Racing this weekend: Dubai and Burlington!

Brad's Braw Lassies!

 January 20th. Making plans for this weekend, and even though it’s cold, frosty, icy and white outside, there’s LOTS of running and racing going on, near and far.

Before I turn to Dubai and Burlington, a few notes worth sharing on the week just passed — with more than a few significant TRAINING items popping up.

  1. Globe and Mail LIFE section have agreed to do another 10-week Training program and Tips, for Harry’s Spring Run Off & Sporting Life Toronto 10K this year. Ta da! The GlobeRunning “Spring 10K” section will focus on our 2 CRS races, but have wider appeal, with lots of great Tips and interactive opportunities, to build a GlobeRUNNING space — online as well as every Monday for 10 weeks, from Feb. 21st. Coach Jenny Hadfield will offer 6 Training Programs from “Walk” to “Advanced Run”; and there will be online “live” ‘Ask the Coach’ sessions with Coach Jenny  and Dave Scott-Thomas, Head coach of New Balance Speed River Track Club and a whole raft of Canadian distance stars like Reid Coolsaet, Dana Buchanan, Taylor Milne and Jen Lalonde.  They’ll be supported by a bunch of Canada’s other top coaches and athletes.

    Eric Gillis of Speed River TC leads out the 2010 Sporting Life Toronto 10K free TUNE UP Training Run

2. Train & Race with Coach Jenny and the stars from New Balance Speed River Track Club. We’ve announced two TUNE UP TRAINING RUNS for Harry’s SRO and Sporting Life Toronto 10K, for February 20th and March 20th. There, you’ll get a chance for a “Launch” run the day before the Training Programs start, and a “Booster” run mid-program, to ask questions, get motivated, mix and mingle with others sharing similar goals.  Everyone’s invited and they’re FREE! Both Training Runs are 9am starts from the Sporting Life store. Details will unfold on our website.   

3. “MARATHON MAN” Ben Kaplan started a regular weekly column in the National Post, Wednesdays, following — and “asking questions” of Marathon Man — on the road to Banque Scotia 21K de Montreal. That’s Ben’s “goal race” and the focus of the column. It’s aimed at “people with padding” as Ben wrote yesterday!  

This column is for the people with padding and the ones who drank too much on New Year’s Eve; it’s for the older people who have never even jogged before; and it’s for the everyday people just trying to find some balance in their lives. Each week we’ll give you a tip to get you on track, like this one: Basically, all running shoes are the same, don’t believe the fancy labels.
Read more: http://tinyurl.com/49yesdr

And now from the Training to the Racing, those exciting “Show Time” days when we all get to strut our stuff, tick off those bucket items, beat our best buddies, family, friends, co-workers (always more fun to beat folks you know than folks you don’t!), or raise $$ for our cause.

Next weekend, Chris, Charlotte and I are off to Houston, for one of America’s top marathons & halfs, with Ryan Hall (half), our own Rob Watson on debut (marathon) our booth at the Expo and more. But this weekend, we can continue our 2011 race journey from Mumbai [last weekend] to Dubai and Burlington. Ontario.  

Magnificently [for us], the potentates of the Emirates have not remained content to buy up some of the world’s best footy teams from Arsenal [at Emirates Stadium] and Paris St-Germain, to Hamburg, AC Milan and Manchester City. The past few years has seen them bring their passion for sports to the marathon and road racing. The Dubai Marathon being run tomorrow [yes, that's Friday] and the Ras Al Khaimah Half next month have become two of the world’s best. RAK is where Sammy Wanjiru set his Half marathon World Record of 58:53 in 2007. Last year RAK had 4 guys under an hour and 5 women under 68 minutes! (Race Report).

Haile breaks the tape for his 3rd consecutive win in Dubai last year, in 2:06:09

 And then there’s Dubai with a taller building than our CN Tower, and BIG $$ for top finishers and fast times.  The last few year’s its been ”Haile’s race”, as the current world record holder and greatest men’s marathoner of all-time was incentivized to chase new WRs in the desert ($1 million bonus for new WR!). This year there’s no Haile, so a chance for someone else to claim the $250,000 1st prize [same $250,000 for 1st woman] , and there’s an array of young “pretenders” toeing the line, ready to replace The Master. Last year’s 2nd & 3rd place finishers Chala Dechase and Eshetu Wendimu will be hoping to retain the crown for Ethiopia, but to do so they’ll have to get by 20-year old “Wunderkind” Eluid Kiptanui who came from nowhere to win Prague in 2:05:39 last May. For Pat Butcher’s always-thoughtful pre-race Review, see his Blog http://www.globerunner.org/blog/?p=510 For more info and race results, check the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon website.

While we’re thinking of warm thoughts to motivate us, of Mumbai or Dubai or even Houston, its time for us to get out and do our thing in the frozen North… at the 31st Annual Burlington Runners’ Robbie Burns 8K Road Race this Sunday. I’ll be there and hope to see a bunch of you! This is one of the great, remaing Club-organized races in Ontario, complete with kilts, pipers and post-run porridge! It’s FUN, and a great way to keep you motivated in this tough, cold, icy, winter training — plus get a gauge of how the training is coming along. If you’re racing [or doing a structured training run/time trial] come by and see Charlotte and I in the gym at our CRS/STWM table. 

That’s it for today! Lots more news in the pipe from Toronto, Montreal and Houston. Stay tuned. See you at the races!

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