YOU FIT 1. COCONUT OIL A concentrated source of natural energy and antioxidants. Although 90 per cent saturated, evidence shows that it has a positive outcome on blood cholesterol and supports cardiovascular health. PERFORMANCE BENEFITS: Coconut fatty acids are easy for your body to absorb and convert directly into usable energy. BOOST YOUR INTAKE: Use virgin coconut oil in place of butter and other oils when cooking.

2. FISH OIL Oily fish, such as salmon,


FAT: IT’S A LOT HEALTHIER THAN YOU THINK THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY Good fats are especially important for active For a nutrient that you can’t live without, fat people, such as runners. To start, they contain sure has a bad reputation. But contrary to pop- nine calories per gram — a dense cash of energy ular belief, eating it doesn’t actually make you that your body favours over carbohydrates durfat. In fact, evidence shows that the right fats ing low intensity workouts. You also need fat in can make you a healthier, well-fuelled runner. your diet to absorb vitamins D, E, A, and K, The good, the bad, and the ugly which are key players in keepSPICY AVOCADO HUMMUS Not all dietary fat is created ing your immune system, bones Adding avocados to this equally. The key to its benefits is and joints strong. Runners dealtraditional Middle Eastern choosing foods that are sources ing with on-going injuries may hummus boosts the level of of good monounsaturated and need to rethink their fat intake. healthy monounsaturated fats polyunsaturated fats, such as Researchers with the University and adds a satisfying creamy some nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, at Buffalo found that female runtexture. seafood and fruits. Canada’s nuners who ate a low fat diet were INGREDIENTS: trition guide recommends that more prone to lower body inju• 2 cups garbanzo beans, 20 to 30 per cent of your daily calries, such as stress fractures, tenhydrated, rinsed and drained ories come from good fats. This donitis and IT band problems. • 1/4 cup olive oil is approximately 65 g per day. Eating fat may also help rev• 1 tbsp tahini Most saturated fats, such up your metabolism. A study in • Juice from half a lemon as those in animal meat, some the 2014 issue of American Jour• 1 clove garlic, crushed • 1/2 tsp sea salt, ground dairy products and shortening, nal of Physiology, Endocrinolo• 1 small jalapeno, seeded and are bad. They may increase gy and Metabolism found that chopped your LDL (bad) cholesterol when physically active people • 1 medium avocado, peeled levels and put you at a greater ate a diet of 50 per cent fat, they • Cilantro to garnish risk for heart disease. burned an extra 7.4 per cent enTHE SCIENCE BEHIND GOOD FATS ergy while sleeping. To top it off, DIRECTIONS: Trans fats, such as those from some dietary fats may improve Place beans, olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and hydrogenated oils or in some exercise efficiency. Last year, a jalapeno in a food processor commercial fried foods and study in Bioscience, Biotechnoloand process until smooth. Add bakery products, are just plain gy, and Biochemistry found that avocado and process until ugly. They offer no nutritional when men were supplemented evenly mixed. Garnish with benefits and are even worse for with omega-3 rich fish oil, they chopped cilantro. Serve with your cholesterol and heart than used less oxygen while cycling. cucumber slices, pita crisps, saturated fats. In other words, their bodies beor wholegrain crackers. Makes about 2.5 cups. The Science behind good fats came more efficient at exercising.

iRun for those who can’t — especially my cousin Kelda. — Dawn Gibbens, St. John’s, Newfoundland

sardines, and mackerel, are exceptional sources of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. Omega3s are vital to maintaining a strong immune system, heart and joint health. PERFORMANCE BENEFITS: Natural anti-inflammatory properties to protect your joints from pain, inflammation, and stiffness. BOOST YOUR INTAKE: Smoked salmon, tuna on crackers, and pickled herring make satisfying omega-3 rich snacks.

3. FLAX This Canadian grown seed is a fantastic vegetarian source of omega-3s. One tablespoon of its oil supplies 8 g of the omega-3 ALA. PERFORMANCE BENEFITS: Helps keep your heart and arteries healthy for pumping blood to working muscles. BOOST YOUR INTAKE: Use flax oil in place of commercial salad dressing.

4. AVOCADO This fruit is low in sugar and contains over 13 g of healthy monounsaturated fat. It’s also chalked full of vitamin E and potassium. KEY PERFORMANCE BENEFITS: Helps boost your absorption of vitamin A to keep your immune system strong so you stay off the sidelines. BOOST YOUR INTAKE: Add avocado to green smoothies, use in place of mayo, or snack on homemade guacamole.

5. ALMOND BUTTER Contains 5 g of monounsaturated fat per tablespoon, along with protein and vitamin E. Because almond butter is easier to digest than whole almonds, it makes a great staple for long trail runs. KEY PERFORMANCE BENEFITS: Offers both fat and protein to fuel your muscles on long runs. BOOST YOUR INTAKE: Mix into your pre-run oatmeal, spread on sliced fruit, or add to your PB&J.

Patience Lister is a food scientist and natural health product researcher. She writes frequently about health and nutrition at Her website is



BISHOP TAKES QUEEN Meet Melissa Bishop, the small town Canadian runner whose positive attitude and iron will has translated into a gold medal career By Anna Lee Boschetto


or just a small town girl, Melissa Bishop is unexpectedly good, if not great, if not poised to become, perhaps, the greatest of all-time. Bishop’s hometown of Eganville, a small eastern Ontario village that’s now part of a township with a population of less than 4,000, isn’t exactly a hotbed for elite athletes. In fact, when Bishop was growing up, there wasn’t even a track facility. Instead, her parents, grandparents and the families of other runners drove two hours to the nation’s capital so that she could train with the Ottawa Lions Track and Field Club. But that didn’t hinder Bishop’s ability or passion for running. “I was lucky growing up, my parents were so supportive,” the 27-year-old Bishop says. “There was a whole community that supported me and I’m happy to be able to share this entire experience with them.” Bishop is a mid-distance track athlete, specializing in the 800 m. She went to the Olympics in 2012 and this summer, she won gold at the 2015 Toronto PanAm games. She currently holds the national women’s record in the 800 m distance. “No matter what, you have to remember that you’ve earned a spot


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to be there,” she says about performing on the world’s biggest track stage. “That’s where you need to call on your mental and emotional side to keep you in the here and now.” She didn’t always have an iron will. On a phone call from Bishop’s childhood home, her mom Alison recounts the scope of her daughter’s athletic ambitions. An avid athlete herself, Alison and her husband nurtured a sports mentality, one that focused more on having fun and spending time together as a family than winning Olympic medals. Not only were the training facilities for Olympians not so easily accessible in such a small community, but Alison and her husband were also encouraging (rather than pushy) parents. “Whatever people have a passion for, that’s inherent,” says Alison. And Bishop is proof that when you want it as badly as she did coupled with passion, hard work and drive, anything is possible. Participating in team sports including soccer and hockey, Bishop wasn’t always the star athlete, but her parents and coaches would agree, she was the hardest working one. “She wasn’t the best player,” explains Alison, “but she had this internal drive, she put her best out there all the time.” As a parent Alison could see the difference between her own children, and the one point of difference was Bishop’s level of determination. She has always had what some would call true grit, and it’s the stuff that helped her get the job done for her team and eventually, helped her nail an Olympic standard faster than perhaps she had even anticipated. And was she ever fast. Her first soccer coach noticed her speed. “He was bound and determined that I was going to be an Olympic runner,” Bishop says. By the time she was in grade four, Bishop was representing Canada at cross county events and eventually she joined the Ottawa Lions Track and Field Club, growing her passion for the sport. “I’ve always had the drive to win,” she says. “I think that I loved the competition, and I had a lot of success at an early age.” While success may have come early, this past winter her career hit more than a few bumps in the road. So much so that after this spring, Bishop questioned her ability to participate in the PanAm Games. “I’d been injury free my entire career, so this year was really tough for me,” she says. After recovering from a sport hernia in January, then spraining her ankle before the opening race in May, she felt the pressure to hit the PanAm and World Championship standards. It was tight, but she did it. She credits, in large part, her intricate network of family and friends. “They put me back together, there was no

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


Run with reason

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option to quit,” she says, adding that as with many athletes, bouncing back from an injury left her feeling fragile and doubtful. “I honestly didn’t know what would happen. I just feel so grateful to be back.” Among the throngs that kept the faith for Team Melissa were her former University of Windsor teammate Heather Krupe and their Coach Dennis Fairall. According to Krupe, it’s Bishop’s ability to rally back from a less than optimal finishing time that may be her greatest strength. “She always took something positive away from a race,” shares Krupe, “and she always gave herself 30 minutes post race before moving onto the next.” She also trusts Coach Fairall’s training program, one that he says isn’t necessarily what she wants to work on. Fairall readily admits that he and the Olympic athlete don’t always see eye-to-eye, yet he admires her dedication and drive to improve despite their differences. Even with her level of skill and experience, Bishop can still go into a race nervous, yet wanting to have fun. As Krupe attests, Bishop is the first to focus on the positivity of the race experience, often telling her teammate to trust their training and enjoy the time to shine. No matter what you’re goal, whether you’re a weekend warrior or training in an elite field, Krupe says that Bishop’s ability to cheer on others to achieve their goals is what makes her such a positive and popular athlete. Throughout our conversation, there’s no doubt that Alison is quite proud of her daughter. “Like any parent, you see a neat piece of your kid’s artwork, and think that it’s incredible, but this is just on a different level,” she says. A different level indeed, one that has taken Bishop onto the world stage, moving away from her home in Eganville and competing with (and defeating) some of the best athletes in the world. “Now that she has been to the Olympics, for Melissa, it’s about believing that you’re equal and you can do this,” explains Alison. That means, even during a tough year, like the one that’s just past, her parents, family and supporters rallied around her, confident in her ability to hold her own on the track. Yet as proud a parent as she is, Alison says it’s most important that her daughter is proud of herself. And that’s something that Bishop seems to continue to learn: “I love running and still appreciate the opportunity to get out and do it,” she says. “It’s a job, but it’s also something I love.” Anna Lee Boschetto is the managing editor of iRun. She interviewed Kathrine Switzer, Jeff Galloway and Dick Beardsley in the last issue of the magazine.

iRun for health, for self, for family, for community and the world. — Nicole Osbourne James, Ontario

IAAF World Track & Field Championships Beijing 2015.





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HUNGRY FOR MORE Austin Smeenk, standing in the blue MEC jacket, is an 18 year old with cerebral palsy who has been training as a wheelchair athlete since he was 12. This summer, he was registered for three events at Toronto’s Parapan Am Games, when suddenly he learned all of his events were cancelled. “You don’t even know what to do or feel — it just sucks,” says Smeenk. “All that time training and then to have it all disappear — yeah, I was pissed.” Smeenk let his bad mood simmer for exactly one week (the events were cancelled for lack of participants in his disability class). “I had to do something to avoid feeling powerless. What am I going to do?” he says. “I got back in my chair and started to train.” The following pages are a tribute to our Parapan Am athletes and Paralympians — to athletes who overcome obstacles while finding new finish lines and breaking barriers of what any of us can do. Here, they’re modelling winter’s best cold-weather running clothing. We’ll see you outside. Button up. ➽ From left, on Isaiah Christophe: Brooks Running Drift Shell in Marathon Nano. $135, Mountain Equipment Co-Op Instinct tights, $90; on Renée Foessell, Old Navy half-zip top, $29.94; on Curtis Thom, Under Armour Launch Run ¼ zip in Blue Jet, $79.99; on Jessica Lewis, Under Armour Storm Layered Up Hoodie in Veneer, $114.99; on Austin Smeenk, Mountain Equipment Co-Op Nitro Thermal run jacket, $95, Mountain Equipment Co-Op Core Shot short-sleeved top, $21, Mountain Equipment Co-Op Mercury 2 tights, $75, HOKA Clifton 2 Road running shoes, $155.

A GOOD LOOK Isaiah Christophe considers himself lucky. Born with Spina bifida, he’s never taken a step in his life. Still, the 21 year old, pictured right, focuses on what he has, not what he’s missing out on. “Honestly, I’m grateful,” says Christophe, who counts Curtis Thom as a role model. “I’ve been all over the world and met extraordinary people and I’m just not sure that would’ve happened had I been born like everyone else.” Christophe came to track after playing hockey and basketball and he’s looking forward to a busy training period before the 2016 Paralympic Trials in July. “I’m a nice person. I’m a quiet person. I like to smile and have fun, but I’m also a very, very competitive person and when I show up to race, I come to work,” Christophe says. “I’d love to represent Canada in Rio. I love showing people what I can do.” ➽ Clockwise, from left: on Renée Foessell, IZ Adaptive Leather Biker Jacket Easy-Zip Back, $599.99 USD, IZ Adaptive Open-Snap Back Tee, $34 USD, Lolë Burst Leggings in Black Snowstorm, $100, Skechers sneakers; on Jessica Lewis, H&M jacket, $49.99, Old Navy Active Compression Leggings, $34.94, Under Armour sneakers; on Isaiah Christophe, Brooks Running Dash ½ Zip in Nightlife, $75, H&M vest, $39.99, Under Armour Illuminate Run Beanie, $39.99; on Curtis Thom: Brooks Running Dash ½ Zip in Heather Hydro, $75, New Balance sneakers; on Renée Foessell, Brooks Running Seattle Shell in Currant, $260, Brooks Running Greenlight Tight Limited Edition in Currant, $90. 22

2016 ISSUE 01

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


A GOOD LOOK “I use track as a way to cope with things. If I’m having a stressed out day I’ll work out and refocus and come back to the situation and find I’m not being as emotional about it,” says Jessica Lewis, pictured, bottom right, who took bronze in October at the IPC World Championships in Qatar. “It helps me to focus on my abilities instead of my disabilities.” Lewis, 22, was born in Bermuda and had her spine split as the result of a born spur before she was one. It never stopped her from rock climbing or riding horseback. “My mom was always super supportive and I was raised believing that there’s nothing that I can’t do,” says Lewis, who’s studying Therapeutic Recreation at Brock University. “Besides sports, where the big prize is Rio, I’m dedicating my life to working with people with disabilities and letting them know that having a disability doesn’t mean you can’t do anything that you want.” ➽ From left, Austin Smeenk wears Mountain Equipment Co-op Kinglet vest, $95, Mountain Equipment Co-op Shot short-sleeved top, $21; Jessica Lewis has a Layered Up Reversible Headband in Rebel Pink, $24.99. For all other clothing credits on this page, please see the previous pages.


Style by day Safety by night 25% discount with the use of the coupon code





fter having two boys we were thrilled to welcome a baby girl into our family. Not knowing the gender in any of my pregnancies, I could hardly believe my eyes when Leah entered our life. Many people offered unsolicited parenting advice about having a girl, I suppose because of their concern or experience with raising only boys. While some said Leah would be sweet, innocent and well-behaved, several others warned she could be bossy, emotional, demanding, diva-like, and the new ruler of the home. I wasn’t up for much of that. My husband and I consciously decided that, for the most part, we would raise her like her brothers, not giving her any special treatment simply because of her gender. As the second youngest of six children, I was given every opportunity to participate in the same activities as my older siblings. I started hockey at the young age of four, playing alongside mainly boys. With four brothers and one sister, I was used to it. I loved every bit. As we started to see more of Leah’s personality, we learned of both the clear similarities and differences to that of her brothers’. She enjoyed afterdinner wrestling with daddy, was just as eager to learn how to skate, and liked reading and playing with the same books and toys. As for her differences, she was much more sensitive to discipline, and showed greater emotion, often crying for lengthy periods of time, particularly when over-tired. Then came the gamechanger. The most shocking difference was revealed during lunch when my then three-year-old daughter

A letter to my daughter Krista DuChene reflects on her own upbringing and comes to terms with the ways in which her little girl experiences life differently than her sons

SMELLING THE ROSES: After making the Olympic standard, DuChene and her daughter Leah are all smiles.

said, “Mom, I don’t think you should eat all of that because if you do you might get fat and not be able to wear a dress and look pretty.” As a parent I’d already learned to give little attention to situations you don’t want to escalate so I responded: “Oh Leah, mom is active and eats healthy food so I’m not worried about that.” We went about the rest of our day. Since then, Leah has continued to show much more of an interest than her brothers in things like clothing, hair, makeup, jewellery, nail polish and the like. In fact, she isn’t shy to offer her opinion about what I’m wearing or how my hair looks. Just recently she expressed interest in using a straightener for her hair! She is four.

iRun to inspire my family and live a healthy and active lifestyle. — Linda Nguyen, Ontario

Dear Leah, where will I go with all this? Well, I’ve continued to be a big believer in modelling the behaviour desired in our kids. My husband and I are the most influential role models in our children’s lives. The best way to encourage them is to show them how it’s done. Doing as I do has been and will be far more effective than doing as I say. I know Leah takes more of an interest in modelling my behaviour than her dad’s, so I’m up for a good challenge when it comes to outwardly appearance, an area that will only gain more significance as she ages. I avoid excess time, money and energy on outward appearance. I’d rather run one more kilometre and give myself less time to get ready than the alternative. And

I minimize time at the mall shopping for clothes, and do not lament about what I will wear. I appreciate the fact that my husband and two sons provide positive feedback about how Leah and I look, but also about our other attributes. I model the fact that I am confident and comfortable with my body. I accept and appreciate it for what it allows me to do, particularly be active and run! Leah, I aim to shield you from media that sends poor messages. I will provide you with the opportunity to attend races as a spectator and participant, accompany me in my daily preventative maintenance routine at home, see me go to and come home from the gym. I’ll listen to your feelings. When your hair doesn’t look the way you want after brushing it, I’ll be empathetic, but explain that you also need to take as much or more care in brushing your teeth. I aim to model a healthy acceptance of my own body shape, and accepting other people’s bodies. Instead of emphasizing physical appearance, I aim to talk about other aspects like personality, skills and other outlooks on life. Being a professional runner, I’m able to show my children that I appreciate what my body can do, rather than focus on what it looks like. All of my children are able to use their gifts, have fun and socially interact as individuals. None of it is related to doing it to make their body look a certain way. Krista DuChene holds the second fastest female marathon time in Canadian history. She’s qualified to run the marathon this summer at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.



How to reach your potential in 2016

Most of us don’t make bold decisions until we are pushed to the wall. Mine came in October 2008. The severe economic crash had shattered our business and my confidence. I had to find a way to regain my health physically, emotionally and spiritually and went looking for a transformative project completely outside of my comfort zone. I started running. Five months after I took my first steps, I ran the 2009 Gobi March in China. “If I can run this I can handle anything including the recession,” I thought. My journey had similarities to some of the 300,000 Canadians who had just lost their jobs as they too embarked on their own challenge. I had never run 42 kilometres before. The race was 250 kilometres, running six marathons in five days in some of the world’s least hospitable terrain along with runners from 25 countries, each of us carrying all of our food and survival supplies on our back, unaided. I hoped to finish; I won the 4050 age group.The experience was indeed transformative; I would write a book, join the speaking circuit, and ultimately help raise $175,000 for individuals in need. In the Gobi, I also raced against teams of three, where runners complete the full distance shoulder to shoulder. Curious to explore the team concept, we ran as a team in the Atacama Crossing in Chile, the Sahara Race in Egypt, and The Last Desert in Antarctica. Next is Namibia in May 2016. Here, I share three lessons I learned running deserts. On the opposite page I invite you to find your own Gobi.


2015 ISSUE 06


MAKE YOUR GOAL A PROMISE When faced with a challenge, wanting to overcome it is a great start. The next and more difficult step is committing to that want. Private goals we set for ourselves many times have a way of falling short, amounting to little more than good intentions. Initial excitement wears off, apathy sets in, self-doubt follows and ultimately we give in and our minds rationalize the decision. As soon as I chose to tell everyone about the Gobi project I realized backing out would be impossible. Making such a public statement was in effect a declaration, and a declaration is the highest form of promise. The law of diminishing intentions may drain our willingness to go after goals, but rarely will it have the same effect on a promise we’ve made. Even today, for most people, giving their word still means something and breaking a promise is unacceptable. When you promise something, it serves to not only draw you closer to your goal, but also eliminates any escape mechanism.

Life hands us all opportunities yet we perceive most of them as outside our comfort zone. A big project comes up and the standard response is “no, this is not reasonable.” As we age, it gets worse as our risk tolerance decreases, and decision making hovers between protecting ourselves and what we have, and avoiding the sting of potentially failing at the expense of taking on something new. When faced with that decision, think of being unreasonable. When the Gobi project appeared, my immediate response was obvious: I had no experience! And even if I thought I could, I didn’t have enough time to get ready. I had so many reasons not to do it. “Be unreasonable,” I thought. I stopped listening to the “voices” and went ahead. The rest is history.        Reasonableness is a standard against which we make most decisions. It typically yields a predictable outcome: playing the game of life not to lose. Being unreasonable opens up the option of playing to win.

FIRST TRAIN YOUR ATTITUDE When facing a challenge, we typically dedicate the majority of our time focused on acquiring a new skill, rather than training our attitude so that the new skill can flourish. After signing up for the Gobi, the best advice I got was that it wasn’t a marathon, but a race that was more mental than physical. That simple statement would drive everything I did. Yes, I had to learn to run half the distance. But I would need to rely on my mind for the other half. How should I train my attitude? I decided to run ONLY when I didn’t want to. I ran at midnight, after a meal when I felt full, during storms and blizzards, when I was ill, or whenever my voice inside said: “I’m tired.” If there was beautiful sunshine outside with perfect running conditions, I did strength training inside instead. My training would add up to less distance than most, but every time I ran I received the compound upshot of slowly building the mental attitude and immunity required to deal with the adverse conditions the desert would unleash.

iRun for 4 those who can’t! #iRun4Charlie #iRun4Caleb #EndKidsCancer #AutismAwareness — Johanna Lopez, Ontario

PLAN B Make it Attainable: A nice stretch for you

If you struggled to complete the leverage box then Do you have enough reason to succeed? List the cost to you if Plan A doesn’t happen.




NO { } YES{ }




Pick someone whom you assign as your “accountability” buddy and agree to give them a weekly update. Enter name here:

1. 2. 3.

iRun to free the past and reach the future. — Athena Raymond, Toronto, Ontario

DO YOU HAVE ENOUGH REASONS TO SUCCEED? PLAN A List all the reasons why you really want Plan A


PLAN B List the costs to you if Plan A doesn’t happen






PLAN A Make it “Unreasonable”: That would change everything

The key is to get momentum. Choose your finish line, one of your unreasonable goals. Think of each small sprinting step to take to make it to the finish. Move your feet — do them quickly. THINK BIG



by Jan by Feb by Mar by Apr by May by June by July by Aug by Sep by Oct by Nov by Dec


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iRun: I saw you at the Montreal Rock ‘n’ Roll half marathon, giving a blistering performance. Did that feel different playing to runners after their race than your usual crowds? HOGGARD: I run, that’s what I do, so I definitely felt comfortable on that Montreal stage, yeah. My motto is run for your life.


iRun: How does running help you as a writer and performer? HOGGARD: I travel so much that I can’t always eat right or have a steady exercise regime, but the one thing I can do is wear my sneakers. It’s what I’ve always done and it’s what keeps me fit. I can’t get off the couch and walk to the stage. iRun: What do you do to keep in shape? HOGGARD: I’m from Vancouver and I spend my time in the mountains. I hike. I fish. I build cabins in the woods. For me, running combines all of that

all-around cardio work that keeps my heart in good health. When I get my run in, I know I’ll be able to do what I do, like you saw in Montreal, you know? iRun: Running has a certain reputation. People might be surprised to hear that a punk rocker like you is so into the sport. What do you like about it? HOGGARD: Lung capacity. iRun: Tell us a little about your routine. HOGGARD: I never listen to music and I always do it in the morning. I get up, have a cappuccino and sit for 20 minutes and have some stillness. I really have a hard time sitting still but if I force myself, I can generally last 20 minutes. Then I take off and go and do about 10 km or so. iRun: Vancouver has great races, from the SeaWheeze to the Vancouver Marathon. You ever think about turning the 10 km

iRun because Ben made me. — Peter Symons, Toronto, Ontario

into a half marathon or even go for the marathon someday? HOGGARD: I’ve trained for a triathlon. I love cycling and swimming and ride fixed gear bicycles. I do 45 km circuits around the city and have a blast, but I’ve learned that with my schedule I can’t compete or complete my training, but I do it with a bunch of my friends — that’s the best part.

iRun: Hello is out and immediately it went No. 1, beating Carrie Underwood and The Weeknd. At this stage of your career, is that what you come to expect? HOGGARD: It’s always scary. The only way I can write is to dig deep and be honest and that’s scary — being vulnerable can be perceived as a weakness. I live and die with these records and having everybody decide how they feel about my heart and soul? Scary, dude. Horrifying. iRun: You performed at the

Vancouver Olympics. How motivating was that for you and the band? HOGGARD: To be at home in front of a home crowd at such an amazing moment — in front of the whole world — nothing like it I’ve ever done. I felt like I could fly after that show.

iRun: Help our readers get out the door in the cold on their next run. If you could recommend one tune to iRun Nation, what would it be? HOGGARD: Man, I want them to listen to a little song called “Hello.” It’s such a journey musically, from quiet and introspection to determination and grit to all out rage — yeah, I think that’d be a good song on a run. Hedley’s tour across Canada kicks off in April. For dates, see Ben Kaplan is iRun’s General Manager. His first book is called Feet, Don’t Fail Me Now. For a Hedley-inspired running playlist, see




5607 Hazeldean Road | Ottawa | 613-831-3604 203 Richmond Road | Ottawa | 613-792-1170 shop online at 32

2016 ISSUE 01

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


Teenage Bliss: At the birthplace of the marathon, the kids from Impossible2Possible ran 200 kilometres.

“A UNIQUE SOLIDIFICATION OF OUR FRIENDSHIPS” Ray Zahab spent 2015 in his sneakers, exploring the world and raising money for charity with i2P. What happened? Zahab explains


love this time of year: It’s when I take stock in what I’ve learned, what I’ve done and what my new goals are – what it’s going to take to make them happen. 2015 was amazing. January reignited my passion for adventure with friends. Stefano Gregoretti, Ryan Grant and I ran over 1,000 km across the Patagonian Desert. We ran together as a unit, helping each other through the heat, wind and gnarly terrain . . . we shared the stories of the people we met with schools that followed along on our live expedition website – our film team making it possible. We did it as one, the ups and downs, taking every step towards our goal ending at the Pacific in celebration – not only of completion, but of a unique solidification of our friendships and what it means to share an adventure together. In May, our awesome i2P

Youth Ambassador team headed to Greece to run 200 km across the mountains. Seeing these kids achieve this amazing feat was so inspiring that I was reminded once again that we are all capable of amazing things when we’re challenged. In 2016, let’s keep being challenged. You can’t have ups without downs, and when you have the downs, it’s what you learn from them that counts most. In July, my buddies Chris Roman, Will Laughlin and I attempted our second off-road crossing of the Death Valley National Park. We had made it past crazy salt flats, a scary descent into a canyon from 6,000 ft altitude at the north boundary, nighttime crossing of scorpion-filled salt marsh and across the notorious Devils Golf Course. But when we reached the Badwater Basin, we stopped. Temperatures were so hot that we

iRun because it’s cheaper than therapy – maybe. — Maria T, Ontario

realized the Devil’s Golf Course was not only unsafe, but a death sentence. Making hard, but good decisions? The mark of an adult. I get the most satisfaction from seeing our Youth Ambassadors achieve their goals. Seeing

and being inspired from these people on their own journeys keeps me motivated on mine. They’re my inspirations. Running is a huge part of my family life. My wife Kath is a trail runner, and recently completed her third ultra! Both my daughters run and chasing them (trying to keep up) on the trails is pure joy for me. I can’t wait to live out all of our futures. I have an expedition that will span 100 degrees on the thermometer in February, a huge challenge. I’m not sure I can pull it off, but I’ll try. That’s how all of us achieve some pretty amazing things in our lives. 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











2016 ISSUE 01

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


SATURDAY, DECEMBER 5 Santa Shuffle British Columbia: Abbotsford, Kamloops, Kelowna, Vancouver, Victoria and more! SUNDAY, JANUARY 17 Steveston Ice Breaker Vancouver, British Columbia SUNDAY, JANUARY 24 Hypothermic Half Marathon Abbotsford, British Columbia SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 6 Hypothermic Half Marathon Vancouver, British Columbia SUNDAY, APRIL 3 BMO Sunshine Coast April Fools Run Halfmoon Bay, British Columbia SATURDAY, MAY 7 Shoppers Drug Mart Run for Women Vancouver, British Columbia [ PRAIRIES ]

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 20 Hypothermic Half Marathon Calgary, Alberta SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 21 Hypothermic Half Marathon Regina, Saskatchewan SATURDAY, MARCH 26 Okotoks Rabbit Run and Bunny Dash Okotoks, Alberta SATURDAY, APRIL 6 Light It Up Calgary Calgary, Alberta SATURDAY, APRIL 23 Go For the Burn Fun Run Winnipeg, Manitoba SUNDAY, MAY 1 Winnipeg Police Half Marathon 2 Person Relay 5K Winnipeg, Manitoba FRIDAY, MAY 6 Spruce Woods Ultra Winnipeg, Manitoba

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 5 Santa Shuffle Alberta: Calgary, Edmonton, Lethbridge and Red Deer

SATURDAY, MAY 7 Annual Andrew Dunn Walk/ Run Dugald, Manitoba

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 7 Hypothermic Half Marathon Edmonton, Alberta

SATURDAY, MAY 7 Annual Hope for Little Hearts Edmonton, Alberta

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 14 5K Walk to End Prostate Cancer Winnipeg, Manitoba

SATURDAY, MAY 14 NSTEP Step UP 4 Students Calgary, Alberta

iRun to lose baby weight. — Sally Chui, Ontario

SUNDAY, MAY 15 Shoppers Drug Mart Run for Women Calgary, Alberta SATURDAY, MAY 28 Shoppers Drug Mart Run for Women Edmonton, Alberta SUNDAY, MAY 29 Scotiabank Calgary Marathon Race Weekend Calgary, Alberta [ ONTARIO AND QUEBEC ]

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 5 Santa Shuffle Ontario: Barrie, Hamilton, Cornwall, Guelph, Kingston, London, Newmarket, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, Sarnia, Sudbury and Thunderbay SATURDAY, DECEMBER 5 Santa Shuffle Quebec: Montreal, Quebec and Sherbrooke SUNDAY, DECEMBER 20 Dion Mill Pond Snow Shoe Race Jasper, Ontario races SATURDAY, DECEMBER 26 Boxing Day 10 and 4 Miler Hamilton, Ontario SATURDAY, JANUARY 9 Dion Ignite the Night Snowshoe Race Morrisburg, Ontario races/dion-ignite-the-nightsnowshoe-race

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 7 Hypothermic Half Marathon Sarnia, Ontario SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 13 Dion Summerstown Forest Snowshoe Race Summerstown, Ontario races SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 14 Hypothermic Half Marathon Montreal, Quebec MONDAY, FEBRUARY 15 Grimsby Half Marathon and Family Day 10K and 3K Grimsby, Ontario races/grimsby SUNDAY, MARCH 6 Hypothermic Half Marathon Ottawa, Ontario SATURDAY, APRIL 2 Jordan 5K and 1K Jordan, Ontario races/jordan SUNDAY, APRIL 3 Around the Bay Road Race Hamilton, Ontario SATURDAY, APRIL 30 Mississauga Marathon Mississauga, Ontario SUNDAY, MAY 1 GoodLife Fitness Toronto Marathon Toronto, Ontario SATURDAY, MAY 7 Shoppers Drug Mart Run for Women Hamilton, Ontario

SUNDAY, MAY 22 Whitby International 10K/5K Road Race Whitby, Ontario SATURDAY, MAY 28 Peterborough Zoo Run Lakefield, Ontario Peterborough-zoo-run-5k SUNDAY, MAY 29 Toronto Womens Half Marathon-5K Toronto, Ontario [ EAST ]

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 5 Santa Shuffle New Brunswick: Fredericton and Moncton SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 7 Hypothermic Half Marathon Moncton, New Brunswick SUNDAY, APRIL 10 Lorneville Loop 13 km Run-Walk Saint John, New Brunswick FRIDAY, APRIL 15 Transplant Trot Saint John, New Brunswick SATURDAY, APRIL 30 Mercury Race New Maryland, New Brunswick SUNDAY, MAY 1 Shoppers Drug Mart Run for Women Moncton, New Brunswick





At the crack of dawn, a runner can find solace in being alone in the world — especially with a sleeping family to come home to.


2016 ISSUE 01

like I was running — or not running — behind. The first step of each run is always the hardest. At 5:00 a.m. that initial stride is the one made barefoot onto a cold floor. Once you have your running gear on, you have no choice but to go. And when you step out the door, your run becomes a fact. You’ve already gone too far to turn back. On these early runs, the streets are quiet, but I’m not alone. There are, sporadically, people walking dogs or waiting for an early bus. Occasionally there is another runner. My usual route along an unlit path is not an option without daylight, so I run the busiest streets of my neighbourhood, timing the glances at my watch to the passing streetlights.

I pass by dormant shops and restaurants, darkened residential windows and empty cars. On some days, I run all the way downtown. Two hours later I’ll be back, dressed differently and bemoaning the congestion. Now not only the sidewalks but the streets belong to me. I can run for ten minutes without seeing headlights. At first it feels eerie, like a futuristic movie. After a few days, the familiarity becomes comforting. This

has become my time of the day. When the weekend rolls around and I can run a bit later in the morning, it feels strange to see daylight. I have to remind myself to bring my sunglasses. The temperature varies. Some early mornings are frosty, others still hinting at late fall. But it’s cool enough that most days I wear gloves, just in case. The fingers are the first victims of the approaching chill. On one morning, a pelting rain tests my stubbornness. But once the blood starts flowing more quickly,

the feeling of satisfaction grows. And when I sneak back into the house before anyone else is awake, it feels like a minor triumph. I’ve claimed the last part of my day not surrendered to work and other evil forces. And I’ve disturbed no one. The benefits and consequences are mine and mine alone. I take off my shoes and wait for the rest of the house to come to life. The energy will carry me through another long day. For a few weeks it becomes enough of a routine that on some days I even wake up before the alarm. I am craving the challenge, the solitude and the reward more than another hour of rest. It’s not something I’d do year-round — I like breaking up the day with a run and I’d miss my running buddy — but for now, it’s just as refreshing to change your routine as your route. Every run is a private and personal victory, and never more so than before the sun and your family arise.

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 look great in short shorts! — Nate Tsang, Thornhill, Ontario



would rather run than sleep. That’s what my little obsession has come to. So when the days fill to capacity in a busy autumn, there is no other alternative but to wind back the alarm clock an hour, leave my silent house under cover of darkness and head out into the docile streets alone. I normally have the flexibility to run at one of various times during the day. But for a few weeks in September and October, the windows in my schedule were closing more rapidly than those in my house. So almost every weekday I rose at 5:00 or 5:15, carefully dressed and tied my shoes in the blackness and got out the door as quickly as possible. I’m not immune to the temptation of a warm bed. And I crave and value my sleep. Look, I have multiple jobs and children. When I daydream about retiring early, it’s about quitting the day, not my job. But I must have my runs. I know it’s hyperbole, but I’ve convinced myself I can’t function without them. As I set the alarm each night, I reminded myself I would be weary either way. I could be tired and satisfied or tired and chagrined. I could be energized or sluggish. I could spend the whole day feeling like I was ahead, or


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Whether you’ve been naughty or nice, Kathy and Kelly don’t care.

You can still register for the Santa 5K! See, and get an early jump on your holiday spirit.

For more great race ideas and fabulous Yuletide splendor, please see our ad on page 35 and check out the 20th anniversary of the world-famous Chilly Half Marathon this March.

iRun ISSUE01 2016  

iRun is a property of Sportstats Media, a website and print magazine that's the gateway to the Canadian running community.

iRun ISSUE01 2016  

iRun is a property of Sportstats Media, a website and print magazine that's the gateway to the Canadian running community.