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

iRun slowly!Jason Hoffman, Manitoba

iRun because my heart tells me to William Martin, Manitoba

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

iRun because itís like flying, only lower Glenn Johnson, Ontario

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

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

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

iRun because it has saved my life John Marshall, Alberta

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 because it's cheaper than therapy Leah Boulter, Alberta

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

iRun to satisfy the irresistible urge Tim Nixon, British Columbia

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

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

iRun at 50 years old because at 43 I couldnít Peter Cicalo, Ontario

iRun to kickstart my day Sharon Strueby, Saskatchewan

iRun to prove to them that iCan Catherine Smith, Manitoba

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

iRun because iLoves my man Beverly Huang, Alberta

iRun because couch potatoes die young Cathy Andrew, Ontario

iRun to someday win the race Lindy Dunlop, Yukon

iRun for me! Judi Wearing, Saskatchewan

iRun because I like buying running clothes Pamela Blaikie, Ontario

iRun to stay ahead of the weight gainMyra Abstreiter, Alberta

iRun but not enoughMichael Shaw, New Westminister, BC

iRun because walking is too slow Barry Knapp, Ontario

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

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

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

iRun to unleash my inner athleteAdelle Densham, Avonmore, ON

iRun for meKiza Francis, Ottawa,ON

iRun because Iíve lost 80 lbs and running has become fun Cheryl Kelly, Ontario

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

iRun to inspire my children! Wendy Bowen, Manitoba

iRun because endorphins are free Cassandra Chouinard, Ontario

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

iRun because running is like breathing to Stephanie McEvoy, Ontario

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

iRun to challenge my perceived limitations Cassandra Williams, Ontario

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

iRun because itís better than almost everything else Nathan Carey, Ontario

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

iRun because I love the solitude Janene Tailleur, British Columbia

iRun so I donít say never ever again Linda Klaric, Manitoba

iRun because somebody once told me I couldnít Heidi Abbey-Der, Saskatchewan

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

iRun to eat Maureen Tritscher, Alberta

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

iRun so I can eat ice cream Sandy Bolan, Ontario

iRun away from the abyss Charlene Thomas, Ontario

iRun because couch potatoes die young Cathy Andrew, Ontario

iRun to inspire my kids to tryGlen Johnston, Nunavut

iRun because it makes me feel powerful Sarah Kallaghan, Alberta

iRun to feel great Kathryn Rachar, Saskatchewan

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

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

iRun all the livelong day Pierre Saint-Laurent, Quťbec

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

iRun because itís fun when itís done Sue Matte, Ontario

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

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

iRun because iEat Sherry Maligaspe, British Columbia

iRun because i love to Mirella Petriello, Ontario

iRun therefore I amDuncan Walsh, Nottingham, UK

iRun because endorphins are freeCassandra Chouinard, Ontario

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

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

iRun for the individual pursuit Robert Pelletier, New Brunswick

iRun because I canít dance Mario Javier, Ontario

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

iRun because itís cheaper than therapy Leah Boulter, Alberta

iRun because itís a great way to see the world Sherry Mahoney, British Columbia

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

iRun because otherwise Iím grumpy Alexandre Charest, Quebec

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

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

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

iRun slowly! Jason Hoffman, Manitoba

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

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

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

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

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

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

iRun because iEat Sherry Maligaspe, British Columbia

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

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

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

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

iRun because I like buying running clothes Pamela Blaikie, Ontario

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

iRun because not everyone can Olivia Harvey, New Brunswick

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

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

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

iRun because I liveGeorges Schneller, Laval, QC

iRun because food tastes better afterwards Patrick Houston, Alberta

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

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

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

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

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

iRun because there is no finish line Claire Kilgour, Ontario

iRun to my happy place and some days itís very Doreen May, Alberta

iRun for overall wellbeingTrish McCourt, Halifax, NS

iRun because it sure beats the bus Robin Robbins, Alberta

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

iRun for the fresh air and adrenalin Charlyn McGregor, Saskatchewan

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

iRun because it makes me whole Denis Ladouceur, Quebec

Cover photo from the current issue of iRun Magazine

Workout Wednesday

My Best Running Race

April 2012

Back to Table of Contents


Canada's storied running legacy

There are many great icons and fixtures in the sport of running in Canada and Run Canada Month hopes to draw addition to this rich and storied history.

Canadian success in running spans much of the past century from Jack Cafferey and Thomas Longboat at the turn of the 20th Century to Silvia Ruegger and Angela Chalmers in the 80s and 90s to our present-day stars like Reid Coolsaet.

Jack Cafferey only lived to the age of 39 before he died of complications from the flu in 1919. During his short time as an athlete, Cafferey was one of the most dominant in the formative years of road running in North America. He won two of the first five Boston Marathons, taking more than 20 minutes off the previous course record in those wins. Cafferey also won two Around the Bay titles, defeating fellow Steeltown rival William Sherring in the process. Sherring would go on to win the 1906 Olympic Marathon. In a time when Canadians were at the top of the distance running world, Cafferey was truly one of our nation’s best.

Cafferey and Sherring gave way to another southern Ontario star in the form of one of Canada’s greatest First Nations athletes,Thomas Longboat. Longboat, a member of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, won the Boston Marathon in 1907. His win was greeted with a parade in Toronto. Longboat would go on to win the world professional marathon championships after turning professional following a collapse at the 1908 Olympics. The famous match race featured Longboat and Dorando Pietri running a marathon distance around the track of Madison Square Garden. Longboat would use a strong kick to pull away from Pietri in the closing miles. Following this win, Longboat retired from professional running and enlisted in the military where he acted as a messenger, running from one post to another in France. Widely regarded as Canada’s greatest marathoner ever, Longboat was commemorated in a 2000 stamp by Canada Post honouring great Canadians of the past millennium.

If Longboat is regarded as Canada’s greatest male marathoner there is little doubt in the eyes of many that Silvia Ruegger is Canada’s greatest female marathon runner. Many Canadians may be familiar with Ruegger’s name as she has been the Canadian record holder in the marathon for over 27 years. Her 1985 run of 2 hours and 29 minutes would still rank her quite highly in major marathons today. Rugger also finished an outstanding 8th at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics in the marathon’s debut for women. Making this run more incredible is the fact that Ruegger was only 23 years of age at the time and it was only the second marathon of her life. Ruegger has gone on to have a tremendous impact in the sport, most recently with her work with the not for profit Start2Finish and their Running and Reading Program which uses running as a tool to encourage active living and literacy in children of economically challenged families.

Like Cafferey and Longboat, Ruegger’s success paved the way for future Canadian road running stars, notably Angela Chalmers. More of a middle distance runner, the Brandon, Manitoba native made international waves in 1990 when she became the first female athlete to sweep the 1500 and 3000 metre titles at the Commonwealth Games. Two years later, Chalmers would win a bronze medal in the 3000 metres at the Barcelona Olympics. She would go on to finish in the top five at the 1993 and 1995 World Championships and would set a still-standing Canadian Record in the 3000 metres with a time of 8 minutes and 32 seconds, a time that would have ranked her number one in the world nearly 20 years later.

As we move to current times, Reid Coolsaet is an athlete who ties together many of the skills and life circumstances of past greats. A Hamilton native like Cafferey and Sherring and a University of Guelph graduate like Ruegger, Coolsaet has built himself up from a modest high school career to being Canada’s second fastest marathoner ever. His 2:10:54.0 run at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on October 16, 2011 harkened back to days when Canadians were regularly in contention at major events. Although he fell short of the win, he did secure his ticket to the London Olympics where he will look to build on the success of so many before him. Canadian runners of all abilities will be following Coolsaet at the Olympics in June. The men’s marathon in on August 12, 2012, at 11 a.m., London time.

For more information on Run Canada Month visit

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