iRun slowly!Jason Hoffman, Manitoba

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

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

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

iRun because it sure beats the bus Robin Robbins, Alberta

iRun to prove to them that iCan Catherine Smith, Manitoba

iRun to someday win the race Lindy Dunlop, Yukon

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

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

iRun because there is no finish line Claire Kilgour, Ontario

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

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

iRun for overall wellbeingTrish McCourt, Halifax, NS

iRun because my heart tells me to William Martin, Manitoba

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

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

iRun to eat Maureen Tritscher, Alberta

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

iRun to inspire my kids to tryGlen Johnston, Nunavut

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

iRun to stay ahead of the weight gainMyra Abstreiter, Alberta

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

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

iRun because I love the solitude Janene Tailleur, British Columbia

iRun because not everyone can Olivia Harvey, New Brunswick

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

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

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

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

iRun because it makes me feel powerful Sarah Kallaghan, Alberta

iRun to inspire my children! Wendy Bowen, Manitoba

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

iRun so I can eat ice cream Sandy Bolan, Ontario

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

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

iRun for me! Judi Wearing, Saskatchewan

iRun for meKiza Francis, Ottawa,ON

iRun because I like buying running clothes Pamela Blaikie, Ontario

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

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 powerfulCarlene Paquette, Carp, ON

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

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

iRun to kickstart my day Sharon Strueby, Saskatchewan

iRun because it makes me whole Denis Ladouceur, Quebec

iRun because iEat Sherry Maligaspe, British Columbia

iRun because I canít dance Mario Javier, Ontario

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

iRun because endorphins are free Cassandra Chouinard, Ontario

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

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

iRun because it has saved my life John Marshall, Alberta

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

iRun because itís cheaper than therapy Leah Boulter, Alberta

iRun because couch potatoes die young Cathy Andrew, Ontario

iRun to challenge my perceived limitations Cassandra Williams, Ontario

iRun because otherwise Iím grumpy Alexandre Charest, Quebec

iRun because walking is too slow Barry Knapp, Ontario

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

iRun because i love to Mirella Petriello, Ontario

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

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

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

iRun all the livelong day Pierre Saint-Laurent, Quťbec

iRun therefore I amDuncan Walsh, Nottingham, UK

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 iEat Sherry Maligaspe, British Columbia

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

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

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

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

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

iRun because I like buying running clothes Pamela Blaikie, Ontario

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

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

iRun to feel great Kathryn Rachar, Saskatchewan

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

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

iRun for the fresh air and adrenalin Charlyn McGregor, Saskatchewan

iRun because couch potatoes die young Cathy Andrew, Ontario

iRun because running is like breathing to Stephanie McEvoy, Ontario

iRun slowly! Jason Hoffman, Manitoba

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

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

iRun because food tastes better afterwards Patrick Houston, Alberta

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

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

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

iRun to satisfy the irresistible urge Tim Nixon, British Columbia

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

iRun away from the abyss Charlene Thomas, Ontario

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

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

iRun because endorphins are freeCassandra Chouinard, Ontario

iRun because itís fun when itís done Sue Matte, Ontario

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

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

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

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

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

iRun because iLoves my man Beverly Huang, Alberta

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

iRun but not enoughMichael Shaw, New Westminister, BC

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

iRun because I liveGeorges Schneller, Laval, QC

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

iRun for the individual pursuit Robert Pelletier, New Brunswick

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

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

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

iRun to unleash my inner athleteAdelle Densham, Avonmore, ON

Cover photo from the current issue of iRun Magazine

Workout Wednesday

My Best Running Race

July 2012

Back to Table of Contents


Run together to stay together

Going the distance is no sweat for some couples

Running together can strengthen – and test - the bonds of a relationship. If you’re in it for the long haul, pounding the pavement with that special someone is a great way to increase motivation and bonding, according to experts.

Marathon runners Chris Seto and Justin Bonzo, of Vancouver, are in stride. The couple has been together for 19 years and on the run for the past four years. What started as a collective weight-loss mission became a lifestyle and passion.

“Everything we do, from eating to travelling to when we go to bed, is influenced by running and we do it together – it’d be really difficult if we didn’t,” says Seto. The couple runs five or six days a week, clocking upwards of 70K per week when training hard.

Sharing the same training routine adds a bit of healthy competition and also makes scheduling easier. “When we’re out running together it’s quality time. There are no distractions, no BlackBerry or laptops, and it’s a great opportunity to focus on each other,” says Bonzo.

Bob and Nicole Nicol of Winnipeg are training for the Death Race in Alberta in August. Running together for the past three years, “gives us a chance to reconnect, take a break from the stresses of life and just hit a trail,” says Bob Nicol.

With two kids, the Nicols’ greatest challenge is finding the opportunities to run together, but when they do, they finish feeling recharged. “It’s not only the health benefits of running, but also the ability to take a time out and lose yourself in the run,” he adds.

According to one relationship therapist, sharing interests and hobbies can connect and bond couples on and off the trails. “Working out together is a great way to unwind, relax and spend time together,” says Dr. Terri Orbuch. “A loving relationship is one where you take time to de-stress together.”

Putting in the miles side by side won’t automatically make your relationship healthy or happy, but it can offer a much needed boost to motivation and keep runners on track and accountable. “It gives you activities to do together - time spent together running, shopping for running clothes and equipment - and to talk about together,” says Orbuch, author of Finding Love Again: 6 Simple Steps to a New and Happy Relationship (Sourcebooks, June 2012).

The benefits extend to the bedroom. “Sweat together and you can reignite the passion in your relationship,” she says, adding that the arousal hormones produced through exercise can make you more amorous.

To make your runs less bumpy, set realistic expectations early on about goals so that both partners are on the same page, suggests Orbuch. Don’t be competitive with each other all the time. It’s important to see this time as a shared bonding experience, not a race to the finish line. “Be sure to laugh and enjoy each other’s company.”

In reality, things don’t always run smoothly. “When we’re training for a marathon, our lives and our relationship revolve around running. It becomes difficult to juggle,” says Melinda Campbell, who met her boyfriend Dan Wray through Toronto’s Longboat Roadrunners club.

But the good more than outweighs the bad: “There is always constant support and encouragement for each other. Not only do I give my all to live up to my own expectations, but to meet hers as well,” adds Wray.

Partners Seto and Bonzo have learned to negotiate their shared running experience. “At first we thought running together would be a fairy tale, but reality is different – people have different abilities. Though we train together and attend races together, we both run our own races,” says Seto.

Their dedication to running has been stressful at times in terms of the time commitment, but they agree that running has deepened their relationship. “Running is hard on the body and makes you dig deep; it’s really given us a lot of insight into ourselves. That we can share the experience makes it very harmonious. We’re both on the same trail,” says Seto.


Running to the altar

Runaway brides are racing to the altar with unique wedding touches. While some exchange vows on the run dressed in shorts and sneakers, others opt for more subtle ways to celebrate the milestone in a traditional ceremony:

  • When Ottawa couple Sean and Corissa Young married last summer, the new Mrs. Young wanted to incorporate her husband’s passion into the nuptials. Sean is a member of Team Canada and CEO of Canadian Strength, so the couple went to a track for wedding photos and included lane numbers instead of table numbers on their special day. “Running is a huge part of his life and we wanted to do something a little different,” says Young.
  •  “Running is my passion in life,” says Rachel Boyd, a middle distance runner from California who married this summer in a running themed wedding, including a ring bearer box covered in race medals and bibs used as table numbers. Boyd knew her hubby was a keeper because he supported her pastime.
  • Wedding planner Holly Carney, of Holly Matrimony Weddings in Toronto, advises that if you’re going to say “I do” while on the run, be sure to find an officiant and two witnesses who can keep up in order to complete the legal ceremony. Another option is to pause halfway through the race to say your vows, as seen at the New York Marathon in 2011 and Ontario’s own Huronia Half Marathon this past spring.
  • For a more traditional ceremony, Carney recommends small touches such as white runners under the dress, table names that are significant to your favourite running route and laces on your bouquet instead of ribbon.
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