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

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

iRun because iEat Sherry Maligaspe , British Columbia

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

Training

Boston Marathon Training Season Kicks Off with Manulife

By Altaira Northe

Boston Marathon training season is upon us. Every year, headlining sponsor Manulife has a kickoff run and Q&A with some of their Toronto staff, and Canadian elite athletes heading to Boston in the spring ahead. This year, I had the good fortune of sitting in on this Q&A session to hear what these athletes had to say about the marathon, past competitions, and the road to Boston ahead. The panel featured Greg Meyer – 1983 Boston Marathon Champion; Rachel Hannah – 2015 Pan American Games Bronze Medalist; Reid Coolsaet – 2012 London Olympics, 2016 Rio Olympics; Eric Gillis – 2008 Beijing, 2012 London, 2016 Rio Olympics.

 

For many runners, Boston is THE race, but further to that, the marathon is THE distance – it’s what runners aspire to; it’s the holy grail. But none of the runners on the panel today started off their running careers with great distances in mind. In fact, most of them started off in the same way that I did, by running at practice for other sports. This became track or cross country in high school, but didn’t translate into marathon distance until later in life.

Each runner shared some of their favourite moments, including the feeling of standing on the starting line in Rio, and unexpectedly coming in 10th place, belatedly receiving the bronze at PanAm, and winning Boston. They also shared some words of wisdom on running in general – it’s important to visualize the race ahead of time; be consistent in your pre-race diet (if something works, stick with it); don’t run too hot out of the gates at the starting line.

Meyer was the only panelist who has run Boston before, and in terms of advice specific the golden child of marathons, this is what he had to say for those running in April:

  • The spirit in Boston for the marathon is unlike other races. And while it’s easy in all races to get swept up at the start line, this is particularly true of Boston. It’s important to take a deep breath and remember yourself, and remember your plan. Boston is a tough course, and you don’t want to burn yourself out in the first 10km.
  • Likewise, it’s important to remember that the uphill in Boston doesn’t start until 30km, which is already the point where the marathon starts to break most runners. Don’t forget to save something for those hills.

The other thing that Meyer had to say that had nothing to do with actually running Boston, but everything to do with the spirit of the race is that in Boston, the marathon is not just a run, it’s a holiday. And like any other holiday, the people of Boston have created their own sets of rituals and traditions around race day. They make themselves and their families the same breakfast pre-race, they stand in the same spot to cheer every year, they don their lucky scarf, they take the day off work and plan their day around the marathon. And this spirit spills over into the rest of the year. It’s no coincidence that Boston is consistently ranked one of the most fit cities in America. When you live in a city where the marathon constitutes a civic holiday, it’s hard not to get swept up in the mantra of Everybody Run.

For those of you still considering whether the marathon is for you, consider that like the Boston Marathon in Massachusetts, the impact of the marathon will spill over into the rest of your life in the best way. When asked what effect running has had on his life outside of running, Meyer said this, “One of the things that I’ve seen in marathoning in particular – if you accomplish this, especially for those people who never thought they would run a marathon, you gain a certain amount of self confidence that translates to other parts of your life. It gives you the freedom to think that you can do almost anything in life. There’s not a challenge that you’re going to be afraid of, because you know you can do the work. I can’t tell you how many people have done the marathon and told me two months later about how they accomplished something else in their life. No matter if you’re still running marathons or not, you can remember that experience, and know that you can do the work.”

As someone who’s run my own marathon, and has spoken to countless other marathon runners, I can definitely attest to this being true. Running a race of that distance changes you. The marathon is hard, and horrible, and exhilarating, and empowering. You will experience every emotion during the marathon, and you will want to quit so many times, and you will question your own sanity, because why are you doing this thing that seems so trivial while you are running it. But when you cross that finish line, you will cry, and you will laugh, and you will forever have this new quiet strength inside of yourself telling you, “You can do this; you’ve done hard things before.”

 

 

 

 

February 24th, 2017

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