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Third Time’s The Charm for Dayna Pidhoresky at Banque Scotia 21k de Montréal

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By Nathalie Rivard 

Montréal, April 23rd 2017. The stars were aligned this morning as it was under perfect weather conditions that the racers took their place at the start of the 15th annual Banque Scotia 21K de Montréal. The sun was shining and it was about 13 degrees, winning conditions for fast times.

On the women’s side, Dayna Pidhoresky from Vancouver led the race for the entire course and finished in 1:13:45. This is a third win for her this year and one that helped her secure a chance to run at the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in February 2018. In second place, Lioudmilla Kortchaguina from Markham (Ontario) finished in 1:15:39 which also put her first place in the Master’s category. The first Quebec woman to cross the finish line, Arianne Raby from Montreal, followed with a time of 1:15:54.

Dayna Pidhoresky – Photo credit: Inge Johnson/Canada Running Series

Dayna Pidhoresky is happy with her performance (1:13:45). She said she is starting to feel like she is back on track. She is a lone wolf and loves to train by herself. This year has been good so far as she won her first three races of 2017. Her main goal is to make the world team for the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London this August and she hopes to qualify at the Ottawa Marathon. Today’s race also qualified her for the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in February 2018. She hopes to be chosen for both, as she wants to gain more international experience and get better at marathons. “It is such a learning curve and there’s so much to learn” she said. “The more you race, the more you are going to learn. I always want to be good right from the start, but I know it will take couple of years before I reach my full potential. I look at Krista DuChene, she is so experienced and she has been doing this for so long and still getting better. It makes me believe I could also be doing this for a while. Marathon running is a slow and steady type of thing!”

Second woman to finish, Lioudmila Kortchaguina (1:15:39) found the race tough today mainly because of the wind, but she is always happy to come race in Montreal because she loves the city, the course, the people and the fact that there are a lot of supporters.

Lioudmila Kortchaguina – Photo credit: Inge Johnson/Canada Running Series

Third place Arianne Raby (1:15:53) had a good race overall. She wanted to test her fitness level before the Ottawa Marathon next month. She finished three minutes faster than at her first half marathon last year. The hardest thing for her was the fact that she ran alone most of the time. She wanted to stay close to Kortchaguina, but she only started to feel better after 10 km. A former short distance runner, Arianne’s specialties were 800 and 1500 meters. She switched to long distance two years ago. She did her first marathon last September in 2:48 and her objective this year is to run 2:40 in Ottawa.

Arianne Raby – Photo credit: Inge Johnson/Canada Running Series

Bianca Premont (1:23:11) who took fourth place also had some difficulties today as she was sick. She even told her boyfriend at the 12km mark that she would stop at 13km. Ultimately, she decided to finish the race, but she ran it at her marathon pace which was slower. She managed to pick up speed closer to the end, passing two other runners. It motivated her. Her objective this year is the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon in the fall, as her favourite distance is 42K.

As soon as the men’s race started, a lead pack of seven runners formed within’ seconds. They stayed close together for almost half of the race. During the first four kilometers, Anthony Larouche from Quebec City was in the lead, but he was passed at the 5km mark by John Mason from Drumbo (Ontario) who kept the lead throughout most of the race. It was a tightly knit leader pack, with less than 2 meters between the first and last runner in the pack.

At the halfway mark it became a battle between four runners: François Jarry, John Mason, Stephane Colle and Anthony Larouche, who all had halfway splits between 33:40 and 33:41.  With less than two kilometers to go, Jarry (1:07:23) started to pick up speed and took the lead, putting a little more distance between him and the other runners. Stephane Colle (1:07:37) passed John Mason (1:07:41) just one hundred metres from the finish for a close second and third place, followed by Anthony Larouche (1:07:49) in fourth.  It’s interesting to know that it was Stephane Colle’s first half marathon.

Francois Jarry – Photo credit: Inge Johnson/Canada Running Series

François Jarry felt good at the start this morning, but when John Mason started to push the pace at about 7km, he started to struggle. He was in the lead pack, but he says he suffered from kilometres 8 to 14. He was trying hard to stay with the group and he’s happy he did because less than 2km from finish, he had the energy to pick it up and create distance between him and the other runners. He knew then that it was his race. David Le Porho mentioned to me after the race that Jarry’s specialty is strong pick-ups at the end. “He is a fierce competitor and when he is in the lead pack, if he still has juice at the end, we know we are in trouble!”

Jarry is a member of the new Athlétisme Ville-Marie lead by John LoFranco and Jim McDannald and he runs about two half marathons per year. His objective today was to finish first and maybe go under 1:07 as an added bonus. With a time of 1:07:23, he did not finish under 1:07, but he still got a personal best. It’s a big year for Jarry, with lots of races on his agenda like the Canadian 10,000m Championships in Guelph and the Canadian Half Marathon Championships in Calgary where he would like to finish in the top 3 or 5. The year has started strong for him and it boosts his confidence for the rest of the year.

The second place runner, Stephane Colle, was running his first half marathon on Sunday and is also happy with his performance. He said the most difficult thing for him was the wind, but with John Mason in the lead, just in front of him for most of the race, he was sheltered from it most of the time.

Stephane Colle – Photo credit: Inge Johnson/Canada Running Series

Even finishing third, John Mason fought a really good race. A strong runner with a great stride, he was leading for the most part of the race and was only passed in the last two kilometers – not bad for a guy who dislocated his shoulder six weeks ago! Mason was hoping to have a strong run if he ran smart and he did. It was also a PB for him today.

John Mason – Photo credit: Inge Johnson/Canada Running Series

Anthony Larouche also gave a good performance as he mentioned he had not fully recovered from his 10K race the previous week at the Bucknell Bison Invite, where he broke the 30 minute mark, by finishing in 29:55. His legs this morning started to show signs of fatigue at the 15km mark and he did not have the strength to finish as strong as he had started. He finished 4th.

In the Masters category, Amor Dehbi (1:12:28) from Club Enduromax of Montreal finished first after taking almost a full year off of running and getting back to training just two months ago. Overall, Quebec dominated the men’s podium with four out of the five first finishers and a first place in the Masters. David Le Porho, who was expected to be in the leading pack, had a bad day and abandoned the race half way.

Overall, it was a great race with many PBs for runners and the sun was shining for all of them!

Un triplé pour Dayna Pidhoresky cette saison avec sa première place à la Banque Scotia 21K de Montréal

Montréal, April 23rd 2017. Les dieux de la course étaient avec les coureurs ce matin, car c’est sous un soleil radieux et environ 13 degrés qu’ils ont pris le départ de la 15e édition de la Banque Scotia 21K de Montréal, des conditions gagnantes pour réaliser des temps rapides.

Du côté des femmes, Dayna Pidhoresky de Vancouver a été en tête tout au long de la course et a terminé en 1 :13 :45. Une troisième victoire pour elle cette année, ce qui lui assure le temps nécessaire pour peut-être courir le IAAF World Half Marathon Championships en février 2018. En deuxième place, Lioudmilla Kortchaguina de Markham en Ontario a fait 1 :15 :39, ce qui lui a aussi assuré la première place chez les Maîtres. La troisième place et première Québécoise à terminer la course est Arianne Raby de Montréal qui a réussi un temps de 1 :15 :54.

Dayna Piedhoresky qui a fini première chez les femmes, est heureuse de sa performance (1 :13 :45). Elle sent qu’elle revient en force. C’est une coureuse solitaire qui adore s’entraîner seule. Cette année est bien partie pour elle car elle a remporté ses trois premières courses. Son objectif principal est de faire l’équipe du IAAF World Championships London 2017 et elle espère s’y qualifier lors du Marathon d’Ottawa le mois prochain. La course d’aujourd’hui lui donne aussi le temps nécessaire pour se qualifier pour le IAAF World Half Marathon Championships en février 2018. Elle se croise les doigts pour être choisie pour les deux, car elle veut acquérir plus d’expérience internationale. Elle veut devenir meilleure sur la distance marathon. « C’est tout un apprentissage et il y a tellement à apprendre. Ça se fait progressivement et plus tu courses, plus tu apprends. Je veux toujours être la meilleure même quand je commence, mais je sais que cela me prendra plusieurs années avant d’atteindre mon plein potentiel. Quand je regarde Krista DuChene, si expérimentée et qui court depuis si longtemps tout en s’améliorant, ça m’encourage ! Je me dis que je pourrai courir longtemps. Les marathons c’est une distance plus lente où il faut plus de constance ».

La deuxième femme à finir, Lioudmila Kortchaguina (1 :15 :39) a trouvé la course dificile aujourd’hui surtout à cause du vent, mais elle adore courir à Montréal pour la ville, son parcours et la foule enthousiaste.

En troisième place, Arianne Raby (1 :15 :53) a eu une bonne course dans son ensemble. Elle voulait tester sa forme physique pour le Marathon d’Ottawa du mois prochain. Elle a réussi à faire trois minutes de moins qu’à son premier demi l’an dernier. Le plus dur a été de courir seule presque tout le temps car il n’y avait pas de peloton chez les femmes. Elle voulait s’accrocher à la deuxième coureuse, mais elle a commencé à se sentir bien seulement après 10 km. Anciennement coureuse de 800 et 1500 mètres, elle est passée à la course de fond il y a deux ans. Elle a couru son premier marathon à Montréal en septembre dernier avec un temps de 2 :48 et elle vise 2 :40 pour celui d’Ottawa cette année.

Bianca Premont (1 :23 :11) a terminé quatrième, mais a éprouvé quelques difficultés car elle était malade. Elle a même dit à son conjoint croisé au 12e km qu’elle abandonnerait au 13e. Elle a finalement décidé de terminer sa course, à sa vitesse de marathon, ce qui est plus lent. Malgré tout, elle a dépassé deux personnes ce qui l’a encouragée. Son objectif cette année est le Marathon de Toronto à l’automne, le 42K étant sa distance préférée.

Aussitôt après le départ des hommes, on a vu se former en quelques secondes un peloton de sept coureurs qui est resté ensemble près de la moitié de la course. Pendant les quatre premiers kilomètres, Anthony Larouche de Québec était en tête, mais il a été dépassé au 5e kilomètre par John Mason de Drumbo (Ontario) qui a été le premier presque jusqu’à la fin de la course. Le peloton était tissé serré, le premier coureur étant séparé du dernier par moins de 2 mètres.

À mi-parcours s’est devenu une course entre quatre coureurs Jarry, Mason, Colle and Larouche qui sont tous passés entre 33 :40 and 33 :41. À moins de deux kilomètres de l’arrivée, François Jarry (1 :07 :23) s’est détaché du peloton et a mis un peu de distance entre lui et les autres coureurs. Stephane Colle (1 :07 :37) a pour sa part dépassé John Mason (1 :07 :41) à seulement 100 mètres de la l’arrivée, terminant ainsi 2e et 3e, suivi d’Anthony Larouche (1 :07 :49) qui a rafflé la 4e place. Fait à noter, c’était le premier demi-marathon de Stephane Colle.

François Jarry se sentait bien au départ ce matin, mais quand John Mason a augmenté la cadence au 7e kilomètre, il a eu du mal à suivre et a souffert du 8e au 14e kilomètre, mais il voulait s’accrocher au peloton. Il est heureux d’avoir persévéré car à un peu moins de deux kilomètres de la fin, il a réussi à prendre la tête et à se distancer du reste du peloton. Il savait à ce moment que c’était sa course. Il a donc fini en force. David Le Porho nous a mentionné après la course car les fins de course c’est la spécialité de Jarry quand il a encore du jus rendu là. « Il est redoutable, car il réussit à sprinter et à dépasser tout le monde. »

Jarry est membre du nouveau Athlétisme Ville-Marie dirigé par John Di Franco et Jim McDannald et il court environ deux demi-marathons par année. Son objectif aujourd’hui était de finir premier et comme bonus de peut-être faire moins de 1 :07. Avec un temps de 1 :07 :23, il n’a pas fait sous les 1 :07, mais il a tout de même réussi un record personnel. C’est une grosse année pour lui avec beaucoup de courses à son calendrier donc le Championnat canadien 10,000 m à Guelph et le Championnat canadiens de demi-marathon à Calgary où il espère finir dans les 3 ou 5 premiers. L’année a commencé en force et ça augure bien pour le reste de celle-ci.

Stephane Colle qui a terminé deuxième en était à son premier demi-marathon ce matin et il est heureux de sa performance. Ce qu’il a trouvé le plus difficile c’est le vent, mais comme John Mason était devant lui pendant presque toute la course il a réussi à s’en protéger presque tout le temps.

Même s’il a fini troisième, John Mason peut être fier de sa course. C’est un coureur puissant avec une foulée parfaite, qui a mené pendant presque toute la course et qui ne s’est fait dépassé qu’aux deux derniers kilomètres. Pas mal pour un coureur qui s’est disloqué l’épaule six semaines auparavant. Il espérait avoir une bonne course et il savait que s’il courait intelligemment il réussirait. Mission accomplie car il a réalisé un PB aujourd’hui.

Anthony Larouche pour sa part a aussi réalisé une excellente performance même s’il n’avait pas eu le temps de complètement récupérer de son record personnel au 10K du Bucknell Bison Invite de la semaine dernière où il a réussi à aller sous les 30 minutes avec un temps de 29 :55. Ses jambes ont commencé à montrer des signes de fatigue après 15 km et il n’a pas été capable de finir aussi fort qu’il avait commencé. Malgré tout, il a quand même fini en 4e place.

Dans la catégorie des Maîtres, Amor Dehbi (1 :12 :28) du Club Enduromax de Montreal a terminé premier après près d’une année de pause et un retour à l’entraînement juste deux mois plus tôt. Dans l’ensemble, le Québec a dominé le podium chez les hommes avec quatre des cinq premières places ainsi qu’une victoire chez les Maîtres. David Le Porho, qui était attendu dans le peloton de tête, n’a pas eu une bonne course et a abandonné à mi-parcours.

En résumé la plupart des gagnantes chez les femmes ont trouvé la course plus difficile que les hommes, possiblement à cause qu’elles ont presque toutes courues seules et que le défi de dépasser les autres étaient moins présent en raison des distances qui les séparaient les unes des autres. Cela n’a toutefois pas empêché Stephaney Hortian (1 :23 :46) de Kitchener de terminer 5e à son premier demi-marathon. Beaucoup de records personnels aujourd’hui ! Le soleil brillait pour la plupart d’entre eux.

Dayna Pidhoresky Intent on Victory at 21k de Montréal

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By Paul Gains

Dayna Pidhoresky hopes third time will prove lucky when she contests the Banque Scotia 21k de Montreal on Sunday April 23rd.

On two previous occasions the now 30-year old Tecumseh, Ontario native has finished second in the race – a Canada Running Series event. This time she has additional motivation as she approaches the day: a victory would take her 2017 season record to a perfect 3-0.

Pidhoresky moved west to Vancouver a little over two years ago with her boyfriend/coach Josh Seifarth. They were married in August 2015. The change has proven advantageous.

On March 18th of this year she won the St. Patrick’s Day 5km Run in her new hometown before earning an impressive win at the Around the Bay 30km race in Hamilton, her third at this prestigious race. There she recorded a personal best time of 1:47:27. That’s three and a half minutes faster than she has ever run on that hilly course – a fair indication she has made significant progress.

Familiarity with the Montreal 21km course, which traverses Parc Jean Drapeau on scenic Ile Notre Dame and Ile Sainte-Helene, should also count for something.

Athletics Canada has graciously altered the qualifying period for the 2018 World Half Marathon Championships to include Banque Scotia 21k de Montreal. A trip to Valencia, Spain next March would be another fine international competition for Pidhoresky.

But it is a berth on Canada’s 2017 IAAF World Championship marathon team which remains the year’s primary goal and she is focusing on achieving this at the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon (May 28th). Hence she is looking for a quick time in Montreal to confirm she is on the right track.

“I definitely don’t think I would be happy with anything other than under 1 hour 14 minutes,” she reveals. “I would be satisfied but I want more than that. It is so hard to know. Everything has to align on the day. I hope that happens.”

Early on, Pidhoresky showed impressive marathon potential before she encountered injury and other health problems. At the 2011 Niagara Falls Half Marathon she ran 1:11:46 making her the fourth fastest Canadian woman ever. But then she suffered a couple of stress fractures of the sacrum, the most recent last autumn.

She finally made her marathon debut at the 2016 Houston Marathon but dropped out after suffering gastrointestinal problems. Then came the 2016 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, but in the buildup to the race she felt something wasn’t quite right. Under duress she finished in 2:40:38 receiving a Canadian Championship bronze medal. Afterwards, she was diagnosed with her second sacral fracture. Her fortunes appear on the rise now.

Although she has represented Canada in the 2011 Chiba Ekiden, a team road race event, earning a place on her first major championship team would be a major step.

“I am definitely going into it trying to make that world team,” she says of the Ottawa Marathon. “I think that is the last day you can qualify. So going into it I will know exactly what I have to do. A part of me wants to run really fast, but I think the decision will be to run safely to get that qualifying time. That’s the goal. Then hopefully I will be able to test my fitness later in the year.”

Which brings her back to the importance of the Montreal 21k. Predictably she is cautious about her intentions knowing that she will, in all likelihood, continue training through the race to ensure peak fitness for the marathon.

“It is still over a month out from Ottawa so I don’t think I will be running on ‘tapered’ legs,” she explains. “Hopefully, I feel good because it’s not fun to run to feel really fatigued. I definitely want to run fast. I would love to PB.

“I know that course is fast, if the weather conditions are quite right. It can get windy and I have experienced that course when it’s windy. I want to run fast but I know it’s possible that I won’t be feeling super peppy.  I will know in the first five or ten km if it’s going to be a good day or not.”

Should Pidhoresky falter, there are several Quebecers only too happy to give chase. They include Arianne Raby who ran the 5k distance at the event a year ago but has also run the marathon in 2:48:54, Bianca Premont who won Montreal 21k in 2015, and Sandra McLean. Premont also finished 3rd in the Banque Scotia 21k de Montreal a year ago and has a best marathon time of 2:48:29.

Pidhoresky’s confidence has been boosted lately with some exceptional training weeks where she has gone over 150 kilometres in training volume. That includes a weekly rest day during which she might swim or bike to keep stress off her legs. During one of her intervals sessions (repeated hard one kilometre runs) two weeks ago she was joined by Canadian Olympian Natasha Wodak for part of her workout.

The ultimate proof of fitness, however, will come April 23rd in Parc Jean Drapeau.

The men’s race will be a tight one with half a dozen men owning 10k bests of around 30:30 which bodes well for a good battle. No doubt someone will emerge and draw the spotlight upon himself.


For More Information and to Register for Banque Scotia 21k de Montreal:


Dayna Pidhoresky vise la victoire au Banque Scotia 21k de Montréal

Par Paul Gains

Dayna Pidhoresky espère que la troisième fois sera la bonne au Banque Scotia 21k de Montréal, le dimanche 23 avril prochain.

En effet, l’athlète de 30 ans native de Tecumseh, en Ontario, a déjà obtenu deux secondes places lors de cette course du Circuit du Canada. Cette fois, elle a une source de motivation additionnelle à l’approche du jour J : la victoire lui donnerait une fiche parfaite de 3-0 pour la saison 2017.

Il y a un peu plus de deux ans, Pidhoresky déménage à Vancouver avec son conjoint et entraîneur, Josh Seifarth, qu’elle épouse en août 2015. Ce déménagement s’avère profitable.

Le 18 mars dernier, Pidhoresky remporte le 5 km de la Saint-Patrick dans sa ville d’adoption. Elle signe ensuite une victoire impressionnante pour décrocher un troisième titre au prestigieux 30 km Around the Bay, à Hamilton. Elle enregistre alors un record personnel de 1:47:27 – abaissant de trois minutes et demie son meilleur temps sur ce parcours vallonné –, signe qu’elle a fait des progrès appréciables.

À Montréal, sa connaissance du parcours de 21 km, qui traverse le parc Jean-Drapeau sur les magnifiques îles Notre-Dame et Sainte-Hélène, devrait également l’avantager.

Athlétisme Canada a gentiment accepté de modifier la période de qualification aux Championnats du monde de demi-marathon 2018 pour inclure le Banque Scotia 21k de Montréal. Un voyage à Valence, en Espagne, en mars prochain serait une autre belle occasion pour Pidhoresky de compétitionner à l’étranger.

Or le but ultime de l’athlète demeure l’obtention d’une place dans l’équipe canadienne de marathon en vue des Championnats du monde 2017 de l’IAAF, place que Pidhoresky compte obtenir au Marathon d’Ottawa Banque Scotia (28 mai). Elle veut donc réaliser un bon chrono à Montréal pour confirmer qu’elle est sur la bonne voie.

« C’est sûr que je veux terminer en moins de 1 heure 14 minutes, révèle l’athlète. Ce serait un chrono satisfaisant, mais j’aimerais courir encore plus vite. Sauf qu’on ne sait jamais d’avance; il faut que tout se passe bien ce jour-là. Je croise les doigts. »

Dès ses débuts, Pidhoresky présente un potentiel impressionnant pour le marathon avant d’être ralentie par des blessures et d’autres problèmes de santé. En 2011, elle court le demi-marathon de Niagara Falls en 1:11:46, le quatrième meilleur temps par une coureuse canadienne. Or elle subit par la suite deux fractures de fatigue au sacrum, dont une pas plus tard que l’automne dernier.

Elle court finalement son premier marathon à Houston, en 2016, mais doit abandonner en raison de problèmes gastrointestinaux. Puis, lors de sa préparation au Marathon Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront 2016, elle sent que quelque chose ne va pas. Elle réussit de peine et de misère à terminer la course en 2:40:38, temps qui lui vaut une médaille de bronze aux Championnats canadiens. C’est alors qu’on lui diagnostique une deuxième fracture du sacrum. Aujourd’hui, on dirait que la vie lui sourit enfin.

Bien que Pidhoresky ait représenté le Canada au Chiba Ekiden 2011, une course sur route par équipe, participer à un premier championnat majeur serait pour elle un jalon important.

« C’est certain que mon but sera d’obtenir une place aux mondiaux, dit-elle à propos du Marathon d’Ottawa. Je pense que c’est le dernier jour pour se qualifier; je vais donc savoir exactement ce que je dois faire. Une partie de moi voudra courir vraiment vite, mais je crois que le plus sage serait d’être prudente pour obtenir le temps de qualification. C’est ça l’objectif. Avec un peu de chance, je pourrai tester ma condition physique plus tard cette année. »

D’où l’importance du 21k de Montréal. Sans surprise, Pidhoresky se montre prudente quant à ses intentions : selon toute probabilité, cette course fait partie de son entraînement pour arriver à Ottawa au sommet de sa forme.

« Comme nous serons à plus d’un mois d’Ottawa, je ne crois pas que je vais devoir ménager mes jambes, explique-t-elle. J’espère me sentir bien, car ce n’est pas agréable de courir en étant très fatiguée. C’est sûr que je veux courir vite; j’aimerais beaucoup battre mon record personnel. »

« Je sais que c’est un parcours rapide quand la météo est favorable. Ça peut devenir venteux; je l’ai déjà vécu. Je veux courir vite, mais je sais que c’est possible que je ne sois pas en super forme. Je saurai après cinq ou dix kilomètres si c’est une bonne journée ou non. »

Si les choses tournent mal pour Pidhoresky, plusieurs Québécoises pourraient bien la rattraper. On n’a qu’à penser à Arianne Raby, qui a fait le 5k l’an dernier mais a déjà couru un marathon en 2:48:54; Bianca Prémont, gagnante du 21k de Montréal en 2015; et Sandra McLean. Prémont, qui a terminé troisième au Banque Scotia 21k de Montréal l’an dernier, a couru son meilleur marathon en 2:48:29.

Pidhoresky est particulièrement confiante ces jours-ci, elle qui vient de connaître des semaines d’entraînement exceptionnelles où elle a couru plus de 150 kilomètres. Elle se garde toutefois un jour de repos hebdomadaire où elle fait parfois de la natation ou du vélo pour moins solliciter ses jambes. Lors d’une séance d’entraînement par intervalles (série de courses d’un kilomètre très intenses) il y a deux semaines, l’athlète olympique canadienne Natasha Wodak s’est même jointe à elle pendant quelque temps.

Mais le moment de vérité sera le 23 avril au parc Jean-Drapeau.

Chez les hommes, on peut s’attendre à une course serrée : une demi-douzaine de concurrents ont un record personnel sur 10 km d’environ 30:30. Ce sera chaudement disputé, mais quelqu’un réussira sans doute à se détacher du lot pour remporter les grands honneurs.

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Yoga for Runners

By | Elite Athletes, Training Tips | No Comments
by Katherine Moore (@RunningIntoYoga)

As runners, we’re told time and time again that yoga is great for our tight muscles. So why don’t we practice yoga more frequently if the benefits are innumerable? From the physical benefits, to the mental aspects, and becoming more in-tune with one’s body, it’s hard to belief more athletes don’t have it as part of their structured workout plan.

The more mileage a training program has, the higher the risk of injury.  Pounding the pavement isn’t forgiving, so it’s good to give your body a little TLC to help the muscles recover and relax. Especially if you’re prone to injury.  Quite often, time is a limiting factor.  Compared to quickly lacing up your running shoes and bolting out the door for a run, it takes time to get to a studio, complete your practice, and head home.  However, you don’t have to go to a scheduled class.  If you’re new to yoga it might be worth hopping into a class, just so you understand/experience the different poses.  After that, it’s easy to do some key poses at home that are great for runners and still reap the benefits yoga classes provide.

With the following poses, keep these five general principles in mind:

  1. You should always be able to breathe evenly. Challenge yourself to find your edge but don’t go past it! Allow your body to open up and adjust over the space of about eight to ten breaths in each pose.
  2. Keep your core muscles active throughout the poses, but still remember to breathe.
  3. Keep a neutral spine; try to keep your back flat and don’t over arch your back.
  4. Twisting happens at the waist, not at the shoulders.
  5. Hinge forward from the hips, not your back (remember, neutral spine!).


Thunderbolt Pose (toes tucked under)


Begin in a tabletop position. Bring feet together and tuck toes under. Slowly lean hips back until you can sit comfortably on heels. Eventually you want to sit with a tall spine, lengthening your tailbone up through your spine. Keep the abdomen toned and hands resting on the thighs. Hold for 8-10 breaths, 2-3 sets. Release slowly and repeat.


Opens toes and feet. Strengthens ankles. Start out slowly if feet are tight.

02-11-downwardDownward Dog 


From Thunderbolt inhale and lean forward to tabletop pose. Press your hips up and back to form inverted V from the side. Spread your fingers and ground down from the forearms into the fingertips. Outwardly rotate the upper arms broadening the collarbones. Engage the quadriceps strongly to take weight off the arms. Keep a bend in the knees to continue to lengthen the spine.

Opens the entire body fingertips to toes. Opens the hamstrings, shoulders, and strengthens the core, upper body and quadriceps. Hold for 8-10 breaths.

02-11-lungeHigh/ Low Lunge


From Downward Dog step your right foot to your right hand and bring your left knee to the floor. Stack your right knee over your right heel. Press your fingers into the floor to lengthen the spine. Roll your shoulders down your back and lengthen your chest forward. Straighten the back of your knee up towards the ceiling (or keep it on the floor for low lunge). Relax and breathe into your hips. Once you feel balanced stretch your arms overhead and spread your fingers wide.

This pose opens the hips, lengthens the spine and stretches the groin and legs. Hold for 8- 10 breaths.

02-11-pigeonPigeon Pose 


From Downward Dog, lift your right leg up and place your right knee to the outside of your right hand. Release your left leg to the floor with the toes tucked under. Square your hips. Use padding or a block under your right hip or knee as necessary to bring your hips square. Keep both feet active and begin to lengthen your spine forward and down towards the floor.

Stretches the thigh, glutes, groin, psoas muscle and lengthens the spine. Hold for 8- 10 breaths.

Camel Pose


Stand on your knees hip width apart. Place your hands on your lower back for support. Hug your legs towards each other with energy. Inhale lift and expand your chest. Draw your chin in to lengthen the back of your neck, throat back slowly head back. Eventually reaching for your heels. Keep your hips stacked over your knees. Breathe evenly and slowly. To come out of the pose bring your hands back on your lower back lead with your chest head comes out last.

Opens hips and hip flexors, lengthens and improves flexibility of the spine, opens the chest and shoulders improving respiratory, complements overall health and well being.

Savasana – Corpse Pose


Complete this series by lying on your back, relax your legs, arms palms face up and close your eyes for 5-15 minutes. This is complete relaxation of all muscle tension and relaxes the mind completely. Never skip Savasana!

How to Increase your Speed over the 10K Distance

By | Toronto Waterfront 10K | No Comments

By Kim Doerksen

Getting into the routine of training gets people thinking about personal bests, and wanting to run faster than before.  At the start of training the thought of crushing a previous time may feel far-fetched. However, as runners get into a rhythm and regain their fitness, the idea of trying to crush their time in an upcoming race feels more achievable, assuming your training has set you up to do so.  Here are a few tips for gearing up to run a fast 10K:

Incorporate specific speed work:

Interval training is key when trying to increase your speed over 10K.  It allows the body to adapt physiologically to the demands of the race.  Intervals can be a mix of different duration, pace and distance.  Typically interval workouts are done at race pace or faster.  Use anything from track intervals, sustained effort tempo runs, hill repeats, and fartleks to keep your training varied and fun.

Example workouts:

  • Mile repeats: 4-6 x 1 mile with 2-3 minutes recovery jog. Start at 4 reps, then build towards 6.  Aim for these to be around race pace.
  • Minute reps: 12-20 x 1 minute with 1 minute recovery jog.  Remember the recovery time is shorter on these so try to keep your hard intervals at a pace that you can maintain for the whole workout.
  • 1km floats: 5-10 x 600m “on”/400m “off”.  This is a sustained effort workout where the 400m “off” is still as a good pace.  Think of it like 600m at 10km pace; 400m at marathon pace.  It helps your body to recycle any lactate buildup so you’re more efficient.

Maintain endurance:

While running a fast 10K requires some speedwork, don’t forget how important having good endurance is.  If you have a good endurance base, running 10K won’t seem terribly long.  Having a combination of getting your legs used to running further than 10K, as well as running shorter intervals as a faster pace is essential.  Consistent training and regular long runs will effectively improve your endurance.  A common duration for a long run while gearing up for a 10K race is about 90 minutes long.

Understand pacing:

Realize that running hard for 10K is tough.  It requires discipline in order to effectively push your limits but remain relaxed.  Well, until the last 400m and then you just have to give whatever you have left in the tank!  It’s easy to get caught up in the rush of adrenaline that surges through your body when the starting gun goes off.  If that happens, it could come back to bite you in the butt when your legs start to shut down at 6K.  Before the race starts, sit down and realistically determine what time you think you’re capable of running.  Then, figure out the splits required to hit that time.  There are lots of online paces calculators that can help determine your average pace which will hopefully keep you controlled throughout the race.  Take note of any big hills that could affect your time, and adjust accordingly.  Try to race evenly, or even negative split (running the second half of the race faster than the first).

Avoid overtraining:

When adding speed into your training program, know that it takes more out of you than running easy all the time.  Overtraining is what happens when you put too much stress on your body than it can handle and adapt to.  To avoid this from happening, keep this points in mind:

  • Keep track of your weekly mileage and don’t increase your mileage than more than 10% per week.
  • When incorporating speed work, reduce your mileage.  Intensity is tough to measure, so cut back from excess mileage to balance out the training.
  • Don’t increase mileage and intensity simultaneously.
  • Schedule rest days.
  • Alternate hard workouts with easy runs, or cross-train instead of piling on “junk miles”.

Pick a potential PB course:

Throughout training you’ll understand your strengths and weaknesses.  If you’re a powerhouse on hills, choose a rolling course; if you love loops, don’t choose an out-and-back course; if you thrive on flats, pick one that isn’t exposed to the elements.  Typically a flatter course is the fastest choice, as long as it’s not too windy or twisty.  Also, choose a race that has a lot of people registered, or has a history of runners that are around your target time.  Check previous year’s results and see if it’s likely that there will be a group to tuck in with.

Taper, taper, taper:

After putting in months of training, the last thing you want to do is to overdo it the week before the race.  In the final week before the race, it’s unlikely you’ll gain any additional fitness, and instead could tip you over the edge.  To avoid this from happening, reduce your mileage and intensity of yours runs, with your last speed session about 4-5 days before race day, to allow your body to fully rest and be ready to roll.

Asics Pace Team at #ScotiaHalf 2017

By | Scotiabank Vancouver Half | No Comments

We’re excited to introduce the 2017 Asics Pace Team for this year’s Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon! Two pacers will run with each of the following pace groups – 1:45, 2:00, 2:15, and (new this year) 2:30.

1:45 Pace Group Leaders

Mike Hsiao

Mike is a recent engineering graduate, avid volunteer and a marathon runner who was diagnosed with the Fatty Liver Disease as a child. In 2012, while he was in second year university, he collapsed and was sent to the ER due to a combination of many health conditions, including being borderline obese. Since then, Mike decided to make a change to become healthier. He picked up running and an active lifestyle (and lost 1/4 of his weight in the progress). He has kept going since, and have ran over 60 races varying from a 5km to full marathons. Mike has made a goal to do 100 races before he is 25 to raise awareness for many health causes. Mike is the founder and CEO of Race Force, which is a nonprofit organization that have helped organized or assisted more than 150 sporting events (such as Scotiahalf) since inception. Mike is excited to be an Asics pacer for the 2017 Scotiahalf for 1:45 and invite you to connect with him!

Kevin Schwab

Following his Half Marathon debut in Munich in 2010, Kevin has been running 10Ks and Half Marathons throughout Canada over the past few years. His two running highlights to-date include winning the M<25 age group at Scotia last year, as well as completing his first Full Marathon in Portland in October. Battling with injuries for most of the last half year, Kevin is excited to assist other runners in achieving their goals at Scotia this summer. Oh and getting to wear bunny ears – that’s pretty big, too.

2:00 Pace Group Leaders

Greg Faber

I started running in 2012 to shed some pounds and reclaim my health. It started with casual walks just to get my body adjusted to movement. As I saw other people running through the park, it motivated me to do more. I picked up my pace and before I knew it I was running my first 5km race. Today, I am proud to say that I have completed many races ranging from 5k’s to ultra marathons and what started out as simple exercise has turned into a lifestyle.

I have since not only lost all the excess weight I carried around, but have gained a whole new community of friends and likeminded individuals that have all caught the running bug. Moving forward, I want to inspire and motivate others to reach their own running goals. I found that pacing for the Scotiabank Half-Marathon is one way to give back to the sport I love!

Elisha Allen

Elisha is a Vancouver local with a life-long love of running. Over the past few years she’s completed a variety of long distance races including a 23 km trail race up Whistler Mountain and the 2017 Boston Marathon. She’s extremely passionate about helping others explore and enjoy running and can’t wait to help you reach your half-marathon goals! If you want to check out her latest running adventures you can Elisha on Instagram @theruntoboston.

2:15 Pace Group Leaders

Andy Arevalo

Andy Arevalo is a runner that has started his running since 2015.

In late 2015, he came across a local Chinese running group called LaPower. He joined the group and has made many good friends that share the same passion in running and life style.

He has run many race such as The Sun Run, BMO half marathon, Scotiabank half marathon, and the Rock “N” Rock Half marathon in which he had made his PB in the race.

Having this opportunity to run as a pacer for the Scotiabank half marathon 2017 is his honour. This is going to be a very exciting and memorable experience for Andy, and he is going to achieve your goal with you.

Courtney L.

I started running in 2010 and got hooked. It started with one half marathon just to see if I could do it and has led to many more half marathons, marathons, 5k and 10ks all over North America. I love to run and I love to get other people excited about running. And I enjoy helping people reach their running goals. I have lead running clinics and paced numerous 10ks, half marathons and marathons. It is a great feeling to help someone reach their goal – to be a small part of their success is awesome. I am looking forward to running with the group to make the 2:15 half marathon time!

2:30 Pace Group Leaders

Sharon Sandhu

Hi name is Sharon and I moved from England to Vancouver in 2012. I first started running in 2011, my friend who was a run coach convinced me to try something new and I signed up for my first half marathon in Basingstoke UK (with hills). Running has always been a great way to meet people and I am super excited to be a pacer at the Scotiabank Half Marathon, this will be my third year running the course and I’m looking forward to being a source of motivation for the awesome runners on the day!

Lisa Brown

My name is Lisa Brown and I am the pacer for the 2:30 group. The party corral!

My first race was the Scotiabank half marathon in 2013. I was hooked. Since then I have run 7 half marathons, 3 full marathons, numerous 10 and 5k races. For the last year I have been volunteering with learn to run and 5k clinics.

Run with the Asics Pace Team this June – sign up today!

lululemon joins Toronto Waterfront 10K

By | Toronto Waterfront 10K | No Comments

Canada Running Series is delighted to announce a new partnership with lululemon, who will become title sponsor of the Toronto Waterfront 10K, to be held on Saturday June 17th, 2017. The course will run through the heart of the city, along the lakeshore and finish with a celebration at Bandshell Park at Exhibition Place.

As the official retailer and apparel partner of the event, lululemon will transform the race experience. Each participant will receive a lululemon technical t-shirt as part of their kit. Participants will get a chance to take part in an 8-week Training Program led by lululemon run ambassadors at their Queen Street and Cumberland locations. Additionally, participants will be encouraged to take part in the brands yoga and recovery programs which will be offered exclusively at their Queen Street store.

“This is a truly meaningful partnership for Canada Running Series and our loyal runners,” said Canada Running Series Race Director, Alan Brookes. “It’s a perfect pairing of two outstanding Canadian organizations that will combine leading-edge, high-performance apparel and run activation with Canada’s premier, best-organized running series. We are both passionately committed to excellence and to our Canadian running community. With lululemon’s partnership, we expect the Toronto Waterfront 10k to transform the running and road race experience in Toronto and send good vibes across North America.”

Everyone is encouraged to join us on Saturday June 17th. Those interested in participating are encouraged to register early, as this year’s race is currently just $50 with a cap of 7,000 runners and is expected to sell out quickly. Registration opens Tuesday April 11th at 10:00 a.m. EST. Information and entry:

Natasha Wodak Claims Race Roster Spring Run Off 8k

By | Race Roster Spring Run-Off | No Comments

By Paul Gains

Natasha Wodak’s first race after surgery on her foot three months ago proved successful as the 35 year old Canadian Olympian handily won the Race Roster Spring Run-Off 8k in Toronto’s High Park.

More than 3,500 runners were led to the start line by piper Duncan McIntyre,  a tradition since the race’s inception 40 years ago, but Wodak was never challenged. This edition launched the 2017 Canada Running Series.

With a cold wind blowing across the hilly course, Wodak, the Canadian record holder at 10,000m on the track (31:41.59) and at 8km (25:28) on the roads, tucked in behind a few of the male runners early on until she dropped them one by one. She crossed the line with a smile while flashing ‘V’ for victory signs. Her winning time was 27:55.

Photo credit: Inge Johnson/Canada Running Series

“I figured I was capable of running about 27:45 to 28:00,” the Vancouver resident said afterwards. “I thought that would be really painful for me at this point. But I felt really strong and it felt more like a tempo run than anything, So I am really pleased with where I am at considering it has been such a short time since I have been back running since my surgery. It’s good. I am excited for the spring”

“Everybody told me it was super hilly but with the uphills come the nice down hills so it evens out. It was a beautiful course and I had lots of guys out there to talk to and complain about the hills and stuff. I thought it was a great course. Lots of fun.”

Wodak earned $1,500 for the victory which will come in especially handy since her contract with Asics ended following the Rio Olympics Games. Next on her schedule is the Vancouver Sun Run, a race she has won on two previous occasions. A fall marathon is also in the cards.

“I still have two weeks of training until the Sun Run so I can get in little bit better shape,” she continued. “This was a good opportunity to get back racing and hurt a bit. You can train all you want but races are only going to give you that certain hurt that you need. I am excited.”

Following the race the good natured athlete joined in with the children’s 800m race saying “Those kids run fast.”

Second place in the women’s division went to 45 year old Lioudmila Kortchaguina in 28:45. The Russian born master’s competitor represented Canada at the 2007 IAAF World Championships in Osaka and sports a best marathon time of 2:29:42

There was little surprise in the men’s race as Tristan Woodfine of Speed River Track Club crossed the finish line first as expected. But what the mass of spectators near the finish area could not have known was drama played out on the back end of the course during the first 2 kilometres. Woodfine had a technical issue.

Photo credit: Inge Johnson/Canada Running Series

“I was leading but my shoe came untied so I had to stop and pull over and retie,” he said with a laugh. “I was worried it would come off. A few of the guys passed me so I  then had to work hard to catch up again.

Woodfine led through the half way 4km point (12:08) with Sergio Raez Villanueva a couple of seconds behind.

“Probably around the 4km mark he actually caught up with me and we ran together from 6km until 7km then I put in a surge,” he revealed. “I could always hear him behind me. So I knew he was right there and it kept me honest.”

Woodfine’s winning time was 24:15 while Raez Villanueva was timed in 24:29. Kevin Tree took third in 24:59.

“I am very happy,” Woodfine said later. “It’s a hilly course, a tough course, so I wasn’t too concerned about a fast time. It was just go out and see where that leads me. It was a successful race. It was my first time here.”

Proceeds from the Race Roster Spring Run Off 8km go to the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.

The next race in the Canada Running Series will be the Banque Scotia 21k de Montreal on April 23rd.


Complete results and photos:


Run Barbados Marathon Weekend 2017

By | General | No Comments

 Come for the run, stay for the fun! 

Join Lanni Marchant and Natasha Wodak on our Canada Running Series road trip to Run Barbados Marathon Weekend, December 1st – 3rd 2017. Join “Betty and Veronica” in the 10K, on the beach, for a few easy runs, and out on the town! It’s the ultimate CRS year-end reward!

2017 pricing coming soon, [2016 rates $1,600 per person, based on double occupancy. Single supplements available on request]. But we strongly recommend calling today to put your name on the waiting list, as space is limited and will sell out at the group hotel. Trip includes:

  • Round trip airfare from Toronto or Montreal
  • 7 nights (November 30th – December 7th) at the fabulous 4-star Bougainvillea Beach Resort on Maxwell Coast Road, including breakfasts
  • Transfers between airport-hotel in Barbados; plus buses from hotel to races and back

There’s a race for everyone: 1 Mile, 5K, 10K, Half-marathon, and Marathon, spread through Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Race details:

Then it’s time for the beach! Don’t miss our photo gallery from last year’s tour!

Win a Trip for Two to Run Barbados Marathon Weekend!

Register for any of our CRS East races (listed below) before June 10th and you will automatically be entered into our draw to win a trip for two! Enter 5 races, get 5 chances! Winner will be announced at the Toronto Waterfront 10k on Saturday, June 17th!

The more races you register for, the greater your chance to win. Good luck!


To inquire about bookings, call Marge Folkes at Marville Travel 905-891-0111 or email

For inquiries regarding the races email with “Run Barbados” as the subject.

Race details:

Running for Team Colleen at the Race Roster Spring Run-Off

By | Charity, Race Roster Spring Run-Off | No Comments

By: Amy Friel 

For Jordan Milchman, signing up for the Race Roster Spring Run-Off was supposed to signify a long-awaited return to running after a year beset by injury.

Milchman, who completed his first-ever half-marathon two years ago at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, spent the better part of 2016 dealing with a persistent back injury. By January of this year, a newly-recovered Milchman started looking at goal races for 2017.

With its notoriously challenging course winding through the hills of High Park, the Race Roster Spring Run-Off looked to him like the perfect tune-up on the road to a spring return to the half-marathon distance.

“I’ve never done an 8K before,” Milchman explains. “So I thought, I’m automatically gonna set a personal best.” Excited by the prospect of racing again, he signed up.

Two days later, things changed, when Milchman’s colleague and longtime friend Colleen Liao was diagnosed with cancer.

Liao, who Milchman describes as “my coworker, my buddy, and one of the best people I know”, is no stranger to the disease. Four years earlier, shortly after Colleen and her husband Len learned that they were expecting their first child, Liao was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer.

“Colleen is a certified badass,” Milchman says of his friend, who underwent a lumpectomy at 12 weeks pregnant, followed by chemotherapy at 22 weeks.

Her body responded well to the treatment, with Liao receiving the much hoped-for “all clear” from her doctors shortly before the birth of her son, Chase. Newly cancer-free and relishing life as a new mom, Liao returned to work, where she and Milchman became fast friends, bonding over a shared irreverent sense of humour.

“We always found each other funny,” he recalls of their early days working together. “We laughed a lot.”

So when his friend learned early this year that her cancer had returned, Milchman decided to enter the Race Roster Spring Run-Off to support Liao.

Along with a few friends, Milchman switched his individual registration to a charity entry and began fundraising as the captain of “Team Colleen”. And though the team’s goals were modest at first, the response to their cause has been anything but.

“When we started out, our team goal was $3,000,” he recalls. “I think we hit that on the first day. A lot of people have been quite generous.”

Donations to Team Colleen benefit the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, a global leader in cancer research, and one of the largest comprehensive cancer treatment facilities in the world.

With less than two weeks until race day on Saturday, April 8th, Team Colleen has now raised more than $8,000 and counting towards their revised $10,000 goal. Looking over the list of individual donations, Milchman notes that much of it has come from fellow friends and colleagues who, like him, have been touched by Liao’s enduring tenacity and indomitable spirit in the face of what appear to be increasingly long odds.

For her part, Liao has chosen to focus on spending time with her husband and three-year-old son since her rediagnosis, prioritizing her health, family, and happiness as much as possible.

“Colleen is a very strong person,” Milchman says. “She’s very positive, very upbeat. She knows what’s coming, but she just stays very positive.”

Her outlook has had a ripple effect. With friends, colleagues, and strangers alike throwing their support behind Team Colleen, donations in support of the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre continue to pour in. It’s a momentum that Milchman hopes will continue right up to race day, and beyond.

“We have all been connected to cancer in one way or another,” he says. “We’re doing what we can to ensure we never have to encounter it again.”

To support Team Colleen and the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, or to get involved with fundraising, visit their fundraising page.

Support Team Colleen: 

Make a general donation to the event: 

We thank participants for raising money for the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and look forward to seeing you at the Race Roster Spring Run-Off on April 8th.

Registration is still open at

#ScotiaHalf 2017 Charity Profiles

By | Charity, Scotiabank Vancouver Half | No Comments

Over the next few months we’ll be profiling some of the amazing charities involved with this year’s Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon & 5k along with some of the great work they do. This week, we spoke to the Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation.

Want to get involved? Find out more about the Scotiabank Charity Challenge here!

Royal Columbian Hospital FoundationRoyal Columbian Hospital Foundation

Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation is Pounding the Pavement for Preemies!

We are working together with friends and family to fundraise for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. This year our goal is to raise $88,000 to fund the remaining balance of our Infant Transport Incubator. An Infant Transport Incubator is a self-contained, mobile, intensive care unit for sick or premature babies to be transported to a neonatal intensive-care unit for specialized treatment.

The Van Marrewyk family experienced first-hand the exceptional care from the RCH Hospital after the birth of their triplet daughters in 2010. Wanting to give back, they organized an annual 5km walk for family and friends that also acted as a fundraiser for the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Royal Columbian Hospital. Those Christmastime walkathons raised $110,000. As the family and the Foundation discussed future fundraising efforts, we all saw an advantage in joining the Scotiabank Charity Challenge. We caught up with the Van Marrewyk’s about their involvement, their goals and their story:

How/why did you decide to use the Scotiabank Charity Challenge as a big fundraiser instead of continuing with the walk you’ve put on in the past?  Do you still put the walk on as an annual event? 
This option was brought forward to us by the RCH Foundation.  The biggest reason that we joined forces with both the RCH foundation and Scotiabank Charity Challenge was for ease and exposure.  This fundraiser was never about our family it has always been about the NICU.  When we did the walk it was located in Ladner and it was difficult to bring the entire NICU community to us so it was always more of a family and friends event.  Now the event has been able to reach more of just the NICU community and that was ultimately what our family wanted.  Our dream was to raise awareness about the NICU and give the NICU families a place to come together and celebrate our miracles that have come through the NICU. 
We do not still do the walk, like everyone these days we are a busy family and the walk consumed roughly 6-8 months of our year trying to plan, execute the walk, and then finally send out all of the thank you’s.  We know how much goes into an event like this and for the foundation to take this work off of our plate has been amazing for us.  The RCH Foundation is truly the backbone of why this fundraiser has continued.

Royal Columbian Hospital FoundationWhat made you become so involved with the RCH Foundation?  I’m sure many families have been helped through their care, but what made you decide to give back over the years? 
Without the NICU we would not have our family of 6.  Our children were very sick when they came under the care of Dr. Al-Mudaffer of the NICU.  He and his team (doctors and nurses) made sure that they would find the answers of why the kids were so sick and he did.  The RCH Foundation was our avenue to ensure that our money made it back into the RCH NICU’s system.  They have been absolutely amazing in their tireless work and continue to exceed all of our expectations.  They always make things happen and always looking our for not only the hospitals best interests but also the families of the patients.  They make things happen!

Where does the money that’s fundraised go to every year? Is it based on the needs of the neonatal unit? 
Queenie (NICU Manager) still allows us to choose where this money goes.  Every time we start a new year we are given a few choices and the monetary amount of the items that we are discussing.  The current focus is an Infant Transport Incubator. Before this, we raised money to purchase a jet ventilator, which provides a gentle and effective mode of ventilation to help the most fragile premature babies breathe, since their lungs are not developed enough for them to breathe on their own. We’ve also purchased infusion pumps that deliver fluids and medications as well as a couple of isolette incubators.
The Incubator stretcher that we are currently still working on has been a special piece of equipment because we have an agreement with the hospital that we will continue to raise funds for this piece of equipment (forecasted 3 years) but the piece of equipment has already been purchased.  The hospital is paying for this piece of equipment and we are paying them back, what an amazing relationship!

When you sign up for the Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon or 5k, you can choose to run for the Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation in the Scotiabank Charity Challenge. Already registered to run? You can join their fundraising team today or make a donation to their team.

Dr. Peter AIDS FoundationDr. Peter AIDS Foundation

The Dr. Peter Centre is a leader in providing HIV care for individuals who face complex social and health issues, including mental illness, addictions, poverty, homelessness and social isolation.

Located in Vancouver’s West End, the Dr. Peter Centre provides three programs – day health, 24-hour specialized nursing care residence, and enhanced supportive housing, which together form a campus of care with integrative HIV services supporting personal autonomy and effective use of health care resources.

Now in our 8th year, staff and volunteers of the Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation form the “Red Ribbon Roadrunners” and run in the Scotiabank Charity Challenge to fundraise. Our team runs not only for fitness, but also to support compassionate care for people living with HIV.

We chose the Scotiabank Charity Challenge as one of our yearly fundraisers because it is a world-class race that provides a seamless platform that allows us to focus our efforts and resources on fundraising. It is also a great way to meet new people, get in shape, and have fun!

The Red Ribbon Roadrunners participate annually in the Scotiabank Half-Marathon and 5k in support of the life-changing work of the Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation. Every contribution makes a difference. When you run, walk or pledge on behalf of the Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation, you help provide vital care for people living with HIV.

Our food and nutrition program is the cornerstone of our model of care. Every day in the day health program, nutritious breakfasts and lunches are served, providing the high level of nutrition needed for a person to fully benefit from HIV treatment and to bolster the immune system.

In our day health program, a meal is so much more than a meal – it’s THE draw for engagement in HIV treatment and other HIV care.

Our goal is to raise $5000, enough to fund 1000 meals at the Dr. Peter Centre!

Dr. Peter AIDS FoundationWhen you sign up for the Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon or 5k, you can choose to run for The Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation in the Scotiabank Charity Challenge. Already registered to run? You can join their fundraising team today or make a donation to their team.

lipstick-projectThe Lipstick Project

The Lipstick Project is a small, Vancouver-based non-profit that provides free, professional spa services to men, women and children who are facing significant health challenges. Through partnerships with organizations like Ronald McDonald House, Canuck Place Children’s Hospice and the Vancouver Hospice Society, our volunteers deliver comfort, dignity and compassionate care to those in need. We’ve never participated in the Scotiabank Charity Challenge before and are really looking forward to engaging our community in this new way this year!

lipstick-projectWe chose to participate in the Scotiabank Charity Challenge because it is an event that such a diverse group of our community can participate in. Because volunteering with our organization requires a very specific skill set, there are lots of supporters and fans in our community who can’t volunteer with us. This event is a great way to engage our entire community and rally them around a specific cause.

People can run for our charity by signing up here and joining our team. We’re very excited to make this a community-building event that is much more than just on race-day. That’s why we have partnered up with Rackets & Runners’ run club for training sessions on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings. We also have an active Facebook community where we’re posting training tips, gear info, stretching videos, and different tidbits to help people make the most of this experience.

The funds raised will help us continue our programs and services in the coming year. We’re also always hopeful to expand the reach of our organization to serve more people, and success in this fundraising endeavour would help us to bring those expansions to life.

When you sign up for the Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon or 5k, you can choose to run for The Lipstick Project in the Scotiabank Charity Challenge. Already registered to run? You can join their fundraising team today or make a donation to their team.

Check back next week – we’ll be talking to another one of our great charities! You can find the full list of our partner charities here.