SPORTS THE SCORE
We Run Whistler entering third year RUNNING GROUP MEETS WEEKLY, RAIN OR SHINE, SLEET OR HAIL
BY DAN FALLOON CONSISTENCY IS A VIRTUE when running, and it’s certainly a message that the We Run Whistler group has taken to heart. In its first two years, the group—started by Kristian Manietta and Pique’s own Lou O’Brien—has gained a foothold in Whister in large part due to its willingness to run each and every Tuesday at 5:55 p.m. While the attendance tends to decline in poor weather, it’s not as sheer as one might expect. O’Brien recalled a particularly brutal winter run where temperatures dropped into double digits below zero in blustery conditions. A decent number of people showed up and O’Brien noted that when people aren’t in attendance, it has more to do with their respective availability than whatever is happening outside. “We have made it our mission to never miss a week. No matter what the weather, we’ll always go out, whether it’s just for 6 km because it’s a blizzard or whether it’s 10 km because the conditions are good,” O’Brien said. “People are beginning to realize that it’s a year-round thing that they can do and there are people that they can do it with.”
ON THE RUN We Run Whistler had a strong turnout for its third-season kickoff on April 30. While there were running groups active in Whistler in the past, all experienced their ebbs and flows and none ran through the winter.
PHOTO BY GUY FATTAL
“They tended to be really intimidating to people because people tended to think that they were too hardcore,” O’Brien said, noting groups such as the one run by Helly
Hansen didn’t grow much past 10 or 15 runners before its organizer left town. “We saw a hole in the market there to get something going again.” Led by a strong contingent of locals, the group occasionally sees visitors, such as guests training for a race or, as Manietta noted, an Australian couple that drops in whenever they are in the resort. Though both Manietta and O’Brien are experienced runners, all levels are welcome and encouraged to participate. “Some people, if they’ve never trail run and it’s a bit intimidating to them, they think it’s not for them. But then they come to our run club and they realize that it’s definitely for everyone,” O’Brien said. “We’ve seen a lot of change in people over from just road running to embracing trail (running) and trying something new.” Each week will offer two options, a fulldistance and a half-distance run. Each will have a leader, while a third will run between the two groups. “We run together for the first part of the run and the pace tends to be very conversational,” she said. “We purposely try to keep it slow. As the leaders, we run slow ourselves. “If people choose to run faster, we’ll allow them to if they know where we’re going.”
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46 MAY 2, 2019
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Pique Newsmagazine for May 2, 2019