iRun.ca

iRun because I cannot say no to a second slice of chocolate cakeEmily Shandruk , Vancouver, BC

iRun to stay fit and release those running endorphinsLiliana Plava , Calgary, AB

iRun because I want to qualify for Boston and raise money for charities near and dear to my heartChristine Gracel , Calgary, AB

iRun because it makes me feel good, allows me to spend time with my friends and gives me a feeling of accomplishmentHelen Kolodziejzyk , Calgary, AB

iRun but not enoughMichael Shaw , New Westminister, BC

iRun because I never thought I would be able toGary Morris , Winnipeg, MB

iRun to challenge myself, physically and mentallyKathleen Keenan , Brampton, ON

iRun because people around me inspire mePina Bevilacqua , Caledon, ON

iRun therefore I amDuncan Walsh , Nottingham, UK

iRun because I liveGeorges Schneller , Laval, QC

iRun to be free and enjoy our beautiful countryCheryl Carter , Clearwater , BC

iRun for overall wellbeingTrish McCourt , Halifax, NS

iRun because it makes me a better person, a better wife, a better mother and a better friendNathalie Joncas-Caissie , St-Antoine, NB

iRun because it makes me feel powerfulCarlene Paquette , Carp, ON

iRun because pecan pie, french fries and beer are chasing meTeresa Sterling , Ottawa , ON

iRun because it’s in meMichael Foley , Stittsville, ON

iRun because it reminds me that I am capable of so much more than I have doneJames Sauve , Ottawa, ON

iRun for meKiza Francis , Ottawa,ON

iRun to prove to myself I canLesley McGougan , Brampton, ON

iRun because all the ladies are chasing my sexy runner’s bodyChris Baker , Etobicoke, ON

iRun because I can and I’m gratefulTerry SanCartier , Gatineau, QC

iRun because when I run I feel most aliveMeghan Lynch , Ottawa, ON

iRun to unleash my inner athleteAdelle Densham , Avonmore, ON

iRun because it cleans up my life, because I drink more water, sleep better and eat healthier foodsRobin McIntyre , Ottawa, ON

iRun because of the peace and strength it brings meMichelle Jordan , Ottawa, ON

iRun because I need it to soothe the soul, keep me in shape and for overall wellbeingBeth Neil , Lombardy, ON

iRun because it is my tonic and my salvation Georgia Ioannou , British Columbia

iRun for relaxation and to motivate my two sonsKeith Bradbury , Newfoundland

iRun because endorphins are freeCassandra Chouinard , Ontario

iRun because somebody once told me I couldn’t Heidi Abbey-Der , Saskatchewan

iRun because couch potatoes die young Cathy Andrew , Ontario

iRun because it’s cheaper than therapy Leah Boulter , Alberta

iRun because I like buying running clothes Pamela Blaikie , Ontario

iRun slowly!Jason Hoffman , Manitoba

iRun because it gives me freedom to relax my brainMarie-Claude Gregoire , Nova Scotia

iRun because I learn more about who I am with every kmSteph Mansell , Quebec

iRun because iEat Sherry Maligaspe , British Columbia

iRun and run, and run, and run, and nobody can stop me Andrei Lucaciu , Ontario

iRun because the wall is meant to be broken Jonathan Bird , Ontario

iRun because it has saved my life John Marshall , Alberta

iRun for the challenge to go faster and farther Steven Matejka , Alberta

iRun to my happy place and some days it’s very Doreen May , Alberta

iRun because food tastes better afterwards Patrick Houston , Alberta

iRun because I can’t dance Mario Javier , Ontario

iRun so I don’t say never ever again Linda Klaric , Manitoba

iRun because it makes me whole Denis Ladouceur , Quebec

iRun because it gets my husband out there Tricia LaLonde , Alberta

iRun away from the negative and towards the positive Teri Lepard , Alberta

iRun because running is like breathing to Stephanie McEvoy , Ontario

iRun because I love the solitude Janene Tailleur , British Columbia

iRun for the moment when both feet are off the ground Catherine Anderson , British Columbia

iRun to someday win the race Lindy Dunlop , Yukon

iRun to stay ahead of the weight gainMyra Abstreiter , Alberta

iRun because otherwise I’m grumpy Alexandre Charest , Quebec

iRun because I get foot rubs afterward Kate Howerton , British Columbia

iRun because iLoves my man Beverly Huang , Alberta

iRun because not everyone can Olivia Harvey , New Brunswick

iRun to get to know myself, my strength and my spirit Lisa Groulx , Ontario

iRun whenever I feel the need to escape Iona Hillis , Ontario

iRun because it’s like flying, only lower Glenn Johnson , Ontario

iRun because it makes me feel powerful Sarah Kallaghan , Alberta

iRun because I’ve lost 80 lbs and running has become fun Cheryl Kelly , Ontario

iRun because there is no finish line Claire Kilgour , Ontario

iRun so my daughters know that they can, too Shelley Kirkpatrick , New Brunswick

iRun because it reminds me of how strong I can be Monique Lavoie , Ontario

iRun because it’s a great way to see the world Sherry Mahoney , British Columbia

iRun because my heart tells me to William Martin , Manitoba

iRun to prove to them that iCan Catherine Smith , Manitoba

iRun because it’s fun when it’s done Sue Matte , Ontario

iRun because I am not as clumsy I thought I was Hanna Baer , Quebec

iRun see where my feet will take me todayMegan Dolinskas , New York

iRun for the cool t-shirts! Pina Bevilacqua , Ontario

iRun because I want to be a role model for our six kids Catherine Empey , British Columbia

iRun to inspire my kids to tryGlen Johnston , Nunavut

iRun so I can eat ice cream Sandy Bolan , Ontario

iRun because I want to live to be 100! Colette DeJean , Ontario

iRun for health, i Run for life Pat Cheung , British Columbia

iRun because it gives my day a boost of energy Sara Campbell , Nova Scotia

iRun because it’s better than almost everything else Nathan Carey , Ontario

iRun at 50 years old because at 43 I couldn’t Peter Cicalo , Ontario

iRun because it is my tonic and my salvation Georgia Ioannou , British Columbia

iRun for relaxation and to motivate my two sons Keith Bradbury , Newfoundland

iRun because endorphins are free Cassandra Chouinard , Ontario

iRun because somebody once told me I couldn't Heidi Abbey-Der , Saskatchewan

iRun because couch potatoes die young Cathy Andrew , Ontario

iRun because it's cheaper than therapy Leah Boulter , Alberta

iRun because I like buying running clothes Pamela Blaikie , Ontario

iRun slowly! Jason Hoffman , Manitoba

iRun because iEat Sherry Maligaspe , British Columbia

iRun because I learn more about who I am with every km Steph Mansell , Quebec

iRun because it gives me freedom to relax my brain Marie-Claude Gregoire , Nova Scotia

iRun at 50 years old because at 43 I couldn't Peter Cicalo , Ontario

iRun because it's better than almost everything else Nathan Carey , Ontario

iRun for my heart, so it runs for me! Cathy Brzoza , British Columbia

iRun to inspire my children! Wendy Bowen , Manitoba

iRun because it sure beats the bus Robin Robbins , Alberta

iRun for the challenge and to remember to fully live Pascale Synnott , Québec

iRun to kickstart my day Sharon Strueby , Saskatchewan

iRun for me! Judi Wearing , Saskatchewan

iRun because it's a great stress release Brooke McKenzie , Yukon

iRun because i love to Mirella Petriello , Ontario

iRun because it helps me see things more clearly Jennifer Pitts , Ontario

iRun to eat Maureen Tritscher , Alberta

iRun to correct years of sedentary living! Mike Scott , Ontario

iRun away from the abyss Charlene Thomas , Ontario

iRun all the livelong day Pierre Saint-Laurent , Québec

iRun to challenge my perceived limitations Cassandra Williams , Ontario

iRun to maintain a strong physical and mental state Tammy Rainville , Ontario

iRun so that I can live longer and stronger Derek MacPhail , Ontario

iRun to feel great Kathryn Rachar , Saskatchewan

iRun because I like to be healthy Melanie Oickle , New Brunswick

iRun to eat more, especially sweet potatoe fries Joanna Skomra , Ontario

iRun for the fresh air and adrenalin Charlyn McGregor , Saskatchewan

iRun for the individual pursuit Robert Pelletier , New Brunswick

iRun to satisfy the irresistible urge Tim Nixon , British Columbia

iRun because I love the sense of accomplishment Amber Moase , Nova Scotia

iRun to challenge my mind, body and soul Sonia Mendes , Ontario

iRun because walking is too slow Barry Knapp , Ontario

In His Words: A page from Terry Fox’s diary

March 3rd, 2015

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saturday, april 26th, 1980
day 15 / 25 miles / total 337 miles

Slowly the seeing double went away, but my eyes were glossy and I was lightheaded. I told myself it is too late to give up. I would keep going no matter what happened. If I died, I would die happy because I was doing what I wanted to do. How many people could say that? I went out and did fifteen pushups on the road and then took off. My head was light but the double sightedness went away. At five miles Doug and I talked about it for a while. I cried because I knew I was going to make it or be in a hospital bed or dead. I want to set an example that will never be forgotten. It is courage and not foolishness. It wasn’t a waste.

Leader’s Playbook

March 3rd, 2015

Losing both her parents to cancer as a young adult gave Krista DuChene a different perspective on her important role as both a mother and an elite athlete.

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As a child, learning about Terry Fox’s life, his incredible determination, and his huge heart for others, I can clearly recall how emotional I felt. Terry was most influential in raising awareness, and money for cancer research, and he was selfless in his pursuit. Even now, whenever I’m watching a film of him running, I’m flooded with emotion. Each September, during the annual Terry Fox Run, my children, along with millions of others, are still learning the impact of Terry’s work and being inspired by his story.
Having lost both parents to cancer as a young adult, my involvement with raising awareness about cancer prevention has definitely had the most significant personal inmpact. It stirred a passion to focus on my own health and do what I can to help others learn more about prevention through maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle. Growing up with five siblings, I was an active and outgoing child and my dad would tell me that I couldn’t do everything. At the time I wasn’t thrilled to hear his advice, but like many boundaries set by parents, it was true. These days as a 38-year-old mom of three, aiming to run in the 2016 Olympic Games Marathon, realizing that I can’t do everything, is an absolute must. Even still, I realized early on in life, that there’s also a lot we can do, simply by setting a good example.
As a dietician, I focus my patients on filling half their plates with vegetables at lunch and dinner, limiting alcohol and fatty meats. Although others have different lunches at school, I’m teaching my children about making choices based on our family’s values. Even when that means baking cookies at home instead of buying packaged ones, I’m all about explaining how we’re responsible for our choices and how it’s important to lead by example. In a similar way, as an elite marathoner, I encourage others to set goals and get active every day, even if it means starting with only five minutes at a time.
Along with my success as a marathoner, the frequency of requests for advice, interviews and public speaking engagements has increased. For me, each one of my roles has been an opportunity to lead by example. Whether I’m speaking at a fundraising event, working with clients or teaching my children, I continue to try and lead by example. As my dad said, we can’t do everything but as Terry showed us, we all can do something.

Krista DuChene holds the second fastest female marathon time in Canadian history. Racing the Canadian Half Marathon Championships last April in Montreal, DuChene finished the course on a broken leg. Her website is KristaDuChene.com.

Terry Fox: By the Numbers

March 3rd, 2015

When Terry Fox dipped his artificial leg into the Atlantic Ocean in Newfoundland on April 12, 1980, he embarked on a journey that was fueled by a single dream: a world without cancer. Today, millions of children, youth and adults around the world have been moved by this young man’s determination and commitment. Dedicated to funding research, the Terry Fox Foundation continues to share Fox’s remarkable story, inspiring the next generation to follow in his footsteps. Here’s a look at how Terry Fox and the Foundation have impacted the lives of many and how his legacy continues to live on.

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650,000,000: dollars raised worldwide for cancer research in Terry Fox’s name.

143: days that Terry Fox ran during the Marathon of Hope.

5,373: total kilometers he covered

42: average kilometers Fox ran through the Maritime provinces, Quebec and Ontario.

18: months of training that Fox completed before he began his cross-country run.

9: number of shoes Terry wore over his six-month journey
8: on his real foot
1: on his prosthetic leg

1980: the year that Terry was voted Canadian of the Year by Canadian Press editors
2: other major awards he won that year—the Companion of the Order of Canada and the Lou Marsh Award for outstanding athletic achievement.

1,700,000: dollar amount raised for cancer research during the Marathon of Hope.

3,500,000: dollars raised during the first Terry Fox Run held on September 13, 1981.

1,152: number of cancer research projects the Terry Fox Foundation has supported worldwide over the past 35 years.

February 1, 1981: day Fox’s dream of raising a dollar for every Canadian was realized
24,117,000: total amount, by that day, which was raised.

84: cents from every dollar raised by the Foundation that goes specifically for cancer research

45678: number you can text “Terry Fox” to make a five dollar donation to the Terry Fox Foundation.

524: average number of Canadians diagnosed with cancer each day.

63: percent of today’s likelihood of at least a 5-year survival after receiving a cancer diagnosis.

45 and 41: percent of Canadian men and women, respectively, who will develop cancer in their lifetime.

14: number of Canadian schools named after Terry Fox
15: number of roads

83: number of kilometres of the Trans-Canada Highway, situated between Thunder Bay and Nipigon, renamed the Terry Fox Courage Highway.

9,000+: number of runs held in Terry Fox’s name
9,000+: number of Terry Fox runs led and organized by volunteers

On Sunday, I reached that Goal

March 3rd, 2015
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There are a million reasons why people start running. Some people start to cross an item of their bucket list. Some for health reasons. But for Emily Tomisch, running started out of jealousy.
One of my good friends, Mandy, is an ultra runner. She now prefer long runs out on the trails with her dogs, but a year ago she ran the 2014 Chilly Half Marathon in Burlington. I remember her talking about driving down with a bunch of friends for the race. I felt like I was missing out on something. It was that comradery that made me want to start running.
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That spring I tried running multiple times. I had downloaded a couch to 5K app and would try to run around the block. I failed in my first few attempts and I knew I needed some help. Shortly after that I saw an image on Twitter: A Couch to Marathon Training Program with coach Ben Kaplan. I knew this was something that could help me so I asked a bunch of my running friends what they thought. The support was overwhelming, so I decided to sign up. My running journey started June 2014. After the first few weeks Ben had asked us to e-mail him our goals. I had only one goal, to run the Chilly Half Marathon in 2015.
On Sunday March, I reached that goal. That morning I had texted Mandy thanking her for all the support she has given me over the last eight months and how she was my inspiration to start running. When I got to baggage check I was welcomed with huge hugs from another pillar of support Laura, who is currently training for the Boston Marathon.
“This is the girl I was telling you about!” she told her coach, sounding so proud.
Whether you are an elite athlete or just an amateur like me, the amount of support in this sport is insane. Everyone is always full of smiles and high-fives on race day.
I started off the race nice and slow, I didn’t want to burn out right at the start. When I was at about the 2K mark the elites were already on their way back after the first turnaround. I had seen Ben and he yelled out: “You got this Emily! This is your race!” and I started to cry. This is it. The moment I’ve been working so hard toward.
At around 11K blisters started to form on my feet and my hips and thighs started to burn. My goal of 10 and 1s slowly turned into 5 and 1s but I kept going. At that point Laura was past the turn-around and I yelled out her name and she zoomed past me in her singlet. A few moment after I saw Ben again, and I raised my arm up. I can do this!
“More than half-way done,” I thought.
At around the 15K mark there were spectators handing out slices of oranges and that was the best orange I have ever had in my entire life, and I don’t even like oranges. The volunteers and the spectators are what made this race so great. Even thought I was at the back of the pack, they were still out there cheering on everyone.
At the 20K mark I was really starting to feel it. I was walking more than running, but I knew I was almost there. I grabbed my iPod and put on Beyoncé. You got this. When I turned the corner and saw the finish line it was the happiest I have been in a long time. In Ben’s book “Feet, Don’t Fail Me Now,” he suggests when you see the end of your run you sprint. This has been my signature move for every run and every race. Except today, I had no more energy, but I didn’t stop running and I tried to run a bit faster than normal. “And here comes Emily Tomisch from Toronto, running a great race!” I looked around the finish line and saw so many people cheering and yelling:
“You’ve got this! You’re doing great!”
My next big goal is the GoodLife Fitness Toronto Marathon in May. Right now as I hobble around like a penguin I don’t know how I will be able to do it. What I do know is with people by my side like Ben, Mandy and Laura and of course the rest my running group, I’ll be able to finish any race.

Two simple steps to a healthier Caesar salad

March 2nd, 2015

Who would have thought that curry powder would be the perfect addition to a Caesar dressing?  And the nutritional yeast gives this dressing a cheese-like flavour plus it packs in amino acids, B-vitamins, folic acid, selenium and zinc.  This recipe makes extra dressing that you can store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Topped with our Quick Garlic Croutons, capers, avocado, and hemp seeds, this dynamic salad will delight your adventurous taste buds.

Straight from the Earth_Eccentric Caesar Salad

Eccentric Caesar Salad

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

Caesar Dressing

½ cup  raw cashews

3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

3 tbsp fresh lemon juice

3 tbsp nutritional yeast

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

1 large garlic clove

¾ tsp salt

¼ tsp curry powder

Freshly ground black pepper

Salad

2 large heads romaine lettuce, chopped or torn into bite-size pieces

2 cups quick garlic croutons

1 ripe avocado, medium dice

½ cup hemp seeds

⅓ cup capers

DIRECTIONS

ONE: To make dressing: Combine the cashews, oil, lemon juice, yeast, mustard, garlic, salt, curry powder, and pepper in a food processor and add ¼ cup plus 3 tbsp/75 ml warm water. Process until the mixture is very smooth, 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice.

TWO: To make salad: Toss the romaine with ½ cup/120 ml of the dressing. Add more to taste if desired. Divide the lettuce among six plates, and top each with some of the croutons, avocado, hemp seeds, and capers. Serve immediately.

NOTE: Nutritional yeast is made from a single-celled organism called Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which is typically grown on molasses and then harvested, washed, and dried with heat to deactivate it. It should be stored in a cool and dry place in an airtight bag or container.

1 Serving (using ½ cup of dressing): Calories: 390;  Fat : 26g,  Carbs: 30g,  Protein: 13g,  Sodium: 830mg

Looking to fid more ways to add  garden varieties to you meals? Tyy this Cabbage and Carrot Crunch Salad.

Reproduced with permission from Straight from the Earth: Irresistible Vegan Recipes for Everyone (Chronicle Books) by Myra and Marea Goodman.

Straight from the Earth COV-2

Digging deep and running the numbers at the Chilly Half Marathon

March 1st, 2015

By Krista DuChene
Today was a fairly decent day for me. After running four consecutive weeks of 160km per week in this crazy Canadian winter, plus a one week 120km taper, I was able to put my fitness to the test at a distance more reflective of my strengths. Getting those eight, ten and 16km races out of the way, settling into a half marathon was not only going to be more comfortable but it would also be a good indicator of the depth of my fitness exactly six weeks before my spring marathon.

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Lining up with the boys at Sunday’s Chilly Half Marathon.

Photo: Barry Grey, The Hamilton Spectator

I knew I was in decent shape. My mileage and tempo workouts were similar to my build up before racing my last marathon in 2:28:32, the October 2013 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. Race day weather was a pleasant surprise with a very mild -7 C, little wind and good footing. I didn’t have any women around me to drive a competitive pace but was glad to always have a few guys alongside to keep a decent rhythm. I was hoping to run around 73 minutes and ended up with a final time of 74:01. The last third of the race was my slowest with the wind off the lake  but my final kilometre, was my second fastest at 3:26. I felt solid and in control for the entire race. A good sign, all things considered.

And just what do I mean by “all things considered”?

I’ve said before that I believe that the major factors for a great race include: weather, training, health, competition, pacing, and passion. Some you can control. Others you can not. In comparing my training to previous years, my intervals are slower and my weekly average pace is much slower. I’ve been careful to keep my treadmill running at about 40%, which has included my weekly tempo runs. The great thing about the treadmill is the consistency. But my outdoor running has not been so consistent. This winter it has either been very cold with decent footing, or mild with poor footing. Take your pick! So my weekly outdoor intervals and long runs have been slow. Very slow.  I’ve been running my intervals around the Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre because my 3 year old is in the childcare and I can’t leave the grounds. The roads are usually clear and one lap is nearly one kilometre, so we make it work, while dodging the odd car or two.

I can’t telly you how glad I am that we decided to plan a short training period in a warmer climate. While I’m in Texas and Florida, I’m looking forward to normal pacing with the same effort while running outsides wearing short. And I am really looking forward to training with my good friend and fellow marathon mom, Mary Davies.

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Living in the moment and finishing healthy and strong. 

Photo: Barry Grey, The Hamilton Spectator

My last “all things considered” is the dreaded female monthly issue.  Lately, there have been many articles circulating on this topic and it’s nice to see women who are athletes speaking out about this subject. Even Paula Radcliffe spoke about achieving her world record with menstrual cramps while in mid cycle. Imagine how fast she may have been had she raced a week before or after! It seems that like many things, everyone experiences it differently. Some women get terrible cramps or feel off (tired, irritable, bloated) while others are not affected. Because I’ve had very few cycles within the past 10 years due to 3 pregnancies, 3 babies breastfeeding for twelve plus months each, and high-level training, I didn’t really know how I would be affected. But because it has been a factor in my last two races, I think I can say that I haven’t been terrible burdened by it. The one thing I have notices is that I’ve certainly retained a few extra pounds, which has slowed me down a bit. It stinks when you work hard to be light and lean to race, only to be handed a two-pound weight to carry for the race. I am really hoping that the timing is right for April 12. I sure will feel lighter, especially without all of the crazy layers of winter running gear.

Regardless, we work with it, focusing on the things we can change.

I am all set to continue doing what it takes to finish this training and execute a great race in April. One more week of winter, nearly three weeks of warm weather, and then a little more than two weeks of tapering to go. I’m almost there.

As runners, we like to play the numbers game so here are some comparisons from my race paces this season:

November 8 km: 3:31

December 10 km: 3:29

December 16 km: 3:35

January 8 km: 3:28.5

March 21.1 km: 3:30

I am feeling confident that I can keep progressing in my fitness and peak when it matters most.

And here is a really good comparison, thanks to my coach, which shows one can keep gaining momentum with just six weeks to go before a major race:

In 2012, I ran the Chilly Half Marathon in 1:15:42 (3:35.3/km) and a spring marathon 6 weeks later in 2:32:06 (3:36.3/km).

In 2015, I ran the Chilly Half Marathon in 1:14:01 (3:30.5/km) and am running the same spring marathon 6 weeks later.

It should be a good one!

Samsung Tel Aviv Marathon takes the heat after marathon stoppage

March 1st, 2015

The debate over health and safety of marathoners not used to running in warm weather climates is ongoing. Even with careful planning, unpredictable weather can occur which is the situation that organizers of the Samsung Tel Aviv Marathon were faced with on Friday. With more than 35,000 runners participating in all events, including some 2,000 marathoners, organizers bumped the start time an hour earlier for all events kicking off the marathon at 5:45am. As the sun and temperatures were simultaneously rising, the organizers made the decision to stop the marathon after four and a half hours, due to concerns over the unpredictably high temperatures. But even with these precautions in place, during the course of the race, nearly 75 runners sustained injuries that included bruises, sprains and dehydration while two runners, one participating in the half marathon and the other in the 10K event, were hospitalized.
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When asked about the two hospitalized runners, Alon Solar, Tel Aviv City Council Minister of Sport and one of the key players in resurrecting the marathon seven years ago, says that it’s something organizers worked hard to mitigate. “When you have close to 40,000 people participating in an event, this can happen and we hear about it at races all around the world,” he says.  Solar says the marathon committee has taken the warmer temperatures into serious consideration, especially after a runner died two years ago when the decision was made to postpone the marathon should temperatures rise about 28C. The event was also moved from its original April date to February a time of year where temperatures are typically much cooler than Friday’s conditions. “We aren’t experts in medical care, but we follow the guidelines and recommendations of the committee of representatives from the Ministry of Health,” explains Solar adding that emergency medical staff were also on hand at the finish line to assist injured runners. At the same time, many runners, including Solar say there’s no way of accounting for a runner’s training and level of preparedness for either the distance or weather conditions.

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While Solar is not dismissing the seriousness of injuries, he’s also focusing in on the positive side of the marathon and what it means on a local, national and international level. “The importance of the marathon, is tremendous,” says Solar. “Having events like this have improved participation in sport and fitness activities among residents of Tel Aviv.” With the Tel Aviv Marathon scoring a new record set by Kenyan’s William Kiprono, (2:10:28), the event continues to garner the participation of elite international athletes.  With planning already underway for next year’s marathon weekend, Solar, remains positive that participation will continue to increase. “Tel Aviv is one of the best cities in the world, and we hope the marathon and all of the events, will give people a chance to live a little of our vibe.”

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Confessions of a Balaclava

February 26th, 2015

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When we wear one, it means that it is crazy ass cold. It also means that we are nuts enough to wear it so that we can defy logic and pursue our need to head outside.

It is none other than the faithful balaclava. And when we put on this modern ski mask and run, we validate to others that we are certifiably insane for doing what we do.

One day, my balaclava recorded everything I said on a frigid, winter morning run. Here’s what it heard.

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T-Minus Runtime

“What the minus? Are temperatures even allowed to go that low? I thought that this is supposed to be the weather channel, not the freezer channel.”

“Hmph. Coach obviously didn’t take into account the weather forecast when he put this training plan together.”

“Short sleeve tech shirt. Check. Long sleeve tech shirt. Check. Windproof, fleece lined, wicking, reflective jacket. Check. Thermal tights. Check. Second layer of tights. Check. Toque. Check. Mitts. Check. Wool socks. Check. Grippy, go anywhere running shoes. Check. Sanity. Uncheck.”

“Heck yeah. Lookin’ good. Ninja-runner is ready for some run action.”

“Breath test time. Breathe through the holes. In. Out. No fogging on the glasses. Repeat, no fogging on the glasses. Houston, we are a go.”

The Thrill of the Chill

“C’mon. Open that door. You can do this. Open that door. Oh. Ohhhh. Soooo cold. Get yourself outside. Get yourself outside!”

“Gotta warm up. Gotta warm up. Think warm thoughts. I am hotter than I feel. I am hotter than I feel. Keep moving. Keep moving. It only gets warmer. Spring PBs start with winter running. Spring PBs start with winter running.”

“Oh. Look at that. Empty streets. HELLLLLLLLLOOOO! Is anyone there? HELLLLLLLLLOOOO! Oh. Hi there. Nice doggy.”

“Oh yeah. You can stare. Yep, I’m a badass. You’re all warm and toasty in your car there and I’m out here and I am insane. I am an insane badass. So think of that as you drive to work.”

“Passing by… Sorry! Didn’t mean to cause you to shriek like that! What? Yeah, I know. The ninja mask is a little freaky. Sorry!”

The Finishing Moment

“Done. Finally. Done. Oh, oh, oh! Gotta take a runfie. If I don’t runfie, it didn’t happen. But I froze my butt off so it happened. OK, OK, OK, look cold. Show the breath. Yeah. That’s a sweet one. I look so frigid you can hear Elsa singin’ in the background.”

“Time to take this thing off. Oh hey, it’s actually warm.”

The balaclava never lies,

Andrew

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Follow Andrew on Twitter: @andrewchak

Bring On Dynamic Stretching

February 26th, 2015

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Whether you are hitting the icy, snowy pavement or the treadmill you need to prepare your body for the road ahead. It’s cold enough out there. So, while getting dressed in layers of clothing will be a workout in itself, we need to warm up our muscles, which can help increase our circulation so that not only does your body not start out cold, but you’re hands and fingers may be a little warmer too.

Swinging legs, rotating arms, twisting and turning, you’ve seen your fellow runners doing these moves. As you have watched, you wondered, “Is it was worth it?” Yes, in indeed dynamic stretching is the way to a better warm up. Helping to simulate your body’s range of motion in preparation for the next activity, dynamic stretches are controlled movements that mimic a similar range of motion for a given activity like running.

Here’s are six dynamic stretches that you can incorporating into your warm up routine, to help protect your muscles and get you psyched and ready to tackle the cold weather.

Leg Swings: Standing with feet together, knees slightly bent, wwing one leg out to the side then back to center. Perform ten repetitions on each leg.

Forward Lunges with a Torso Twist: Standing with feet together, begin with walking lunges then twist torso in the same direction  as the leading leg. For example, lunging with your right foot, then twist to the right. Perform ten repetitions on each leg

Front Kicks: Standing with feet hip-width apart, kick opposite leg forward and with opposite hand try to touch toes. Alternate ten repetitions on each leg.

Knee Circles:  Lift one foot off floor, knee bent and draw a circle with your knee towards the outside of your body. Perform ten repetitions on each leg.

Side Lunges: Standing feet together, step out to the side, lean into that bent knee while the other leg stays straight. Hold for 3 to five seconds then spring back to starting position and switch legs. Perform ten repetitions per leg.

Arm Swings: Standing with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart with knees slightly bent. Swing arms up and overhead, forward, down and behind. Repeat ten times, keeping back straight throughout.

About Carrie Burrows
Carrie turned her life from around from being obese to being fit. She studied Kinesiology at York University after she began a journey from being 225 pounds as a teenager and decided that she would dedicate her life to helping others realize the benefits of being fit and healthy. She is the CFO (Chief Fitness Officer) of Health and Fitness Systems Inc. where she has helped turn the lives of hundreds of women and men around through fitness, nutrition and training programs she designs. Carrie runs and designs several boot camp-style fitness programs along with corporate fitness/wellness programs, and still finds time to take on personal training clients while raising her three children to be fit and healthy. She is an avid mid-distance runner who loves to book “racecations” while still chasing a faster minute mile. Carrie knows firsthand the two worlds of being unhealthy and fit and believes that, “Anyone with a goal, dedication and support can become who they want to be.”

Visit her website and follow Carrie on Twitter and Instagram!

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Top Five Running Movies

February 22nd, 2015

With Kevin Costner staring in Disney’s McFarland USA currently in theatres, Matthew McConaughey taking on the role of Christopher McDougall in the upcoming Born to Run, and let’s not forget about Angelina Jolie’s Oscar nominated Unbroken, films about runners are experiencing a resurgence in popularity. From stories real life runners who are battling the elements of nature to the light hearted tale of an ordinary guy just trying to do a little better every day, you don’t have to be a prominent athlete to appreciate the grit, determination and strength that’s at the heart of every runner. Available on Netflicks and iTunes, these five movies will have you longing for that runner’s high, no matter where you’re at in your training.

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TRUE STORY: Prefontaine (1997)

Chronicling the career of American distance runner, Steve Prefontaine, in Prefontaine Jared Leto captures the charisma and single-mided determination of this legendary athlete, along with his self-centred demeanour. From college cross country runner to the 1972 Olympics in Munich, where he is defeated by Finish competitor Lasse Viren, the film digs into his tumultuous journey as an amateur athlete. At the time, funding support for American amateur athletics was dismal, while other countries were offering tremendous financial support to young athletes. As he prepares to return to the 1976 Montreal Olympics, Prefontaine rallies his teammates, and becomes an activist for better funding of American amateur athletics. Although Prefontaine may not have always been easily likeable, you can’t help but get behind the strength an commitment of this gifted runner.

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HOT DOC: Running on the Sun: The Badwater (2000)

Every wonder what it’s like to run in hell? Neither do we. But with the current polar vortex, running in heat of any kind sounds pretty darn good. Beginning in Death Valley California, Running on the Sun is a documentary film that follows a group of runners as they tackle the 135 km Badwater Ultra Marathon. Challenged by the rapidly changing environment, think scorching 50C temperatures that plummet to near zero, two 5,000-foot climbs and a finish line that ends in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains, the race is a coveted accomplishment for ultra runners around the globe. Relying on themselves and their fellow competitors for motivation as opposed to the cheering crowds, this film captures the strength of the human spirit while showing up close, what happens when the human body is pushed to its limit.

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COMIC RELIF: Run Fat Boy Run (2007)

Five years after leaving his bride at the alter, Denis realizes he’s run away from his true love, Libby. After plenty of failed attempts to win Libby back (go figure) Dennis decides to get into marathon racing shape, an effort he hopes will show that he’s a changed man, one who has the determination and dedication not only required to run a 42.2km race but also handle going the distance in life and love. With a cast including Simon Pegg, Thandi Newton and Hank Azaria, directed by Friend‘s star David Schwimmer’s this romantic comedy offers a light hearted, if not heartfelt look at one man’s journey to reclaim the love of his life and unite his family.

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REALITY BITES: Personal Best (1983)

Sports movies (especially running ones) are often focused on male athletes, but Personal Best digs into the reality of women’s athletics. Following a group of American female track and field athletes attempting to qualify for the 1980 Olympics, and when the United States boycotts the Games for political reasons, the athletes’ personal bests are their only reward. Beyond the competition on the track, the film also follows the romantic relationships between two fellow female teammates, Mariel Hemingway and Olympic hurdler, Patrice Donnelly, along with exploring the dynamics between female athletes and their coaches.  Even though it was filmed in the early eighties, Personal Best still stands up in its honest depiction of the tenacious relationships within women’s sports.

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HISTORIC DRAMA: Chariots of Fire (1981)

Even if you’ve never seen the film, the iconic theme song from Chariots of Fire has been a recognizable runner’s anthem for decades. The Academy Award winning movie follows the training and racing for two former competitors turn running teammates, who are hoping to represent Great Britain at the 1924 Paris Olympics. Although the film has been criticized for its lack of historical accuracy, it is equally touted for championing the value of remaining true to your personal code of ethics over winning at any cost.

Next issue: March 4, 2015
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