iRun issue 07 2017

Page 1


by Reid Coolsaet


by Rachel Hannah


by The Wooden Sky



KRISTA DUCHENE ISSUE 07 05 2017 2015





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

#STWM #runScotia

2017 National Marathon Championships


October 22, 2017




s much as running challenges you, it also changes you. “Running provides confidence and empowerment both physically and mentally,” says John Stanton, the founder of Running Room. Stanton has seen hundreds of thousands of runner transformations as they cross the line worldwide. He believes that everyone is an athlete and, no matter how fast or slow you go, we have all earned respect. Running is in my heart and soul. It wasn’t always this way, or maybe I just didn’t know I had it in me to run, but I do now. I’ve come to bask in the afterglow of total exhaustion and accomplishment that accompany every finish line I cross. Whether I’m wrapping up a quick 10K early morning training run or crossing the finish line of another marathon, that feeling of exhaustion and exhilaration is like nothing else, and I’m not the only one who enjoys that heady sweet spot. “The first thing I noticed is that running gives me a peace I desperately need and it gives me a confidence I have nowhere else. When I run, I feel at peace, confident and with a sense of mastery that I feel good about,” says Peggy Hickman, who ran her first marathon this past May in Ottawa at the age of 61. The Ottawa resident first began running at her doctor’s suggestion as a way of helping her manage her schizophrenia. Although she was a little nervous at the idea of getting out the door, once she did, she says, “It was love at first step and it turned out to be my passion.” Along with her therapy in the outpatient program at Ottawa’s Royal Hospital for Mental Health, Peggy says


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running has been nothing short of magic for someone who had tried just about everything to silence the voices she hears. Following her passion for running helped Nancy Girard get back on her feet after an accident that left her paralyzed. “The accident changed my perspective on life,” says Nancy, and in a similar way, running renewed it. “As a mom, running has showed me how strong a person I am,” she says. While she was paralyzed, Nancy suffered from anxiety, which she also struggled with in her teens. She says the idea of running gave her a tangible goal to work towards. “I started walking, then fast walking, and then running, and even though it was hard,” she says, “it really did give me that runner’s high.” Runners are a rare breed, which basically makes race directors unicorns. These men and women manage the details of events that turn everyday athletes into weekend warriors, and if that’s not magic, what is? For Rachel Munday, the director for the Manitoba Marathon, the experience she gets in her day to day is unlike any other profession. “When our event began forty years ago, there was little competition and runners weren’t travelling to race,” she says. Like runners at her event who aim to score a personal best or qualify for Boston, Rachel’s desire to step up the quality of her event runs deep. “Today, competition isn’t runners in our province, it’s every race,” she says. “No matter where they run, runners want that premium race experience, and even for the ones who only participate in your race, you have to get better and

better. The challenge is to not only draw new runners, it’s to keep the current ones happy and coming back.” It’s the reason she volunteers at races worldwide, including the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon this month. “For me, there are no races bigger than ours in Manitoba, but it’s important to know where else my runners are going and to take the best from those races and appropriate it to our event.” Rachel is equally enamoured by the spirit of race directors who rally around each other. “Helping out is part of the camaraderie of race directors—we all want Canadian road racing to get better because if you’re passionate about it, you want everyone to succeed.” For John Stanton, running gets bigger and brighter every year, with new innovations, new participants, and new people whose lives he gets to watch transform. “In running, one enjoys the newfound physical fitness and friendships, but crossing the finish line is an inner view of one’s soul,” says Stanton. It’s that rawness of running that keeps many runners on track. As I’ve come to realize over the past year especially, when I feel like I’ve got nothing else to give, I can count on the security of the pavement underfoot, the simplicity of feeling, the sweat running down my spine, and the knowledge that I will endure. Whether you run solo or as part of a run crew, race on weekends or run a few blocks around your neighbourhood, it’s a feeling you’ll continue to hear described in many ways, and a feeling you won’t find anywhere else.

iRun because I want to see how far I can go. — Jordanna Kersbergen, Okotoks, Alberta


Everyone ultimately runs alone. But our strength comes from our community. By Anna Lee Boschetto

PEOPLE UNDER THE SUN: 1. Jay Sneddon 2. John Stanton 3. Mark Sutcliffe 4. Christine Gauthier 5. Peggy Hickman 6. Krista DuChene 7. Marc Roy 8. Nancy Girard 9. Martin Nel iRun to lorem ipsum something goes here tktktktk. — Name Name, Province






Go the race expo and seek out the iRun booth.

Record an inspirational video for a friend that will be racing.

That video, triggered by their race bib, will play on the course— right when they need it the most, at the end!

Timing is everything. Seek out a Sportstats timed race and record a video that will enhance your loved one’s next performance.


RUNNERS MEC is your home base for races, informative clinics and pace-friendly run crews. Tune your 10K time or level up to an ultra trail run – with support and great gear every step of the way. /run-events 2–15K

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“I have endured the searing pain of a mile race and have battled through a 100-kilometre ultra-marathon—but nothing prepared for me for fatherhood.” By Noel Paine


he road of life and running has valleys, hills, and sometimes meanders off in an unexpected direction. It can take you somewhere you have never been before. I laced up my first pair of shoes for a run almost 30 years ago and my running shoes have taken me on many adventures. Growing up in a very small east coast rural setting, I was the only runner for miles around. I was the 12-year-old that occasionally ran the 19.1 kilometres home from school, watching as the buses with my friends drove past. With my father’s digital watch, shorts, and whatever running shoes my parents could find me, I was off and running... somewhere.


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Running gave me an outlet to deal with my emotions and my shyness and started to give me an identity and confidence. I read everything I could find on running and rummaged through every sports section in dusty libraries (before the internet came along). I devoured books on runners from the 1960’s, like Jim Ryun, and pored over anything that had to do with training. Inspired by these books, I would run as hard I could along the country roads in search of faster and faster times. My kilometre-time run from the driveway of my childhood home to just past a field where a marsh begins is still my lifetime best. I ran with young legs, a big heart, and no fear.

Noel Paine is an Ottawa runner, writer, and dad. He has run everything from the 100m to 100km ultra-marathons, including a 258K, 2.5-day 40th birthday run from Kingston to Ottawa in 2015.

iRun because it calms me, lets me sort through stuff, and then I can decide what really matters. ­— Debbie Iwanyzki, Cayuga, Ontario



My love of running never diminished. Over the years, I moved from racing middle distance to 5Ks and 10Ks, to marathons, and in the last few years to ultra-marathon distance events. I liked pushing myself and seeing how fast I could run, but often I was content to run just as fast on a training run when my body seemed ready. Running has followed me through the highs and lows of my life. I ran to clear my mind during my university studies. Running was also part of my military training, and it has been something I have often taken for granted. When I cannot lace up it makes me realize the significance of it in my life. Fast forward to the present day and this 42-year-old is still heading out the door almost every day for a run—but life has changed. In 2015, I became a father to a beautiful little girl and my life turned upside down. I struggled to run and I struggled to adapt to the strain of the requirements of being a new parent. The lack of sleep, the stress, the uncertainty, the lack of time to run weighed down on me. Nothing had prepared me for this. My marriage crumbled. Depression crept in. I am now on my own and see my daughter every second weekend and a couple evenings a week. We spend quality time together, including runs in a stroller I souped up with lightweight wheels. We run and make stops for playgrounds, boats, and, occasionally, deer. It’s been a struggle and there have been some dark moments. Throughout, my running friends and the online running community has provided unbelievable support. People have reached out to me and shared their stories or simply a message of support. Running continues to help me through this new period in my life. I am now a running dad. I know I am moving in the right direction when I get up and search for my running shoes. Nothing in the world prepared me for being a dad, but I know that, like a marathon, if I keep a positive mindset and keep moving forward the finish line keeps getting closer.

Krista DuChene talks to Andre De Grasse about heroism, expectations, giving back to the community, and and overtaking the massive footsteps of Usain Bolt

SPEED WORK Photography by Nick Iwanyshyn

iRun to find peace and freedom. — Lisa Clarridge, Port Perry, Ontario



hen iRun editor Ben Kaplan asked if I wanted to interview Andre De Grasse and fellow sprinters Brendon Rodney, Aaron Brown, and Akeem Haynes for the upcoming cover story, I thought it was a better job for someone else. I doubted I would feel a connection that would assist me in writing a decent story. He’s a young, single man who sprints in seconds down the track and wins World Championship and Olympic medals. I’m an old, married woman who paces for hours around roads and DNF (did not finish) at the World Championships and placed 35th at the Olympics. When we first sat down, it was no surprise that they did not know who I was—and to be honest, I didn’t know much about them. Andre concluded that I competed at the Rio Olympics by recognizing my red sparkly earrings that were given to the women on the team. Brendon Rodney clarified that it was 2016, likely thinking I competed long before his time. It didn’t bother me. I told them I was the oldest athlete on the team and likely the only one plucking gray hairs before walking in the Closing Ceremony. It was clear that our worlds were pretty far apart, but we shared a few laughs and they happily signed my kids’ Rio hats around numerous other Olympians’ autographs. We seemed to take a genuine interest in and share a mutual respect for each other. They were fairly astonished to learn that I ran my Olympic standard less than a year after fracturing my femur while competing with three young children at home. Everyone seemed relaxed and ready to answer some of the questions I had prepared, which is when I was pleased I decided to take advantage of the opportunity. Not only was it something new, but also a contribution to a very worthy cause. Andre and his teammates are participating in the Roche Fight Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) Six-Minute Marathon. They won’t be completing a full 42.2 km, something they admitted they could not fathom. In fact, Andre recalled being amazed

“I am trying to become one of the fastest men in the world”


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TWO OF A KIND: Krista DuChene and Andre De Grasse at the iRun photo shoot in Toronto.

at how many laps were in the steeplechase, something he learned when rooming with one of Canada’s best at a Diamond League event. Akeem Haynes was the only one with bragging rights for completing a full mile. Instead, they will travel across Canada to do a series of six-minute walks, because for those living with IPF, a rare but fatal lung condition, a six-minute walk can feel like a marathon. The men explained that they felt drawn to help Canadians fight IPF because, as runners, they appreciate their every breath. “We did this because we have a good fit with it, knowing how essential it is to breathe, how important, especially in our sport,” said Aaron Brown. Andre added that IPF is a relatively unknown disease with no cure. As a team who has faced challenges, they appreciate the value of a strong support system. Using their platform and experience, they explained that they can encourage those living with IPF to also rely on their family, friends, and team of professionals. A strong support system is integral to better manage the disease and stay active longer for the nearly 30,000 Canadians who may be affected by IPF, which causes irreversible and worsening scarring

iRun because it has changed my life and the way I look at it. — Melissa Reid, Edmonton, Alberta


Unless you’re on the trails, don’t look down. Distance running is about conservation of energy: hold your head straight, no bobbing. (Quick tip: if you’re running up a hill, look straight ahead, not upwards—that can be daunting.)


▲ ▲ ▲

Once you slow down, your stride isn’t as long. Marathoners don’t do the full range of movement before putting their foot on the ground, hence the “marathon shuffle.” Don’t pound, keep your head on an even level as much as you can. Study Lanni Marchant’s stride—she shuffles, she doesn’t pound.

Bouncing is a waste of energy. You want your energy to be used moving forward, not up and down. All your force should propel you forward, but if you’re not in the air, you’re walking. The faster you run, the longer you’ll be up in the air.

My elbows, like most runners, stay fixed—the path of least resistance saves energy. When your arm is back, your hand is beside your hip. When Andre’s arm is back, his hand is behind his butt. That may propel him, but it’s tiring to do. Straight up and down is best for your arms.

I like that Andre is a team player and it’s evident he’s having fun on the track. Andre’s slight frame is outside the typical sprinter mold, but Usain Bolt was further outside the mold at 6’5”. When the stakes are high, Andre is clutch. This is how he runs.

His hips twist a little, but you don’t want them to. Don’t dip from side to side. There’s twisting in your hips, torso, and back, and you offset that balance with one leg forward and one arm backwards. Your body’s not a block of wood—it moves a bit—but a coach wouldn’t say “Twist a little more.” Andre is a pretty straight runner and he’ll keep it that way.

Think of swinging a pendulum: if you have your heel to your butt when you come forward, you use less energy. To bring your knee forward, swing your leg forward rather than having your heel travel very far.

Most marathoners are heel strikers, including myself. You might think some of the Kenyans are toe strikers, but they hit their heel—it’s just that by the time their heel hits, they’re moving forward. The trick is spending minimal time on your heels. Andre, like all sprinters, uses his toes.

Reid Coolsaet, Olympian, is once again returning to racing, following an injury. He’s looking for big races in 2018, after some smaller ones. To follow his progress, see

iRun to clear my head, mostly, to prove to myself that I can, and it makes me feel better after. — Rachel Bueckert, Winnipeg, Manitoba





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of the lungs and deprivation of oxygen to the body. It is responsible for an estimated 5,000 deaths per year. As I continued to learn more about the lung disease, I also got to know more about the four men. It was only last month that Andre had to withdraw from the World Championships due to an injury sustained just before his final opportunity to race against the soonto-be-retiring Usain Bolt. It was a showdown that left many wondering what might have been. When asked how this lost opportunity changed him, particularly as he stuck around and watched the races unfold, his answer was honest and simple: “It was a humbling experience for myself and the team around me,” De Grasse said. “I think moving forward we have to learn from that and get better for next year. A lot of things I could’ve done better that I didn’t do to prevent the injury. I need to find balance and not lose that structure so that I can be successful in the future.” For a 22-year-old man, Canada’s biggest name in athletics, and owner of a hefty Puma contract, he clearly understands his role and high expectations. When asked about the unending comparisons to Jamaica’s Usain Bolt, he gave him credit. “Usain has done a lot for the sport and for me. I’m in a unique situation. We’re part of the same company and we work together and now it’s a new chapter,” he said. “I have to try to fill the void for Puma and for racing, because he’s retiring and he’s a great athlete who gives me a lot of advice going forward of what I need to do to be successful and I’m trying to take all of that and try to go out there. I am trying to become one of the fastest men in the world.” As we continued our conversation, with De Grasse remaining humble and open to any topic of conversation, I commended him for his financial responsibility. I told him that I remembered discussing with my own children his choice to purchase a Honda Accord above anything else when the terms of his deal with Puma were first announced. “I’m not the type of person to be materialistic,” he said. “None of that stuff fazed me to buy an expensive car. For me, it’s not a big deal. After my career is over and I have forty or fifty years to live still, hopefully more—knock on wood—I have to know when to budget and how to spend my money wisely. That’s important to me.” As our time neared an end with some rapid fire questions, I was feeling pleased that I decided to take on this challenge after all. As some of you know, I’m not one to walk away from a challenge and it’s good to meet other runners. Whether it’s a sprinter or a marathoner, a 5K participant or someone raising money for charity at a massive 10K, all of us runners, in some sense, all have to do the same thing. We all lace up our shoes and go out there. It’s clear that these men are enjoying their sport, taking their roles

seriously, giving back while they have the platform to do so, and preparing for a lifetime afterwards. As Andre summarized, “Using our platform is important to us as a team. We want to help because we know that we can.” Andre, and the rest of you guys, that’s right—you absolutely can. And, what’s more, you are. For more information about Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis and the Fight IPF community, please see 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 third. Her website is

iRun to keep me grounded. Running makes me feel like myself again, if only for the time I am running. — Nicky Hutchison, Barrie, Ontario





STRENGTH IN NUMBERS How strangers on a running path inspire our author



don’t even know their names. We never speak. I can only guess at the details of their everyday lives. What were they doing an hour ago? Who do they go home to? What will they do with the rest of their morning? What struggles have they endured? What triumphs have they achieved? I couldn’t tell you the first thing about any of them. Total strangers all, they inspire me to run faster, train harder, push for that extra kilometre. They bring me back out, again and again. Sometimes they wave or nod as we pass each other. Often they seem too focused to notice me, but I see them. On almost every run, I cross paths with a roster of fellow travellers: walkers, runners, cyclists, and others. Are they on their way to and from work? Out for a stroll? Trying to get some exercise? Training for an Ironman? We don’t share. But I witness something in many of them that spurs me on. Like the anonymous athletes crossing the finish line of a race, each has a unique backstory, a reason they have

travelled this far. In some cases, I catch a tiny fragment of the narrative as they pass quickly through the frame. There is a man with a disability in his arms and hands who rides a bicycle on one of my regular running routes. There is a mom with a baby jogger who seems to follow a morning routine. There’s a dashing, lean and fit cyclist who rides shirtless to work, overtaking me on my early-morning runs. There is a runner, older than I, who has an effortless stride that reminds me of Chariots of Fire. There is a couple who runs together; they always seem to be smiling. There is a woman travelling at a three-hour half-marathon pace with a look of steely purpose on her face, like she will never, ever allow anything to stop her. And there is the man with the rolling walker. Despite a significant disability that makes his movement slow and awkward, he is out there every Sunday, for what must be hours at a time. Sometimes I see him near the beginning of a long run and again on my way home again, some 90 minutes later. Often I

iRun because it’s my escape from the world. — Rebecca Lynn, Collingwood, Ontario

wave. I don’t know if he sees me, but I want to acknowledge his heroic effort, his constancy, his determination. And there are countless more of the ordinary folk like me who are out for a run, a stroll, or a ride. They come in all shapes and sizes, each one moving, striving, aiming towards something, whether it’s simply home or a personal best. All we will ever do is pass each other silently. We will never catch up or compare notes. If someday one of them stops appearing, I won’t know if it’s due to an injury or an illness, a change in routine, another pastime that has enticed them, or if they have moved to another neighbourhood or across the world. I’ll never hear the beginning or the end of the story. But the tiny little chapters I glimpse each day are enough to fill me with hope and inspiration. I root for each of them. They are the everyday heroes of my travels. If they can do it, I can do it.

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:






n my family, I had two older brothers who both played a variety of sports. The Bang brothers were well known at school and in the community; I was always known as being my older brothers’ younger brother. I didn’t really have a desire to stand out, but I certainly wanted to be my own person and known for my own accomplishments. I think everyone has similar issues in high school whether they show it or not—it’s an insecure time, where you want to fit in but are also still learning who you are. Whether I was gay or not, I am sure I would still have struggled with finding a place for myself and figuring out my identity as a young person. As part of growing up, we tend to seek out safe spaces—places where we can either fit in or excel. For me, that was the cross-country team. The team was nice and small, so it wasn’t intimidating. I didn’t need to worry about being made fun of. I was able to shed the label of being the “gay kid” or “the youngest Bang brother” and became my own person through running. Through my journey, I’ve learned that running is great because it’s so accessible. No matter how young or old or fit or experienced you are, you can participate and there will always be someone else your pace to run with. In life, we are told that when you work hard, you get results. I think that running is the best example of that. Running doesn’t play favourites and you can’t cheat it. Your result is a direct reflection of the work you put in. Since my schooldays, I have received so much from the LGBTQ community. They have created a space for me to uninhibitedly be and express myself. I sometimes find myself conflicted because while I am gay, I feel like I have been trying to get rid of labels my whole life. I am more than my sexuality, the same way that I am more than just a runner. All that being said, I feel that representation of all groups of people is important in sport, and I think that representation has a direct effect on participation. Had I seen more people like me growing up, participating in running or any other sport, I would have been more inclined to try it out myself. As I’ve gotten older and extended my social network, I’m sad to say that I am not as in touch with the LGBTQ community that was so much a part of helping me become who I am. However, last year I had the chance to be part of Nike Toronto’s IN Media Run Crew and help them train for the Pride and Remembrance 5K. It felt amazing to bring together the two communities that have had such a huge impact on my life, and I was so proud to support it. Running in Chicago next month means giving myself a chance to chase down bigger goals. This cycle has been all about putting belief first and foremost in myself vs. in the training and the numbers. This shift has allowed me to remove the limits that I previously set on myself and pursue bigger goals. There will be a big competitive field in Chicago and I am certain that I’ll have competitors to push me and race against for the full 42.2K. I really think that Chicago will offer the perfect conditions to bring out the best in me. Someone once asked me to answer in one word why I run. My answer is: potential. Nothing makes me feel more capable than propelling myself forward with my own power. Running has shown me that I can accomplish more than I ever thought I could. Season to season, I grow stronger, I get fitter, I get faster, and I break through the “impossible” to achieve the possible. What is your moonshot? How fast can you go? The only way to find out is to keep on running.


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miss Ed. Last year at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon I remember catching him on my phone for a video in his suit and seeing him smile. I miss that smile. I like what he brought to running. Of course, I’m in awe of his records—this weekend I’m joining a couple of guys in running at Ed’s pace for whoever would like to know what it feels like to run like him. The only pace of his I can manage is his time last year, when he was 85 and almost certainly ran the marathon with pancreatic cancer. I’m 43 and don’t even have a toothache. I could never have caught him in his early 70s, in his prime. I first met Ed before my wife and I had our children, but I came to appreciate him more after I was a dad. It’s not just the running records that made him so special, he did things that no one else had ever done. By some accounts, he holds 36 world records and it’s astounding how many times Ed came back from injury—even in his 80s, to run another marathon and break another world record. He didn’t get too high or get down too low. He didn’t take himself, or running, too seriously. To be sure, he loved it. He was a student of the sport and of his body. He wasn’t spending all that time running in the cemetery to look at the birds, he wanted to break records—because he knew that he could. But he never let his running drain the joy from his life. I’ve spent a lot of time lately with Neil, his son, and Neil says that his father showed no visible differences between when he was running and when he was not. Whether he was a record-breaking star or just another old man at church, Ed didn’t change how he acted. He appreciated it, but he didn’t need our applause. I think that’s what I miss most about Ed, what I most want to learn

iRun because I like food and wine too much! —­Kim Bates, Hinton, Alberta

from him, is how authentic he was. He thought that maybe he was able to run so well in his old age because he had taken so much time off from the sport in his 30s and 40s. Maybe by the time he became famous he had already answered all those nagging questions about who he was. Or maybe he learned something growing up in England during World War II. His sister, who he spoke with every week, had no clue Ed was as beloved as he was until she read the obituaries after he passed away last March. Talking about yourself is unseemly. So is being paid to wear somebody’s shoes. Ed didn’t have any sponsors. He also didn’t succumb to any miracle training plans. Alan Brookes, the STWM race director, tells a great story of Ed being in New York to receive an award in 2005 from Runner’s World. He followed the Olympic sprinter Justin Gatlin up on stage. Gatlin thanks his sponsors, his agents, his physiotherapist, his masseuse; Ed comes up afterwards and brings the house down: “I’m not sure what to say and I don’t have a team or a coach or much of anything,” he said, “I just like to run.” As if his star needed any more shining, that night Ed was the King of New York. The most significant records that Ed held were all set in Toronto at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and this is the first year that the race will be held since he’s gone. His presence is missed and he will not be replaced, but he can be remembered and we can all strive to be like Ed. We’ll never run like one of the greatest marathoners in the history of the world. But we all have the chance to live like him. We all have the chance to be true.




9. (NOT) RUNNING: Some runners swear by taking a full 2+ weeks off running, whereas others claim to only need a few days. The risk of taking too little is that, although you’ll still feel sluggish on your first few runs back, you may not be fully recovered and lingering fatigue may come back to haunt you. If you take too much time, it can be challenging to regain fitness. You also run the risk of getting a new injury when you return, which increases the more time you spend away from it. I find between six and ten days is perfect— more if I have a few niggles to recover from. 8. ACTIVE RECOVERY: Time away from running frees up time to do all the other


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activities I love. One of my favourites is the Grouse Grind in North Vancouver. I always try to go hiking and, if I’m able to, also enjoy kayaking, horseback riding, and swimming in the ocean. 7. SAYING YES: At the peak of a season, track and field becomes your life. It feels like you’re always either at a workout or preparing for the next one. Social events become hard to make. It’s always a relief to have a few weeks where you can say yes to whatever your friends are doing. This year I spent a week in London with my dad after the IAAF World Championships. I didn’t run once, and we checked out fun restaurants without me stressing about how I was going to fit my training in. 6. CABIN TIME: Spending time at my family’s cabin on Bowen Island is an absolute must. There’s no place in the world that makes me feel as relaxed. 5. EATING ALL THOSE THINGS YOU’RE NOT

SUPPOSED TO: Even leading up to a big race I never cut sweets or chocolate completely out of my diet, but in season I am cognisant of nutrition and make sure to get enough

protein and nutrients, consuming empty calories only in moderation. The wheels come off during downtime. I start by buying a jar of Nutella and a box of Golden Grahams (my

favourite breakfast!) and my husband and I celebrate an annual “fine wine and Kraft Dinner night” (which is exactly what it sounds like). 4. DRINKING ALL THOSE THINGS YOU AREN’T SUPPOSED TO: Wine with lunch? Yes, please! After dinner beers? Why not! My brother and sisterin-law own a brewery up in Whistler (Coast Mountain Brewing) and downtime is a great excuse to go visit. It only takes a few rough mornings to remember why I typically limit my alcohol consumption, but I believe it’s important to get it out of your system. 3. RUNNING FOR FUN: After a full week of rest, I’ll spend one to three weeks of easy running to slowly build my volume. I might toss in a few fartleks or strides if I feel like it, or maybe not. For a bit, it’s the best of both worlds—being active and enjoying the sport I love without having to worry about all the details. In total, I’ll take at least

a month away from structured training and by the end I’m itching to get back to it! 2. PHYSIO DRILLS: A great time to address underlying issues is while your mileage is still low, leaving you more time and energy to dedicate to rehab and injury prevention. 1. PLAN FOR THE FUTURE: I’ve never had a season end without feeling like there’s more stones to be unturned. Before starting up a new season, I’ll meet with my coach and set outcome (racing) goals for the next year and discuss the process (training) targets to get there. If I do my downtime well, I’ll have a lot of work to do, but I’ll be physically rested and mentally ready for it! Rachel Cliff is a 29-year-old from British Columbia who ran the 10,000 metres at the World Championships in London. She is the defending Canadian 10K champion, an honour she won in May at the Ottawa Marathon.

iRun because it helps improve my mental and physical health. — ­ Ingrid Ambus,Toronto, Ontario


10. EVALUATE THE PAST: Whether the season was successful or not, my coach and I will evaluate it and identify what I did well to carry into the next year and where I can improve. The best time to do this is right after, while it’s fresh.

Rachel Cliff is one of Canada’s brightest up-and-coming race stars. Here, she describes how, when she’s not training, she knows how to live





cent is a powerful part of any experience, but for runners and coffee lovers in particular the right scent can etch itself into our psyche so forcefully that it can always be depended on to evoke a certain memory or sensation. Marcel Proust, celebrated French author, managed to get 3,200 pages out of the memories triggered by the protagonist of In Search of Lost Time biting into a madeleine. “The perfect cup of coffee,” says Diana Olsen, owner and founder of Balzac’s Coffee Roasters, “tastes and smells like home.” If we’re lucky enough to run on sprawling trails surrounded by nature, that smell is transcendent and cleansing. It feels like touching something beyond ourselves. Growing up in West Vancouver, Diana’s earliest memories of running are rooted in exploring the local trails with her father. “I remember the smell of the cedar bark mulch lining the trail,” she recalls. Running has been a presence in her life ever since, whether on its own or as part of training for numerous other sports, including Varsity rowing and basketball. Trail running remains her preference. “When I visit a new city,” says Olsen, “I try to book hotels that are close to their waterfront or main trail systems.” This way, she can take the solace and clarity of the trails anywhere she goes. It’s no surprise that she has a propensity for opening new locations in her favourite running cities, including Kingston, where Balzac’s opened in 2016, and Ottawa, where another shop will open this year. “My mind gets very creative when I run,”



The founder of Balzac’s Coffee on the buzz she finds in her sneakers she says. “I get my best work done and it clears out the cobwebs and my thinking is sharper all day long.” Calm and clarity matter to Olsen as a runner and entrepreneur and she’s tried to bring those principles to each Balzac’s. 25 years after Balzac’s began as a single coffee cart in Toronto’s St. Lawrence neighbourhood, and with additional backing from Arlene Dickinson and Bruce Croxon of CBC’s Dragon’s Den,Olsen now has thirteen locations named for the French author whose creative output was as prodigious as his caffeine consumption—up to 50 cups a day, according to some accounts. Olsen’s vision was that Balzac’s would carry on the tradition of 19th-century Paris, when the café was a place where, as she says, “People came

iRun to be free... and I really like medals. — Claire Boone, Ontario, Canada

together to read the paper and create discourse. That’s why comfortable seating, an uncluttered interior, and music played at a reasonable volume characterize each Balzac’s.” I confirm to Diana that the St. Lawrence Balzac’s has long been one of my favourite places to write. Olsen’s main focus at Balzac’s is on the coffee roasting and designing new cafes, but her involvement in the creative aspects of her business are as strong as ever, especially when it comes to the menu. Among her favourite creations is the Iced Citro Booster, developed with runners in mind. Originally a hot drink, Olsen concocted the recipe with freshly squeezed lemons, turmeric, ginger, maple syrup, and cayenne—a dream team of anti-inflammatory ingredients. Each cup, each case, each morsel at Balzac’s is a testament to the way in which the detail, patience, and creativity that running empowers Olsen with can be found in every element of her work. It’s been an incredible two decades of growth for Balzac’s and naturally there have been times when running had to be put aside due to lack of energy or time. It always seems to find its way back quickly, however, and Olsen has never stopped being grateful for the lessons running has taught her. “I have a strong body that responds in great ways when I push it,” she says. “I’m so grateful that I’m someone who loves running and physically can run. It’s a great gift that enriches my life.” For the Balzac’s Coffee Roasters location in your neck of the woods, please see


FASHION JENINE LAFAYETTE, 34 Free Beanie, Salomon, $35 iRun to feel free.

JACK VLICNY, 30 TRLBeanie by Ciele, $55 iRun because it makes me feel good.

JENNY CHRISTIAN, 32 Brisk Skull Cap by Saucony, $34.99 iRun for the personal challenge.

CARLOS GAME, 32 Slouchy Hat by MEC, $25 iRun because first, I wanted to get fit and now, because I want to show people you can get fit from running.

TOQUE UP We brought the best hats of winter to Black Toe Running and asked the Wednesday night race crew why they run

MASHA BOSHAN, 35 Winter beanie by Reebok, $28 iRun for stress management, plus I like the crew I run with.

SABRINA YOUNG, 47 Ascent Active Beanie by The North Face, $37.99 iRun to live life to the fullest!

SHELBEY LOVE, 23 Wool Regulate Toque by Lululemon, $32 iRun because I like pushing my body.

MIKE ANDERSON, 47 Cold Gear Infrared Hood by Under Armour, $34.99 iRun because I love it—I enjoy it so much.


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iRun because I love the way it makes me feel when I go super FAST! — Cheryl Andrews-Morreale, Toronto, Ontario




Available now at and

CLUB DE COURSE D’HIVER Josée Racine explique pourquoi elle aime courir à Montréal pendant l’hiver


e cours peu importe la saison! Parfois, comme aujourd’hui au demi-marathon de Montréal, à une chaleur suffocante, mais parfois aussi en plein hiver… entre deux tempêtes de neige! Contrairement à la croyance populaire, parce qu’on m’a souvent demandé, non il n’y a pas vraiment de glace sur les trottoirs. Je n’ai jamais glissé en courant! Pas besoin de crampons, pas besoin d’équipement particulier. Il suffit de s’habiller en conséquence. Si vous êtes chanceux comme moi, vous avez une amie qui aura pensé à vous à un Noel et vous auras offert une cagoule pour la course. Sinon il suffit de quelques couches de linge, des gants, une cache-cou et voilà! Certains préfères la chaleur pour courir, personnellement je préfères le froid! Bon on s’entend je préfères l’automne mais entre un juillet et un mars… je vote pour mars! La plus grande difficulté en faite c’est surtout qu’il fait noir à 5h. Mais il faut faire le deuil de la lumière, comme celui du confort. Il


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faut accepter le risque d’une engelure ou d’un jogging qui peut s’avérer trop froid et donc revenir sur nos pas. L’été il faut être alerte aux coups de chaleur, et l’hiver il faut accepter une température trop froide. Il faut accepter la noirceur surtout si vous avez des enfants et que votre seul, et meilleur, moment pour courir est au retour de travail du mari! Alors là non seulement le soleil est bel est bien couché mais en plus vous savez très bien le froid qui vous attends dehors! Il faut foncer, ne pas réfléchir, ne pas penser à la neige ou le vent. Il faut en quelque sorte vivre une déni!! Parce qu’une fois dehors le reste se fait presque tout seul. Une fois lancé, qui va s’arrêter? Bon oui, une fois on a rebroussé chemin à cause d’une engelure mais une fois seulement! Si l’été on doit frêner une sortie à cause d’une forte pluie, au moins l’hiver une neige ne nous empêchera pas de sortir. Une très très forte neige… peut-être! Et encore… c’est après la forte neige, quand l’accumulation est

terminé, quand les trottoirs sont ensevelis sous cette neige que sortir devient un peu plus périlleux! Mais il suffit d’un jour ou deux et les trottoirs sont déblayés et bien prêt à recevoir nos foulées. Alors oui la neige, oui le froid, oui la noirceur… mais ce qui est merveilleux avec la course en hiver c’est… les lumières de Noêl sur notre parcours!! Le plaisir de voir à chaque maison une décoration différente, de comparer et admirer le travail des propriétaires. Toutes ces couleurs et la magie que cela représente! Et cette neige qui couvre les arbres et les sapins! Il y a aussi le plaisir et la récompense après la course. Revenir au chaud, prendre une douche très chaude, s’habiller chaudement et s’emmitoufler même! Il y a aussi la satisfaction de voir les enfants vous acceuillir comme un héros, qui demande comment était la neige et si le froid était vraiment froid! Ces enfants qu’on pensait abandonner avant le départ et qui, une fois revenu, ne pense qu’à vous réchauffer. Si on peut patiner, skier, faire de la raquette… si les plus grands fans de ces sports réussisent à survivre aux défis de l’hiver par passion… pourquoi ne pas le faire quand c’est la course? Si la peur c’est de glisser, eh bien dans tous ses sports il arrive de tomber non? Si c’est le froid, imaginez les skieurs en haut d’une pente de ski en plein mois de janvier! Pourtant ça ne l’est arrête pas? Alors patin ou running?

iRun parce que je ne pensais pas que je pouvais! — Sharon Shuttleworth, Balzac, Alberta





COUREZOTTAWA.CA MARATHON • 1/2 MARATHON • 10K • 5K • 2K • MARATHON DES ENFANTS iRun Parce que je peux! — Tara, Aurora



DE TOUT COEUR AVEC L’INSTITUT Médaillée olympique Joannie Rochette sur le réconfort qu’elle trouve en courant pour une cause


n décembre dernier, j’ai décidé de m’associer à la Fondation de l’Institut de Cardiologie de Montréal puisqu’elle voulait, avec mon aide, faire le lancement d’un nouveau projet autour de la course à pied. Ce nouveau concept est vraiment original et nous croyons que cela va permettre à la Fondation de l’Institut de se démarquer parmi le grand nombre de courses caritatives déjà en place. Depuis le lancement de Cours pour le Cœur, il y a maintenant 9 mois, c’est plus de 100 participants qui ont décidé d’associer la course de leur choix à la lutte contre les maladies cardiovasculaires. C’est plus de 50 000 $ qui seront injectés dans la recherche, la prévention, l’enseignement et l’amélioration continue des soins prodigués aux patients de l’Institut de Cardiologie. Ce n’est qu’un début puisque la Fondation et moi-même visons les 250 coureurs d’ici la fin 2018.


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Participer à Cours pour le Coeur est en quelque sorte un « trois dans un » dans le sens où l’on fait une activité physique bénéfique pour notre santé qui par le fait même permet d’amasser des fonds pour la Fondation de l’Institut et surtout de sensibiliser la population face aux maladies cardiovasculaires. Vous devriez lire les témoignages que nous recevons! Des pères qui courent pour leurs enfants, des amis qui courent pour des proches et des femmes qui courent pour leur conjoint, c’est vraiment touchant. Prendre l’engagement de courir pour une cause devient essentiellement l’élément déclencheur qui pousse le coureur à atteindre ses objectifs sportifs et même à les dépasser. Finalement, pour moi, courir pour un être cher est aussi une façon de vivre un deuil d’une manière plus positive. Pour d’autres, c’est une opportunité d’honorer. Au fil des années, ma conception de la

course à pied a légèrement évolué. Lorsque j’étais en entraînement, pour mes compétitions de patinage artistique, c’était une séance d’échauffement avant de sauter sur la glace. C’était aussi l’occasion parfaite pour faire le vide et visualiser les différents mouvements techniques que j’aurais à exécuter. Maintenant, c’est mon activité de choix pour garder la forme, me ressourcer et à l’occasion…c’est ma façon d’honorer Thérèse, ma mère qui m’a quittée il y a quelques années suite à un malaise cardiaque. Je profite tout de même de ces moments, avec moi-même, pour me libérer l’esprit et l’instant d’un moment oublier les petits tracas de la vie. Que ce soit pour un membre de votre famille, un ami ou tout simplement pour appuyer une cause qui vous tient à cœur, Cours pour le Cœur permet aux marcheurs, aux coureurs et aux adeptes de courses extrêmes de s’inscrire à la course de leur choix et de se faire rembourser leur frais d’inscription en échange d’une collecte de fonds. Cours pour le Cœur, c’est gagnant-gagnant, mais c’est surtout une façon simple et originale d’ajouter un sens à votre sport favori. Joannie Rochette, Médaillée olympique et porte-parole de Cours pour le Cœur

iRun parce que j'aime la pizza. — Julie Alissa McGuire, Ottawa, Ontario



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

iRun parce que ça me donne une existence amplifiée. —Angela Costa, Beaconsfield, Quebec.






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know how to fuel my body properly and can advise others to do so as well; however, I am still working towards finding my optimal body composition/physique for training and racing. One mistake I have made is maintaining an ideal (by my own standards) performance weight and body composition for too long, which can have an impact on bone density and is hard, physically and emotionally, to maintain. I am investing a lot of time into finding the best body composition for my health. Many people may think that only elite athletes intentionally change their body composition over the training year, which is not entirely true. Runners of all abilities could benefit from trying to achieve their fittest body possible come race day. Excessive body fat can have negative health consequences (eg., high cholesterol, elevated triglycerides, fatty liver), and improving your body composition could make a person healthier through the process. Achieving ideal body composition means maintaining or minimizing the loss of lean muscle mass while losing body fat and increasing power-to-weight ratio. Racing body composition is a balancing act of determining the ideal body fat percentage and weight without sacrificing health and energy levels to achieve it. Most of the year should be spent in a positive energy balance and higher training weight to avoid the negative consequences of chronically low body fat levels and reduced energy intake (RED-S). Currently, I’m collecting weight and skinfold measurements using calipers to develop trends for my training vs. competition weight while managing RED-S. This objective data and tracking over time can give some guidance on learning the differences between body composition for training and for competition. Routine blood work from a sports physician is also a good idea through this process for overall health assessment and for women to avoid the risk of losing a menstrual cycle from chronic low energy availability. If calipers are being used to measure skinfolds, the person conducting the test needs to be ISAK-certified. DEXA scans are the gold standard, but they’re expensive. By forming a team approach, you can receive individualized attention and find the racing physique you need to achieve your personal best.

iRun because it clears my mind. — Kimberley Martin, Barrie, Ontario



How to reduce body fat and maintain/minimize lean muscle mass loss: KEEP A FOOD JOURNAL using apps such as

MyFitnessPal. Start by tracking a few weeks to see what your average calorie and macronutrient intake is. If your goal is to lose weight, a negative energy balance needs to be achieved. MyFitnessPal can also give you a general calorie target based on the information you enter in your profile. If you are training for an endurance event, aim to create approximately a 300-calorie deficit each day under your current target. You could go up to a 500calorie deficit during periods of recovery or very reduced training load. This deficit could be achieved by reducing portions slightly at meals, eliminating liquid calories, and cutting out treats for a short period of time and by using some of the strategies below. MONITOR HUNGER LEVELS. Feeling a little hungry sometimes is normal during this phase; however, ensure that it is not happening all the time or at extreme levels, where energy levels drop and quality workouts can’t be maintained as a result. This is where tracking will really help to give you objective data about your food intake. AVOID GOING LONGER THAN FOUR HOURS without eating by including snacks that include high quality carbohydrates with protein for improved satiety and recovery. EAT UNTIL YOU ARE NO LONGER HUNGRY and not overly full. Try to order your foods a bit differently when eating to improve satiety (for example, start your meal with vegetables like a salad or vegetable soup). This will help you control portions for the rest of the meal. Fruit can also help when there is a long gap between meals. MAINTAIN ADEQUATE PROTEIN intake during this process. This is very important to try to maintain lean muscle mass during weight loss. Protein needs vary depending on the individual and sport, but in general aim for 1.5–2.3g of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. AIM TO EAT A WELL BALANCED and larger breakfast and spread out protein intake throughout the day (20–30g per meal). It is ideal to have smaller meals towards the end of the day. If following this pattern, try to have a small,

protein-rich snack before bed if hunger levels are higher. This will also help maintain lean muscle mass. RESISTANCE TRAINING. If you are currently not lifting any weights, I strongly recommend developing a weight routine to be done twice a week. If you are new to resistance training, work with a qualified personal trainer to ensure you minimize the risk of injury in the gym and to help you develop a plan you can stick with. TRY TO CUT OUT EXTRA FAT to help with calorie reduction, since fat has more than double the amount of calories per gram compared to protein or carbohydrates. This places an emphasis on fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and lean sources of animal and plant protein with smaller amounts of healthy fats. Michael Pollan summarizes healthy eating simply: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” CUT OUT ADDED SUGARS. This includes extra treats that serve no purpose other than pure pleasure. Save these for right after your big race to celebrate! The only time added sugars are okay is during endurance training when you need to fuel for runs over 90 minutes and to practice your fuel plan if you are preparing for a marathon. SPEND MORE TIME TO SHOP and prepare meals from scratch at home. This will decrease reliance on processed foods and results in a higher quality diet. Most of us have the knowledge of what healthy eating should look like, but application is the hardest part. With planning and preparation, healthier eating is possible. TRY TO SET SHORT-TERM and long-term goals to help with your motivation. A short-term focus could be on day-to-day energy levels and performance or recovery from workouts. Your long-term goal could be crossing that finish line running the best you possibly could and enjoying the experience of optimizing your health. Finding one’s best body composition for health and optimal performance in the sport of running takes hard work, attention to details, and years to figure out. It is worth all the time and effort, however, since it could result in reaching peak performance and setting personal bests come race day. We often put our best efforts into our training. The same amount of effort should be applied to our diets.

Questions to ask yourself to determine if you should change your body composition or diet: • Do I feel like I am carrying extra weight? Am I completely content and comfortable with how I feel when I am running? • Have I had recent blood work done indicating I could benefit from a 5% or more weight reduction? • Have I been at a lower body weight/body fat percentage before and felt strong and lean while also running my fastest times in races? (Remember that everyone needs his or her own individual target for body fat percentage. Never aim to stay at a very low body fat percentage for more than a few months out of the year.) Rachel Hannah is a Pan American Games m arathon bronze medallist, former Canadian cross-country champion, and Registered Dietitian. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @Rachel HannahRD.

iRun because it allows me to channel my emotions and feel liberated. Running brings a calming feeling. — ­ Stephanie Fortier, Ottawa, Ontario

• Are there any changes in my diet that I can make to improve the quality while still maintaining adequate intake to fuel my training? • Am I consuming a lot of calories through packaged and processed foods high in sugar, fat, and salt? • Do I often eat until I am very full? • Are there some nonnutritive, “empty,” calorie dense foods or drinks that I could temporarily reduce in the months/ weeks leading up to my peak race for the season?


“Exercise is the single most powerful tool you have to optimize your brain function…exercise has a profound impact on cognitive abilities and mental health." - Dr. John Ratey

“Exercise is the single most powerful tool you have to optimize your brain function…exercise has a profound impact on cognitive abilities and mental health." - Dr. John Ratey

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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.

“Exercise is the single most powerful tool you have to optimize your brain function…exercise has a profound impact on cognitive abilities and mental health." - Dr. John Ratey


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.

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DARREN’S ‘COURAGEOUS HOPE’ MARATHON RAISING FUNDS FOR SUDBURY’S MENTAL HEALTH NEEDS A Sudbury man, Darren Parker, was inspired by a local high school student who started the first Unbreakable Open 5k in Sudbury to support youth mental health. He’ll be running the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon October 22, 2017. “My personal story has been impacted (either directly or indirectly) by mental illness, suicide, and addictive behaviours since I was 17 years old. I have lost several members of our family to suicide. I am in large part running this marathon for all of us who have been impacted one way or another by mental illness. I am running for the individual who feels lost and alone in the midst of a social world. I am running for the one who is contemplating harming themselves. I am running for

those who turn to substance use as a means to cope with life’s realities. I am running for the surviving family members and friends of those who have succumbed to suicide. I am running for those who are no longer with us.” Darren, 51, calls his campaign the “Courageous Hope” Marathon. He says “for a period of time I retreated and remained quiet and tucked away (from talking about mental health). I was inspired by the Team Unbreakable Spring Open and I am extremely motivated to once again engage openly.” Running brought Darren back, and he now wants to give back by supporting a new Team Unbreakable run program in Sudbury. For more information about Team Unbreakable please visit Or support Darren’s campaign at

Saturday, December 2nd, 2017 The Santa Shuffle is coming to a town near you! With 41 locations across Canada this 5K Fun Run and 1K Elf Walk is the perfect event to enjoy with your family and friends. Don’t forget to raise pledges in support of your local Salvation Army. Help make a difference, one step at a time.


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Gavin Gardiner, lead singer of The Wooden Sky, on the sanctity running brings as he bares his soul to the world


ast night I struggled my way through a slow 7 kilometres. Sure, I’ll tell myself it was 33 degrees, but while it was hot, I know what my struggle really means: I’m a long way from where I need to be come October 22nd. This will be my fourth half-marathon in three years, and though my commitment sometimes comes in waves, running has become an important fixture in my life and creative process. In 2013, after three albums and as many years touring, life on the road had taken its toll on my body and my mind. I’d seen it in those around me as well, and after losing a band member, friendships and mental health seemed to hang on by a thread. I was at a low point and feeling lost about what to do next. It was that winter that I started frequenting the local Y. Before long, it became an addiction, and every other morning I would meet the other two members of the band, Simon and Kip, at the corner of Dovercourt and College. The band that pumps iron together, stays together… or something like that. We worked out in the mornings, wrote songs in the afternoon, and before we knew it we had the bones of what would become our next record. That spring, once the snow had melted and the streets were clear, my partner, Sarah,


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began to push me to join her on her runs. At this point, she had a few half-marathons under her belt and had her sights set on 42 kilometres. It was difficult for me at first. At the time, I had what fellow musician and marathoner Luc Doucet described as the physique of a Clydesdale (coming in at 6’6” and over 200 pounds). But once I started getting up over the 5K mark, I was hooked. I began wearing my running clothes to soundcheck and soon found myself running along the Seine, past the Louvre and Cathedral de Notre-Dame, rather than sitting in some dank green room trying not to get drunk before the show. These days, it is not uncommon to see the entire band out running before a show or spending our day off hitting the hotel gym before heading out to explore a new city. Running has also changed my relationship with time. In the hour that I might spend out running, exploring new cities like Tokyo, Zurich, or Saskatoon, I become hyper aware of every moment, every step, and every breath. In the course of a run you go through so many emotions, work through problems, and, in my case, often write new music. And while I enjoy the physical benefits that come from running, its effects on my mind are what I have really come to appreciate. The intense focus that running affords is invaluable to my creative process. As the miles started adding up and the runs became longer, I found I was more focused and creative in the time I had left. In writing this, I realize that I am at a point where I need running as much as I did back when I laced up my first pair of ugly fluorescent shoes. Each runner I see brings me excitement and inspiration. Sometimes putting one foot in front of the other is hard enough. This year I will again be running in support of Romero House and the work they do with refugees in my community. Find out more about how you can help at The Wooden Sky play the National Arts Centre in Ottawa on October 27. Swimming in Strange Waters, the band’s most recent record, is available at

Yukon > Old Cabin, Wasted > It was too cold to run when I visited Whitehorse for the first time. I did, however, meet Jona Barr and was introduced to a whole lot of great music coming out of that area.

British Columbia > Carly Rae Jepsen, Run Away with Me > Hard to deny this one. Beats this big make it impossible to stop even on the hottest days.


iRun because it calms me, lets me sort through stuff, and then I can decide what really matters. — ­ Debbie Iwanyzki, Cayuga, Ontario


NWT > Willie Thrasher, Old Man Carver > Saw Willie play a couple months ago at the release of Native North America Vol. 1. Love the driving acoustic sound and bouncing bass on this one. Makes me want to run for days.

Alberta > Chixdiggit!, Chupacabras > This is one of the first shows I saw when I moved to Toronto from Manitoba. At 6’6”, I figured I was safe standing in front of a pole at the Horseshoe. A cigarette to the back of the head let me know that I was indeed standing in someone’s sight line!

Saskatchewan > Andy Shauf, The Magician > Great album for early morning runs.


Newfoundland > Jon Hynes, Under the Gardiner > Technically this record won’t be out for a bit, but I mastered it and when I heard this beat and the guitar solo, I had to put it into running rotation. Jon, however, listens exclusively to early Metallica when he runs!

Nunavut > Tanya Tagaq (ft. Shad), Centre > When this song comes on, it lets me dig a little deeper. Something about the swagger of it makes every run feel like I’m training for the prize fight.

Quebec > Basia Bulat, Tall Tall Shadow > Was out for a run during a festival this summer and had forgotten my iPod, and I heard Basia singing this song from the main stage. Made for an amazing sunset run along a Saskatchewan dirt road. Manitoba > The Weakerthans, This is a fire door never leave open > Reconnected to this band recently after having an in-depth conversation about how great they are backstage after a friend’s show. Reminds me of running in the prairies, expansive and beautiful.

Ontario > Casey Mecija, Gonna Gun > Love the beat on this song. Great for a misty morning run.

iRun because it gives me a positive outlook in life. — Simon Ong , Calgary, Alberta

PEI > Alvvays, Plimsoll Punks > The whole album is pretty great for running.

New Brunswick > Julie Doiron, I Woke Myself Up > “Maybe this coffee is a bad idea.” Easy for me to relate to that line these days.

Nova Scotia > Sloan, The Lines You Amend > Was out running on a rainy night in Halifax and this song came on. Felt like a very Haligonian experience, plus it’s a great song to run to.


The greatest races are the ones that we all do together. Martin Nel 44, Toronto, Ont. Martin Nel is the head of personal and small business at BMO Financial Group, but more impressive to us—he’s a runner. He’s done 15 marathons and competed in the last two Canada Army Runs. Running alongside the Canadian military makes him proud of his work. “The Canadian defence community is important to me and running with our 75 employees makes me proud of BMO,” says Nel, adding that BMO had 100 volunteers at last month’s run. “Running is something where anyone can participate and that inclusivity is something I love about our sport.” Nel draws parallels between banking and running. “With both running and saving, the practice becomes its own reward,” says Nel. “It’s not always fun, but it can be the most rewarding thing in the world when you reach that finish line.” This year, BMO’s celebrating their 200th birthday alongside the 150th birthday of our country and the 100-year anniversary of Vimy Ridge. Nel says the emotions he felt were intense during the Army Run. “It’s right to support the military,” says Nel. “Our strongest asset at BMO is our people and that comes out at the Canada Army Run.”

Corporal Stuart Macneil 31, Esquimalt, B.C. Macneil was skeptical about BMO —he thought their free banking offer to servicemen was too good too be true— but he conducted his research. “I’ve been happy ever since.” Macneil mostly runs trails in Victoria, but ran the Army Run. “The community feeling is like nothing else in the world.” Tina Wibe 61, Ottawa, Ont. “It was another amazing Army Run weekend: the Expo, BMO Kid’s Zone, and of course race morning; singing the anthem and cheering at the start for the wounded soldiers, the soul of Army Run and my inspiration. Big thank you to the spectators! I had a PB in the 5K and was proud to finish the 10K to complete the Vimy challenge.” Tommy Des Brisay 25, Ottawa, Ont. “I liked doing the race and seeing all the military soldiers. They all said, ‘Congratulations, Tommy!’ Of course that makes me feel good and that’s what I told everyone else who ran—’Congratulations!’ I look forward to doing the Canada Army Run again next year. ‘Congratulations!’ to everyone who runs!”

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.


Canada Army Run 2018: September 23, 2018 OTTAWA, CANADA PRESENTED BY