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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

150 Runners – Wendy Contant

May 22nd, 2017

Wendy Contant

64, Airdrie

Wendy Contant

As a volunteer at Ironman Canada for many years I was inspired by the amazing athletes I met and helped. On my 55th birthday I signed up for a Learn to Run clinic, and of the 38 that started I was the only one that attended every week until the end. I learned commitment and determination! Running has enriched my life in many ways and certainly made me feel more ALIVE!

150 Runners – Carley Toye

May 22nd, 2017

Carley Toye

35, Airdrie

Carley Toye

Somewhere along countless miles and many races, I found myself. I have a safe place when my thoughts go dark so I’m always able to find my way to the light. Long runs provide time to work through the negative thoughts of depression while sprints offer a quick endorphin rush when I am overwhelmed. I am so happy to have found myself.

150 Runners – Deanna Orsi

May 22nd, 2017

Deanna Orsi

37, Moffat

Deanna Orsi

I started running to increase my cardio for soccer, and I hated it. But then something unexpected happened and I fell in love with the sport! Thanks to my running friends, I ran 5 half marathons in the last 10 months! Now I’m looking forward to running for the pure joy of it, but I’m sure the race bug will bite me again.

150 Runners – Shelley Gosse

May 22nd, 2017

Shelley Gosse

40, Paradise

Shelley Gosse

Photo Credit: Larry Penney. When I first started out, I hated running. But I found a great running group and met so many wonderful people that I eventually couldn’t imagine not running. Last fall I ran my first half marathon and the Cape to Cabot, which is the hardest race I’ve ever done. It’s an amazing feeling crossing a finish line to the cheers of your running buddies.

150 Runners – Sindy Hooper

May 22nd, 2017

Sindy Hooper

54, Ottawa

Sindy Hooper

I am a four year pancreatic cancer survivor. After two surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation I’ve been able to return to running. I finished an Ironman while on chemo, ran Boston again, and raised $160,000 for cancer research. I believe in hope, gratitude, and the absolute power of mindset. I live life to the fullest, six months at a time!

Put Your Back Into It

May 22nd, 2017

Strengthening your core is the key to avoiding injury and you can protect your back with one simple exercise.

By Pamela Mazzuca HBSc. Kin, Athletic Therapist

Low back pain can be a real nuisance, especially during race season. Often times your nagging low back pain can be attributed to poor posture and poor muscle activation. Typically low back pain is brought on when your pelvis is anteriorly tilted (your butt sticks out more than it should). This posture means your glutes and hamstrings are in a lengthened position and can’t be properly activated when you run. This is a problem because if your glutes are not activating properly, you won’t be able to fully extend your hips while maintaining a neutral spine, placing unnecessary stress on your back.

The best way to retrain your body to properly activate your glutes and avoid any low back pain this summer is by integrating glute bridges into your regular routine. Although the glute bridge is a simple exercise, don’t underestimate it’s power; it is a versatile exercise. It will help strength your mind-muscle connection while allowing you to strengthen your glutes. For optimal results you should perform 2-3 sets of 12-15 repetitions before you head out for your run. This is the best way to get your glute muscles firing for your run and to keep you pain free.

Glute Bridge

How to do it: Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor directly under your knees. Place your arms on the ground by your sides with your palms flat on the ground. Squeeze your glutes and lift your hips up towards the ceiling until your hips, knees and shoulders form a straight line. Hold for a second, then slowly lower your hips back down and repeat. If you have any pain in your low back then don’t lift your hips up as high.

Landmark Achievements: Designer Inge Johnson on 2017 Toronto Waterfront Marathon Medals

May 20th, 2017

Note: All images are courtesy of Inge Johnson/Canada Running Series

Artist Inge Johnson has masterminded the design of the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (STWM) finisher’s medals since 2008. With the exception of a few years where Inge directed another designer, the medals – the photography, design, ribbon, etc. – have “been my babies,” Inge tells me the morning after the 2017 STWM medals were revealed by Lanni Marchant and Reid Coolsaet at a community run led by the folks at RunTOBeer.

RunTOBeer captains lead runners to the medal reveal.

I ask Inge how many medals she thinks she’s designed for Canada Running Series (CRS) over the years. A rough calculation lead us to the conclusion that Inge’s photography and design have been the basis of at least 70 different medals.

I take it one step further and ask Inge how many runners across the world must have at least one of her medals based on a rough estimate of runners crossing the finish line at CRS races each year, but we both immediately agree that it’s too early in the morning to be doing that kind of math.

What we do know, according to STWM Race Director Alan Brookes, is that 26,000 runners representing seventy-odd countries will be on the course on October 22nd.

Over the years, a runner can amass enough medals that many lose their distinct value, becoming clutter rather than beloved keepsakes. Inge understands this and it informs what she calls her  raison d’etre as a designer. The medals Inge designs are meant to be more than tokens of a race completed.

Olympians Reid Coolsaet and Lanni Marchant reveal this year’s STWM medals.

At Rorschach Brewery, where this year’s medals were on display during festivities following the run, Inge told me, “I want someone to feel that they’re looking at a piece of art. I want to make it meaningful to the runner who earned it.” Over the phone, Inge adds that there are two elements playing off one another in each medal. “One half is the artistic side and the other half is the achievement it represents and I want to make the art match the achievement.”

If the art is powerful enough, it not only stands out among masses of other medals, but has a unique ability to recall the experience of a particular race when we pass it hanging on our display rack or perhaps, like Reid Coolsaet, go through the contents of our closet.

Since 2008, the “Landmark Series” of STWM medals has featured iconic Toronto images, matching the landmark achievement that is the the marathon. This year, Inge knew that CRS wanted to go to Toronto’s Beaches, not having ventured to the city’s east end since Kew Gardens was featured on the 2011 finisher’s medal.

Race Director Alan Brookes (far right) presents medals to photographer Erwin Buck (in yellow) and reps from the Beaches BIA.

Inge recruited Beaches resident and longtime CRS friend Erwin Buck to provide the image she would interpret for the medal’s final design. In describing Buck, Inge says, “I want to be Erwin when I grow up.” A former CFO at McLaren McCann, now McCann Canada, Inge especially admires Erwin’s journey from executive to “a creative person and artist, writing novels, and exploring later in life.”

Erwin’s pursuits also included a stint on the CRS photography crew and running 32 marathons.

There were a few potential landmarks discussed for depiction on the medal, including the RC Harris Water Treatment Plant and the historic fire station located at Queen and Woodbine, but Erwin insisted that it had to be the Leuty Lifeguard Station, one of the oldest surviving landmarks on the beach. Erwin’s Instagram page shows a clear and strong affection for the station, often making his way to the beach before sunrise to capture it from different angles and in varying light.

And we’re finally off to Rorschach Brewing Co. for post-run beverages.

The image that Inge settled on was one that, “kept speaking to me and pulling me in.” It also made for what she called her most difficult experience designing a medal. Inge’s chief dilemma was that, “Erwin’s photo has so many gradients of colour; how do I transpose that to a medal where I’m working with 5 colours?”

One particular challenge was the light casting onto the side wall of the station, which meant incorporating additional colour into the wood planks depicted in the medal. The different colours and elements were achieved by solid enamel, heated and held in place by metal walls between them, each interacting differently with light to recreate the living feel of Erwin’s photo.

Erwin Buck’s original photo, which served as the basis for this year’s medal.

With all the difficulty of interpreting Erwin’s image, Inge says the unquestioned highlight of the reveal was the fact that Erwin was “over the moon” when he received a framed medal from CRS, which confirmed that she did justice to her friend’s work and created the piece of art she aspired to.

Which are you taking home in October?

  • Ravi Singh

150 Runners – Lee Anne Cohen

May 16th, 2017

Lee Anne Cohen

63, Creemore

Lee Anne Cohen

At 42 I decided to start running to lose weight and reduce stress. In 2002 I ran my first 50K. In 2015 I broke the Canadian 100-mile record for my age category. Running is my playground, community, and meditation. I encourage people to try running. With a bit of grit and determination, you will be rewarded.

150 Runners – Kelsey Davidson

May 16th, 2017

Kelsey Davidson

32, Airdrie

Kelsey Davidson

I started to run in 2008 not knowing some of my best conversations would happen with runners on. Not knowing some my most vulnerable moments would be supported with runners on. Not knowing my running friends would soon become my best friends. It’s not all about “pounding the pavement” – it’s about appreciating and experiencing every moment.

150 Runners – Ted Michaels

May 16th, 2017

Ted Michaels

62, Hamilton

Ted Michaels

I run for mental health. As the afternoon news anchor on AM900 CHML, I created and hosted an award-winning series called “Wellness Wednesdays.” I teach beginner running classes to help people who battle self-confidence issues, and in seven years as captain of Team CHML for the Around the Bay Road Race, the team has raised almost $78,000 for St. Joseph’s Healthcare Foundation.

Current issue: Issue 2. 2017
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