TORONTO. February 19th 2014. Digital Champion Linda Nguyen is an avid runner and obstacle course racer. Her 2013 fitness achievements include completing 12 road races and 5 obstacle races with some notable achievements including having completed her first half marathon, running 25k (her longest race), completing Tough Mudder in a snow and hail storm and becoming a member of the Spartan Race Trifecta Tribe. 2014 will be a big year for Linda. She hopes to PB the Toronto Yonge Street 10k race, achieve two Trifecta medals and run her first full marathon in October at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon! Connect with Linda on Twitter @lindamnguyen and on her blog.
If you’re a Toronto Maple Leafs fan, which I’m assuming you are, you would have heard the tagline “The Passion That Unites Us All” many times before. I think it is a wonderful slogan and it can be applied to many areas of our life.
There are many things in life which I am passionate about, but running is at the top of the list. When we have a passion for something, it becomes our hobby, our past-time, and an escape from our everyday routine. It can be something we enjoy doing by ourselves, a time to reflect on personal growth; or it can be something we share with others who have the same passion as us. If I am not running a race on the weekends, then I am training for one. If I am not participating in a race as a runner or volunteer, than I am there supporting my friends.
An important part of growing up is finding out what your passions are. Completing a half-marathon and a full marathon have always been on my bucket list. When I signed up with the North York Running Room half-marathon clinic in 2012, I was not registered for any races yet. I wanted to see how my long distance training would go before I committed myself to 21.1K. I was a short distance track runner during school so I knew the conversion would require a lot of training. It was at the training clinic that I began to like long distance running. I was blessed with amazing and dedicated coaches who shared their passion of teaching and running with us. I met all different levels of runners from newbies like myself to veterans to runners who were getting back into running.
I learned a lot throughout the clinic. I learned that I was unprepared and the only thing I had right was my running shoes. I was able to try different fuels and gels during our Sunday long runs and even got to test run some new kicks. Needless to say, towards the end of the clinic, I had given in to the sport of running and all the cool (and at times pricey) accessories that went along with it to ‘enhance’ my experience. I had discovered a new passion and created new friendships while bonding over GPS watches, waterbelts the latest races we had registered for.
It wasn’t until one year later when I was asked to be a Digital Champion for the Toronto Yonge Street 10k that I united virtually with other runners that I had never met before. At first, I wasn’t sure what to expect or what I was getting myself into. I’m thankful to Canada Running Series for the opportunity and for my increased passion for running. By race day, I had gained new friends; some who I still see often, some who I only see at races and some whom I have never gotten the opportunity to meet in person but still consider my ‘online friends’. I have learned so much within the past year and am fortunate and thankful to be a part of a wonderful, motivating and inspiring community of runners.
The passion and unity doesn’t stop within’ our immediate community. Through the power of social media, I have connected with a global community of runners and athletes . It has allowed me to learn from other athletes about training and nutrition; to learn about new and inaugural races both locally and internationally; to create bonds and friendships with people in different time zones and various parts of the world; and most importantantly, it has provided me with the inspiration, dedication and determination to be a better,
faster and stronger runner, athlete and person.
Whether you’re a passionate runner or you’re a new runner looking for some training tips or inspiration to start running, join a run group and join the conversation online. There are lots of runners, including the rest of our #TYS10K Digital Champions team that are more than willing to share our experiences and training with you. Just have a look around and you’ll see that the passion and inspiration is everywhere.