iRun issue 04 2017

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Styled by Coneli Camayang, for p1m; hair and makeup by Irina Badescu, for p1m; cover dress, and dress on this page, both by Lesley Hampton; shot on location at the Drake Hotel.


O N T H E DAY B E F O R E N ATA S H A WODAK MADE HER RETURN TO S T R E E T R AC I N G , T H E 3 5 -Y E A R - O L D O LY M P I A N WA S I N H I G H H E E L S AND A RED DRESS ON QUEEN S T R E E T W E S T I N T O R O N T O, B R I N G I N G T R A F F I C T O A H A LT. A smorgasbord of male runners laid strewn at her feet. Wodak, born and raised in Surrey, B.C., not far from where she still lives a 45-minute drive from her parents’ house, had reached the greatest heights of any long-time competitive Canadian racer: competing for her country in the 2016 Olympic Games. But something felt lacking in her journey and, after being slowed by a toe injury, she wanted things to be different in her return to the sport that she loves. At the shoot, Wodak was generous with her time, experimental with her pictures and entirely at ease, at least seemingly so, with her place in the world. It’s hard to imagine this smiling and friendly, albeit, ferocious racer who goes by the nickname T.Fierce, was once saddled by depression, anxious and unable to sleep. What compounds this contrast but serves as a reminder to all runners, elite or back-ofthe-pack, is that Wodak was at her unhappiest when she was in her best shape, physically, and about to step on the largest starting line of a life spent in sports. Even Olympians are humans, Wodak discovered. She tried being a machine, it didn’t work. “I was in a place in my life where I didn’t feel settled and coach Richard and I were battling and I was single and 34, wondering, ‘Am I ever going to meet someone?’ I felt lonely and like I gave up a lot for the Olympic dream and it didn’t feel like I thought it would,” says Wodak, whose frank, matter-of-fact nature is disarming in person and a bit surprising, given her appearance makes her look more like the models who usually create the congestion on Queen Street West than the Olympian that she is. “Here I was training away, and not happy. I didn’t get to do the races I wanted and every race was really important


2017 ISSUE 04

EASY COME, EASY GO: Natasha Wodak at the start line and finish line of the BMO Vancouver Marathon in May.

and stressful. Really, I missed having a life, having fun.” Wodak did a few things in short order to get her life back under control. She saw a doctor and was prescribed pills to help with her sleeping. She met a man who was stable and kind and, as doctors operated on her toe, fell in love. And then Natasha found a new coach. While still on good terms with Richard Lee, a famous Vancouver-based coach who has trained Dylan Wykes, Richard Mosely, Sue Lee, his Olympian wife, and countless more, Wodak signed up with Lynn Kanuka, who’s not only an old family friend and Olympic bronze medalist but seemed to share a similar ethos: the goal is to run faster times—indeed, Wodak will be competing at the IAAF World Championships this August in London. However, no more agonizing over every race, every training run, every practice, every pound. If Wodak is going to devote her time and attention—her heart and her soul—to running, she’s going to approach the sport differently. Her gift is no longer a sentence. It’s a chance to be free. “She’s a hard worker and very committed

iRun to spend time with friends and to be healthy. — Alex, Montreal

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


“I ’ M T H A N K F U L FOR MY STRUGGLES BECAUSE I LEARNED A P P R E C I AT I O N .” and, at the same time, she’s well-rounded. I use the term ‘spunky,’” says Kanuka, reached in Vancouver after a training session with Wodak and her son, Jack. At today’s session, which focused on cadence and speed—Kanuka believes that for Wodak to get faster in 10,000-metres (10K), she needs to get faster first at 1,5000 and 5,000-metres, get fast at the short stuff and you’ll be faster when you run long—the weather was typical Vancouver, wind and rain. But instead of getting discouraged, the team ran in the trails, enjoyed their morning and, by the time they returned to the track, the weather had cleared. “Natasha’s best running is still very possible in her future; she has a lot of mileage in her back pocket, but at this stage of her life, she knows herself and knows that you have to feel like you like what you’re doing in order to succeed,” says Kanuka. “We’re having fun and not worrying about too much of anything other than that.” Indeed, following her shoot, Wodak had a glass of red wine and a plate of sushi, smiled and said: “I feel so much more happy and settled since the Olympics that whatever happens next with my running, honestly? It’s just icing on the cake.” This is the part where Wodak’s story gets exciting and why running can bring so much pleasure to not just participants, but also to fans. The next morning in Toronto, at the Race Roster Spring Run-Off 8K, Wodak won. It wasn’t a deep field and her time of 27:55 didn’t rewrite the books, but she smiled as she crossed the finish line and, even though she’s without a sponsor and still working through a delicate toe, she radiated joy at the childlike pleasure of being able to run. “She had some down times, but she’s back now and it’s great to see her run free of pain, it’s exhilarating,” says Patti Wodak, Natasha’s mom. “Natasha has grit and she goes for it—our family motto is, ‘Never Say Die.’” For Wodak, the race was the start of a rapid comeback, but the experience was taken in stride. “I feel fortunate to feel happy and healthy because I know where I was,” she says. “I’m thankful for my struggles because I learned appreciation and Alan, my boyfriend, Lynn, my coach, and I, we all feel excited about what the future may bring.” In road racing, the future is never far off and in quick succession, Wodak raced again and again. After the Race Roster 8K in April, Wodak competed in May at the BMO half-marathon in Vancouver,


2017 ISSUE 04

her hometown race. At the start line, she flashed the peace sign. Again, there were no expectations. Again, Wodak took the win for the Canadian women, running so quickly that she was only six seconds off the course record. The girl from B.C. felt thrilled to race among family and friends. “My plan for the race was to go out conservatively and I was waiting for the pain to set in, but it didn’t come,” says Wodak, relaying her experience with a measure of thrilled disbelief. Wodak’s PBs are all over the Canadian records. She holds Canada’s national record in 10,000 metres, set in Palo Alto in 2015 at a speed of 31:41:59, and the national record for the 8K distance—running 25:28:5 in 2015 in Saanichton, B.C. Of course, Wodak’s older now. But as all runners know, lots of factors come into play on any given day’s performance. Wodak has always had drive, strength and power. But now she has experience, gratitude and belief. In the fall, after the World Championships in London, Wodak wants to take a shot at Lanni Marchant’s Canadian women’s record in the half-marathon, a time of 1:10:47. (Her PB is 1:11:20, third fastest Canadian women’s half-marathon of all-time). And for now, the professional racer just keeps doing her work. In late May, after Vancouver, Wodak lined up at the Canadian 10K Championships in Ottawa and took second place among female Canadian women to Rachel Cliff. And though she was disappointed with the outcome—a result of running too fast too soon and underestimating the heat—she has the Toronto Waterfront 10K in June and remains feeling happy about both her recent efforts and her state of mind. In Ottawa, we met up with Wodak a few hours before her race, as she took in the expo with Alan by her side and posed for photographs with fans. Again, she was generous with her time, smiling, not the least bit vain about appearances or seemingly nervous about her race, which was the Canadian championships of all things. Natasha Wodak, T. Fierce, Olympian, seemed to be having a blast. “Do I think I have faster times in me? Of course I do, or I wouldn’t be training so hard, but I’m going to do it my way,” she said. “I know, running and otherwise, the way I want my life to be. Coming from where I came from, let me tell you—I’m thankful for today.”

iRun for the achievements of my goals and to push myself. — Ruth, Hamilton


Natasha Wodak is one of the fastest racers in Canadian history




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1 / 2 M A R AT H O N





Congratulations to all of the finishers at the 2017 Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend. To everyone who ran, cheered, volunteered, and to all of our sponsors and partners, thank you for making this such an incredible weekend.

Registration opens September 1!

MAY 26 - 27




ROCK’N’ROLL WAY Live bands amplifying your course, the motivation of tons of cheering spectators, and a beautiful and cultural experience through 375-year-old Montreal … what more could you ask for in a race? How about free race-day transportation, free headliner concert by multi-platinum band MOIST, plus the chance to earn up to three medals? The 2017 Rock ‘n’ Roll Oasis Montreal Marathon & 1/2 Marathon is just under four months away, and now is the perfect time to train for any one of the distances. Choose from a 42.2 km, 21.1 km, 10 km, 5 km or 1 km course and look forward to all these things: COURSES THAT ROCK It’s not called the Rock ‘n’ Roll race for nothing. Live bands and entertainment of all kinds can be found along the course, and this year, we’ve added even more! FREE RACE DAY TRANSPORTATION Thanks to a partnership with the STM, Rock ‘n’ Roll is offering participants complimentary all-day bus and metro transportation the day of their race. LOTS OF MEDALS Take part in the first-

ever Montreal Remix Challenge by running the 5 km distance on Saturday plus any of the Sunday distances to earn THREE medals! MARATHON JACKETS For those stepping up to take on the 42.2 km course, there’s a bonus gift in store! When you cross the marathon finish line, an exclusive marathon finisher jacket is yours to take home. MOIST AT THE FINISH You don’t want to miss this concert! Multi-platinum band Moist is this year’s headliner following your race on Sunday! In fact, Moist keyboardist Kevin Young is a runner himself and created a playlist for you to ROCK your training with on your next run. “Playing the Rock ‘n’ Roll Oasis Montreal Marathon & 1/2 Marathon will be a true pleasure,” he said. “I have so much admiration for people who run competitively—the dedication they have is inspiring.” Run the streets of Montreal, then celebrate your accomplishment with Moist at the Finish Line Festival at La Fontaine Park! We hope you’ll join us in celebrating Montreal’s 375th anniversary the Rock ‘n’ Roll way September 23-24!


Eminence Front, The Who, It’s Hard Nashville Bound, The Road Hammers, The Road Hammers Holiday, Green Day, American Idiot Brother Rat/What Slayde Said, No Means No, Small Parts Isolated and Destroyed Lose Yourself, Eminem, 8 Mile Soundtrack The Northern/Happiness By The Kilowatt/ Mailbox Arson, Alexisonfire (“any of those will do the trick! Old Crows, Young Cardinals, Watch Out, Crisis.) Mercy Seat, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Tender Prey 5:15, The Who, Quadrephenia All Along the Watchtower, Jimi Hendrix Experience, Electric Ladyland In the Trunk of a Black Lexus, Ridley Bent, Blam Self Serve Gas Station/California Dreamline/Queer, Rheostatics, Whale Musie The Shape I’m In, The Band, Stage Fright Steven’s Last Night In Town, Ben Folds Five, (“Best listened to while running in Ottawa on the trails below Parliament midway through the last election,” Whatever and Ever, Amen)


WELCOME TO KRISTA DUCHENE’S COMMON SENSE KITCHEN Our Olympic superstar is also a dietician and she has a few thoughts on how a runner should eat


grew up with meals that were balanced with beef from our farm, vegetables from our garden and a variety of store-bought foods. My mom was not much of a baker so we purchased our sweets from a salesman who drove around in his delivery truck. Saturday evenings often included some pop and chips while we watched Hockey Night in Canada. I enjoyed spending time with my family of eight, particularly eating breakfast, lunch and supper at our large dining room table, or treats while cheering for the Toronto Maple Leafs. It was likely in my teenage years that my interest in nutrition grew as I was getting more serious about my athletic endeavours, post-secondary education, and my dad was diagnosed with colon cancer. Fast forward 20 years and I remain passionate about nutrition, but for too many people, a healthy diet has become too complicated. I get frustrated when a client insists on being glutenfree or only purchasing organic foods when many other areas of their life include unhealthy choices. I aim to bring them back to the fundamentals by using “Just the Basics” from the Ca-

nadian Diabetes Association. We should all eat like we have diabetes or are going to get it. Guess what? It’s not that different from how I ate as a child. Eat three meals per day at regular times and space meals no more than six hours apart. You may benefit from a healthy snack. (Breakfast is consumed within an hour of waking.) Limit sugars and sweets, such as sugar, regular pop, desserts, candies, jam and honey. Limit the amount of high-fat food you eat, such as fried food, chips and pastries. People know they should limit the amount of sweets they consume. But these foods should still be enjoyed, moderately. Better to eat a cookie every day rather than go without for weeks, then eat an entire bag in one sitting. Eat more high-fibre foods, such as whole grain breads and cereals, lentils, dried beans and peas, brown rice, vegetables and fruit. Make your plate ½ vegetables, ¼ lean protein, and ¼ whole grain. For lunch, I may have eggs with a spinach salad, and whole grain toast. Dinner could consist of lean beef or pork, sweet potato, a kale mix salad or green beans. A com-

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

mon breakfast is oatmeal with berries and nuts, and eggs, Greek yogurt or cottage cheese. If you’re thirsty, drink water. (Water. Drink water!) Clients think I will write them a custom diet plan that will easily allow them to meet all their needs. By the end of our conversation, they understand the onus is on them to make steady changes. As encouragement, I sometimes tell the story of when I broke my leg and gradually resumed racing. It didn’t happen overnight; my crutches were replaced by a cane, which then progressed to a slow walk, steady shuffle, moderate jog and eventually a race pace run. Look at making changes you can maintain for the rest of your life. Similar to how you slowly developed poor habits, you can reverse the process and implement healthier ones. 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 KristaDuChene


WHERE THE TRAILS HAVE NO NAME NAME: Nick Elson PROVINCE: British Columbia THE SKINNY: National men’s mountain running champion Nick Elson moved to Squamish, B.C., to pursue climbing, but eventually returned to running. Instead of roping it up the sheer granite face of the famed local landmark the Chief, he spends many days scampering about on the other side of the mountain lapping tourists on the hiking trails. “The trails on the Chief tend to be quite steep — in fact on most of my ‘runs’ I do a fair bit of hiking going up. In the forest, the terrain is characterized by lots of roots and rocks. Below the summits, the forest gives way to open granite slabs. The standard trails are very popular with hikers but there are a number of more obscure trails that make it possible to avoid the crowds. I often run on Slhanay, a peak connected to the Chief that is much quieter.” THE SCOOP: In addition to living large on The Chief, some of Elson’s other favourite areas include “Crumpit Woods, Alice Lake, and the area above Quest University.” Elson also recommends local restaurants “Mags 99 (Mexican), Essence of India, and Oryzae and Sushi Sen. Capra Running is a great local trail running store.”


2017 ISSUE 04

Ron Johnson explores the country for dirt paths and hidden gems

Everybody has a secret spot. That beauty of a trail that has it. The “it” is always subjective. It could be the steepness that defies gravity, the soft forest floor underfoot that feels like you’re running on air, the epic views or your craft brewery that sits waiting at the end of the trail. Often, it’s the solitude. We cherish time with our fellow bipeds on race days, and training with clubs, but on long runs in the woods, it’s nice to imagine just us alone in the wilderness. So, we’re not always quick to divulge the coordinates of our fave runs to just anyone. Luckily, we convinced a gaggle of the country’s in-the-know trail runners to let us into their worlds for a brief moment. Enjoy, be inspired and please share your own fave local trails on social media after reading this issue with the hashtag #irunsecretspots. Explore. iRun because I find peace in each pace.—Daphne Paszterko, Toronto

NAME: Mario Srinik PROVINCE: Alberta THE SKINNY: Mario Srinik is a Calgary-based outdoor adventure athlete who made the move from rock climbing to trail running and found his Mecca in Kananaskis Country about 40 minutes outside the city: namely Moose Mountain. “There are ways around it that people don’t usually run, different approaches. The way I really enjoy running it, you start at Ings Mine and run up to the ice caves. It’s a short hike and there is a big cave, and even in the summer you can find icicles. If you have a headlamp you can wander pretty far in that cave. At this point, most people turn around and go back, but I go up to the ridge, which is roughly a 600metre vertical climb over the scree. From the ridge there is an open plateau and Moose Mountain is across the valley on the other side. Most people do the Moose Mountain trail out and back, or up to Ings Mine and back to the car, but you can connect them into one big loop and it’s 28-30K with about 900 metres of vertical. It’s a very alpine feeling being only 40 minutes from Calgary.” THE SCOOP: In Calgary, Srinik runs his own personal Tour de Calgary, an 80K loop around the city utilizing bike pathways and trails along the Bow River. In other words, get creative. His go-to for a post-run snack is Café Rosso.

NAME: Karon Mathies PROVINCE: Saskatchewan THE SKINNY: When Saskatoon native Karon Mathies turned 60 she decided to run a 100-mile ultra and succeeded. This was promptly followed by her first race, the Lost Souls Ultra and she hasn’t looked back. Her favourite running spot is tucked along the beautiful South Saskatchewan River. “We in Saskatchewan are known as flatlanders because we can see forever with no apparent hills in sight but looks are deceiving. When I go for a run I like the lower trails of the Meewasin Valley. These run all along the South Saskatchewan River but can’t be seen from any main road. They are tucked away with single track, trees on both sides and relentless rollercoaster hills. I love how I can get away without having to leave the city.” THE SCOOP: “Around the city within an hour’s drive we also have Cranberry Flats which offers single track trails with a beautiful view of the river and Black Strap Provincial Park. One of my favourite places to eat or relax after a run is d’Lish. Her soups are a must have.”

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

NAME: Blair Mann PROVINCE: New Brunswick THE SKINNY: 42-year-old Blair Mann is a software engineer and family man in Moncton who raced his first 50K in 2011 and hasn’t looked back. Although it took a few times to actually locate the mythic trails of Halls Creek, once there, it was worth the wait. “Originally, I had heard that it was only a few kilometres of biking trails. As a result, I didn’t bother checking it out. At some point, curiosity got the best of me. Wow! Stunning single track for miles alongside a flowing creek, beautiful ferns and just about every type of landscape you could hope for: rocks, roots, steep climbs, flowing creeks, runnable sections, bridges, boardwalks. The beauty and seclusion would fool you into thinking you were in a remote, protected land reserve when in reality you are in the middle of the city.” THE SCOOP: In addition to Halls Creek, Mann recommends the Northwest Trail and Riverfont Trail (Moncton, Riverview, Dieppe). “This is the primarily rail trail (gravel bike trail) that runs throughout Moncton along the Petitcodiac River as well as the surrounding towns of Riverview and Dieppe. Its flat and great for long hours of turnover.” When it comes time to rest the dogs, it’s Café Codiac, “locally roasted organic coffee,” as well as the Tide & Boar Gastropub. “Heck, they even brew their own beer!”


NAME: Dwayne Sandall PROVINCE: Manitoba THE SKINNY: Dwayne Sandall ran his first marathon in 2002 and has been running ultras for the past dozen years. He also works as a race director, which means he’s always on the lookout for primo trails. He stumbled upon 440acre Pembina Valley Provincial Park near the sleepy town of Carman, in the southern end of the province just before the American border, by looking over maps of provincial parks. He put his trail dog in the car and drove 90 minutes out of town to have a look. “It’s a beautiful park with a fairly short trail network of maybe five trails, the longest only seven kilometres, but you can loop around for a nice long run. For Manitoba, it’s a place where you can get a lot of good vertical and a wide variety of terrain from wide trails to single track. It’s a really quiet place, literally a hidden spot.” THE SCOOP: In Winnipeg, Sandall’s go-to trail running spot is Birch Hill Park preceded by a trip to Parlour Coffee in the town’s French Quarter. He also recommends Pizzeria Gusto for pre-race carb-loading or an indulgence after a long day on the trails.

NAME: Shawn McCardle PROVINCE: Prince Edward Island THE SKINNY: P.E.I. trail runner, cabinet maker and race organizer Shawn McCardle lives in the rural farming community of Lady Fane. He doesn’t have to travel too far to his favourite local running spot. It’s out his back door. “I can run along the edges of some fields, eventually getting to a provincial forestry woodlot which has trails cut through it. It is about a 10K out and back run. I am probably the only person who runs there and rarely do I see motorized vehicles. What I do see is lots of wildlife: foxes, coyotes, and regularly a great horned owl, even during daytime runs. On a clear day, I can see the Confederation Bridge 20K away. Another favourite spot is the Brookvale Provincial Ski Park.” THE SKINNY: For visitors, McCardle recommends the Barnone Brewery, a local craft establishment in a converted barn. “On a Thursday night, you can get your growler filled, and go up to the loft and listen to live music.”


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NAME: Jennifer Coleman PROVINCE: Ontario THE SKINNY: Jennifer Coleman likes the Bruce Trail. So much so that her and her “trail sister” Gemma Kitchen are planning on running the length of the massive Ontario route this year. Coleman, also the founder of the 250-member Burly Trail Runners club, explores the fertile trail network along the Niagara Escarpment in the Hamilton area. “My (not so) secret spot is in the Dundas Peak, Tews Falls, Spencer Gorge and Christie Lake area. It is unbelievably scenic with panoramic views of Hamilton and Dundas and not one but two beautiful waterfalls—Hamilton is the city of waterfalls. To visit all the areas is about a 20K loop. From the top of Dundas Peak you can also take a side trail down the steep escarpment to the main Bruce Trail. The trail possibilities are endless!” THE SCOOP: “My trail running crew tends to frequent the Smokey Hollow Conservation area in Waterdown. Lots of hills, technical rocky sections and even a beautiful waterfall right at the start parking area (free parking! win win!). We enjoy having post run food and drinks at the American House Bar and Grill and also in town is the Copper Kettle. They’re well known for their yummy apple fritters made fresh in house!”

NAME: Denise McHale PROVINCE: Yukon THE SKINNY: Adventure racing, ultra marathoning super couple Denise McHale and her husband Greg first visited the Yukon in 1996, and relocated from Ontario permanently in 1998. They settled in the 300-strong town of Carcross, near Whitehorse, where they operate a tourism business, along with a coffee shop and bar. Although their little slice of the Yukon is developing a reputation for world-class mountain biking, their favourite trail running spot is located in Whitehorse. “Miles Canyon is this very scenic canyon in Whitehorse. You can run maybe a half-mile into it and you come to this bridge across a massive canyon (with the Yukon River below). You can run along the ridgeline there for a while, and then you get into the forest and it’s not super technical, but offers a little bit of everything.” THE SCOOP: According to McHale, in Whitehorse, outdoor-loving insiders frequent the Midnight Sun Coffee Roasters. “It’s a coffee shop right inside a bike shop,” says McHale, currently gearing up for a new local race, the 50-mile ultra Reckless Raven.

iRun because I have to catch my kids. And to support a teammate who battled breast cancer. — Michele Samian, Toronto

NAME: Sebastien Cote PROVINCE: Quebec THE SKINNY: Sebastien Cote started trail running as a way to put a new spin on his old hiking haunts across Quebec, including his first race in the Eastern Townships. Wanting to help a friend of his with Multiple Sclerosis, he put two and two together and decided to organize his own race for the cause, Ultra-Trail Harricana, which has turned into one of the top races on the planet. His secret trail running gem is located an hour north of Montreal. “There’s a not-for-profit organization named Comité regional pour la protection des falaises (CRPF) that buys up land in the Laurentides region of Quebec to protect the land from development and develop other parts for recreation. In the town of Prevost, there’s a 10K loop that I love for training. It’s very technical with some good drops and each 10K loop gives you about 400m of vertical elevation gain. Lots of fauna including frogs, beavers, birds of prey.” THE SCOOP: In Montreal, Cote can be found at least twice a week running in his go-to park Mont Royal, which he calls “a trail-running haven in the downtown core of a great city where I’ve seen owls, fox, raccoons and plenty of trees and flowers, combined with some awesome views.“ He recommends local farmers’ market Marche Maisonneuve and at the Hochecafe (“I am a huge latte addict”).

NAME: Jodi Isenor PROVINCE: Nova Scotia THE SKINNY: Jodi Isenor, race director of the Salomon Sonofa Gunofa run, describes himself as a “map geek,” who works as a survey tech for the province in St. Margaret’s Bay, N.S. He says the main rail pathway in St. Margaret’s Bay is a welltrampled fitness thoroughfare, but there are numerous secret paths that spindle off the main trail that are a dirt runner’s dream. “Most people run past them every day, but they don’t see them since they’re not signed. The only people we see on these trails are our running friends. Most of the trails are quite steep (think black diamond ski run steep), which also deters a lot of folks. A memorable moment was finding that first little trail up Dauphinee Mountain.” THE SCOOP: Although he loves his home turf, Isenor also recommends the gorgeous trails of Pollett’s Cove in nearby Cape Breton Island and basically every trail in the Wentworth Valley. In St. Margaret’s Bay, his go-to caffeine provider is the Bike & Bean Cafe, and Lefty’s Pub in Tantallon for post-race festivities. “It’s basically initiation!”

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

NAME: Caroline McIlroy PROVINCE: Newfoundland and Labrador THE SKINNY: Trail runner Caroline McIlroy of St. Philip’s, Newfoundland cannot get enough of her beloved East Coast Trail—a massive footpath of more than 300 kilometres. And with three adult children who love to get active, she is never short of company. It’s no surprise that her favourite event is the East Coast Trail Ultra Marathon and her fave spot is the Sprout Trail. “Starting from Petty Harbour you run along the sea shore accompanied by crashing waves. There are often seals in the ocean and further on, you run along precipitous cliffs. There are towering sea stacks, one of which with a bald eagle’s nest on it. The trail continues along the cliffs to a lighthouse from which you frequently see humpback and minke whales in the summer. The trail turns into a bay and ends at Bay Bulls. During the spring you can see icebergs all along the trail. It’s a wonderful piece of wilderness only 15 minutes from St John’s.” THE SCOOP: Around St. Philip’s, McIlroy spends her lunchtime running the trail up to the top of Signal Hill. For post-race fixin’s, McIlroy recommends the Inn of Olde, a quirky old pub in the town of Quidi Vidi, as well as Chafe’s Landing in Petty Harbour. “Petty Harbour means great fresh fish. I go there with my children after an evening run out from Petty Harbour to Motion Head.” FOR A LIST OF SUMMER’S BEST TRAIL RACES, GO TO IRUN.CA


“This book captures exactly why Boston is the most prestigious and most cherished race on the planet.” Bart Yasso, Chief Running Officer of Runner’s World


By the founder of iRun magazine and the author of Why I Run and Canada’s Magnificent Marathon. Lead sponsor


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THE STRUGGLE IS REAL. BUT WORTH IT. LONG ROAD TO BOSTON IS A must-read for anyone who dreams of running the Boston Marathon.

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ometimes the real trailblazers are not the ones who start or finish first. When Kathrine Switzer completed the Boston Marathon 50 years ago, she did it in just over 4:20, not a particularly fast time. Switzer wasn’t the first woman to run Boston, nor the fastest woman that day. Bobbi Gibb had run Boston the year before and, in 1967, crossed the finish line almost an hour before Switzer (both times having joined the race unofficially). Gibb’s story is incredible, her love of running epic. One of her training runs lasted so long she accidentally crossed the border from Southern California into Mexico. But it’s Switzer’s Boston experience that is remembered most, because she was actually registered for the marathon—as “K.V. Switzer”—and a race official tried in vain to remove the bib number 261 from Switzer’s shirt and Switzer herself from the course. The photos of the confrontation were published around the world, the 1967 version of going viral. Women were inspired to run and race directors were motivated to start letting them into their marathons. If Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s colour barrier, Switzer shattered the gender barrier in long-distance running. It was only seven years earlier that women had been permitted, after much debate about


TIME How running can work to break down barriers and empower people, specifically women, all over the world

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:

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

the health risks to the fairer sex, to run as far as 800 metres at the Olympics. Today, women outnumber men in most North American half-marathons and are closing the gender gap in marathons. But in many other places in the world, women don’t have the same liberty to run. Which is why Switzer feels her work isn’t complete. She has launched a new foundation, 261 Fearless, to empower women to “connect and take control of their lives through the freedom gained by running.” 261 Fearless is setting up running clubs and other mechanisms to create a sisterhood of running. Switzer ran Boston again this year, finishing within 25 minutes of her much younger self despite stopping for eight interviews along the course. More than 100 runners joined her and together they raised $826,948 for 261 Fearless. The foundation means this year isn’t just an anniversary for Switzer and for women in running, but the launch of something new and powerful. Most runners stop at the finish line, but for an innovator, visionary, trendsetter and catalyst like Switzer, the race never ends. For more K.V. Switzer, see Lanni Marchant on page 32.


CHEATER! Course-cutters, bib-mules and the blurred lines of online justice

By Amy Friel, Illustration by Chloe Cushman


hen Adrian Beaton began running several years ago, he had no grand ambitions to break the tape and bring home gold in a race. A lifelong athlete who played rugby and competed for his high school wrestling team, Beaton saw the sport as a simple way to keep active and spend time with friends. He soon became a regular at the Telegram 10 Mile Road Race, a wildly popular event in St. John’s, Nfld., where the 29-year-old business owner has lived and worked for the past decade. For Beaton and his running pals, the “Tely 10” has become a much-loved annual tradition. So when the race sold out early in 2015, with Beaton not yet registered, an injured friend offered him her bib. “I was characteristically disorganized, and I didn’t purchase my bib on time,” he recalls. “I wasn’t even aware that bib transfers were a thing. I like running, but I’m not super into racing or anything like that. I figured you just sign up for a race, and you run it.” Beaton had hoped to match his existing personal best—just south of 1:20:00 over the 10-mile point-to-point course. Instead, he knocked nearly 15 minutes off his time, finishing in 1:06:48. “It was a nice, cool day, and I was running fast,” he recalls. “I was so happy with that time.” The fact that he had clocked his new PB under someone else’s name seemed to be a


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

non-issue; after all, he’d finished well behind the race leaders. Who pays attention to 139th place, anyway? Unbeknownst to Beaton, his blistering 10mile effort had also inadvertently captured third place in the female 25-29 division—a

fact he became aware of several days later, when he came across his photograph in a Facebook group. “The mother of a friend of mine tagged me in a picture on Facebook. Apparently she hadn’t read the caption, which basically said, ‘This is clearly not Meagan, this is cheating, this is why all bib transfers need to be registered,’” he recalls. Beaton was initially mystified. He’d run under someone else’s bib, sure. But was this hostile online response really warranted? According to Derek Murphy, the answer just might be yes. The Ohio-based business analyst-turned-online sleuth has made a name for himself with his popular blog Marathon Investigation, where he combs through digital results in search of course-cutters, bib mules and other road race faux-pas. And though his site remains a small operation, the running community’s appetite for Murphy’s particular brand of online vigilante justice seems boundless; his blog has seen a total of 2.3 million page views in its two-year run. Murphy was initially inspired by the media backlash against Mike Rossi, the now-infamous Boston Marathon Dad, whose statistically impossible Boston qualifier incurred the wrath of the running community. ( alleged in a number of widely read pieces that Rossi cut the course in the 2014 Lehigh Valley Via Marathon in order to fraudulently qualify for Boston.) But while most wrote Rossi off as an anomaly—a recreational runner cheating for bragging rights alone—Murphy saw him as a symptom of a much more pervasive problem. “I wondered how many more people actually cheated in marathons,” Murphy told the Toronto Star earlier this year. “So I randomly

iRun because Ben made me. — Peter Symons, Toronto

picked a race, and I found someone who cheated immediately with a time that would qualify them for Boston, and it kind of went from there.” Since beginning his blog in 2015, Murphy has reported countless suspected cheaters to race officials around the world. One of his most recent subjects—24-year-old Jane Seo, a New York-based blogger who cut the Fort Lauderdale Half-Marathon course to take home second place— quickly became an international news story, making headlines in Runner’s World and newspapers across the U.S., U.K., Canada and beyond. Seo’s is an almost textbook case of the cheater’s miscalculation; with the advent of electronic timing, runners angling to cut the course often mistakenly believe that the only thing they have to worry about is their gunto-finish chip time. In reality, eyewitness accounts, personal GPS data, improbable changes in pace and high-resolution race photos make it possible for even amateur sleuths to reconstruct a runner’s race forensically. “Chip error is very rare,” explains Marc Roy, CEO of Sportstats. When it does happen, it’s easily distinguishable from course-cutting. “If we have a point-to-point course and one split is missing, and the runner is keeping a constant pace during the entire race, a miss would indicate a chip malfunction, or a runner simply missing a mat. But if we have one or two splits missing, and the pace between those sections changes and goes down, then we start questioning the data and often DQ the runner on the spot.” Bib-mules—the practice of having a faster runner compete under a slower runner’s name in order to obtain a qualifying time—are more difficult to detect by splits alone.

“They usually pop out post-race, when photos become available,” Roy says. Whether a result is flagged because of missed mats, incongruous race photos, or tips from the public, Roy says any allegation of cheating is thoroughly investigated. “We have zero tolerance for course-cutting, and filter out 99.99% of the cheaters,” he says. “But there’s always be someone insistent on breaking the rules. It’s a shame.” In Seo’s case, while her dramatic drop in pace over the second half of the race raised a red flag with race officials, it was a finish line photograph of her GPS watch that gave away the truth: the apparent second-place finisher at the Fort Lauderdale Half-Marathon had cut the course by more than a mile. Seo issued a brief public apology before deactivating her blog and social


media accounts; she did not respond to a request to be interviewed for this story. In a way, it’s not hard to understand why. Online, the running community eviscerated her, calling her a “scumbag” and a “liar.” Some hurled racial epithets at the Harvard graduate, while others called into question her academic and professional integrity. “I’m now fairly certain she probably cheated to gain admission there as well,” wrote one. “She clearly has no morals and will do anything to get ahead.” Others were even more direct: “Hang her by her thumbs.” Seo’s story might seem like an outlier, an isolated instance of a woman making an embarrassingly bad decision, and the handful of online trolls who took her to task as a result. But as Murphy’s blog illustrates, stories like hers—both the cheating, and the online blowback that resulted from it—are exceedingly common. For Hamilton native Sarah Deck, the decision to step off the course at 18K and hitch a ride back to the finish line with a friend during this year’s Around the Bay wound up costing her much more than bragging rights. “I wasn’t thinking clearly and I didn’t think of all the repercussions,” Deck told the Hamilton Spectator. “I crossed the finish line the two

previous years and I just wanted to cross it again. I didn’t think everyone would get so mad. Everyone is calling me a dirty cheater.” Deck’s convoluted story is something of a Rorschach test for runners; look at her one way, and you see Jane Seo or Mike Rossi. But tilt your head ever-so-slightly, and suddenly she becomes Adrian Beaton: a non-competitive runner who wound up breaking the rules without really realizing she was. Like Beaton, Deck (whose chip time initially registered her as a top-10 finisher) contacted race officials to have her erroneous result scrubbed from the official rankings. But that didn’t stop the online running community from piling on. I should know; I was one of them. Deck’s finish, which initially bumped Grand River Endurance athlete Tanis Smith-Bolton down the top-10 rankings, felt personal to me. Tanis is a friend, teammate, and one of the hardest-working athletes I know. I took to Twitter to subtweet my righteous indignation: “Finish lines are for finishers.” Withering, I know. In retrospect, the intention behind Deck’s course-cutting seems, at best, ambiguous. But even if it hadn’t been—even if she’d


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intentionally cheated—why did it matter so much to me? What was it about engaging in a public-shaming pile-on that felt so satisfying? According to Dan Ariely, a professor of psychology and behavioural economics at Duke University, the answer may lie in the medium itself.

Ariely has made a career out of studying human behaviour, with a focus on dishonestly. According to him, most of us are what he calls “98-Percenters” when it comes to doing the right thing—we don’t see occasional lying or cheating as fundamentally incompatible with our sense of being basically honest people. But his research also suggests that 98-Percenters can be influenced by situational factors that prompt us to behave more or less ethically than we might otherwise do. In particular, Ariely has explored the impact of “distancing” on honesty and found that, when an action becomes more theoretical in nature—say, using tokens in lieu of money, or having a conversation via text message rather than face-to-face—the likelihood that the 98-Percenters will engage in dishonest or unethical behaviour goes up. The implications of this finding in an increasingly online world are troubling; not only does technology make it more tempting for an otherwise-honest person to cheat, it can also encourage public censure of cheaters to take on a more aggressive, hostile, even threatening tone. And it begs a fundamental question at the heart of our collective perception of runners like Rossi and Seo; do we view them as inherently dishonest, and thus deservedly on the receiving end of a long-overdue comeuppance? Or perhaps more troublingly, are they just like us—the handful of unfortunate 98-Percenters whose momentary lapses have been immortalized forever in the indelible ink of the digital age? It’s not a question that troubles Derek Murphy. “I’ve learned that as long as I believe what I do is right and stand by it, then it’s OK,” he says. For the rest of the 98 percent, the line isn’t quite so clear.

iRun at the age of 70 to stay physically and mentally healthy in the memory of my brother and sister. — Bernadine, Hamilton

A MATTER OF PERSPECTIVE Leslie Sexton, an elite runner with a keen point of view, has some thoughts on course cutting and crime

Because with every dirty medal or record, there will inevitably be someone who lost out. And for a professional athlete this affects not only their placing in the race, but more importantly, their livelihood. Derek Murphy, better known as The Marathon Investigator, believes that runners who cheat and earn money in part thanks to their dishonest results (such as sponsored or paid bloggers, running coaches, tour operators) are particularly deserving of exposure and the ensuing public shaming. If we believe this to be the case, dopers who cheat their way to medals or records and the resulting prize money and sponsorships are the most egregious cheaters because they essentially steal from clean athletes. Sure, they completed the course, but using banned substances makes their result as invalid as that of someone who hitched a ride to the finish or used a bib mule to qualify for Boston. There is nothing wrong with some healthy anger toward course cutters. But we also owe it to clean athletes to call out cheating in any form. For a community that is quick to anger over one form of cheating, we are awfully forgiving of another. Disgraced sprinter Ben Johnson, who famously failed a drug test and was stripped of his Olympic gold medal in 1988 (and then failed two more drug tests in 1993 and 1999), took part in a pro-am relay at the 2013 Toronto Interna-


t is a familiar pattern now: someone cuts the course at a road race, the internet gets wind of it and all hell breaks loose. I cannot fault my fellow runners for grabbing their proverbial torches and pitchforks. We all work hard and make sacrifices to achieve our running goals, whether they be to earn a finisher’s medal or a place on the podium, and when a cheater takes a reward they haven’t rightfully earned, it’s hard not to take it personally. And yet I am often surprised that I don’t see the same outrage and public shaming from the broader running community on social media when an elite athlete is caught doping. Neither is a victimless crime. Course cutters could bump someone from an age group prize or a qualifying spot in a race with entry standards such as the Boston Marathon. At the elite end of the sport, losing to a doper means missing out on medals, sponsorships, funding and national team qualification. It is easy to write off elite competition by claiming that “everyone (at the top level) is doping.” Indeed, that statement is often used as justification for cheating. If an athlete convinces themselves that everyone else is doping and by doing the same they are simply levelling the playing field, perhaps they can make it easier to live with themselves. But the clean athletes in the sport deserve better than that.

tional Track and Field Games. Despite being a doper with a lifetime ban from athletics and doing lasting damage to the sport in Canada, Johnson brought a cheering crowd to its feet at Varsity Stadium, then signed autographs and posed for pictures with his adoring fans. Johnson made the news again recently when he was reportedly paid over $200,000 to appear in an ad that made light of his cheating. Sure makes it tough to say “cheaters never prosper,” doesn’t it? If drug cheats are so easily forgiven, or even celebrated, then clean athletes will continue to miss out on the paydays and accolades they have rightfully earned. So let’s save a little righteous anger for the drug cheats, too. Turn off your television when drug cheat Justin Gatlin races at a Diamond League event. Voice your displeasure when an athlete who has served a doping ban is given an elite invitation to a competition. Call out the cheaters, the rule-breakers and the ethically questionable, along with the sponsors, coaches and teams that support them. I don’t mind if cheaters are exposed and subjected to a good old-fashioned trial-byinternet. Let’s just be consistent about it.


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COURIR : UNE REVOLUTION INTÉRIEURE! Sylvie Michaud est la preuve qu’il n’est jamais trop tard pour changer ça vie

CE QUI SE CACHAIT DERRIÈRE LA PHOTO « AVANT » Je me souviens à quel point respirer était ardu et difficil, j’étais toujours à bout de souffle, je suffoquais. Je me sentais prisonnière de mon corps. Marcher était comme gravir une montagne pour moi. Mes genoux me faisaient souffrir, j’avais des endorses lombaires à répétition et je souffrais d’une déchirure du ménisque externe de mon genou gauche, dû à mon surpoids et à ma faiblesse musculaire. Je faisais de l’hypertension, de l’hypercholestérolémie mais surtout, je me sentais toujours épuisée. Et j’avais seulement 40 ans. Quelque chose n’allait vraiment pas. Et j’avais peur du changement, peur d’arrêter de fumer et d’abandonner les sucreries que j’aimais tant, tout ce qui semblait me rendre heureuse! Ce qui semblait alors me rendre si heureuse, soit, la cigarette, la bonne bouffe et le bon vin, me détruisait petit à petit… Et j’avais peur de sauter. Beaucoup de femmes ont peur de sauter. Rares sont les femmes qui peuvent ou veulent sauter. La pensée de ne pas avoir les deux pieds bien ancrés sur le sol me terrifiait. Je ne pouvais pas, ne voulait pas sauter. J’avais sauté pour la dernière fois à 12 ou 13 ans, puis mes peurs n’avaient fait que grandir année après année. Peur des hauteurs, puis peur des étrangers, puis des foules, puis de tomber, puis des escaliers, puis des chiens, puis des autos, puis de l’échec, puis du changement et mon monde continuait de rétrécir et de devenir de plus en plus petit et étroit… Je ne peux plus vivre


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ainsi, je ne voulais plus vivre ainsi! Et le seul moyen que j’ai trouvé pour me débarrasser de mes peurs est de les confronter . Alors ce qui me fait peur, j’y fait face et je l’affronte. C’est ainsi que j’ai réalisé que la peur n’existe pas, ce n’est qu’une pensée, ce n’est pas réel, car ce n’est pas encore arrivé!

LES PREMIERS PAS Mon premier essai à aller marcher après les soupers. Ça va m’aider à controller mes envies de manger ou de fumer incontrôlables. Mais je suis si gênée de m’exposer ainsi, je suis si grosse et j’ai si peur… Je me sens si mal de m’être laissé aller à ce point, de m’être rendue là ou je suis sans avoir mis les freins… J’ai honte, et je me sens coupable. Et je me suis mise à ressentir plutôt qu’à regarder ou à penser… J’ai mis mes écouteurs, j’ai choisi “walking on sunshine” et j’ai commence à marcher et je ne me suis pas arrêtée et j’ai marché de plus en plus vite et de plus en plus loin. Et ma face était rouge et je suais abondamment (on sue beaucoup quand on est aussi gros) et je soufflais, mes genoux et mes pieds brûlaient, mais j’ai aussi commencé à me sentir bien et vivante et joyeuse. Et je suis revenue une heure plus tard en sueur, fatiguée, un peu “rackée” mais en me sentant mieux que jamais et avec un large sourire. Et très fière de moi! C’est le jour ou j’ai arrêté de me demander ce que les autres pensent de moi. Ou j’ai enfin arrêté de laisser le regard des autres me

paralyser. On s’en fout, tout le monde s’en fout, est ce que je me répétais jour après jour avant d’aller au gym, avant d’aller courir, avant de danser ou de juste être heureuse de faire quoi que ce soit! Pourquoi se mettre autant d’énergie sur quelque chose qu’on ne peut pas changer… On ne peut pas changer les pensées des autres, les opinions des autres, la seule personne qu’on peut changer est toi-même. On peut changer ce qu’on fait et ce qu’on pense! Alors désormais, je prends soin de moi, je mets du temps et des efforts à m’améliorer moi-même et surtout à être heureuse afin de pouvoir partager ma joie et mon bonheur avec d’autres.

MON CORPS: SOURCE DE JOIE INTENSE! Aujourd’hui est ma première sortie de course à pied en continue pendant 40 minutes. Quand j’arrive à trente minutes, je commence à me sentir vraiment fatiguée, comme à l’habitude, mais cette fois-ci, je continue à pousser encore un peu et je compte mes pas, 1-2-3-4, 1-2-3-4, 1-2-3-4 et bientôt, je suis de retour dans le moment à l’intérieur de moi-même, avec mon corps qui marque la mesure comme une machine bien huilée, mon soufflé comme musique à mes oreilles et tout à coup, courir est facile, je ne me sens même plus essoufflée, et le mouvement semble plus naturel et le ciel semble plus bleu et le soleil m’apparaît plus lumineux encore et je sens l’enfant en moi, libre et heureux pour rien, juste parce que. Et je me souviens de moi. Enfant, dans le champ de marguerite de mon grand-père, plus petite que la tête des marguerites et courant si vite et si longtemps que mes poumons brûlaient et si heureuse en ces beaux après-midis d’été. Et j’ai su qu’elle était de retour et qu’elle était là pour rester. La petite Sylvie n’était pas disparue, elle avait attendu patiemment toutes ces années pour que je la libère enfin et que je la laisse vivre. Elle est la joie dans ma vie. Elle me garde un peu folle et m’aide à vivre dans le moment et à ne pas penser autant et à ne pas avoir de regrets. Je l’adore. Elle est moi. On se débarrasse souvent de notre enfant intérieur à l’adolescence, croyant que pour être un adulte, il faut l’abandonner. Le plus étrange, c’est que j’ai passé mes années adultes à tenter de retrouver mon cœur d’enfant! Mon cœur d’enfant avait été chassé par d’autres qui me disaient que je n’étais pas assez, que pour devenir un adulte je devais

iRun pour trouver Dieu. — Leanne, Mississauga

« Je me sentais prison nière de mon corps. Marcher était comme gravir une montagne pour moi. » Sylvie Mic haud avant sa révolution.

iRun Parce que je peux! — Tara, Aurora



être différente de ce que j’étais que je ne pouvais être une adulte si je ne changeais pas. On dit ça à toutes les filles. On change qui elles sont. On leur fait porter du maquillage, comme si elles n’étaient pas suffisamment jolies sans, on leur fait peindre leurs ongles, épiler leurs sourcils, et elles se mettent à ne pas aimer ce corps qui n’est jamais assez bien et qui vient avec tellement de responsabilités. On leur dit d’être des dames, de ne pas courir, de ne pas suer, d’être douces et pas bruyantes. Et quand on fait ça pendant très longtemps, on finit par ne plus entendre son corps, par ne plus reconnaître ses besoins. On oublie comment respirer profondément, comment faire du bruit en forçant, alors on ne force plus et on perd sa force petit à petit et on

sensations, j’ai eu ce que certains appelleraient peut-être une vision. Une douce et jolie vision d’une autre moi, courant dans une forêt inconnue, pieds nus, légère et agile comme un daim, sautant par-dessus les pierres et les racines. Et pour un moment, j’ai presque même senti la caresse duveteuse, des feuilles d’arbres frôlant mon épaule comme si j’y étais. Plus rien d’autre n’existait, que la sensation de mes pieds effleurant le sol, mon souffle qui allait et venait de mes poumons puissants et tout mon être en cet instant, communiant avec le sol sous moi et le ciel au-dessus. Comme si quelque part dans mes cellules, je me souvenais de l’animal en moi, et je courais, non plus comme un humain moderne mais comme l’animal que nous étions avec facilité, sans que mon cerveau intervienne,

Je faisais de l’hypertension, de l’hypercholestérolémie mais surtout, je me sentais toujours épuisée. Et j’avais seulement 40 ans. Quelque chose n’allait vraiment pas. devient faible et on n’arrive plus à faire ce qu’il faut pour soi-même. Et on regarde son corps au lieu de l’habiter. On commence à le percevoir comme un objet puisqu’on y est plus connecté. Et tente de le rendre joli, pensant que ça nous rendra heureuse, mais ça n’arrive jamais. Me sentir forte physiquement m’a rendu plus forte mentalement. Et je me suis reconnectée à mon corps. Un corps en santé est un beau corps. C’est ce que courir m’a apporté de mieux et de plus puissant. J’aime mon corps pour tout ce qu’il peut faire, pour la joie profonde qu’il m’apporte et pour sa force.

POURQUOI JE CONTINUE À COURIR! Un matin de juillet en 2013 – Quelque chose de très étrange et de très beau m’est arrivé aujourd’hui. Presque tous les matins, je sors courir et ce matin-là j’avais un entraînement tempo à faire donc, une vitesse à respecter. Au beau milieu de mon entraînement alors que je suis complètement absorbée par mes


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juste mon instinct dictant à mon corps ce qu’il devait faire. Je savais à ce moment que nous étions faits pour courir. La sensation ce jour-là fut si puissante, si joyeuse et si envahissante que je n’avais qu’une envie: partager ce moment. Ce jour-là j’ai su que courir ferait toujours partie de ma vie.

QUOI? LE MARATHON DE BOSTON! Me voici, des siècles plus tard, me préparant pour le marathon de Boston. Je me suis qualifiée avec 10 minutes de moins que le temps de qualification de mon groupe d’âge. Si vous êtes un coureur, vous savez ce que ça veut dire, sinon, ça ne vous dit rien du tout! Boston n’était même pas un rêve pour moi, je n’y avais jamais pensé, jusqu’à ce que je coure un marathon en 4 :13 à Toronto. J’étais si fière de ce résultat, si heureuse, n’oubliez pas j’étais une fumeuse obèse. À partir de ce moment, j’ai commencé à me demander si je pouvais espérer un jour courir plus vite que 10 k/h.

Qu’est-ce qui m’a mené ici? Je me le demande encore souvent et je ne suis sûre de rien. Beaucoup de choses sans doute, des gens, des circonstances, mais surtout et avant tout, beaucoup de travail et d’acharnement. Ne jamais abandonner et continuer malgré tout, même quand ça ne va pas, même quand ça va mal, continuer, recommencer. Mais plus que tout, ne pas écouter ceux qui tentent de nous décourager, ceux qui disent qu’on y arrivera pas, ceux qui disent qu’on ne devrait pas, ceux qui se demandent pourquoi on fait tout ça. J’ai juste continué d’avancer fascinée par ou je pouvais aller !!! Et je me suis entraînée, et entraînée encore, avec des entraîneurs, sans entraîneur, avec d’autres mais surtout seule pour ce qui allait devenir un des plus forts moments de ma vie. Et j’ai couru le marathon de Boston aux côtés de coureurs que j’admirais et c’était surréaliste. C’était comme vivre une expérience hors de son corps… J’ai très peu de souvenirs de ce marathon. Je n’arrêtais pas de me dire: « je suis ici, en train de le faire, laisse-toi porter allez, cours, cours. » Et c’est exactement ce que j’ai fait, j’ai couru, sans penser, sans me poser de question, juste couru !!! J’ai couru le marathon de Boston en 3 :40 :13 ce jour-là (une journée froide, pluvieuse et venteuse) et je ne sais pas si un jour, je courrai à nouveau aussi vite, mais ce que je sais c’est que cette course-là a ouvert pour moi, à l’intérieur de moi, plein de nouvelles portes ! Car si j’ai pu faire ça, il y a beaucoup plus encore que je peux faire. Cette course, je l’ai courue comme on peint un tableau, je me sentais moins comme une athlète et plus comme une artiste, étrangement. Comme si je créais quelque chose. Et depuis ce jour, je crée plus, me suis remise au piano, compose un peu, écrit et court bien sûr tous les jours ou presque pour continuer à me sentir connectée. Mon rêve maintenant est que courir soit de plus en plus facile et de permettre à d’autres de découvrir la course à pied et de se découvrir à travers la course à pied, de ne pas avoir peur de commencer. J’ai juste envie de partager cette extraordinaire Fontaine de jouvence que j’ai découvert! J’ai 56 ans, j’adore courir, je peux sauter maintenant, je suis forte, créative, je me sens jeune et puissante. Et je vais continuer jusqu’à ce que je ne puisse plus continuer, et je souhaite la même joie à tous!

iRun parce que j’ai vu un levé de soleil spectaculaire ce matin. — Sarah Weimer, Washington, DC

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




L’histoire à succès de la série québécoise d’événements thématiques qui a changé le monde de la course au Canada ! Le populaire circuit québécois de courses à pied Les Courses Gourmandes fête ses 5 ans en 2017. Créées à la fin 2012 par Frédéric Houde, un ancien avocat ayant pratiqué le droit pendant près de 10 ans auparavant, ces courses à thématiques gourmandes ont connu un succès immédiat parmi les coureurs québécois. Le principe est de faire courir les gens tout en faisant la promotion des produits du terroir québécois, des artisans locaux, et des régions touristiques jusque-là méconnues des coureurs. Après leur course, les participants ont l’occasion de déguster les produits des producteurs locaux et de les rencontrer. Le premier événement présenté fut le Demi-Marathon des Érables, organisé à Mont-Saint-Grégoire, tout près de SaintJean-sur-Richelieu en Montérégie. Cette région abrite plusieurs érablières et cabanes à sucre et l’événement voulait spécifiquement mettre en valeur les produits de l’érable et que la course devienne une grande fête dans le village. Au fil des ans, cet événement est devenu la course la plus populaire en Montérégie, et près de 4000 participants étaient inscrits en 2017, dont plusieurs provenaient d’Europe, des États-Unis et des autres provinces canadiennes. Il faut dire que l’événement s’est transformé en Marathon des Érables depuis 2016 et offre toute la gamme des distances possibles et préparatoires : 1-5-10-15-21-30-42K. La distance 42,2 km est certifiée par Athlétisme Canada et bien des coureurs viennent s’y qualifier pour le Marathon de Boston. Frédéric Houde, président-fondateur de l’entreprise qui engage aujourd’hui 5 employés, génère des revenus annuels de près d’1M$, qui a redonné 150 000$ directement dans les communautés locales ou régionales en moins de 5 ans, qui achète localement le lunch gourmand d’après-course auprès

des producteurs locaux et qui génère plus de 2M$ en retombées économiques directes dans les régions visitées, n’a pas toujours été un coureur, loin de là. Il a commencé à courir à la fin 2008, pour se remettre en forme et se prendre en main. En moins d’un an, il a perdu 70 livres et courait déjà un premier marathon, à Montréal, ainsi qu’un premier ultra-marathon dans les montagnes du Vermont. Pendant les 5 années suivantes, c’est une quinzaine de marathons et d’ultra-marathons à travers le Québec et le Nord-Est des États-Unis que Frédéric aura terminés, dont le Vermont 100K. C’est en participant comme coureur ou bénévole à tous ces événements, des grands et des populaires comme des plus locaux et intimes, que l’idée d’organiser des courses reliées aux produits du terroir lui viendra. En 5 ans, c’est près de 35 événements à succès que Les Courses Gourmandes ont présenté dans plusieurs régions du Québec, et plus de 65 000 coureuses et coureurs se sont déplacés pour y participer. L’an dernier, c’est 20 000 coureurs que les 8 événements de la série ont attiré. Parmi les autres événements de la série, on retrouve le Demi-Marathon des Vergers (Rougemont), le Demi-Marathon des Vignobles (Saint-Paul-d’Abbotsford), le Demi-Marathon des Microbrasseries (Bromont), La Chococourse 5K (Montréal) et La Candycourse 5K (Laval). D’autres événements mettent plutôt en valeur des lieux particuliers : le Demi-Marathon de la Bande du Canal (Chambly) et le Demi-Marathon du Bois de Belle-Rivière (Mirabel). Plusieurs nouveautés sont sur la planche de travail pour 2018, et c’est à suivre ! Informations : Courriel :



The inside story on how UA became the title sponsor of September’s Eastside 10K


nder Armour is the new title sponsor of Canada Running Series Eastside 10K race to be held in Vancouver, on Saturday, September 16th. This is the brand’s first title sponsorship in the Canadian road running scene and Under Armour is just getting started. The collaborative partnership with Canada Running Series will bring cutting-edge innovation to the Canadian road running scene with activations across Under Armour’s digital training platform MapMyRun®. Under Armour’s Connected Fitness platforms have an impressive 200 million-plus users total, and offer training programs for runners of all abilities. Under Armour’s mission is simple: to make ALL athletes better through passion, design and the relentless pursuit of innovation. In the past three years, with its gritty underdog mentality, the brand has gone from making one running shoe to an entire line of running footwear, ranging from track spikes that won gold in Rio, to road shoes that sync with MapMyRun, to trail shoes outfitted with a Michelin® rubber outsole compound for traction. UA Record Equipped footwear extends the tracking capability of MapMyRun by providing detailed workout stats, such as cadence, realtime pace information and the mileage lifetime of the shoe. The brand also recently signed on Canadian marathon runner Lanni Marchant in a multi-year partnership to raise the profile of Under Armour’s innovation in running gear. Marchant is the first Canadian elite runner to join the brand’s roster of runners and as part of the partnership will wear Under Armour gear, take part in marketing campaigns and make appearances on behalf of the brand. “Under Armour continues to gain momentum in the road running scene and I am honoured and excited to be the first Canadian elite runner to join the roster,” says Lanni Marchant. “The brand is committed to bringing cutting-edge innovative apparel, accessories and footwear to market and I look forward to collaborating with the entire Under Armour team.” The design and pursuit of innovation as well as its passion for community is what drew Canada Running Series to partner

Under Armour athlete Lanni Marchant holds the record for fastest Canadian female marathon and half-marathon. Her multi-year partnership with Under Armour includes marketing campaigns and event appearances to promote the brand’s running apparel, footwear and accessories.

with the brand. “Our partnership with Under Armour is about bringing the latest and greatest to the Canadian road running scene. Together we will be able to grow the Under Armour Eastside 10K into an even bigger and better international running event and raise much needed funds for Vancouver’s Eastside,” said Canada Running Series president Alan Brookes. Under Armour teammates annually give tens of thousands of hours of service to their hometowns, through community mentorship and coaching programs to incite and inspire passion. “With this race, we saw an event that transcends running. The fundraising initiatives embedded in this race are truly impactful and we believe that, together with Canada Running Series and the Vancouver running community, we can do even more to support those most in need and help bring positive and lasting change,” said Shana Ferguson, Under Armour Canada’s director of marketing.


WE ARE ALL MADE OF When two racing stars meet, the conversation isn’t about training techniques or world records. It’s about what all of us can do to transcend the sport By Lanni Marchant


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“I never think of myself as an icon. What is in other people’s minds is not in my mind. I just do my thing.” Audrey Hepburn. I have said it so many times it would be impossible for me to count – “I am not your role model” or “I didn’t set out to be important in this [running] world.” I have called what I do a series of selfish endeavours. And let’s be honest, running is a very selfish sport. We all strive (and stride) to beat our previous selves. But, there is something special about running and the people who can do it faster than the majority of the population. There is something special about the people who are not the fastest, but find another way to leave their mark on the world – and no, I do not just mean the running world. A few weeks ago I got to have my “fan girl” moment and meet Kathrine Switzer at the Toronto Goodlife Marathon expo. Those who know me well know that I have not and do not have celebrity crushes, or idolize professional athletes. When asked who, dead or alive, I would like to sit across a table from my answer is Sir Thomas Moore. K. Switzer though… I mean frick… I don’t run Boston 2014 but for her. I don’t run the 2016 Olympic marathon but for her. I don’t… but for her. I recently wrote a piece (to be published this summer) about the grittiest female sports performances and Kathrine Switzer’s Boston run was the first performance that came to mind. Of

iRun for no other reason than to lead by example for my son and wife. — Chris, Toronto

course I knew the story, who doesn’t in our [running] world? But, when I went down my favourite rabbit hole of research, I discovered so much more behind her ground-breaking run. I discovered that she did not set out to be important, a role model, an icon… she did what she wanted to do and it was actually as simple as that. “I made it clear that I was not trying to ‘prove’ anything, except that I wanted to run, I’d trained seriously for the distance, and I was not going to drop out.” “I do what I want.” Something I say in passing to people when I make up my mind to do something—sometimes small, inconsequential, things like have chocolate for breakfast… sometimes big things like run two events at the Olympics. “I’m a girl and I can do what I want.” Running is selfish. Doing what I want and stubbornly declaring it so can also be called selfish, or I used to feel that way anyways. My guy friends say and do as they please and I question if they realize the selfish undertones of that narrow focus? To be clear here, I am not equating our selfish undertaking of goals and dreams to anything negative. I am however pointing out the beauty of broadening our perspectives—and how, if we are lucky, we become important outside of our own world. I testified at the House of Commons this fall about how my selfish endeavour to run two events at the Olympics took on a new meaning during the whole #doubledouble debacle.

I realized that, much like the majority of my goals and then accomplishments in my short career, my desires had taken on a new purpose. I was battling AC for the two spots I rightfully earned. But it wasn’t just my right I was fighting for. Canadians spoke up and voiced their desire to see me compete in both events. Not because I was a medal contender. Not because it would be nice of AC to let this little girl run. But because they wanted the women and girls

running for more than herself. “I knew if I quit, nobody would ever believe that women had the capability to run 26-plus miles…If I quit, it would set women’s sports back, way back, instead of forward.” I do not set out to run fast or make national teams to be important to you. I am still very selfish in that regard. Getting to call myself an Olympian makes me part of a very exclusive club…but also an ever growing club. Every two

Doing what I want and stubbornly declaring it so can also be called selfish, or I used to feel that way anyways. My guy friends say and do as they please and I question if they realize the selfish undertones of that narrow focus? in their lives to see a strong Canadian female competing for Canada. In my mind it was no longer about asking permission for myself. It was about demanding a right for all of us. Soaking up all I could about K.V. and her Boston run I believe I now have my first “celebrity crush.” All she wanted to do was run the race she had properly registered for and put in the training. How selfish of her. During her run, after facing legitimate violence and being tempted to drop out, Kathy’s perspective switched and she realized she was actually

years that club grows. After this weekend I am no longer the reigning Canadian 10K road race champion. Every year the club of national title holders grows. My records will eventually be earned by another runner. My importance in this running world is limited and I am OK with that. I want to be selfish and see how fast I can actually run but I always want to remember that during those personal pursuits I am not limited by or to those selfish goals. I can because she did. I do so that we all can.

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




Tim Baker of Hey Rosetta! on the sanctity of moving our bodies and the freedom he finds when out on a run By Ben Kaplan


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Hey Rosetta! is a seven-piece rock band from St. John’s, Nfld., whose last record reached number one on the Canadian album charts. The band, known for their crescendoing anthems, dynamic instrumentation and soaring choruses, are a tight-knit group of friends, men and women, led by frontman Tim Baker, who’s currently at work on his first solo project. Baker’s music was used at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and his band is playing this summer in Muskoka, Ont., at the great Band on the Run 5K, 10K and half-marathon. iRun caught up with Baker as he prepared to play an outdoor show in the company of thousands of runners. iRUN: It feels like your music in particular is similar to running, in that there’s a great physical and emotional cathartic release. Do you make that connection? BAKER: Definitely, it’s like a driving thing, and you certainly feel that playing onstage. If you’re honest with yourself, it’s much more difficult not to move, to sit still—when I hear all kinds of music, I feel like we all want to run.


iRUN: What do you like about running? BAKER: The great thing about running is that it’s running. What’s better than that? We’re built to do this and you feel like a kid when you’re doing it. It’s a joyful action, you don’t have to convince anyone bodily to take part in it.

iRUN: Tim, I love you. But you are losing all of your street cred. BAKER: No, it’s true, but I’ve also been in a spin class (oh God, I’m just killing myself, I know), and heard one of our songs come on and think, “Yeah, that actually works.” It’s never quite as bright and as brash as the pop mixes, but I can see how at some point in your workout, when you’re grasping at anything you can get your hands on to push you over the hill, something dramatic or emotional or impassioned will help you and I try to make our music full of those things.

iRUN: I always say that, like when people ask me how to run. Just go out there and do it. Don’t worry about anything, pretend you’re catching a bus. BAKER: It’s sort of become this regimented thing and that’s a shame because as a means to an end, running in itself is beautiful.

iRUN: I think when you’re running you want messages of hope, of defiance, of perseverance and strength. BAKER: I’ve been writing new music for the last year or so and am putting together a little solo project and I’ve noticed in the music there’s constant recurring themes that I write about. You know, you struggle and you suffer, but you also take heart in little things that eventually can reveal to you that it’s going to be OK.

iRUN: Your music with the band has this tremendous buildup and release and I find it great to run to; have you heard that before and does that make sense to you, as a songwriter? BAKER: I’ve heard that many times and it makes sense to me, both as a writer and as a person who moves to music. I definitely run to music, I cycle to music, I’ve done classes where they have horrendous music played really loudly.

iRUN: I think for a lot of people running does just that—gives them a moment of sanctity to gather the will to go. BAKER: That’s like my thing and I feel like if you’re given a microphone and you have to figure out something important to say, that’s what helps me sleep at night and makes it all OK for me and that’s what I want to share with others.

iRun because it is the only way I can spend time with my “run-crazed” wife. — Bryan, Hamilton

iRUN: It’s a nice thing to share with runners. BAKER: Yeah, I can see how that might be a good soundtrack when you’re literally struggling physically. iRUN: What do you do to stay so fit, given the demands, and temptations, of performance and spending so much time on the road? BAKER: I need to exercise every few days and blow off a little stress, especially on the road when you’re beset by stressful situations, constantly. I do anything I can do to release the valve. There’s a joy in movement and I think it’s fun and I think it should be fun, when you think about it. I feel like if I force myself to sit at the desk all day long I force myself to ignore my human animal body by sitting; that’s when my body complains, when I sit in the van or play guitar for three hours. That’s what’s unnatural—running around and being free, that’s what we’re supposed to be doing. I get at it any way I can. iRUN: How do you resist the usual rock star temptations? BAKER: I don’t worry about fitness, I worry more about mental health. I have to sleep a lot on the road but it’s true that after a few days without any exercise, it’s better to get up early and run than sleep in, you feel much more energized. Anyway, I’ve never been very good at being a rock star. I find the toll of doing sets night after night doesn’t leave much left to go out partying. It’s physically and spiritually draining—you have to be there and give it your all every night. iRUN: It sounds like running a race. BAKER: There is a certain weightlessness to it, when there’s people all around you, it inspires you. Maybe I’d be good in a running race, just to run and get back to being a kid, being a creature in the world, running around. For more on Hey Rosetta! and Tim Baker, please see The band plays St. John’s on July 31.



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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EVERY RACE SHIRT TELLS A STORY They’re different, each race we run. They’re in different places, different climates, we come to each race a different person—not only where we’re at in the world racing, but where we’re at in our own lives. Thankfully, our country is connected by a patchwork of divine communities, peopled by wonderful runners, who make our racing universe so great, and have for years. These shirts are just tokens of some of our adventures—goals met and hearts broken; friends made and friends lost; runners we’ve come to admire and cheer for who are no longer here. But the races persist and for this we are thankful. What we run today, we hope, will be here still for our kids. So here’s a glass in the air for the people putting on races. You give us hope. Thank you for keeping us lacing our sneakers, year after glorious year.

iRun to spend time with friends and to be healthy. — Alex, Montreal



1998 The inaugural Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon took place in San Diego, forever changing the sport of running.

2011 In order to see Las Vegas in its neon glory, the race was moved to the night and the experience of running the Las Vegas #StripatNight was born.


Runner’s World Magazine names New Orleans the best party marathon.

2011 The Montreal Marathon becomes the Rock ‘n’ Roll Oasis Montreal Marathon & 1/2 Marathon and is announced as the second international Rock ‘n’ Roll event.


To enhance the participant experience, the Synchrony Financial Rock ‘n’ Roll Brooklyn start line was moved to the front of the historic and iconic Brooklyn Museum, New York City’s third largest museum.

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AUG 12-13


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MAR 17


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