Running: The Passion That Unites Us All

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.

Running: The Passion That Unites Us All. By Linda Nguyen.TYS10K Linda 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.

TYS10K Linda Blog 2

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.

Posted in Digital Champions, Toronto Yonge Street 10K | Leave a comment

Top 10 Reasons Twitter Makes You A Better Runner

TORONTO. February 13th 2014. Digital Champion Jean-Paul Bedard starting running a little over 16 years ago when he entered a treatment program for an addiction to drugs and alcohol. He trained for his first marathon, The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, with two other men from the treatment program. All three men qualified for Boston in their first marathon. Since that time, Jean-Paul has gone on to complete over 75 marathons and quite a few ultra marathons. Jean-Paul is dedicating his 2014 race schedule to raising funds for survivors of childhood sexual abuse, and he can’t wait to race down Yonge St at the Toronto Yonge Street 10K in the spring and across Toronto in the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon in the fall. Connect with Jean-Paul on Twitter @runjprun and on his blog.

Top 10 Reasons Twitter Makes You A Better Runner. By Jean-Paul Bedard.TYS10K Jean Paul Bedard

I feel I need to disclose something to you from the outset—I have what some may call an “addiction”, but what I like to refer to as a love affair with social media.  Let’s face it, social media has a bad rap as a hotbed of vacant chatter and a vehicle of shameless self-promotion.  When it comes right down to it, what we’re all really looking for, whether you’re active on Twitter and Facebook or not, is a sense of connection.

Noted education specialist, Ted Robinson refers to a tribe as “a group of people who share the same interests and passions.  The tribe may be large or small.  It can exist virtually, through social media, or in person.  Tribes may be highly diverse.  They may cross generations and cultures.  They may cross time and include people who are no longer living but whose lives and legacy continue to inspire those who are.”  I would also point out that a tribe does not resemble the cliques that are so prevalent in schools around the globe.  Being a member of a clique is all about trying to fit in and gaining the admiration of the other clique members.  In contrast, your tribe love and support you for who you are, and there is an absence of a power dynamic in the group.

So, without further ado…. Here are my “Top 10 Reasons Twitter Makes You A Better Runner”

1.  No Man is an island.
Running can be such a lonely sport, and even the most seasoned runner will attest to how difficult it can be to hit the trail, track, road, or gym for a run.  Connecting with the huge online running community reminds us that even when we are out there alone pounding out the miles, we are part of a huge running family.

2.  Chafed nipples and black toenails
When it comes right down to it, we runners can be insufferable to live with—especially when we are tapering!  Staying in touch with your running mates on social media allows you to spend hours waxing on about chafed nipples, black toenails, and even the perennial question:  “Should I wear a singlet or short sleeve shirt in tomorrow’s race?”

3.  We all need a soccer mom or a hockey dad.
Training for a race is hard work, so it’s inevitable that our motivation might need a little boost.  Receiving a tweet from a runner friend or a Facebook message from another runner across the globe is just like having you’re mom or dad cheering you on.

4.  All you need to know is right here. 
Twitter can be an invaluable source of information for any runner.  I love checking in with my tribe to find out what the weather was like on someone’s run, what new products are out there, and when, or even if, I should sign up for a given race.

5.  We all need a little humble pie!
So…I’ve just got in the door from a great tempo run and I decide to post my run online for all my mates to stare in awe.  It doesn’t take long to read that other people have run farther, faster, and in worse conditions than I did.  Yep…Twitter keeps my “ego in check”.

6.  There’s a little inspiration in that perspiration.

There a days when I simply don’t want to get out there and run, but a quick scan of my Twitter feed always sorts that out.  Every day I’m amazed by the challenges we all face, and the resiliency that so many runners bring to our sport.  Whether you’re training for your first 5k, or your first 100-miler, you’re lacing up your shoes and proving to the rest of us that no matter what obstacle we face in life, things always seem better after a run.

7.  Travel is not so lonely with tweet-ups!

Over the past four years, I’ve amassed quite a large group of running friends from around the world thanks to social media.  I have a solid core group that I check in with most days while I’m eating my breakfast after my run.  Social media has enlarged my world and connected me with some of the most incredible people on the planet.  One of the joys of traveling to distant races throughout the year is the opportunity to “tweet-up” with some of my friends on Twitter when I visit their city for a race.  Nothing calms pre-race jitters better than sitting down for a coffee or a meal with a running friend I met on social media.  As an added bonus, having a local contact makes race logistics so much easier, as you gain an insider’s perspective to the best hotels, restaurants, and running routes in the new city.

8.  Dig your head out of the sand…. You’ll be fine!
Nothing feels worse than training months for a big race, only to see it all go “pear shaped” on the day of the race.  No matter how well we train, weather, stomach issues, and sometimes a nagging injury can derail your expectations—and maybe even result in the dreaded DNF.  I’ve been there on many occasions, and my running friends on social media are always there to hold my head up, and remind me that one bad race is not the end of the world.

9.  Lighten up—take a selfie!
We runners can have a tendency to take our running passion a little too seriously at times.  I need a daily reminder about what brought me into running in the first place—to challenge myself physically and to help bring balance to the rest of my life.  One of my favourite things to do is to look through my Facebook and Twitter feed for the “selfies” and awesome run pics that many of my friends post.  I’ve had the opportunity to run through some of the most beautiful landscapes on the planet, but I need to be reminded to slow down, look around, and take it all in!

10.  Our running tribe has a kick-ass vibe!  
You can’t choose your birth family, but you CAN build your running tribe!  Let’s work together to build a super, supportive running tribe that will make us not only better runners but better people.  You can start by retweeting this post and tagging me, @runjprun and three of your running mates.  It’s an awesome way to meet amazing people who share our love of the sport.

Posted in Digital Champions, Toronto Yonge Street 10K | Comments Off

Running with a Tribe

Official TYS10K Training Clinics begin at 25+ Running Room locations across Ontario THIS WEEK! To find your local clinic, visit our Training Clinics page.

TORONTO. February 9th 2014. Digital Champion Heather Gardner believes group running is a great way to promote healthy, active living and build community.  As the owner of Tribe Fitness, a Toronto fitness community with the goal of sweating for social good, Heather believes the true benefits of fitness go beyond doing a body good, to the enhanced state of mind which allows us to open our hearts, connect, and find the beauty in the everyday. Connect with Heather on Twitter @RunSoulCycle and on her blog.

Running with a Tribe 3Running with a Tribe. By Heather Gardner.

While running is often thought of as a solo sport, there are many perks to running with others. Whether you’re training for a race, or just wanting to move, here are 5 reasons why you need a tribe!

1. Motivation

Get energized and inspired! Running with a tribe means you have your own cheering squad to get rowdy on the highs and supportive on the lows. Whether it’s out during a long effort, sprints around a track, or on race day, having your own tribe gives you that extra cheer you need to run your best.

2. Safety

Clearly it is much safer to run in a group vs. on your own. If someone in the tribe gets injured or sick, there is someone to help or get help.  When running in a group you may be less likely to be the target of an attacker as there is  power and strength in numbers. Can’t run with others? Then be sure to have yourself a RoadID. Looking for other safety tips when running in the dark, check out my post for lululemon here!

Running With a Tribe

3. Improved Performance

When you run with others you can’t help but stick to their pace, meanwhile it turns out they were pushing to keep at yours. When you’re sticking with a tribe that pushes you to run better, improvement is the only option.

4.  Experience

As a new runner (or even someone who’s been around the block), running in a tribe is a great opportunity to learn from those who are more experienced or have different experiences. Most runners are more than happy to share tips on fueling, recovery, and gear, your challenge will be to take everything with a grain of salt and figure out what works for you.

5. Friends Who Will Enjoy Your Endless Running Rants

Running in a tribe is a great way to get to know people with similar hobbies and interests. Not only will you already have something in common, after you crush that personal best, or when you want to talk endlessly about your new favourite running shoes or gel, this tribe will actually want to hear it!

If you’re in the Toronto area and looking to run with a tribe. Join my tribe, Tribe Fitness. We host 2 free runs a week, Wednesday at 7pm (5km) and Saturday at 9am (long effort) and we are training for the Toronto Yonge Street 10K. Details are here! #JoinTheTribe

What benefits have you found from running in a group? Share them in the comments below!

Posted in Digital Champions, Toronto Yonge Street 10K | Comments Off

Becoming A Mother Runner

TORONTO. February 5th 2014. Digital Champion Stephanie Xamin is an avid runner who started running to get back into shape after university. She has run what she calls the full circuit in the following distances: 5k, 10k, 15k, half marathon, 30k, and a full marathon. Last year the Toronto Yonge Street 10K was her first race running pregnant and this year she looks forward to running post pregnancy to keep sane and to get back into shape. Follow Stephanie on Twitter @stephanieruns.

Becoming A Mother Runner. By Stephanie Xamin.  STEPH TYS10K

I remember last year at this time I was asked to be a Digital Champion for the Toronto Yonge Street 10k. As I walked to the Canada Running Series office to pick up my official In-Training shirt, I was filled with excitement, but I also had butterflies in my stomach because I was pretty sure I was pregnant.

I was extremely excited to become a mom, but I wasn’t sure how it was going to impact my life. I have always been a very active person, running and going to fitness classes. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to keep up my level of activity while being pregnant. When I crossed the 2013 Toronto Yonge Street 10K finish line I was beaming with pride I had completed my first race while pregnant.

Unfortunately I wasn’t one of those pregnant ladies that could blissfully keep running as my stomach expanded. I had to switch to walking, and yoga. After I gave birth to my beautiful daughter Sophie, I had to wait to get medical clearance to work out again. That was a long six weeks with minimal activity.

STEPH TYS10K 2I’m not sure why, but in my head I pictured that my first post pregnancy run would be a blissful, perfect, fast-paced 5k. In my mind I was still my old, pre-pregnancy, fit runner self. That first run was a real wake up call. It was like starting from the beginning. I am slowly building up my mileage so I don’t injure myself. My body is different now; my joints are looser. Running feels different.

My training for the Yonge Street 10k this year is different from my training last year. My body is different and I need to tune in and listen to it. As a breastfeeding mother I have to plan my runs around my husband’s and my daughter’s schedules. I am no longer a carefree get up and go runner. I have to make every run count. But I wouldn’t trade it in for anything. Waiting for me at the finish line this year will be my adorable daughter. I hope she’ll learn to clap by race day.

When I’m out on the road for a run I’ll be humming Drake’s lyrics ‘started from the bottom now we’re here’ because I’m starting fresh again with running, but I know I’ll be back to my marathon self soon, one run at a time.

Posted in Digital Champions, Toronto Yonge Street 10K | Comments Off

The Music That Keeps Me Moving

TORONTO February 2nd 2014. Lisa Davidson is thrilled to be a part of the Digital Champions team for the third time (TYS10K 2013 and STWM 2013). As the mother of a very active two-year-old boy, Lisa has turned a portion of playtime into training time by pushing her son in a jogging stroller. Lisa believes in the importance of both mental and physical well-being for leading a happy and healthy life, and strives to inspire others to be active. Connect with Lisa on Twitter @TorontoFitMom.

The Music That Keeps Me Moving. By Lisa Davidson.

lisa musicWhen I run, I have to listen to music. I will spend hours searching for the perfect songs to add to my playlist, and if after a run I feel like a song didn’t fit, I will delete it instantly and begin the search again. No one is safe – even Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” got the axe after a 10K race. I have a wide variety of music that I like to listen to, from Foo Fighters to Kanye West. Below are a few songs that carry me through both my training runs and races.

When I start off my runs, I like something upbeat and pop-y like Pitbull’s “Timber.” It features Ke$ha and gets me warmed up and feeling good! Next up is some Avicii. “I Could Be The One,” “Wake Me Up,” or “Hey Brother” all get me nice and limber and help me settle into a comfortable breathing pattern.

About halfway into my run I’m starting to pump my legs faster and harder and the song that keeps me going is MKTO’s “Thank You.” This song reminds me of a great trip I took last year and so it brings back many happy memories. At this point I am smiling and having fun and feel like Lanni Marchant racing to her Canadian Women’s Marathon record victory at STWM. In reality, this is what I look like – sweaty and red in the face with flared nostrils.

LISA TYS10KWhen I want to pick it up and start to fly, I turn to some old-fashioned musical theatre. My go-to song? “Defying Gravity” from the musical Wicked. When this song comes on I am speeding and my legs are flying, “I’m through accepting limits ’cause someone says they’re so, some things I cannot change, but ’till I try, I’ll never know.”  This song reminds me that a lot of people look at me and don’t think I look like a “typical runner,” but I keep going, envision my success and become stronger.

As I near the end of my run, I need some angry music to get me through. This is where I put on some Kayne West. I need some serious inspiration to get my game face on.

Putting together the perfect playlist is something I do every week. My music inspires me to run faster, further and stronger.

Do you listen to music while training and racing? What songs keep you going?

 

Posted in Digital Champions, Toronto Yonge Street 10K | 2 Comments

Dare Foods and Canada Running Series Team Up

DareLogo-offWebsiteKITCHENER, ON. January 28. With over 120 years of history as a Canadian, family-owned bakery and candy company, Dare knows family makes it better. Now Dare has joined the Canada  Running Series family, in an effort to put delicious, wholesome snacks in the hands and mouths of Canadian runners.

Over the course of the 2014 series, Dare will deliver more than 300,000 snacks in finishing chutes and race kits. All Dare snacks carry the ‘Made Better’ promise – a simple pledge to use more of what Canadians want, and less of what they don’t, in great-tasting bakery and confectionary treats like Boulangerie Grissol Sweet Thins, Breton Popped! Supergrains, Breton Cheese Bites and RealFruit Mango & Yogourt.

‘We are excited to be partnering with CRS to offer runners variety and great taste, as well as the quality ingredients they are looking for’ says Kelly McInenly, Senior Director of Marketing for Dare Foods. ‘We receive a great response anytime we post fitness information for our Facebook communities, so we know there is a great fit between our brands and CRS."

“We are delighted to welcome Dare, and their great products, to CRS 2014” said Race Director Alan Brookes “They bring outstanding Canadian quality to the races, quality that will enhance the running experience of our participants. And I know this means we will see more of Canadian Marathon Champion Rob Watson, who’s favorite post-race reward is cookies and beer!”

About Dare Foods Limited

Dare is a Canadian, family-owned company that has provided Canadians with the quality products that make every snacking, entertaining and lunchbox occasion better since 1892. The company was a pioneer in offering peanut-free food solutions, and continues to develop delicious new cookies, candies, fruit snacks, crackers and fine breads to satisfy the changing needs of Canadian families. Key brands include Breton, Bear Paws, RealFruit, Whippet, Simple Pleasures, Boulangerie Grissol and Wagon Wheels. With six plants and more than 1,100 employees in North America, Dare is headquartered in Kitchener, Ontario.

For more information about the company and its brands, please visit www.darefoods.com .

 About Canada Running Series

Canada Running Series [CRS] is the nation’s premier running circuit with 8 events: 4 in Toronto, 3 in Vancouver and 1 in Montreal. It annually attracts some 60,000 participants and raises more than $5 million for some 250 mostly-local charities. The Series includes the IAAF Silver Label Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, and the Athletics Canada National 10K and Half Marathon Championships. Since 1999, CRS has gained international recognition for innovation and organization. It is strongly committed to staging great experiences for runners of all levels from Canadian Olympians and International stars, to healthy lifestyle people and charity runners; and to making sport an integral part of sustainable communities and the city-building process.

For further information on the events, entries and fundraising, see www.runcrs.ca

 

Posted in General | Comments Off

Confessions of a Running Gear Addict

TORONTO. January 26th 2014. Digital Champion Miranda MacDonald has been an avid runner for the last 3 years. After running a number of 10K races, she was challenged by Nike Running Canada to tackle a half marathon in 2011 and blog about it. After that, she was hooked. Since then, she has completed several half marathons, two 30K races, and this past October, she completed her first full marathon at STWM with a time of 4:33:42. Connect with Miranda on Twitter @MirandaMac.

Confessions of a Running Gear Addict. By Miranda MacDonald. 

Miranda TYS10KI hate junk. I ritually clear out closets and drawers in an effort to get rid of erroneous paper and miscellaneous things. I try not to hang on to old stuff just because they once had meaning.

But, there’s one thing I can’t get rid of: my running gear.

I’ve been an avid runner for several years and in that time I’ve managed to amass an entire dresser full of running clothes, and I love them all. Typically, my wardrobe would get a seasonal purge, but this is one area of my clothing collection that just continues to grow. Every piece reminds me of a certain time or race.

My pink long sleeve with the half zip is the shirt I wore during my first half marathon. My green sports bra reminds me of my marathon training and the time it chafed me on a long run (and yet, I still can’t get rid of it!) The white hyperwarm long sleeve was a gift from my husband and the shirt I wore during last year’s Around the Bay in Hamilton. All my race shirts – even the ugly ones – are all neatly folded and full of memories. Shoes? Don’t get me started. I have 7 pairs of running shoes, and I adore them all. Whether it’s because they ran the Oasis Zoo Run with me, or carried me over the finish line for my 10K PB, each one is special – and not just because they match my outfit. Believe it or not, I can’t even seem to get rid of running socks.

And the race medals? They’re out of control. For a while, they were neatly isolated to a basket in my closet, but soon they began to overflow. That once neat basket is now a tangle of ever-growing hardware. But what’s a girl to do? You can’t throw out a race medal! That’s madness!

Year after year, I purge my old clothes, but my running gear remains.

Let’s face it. Runners have a tendency to keep things long past their expiry date. But who can blame them? Each piece is a story. Each shirt, despite the holes and sweat stains has a memory. They tell stories of hard work, dedication and persistence. They’re worn and comfortable and familiar. They remind you of great runs, bad runs, challenges and victories. You tell me what other piece of clothing can do that!

Now, as we ramp up for another race season, I’m anticipating adding several new shirts to my collection, including the 2014 edition of the Toronto Yonge Street 10K. I hope that this shirt will be able to tell a story of my new 10K PB. Yes, I can see it now: that time I ran fast and smooth down the gradual decline of Yonge Street, sun gently beating down, crossing the finish line victorious with a sub-50 time to humbly brag about. A girl can dream…

With that hopeful memory, I hardly think my collection of running gear is going to decline this year. The more shirts the merrier, I say.

Really, now that I think about it, it’s high time a race started giving out shorts.

Posted in Digital Champions, Toronto Yonge Street 10K | Comments Off

How I Learned to Love Group Runs

TORONTO. January 23, 2014. Running was always a “maybe later” thing for Digital Champion Danielle O’Hanley. She finally signed up for her first Running Room clinic in August 2012 and has been running ever since. After a jam-packed 2013 — which included ten races — she recently completed her first 42.2km at the Chicago Marathon. She runs in the west end of Toronto, where the parks are abundant (and so are the hills!). She is looking forward to racing down Yonge at the TYS10K, where she hopes to break the 50-minute mark. Connect with Danielle on Twitter @dohanley.

How I Learned to Love Group Runs. By Danielle O’Hanley.

Let me be honest: I have never been interested in exercising with or around other people. I hate team sports. I never enjoyed exercise classes. Until recently, what little exercise I did get consisted of swimming (lap after lap of just me and my thoughts) and hot yoga (again, just me and a big silent room). So, when I was thinking about starting to run last summer and someone suggested I join a running clinic, I just blinked and stared.

Not for me. Danielle TYS10K 2013 Group

Except, it turns out it was. The first night of my local Running Room‘s 10K clinic, I was struggling my way through a 3K run around the upper loop of High Park. Trailing near the back, I was cursing under my breath and wondering what I had gotten myself into. I stopped at the intersection at Bloor, waiting for the lights to change, and caught up with another woman. As the light turned green, we set off together. We started talking, and she shared that she’d done the same clinic the year previous, had run a half marathon in the spring, and was easing her way back into it after an injury. I talked about what my goals were (working my way up to a run in Disney with my family), and the next thing I knew, we were back at the store.

I had survived my first run.

What followed was week after week of triumphs. Running for ten minutes straight. Making it all the way up the Spring Road hill in High Park without stopping. I got to know the other people in my pace group; the woman from the first night, a woman who had recently quit smoking, and another woman, like me, who just wanted to get a bit more active. We spent our hill training nights commiserating over the length of the inclines, and our long runs sharing any and every story or clever anecdote that came to mind.

A year later, I keep thinking back to that first night and I have a hard time remembering who that person was. I now look forward to my clinic night each week. There’s a small group of us who eventually progressed to the half marathon, then marathon clinic, and we’re now training for our second marathons. They give me the push I need to move up a pace group when I’m feeling lazy or to run the extra few yards at the end of the run.

Between them and the great people in the Toronto running community who are tweeting, blogging, and Instagraming their progress online using hashtag #TYS10K, it’s hard not to feel inspired to run through the heart of the city with them all on Sunday April 13th.

The official Toronto Yonge Street 10K Running Room training clinics start the week of February 10th. You’ll get a training schedule, a new group of friends, and a great shirt to run in. Keep an eye on the training page on the TYS10K website for more details. Good luck with your training!

Posted in Digital Champions, Toronto Yonge Street 10K | Comments Off

Athletics Canada announces Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon as Canadian Championship host beginning in 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 21, 2014

Athletics Canada announces Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon as Canadian Championship host beginning in 2015

Krista DuChene and Lanni Marchant after both breaking Silvia ruegger's 28 year old National Record at STWM 2013.

Krista DuChene and Lanni Marchant after both breaking Silvia Rruegger’s 28 year old National Record at STWM 2013.

Ottawa – Athletics Canada is pleased to announce today a very exciting partnership with Canada Running Series (CRS) that will see the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (STWM) serve as Canadian Championship for the marathon event in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Athletics Canada and Canada Running Series are committed to working cooperatively on initiatives that will raise the sport’s awareness and that help connect recreational participants with high performance athletes under one unified brand.

“We’re thrilled to be hosting the national Marathon Championship,” said Alan Brookes, Canada Running Series, Race Director. “I think it’s great recognition for all the hard work and support put in over the last decade by the Canada Running Series team, our sponsors, the Toronto area running community, and the broader city of Toronto. We are confident that this great partnership with Athletics Canada will help take us all to the next level and build the event, and the sport, in Canada’s largest metropolis.”

Ethiopia's Deressa Chimda breaks the tape at STWM 2013 in a new Canadian All-Comers Record of 2:07:05!

Ethiopia’s Deressa Chimda breaks the tape at STWM 2013 in a new Canadian All-Comers Record of 2:07:05!

Lanni Marchant, Canadian women’s marathon record holder, “Canada Running Series has helped to promote and support Canadian distance runners, and has turned the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon into a highly competitive Canadian race. It is very fitting that the national champion will be crowned at STWM, amongst a top field of Canadian and international athletes.” Marchant broke the long-standing Canadian women’s marathon record at the 2013 edition of the STWM.

Rob Guy, Athletics Canada, Chief Executive Officer, “We are very pleased to be able to grow our partnership with Alan and the Canada Running Series. Our past efforts, including the London 2012 and Moscow 2013 projects, have been crucial elements of our road running strategy from an organization and athlete standpoint. We look forward to building on those to create even more opportunities. The growth of Athletics Canada road running programs is a priority over the next quadrennial, ensuring increased participation, world class performance and a positive experience for all.”

Reid Coolsaet, “STWM typically puts together the best Canadian marathon field year after year. It will be great to crown the Canadian champion amongst the strongest Canadian competitors.” Coolsaet represented Canada in the marathon at the 2012 Olympic Games and at the 2009 World Championships.

The partnership will also see Canada Running Series’ Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon host Athletics Canada’s inaugural national road running summit.

-AC-

For more information:

Mathieu Gentès, Director, Public Relations and Corporate Services

Athletics Canada

613 260 5580 ext. 3303

mgentes@athletics.ca

 

Alan Brookes, Race Director

Canada Running Series

alan@canadarunningseries.com

 

Posted in General | Comments Off

Why Running Makes Me Feel Like A Superhero

TORONTO. January 18th, 2014. In the spring of 2011, months after a life-changing experience, JP Hernandez signed up for a Learn-to-Run clinic at a local Running Room store, promising his son he would make changes to his life. On October 20th 2013, JP ran his first full marathon at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon dressed as Batman in support of the Sick Kids Foundation for the Hospital for Sick Children, an organization that saved his life 30 years ago. JP will be running 2014 as part of the “Justice League Runners’, a group of costumed ‘superheros’  to inspire others and help charities. Their first stop as a team will be the Toronto Yonge Street 10K in April.

Why Running Makes Me Feel Like A Superhero. By JP Hernandez. JP Batman 1

Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, Wonder Woman – admit it, at one point in your life, you wanted to be one of those super heroes; I mean, who wouldn’t want to fly at limitless speeds, beat criminals to a pulp, spin a web from their wrist, or be the strongest woman in the world? When I was a kid I did, I imagined it, and with the right props, I became my favourite superhero!

As we get older, we are forced to put aside our “silly superman-stuff”, in favour of the real world. We have to finish school, get a job and support ourselves. We live in a world where real life superheroes like firefighters, police officers, and military personal do extraordinary things everyday. What weight could a character drawn on paper possibly hope to carry? More than you can ever imagine…

These heroes, with the crest on their chest, represent something because of their longevity. Batman represents what one man can do when standing against injustice. Superman’s iconic ‘S’ symbol is recognized by the entire world as a symbol of hope. To quote from the film ‘Man of Steel’: “Embodied within that hope is the fundamental belief in the potential of every person to be a force for good.” If that doesn’t make you want to wrap a red beach towel around your neck and raise your fist up to fly, then I don’t know what will.

This is why I dress up when I embark on a marathon – to be the symbol of a hero. Bruce Wayne himself said in ‘The Dark Knight Rises’: “The idea was to be a symbol. Batman could be anybody, that was the point.” While the total in my bank account reminds me that I’m not Bruce Wayne, I try to do my best to inspire others around me as his alter-ego, Batman. I run as Batman because I don’t want my face to be what people see – I want it to be about the charity, the Sick Kids Foundation, and the children at Sick Kids Hospital who are real superheroes everyday.  Once I finished my marathon last October, the first thought to come to my head was “when can I do this for Sick Kids again?”

JP Batman 2We grow up, but the motivation to be something more must never leave us. It is the legacy we leave for future generations, the example we set for our children – the hope that we can rise in the face of challenges. It was an honor to do what I did, and I look forward to running again at the Toronto Yonge Street 10K race in April.  The good news it that this time I won’t be doing it alone! On Sunday April 13th you will see me and the Justice League Runners – a group of ordinary individuals setting out to inspire an entire city.

So, you can admit you wanted to be a super hero – it’s the in-thing now, all the cool kids are doing it. Check out the Justice League Runners Facebook page and tell them Batman sent you! The best part is we’re recruiting! Connect with us to run the Toronto Yonge Street 10K or the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon this year! Follow @rundarkknight on Twitter or find me at my blog.

How do you channel your inner superhero when you run?

Posted in Digital Champions, Toronto Yonge Street 10K | 1 Comment