Community “These women compete together, but also help each other to be better.”

    “These women compete together, but also help each other to be better.”


    As a young girl, my parents got me into sports, which eventually led to playing ice hockey. There were limited female leagues at that time, and as a goalie, it was easier for me to find a competitive male team. Female hockey has come a long way since then, but my adolescence was dominated by being in and around male sports.

    As I started growing in my career, I got into running, and joined BlackToe Running in Toronto to help with my marathon training and my goal of getting a Boston Qualifier time.

    Through the BlackToe Running teams, I have met and trained with incredible women. However, when I first joined the group, naturally, my first training partner was male, as that was mostly what I knew from my younger years in sports. It was through him, and BlackToe, that I met one of my first female training partners—Kim Brown (now his wife).

    Kim and I (pictured below) clicked right away, as we had similar paces, goals and love for the sport. We’ve now been friends and training buddies for years, working together to elevate each other in workouts and achieve our goals. We meet most weekends for a long run for motivation. Around 2019, Kim and I were both targeting sub 3-hour marathons and this was a goal we bonded over and supported each other to achieve.

    There were trials and tribulations, but we eventually got this accomplishment checked off around the same time in 2021. We continued pushing each other at team practices through the summer of 2022, and both ran 2:57 at the Berlin Marathon later that fall. We’re training together again this winter as we target our next serious running goals.

    Recently, I have been fortunate enough to get to some start lines in the elite corrals. Being around the elite female runners has been motivating and inspiring, to say the least. Everyone I have met has been so welcoming and supportive. I have observed how these women compete together, but also help each other to be better.

    Rachel Hannah won the Glass City Marathon in a course record and when we chatted at the finish line, she immediately checked to see how my race went. She was so kind and excited when I shared my race experience and personal best achievement with her (pictured below). At the Ottawa 10km Canadian Championships, pictured up top, I was surrounded by Canada’s top female runners (which was surreal). Sasha Gollish wasn’t racing herself, but offered up her pacing services to myself and my Black Toe teammate Sarah.

    It was so cool to run stride-for-stride for a bit with such an accomplished athlete. Asia Dwyer is another elite runner I have met through race start lines. At the Chilly Half Marathon this past weekend, she displayed such positivity when I shared that I had achieved a big time goal that I had been working towards for over a year. I am lucky to get to be around these strong women and I am better for it. 

    At BlackToe, I have many inspiring women teammates that I am fortunate to have gotten to know through this sport. There are so many stories of women-elevating-women that I could share from this community, but I want to finish with one meaningful story. Kerri Andreas, a well-accomplished Toronto runner (2:55 marathoner) has been so supportive of my running goals in recent years, despite herself not running as much as she previously did.

    In the pandemic, for a virtual race I completed, she gave me a homemade medal welcoming me to the sub-3 club. I loved her confidence in me to do it, and even though I didn’t run that time during that race, the medal served as motivation to get there when I did.

    Last year, at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon, she showed up a few times on course with a personalized sign she made to support me. I am so grateful that I immersed myself in the female running community in Toronto.

    When I got into running, I viewed it as a solo sport, but I have learned over the years that this truly is a team sport.

    I am a better person and runner for all the other women I have met through running.