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10 tips for a successful road race

By | Toronto Waterfront 10K | No Comments

With all of the training and planning for your upcoming race, it’s easy to miss some of the small details along the way. Here are a few tips to ensure you’re prepared for a successful race day!

1. Run or bike the course.
Checking out the course beforehand will help you mentally prepare for race day. You’ll know what to expect and where the hills are.

2. Nothing new on race day!
This includes fuel! Have a familiar breakfast on race day, something you’ve had during your training that sits well in your stomach. It’s also a good idea to try out the fuel that will be available on course during the race.

3. Train at the time of the race.
As much as possible, complete your long training runs around the same time as the race will be, particularly if you aren’t a morning runner. Your muscles and your mind will be better prepared on race day.

4. Hydrate properly!
Having a set hydration plan will set you up for success. This includes pre-race hydration (including how much you drink the day before your race), as well as which aid stations you’ll stop by to re-hydrate with Nuun. Remember to plan for recovery hydration as well!

5. Have multiple goals.
Your “b” goal should be slower than your “a” goal, and your “c” goal should be to have fun! Having multiple goals means you still have a target to keep you going, no matter how you’re feeling during the race.

6. Then tell someone!
If you need help holding yourself accountable, tell your goals to a friend. Saying them out loud makes them real, and you’ll also have a friend that will check in with you to help keep you on track.

7. Wear extra layers at the start line.
It can be cold at the start of a race. Grab some old clothes to wear as extra layers at the start line, then shed them before the race begins. You’ll stay warm without overdressing for the race.

8.  Avoid aid station bottlenecks.
Head to the end of the aid station to avoid the large crowds. And no, you don’t need to learn to run and drink at the same time from those small cups. It’s okay to slow down to a walk, just remember to pull over to the side.

9. You can’t bank time.
You might think that you can “bank” time by running extra fast in the beginning, but it doesn’t work that way. Running too fast in the beginning will just tire you out.

10. Find your mantra.
Having a positive mantra will help you power through the harder parts of the race. Don’t be afraid to say/shout it out loud!

See you out there!

Athletes to Watch For at the Toronto Waterfront 10k

By | Elite Athletes, Toronto Waterfront 10K | No Comments

Natasha Wodak, 36, Vancouver 

“You know it’s just about fun for me I really want to enjoy the race.”

The Toronto Waterfront 10k defending champion, Natasha Wodak is the Canadian 10,000m record holder (31:41.59) and represented Canada at the 2016 Olympic Games.

How Natasha prepares for the race: 

“Generally when I come to Toronto the races are in the morning so it’s a little tricky with it being three hours time difference. Usually I am getting only 5 or 6 hours sleep. I will go to bed at midnight and get up at 5:30 a.m. and that works fine me

I like to be at the start an hour and ten minutes before, to get settled and begin my warm up. If I am away I will usually have a coffee and a chocolate chip/coconut energy bar. I try to aim for 250 calories before a 5 or 10k. If I am at home or a place where it’s available, I will have a piece of multigrain toast with peanut butter and banana. But I need that two hours before the race.”

Follow Natasha on Twitter and Instagram.

Reid Coolsaet, 34, Hamilton

“I haven’t looked closely at the competition, but I’d be going for the win.” 

Reid Coolsaet is a two time Canadian Olympic marathoner and father of two. Coolsaet is the second fastest marathoner in Canadian history with a personal best of 2:10:28.

How Reid prepares for the race:

“Waterfront 10k morning is going to be an early morning. I usually eat oatmeal then an energy gel thirty minutes before the race and a sports drink throughout the morning.

Even if I’ve had a bad sleep, once I drink a couple of cups of tea with caffeine before the race, I am never tired for the race. For Waterfront 10k I will wake up at 4:30 a.m. Hopefully I can fall asleep at 9:30 p.m.”

Follow Reid on Twitter and Instagram. 

Sasha Gollish, 35, Toronto 

“A fun time and a good race, because really you cannot ask for much more than that, right!?” 

Sasha Gollish is an extremely versatile distance runner. She has a 1,500m personal best of 4:07.08 and claimed the 1,500m bronze medal at the 2015 Pan Am Games.

How Sasha prepares for the race: 

“I will probably get up somewhere around 4:30 a.m. to make sure I can get a proper breakfast in. I’ll likely stick with what I eat on ‘tempo saturdays’ which is a bowl of greek yogurt and some berries. And of course, coffee with a splash of milk.

In all honesty, I’ll probably go to bed when I feel tired. Recovery after the race will be really important, so I’ll be sure to go to bed early the night of race day. I am not worried if I don’t get a good night sleep before a race, as long as the sleep before that night has been sufficient I know I’m going to be ok.”

Follow Sasha on Twitter and Instagram. 

Krista DuChene, 41, Brantford

“I will not be running any super fast personal best times. So something around 35 minutes I will be happy with.” 

Krista DuChene, a Brantford, Ontario mother of three ran the second fastest marathon ever by a Canadian with her 2:28:32 at the 2013 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. She represented Canada at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

How Krista prepares for the race: 

“I am used to running early in the morning so that is not something that would concern me. I would plan to have an early dinner the night before, be finished by 6 and get to bed early between 9 and 10 p.m.

It depends on when we are catching a bus to the start. I will probably wake up 5 a.m. or 4:30 a.m. have my usual bagel with honey, a few coffees drink some sports drink. That would work for me.”

Follow Krista on Twitter and Instagram. 


To view the full start list click here.

Hydrating for Success with Nuun

By | General, Nutrition | No Comments

As an athlete, you understand the importance of staying hydrated, especially during high intensity training periods. But did you know that HOW you hydrate matters? At different levels of stress and effort your muscles require different levels of oxygen and fuel, which proper hydration can provide.

To begin, below are some general best practice guidelines for optimizing your hydration plan during training:

  • Workouts under 90 minutes require hydration replenishment with electrolyte-rich fluids.
  • Workouts over 90 minutes, carbohydrates play a key role in your hydration for optimal fluid transfer.
  • During your workout, aim to consume 16-24 oz. of electrolyte-rich fluid per hour.

It is so important to provide your body with an optimal blend of electrolytes and carbohydrates in order to stay energized and strong when you’re putting it under extended stress. There are a number of variables that contribute to your individual hydration needs as an athlete (weight, gender, etc.) Find below a guide for how to plan your hydration and nutrition before you head out for your next long workout:

Visit to stock up on your favorite flavors of Nuun Electrolytes and Nuun Performance!

KIND® becomes newest sponsor of Canada Running Series

By | General | No Comments

KIND® Snacks is the newest series sponsor of Canada Running Series for 2018, supporting all 8 CRS events across Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto and Montreal, including the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half Marathon & 5k.

Runners can expect to sample plenty of KIND snack bars in their race kits, at training runs and on race day through exciting on-site activations.

“KIND® Snacks is thrilled to be the official healthy snack bar of Canada Running Series for the 2018 season,” says Stacey Bowman, Director of Marketing, Canada.  “We are excited to provide all runners with delicious and nutritious on-the-go snack options, from race expo all the way through to the finish line. In addition, KIND will be surprising and supporting runners throughout the season with pop-up snack sampling, cheering stations and yoga cool downs.  This is the perfect partnership for KIND, a brand that is committed to challenging consumers to do the kind thing for their body, their taste buds and their world. KIND is looking forward to an exciting 2018 race season and hopes that each runner takes the time to do something kind for someone in their community.”

“We’re delighted with our new partnership with KIND® bars”, says Canada Running Series Race Director Alan Brookes. “They align perfectly with our Canada Running Series mission to build healthy, sustainable communities through running, and following a healthy lifestyle. We love their commitment to only using ‘nutritionally-dense ingredients like whole nuts, fruits and whole grains – no secret ingredients and no artificial flavors, preservatives or sweeteners.’ It’s a shared message: ‘do the kind thing for your body, your taste buds & your worldTM’”

To learn more about kind, visit 

Woodfine et Gollish, Les Grands Gagnants À Montréal

By | Banque Scotia 21k de Montreal | No Comments

Par Laurent Godbout

Montréal (22 avril) – Profitant de conditions atmosphériques idéales au départ, les coureurs ontariens Tristan Woodfine, chez les hommes, et Sasha Gollish, chez les dames, ont remporté des victoires sans équivoque dimanche au Parc Jean-Drapeau de Montréal, pour la 16ème édition de la Banque Scotia 21k de Montréal.

Woodfine, 24 ans, de Cobden, Ontario, franchissait la ligne d’arrivée située aux abords du bassin d’aviron olympique en 1h05min43s. Gollish, 36 ans, de Toronto, remportait l’épreuve féminine en 1h16min14s.

Woodfine en contrôle

Dès le départ, Woodfine partait doucement avec le groupe de favoris parmi lesquels on retrouvait le champion en titre de 2017 François Jarry, l’Albertain Kip Kangogo, Baghdad Rachem, Jacques-Sylvain Lecointre et Adam Hortian, de Kitchener.

Le petit peloton de six coureurs s’est rapidement étiré et dès le 5ème kilomètre passé en 15:53, Woodfine menait, accompagné de Jarry et Kangogo. Accumulant des kilomètres à une moyenne de 3:06-3:07, les trois meneurs passaient les 10km en 31:30. Woodfine était visiblement le plus à l’aise, tandis que Jarry, à 30 secondes de son meilleur chrono sur route, grimaçait déjà.

Pendant ce temps, le peloton féminin, entouré de quelques coureurs masculins, était déjà réduit à trois athlètes, soit Anne-Marie Comeau, de St-Férréol-les-Neiges, et les Torontoises Sasha Gollish et Laura Desjardins. On avait vu au départ Leslie Sexton, une des favorites, mais la coureuse de London abandonnait dès le 2ème kilomètre.

Pendant que Gollish pratiquait quelque peu son français avec les «boys» qui l’entourait, Comeau, à sa première tentative sur la distance de 21,1 km, était à la tête du groupe qui franchissait les 10 kilomètres en 36 :38. À quelques mètres derrière, Desjardins ne semblait plus capable de tenir la cadence imposée par les meneuses. Très à l’aise, Gollish nous a semblé au beau milieu d’une longue séance d’entraînement!

Les choses se sont rapidement précipitées pour tout le monde entre le 10ème et le 14ème kilomètre. Pendant que Woodfine maintenait le rythme en enfilant des kilomètres en 3 :07, Jarry était décroché et accusait un retard de 28 secondes au 15ème tandis que Kip Kangogo suivait à 75 secondes du meneur. Au 4ème rang, Adam Hortiam pouvait bien voir Kip devant lui mais n’a jamais pu le rattraper.

On peut affirmer sans l’ombre d’un doute, avec ce chrono de 1h05m43s, que Woodfine en avait encore pas mal sous le pied et qu’il aurait certainement pu améliorer son record personnel (1h05m28s) s’il avait été poussé. Jarry, deuxième en 1h07m28s, conserva une avance importante sur Kangogo, 3ème en 1h08m15s.

«J’ai pris un bon départ, expliqua Woodfine à l’arrivée. Je me suis placé 3ème au début mais dès le 4ème kilomètre, je voulais voir qui pourrait me suivre. À partir de là, on avait déjà creusé un petit écart. Au 10km, je me sentais bien et j’ai poursuivi mon effort. J’étais un peu surpris de voir que Kip (Kangogo) n’était plus là. C’est un bon coureur et il a eu un hiver très difficile en Alberta. Je suis certain qu’il reviendra plus fort bientôt.»

Jarry était relativement satisfait de sa course. «Woodfine a fait une bonne course et il était plus fort aujourd’hui. Comme j’ai été malade autour de Pâques, je ne savais pas trop comment ça allait se passer. Considérant tout ce qui n’allait pas bien, c’est quand même un PB et je n’aurais pas pu demander plus.»

Jarry a bien tenté de demeurer près de Woodfine, mais ce dernier a lancé une attaque qui a fait mal à partir du 12ème kilomètre. «Autour de 12-13km, on s’en allait dans un vent de face et c’est là que ça faisait le plus mal, dit encore Jarry. À ce moment-là, je ne pouvais pas répondre et j’ai commencé à cramper. J’ai essayé de revenir sur lui vers le 15ème mais il était trop tard.»

Un résultat de bon augure pour Jarry, qui prévoit courir son premier marathon à Toronto l’automne prochain. Pour Woodfine, il s’agissait d’une dernière course avant le marathon d’Ottawa. «Ce résultat est une bonne indication qu’on est sur la bonne voie. J’ai bien aimé le parcours. Il y avait quelques virages où je me suis efforcé d’accélérer pour prendre un avantage. Je veux juste poursuivre mon entraînement pour Ottawa avec encore quelques semaines solides et ensuite diminuer à l’approche de la course.»

Gollish s’amuse

Gollish s’est montrée plus patiente et donna le coup de grâce en fin de course, terminant sous les applaudissements nourris en 1h16m14s, devançant Comeau par 11 secondes. Desjardins réussit à conserver la 3ème place pour terminer en 1h17m59s.

Coureuse parmi les plus polyvalentes au Canada, elle était de très bonne humeur à l’arrivée. «Je me sentais fatiguée en arrivant ici après un gros entraînement avant-hier. Je ne me suis pas entraîné hier et je voulais juste avoir du plaisir. Je suis demeuré dans le sillon du groupe et j’ai essayé de m’amuser tout au long de la course.»

Ce besoin de détente était bien évident avant le départ puisque Gollish parlait avec tous les coureurs à la ligne de départ. «Il ne faut pas sous-estimer l’importance du relâchement dans une course. Si on peut rendre l’effort moins pénible en relaxant, je crois que ça peut conduire à un meilleur résultat. J’aime bien avoir du plaisir en course.»

Loin d’être à la recherche d’un gros chrono, Gollish a abordé l’épreuve comme un long tempo. «Mon français est terrible, je comprends un peu mais je me suis pratiqué un peu. J’ai essayé de faire ma petite affaire.»

Gollish a maintenant des ambitions sur la distance du marathon. «Je vais quand même tenter de courir un 5000 mètres sur piste en mai. Le plan sera ensuite vers un marathon à l’automne, probablement à Berlin.»

Sans exception, tous les coureurs ont apprécié le parcours. Gollish a bien résumé le sentiment des athlètes. «Loin des voitures, dans ce grand parc, on était vraiment bien.»



Woodfine and Gollish Big Winners in Montreal

By Laurent Godbout

Montreal (April 22) – Taking advantage of ideal weather conditions at the start, Ontario runners Tristan Woodfine and Sasha Gollish won unequivocal victories on Sunday at Parc Jean-Drapeau in Montréal for the 16th edition of the Banque Scotia 21k de Montréal.

Woodfine, 24, of Cobden, Ont., crossed the finish line at the edge of the Olympic rowing basin in 1h05m43s. Gollish, 36, of Toronto, won the women’s event in 1h16min14s.

Woodfine in control

From the start, Woodfine was with a small group of favorites, including defending champion François Jarry from Montréal, Alberta’s Kip Kangogo, Baghdad Rachem, Jacques-Sylvain Lecointre and Adam Hortian of Kitchener. The small pack of six runners quickly spread out and passed 5 kilometres in 15:53, where Woodfine took the lead, followed by Jarry and Kangogo. Maintaining an average pace of  3:06-3:07/km, the three leaders passed 10km in 31:30. Woodfine was obviously the most comfortable, while Jarry, 30 seconds off his best time on the road, was already wincing.

Meanwhile, the women’s lead group, surrounded by a few male runners, was already reduced to three athletes, namely Anne-Marie Comeau, of St-Férréol-les-Neiges, and Toronto’s Sasha Gollish and Laura Desjardins. Leslie Sexton, one of the favorites, was seen at the start, but the London runner gave up near the second kilometer.

While Gollish was practicing her French conversation with the “boys” around her, Comeau, at her first attempt at the 21.1 km distance, was leading the group, passing 10 kilometers in 36:38. A few meters behind, Desjardins no longer seemed able to maintain pace with the leaders. Looking very comfortable, Gollish seemed to be in the middle of a long workout!

Things changed quickly for everyone between kilometers 10 and 14. While Woodfine kept a 3:07/km pace, Jarry was slowly letting go and was 28 seconds behind at 15km, while Kip Kangogo fell to 75 seconds behind the leader. In 4th place, Adam Hortian could see Kip in front of him but was unable to catch him.

Beyond a shadow of a doubt, with his winning time of 1:05:43, Woodfine still had a lot left in his legs and could certainly have improved his personal best (1:05:28s) if he had been pushed. Jarry, second in 1:07:28, kept a significant lead over Kangogo, 3rd in 1:08:15.

“I had a good start,” Woodfine said less than a minute after he finished. I positioned myself in 3rd place at the beginning but from the 4th kilometre on I wanted to see who could follow me. From there, we had already dug a small gap. At 10km, I felt good and I continued my effort. I was a little surprised to see that Kip was no longer there. He is a good runner and has had a very tough winter in Alberta. I’m sure he’ll come back to his best soon. ”

Jarry was relatively happy with his race. “Woodfine had a good race and he was stronger today. As I was sick around Easter, I did not really know how it was going to be. Considering all that went wrong, this is still a PB for me and I could not have asked for more.”

Jarry tried to stay in close range of the leader, but Woodfine launched an attack that hurt from the 12th kilometer. “Around 12-13km, we went in a headwind and that’s where it hurt,” said Jarry again. At that moment, I could not respond and started to cramp. I tried to get back to him around 15km but it was too late.” Overall, it was a  positive result for Jarry who plans to run his first marathon in Toronto next fall.

For Woodfine, this was his last race before the Ottawa Marathon. “This result is a good indication that we are on the right track. I enjoyed the course. There were a few bends where I went hard to accelerate and take advantage. I just want to continue my training for Ottawa with a few solid weeks and then decrease as the race approaches.”

Gollish relaxed and having fun

Sasha Gollish crossed the finish line looking relaxed and patient, throwing a final knockout punch near the end of the race. Finishing to loud cheers from the crowd in 1:16:14, she edged Anne-Marie Comeau by 11 seconds. Laura Desjardins managed to stay in 3rd place to finish in 1:17:59.

This was an impressive result from Comeau on her first attempt at the distance. The 21 year old Olympic cross-country skier ran without much knowledge of her abilities for the half marathon and was quite satisfied with the result.

One of the most versatile runners in Canada, Sasha Gollish was in a very good mood upon arrival. “I felt tired coming here after a massive training the day before yesterday. I did not train yesterday and I just wanted to have fun. I stayed in the groove of the group and tried to have fun all along the race. ”

This sense of calm was obvious before the start as Gollish spoke with all the runners at the starting line. “We must not underestimate the importance of relaxation in a race. If we can make the effort less painful by relaxing, I think it can lead to a better result. I like having fun in the race. ”

Far from looking for a fast time, Gollish approached the race like a long tempo run. “My French is terrible, I understand a bit, but I practiced a little. I tried to stay focused on my business. ”

Gollish now has ambitions for the marathon. “I will still try to run a 5000 meter track in May. The plan will then be geared towards a marathon in the fall, probably in Berlin. ”

Without exception, all the elite runners appreciated the course. Gollish pretty much summed up the feelings of the group. “Far from cars, in this big park, it felt really good.”

For full race results, visit:

Un aperçu des épreuves élites au Banque Scotia 21k de Montréal

By | Banque Scotia 21k de Montreal | No Comments

Présenté par:

Par Paul Gains

Malgré un grand nombre de modifications au parcours par la construction au Parc Jean-Drapeau, le Banque Scotia 21k de Montréal attire encore cette année un peloton de bons coureurs ayant des visées sur les nombreuses bourses, des points importants pour le Circuit de course du Canada et un bon défi de début de saison.

L’épreuve montréalaise est la deuxième de huit courses du Circuit de course du Canada en 2018.

Les deux champions en titre du Circuit, Tristan Woodfine et Leslie Sexton, seront parmi les favoris, les deux athlètes ayant bien amorcé la saison 2018 avec des victoires au 8km Race Roster Spring Run-Off le 7 avril dernier.

Du côté masculin, l’international canadien Kip Kangogo traversera le pays pour livrer la lutte à Woodfine ainsi qu’au champion de l’édition 2017 de Montréal, François Jarry.

Le sympathique Jarry, étudiant à l’université McGill, n’aura qu’à prendre le métro pour se rendre à la ligne de départ. En dépit de l’admiration et du respect qu’il porte à ses rivaux, François n’a pas l’intention d’être trop généreux envers les visiteurs. N’ayant rien à perdre, il se trouve dans une position de négligé face aux favoris Woodfine et Kangogo. Et c’est ce qui peut parfois faire ressortir le meilleur d’un athlète.

Dans l’épreuve féminine, Sexton sera talonnée par celle qui l’a suivie au deuxième rang à Toronto. Laura Desjardins, une chiropodiâtre, prend son pied, c’est le moins qu’on puisse dire, dans les épreuves de longue distance. Une autre concurrente à surveiller, inscrite au dernier moment, sera Sasha Gollish. Contrainte à l’abandon lors du 8km de Toronto, la médaillée du 1500 mètres des Jeux panaméricains a déjà fait ses preuves sur les distances plus longues et sera dure à battre si elle est en possession de tous ses moyens.

Les Élites à surveiller:

Tristan Woodfine, 24 ans, indépendant, Cobden, Ontario

Le champion en titre du Circuit de course du Canada, Woodfine préconise présentement un volume plus élevé d’entraînement dans sa préparation pour le Marathon Scotiabank d’Ottawa le 27 mai prochain. Dans une semaine d’entraînement plus légère, ce fut une belle surprise pour lui de remporter le 8km Race Roster Spring Run Off à Toronto. Woodfine détient un record personnel de 1h05.28 au demi-marathon.

Woodfine n’aspire pas à un chrono rapide sur le parcours montréalais, surtout depuis l’ajout de plusieurs virages. Étudiant au Collège de Santé et Technologie de l’Ontario, il souhaite devenir ambulancier paramédical.

“Ce sera beaucoup plus pour déployer un gros effort à cinq semaines du marathon d’Ottawa”, explique-t-il. “Je ne suis pas certain qui sera de la course mais s’il y a une bonne compétition cela ajoute au plaisir de courir. L’objectif numéro un est de donner un gros effort en préparation pour Ottawa et s’il y a des coureurs rapides c’est un boni. ”

“J’ai affronté Kip (Kangogo) quelques fois. Il est présent sur la scène canadienne depuis plusieurs années et il est toujours un athlète compétitif. Je ne sais pas si j’ai déjà couru contre François (Jarry), mais n’importe qui peut connaître une bonne course un jour donné et il faut sortir avec l’idée de faire de son mieux et voir où cela va vous mener.”

Leslie Sexton, 30 ans, London Runner, London, Ontario

En octobre 2017, Sexton était couronnée Championne canadienne du marathon malgré une blessure qui avait retardé son début de saison. Présentement en pleine forme, comme elle l’a démontré lors de sa première victoire de l’année à Toronto, elle est maintenant prête au test du demi-marathon. Améliorer son record personnel de 1h13.13 n’est peut-être pas dans les cartes, en raison des nombreux changements sur le parcours du Parc Jean-Drapeau.

Sexton est plutôt motivée par la possibilité d’ajouter des points au classement du Circuit de courses du Canada à Montréal. Encore plus, elle insiste sur l’importance de voir si son volume d’entraînement élevé sera bénéfique. Cette course fait donc partie d’un plan plus général.

“Je dirais que même sans les points du circuit, je participerais à plusieurs courses du circuit de toute façon,” avoue Sexton. “Il s’agit d’une belle occasion de remporter une bourse en argent et me faire connaître un peu plus. Cette année, j’ai l’intention de participer à cinq ou six courses et peut-être demeurer dans la lutte pour le classement général du circuit encore cette année.

“Le plan pour ce printemps n’est pas de courir un marathon mais de travailler à mon demi-marathon et mon 10 km. La date de Montréal au calendrier était bonne pour un objectif au demi-marathon me donnera trois semaines avant les championnats de 10 000 mètres sur piste de l’Ontario. Je n’ai pas couru sur le parcours de Montréal depuis 2012 (elle était 2ème) et c’était alors un Championnat canadien. Même avec la construction autour, je pense pouvoir obtenir un temps rapide.”

Kip Kangogo, 38 ans, Lethbridge, Alberta

Toujours un fort compétiteur sur les routes, le Canadien d’origine kényane est le plus rapide sur papier avec un record personnel de 1h03.22, réalisé au Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon de 2011. Le printemps dernier, Kip avait aussi remporté le titre de champion canadien au Demi-marathon de Calgary. En 2016, il avait remporté la victoire au 21k Scotia de Montréal.

Ces jours-ci, il travaille six heures par jour pour la commission des écoles du District de Lethbridge, ce qui lui permet du temps avec son épouse et ses deux jeunes enfants en plus de pouvoir s’entraîner. Ayant changé d’entraîneur, il exécute les entraînements preparés par le coach kényan Matthew Cheriuyot. Il est aussi un athlète de l’équipe Skechers Performance du Canada.

“Je veux un bon test pour débuter ma saison et Montréal est un bon endroit pour le faire,” dit-il. “J’y suis déjà allé en 2016 et c’est un bon endroit. Ç’a été un hiver difficile mais j’ai bien hâte de voir où en est ma forme en ce début de saison. ”

Sasha Gollish, 36 ans, University of Toronto TC, Toronto, Ontario

Arrivée tardivement à la course de fond, la candidate au doctorat en Génie excelle des épreuves du 1500 mètres au demi-marathon.

En 2015, elle remportait la médaille de bronze du 1500 mètres des Jeux panaméricains. Elle a aussi à sa fiche un record personnel de 1h11.05 au demi-marathon, ce qui la situe au 3ème rang de tous les temps au Canada. Plus récemment, elle a été la meilleure Canadienne des championnats du monde IAAF de demi-marathon à Valence, terminant 30ème en 1h11.52. Malade, elle devait abandonner lors du 8km Race Roster Spring Run Off mais elle est maintenant prête à rejoindre l’élite du peloton de Montréal.

Francois Jarry, 24 ans, Athlétisme Ville-Marie, Montréal, Quebec

Il y a un an, cet étudiant de l’université McGill émergeait comme l’un des bons jeunes coureurs du Québec en remportant 21k Banque Scotia de Montréal en 1h07.23 en terminant par la suite au 4ème rang des championnats canadiens de Demi-marathon à Calgary. Remporter la course de Montréal devant ses amis et supporteurs fut, dit-il, ‘’une de mes plus belles réalisations.’’

Suite à cette victoire, François a été récompensé en étant nommé parmi les athlètes Skechers Performance du Canada comme son rival Kip Kangogo. À l’évidence, il voue un énorme respect au champion canadien.

“Oh, est-ce qu’il sera là ? Je le connais. Je n’avais pas encore vu la liste de départ. Et bien s’il est là, ce ne sera pas facile,” dit Jarry en riant. “Je l’ai vu à Calgary l’année dernière et je sais qu’il est pas mal rapide. S’il est dans la forme habituelle, j’aurai besoin d’un gros ‘pb’ pour avoir une chance contre lui.

“J’avais un bon volume d’entraînement récemment mais cela vous rend plus vulnérable à la maladie. J’ai été malade durant la période de Pâques j’ai dû prendre une pause de près d’une semaine. J’espère que je pourrai garder la forme, ça pourrait être un grande course.”

Anne-Marie Comeau, 21 ans, Université Laval, Québec

En grandissant à Mont Ste-Anne, Comeau a été amenée au ski de fond en bas âge et a participé à de nombreuses compétitions internationales au cours de son adolescence. Mais lorsqu’elle est entrée à l’université Laval en sciences comptables en 2015, elle passa beaucoup plus de temps à la course en cross-country et représentait l’équipe universitaire du Rouge & Or.

Malgré cette absence fréquente des activités de son premier sport au cours des deux dernières années, Anne-Marie a tenté ultimement et avec succès un dernier coup pour se qualifier pour les Jeux olympiques d’hiver de 2018.

“J’ai couru en cross-country durant tout l’automne,” dit-elle. “Je courais beaucoup mais je ne m’entraînais pas tant que ça pour le ski et je me suis étonnée. J’étais en bonne forme et prête pour les Jeux olympiques.

“Le ski de fond est très bon pour la course mais la course est aussi bonne pour le ski. Quand je fais les deux, je me sens bien pour les deux. En ski, j’ai moins de blessures qu’à la course. Les blessures les plus sérieuses en ski sont les tendinites aux épaules. J’en ai eu une il y a deux ans, parce que la double poussée est très dure pour les épaules. Par contre, on n’a pas de blessures aux pieds ou aux genoux.

“Ce sera ma première expérience au demi-marathon. Comme c’est ma première, je ne sais pas trop comment voir cette course, à quelle vitesse je démarrerai. Je ne veux pas partir trop vite parce que je ne sais pas ce que je peux maintenir sur 21 km. J’aimerais bien courir sous 1h20 ou 1h19 mais je ne sais honnêtement pas ce que je peux faire. ”

Laura Desjardins, 29 ans, Newmarket Huskies, Toronto, Ontario

Desjardins en a étonné plusieurs en terminant au 2ème rang lors du 8 km Race Roster Spring Run Off, un résultat qui l’a mis en confiance avant le 21k Banque Scotia de Montréal. En octobre dernier, elle a fait ses débuts au demi-marathon à Toronto en 1h17.24.

“Je sens que j’ai appris quelque chose lors du 8km de Toronto. Préparation, affûtage, nutrition, repos, éléments de récupération,” dit-elle. “J’ai appris de ça et je pense que ça va m’aider pour le demi de Montréal.

Sous la direction du réputé entraîneur de fond Hugh Cameron, elle a augmenté son entraînement de manière significative cet hiver en vue de la saison de compétitions. Programme d’entraînement réalisé tout en poursuivant son travail chez Premier Footworks à Mississauga.

“Je suis relativement nouvelle sur l’entraînement de fond et c’est ma première année avec un plus gros volume et plus de kilométrage, en plus de mes heures de travail par semaine,” explique-t-elle. “Ça m’a demandé une adaptation.”

“Je m’habitue à ce volume et cette intensité à l’entraînement et je veux voir où j’en suis. C’est une sorte d’année d’expérimentation avec différentes distances et voir comment mon corps s’adapte à ces courses. Il n’y a pas de courses de qualification pour des épreuves mondiales. Le demi-marathon Scotiabank de Toronto et le championnat canadien de 10 km à Ottawa seront les plus importantes.”

Banque Scotia 21k de Montréal Elite Preview

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Presented by Koena  

By Paul Gains 

Despite several course changes due to ongoing construction inside Parc Jean Drapeau the Banque Scotia 21k de Montréal has attracted a strong field intent on chasing prize money, Canada Running Series points and an early season challenge.

The event is the second stop on the eight race 2018 CRS circuit.

Leading the elite field are the two defending CRS champions, Tristan Woodfine and Leslie Sexton, who launched their 2018 CRS campaigns in victorious fashion at Toronto’s Race Roster Spring Run Off 8k, April 7th.

Canadian international Kip Kangogo, flies across the country to do battle with Woodfine and defending Montréal champion, Francois Jarry.

The personable Jarry, a McGill University student, will hop the Metro to get to the race but although he admires and respects his rivals he doesn’t intend to be the perfect host. With nothing to lose he is in a comfortable position compared to the favoured Woodfine and Kangogo. And that can often bring out the best in a competitor.

Meanwhile, Sexton will be shadowed by the woman who finished second to her in Toronto, Laura Desjardins, a practicing chiropodist,  who is finding her feet in the longer distances. A late addition to the field is Sasha Gollish who, under duress, dropped out of the RRSRO 8k. The Pan Am Games 1,500m gold medalist is an accomplished distance runner and if fully fit will prove difficult to beat.

Elites to Watch:

Tristan Woodfine 24, Unattached, Cobden, Ontario

The defending CRS overall champion Woodfine is embracing a higher training volume as he prepares for the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon May 27. Dropping down and winning the Race Roster Spring Run Off 8km in Toronto was a pleasant surprise in light of the training. Even so he has a best half marathon time of 1:05:28.

Running fast over the Montréal course particularly with the addition of a few more turns is no longer the target for Woodfine who is now studying at the Ontario Health and Technology College. He intends to become a paramedic.

“It’s more about getting a good hard effort in five weeks before Ottawa,” he explains. “I am not sure who is going to be racing but if there is good competition there then that adds to the fun. Goal number one is get a good hard effort in preparation for Ottawa and if there are some fast guys to race that’s an added bonus.

“I have raced Kip a couple of times. He’s been on the Canadian running scene for many years and he is always a good competitor. I don’t know if I have ever raced Francois but anyone can have a good race on any given day so you just go out there and give it your best and see where you stack up.”

Leslie Sexton 30, London Runner, London, Ontario

Last October Sexton was crowned Canadian Marathon Champion despite an injury induced delay to the start of her 2017 season. Now, fully healthy and fit, as her recent victory in Toronto proved, she is ready to test herself over the 21k distance. Beating her personal best (1:13:13) is likely not in the cards this weekend due to the course changes.

The attraction of adding CRS points is one reason she is racing Montréal. More importantly she says is the importance of seeing how her high volume training has paid off. The race is part of a bigger picture.

“I would say even without the CRS points I would be doing a lot of CRS races anyway,” Sexton admits. “It’s just a great competitive opportunity to win prize money and get my name out there a bit more. This year I intend to do five or six races in the Series and hopefully contend for the Series win again.

“The plan for this spring was not to do a marathon but to work on my half marathon and my 10k. So the date of Montréal worked well to be a ‘goal’ half marathon and will give me about three weeks before I do the Ontario 10,000m championships. I haven’t run the Montréal course since 2012 (she was 2nd) when it was the Canadian Championships. Even with the construction, hopefully, I can still run a pretty fast time.”

Kip Kangogo 38, Lethbridge, Alberta

Always a strong competitor on the roads this Kenyan born Canadian citizen is the fastest on paper with a personal best of 1:03:22 from the 2011 Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon. Last spring he also won the Canadian Half Marathon championship in Calgary. More significantly he raced in Montreal in 2016 and won.

These days he is working six hours a day for the Lethbridge School District which he says allow him time with his wife and two young children as well as the opportunity to complete his training program. Having switched coaches he follows workouts prescribed by Kenyan Matthew Cheriuyot.  He is also a Skechers Performance Canada Athlete.

“I am looking for a test to open my season and Montréal is a good place to do it,” he declares. “I have been there before (in 2016) and it’s a good environment. It has been a tough winter but I look forward to seeing where my fitness is as I start the season.”

Sasha Gollish 36, University of Toronto TC, Toronto, Ontario

A relative late comer to distance running this PhD Engineering candidate has excelled at distances from 1,500m up to the half marathon.

In 2015 she claimed the Pan Am Games 1,500m bronze. She also has a best half marathon time of 1:11:05 making her the third fastest Canadian of all time. Most recently she was Canada’s top finisher at the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships finishing 30th in 1:11:52. Illness forced her to drop out of the recent Race Roster Spring Run Off but she has rebounded to join the elite field for Montréal.

Francois Jarry 24, Athlétisme Ville-Marie, Montréal, Quebec

A year ago this McGill University student emerged as one of Quebec’s finest young runners winning the Banque Scotia 21k de Montreal in 1:07:23 and then finishing 4th at the Canadian Half Marathon Championships in Calgary. Winning this race in front of his hometown supporters was, he says, one of his greatest achievements.

Now he has been rewarded by being named a Skechers Performance Canada Athlete like his rival Kip Kangogo. Clearly he respects the Canadian champion immensely.

“Oh he is going to be there? I know him. I hadn’t seen the start list yet. If he is going to be there it is not going to be easy,” he says laughing. “I saw  him in Calgary last year and I know he is pretty fast. If he is in the shape he usually is then I am going to need a very big ‘pb’ to have a chance against him.

“I was doing great training big volume but that makes you more susceptible to illness. I had some sickness over Easter and took me out for about a week. Hopefully most of my fitness will stay with me. It could be a great race.”

Anne-Marie Comeau 21, Laval University, Montréal, Quebec

Growing up in Mont Ste Anne, Quebec Comeau was introduced to cross country skiing at an early age and competed internationally as a youth. But when she enrolled in accounting at Laval University in 2015 she switched to cross country running and competed for the varsity team.

Despite this absence from her chosen sport she made a last ditch effort to qualify for Canada’s team to the 2018 Winter Olympics and was successful.

“I was doing cross country running all during the fall,” she says. “I was running a lot but wasn’t training so much for skiing so I surprised myself. I was in good shape and I was fine for the Olympics.

“Skiing is very good for running but also running is very good for skiing. When I do both I feel better for both. We get way less injuries than in running; the biggest injuries we have in skiing is tendonitis in the shoulders. I had one two years ago because the double pulling is really hard on the shoulders. But we don’t have injuries on our feet and knees.

“This is my first experience in the half marathon. Because it is my first one I don’t know how to see the race, which pace to start. I think I don’t want to start too fast because I don’t know the speed I can go for 21k. I would like to do under 1:20 or 1:19 but I don’t honestly know what I can do.”

Laura Desjardins 29, Newmarket Huskies, Toronto, Ontario

Desjardins surprised many with her second place finish at the Race Roster Spring Run Off 8km a race that has given her much more confidence going into the Banque Scotia 21k de Montréal.  Last October she made her debut at the half marathon distance in Toronto finishing in 1:17:24.

“I feel like I have learned something from that (RRSRO 8k) race, preparing, tapering, nutrition, rest, recovery items,” she says. “I have learned from that and I think it will help me going into the ‘Montreal Half.’

Under the direction of noted distance coach, Hugh Cameron, she has increased her training significantly this winter in preparation for the racing season. This she has done around her employment as a Chiropodist at Premier Footworks in Mississauga.

“I am relatively new to the distance training this is my first year doing higher mileage higher volume on top of doing 40 hours of work and commuting,” she explains. “It was kind of an adjustment.”

“I am getting used to this volume and intensity in training and trying to see where I stand. It’s kind of a year of experimenting with different distances and seeing how the body adapts to those races. I know there is no major world qualifier. The Scotiabank Toronto Half Marathon is a big one, the 10k championships in Ottawa.”


Running, Volunteering and Fundraising

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Digital Champion Margaret Buttner has been involved in the sport of running for close to 20 years, but it wasn’t until 2011 when she met the iconic Katherine Switzer that she made a commitment to begin running herself! Margaret has since run distances from the 5k to half-marathon and feels very privileged to have made so many great friendships through Vancouver’s running community. She can’t imagine a better sport or better friends to be associate with. Connect with Margaret on Twitter. 

Running, Volunteering and Fundraising. By Margaret Buttner. 

It’s funny how life turns out. If you had told me 30 years ago that this is what my life would look like, and how enjoyable it is, I would have said you were crazy. It’s definitely one of those “one thing led to another” scenarios.

First – the volunteering: My husband Geoffrey joined Lions Gate Road Runners, a local running club, in 1995. It wasn’t long before I became involved as a volunteer, starting with course marshaling, graduating to “food goddess” and ultimately to vice president. Being a volunteer in the Vancouver running community really means being part of a family. We help at each other’s events, we socialize together and sometimes we even travel together (for example, South Africa in 2014). Along the way I’ve had the privilege of meeting many runners – from elites to everyday runners. It’s hard not to be inspired after watching runners and walkers meet the challenge of a marathon, half marathon or shorter distance, many for the first time.  In 2011, I had my “aha” moment – I met Kathrine Switzer and promised her that I would finish a half marathon before the next time she saw me. I fulfilled that pledge and have never forgotten the feeling of satisfaction as I crossed the finish line.

Second – slow running: It didn’t take me long to realize that I was going to be a “slow but steady” runner. I have a couple of foot issues that come and go, and taking it easier on course keeps my feet happy. I started running more in 2012 – mostly shorter distances, but wasn’t seeing much progress in my times. But I started losing weight later that year, and started to see improved results. Crossing the finish line felt better and better, as did collecting the race medal and wearing it proudly the rest of the day. My preferred distance these days is 10K and under, but there are so many great races around Vancouver that it’s not hard to find one. We also live five blocks from the ocean, so training runs are incredibly scenic.

Last – the fundraising: I’ve participated in the Scotiabank Charity Challenge for 10 years now. When I joined the Vancouver Public Library Foundation last year, I knew that the Charity Challenge was a great fit. There are so many enthusiastic runners at the library, and with a staff of 800 it wasn’t hard to put a team together – “Readers in Motion”. Every morning I walk into this spectacular building knowing I have the best job ever. Funds raised from the Charity Challenge will fund valuable early literacy programs for young children, reading mentoring programs for teens and children, and spaces such as the Inspiration Lab, the first free digital creation space in Vancouver. We’re organizing a “treat trolley” in early June to help raise awareness and funds for our team. For my own fundraising, I’m not beneath bribery – offering home-baked cookies to friends that pledge me. They’re all pretty generous – I’m very lucky to have them in my life.


Woodfine and Sexton Claim Frigid Race Roster Spring Run-Off 8k

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By Paul Gains 

Tristan Woodfine successfully defended his Race Roster Spring Run Off 8k title today while the women’s race went to London, Ontario’s Leslie Sexton. 

Held in Toronto’s scenic High Park for the 41st consecutive year, the race launched the 2018 Canada Running Series. Spring seemed to have been delayed though as runners were subjected to sub-freezing temperatures and a strong wind.  

Sexton and Woodfine, who is studying to be a paramedic at the Ontario Health and Technology College, were the 2017 CRS overall champions. They both earn 45 points to go to the top of this year’s CRS points race. 

Brave early front running from Kyle Grieve, proved beneficial to Woodfine.  

The 24 year old towed the field through the halfway point in 12:27 with Woodfine, Trevor Hofbauer and a half dozen other ambitious contenders two seconds behind. But over the next two kilometres Hofbauer, who was using the race as both a workout and a fitness test before racing the Prague Marathon next month, took command. 

The Spring Run Off finishes atop a steep 352 metre climb and it was just before the foot of this hill that Woodfine made a decisive move. Charging past the tall figure of Hofbauer he eventually squeezed out a ten second margin of victory stopping the clock at 24:36 to earn $2,000 first place prize money.  

Hofbauer held on to second while Grieve was an impressive third in 24:52.

“It’s definitely a positive sign,” Woodfine said of his win. “I have been doing marathon training, lots of marathon tempo, so coming down to 8k and being able to race pretty quick is nice because I haven’t done much running at that pace. I am definitely happy.” 

Tristan Woodfine. Photo Credit: Inge Johnson/Canada Running Series

“I got up that first hill at 3k feeling pretty good and thought ‘alright if I can hold this effort the next couple of kilometres I should be able to punch out that last 2k pretty good’ And, knowing this course, if you go out too hard that last ‘K’ will punish you.” 

Hofbauer, who was first Canadian finisher at last year’s Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, and was crowned 2017 Canadian Marathon Champion, was pleased with his performance. 

“I was catching up on Kyle but then Tristan blew by me,” he said. “I told him to ‘go get it.’ I wasn’t concerned about pushing on that hill.  Tristan got it and I am happy for him. I think I am in a good spot and will have to see how it plays out in a few weeks.”

Sexton’s victory was impressive. By three kilometres she had a commanding lead. The expected challenge from Sasha Gollish never materialized as the 36 year old Canadian international stepped off the course unable to overcome the flu.  

By 4k, which she reached in 13:55, Sexton had an advantage of more than twenty seconds. At the finish she had stretched that to 59 seconds, finishing in 27:53 with Laura Desjardins of the Newmarket Huskies second in 28:52. Rachel Hannah of New Balance, the 2015 Pan Am Games marathon bronze medalist who had also been suffering from a cold, finished third in 29:21. 

“I am happy with how that went,” a very composed Sexton revealed. “I actually came down with a cold a few day ago and so I wasn’t sure if I was going to be ready to race today. I was feeling alright this morning, so I thought I would go out and give it a good effort and not worry about the time.  

Leslie Sexton. Photo Credit: Inge Johnson/Canada Running Series

“I am happy with it. It’s a big confidence boost going into the Banque Scotia 21k de Montreal two weeks from now.  I was pushing the pace from the start. At the hill around 3k Sasha must have pulled out. The bottom of the hill I had people with me; when I was at the top I sort of looked behind me and didn’t see anyone behind me.” 

Desjardins, another in the long line of national class runners coached by Hugh Cameron, was pleased to be on the podium 

“To be honest, I don’t have as much experience as those other girls have. I just did what my coach said ‘stay positive throughout the whole thing.’ I knew they were ahead of me but I just stayed focused on what I was doing and didn’t worry about anyone else. 

“People were telling me I was second but I just was always thinking ‘someone could be coming up behind you.’ I felt pretty strong, my coach is big into hills. So it was tough but I kept pushing until the end.” 

This was the 41st running of the Spring Run Off and once again the race got underway with the traditional playing of bagpiper Dave McGonigal. Perhaps he was the only one present to have wished for a warmer day. He wore his kilt. 

For full results, visit