iRun issue 05 2017

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MAY 26 - 27




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



Canada’s greatest icon of running—I would push to say our greatest sporting icon period— holds no IAAF ratified records and never had an Olympic medal draped around his neck. Other sporting heroes are sporadically immortalized in the cities that they gifted with trophies and ephemeral triumphs in the competitive arena. Terry Fox is celebrated from sea to sea, not just an icon of athletics but of humanity. In our nation’s capital, he looks toward the house of our government. In that city, the Ottawa Race Weekend annually brings together upwards of 44,000 runners to race in support of more than 500 charities. Fox is remembered on the east coast with a statue in St. John’s, where he dipped his leg in the Atlantic to begin the Marathon of Hope. There, his mission continues with the Blue Nose Marathon surpassing $500,000 total raised for local causes in 2016 alone. On the west coast, Fox welcomes visitors along the main pavilion of Vancouver’s BC Place. His presence there is a reminder that before entering the arena where victory is prized, an athlete should prize humility and perseverance above all. The BMO Vancouver Marathon now boasts $14.5 million and counting raised for charity. His figure is etched into our Canadian DNA and the name Terry Fox literally binds

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




FuelCell with nitrogen-infused foam, engineered for speed.

our land together by giving itself to 15 places we live and visit and channelling it highways. If Terry Fox is woven into Canada’s toward a better present and future for those DNA, so too is the sense of purpose with places. The lives we change are ones we’ll which he ran. likely never encounter. It should make perfect sense that running When race director Sheryl Sawyer and charity have come together for such a brought the Mudcat Marathon to her town fruitful relationship. Running is kindness and of Dunnville, Ont.—located along the Grand generosity in motion. In the distances we log, River delta with a population of just under every runner must constantly quiet the voice that reminds us of our own shortcomings and that tells us we can’t. We have to tell ourselves that we are worth the effort. In moments of anguish, we have to stay committed to shedding the layers that weigh us down and that we know don’t define us. We have to put aside preconceived notions and accept slow gradual progress, not immediate perfection. To throw our hands up in frusCheque, please: The Dunnville Youth Impact Centre tration is an act of anger toward ourselves. Each subsequent step, reaping the rewards of their work at the Mudcat Marathon. each inhalation and exhalation to bring us back to focus, is a choice toward kindness. Rather than denigrate ourselves or react violently against that voice of doubt, we treat it with compassion and patience by quietly moving forward with an understanding that it requires work. I would hope that such a journey into our own struggles, that confrontation with our own demons, invites us to a place of humility, a realization that our complex tangles won’t be eradicated with violence. Nor will inflicting shame on ourselves or on others compel us to be better. Kindness proves to be the best way forward. We’ll lace up again in the following days, 6,000—the race partnered with the Dunnville weeks, months and years if we’re so lucky, Youth Impact Centre. celebrating each barrier broken and not It was an important match for Sawyer as daunted by the many more that may yet the Mudcat Marathon brought a lasting impact present themselves. into the lives of Dunnville’s youth. According Perhaps this is where the Good Run to Sawyer, “While beginning to show some begins. We run to build something better, signs of thriving now, Dunnville has suffered often a better self. To run for a better com- economic setbacks in recent years that have left munity, to share that kindness, is just a natural a legacy of poverty among some of its youth.” extension of that. The Mudcat Marathon, Sawyer says, was Running and generosity go hand in hand. an opportunity to “raise funds that wouldn't It means taking the privilege of pursuing our otherwise be available in the community.” passion for racing on to the streets of the It was the more than 1,100 runners who



iRun because it helps me look forward instead of back. —Chelsea Lambe, Stittsville, ON

descended on Dunnville, many perhaps for the first time, that empowered the Dunnville Youth Impact Centre to continue its efforts in lifting youth out of poverty. Running was a tool for community building, one that brought to light a small charity working in a small community. That model scales up brilliantly to our most popular and biggest races, where support is built for hundreds of charities at a time, again ranging from the smallest of local organizations to world-renowned research hospitals. When race directors and organizers have an understanding of running’s potential as a catalyst for change and make that a commitment from the get-go, there’s no trade-off between a memorable race experience and one toward which participants can be proud of having pledged their dollars and energy. The author Victor Fankl posited that meaning is at the core of happiness. It’s not an absence of suffering or struggle or even constant pleasure that makes us happy, but a connection to purpose. “What man needs,” Frankl writes, “is the striving and struggling to a worthwhile goal.” That’s why Rhonda-Marie Avery, legally blind, ran end-to-end along the 900 kilometres of the Bruce Trail, to raise funds for and empower her fellow athletes. Avery’s Envisions Project strives to break barriers between athletics and those living with disability. It’s why Troy Adams and Brad Firth can run across Canada in hopes of raising awareness of the causes of brain injury and missing and murdered indigenous women. It’s why Richard Hoyt pushed his son Richard Jr., the latter afflicted with cerebral palsy, in a wheelchair for 72 total marathons. Like Fox, their bodies endure struggle but those bodies are still able instruments for generosity and purpose. The miles are never for nothing. Every runner knows that. The acts of charity we undertake through blisters and black toenails are imbued with meaning and belief in something bigger within and bigger than ourselves. Charity gives running meaning and meaning gives running joy.




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iRun because I like buying running clothes. — Yves Laliberte, Markham, ON


THOUSAND BRACES Christine Gauthier was a defiant Canadian soldier before a training accident dislocated her spine and left her wheelchair-bound. After service busting gender roles in the military, she was in for the fight of her life. On overcoming and empowerment, iRun presents Christine Gauthier By Ben Kaplan

iRun because I want to try. — Nicole Clermont, Ottawa



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hristine Gauthier wanted to be a cop. The daughter of a policeman, she grew up the fourth of five sisters outside Montreal and appreciated her dad’s fastidious manner and how he answered the call of duty. He was serious, civic-minded, brave and stubborn, and exemplified the proud nature of an everyday hero. In him, Gauthier saw the example that she wanted to follow. She saw the example of how to live. The problem was this was 1985 and Quebec was reeling from the shooting death of Jacynthe Fyfe, the first female police officer to be killed on duty in Canada. There wasn’t a lot of encouragement behind enlisting new female officers. Despite her enthusiasm for the vocation, Gauthier’s dreams were put on hold. Being a cop was deemed too dangerous for a female. “It was the very height of the Jacynthe Fyfe story and the big thing was, ‘Women can’t be in the force.’ I was 17 and active—always into anything I could get into—and figured instead I might join the army to push myself, push my limits,” says Gauthier, 47, who became part of a nascent group of female soldiers engaged in what’s called combat arms. “Right away I felt comfortable in the army, like I wouldn’t have fit in anywhere else. I was one of the first of seven women entered into combat arms. We worked in field artillery and it was physical and demanding and I was proud to be a woman changing the expectations of the so-called macho military men. They pushed me to always be my best.” Gauthier had planned on being in the army for a brief period, accruing experience and waiting for the hysteria to settle surrounding Fyfe. However, she enjoyed the challenge and the camaraderie of the military and she was stationed in Israel during

the first Gulf War and saw active duty during the Oka Crisis in Oka, Que. These were not easy stations, but Gauthier took to the mission and felt at home with her peers, with the action, with the physical demands. There was no reason to believe that she wouldn’t be in the military for life. And then the unthinkable happened. Despite routinely being in harm’s way as a member of the combat arms brigade, she had never been wounded in battle. But one day in 1989, during a training exercise at her base in Quebec, Gauthier jumped into a trench and dislocated her spine, knees and hips when she landed on a bed of rocks. However, Gauthier didn’t stop her training and work and slowly, painfully, her injury grew worse over time. “I was in a rehab program for a while and everything went back into place, but crookedly, and I kept surviving, working and training, and it damaged everything,” says Gauthier, adding that if not for her injury she’d reenlist in the military at a moment’s notice. “Within the next 10 years, they’ll have to replace every disc in my back. I’m going to be a hell of a hot rod when I’m done.”


iRun because it brings a sense of accomplishment and peace that lasts long after the race is done. — Trevor Bradshaw, Stittsville, ON


All her life Gauthier was active, a tomboy, a soldier— someone who wanted to help her community and her country and emulate her dad. But now, bound to a wheelchair, misdiagnosed and homebound, the mental aspects of her injury began taking hold. Depression and aimlessness compounded her physical anguish and Gauthier admits to having had feelings of suicide. “There were days, certainly, that I didn’t think I’d get through,” she says. Slowly, with the help of her service dog, the veteran’s group Soldier On and Canada’s Army Run, Gauthier was able to find, if not exactly her old self, then a new self that she could get used to, that she could eventually love. It wasn’t easy—and it still isn’t— but she believes that she’s finding the tools to not only manage her complicated life, but to thrive. Last year, Gauthier went to Rio as a member of Canada’s Paralympic team in paddling, a sport she’d only practised for eight years. Just like when she began in the military, she was discovering nascent talents and experiencing success thanks to her mix of stubbornness, defiance, resiliency and pride.

“Life, for all of us, is unpredictable: you have no choice but to carry on,” she says. “I have hard days, days when I’m curled up and crying, I’m hurt and get frustrated and I’d so much love to go for a run, just these basic things, but I know that I’m making progress. These last few years, with the Army Run and the Soldier On programs, have led to some nice days. I’m not giving up on my life.” For Major Gus Garant, the race director of the Army Run, stories like Gauthier’s give his work meaning. There are no shortage of Canadian races and no lack of runners in search of their next finish line. We all have charities to support. But the Army Run, where 25% of participants have military connections and all of the proceeds go to charitable funds, is different. Since 2014, it’s been sponsored by the Bank of Montreal, where banking is free for the Canadian military and where Gauthier banks. With veteran suicides in the news and PTSD affecting as many as 20% of veterans of the Iraq War, it’s an event where every runner makes a difference. Garant says the race does no shortage of good work. “It’s a different emotional game, that’s for sure, when you come and do our event,” says Garant, himself a veteran, having served three tours overseas. “The race is a small token for civilians to demonstrate their support and for veterans, it’s the same thing. In the military, we choose to put ourselves in harm’s way, and to feel appreciated by our country, it goes along way.” Gauthier competed in her first Army Run in 2012 and it’s become not only a sporting event, but the social event of her season. The event brings her together with friends from the Armed Forces that she only sees once a year. “I’m not so big on the Internet and Facebook and this gives us a place to meet and participate and encourage each other to get through hard times,” Gauthier says. “It’s a tremendous feeling of joy and belonging again and the new soldiers make us feel like we’re part of them still and for me, the event is almost like a new way of serving. My dedication wasn’t diminished in my heart or head, it was just my body that would not go.” Thankfully, the Army Run gives Gauthier a place to go, to compete, to be surrounded by friends and loved ones and it also gives her the physical provocation she craves. Last year, Gauthier competed in the Commander’s Challenge, which is attempting the 5K event and the half-marathon. This year, despite being hit by a car in the run-up to her training for Rio and experiencing vast shoulder pain, she’s attempting the Vimy Challenge—the 5K, half-marathon and 10K event. “I know this might not be the year for me to PB, but I also know that I am going to do it, complete the Vimy, because that’s the way I’ve always been,” she says, adding that she’s looking forward to giving a talk at the annual pasta dinner on the evening before race day. For Gaulthier, a life in the military wasn’t what she immediately wanted, but rather something that she grew to love. When that love was diminished in a tragic accident, she was forced to once again recalibrate her life goals. Today, she stands on the front lines of supporting wounded military veterans, regaining her confidence and competing at the Army Run. She wants to educate Canadian runners and help people who might be standing in her difficult shoes. “Every morning, as bad as the day is, as bad as the previous night was, I get up with the purest intention that this day is going to get better,” she says. “My message is to get out there and be active, you have no idea what life will be like later—it’s important to get out there today, right now, and make the most of what you have while you can.”


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iRun because it frees my mind of everything. — Dera Kennette, Crysler, ON



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unning is about health, fitness, community, mental health, love, challenge, remembrance and much more. Every weekend, there’s races across the country raising awareness and dollars for important causes. But what if there’s more to the power of pounding the pavement than signing up sponsors and hitting PBs? Maybe running can help tackle some of our more pressing problems in society. In First Nations communities across Canada, young people are five to six times more likely to commit suicide than any place else in the country. Addiction runs rampant. Can running help? It’s far from a silver bullet, but Maggie MacDonnell thinks so. MacDonnell, educational consultant for the Kativik


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School Board in Salluit, an Inuit community on the northern edge of Quebec, describes incorporating running in her work with at-risk children. “After the suicide of a popular, well-loved youth, one of my runners immediately came to the fitness centre,” MacDonnell says. “He was in a state of shock and that loss made him vulnerable. This youth deals with a lot of challenges as it is—including his own battles with addiction. But that night he transferred all those emotions into working out. I was so inspired by him.” Before Salluit, MacDonnell spent a decade involved in sport as a means of youth and community development in places such as Tanzania and Botswana. She studied human

iRun because it increases my tolerance for pain and makes me stronger. — Jennifer Wickson, Ottawa


Everyone has their own reasons for why they run. But in some situations, a workout can be a matter of life or death. Inside the world of running as a safety net. By Ron Johnson

kinetics at St. Francis Xavier University and received her master’s from the Faculty of Physical Education and Health at the University of Toronto. When MacDonnell arrived, she began by inviting anyone in the community to evening runs with her and her husband. Then came working with the community to open a fitness centre and establishing the Salluit Run Club for local kids, which has turned many lives around in a town of 1,300. “These runners carry so much intergenerational trauma on their shoulders,” she says. “A lot of the youth in particular are dealing with enormous issues—housing crisis, suicidal thoughts, addictions, they may have dropped out of school. You have to connect with them first and then connect them with running.” MacDonnell chose running as a fitness Strength to power: The Salluit run club meets Governor General David Johnston and his wife. On the far left, Maggie MacDonnell. challenge to keep local residents engaged in a healthy lifestyle over the long term. a kid in Mississauga, Ont., grappling with serious depression issues. One “It seemed like all sorts of bodies and abilday, this kid walked to nearby railway tracks in Port Credit intent on killing ities were welcome,” she says. “There were himself. His little brother clung to his leg like a vice and wouldn’t let go. different race lengths. I could bring my alpha As part of his treatment, he entered McGann’s run group therapy competitive athletes, but also people who program out of Credit Valley Hospital. It helped turn his life around, were just starting to run/walk or who were on and years later, he gives talks to other kids about, amongst other things, a weight loss journey or who were exercising how running helped save his life. for reasons of mental health. Everyone fit in.” McGann was inspired to begin the program after confronting his The club hatched plans to travel outside own issues with depression that led him to embrace running. It’s been in their community to race, first to the Scotiaoperation for eleven years and helped countless teens and their families. bank Blue Nose Marathon in Nova Scotia— It’s also been embraced by dozens of schools in the area and as far as Vicwhich they did for three consecutive years— toria, B.C., and the United Kingdom. and then on to a race in Hawaii, the subject McGann speaks of a wealth of research supporting running proof a moving documentary. Jason Alariaq was grams, including the work of Dr. John Ratey, author of Spark, as well part of the team that ran Hawaii. as the research team at the McMaster Children’s Hospital. It’s what “The training was harder than the run,” Alariaq says. “I quit smoking runners intuitively know, how our sport makes us feel great about ourmarijuana and went back to school. It helps [me] cope with my thoughts selves, releases feel-good hormones, provides moments of clarity and and it’s another way to heal from all the problems in the town.” the freedom to be alone with one’s thoughts. Next up for the Salluit runners, a spring half-marathon in Barbados. “Running turned out to be something I love,” he says. “It’s transThe benefits of the Salluit Run Club are, according to MacDonnell: formed my life.” improved sleep; significant weight loss; improved self-esteem; new healthy What both programs have in common is the idea of giving back. Peocoping strategies for stress; improved endurance; quitting cigarettes and ple that have come through McGann’s program regularly return to speak marijuana; returning to school; improved attendance; new social support to members of the community, some of whom are just be getting started. networks; improved eating habits; improved motivation; and the benefits In Salluit, it’s more difficult due to the vast distances between comassociated with travel and exposure to new places and cultures. munities, but they’re trying. After the release of their documentary Perhaps the most important gift these kids receive from their run- film, MacDonnell and the runners did a five-village speaking tour. ning is pride in oneself and seeing themselves as ambassadors for their “Thanks to those presentations, we were able to recruit coaches and community. runners in new villages,” MacDonnell says. Fundraising continues to be difficult and travelling outside of the Yes, running is making a difference. Yes, the resilience demonstrated small community is expensive, but they get it done. The club fundraised by the kids in Salluit continues to be a source of inspiration for Macfor eight months to raise the $30,000 required for their last race in a Donnell. But she’s realistic and understands the bigger picture is dire. community that has one of Canada’s highest rates of poverty. There’s no “Running helps develop resilience in these youth, but they shouldn’t shoe store in Salluit. And while some of these issues and benefits are simi- have to be so damn resilient,” she says. “They face too much, from delar to those faced by teens in Canada’s major cities, here they’re amplified cades of public underfunding, a housing crisis, food insecurity and high many times over thanks to a devastating history. rates of addiction. As a country, I wish we’d address these issues swiftly Dan McGann is a clinical social worker with a focus on teens dealing and comprehensively.” with depression, anxiety, ADHD and mood disorders. He tells the story of In the meantime, like the rest of us, they run.



iRun because it makes me appreciate life. — Mark Burleton, Alexandria, ON




RACE FOR THE KIDS Kickstart your running season and help the kids at CHEO!


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Ottawa’s newest fundraising running event, the RBC Race for the Kids, will take place on Sunday, September 24, 2017. Take part in the first ever chance to run the trails of beautiful Wesley Clover Parks, all in support of youth mental health programs at CHEO. Participants can choose a 5K or 10K timed all terrain walk/run, or participate in the 2K Family Fun Run. All are on closed courses in the spectacular setting of the National Capital Greenbelt. The 2K Family Fun Run is meant for the whole family, including your dog! This fully accessible route is open to strollers so bring the little ones along. Last year, over 3,100 children came to the CHEO Emergency Department in need of mental health support and your participation in the RBC Race for the Kids will help doctors, nurses and staff provide the care that they need. Each registered participant will receive a t-shirt, a finisher’s medal and enjoy a healthy breakfast. There is a very exciting line-up of entertainment and activities including face painting, hamster balls, crafting stations, rock climbing wall and live entertainment. All participants who raise $250 (one ballot per $250) will be entered into a draw for a chance to win two tickets to any North American destination courtesy of Air Canada. Rain or shine this new event is sure to make a difference for many CHEO patients struggling with mental health problems. Whether you are a leisurely runner, training for a long distance run or just want to bring the family out, we have routes to meet your needs. Want to inspire your coworkers and build team spirit? Join the Corporate Team Challenge. Adults and youth can waive the fundraising fee by fundraising the minimum amount required. Children five years and younger participate for free. For complete details and to register please visit





Sometimes getting more out of your running involves reexamining what you’re running for



f only life were as simple as a 10K or a marathon. Then none of us would need to raise money for charity. Sometimes all it takes to be successful in a race is to stick to the plan, follow the person in front of you and benefit from a little bit of luck with the weather. Our lives, however, are rarely so straightforward. They don’t follow a direct and unimpeded path from start to finish, and we certainly don’t get to choose the duration of the run. In real life, there are countless obstacles and surprises. And sometimes our journey is interrupted, arbitrarily and catastrophically. When there are challenges all around us—a setback, an illness, grief or uncertainty—many of us turn to running to clear our minds and fortify our bodies for whatever lies ahead. Many years ago, when my father was terminally ill, I signed up for a half-marathon. In my training, I found strength and solitude. It’s no secret that running is one of the best things you can do for yourself, in good times and bad. But running does more than build you up; it restores a sense of control. We can’t change the outcome of chemotherapy treatments on a loved one, but at least we have dominion over how far we’ll travel today and how hard we’ll push. Maybe on some psychological level we also feel like we are pushing back against the forces of mortality that have suddenly made themselves apparent. However, I soon realized an unfortunate truth: that while running helped me cope, it did nothing for my father or, for that matter, anyone other than me. That’s why I, like so many others before and since, took running to another level. I started raising money for the Ottawa Hospital, where my father was treated and where my late sister had also been a patient. I’ve kept

The big show: On race day at the Ottawa Marathon, Mark Sutcliffe, right, calls the action with Rob Walker and Lanni Marchant.

that up for more than a decade since. We can’t flip the diagnosis or reverse the course of a ravaging illness. But we can strive to change the future. Humanity has survived and thrived because of the progress that results from two defiant words: never again. In that spirit, Canada’s running community raises millions of dollars every year for crucial causes. Sometimes it’s runners who turn to fundraising. Often it’s the other way around. How empowering and rewarding it is to put the name of another person on your shirt or bib, to make all your training about someone or something else. And then to join multitudes of others who are doing exactly the same thing. Indeed, it’s when you run for someone or something else that you generate the greatest benefits to yourself. Life’s greatest rewards come not from the pursuit of happiness

iRun because it makes me feel alive. — Roxanne Hutchings, Ottawa

but the effort to give it to others. Like stepping to the start line of any race, the choice to raise money to support medical research, a homeless shelter, a program for wounded veterans or any other worthwhile cause is an investment in hope. When facing the problems of the world and in our lives we can opt to do nothing. Or we can get out and run. When life catches us by surprise, we have a choice. We can run from our problems or we can run toward the solutions.

Mark Sutcliffe is the founder of iRun and the author of Long Road to Boston: The Pursuit of the World’s Most Coveted Marathon. DOWNLOAD the iRun Podcasts: LISTEN to him on 1310 News and Rogers TV Ottawa FOLLOW him on Twitter: @_marksutcliffe SEE excerpts of his book:











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iRun tktktktk. — Ltktktktk, place tkttk



I often wonder where to start when I tell this story. I have always been large, being 310 at 22. During my twenties I went back and forth from 310-360 lbs depending on if I had a desk job or an active job. However, starting 10 years ago around my brother’s wedding when I was 320 lbs, I started going up beyond 360 lbs. I did not take a whole lot of pictures in that time frame. I was ashamed of how I looked. I knew I was gaining weight but ignored it. Pictures with my nieces were OK because I loved them. In 2012, when my youngest niece was nine months old, I was 465 pounds. What made me get help? The moment where I could no longer ignore it, came in the summer of 2012. I went swimming for the first time in at least five years. I was over my head in a pool, and floated upright with no effort, as if I was wearing a life jacket. At that moment I knew it was bad, because that had never happened before and I knew it could only happen if I was extremely high in body fat. I had not weighed myself in many years either. It was not until I started getting help at a local health clinic where they took my weight and blood pressure, where I found out I was 465 pounds with a 183-105 bp, in October of 2012. The kindness given to me by the nurse practitioner I saw, as well as the many nurses, staff and volunteers, is what helped me feel good enough about myself to begin to do something about my weight. It was hard at first, I only lost 35 pounds in six months and stayed there until October 2014. I had been referred to the Ottawa Weight Management Clinic at the Ottawa Hospital Civic Campus. I first met with the doctor there in the spring of 2013. He said something to me I will never forget, and is a large part of my success. He said: “It’s not your fault.” I always blamed myself for my weight, but after hearing him say that and his explanation, I actually cried. I felt like a huge weight was lifted. He gave me a couple of options. The first was the gastric bypass surgery, and the second was a six-month program that used Optifast

iRun because I love the endorphins. —Ruth Acherman, Toronto

He said something to

me I will never forget. He said: “It’s not your fault.”



900 shakes for three months to help lose weight fast, while coming up to the clinic once a week to participate in a 90-minute class on nutrition, behaviour or fitness. I chose the second option. I started it at the end of September 2014 and the picture of me in the brown shirt was just after I started—it was the first time I was genuinely happy in a picture, because I was full of hope. I lost 80 pounds on the shake and by Christmas 2014, I was 350 pounds. I succeeded in losing more after the shakes because of the information the program armed me with. During this time I was participating in a local walking program through my health clinic. At that time, in March, I was with that group when I weighed 320 pounds. By May 31, 2015, I was 290 pounds. This was the BIG milestone for me. I was far enough below 300 pounds to celebrate that fact. I met a friend that day, which is how I remember. She has been my biggest inspiration for running. She got me to try a few charity runs, which I had to mostly walk. In July, after a 10K I walked in 96 minutes, I started to train to run.


“I kept meeting new people, all of whom seemed to come along at the exact right moment to make a positive impact on my journey.” By October I ran my first 10K in 65 minutes. I did that having only run 5 km before. During the winter, with the online support of my friend who was at school in Toronto, I started training to run 10K on a regular basis. It was in March 2016 that I took a picture with my old pair of shorts. On April 30, 2016, I ran my first half with my friend. It was the Cornwall Run to End MS. This past year, I have met so many new and amazing people because of my running. The Cornwall Multisport Club has some amazing athletes and inspirational people. Two of whom also appeared in the iRun 150 Runners issue. In July 2016, I, with the inspiration of my friend who was travelling in Holland, participated in a four-day walk, completing 40 km per day. It took nine hours each day. The fall of 2016 consisted of improving my 10K time to 54:37 and running another half in 2:08:10. Then began my training for this marathon, in the winter. I made some mistakes, missed a few runs, perhaps didn’t carb-load enough, but in the end, I managed to complete my first marathon on April 29, 2017, in 4:53:51. “Be the person you want to meet,” has taken on a whole new meaning for me. As I progressed I kept meeting new people, all of whom seemed to come along at the exact right moment to make a positive impact on my journey. These are the people at the health and weight clinics, the people in my walking groups, my friend who got me running, and those in the Cornwall MultiSport Club. To everybody reading this, I want to say two things: 1. You can change; and 2. To everyone who helped me along the way, thank you. You saved my life.


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Road to recovery: Stephen Last, from 465 pounds to marathon runner. He thanks the running community for support.

1. Make that choice to decide I was worth it. 2. Ask for and find help. 3. Setbacks are allowed, understand that and push forward. 4. Listen and learn: Through every step of my journey, I relied on information given to me by others. 5. My family’s caring helped me find professional help. 6. A walking group got me started. When I reached peak walking, another friend got me to run. 7. Part of my hesitation to be active in public was the feeling that everyone was watching and criticizing me. In reality, I often got words of encouragement. 8. Do not base your success on others. 9. Eat healthy, but enjoy it. I found foods that were healthy, but which I could also enjoy. 10. Don’t worry if you don’t listen to all the advice you’re given. Don’t be afraid to modify it to suit you. I follow advice to suit me.

iRun because it gets me outside and keeps me moving. —Robin Keirstead, Stratford, ON


Stephen Last on how he first laced up his shoes.



A 40-year-old mom with a five-year-old tries to eat healthy. Lisa Kaplan searches for sustenance in the best reviewed cookbook of the year



recently tried a cookbook called Run Fast. Eat Slow.: Nourishing Recipes for Athletes, written by Shalane Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky. Flanagan is an Olympic medalist, four-time Olympian, American record holder and world-class marathoner. Kopecky is a chef, food writer, nutrition educator, runner and “proud mother.” In January I turned 40 and decided that it was a good time to make some goals for myself. I had already committed to running a half-marathon with my brother in May in Toronto and was well on my way towards building my mileage. However, I also wanted to make some improvements to my diet. I never was a terrible eater, but I was a convenience eater in that I was no stranger to frozen or packaged meals. In the past I had always struggled with obtaining the right nutrition to sustain me on long runs. I always equated eating healthy with cutting calories and fat. I believe that this inhibited me from meeting my maximum running potential and made me more prone to injury. This cookbook is perfect for the beginner cook who is looking for nourishing, healthy meals to fuel their runs. Everything I have made from this book has been easy and delicious. I have a small child at home and work full-time while training for a half-marathon, so

The hills are calling: Lisa Kaplan near her home in Austin, Texas, where she tries to eat healthy and trains.

I need my cooking to be easy and hassle-free. The flu-fighter chicken soup was a crowd pleaser. Making something that my husband and daughter will both eat is almost impossible, but they were both delighted by this simple CrockPot meal and asked for seconds. This meal is loaded with natural, wholesome ingredients that include ginger, lemon, spinach and brown rice. There are reminders in the book to always consider where your ingredients are sourced and buying local and organic is always favoured. The superhero muffins are an excellent grab-and-go breakfast before or after a long run. I wake up at 5 a.m. to get my long runs in and grabbing a muffin has been the perfect solution to getting enough nutrition, calories and carbohydrates to maximize my strength and

iRun because it gives me strength. —Peggy Cooke, Carp, ON

sustain my energy. A bonus is that my husband and daughter will eat these, too (my five-yearold has no idea that there are carrots and zucchini in them!) Another family favourite is the beet smoothie. Beets are filled with antioxidants that are great for cardiovascular health. I personally have never been a fan of smoothies. I like to chew my food rather than drink it. But the recipes in this book are so delicious that I finally have found smoothies that I actually like. The kale smoothie is also excellent. I am still exploring this cookbook, but so far it has been really helpful as I continue to improve my clean eating diet. Run Fast. Eat Slow. shows that you can eat clean and well while maximizing your strength for whatever your running goals might be.

Hungry for more information, our author reached out to the authors of the book. iRUN: Have you ever had a cooking experience where everything went wrong? KOPECKY: I have a problem with always burning nuts. I love to roast walnuts, cashews and almonds but tend to forget they’re in the oven. iRUN: What is your favourite dinner to cook before race day? FLANAGAN: Before the Boston Marathon I always have roast turkey, sweet potatoes, salad, bread and butter. iRUN: How do you stay hydrated after a long run? Do you drink Gatorade? FLANAGAN: I drink a sports drink during long training runs and the marathon but not usually afterwards. iRUN: What’s your favourite recipe from your book? FLANAGAN: Sweet potato salmon cakes, wild rice salad, any of the wholesome treats! KOPECKY: Kale farro salad, Greek bison burgers, broccoli chevre soup. iRUN: Is there any food that you recommend staying away from? KOPECKY: Processed, packaged foods. iRUN: What are your current plans? Are you going to do another book? KOPECKY: We’re excited to dive into writing the second edition of Run Fast. Eat Slow. The exact topic is still top secret so stay tuned. And Shalane dreams of running another Boston Marathon next spring!





Debbie Muir Zelez and her son both live with type 1 diabetes. But that hasn’t stopped her from raising funds and awareness—and crossing the marathon finish line with her run crew Debbie Muir Zelez, a 44 year-old who grew up in Calgary, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 10 years old. It’s a difficult disease to manage, but she never let it define who she is. She lives her life to the fullest and, when she had twins in 2003, she started to run. Her son Jake was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2015. “What started as morning walks with the kids in the stroller turned into morning runs and it just grew from there,” says Zelez, adding that when she runs for charity, it gives her more drive and determination to finish what she’s started. “Something appealed to me about the sport and a little turned into a little more, all the way up to the marathon!” Zelez was a quick study and ran her first full marathon with Team Diabetes in Honolulu in 2006. Team Diabetes is a fundraising program for Diabetes Canada, a national health charity that is making the diabetes epidemic in Canada visible and urgent. Since her first marathon, she has completed two Half Ironmans and is training for her first full Ironman in Arizona later this year. Her racing gives her the opportunity to correct people who are misinformed about diabetes. “People often think type 1 diabetes is a lifestyle disease, something we have from eating too much sugar or not exercising, but Jake and I have an autoimmune disease. Our bodies don’t produce insulin. An insulin pump is now our delivery system—it’s how we get our insulin,” she says. “What most people don’t realize is we NEVER get a break from this disease. We always have to be three steps ahead, deciding what to do next.” As part of her approach to managing her life, family, and disease, Zelez is defiant, loud, and proactive. Her work with Team Diabetes—

on the frontline raising money and on start lines wearing a Team Diabetes singlet at races from Calgary to Honolulu, where she hopes to return this December—is important for her and her children. She encourages her kids to set big goals, including Jake, who has to live with diabetes at an impressionable young age as she did. “You never know who you are inspiring—it doesn’t matter if you finish first or last, the point is that you do it and don’t give up,” she says. “If I can inspire just one person with diabetes to go for it and to not give up, that’s great. If I can inspire my son, that’s priceless.” Zelez is quick to say that living with diabetes and being a mother of a child with diabetes is one part of who she is. Her way of making a difference is by working with Team Diabetes and as a result, contributing to Diabetes Canada. Team Diabetes is at races from Iceland to Regina, India to Hamilton, and will have a huge presence at the Canada Army Run, Ottawa Marathon, Niagara Falls International Marathon and this fall’s Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, to name a few. For Zelez, encouraging runners of all stripes to get involved with Team Diabetes gives added meaning to her runs. She encourages everyone to get involved with her run crew. “You don’t have to run a marathon or do an Ironman to help raise awareness and participate with Team Diabetes—you can walk, run, hike or bike,” she says. “There are different distances and something for everyone. Our community is open to everyone and everyone who helps the Diabetes Canada will be greeted with open arms.” Visit for more information about Team Diabetes and for more information about diabetes and Diabetes Canada.




LE CIEL EST LA LIMITE « Être en santé est un cadeau que la vie nous fait, et on devrait toujours en être reconnaissant » Par William Doré



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Je me demandais comment cela avait pu m'arriver. Je suis en santé, je n'ai jamais rien fumé, et j'aime rester en forme... Alors comment ce fait-il que je sois pris avec un cancer à mon âge? Pourquoi moi? On m'a ensuite dit que j'allais devoir faire de la chimiothérapie, la partie la moins plaisante à propos du cancer. Cela allait prendre des mois à passer au travers. Je devrais rester chez moi, et j'allais passer des semaines à l'hôpital. Puis le docteur m'a parlé de la chirurgie que nous aurions à faire pour nous débarrasser de la tumeur. Il m'a expliqué les différents choix que j'avais, mais l'un d'eux a attiré mon

attention plus que les autres. On l'appelle la plastie de rotation. Ils allaient amputer la partie de la jambe où le cancer était, incluant le genoux, garder le pied, lui faire une rotation de 180 degrés et l'attacher au reste de la jambe. De cette façon, mon pied deviendrait mon genoux. Je sais, ce n'est pas une chirurgie commune, mais si on vérifie sur internet, elle est beaucoup plus fréquente que ce que l'on pense. En tout cas, la raison pourquoi cette chirurgie était intéressante pour moi, c'est que j'allais pouvoir rester actif et continuer de faire les sports que j'aime.

iRun parce que ça me fait sentir forte et libre. — ­ Ann Nowak, Ottawa


a vie a complètement changé en 2015, lorsque je fus diagnostiqué du cancer. J'avais 15 ans à l'époque, et je menais une vie normale. Je faisais ce qu'un adolescent est supposé faire : aller à l'école, m'amuser avec mes amis, faire du sport, etc. Puis un jour, un petit rendez-vous avec le docteur a tout changé, et j'allais passer au travers de toute une épreuve. Mais, laissez-moi vous ramener quelques semaines en arrière, avant mon petit rendez-vous. Je grimpais une montagne, avec mon oncle et sa fiancée. C'était une journée magnifique et nous avions beaucoup de plaisir, mais la douleur vint tout de suite après. Ma jambe gauche a commencé à faire mal... Très mal. Je croyais que ce n'était qu'une douleur sportive, le genre de douleur que l'on a après avoir monté une montagne toute la journée. Mais malheureusement, ce n'était pas le cas. La douleur a continué, jusqu'à ce que j'en aie assez. Donc, je suis allé à l'hôpital, et après quelques tests, j'ai découvert que j'avais une tumeur dans mon tibia, près de mon genou. À ce moment là, je savais que tout allait changer pour moi. J'allais commencer mon combat contre le cancer, et c'était terrifiant!





1. William et son oncle sur le sommet du mont Washington à New Hampshire en 2015; 2. Célébration de ses 16 ans, 2016; 3. Réuni avec son shitzu, après l'hôpital, en juillet 2016; 4. Après sa chirurgie, mars 2016; 5. Un retour triomphant à la maison de l'hôpital, en été 2016.

Elle me permet de faire du snowboard, de jouer au basketball, et bien-sûr de courir. Tout cela n'aurait pas été possible avec les autres chirurgies qui m'étaient offertes. Puis, durant toute l'année, je me suis battu contre le cancer. J'ai fait la chimiothérapie, j'ai eu ma chirurgie, et tout c'est bien passé. Et maintenant, je fais du mieux que je peux pour garder la vie la plus active possible. Je fais du snowboard pendant l'hiver, je

vais courir de temps en temps et j'ai déjà fait quelques courses. Après mon expérience avec le cancer, j'ai réalisé à quel point la vie est précieuse, et à quel point on peut tout perdre en quelques secondes. Et j'ai aussi réalisé à quel point il est important de garder une vie active. Lorsque je faisais de la chimiothérapie, je ne pouvais pas faire d'activité physique, et je suis devenu très faible. Dès que j'ai eu fini avec ça, j'ai commencé à m'entraîner. J'ai ensuite vu à

iRun pour fixer des objectifs et atteindre mes buts. —Sandra ­LaFlamme, Oshawa, ON

quel point comment ça fait du bien de recommencer à bouger, après des mois d'inactivité. Être en santé, c'est un cadeau que la vie nous fait, et on devrait toujours en être reconnaissant, car personne ne peut prédire ce qui va nous arriver. On devrait toujours garder à l'esprit à quel point nous sommes chanceux de pouvoir marcher, courir, et faire du sport sans aucune restriction, car ce n'est pas tout le monde qui a cette chance!




LORSQUE LE FORREST GUMP EN MOI REDONNE AU SUIVANT Alain Roy trouve un sens et un but dans ses courses en recueillant des fonds de bienfaisance 26

2017 ISSUE 05


e matin du 12 novembre 2012 j’avais décidé de me lancer un défi personnel, soit celui de courir dix kilomètres par jour tous les jours, le plus longtemps possible. Loin de moi l’ambition de me rendre à cent jours et encore moins à mille jours consécutifs. Mais voilà que lors de ma prochaine course officielle le 27 août prochain au demi-marathon des Vergers, j’en serai à ma 1750ième journée consécutive à courir un minimum de dix kilomètres au quotidien. Mentionnons que ma motivation première de débuter cette série de courses était simplement d’être en forme, de perdre un peu de poids et de pouvoir jouir du plaisir de m’amuser avec mon fils William. Ce dernier allait avoir un an quelques jours après mon tout premier dix kilomètres. À ce moment, je me souhaitais simplement de pouvoir me rendre à sept jours, dix si tout allait pour le mieux. Mais un peu plus d’un an plus tard je pouvais profiter de mon « air d’aller » pour créer le groupe Défi Résolution (sur Facebook) afin d’en faire profiter d’autres personnes qui carburent elles aussi aux défis personnels de ce genre. Aujourd’hui, un peu plus de quatre ans et demi plus tard, mes raisons fondamentales demeurent les mêmes. Mais j’ajouterais que pour continuer à courir ainsi chaque jour, c’est le plaisir de la course

à pied qui m’importe le plus. Je ne me mets aucune pression et je veux profiter de chaque moment de course comme s’il sagissait du dernier. Au cours de cette aventure ma douce moitié et moi en avons même profité pour agrandir la famille avec un autre beau garçon, Alexis maintenant âgé de deux ans et demi. Ce dernier a déjà couru sa toute première course en juin dernier (disons plutôt de la marche que de la course en fait) et mon plus vieux, William (cinq ans) en sera déjà à sa 16e course prochainement. Mais outre ces beaux moments de pur bonheur à courir avec mes fils, encourager les autres et recevoir plus souvent qu’à mon tour ces merveilleux encouragements lors de mes sorties de courses et courses officielles, j’ai pu joindre l’utile à l’agréable en amassant quelques sous ici et là pour différentes causes. Bien que les gens me donnent généreusement des sous pour m’encourager, le groupe Défi Résolution est une magnifique vitrine pour atteindre davantage de gens. Ainsi, plus de 2000$ ont été récoltés depuis environ deux ans grâce à l’appui de mes amis, famille, collègues de travail mais surtout de ces gens qui forment ma deuxième famille, soit les coureurs de ce merveilleux groupe, sans qui tout cela ne serait pas possible. Comme quoi dans la vie, redonner au suivant peut partir d’un simple « premier pas » dans la bonne direction. Je ne sais pas où tout cela me mènera mais je sais que tout progresse vraiment bien pour moi. Si bien qu’en mai prochain je vivrai une nouvelle aventure en tant que coach de course à pied pour le Défi Challenge Québec 800 afin de venir en aide aux adolescents de 11 à 17 ans en difficulté (Fondation Jeunes en Tête). En terminant, je vous laisse par cette petite phrase que j’utilise au quotidien afin de garder le focus et la motivation nécessaire pour vivre cette belle passion à 100% : un pas à la fois, un kilomètre à la fois, un jour à la fois et tout est possible. De plus, ne laissez personne vous dire que vous ne pouvez pas faire quelque chose. Vous êtes les maîtres de votre réussite. Foncez et vivez vos passions pour vous même car c’est de cette façon que vous pourrez « réussir votre vie ». Alain Roy (@10kmparjour sur Facebook)

iRun parce que Dieu m’a créé pour courir. — ­ Perry Vant, Gatineau, ON


Alain Roy (@10kmparjour sur Facebook)

Courez pour le cœur! Courez gratuitement! Que vous soyez marcheurs ou coureurs, Cours pour le Cœur vous invite à participer à la course de votre choix et remboursera vos frais d’inscription. Cours pour le Cœur, c’est gagnant – gagnant : vous acceptez de recueillir des fonds auprès de vos proches au bénéfice de la Fondation de l’Institut de Cardiologie de Montréal et celle-ci s’engage à rembourser vos frais d’inscription. Rehaussez la valeur de votre défi sportif en luttant contre les maladies cardiovasculaires, 1re cause de mortalité au pays et dans le monde, et en aidant les milliers de Québécois qui sont traités chaque année à l’Institut.

En vous inscrivant à Cours pour le Cœur vous aurez immédiatement accès à : Une page de collecte de fonds personnalisée pour joindre vos proches; Des outils pour faciliter vos communications auprès de vos proches et produisant des reçus officiels électroniques; Des conseils pour parfaire votre entraînement.

Lorsque vous aurez recueilli 200 $ et plus : Le remboursement de vos frais d’inscription à la course de votre choix; Un bracelet d’identification lumineux « Who Am I » aux couleurs de la Fondation.

Lorsque vous aurez recueilli 500 $ et plus : En plus des avantages mentionnés, vous aurez droit à une analyse biomécanique de course chez Cycle Technique (valeur 100 $)!

Cours pour le Cœur est un programme exclusif de la Fondation de l’Institut de Cardiologie de Montréal, destiné aux amateurs de course qui souhaitent appuyer une institution de recherche sur la santé du cœur de calibre international. Pour plus d’information, communiquez avec Marie-Josée Carroll au 514 376-3330, poste 2451



u risque d’énoncer un cliché, je dirais que c’est sans conteste l’attitude qui fait gagner au sport. Certes, les sports d’endurance pour lesquels je m’entraîne et auxquels je participe (course, cyclisme et duathlon) sont épuisants, voire exténuants, pour le moral comme pour le physique. Mais ces épreuves m’apprennent à aplanir les pics et les vallons dans l’entraînement et la compétition et à transformer chaque expérience en quelque chose de positif qui est porteur de succès. Il n’y a pas de course « ratée » ou d’entraînement « gâché ». On peut quand même en tirer de précieux enseignements!

NE JAMAIS LÂCHER Des déboires, j’en ai eu ma part : prendre le mauvais sens dans une course sur piste alors que j’avais traversé deux fuseaux horaires et fait 7 800 km en avion pour y participer; chuter à la ligne de descente devant une foule de spectateurs réunis pour un duathlon aux championnats canadiens; trébucher sur une racine d’arbre et piquer du nez en déboulant sur une côte de 3 mètres alors que ma famille était là pour admirer mes exploits... Mais il y a une constante dans toutes ces péripéties : je n’ai pas lâché! Quand les choses ne vont pas comme je le veux, je transforme ma rage en regain de détermination!

NE PAS S’IMPOSER DE LIMITES Notre physiologie ne nous permet pas à tous de battre des records du monde ni même de monter sur le podium, mais nous avons tous la capacité de faire le maximum pour dépasser nos records personnels. Il y a chez moi une affiche que j’adore parce qu’elle me rappelle, en quelques mots simples mais percutants, tout l’impact que peut avoir la confiance en soi. Voici le message qu’on y lit : « Elle croyait qu’elle pouvait, alors elle l’a fait. » Parce que je tiens tellement à la participation et à l’inclusivité dans le monde de la course, cela me désole d’entendre des gens se plaindre qu’ils


2017 ISSUE 05

Aucune limite de vitesse: Alana Bonner en juillet au DMSE Classic à Andover, Massachusetts.

UNE ATTITUDE GAGNANTE Alana Bonner met son esprit sur la matière le jour de la course, et ceci est souvent ne courent pas assez vite ou hésitent à s’inscrire à une compétition par crainte de traîner de la patte. Je m’adresse donc maintenant à tous ceux à qui je l’ai dit ou qui ont déjà eu ce genre de pensée : Tu es capable! Tu es à ta place ici! Tu y arriveras! Quand on arrive « bon dernier » parmi toutes les personnes qui se sont inscrites à un événement, on est en fait « bon premier » par rapport aux milliers de gens qui n’ont pas

eu le courage de se mettre sur la ligne de départ. Même si nous prenons un temps différent pour terminer une course, nous parcourons tous la même distance et méritons tous le même respect. Comme l’a dit Meb Keflezighi, médaillée d’argent du marathon olympique de 2004 : « Gagner, ce n’est pas toujours occuper la première place; c’est aussi avoir fait tout ce qu’on pouvait. » Ayez cette maxime à l’esprit la prochaine fois que vous ou quelqu’un d’autre aurez envie de vous déprécier! Soyez meilleur que votre meilleure excuse! Voici une citation qui me trotte dans la tête : « Si vous voulez vraiment faire quelque chose, vous en trouverez bien le moyen. Sinon, vous trouverez une excuse. » (Jim Rohn) Face aux difficultés pendant l’entraînement ou la compétition, gardez le regard fixé sur l’horizon sans perdre de vue vos objectifs. L’entraînement d’aujourd’hui ne donnera pas de résultats dès demain. Dans les sports d’endurance, les progrès se font au prix d’un engagement cumulatif sur le long terme. Les résultats seront perceptibles dans les mois et les années à venir. J’ai récemment lu un dicton qui m’a paru très inspirant : « Vous êtes responsable du talent qui vous a été confié. » Alors, prenez votre talent à deux mains et ne laissez personne vous barrer le chemin!

LAISSEZ-VOUS INSPIRER! Vous avez sûrement constaté que j’aime bien les citations. Je m’en sers souvent comme source d’inspiration et pour me rappeler l’importance de garder une perspective équilibrée dans le sport. Pour moi, il n’y a pas de citation plus inspirante, édifiante et significative que celle-ci, d’Eleanor Roosevelt : « L’avenir appartient à ceux qui croient en la beauté de leurs rêves ». Donc, croyez en vous-même! Confrontez vos peurs, balayez vos excuses, et trouvez quelque chose de positif dans tout ce que vous faites. Allez-y, réalisez tout votre potentiel!

iRun parce que je suis fière d’être Canadienne. ­—Julie Zeitlinger, Sutton, ON



26-27 MAI 2018


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Some of the world’s most popular track athletes are Canadians. But is that enough to encourage our kids to run and bolster attendance at this country’s largest events? SEAN TIERNEY TALKS TO THE STARS AND LOOKS AT THE NUMBERS 32

2017 ISSUE 04

t’s an extra adrenaline boost.” Melissa Bishop, racing close to her hometown of Eganville, Ont., exhaled these words to reporters moments after winning her 800m women’s semifinal at the Canadian Track and Field Championships in Ottawa, Ont. “A lot of fans in the stands right now and a lot of close supporters that have been with me on this journey for a long time. They finally get to see me race at home and that’s really special.” It was an intriguing message. Despite having her sights set on the IAAF World Championships in London, Bishop’s words were grounded and familiar. In fact, the two-time Olympian sounded just like the average weekend warrior, thanking her family and friends for waiting at the finish line to show their support. Bishop’s no starry-eyed newcomer. She has performed on the biggest international stages—at the London Summer Olympics in 2012 and in Brazil at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Still, the soon-to-be 29-year-old posted a time of 2:00:26, three seconds ahead of second place, and didn’t sound much different than an average Sunday runner competing in a local 5K after her win: “I’m going to go home tonight, get something to eat...Try to get a few hours of sleep.” Bishop’s appreciative comments about the overwhelming crowd support underlined the strong relationship shared between runners with their family, friends and fans. Andre De Grasse, Canada’s most recognizable track star today, competed in the 100m and 200m runs in Ottawa. Despite rainy conditions on the evening of the 100m final, the stands at the Terry Fox Athletic Facility came to life when De Grasse emerged from the starting blocks area, waving and clapping as he was introduced pre-race. In the 100m final, De Grasse posted a 10.11 second finish, just ahead of second place finisher Brendon Rodney (10.18 seconds) and veteran,

iRun for fitness, health and enjoyment. ­—James Lythgoe, Ottawa




fan-favourite Gavin Smellie (10.23 seconds). aged 5-17 are active in some sport but “parDe Grasse, already the 200m Canadian record ticipation rates peak at age 10 to 13 and then holder, followed this up with a smooth victory decline steadily and dramatically with age.” in the 200m race, posting a strong time of 19.96 So, what’s the connection with Canada’s seconds. running stars? Still, the 22-year-old Scarborough, Ont., “When athletes cater to the spectators, it native was clearly disappointed. De Grasse said brings everything together,” Halvorson says. that he didn’t he didn’t “give the fans what that For Canadian stars like De Grasse and came to see.” That is, of course, a sub-10 second Bishop, who acknowledge the role of their time. That kind of finish would have boded well family, friends, and fans, it’s a chance to help for De Grasse for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. rekindle a love of sport in the spectators. But preparation for international competi“It's tough to defeat the fish that are from tion wasn’t the sticking point for De Grasse. other ponds,” Halvorsen says. “It's important Instead, it was the disappointment that he for stars [like De Grasse and Bishop] to run hadn’t given the Ottawa crowds the show they at home. It motivates local runners to be on wanted. The show they deserved. the same track and to be around the stars. The De Grasse humbly thanked fans and stars are just regular people too. But they’re generously gave his time to reporters after heroes in their communities. This all feeds off competing. He patiently answered questions of one another.” long after his race finished, while his teammates While the likes of De Grasse and Bishop jokingly hollered, “Come on, Dre!” from the only race on the same track as Canada’s upper The two-time Olympian sounded just sidelines, beckoning De Grasse to the podium. crust of runners, long-distance road races in like the average weekend warrior, thanking her family and friends. Canada’s young star finished his fan love-in the country do continue to draw higher-proby signing hundreds, maybe thousands, of autofile personalities looking for opportunities to graphs. He seemed genuinely surprised that run. Eric Gillis, Rachel Cliff, Lanni Marchant so many fans were interested in connecting and Krista DuChene are only some of the with him. Nonetheless, De Grasse was cognimarathon stars who participate on our biggest zant of his connection with his fans and was a road racing events. Still, star power can only bit distraught about his time when talking with drive this sport so far. reporters after winning the 100m final. Accessibility to big name runners—whether “I’m really grateful to be healthy, happy to as a fan in the stands or a competitor toeing the get the win...I felt like I was ready to run a fast starting line of a road race—is important for time. I’m a little disappointed I couldn’t give the growing the running profile in Canada. fans what they wanted.” But there are issues that even Canada’s best John Halvorsen is the current president athletes can’t do much to counter with autoand race director of Run Ottawa and a former graphs, shout-outs to fans or endless interviews. Olympian, competing for Norway in the ’88 Halvorsen noted that Canada’s widely disand ’92 Summer Olympics. Halvorsen’s perspersed population and a proliferation of small pective on the relationship between athlete, running events in local areas keeps amateur local runner and fan is unique, coming from his runners from attending marquee events with background as an elite athlete now charged with larger crowds. Access to equipment needed to promoting the sport of running in a local way. host a race—online registrations, electronic “Clearly, we're lucky to have Andre and Melissa as world-class stars,” race timers and prizes—have lowered the bar for entry of race orgahe says. “The athletes understand that we're in a sport that’s struggling nizers. On one hand, serving local communities with nearby races can to gain media attention in North America. They totally appreciate help foster grassroots growth in race sports. But on the other hand, a when a big crowd comes out.” proliferation of smaller events prevents opportunities for large groups Halvorsen nails it: competing with the major sports in North in major city centres from coming together en masse, drawing in major America has proven challenging for track and field as an attractive stars, sponsorship and interest. athletics option. Studies show that the participation rate among youth It’s a tough balancing act. (ages 6-17) in track and field dropped almost 11 percent in 2016, part These are problems that, for now, aren’t going away. And, perhaps of a nationwide trend in the U.S. one day, Bishop or De Grasse may follow in Halvorsen’s footsteps and A similar trend is sweeping Canada, where researchers have noted take on a leadership role with a running organization or doing other falling participation rates across sports. Since 1992, there has been a work to promote the sport. 17% drop in sports participation rate among those age 15 and older. For now, these two and the rest of the Canadian contingent are The Community Foundations of Canada issued its Vital Signs Sport focused on their preparatory work in advance of the 2020 games. Tune & Belonging report in 2010, which noted that three out of four youth in to follow their results—you may just find yourself inspired to run.

The stars are just regular people too. But they’re heroes in their communities. This all feeds off of one another.

iRun because I love the sense of accomplishment. —Roderick Costain, Nepean, ON


Bob “Hacksaw” Wordham for CameronHelps’ Team UNBREAKABLE At 7:30 am on May 7th, 2017 I started running my 9th half marathon.

WHY DO YOU RUN? Team UNBREAKABLE runners train together in a healthy and supportive environment to complete a 5km goal event and learn valuable coping skills for better mental health.

To learn more go to

To most, I was just another runner in the crowd at the start line of the Mississauga Half Marathon, except I had two audacious goals. One was running this half marathon in celebration of my upcoming 80th birthday; the other was to raise $100,000 in much-needed funding for CameronHelps, a charity focused on youth suicide prevention and mental health promotion. Why did I choose Team UNBREAKABLE? As a runner, the Team UNBREAKABLE Recreational Running Program’s message of “Physical Health for Mental Health” resonated with me. I had been a fundraiser for other charities in the past but I knew that mental health funding, specifically for youth was lacking. As many as 1 in 5 Canadian youth have a diagnosable mental health disorder, but only one quarter will receive treatment. By the numbers, more than 700,000 of our young people will not receive needed treatment in our health care system. In Canadian fashion, I think we have to find a way to prevent these disorders or empower youth to manage their mental health. An accessible, inclusive program makes a lot of sense. "Physical Health for Mental Health" I know what running does for me, and I wanted to share its benefits. With a bit of research, I found CameronHelps and their Team UNBREAKABLE program. Team UNBREAKABLE has over 100 recreational run programs in Ontario, mostly in schools. The program has been approved by most of the school boards in the greater Toronto area. The run program was initially the brainchild of Dan McGann, a social worker at Trillium Health Partners’ Credit Valley Hospital. Short term plans include introducing the program into the Sudbury area through the Rainbow District SB and local indigenous communities. The program is also offered at several hospitals, community agencies and family health teams throughout Ontario. Why do YOU Run? Team UNBREAKABLE hosts several 5km goal events ( throughout the GTA providing a unique “race” experience for Team UNBREAKABLE participants and the running community. Current growth is funded largely through the Ontario Trillium Foundation, but in order to be sustainable, financial support is needed from corporations and private donors. I’m proud to have completed the half marathon AND raised $107,951 for CameronHelps and Team UNBREAKABLE by my 80th birthday.

Let’s Go Toronto! Register to run or fundraise at Connect with the running community:

#STWM #runScotia

2017 National Marathon Championships


October 22, 2017


As one of the country’s top marathoners ponders what might be her last “fast” race, she reflects on the lessons learned in her shoes


t was announced recently that I would be running my fifth Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, on Oct. 22, 2017. It would likely be my last attempt at running a fast marathon, and also my 15th marathon in 15 years. I started using the hashtag, #15in15 with my social media posts to celebrate this incredible journey. I’ve come a long way since my 2002 debut marathon of 3:28:08 in Niagara Falls, Ont. Just how far has it been? Take a look at my progression from recreational to elite: 1. Niagara 2002 3:28:08 2. Ottawa 2003 3:09:02 3. Boston 2005 3:00:46 4. Mississauga 2009 2:51:38 5. STWM 2009 2:50:36 6. Hamilton 2009 2:46:27 7. Ottawa 2010 2:39:07 8. Rotterdam 2012 2:32:06 9. STWM 2012 2:32:14 (Worlds Moscow 2013 DNF) 10. STWM 2013 2:28:32 11. Rotterdam 2015 2:29:38 12. Rio Olympics 2016 2:35:29 13. STWM 2016 2:33:59 14. London 2017 2:43:31 15. STWM 2017 TBD So what have I learned from marathon racing and how can I reflect upon the accompanying blessings and trials along the way?


2017 ISSUE 05

15. Each marathon hurts. Each broken bone hurts. But nothing compares to the pain of childbirth. 14. I have grown deeper as a person—far more during my injuries and disappointments than during gruelling marathon training blocks resulting in successful performances. 13. Running has never been the number one priority in my life. My faith, husband and children take top notch over anything else; this is where I have complete joy. 12. Juggling responsibilities as a parent, dietitian, community member and volunteer has given me tremendous career satisfaction alongside becoming an elite marathoner. 11. My husband speaks wisdom and gives objective advice, which I often eventually apply to my life. He inspires me to embrace change, think beyond the box and reach higher. 10. I’ve influenced my children in ways I could only dream. They’ve seen me cry with disappointment when injured; collapse with fatigue on the couch after an exhausting run; sweat through tough cross-training workouts on a bike in a stuffy cabin; enjoy kale and beets to optimize my diet; complete my preventative maintenance routine when I’d rather be doing anything else; share my story of blessings and trials to encourage and inspire others; pool run at length when running wasn’t possible; and embrace them with incredible elation moments after they witnessed me, their mom,


iRun because it makes me feel good. — Helene Tremblay-Allen, Gatineau, QC


becoming an Olympian. 9. Consuming carbohydrates in the form of multiple eLoad gels during marathons has been a consistent key to each and every marathon; there are some things you do not change. 8. Daytime naps and early bedtimes allow for productive training and successful races, even after sleepless nights with sick kids. 7. One of the best things I was ever told was from former Canadian record holder Silvia Ruegger when I became the second fastest marathoner, 32 seconds behind Lanni Marchant: “It takes more grace than I can tell to play the second fiddle well.” 6. I’ve never been more motivated than during a return to running after an injury or pregnancy. 5. Consistently and steadily increasing the quality and quantity of kilometres, along with solid off-seasons, was key to my gradual progression over several years. Nothing happened overnight. 4. The pool has endless benefits. To name a few, I’ve enjoyed it to recover from intense races or workouts, for X-training during or to avoid injury, as a quick way to decrease my heart rate after a warm run and as a place to complete preventative maintenance exercises. 3. Each and every day I look forward to physically moving my body and increasing my heart rate to earn that hot shower and delicious green smoothie, bowl of oatmeal and multiple coffees upon my return. I can see myself doing this for many, many years. 2. I hope I can continue to inspire other parents, athletes and women across this wonderful country in which we live. I enjoy sharing my story of blessings and trials, adding new chapters along the way. 1. I look forward to spending more time and energy with my family. I want my kids to feel like they won’t harm me if they accidentally bump into or step on me. I want to ski and skate with my family without fear of injury. I want to have a pecan square, butter tart, carrot cake, chocolate chip cookie or warm brownie with vanilla ice cream a bit more often. I want that extra energy to keep being active, able to jump into any activity at any time with my kids. 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.

iRun because it sweetens my life. — Nyambura Githaiga, Ottawa


The greatest races are the ones that we all do together. Corporal Timothy Corcoran 27, Victoria, B.C. Cpl. Corcoran has an important job in the Canadian military—medic tending to our soldiers. “My great grandfather and great uncle were in the Second World War. I wanted to serve,” says Corcoran. “I’m proud to be in the Canadian military.” BMO was the first bank that Corcoran had an account with, and he enjoys his monthly breaks on mortgage payments. “It’s nice to know there’s a bank you can trust,” he says. “I like running outside and I like knowing that my money is safe.” Corporal Stuart Macneil 31, Esquimalt, B.C. “Mostly I like running for the adrenaline rush,” says Macneil. “There’s nothing like the Army Run—you see the guys in their wheelchairs and that’s all the inspiration you need.” Macneil was skeptical about BMO—he thought their free offer to servicemen was too good too be true—but he conducted his research. “I’ve been happy ever since.” These days Macneil mostly runs trails in Victoria, but he’s looking to return to the Army Run. “The community feeling is like nothing else out there in the world.”

Tina Wibe 61, Ottawa, Ont. For Wibe’s 35th anniversary as a BMO employee, she’s running the BMO Vancouver Marathon Relay with her family. “Through BMO I got connected to the Army Run and I’ve run ever since,” she says. Last year, Wibe helped recruit 60 runners and 150 volunteers for the Army Run. For her, the bank and the sport are about community and good health. “Part of it is the endorphins and part of it is that I love food and I love wine,” she says. “Running enables me to enjoy them both.” Tommy Des Brisay 25, Ottawa, Ont. Tommy represented Canada at the World Para Athletic Championships as a T20 runner. Last year, he won the half marathon at the Army Run. “One’s greatest challenges are one’s biggest strengths,” says Mary Ann Given, Tommy’s mom. The running, along with Tommy’s YouTube channel, “lookyus,” with 17-million channel views, inspires Canadians. Tommy, who banks with BMO, is the pride of his sport. “Running has given Tommy endless opportunities,” says Mary Ann. “A sense of personal pride, a chance to shine with his accomplishments.”

Proudly serving the Defence Community.

BMO Bank of Montreal is proud to be the Official Bank of the Canadian Defence Community and the Presenting Sponsor of the Canada Army Run. Through community involvement, sponsorships, and serving the unique banking needs of the community, BMO is here to help.


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