Meet Your ASICS Pacer Team!

By | Community Leaders, Training Tips, Uncategorised, Vancouver Half Marathon | No Comments

2022 Vancouver Half Marathon – ASICS PACER TEAM

 

Trying to get under the two-hour mark? Looking for a running buddy to keep you motivated through your race? Pacers are a great resource for runners to help maintain pace, keep you motivated, and maybe push you towards that elusive new PB!

As in previous years, we will be offering a wider range of pace times to help keep you on track. So here they are, our 2022 ASICS Pacer Team at the Vancouver Half Marathon:

Pace Time: 1:30
Name: Ellis (@run.ellis.run)
Why Ellis is pacing:

Since getting into running I have completed 2 world marathon majors (my goal is to run all six) and have taken my half marathon time from 1:40 to under 1:16. Although traditionally focused on the racing part I’m excited about the opportunity to give back to the community that has given me so much and trade racing duties for pacing duties. Running has given me a purpose, a career, and ambition to set audacious goals. I would be honoured to help others reach their goals by pacing.

 

Pace Time: 1:30
Name: Humphrey (@Humphreyontherun)
Why Humphrey is pacing:

I want to help pace runners from my run club and the community!

 

 

 

Pace Time: 1:40
Name: Emily (@emilysmac)
Why Emily is pacing:

In 2018, I ran my first marathon and I have been hooked ever since! I love running and want to give back to the incredible running community here in Vancouver! ♥️🎉

 

 

Pace Time: 1:45
Name: Julie (@Northshorepelly )
Why Julie is pacing:

I am a mom of two and running is my happy place. The sport and local running community has given me so much – and I love giving back to it. I am an avid marathoner, but the half-marathon, in my opinion, is the absolute best race distance! I am so excited to help others achieve a personal goal they didn’t think possible. Let’s go!

 

Pace Time: 1:45
Name: Julia (@jhawkinss)
Why Julia is pacing:

I am a previous UBC Track athlete that specialized in heptathlons and jumps (aka nothing over 800) but in my late 20s I discovered my love for marathon training! I adore the Vancouver running community and also recognize the importance of a strong pacer. It would be my honour to show some runners their way to a new PB. 🙂

 

Pace Time: 1:50
Name: Jill (@Westonjill)
Why Jill is pacing:

I’ve always wanted to pace and help people reach their goals – plus I’m super steady! I used to be a run coach and trainer with lots of passion for the community. Let’s GOOOOO!

 

 

Pace Time: 2:00
Name: Kate (@coach.kate_fitness)
Why Kate is pacing::

My name is Kate and I’m one of runnings biggest fans! I am a personal trainer, physiotherapist and group fitness instructor – I am great at motivating people working towards a fitness goal. I have always dreamt of being a pacer as so many pacers have motivated me to reach my time goal when running. 🙂

 

 

Pace Time: 2:00
Name: Ese (@essxkayy)
Why Ese is pacing:

I love running. I love running events! I would love to be on the pacer team as I love connecting with the running community and pushing through self limitations and barriers with friends. I think it would be fun to help people meet or beat their goals and run alongside them while they do it.

 

 

Pace Time: 2:10
Name: Rabih (@striderzclub)
Why Rabih is pacing:

I’m a certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor and running coach for the Striderz Club. Nothing makes me happier than helping and seeing runners crushing their goals and crossing the finish line within their target time. That’s why I want to be your pacer!

 

 

Pace Time: 2:10
Name: Karl (@karls20160815)
Why Karl is pacing:

I’m on my way to completing all six World Major Marathons! I would love to be a pacer at the Vancouver Half Marathon to motivate others & contribute to local race events like this.

 

 

Pace Time: 2:20
Name: Christy (@christybaker9779)
Why Christy is pacing:

Back for another year of Vancouver Half Marathon pacing! I am a mom of 2 and teach Physical Education at a West Van high school. I’d like to use this experience to encourage others to obtain their goals and to to inspire my students.

 

 

Pace Time: 2:20
Name: Harjinder (@Mrhdhaliwal )
Why Harjinder is pacing:

I’m a teacher that promotes active living. I have a running club at school and hopefully some of them will run their first half. If you’re looking to run a 2:20, I am responsible, energetic, and reliable!

 

 

Pace Time: 2:30
Name: Kat (@Katanacious )
Why Kat is pacing::

This is one of my favourite races. I have paced for Canada Running Series before and it is still one of my favourite running memories. I loved getting to talk to people as they ran their race and getting to support them. It was fun to make the race about cheering them on and helping them to reach their goals.

 

 

Pace Time: 2:30
Name: Shelley (@shelchen7)
Why Shelley is pacing:

As a proud member of  the Canada Running Series Community Team, I would love the opportunity to represent them while also allowing others to achieve their goals!

 

 

 

All Pacers will be outfitted in shoes & athletic apparel from:

Athletic Brewing Co. join the TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon and Vancouver Half Marathon as NA Beer Partner

By | TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Vancouver Half Marathon | No Comments

The leading non-alcoholic craft brewery will bring their popular non-alcoholic beers to the World-Renowned Races in 2022.

[May 10, 2022 – Toronto, CAN] – Canada Running Series (CRS) today announces its partnership with craft NA brewery, Athletic Brewing Company, as the official non-alcoholic beer partner of the TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon, October 16th, and the Vancouver Half Marathon, June 26th. The new deal promises to bring some of Athletic Brewing Company’s flagship non-alcoholic beers to the finish lines of CRS’ two biggest races, allowing participants to celebrate their accomplishments without the risk of a hangover. 

Participants will have a number of opportunities to try the beer in advance of their race, including at scheduled local training runs, through access to exclusive discounts, by attending the Toronto Waterfront Marathon Expo or by adding a pack to their purchase when they sign up for the race.

“We’re delighted to welcome Athletic Brewing Company to Canada Running Series,” said CRS President Alan Brookes. “Their commitment to sustainability, to innovation and excellence, and most especially to healthy lifestyles, make them a perfect partner in our continued quest to build community through running. Their award winning, non-alcoholic craft beers will greatly enhance our celebratory, post-race experience and are guaranteed to make our events even more tasty than before. Cheers to an Athletic!”

With standing global partnerships with IRONMAN and Spartan Race, Athletic Brewing Company has a deep-rooted commitment to the world of outdoor sport and adventure. Athletic Brewing Company, the leading non-alcoholic craft brewer in the U.S., has recently announced the 2022 submission period of its outdoors-focused give back program, Two for the Trails. As the largest donation program of its kind in the outdoors space, Athletic Brewing Company is pledging one million dollars to grantee winners and other partnerships of Two for the Trails in 2022. 

“Athletic Brewing Company is deeply committed to positively impacting our customers’ health, fitness, and happiness which makes this partnership a perfect fit with Canada Running Series”, said Athletic Brewing Company CEO, Bill Shufelt. “We can’t wait to get some Athletic brews in participant’s hands as they cross the finish line to celebrate their achievements on race day in both Toronto and Vancouver!”

Registration is open now for both events. The Vancouver Half Marathon is set for June 26, 2022, and the TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon will take place on October 16, 2022. With hybrid events here for the foreseeable future, each event will offer all distances virtually as well.

For more information on Canada Running Series events, please visit www.canadarunningseries.com

For more information on Athletic Brewing Company, please visit: www.athleticbrewing.ca.

Press Contact: Jess Fiaschetti | Jess@OutsidePR.com | 415.565.9530

About Canada Running Series

Canada Running Series is Canada’s premier road race series, offering seven annual events nationwide. Since 2017, CRS’s flagship event, the TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon, has served as the Athletics Canada National Marathon Championship race and has doubled as the Olympic trials. In 2021, CRS raised $4.8 million for 260 local charities through the Charity Challenge.

Using innovation and organization as guiding principles, Canada Running Series stages great experiences for runners of all levels, from Canadian Olympians to recreational and charity runners. With a mission of “building community through the sport of running,” CRS is committed to making sport part of sustainable communities and the city-building process.

About Athletic Brewing Company

Named as TIME’s “100 Most Influential Companies of 2022” as well as Fast Company Magazine’s “Brands That Matter” in 2021, Athletic Brewing Company is reimagining beer for the modern, active adult. Their great-tasting craft brews provide a refreshing taste of craft beer, without the alcohol or the hangover. With custom breweries on the east and west coasts, their lineup has earned accolades throughout the industry, even against full-strength beers, including the 2021 US Open Beer Awards Gold medal for Run Wild. Additionally, Athletic Brewing’s “Two for the Trails” initiative donates 2% of all sales to trail and park cleanups and maintenance. Plus, as a part of their IMPACT Program, 1% of revenue goes to non-profit organizations that support positive impact and opportunity from the ground up in their communities. Athletic Brewing’s full portfolio of flagships, seasonal, and specialty brews is available for purchase on its website, www.athleticbrewing.com, as well as the company’s hop-infused sparkling water, DayPack, and subscription offering – The Athletic Club. 

Les gagnants du 21K de Montréal sont Lee Wesselius et Laura Desjardins / Lee Wesselius and Laura Desjardins win 21K de Montréal

By | Banque Scotia 21k de Montreal | No Comments

C’est avec enthousiasme que les courses en présentiel sont revenues à Montréal. Plus de 1400 participants ont couru au 21K de Montréal aujourd’hui, la deuxième étape du Canada Running Series 2022.

Les coureurs ont bénéficié d’une matinée printanière parfaite au parc Jean-Drapeau, un ciel avec des éclaircis, une légère brise et une température de 3C au départ. Le parcours sillonnait les îles Ste-Hélène et Notre-Dame avec des vues pittoresques sur le Fleuve St-Laurent et le Vieux-Port de Montréal. Les nombreux virages du parcours ont à la fois abrité les coureurs et parmi aux nombreux spectateurs de voir et encourager les participants à plusieurs occasions. De nombreux sites d’encouragements, animés par des équipes de course, se situant sur le parcours.

Lee Wesselius de Kemptville (1h04min48) et Laura Desjardins de Toronto (1h14min48) ont confirmé leur niveau de forme en ce début de saison en remportant leur course de façons très différents. Chez les hommes, une bataille s’est déroulé pour voir les 5 premiers sous 1h07. Le groupe de Lee Wesselius, Kieran Mcdonald d’Halifax, Kevin Coffey de Kingston, Mohamed Aagab de Montréal et Maxime Leboeuf de Gatineau, «a démarré rapidement», selon Wesselius. «Vers 4 km, j’ai commencé à accélérer le rythme et ça s’est un peu étiré. Quatre d’entre nous étions encore ensemble jusqu’à environ 8 km lorsque Kieran et moi nous sommes séparés». Wesselius et Mcdonald ont ensuite travaillé ensemble, se relayant pour combattre le vent un kilomètre à la fois, jusqu’à environ 16 km. «J’ai creusé un écart de quelques secondes dans une petite montée et j’ai décidé de continuer», se souvient Wesselius. Il a donné le coup décisif avec un dix-neuvième kilomètre en 2min54 et a poussé jusqu’au bout pour remporter l’éprendre par 23 secondes sur McDonald (1h05min11). Le vétéran Kevin Coffey a couru une course stratégique après avoir perdu les leaders après 8 km et dépasser Aagab vers le 16 km, puis Leboeuf, pour prendre la 3ième position en 1h06min13.

En revanche, Laura Desjardins (1h14min48) a dominé la course féminine du début à la fin, devançant la Montréalaise Jenn Dowling-Medley par plus de 3 minutes. Kim Brown, la troisième était à 4 minutes de plus en 1h22min12. Après une 3ième place au Under Armour Spring Run Off 8k plus tôt ce mois-ci, Desjardins a déclaré qu’elle «cherchait juste un effort solide. J’ai choisi cette course à la dernière minute. Ça s’est bien passé. Je suis vraiment contente d’être venue». Comme les hommes, elle a dit qu’elle était partie un peu vite, puis s’est ajustée. «J’ai couru fort pour 15 km, par la suite, le vent m’a ralenti. Mais l’énergie de la foule m’a permis de passer à travers. J’ai vraiment beaucoup aimé le parcours.»

Cette énergie et cette enthousiasme étaient palpables parmi tous les coureurs et spectateurs lors d’une matinée de célébration pour la communauté de course à pied. 45 organismes de bienfaisance du défi caritatif du Canada Running Series étaient également heureux d’amasser plus de 550000$ pour différentes causes faisant de l’événement la plus grande course de collecte de fonds au Québec. «C’était une belle gang», se souvient Kevin Coffey, «Les encouragements et l’ambiance étaient vraiment bonnes.»

Le 21K a été précédé d’un 10km et d’un 5km hier dans le cadre de ce week-end de courses. Simon Poulin (31min56) et Carlie Pipe (38min44) ont remporté la victoire au 10 km. Marilou Ferland-Daigle (17min59) et Paul Molinier (15min32) furent les gagnants du 5km.

La prochaine étape du Canada Running Series se déroulera le 18 juin prochain pour le Toronto Waterfront 10K, avant de se diriger vers l’Ouest pour le Demi-marathon de Vancouver le 26 juin. Les inscriptions et la collecte de fonds en ligne sont ouvertes sur www.RunCRS.ca
Pour les résultats complets du 21K de Montréal voir sportstats.ca. Les photos seront affichées sur la page d’accueil de l’événement.


In-person racing returned to Montréal with great excitement and a sold-out crowd of 1,400 for the 21K de Montréal today, the second stop for Canada Running Series 2022.

A perfect, brisk, and breezy Montréal spring morning greeted the runners with overcast skies, temperatures of 3c degrees that felt like -1, and a blustery north-east wind across scenic Parc Jean-Drapeau, anchored in the middle of the majestic St. Lawrence River across from the Vieux Port. But the numerous turns on the course both sheltered the racers and provided great cheering opportunities for large numbers of spectators. Numerous run crew cheer sites and a cacophony of ASICS bells encouraged the competitors at every turn.

Kemptville’s Lee Wesselius (64:48) and Toronto’s Laura Desjardins (1:14:48) continued their strong, early-season form to take the victories in very different races. The men’s race featured a good battle with the top 5 all under 67 minutes. That group – Wesselius, Halifax’s Kieran Mcdonald, Kingston’s Kevin Coffey, Montréal’s Mohamed Aagab and Gatineau’s Maxime Leboeuf, “got off to a quick start,” according to Wesselius. “Around 4k I started to push the pace and it strung out a bit. Four of us were still together until about 8k when me and Kieran broke away.” Wesselius and Mcdonald then worked together, taking turns to break the wind a kilometre at a time, until around 16k. “I opened up a couple of seconds gap on a bit of an uphill and decided to push on,” recalled Wesselius. He dropped the hammer with a 2:54 nineteenth kilometre and pushed to the finish to take the win by 23 seconds over Mcdonald (65:11). Veteran Kevin Coffey ran a smart race, recovering after being dropped at 8k, to come through and pass Aagab around 16k and then Leboeuf, to take 3rd. in 66:13.

In contrast, Laura Desjardins (1:14:48) owned the women’s race from Start to Finish, breaking the tape more than 3 minutes ahead of Montréal’s Jenn Dowling-Medley (1:18:10). Third place Kim Brown (1:22:12) was a further 4 minutes back. Following her strong 3rd place finish at the Under Armour Spring Run Off 8K earlier this month, Desjardins said she, “was just looking for a strong effort. We threw this race in last-minute. It turned out great. I’m really happy I came.” Like the men, she said she went out a little fast, then settled in. “I ran strong to about 15k, then the wind got to me a bit.  But it was a great crowd and great energy and that pulled me through. I really liked the course a lot.”

This energy and excitement was palpable among all the runners and spectators on a celebratory morning for the sport. Some 45 charities in the Canada Running Series Charity Challenge also went home happy, raising a combined $575,000 for important community causes, and maintaining the event’s reputation as the largest fundraising race in Quebec. “It was great community out there,” recalled Kevin Coffey. “The cheering and the vibe was really good.”

The 21K was preceded by a 10K and 5K yesterday as part of the weekend festival. Simon Poulin (31:56) and Carlie Pipe (38:44) claimed victory in the 10K; Marilou Ferland-Daigle (17:59) and Paul Molinier (15:32) in the 5K.

Next stop for Canada Running Series ’22 will be June 18th for the Toronto Waterfront 10K, before heading West to the Vancouver Half Marathon on June 26th. Entries and online fundraising are open at www.RunCRS.ca

For complete results of 21K de Montréal see sportstats.ca. Photos will be posted on the event home page.

Leslie Sexton and Jeremy Coughler Claim the Titles at the Under Armour Spring Run-Off

By | Under Armour Spring Run-Off | No Comments

 

Celebrating its 45th edition, the Under Armour Spring Run-Off has raised more than $45,000 for the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation 

TORONTO, April 9, 2022 — Almost 3,500 runners breathed energy, excitement, and life back into the running community as in-person racing returned to Canada Running Series with the Under Armour Spring Run-Off in Toronto’s High Park this morning. The excitement was palpable as the 45th edition took place after the two-year pandemic hiatus. The opening day for Canada Running Series’ race season embraced tradition, with bagpiper Dave McGonigal leading participants to both 8K and 5K start lines. Fresh maple syrup from Tom Taylor’s Madawaska Maple Products sugar bush was doled out as prizing for those who championed the legendary hills, and a pancake breakfast was available for all. Participants of all distances, including the Kids Run, enjoyed excellent race conditions: cloudy skies and balmy temperatures, absent rain or wind.      

Both women’s and men’s winners had convincing victories, as both led from start to finish. Canadian 10K Champion Leslie Sexton claimed the women’s title in 27 minutes flat. London, Ontario’s Jeremy Coughler took the men’s title in an impressive 23:37, the fastest time recorded on the course in more than a decade.  

“The other women blew me away on that first big downhill at 1.5K,” said Sexton, the Spring Run-Off champion in 2018 who has recently enjoyed much success in Toronto. “I have to work on my downhill running, but I worked my way back going up the Centre Road hill [at 3K]. I then managed to get away on the flat after that. For the rest of the race, I had a gap but never one I was confident about. I didn’t know how I was going to handle that last hill. I’ve had Laura [Desjardins] hunt me down before and Alex [Lucki] has really great track speed. So I was really happy I could hold it together.” Lucki took second in 27:06 and Desjardins third in 27:25.   

The men’s race saw a convincing triumph for relative newcomers to the Series over some wily veterans with Coughler and runner-up Lee Wesselius of Kemptville, ON.  

“Lee and I went out side-by-side at a good pace,” said Coughler. “But I got a small gap on him around 2K. The hills are a real challenge, a real leveller, but we train a lot on hills in London [with Bandits Elites, a high-performance group], so I think I have a little more strength when it comes to hills.”  

Wesselius managed to stay close to Coughler all the way round the undulating course: “The gap stayed the same, about five seconds. I made a push up the last hill but couldn’t close on Jeremy,” said Wesselius. “But I went under 24 which I didn’t think I would, so I’m happy.” Kyle Grieve (24:06) and Kingston’s Kevin Coffey (24:41) chased home the newcomers for third and fourth.  

The race has raised more than $45,000 for the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation to date, and is accepting donations until April 30, 2022. The post-race pancake breakfast raised $2,000 for children’s programming at the High Park Nature Centre. Perhaps the biggest smiles of the day went to Abigail Sadler and Kevin Smith as they were crowned 5K Queen and King of the Hill for their charges up the final, gut-busting 600m Spring Road Hill. Kelly Senk and Puk van Gool claimed the crowns for the 8K.   

Most of all it was a day of celebration, a day of and for community. As a sure sign of this, Spring Road Hill was lined both sides with many of Toronto’s run clubs, including Kardia Athletica, Black Runners of the GTA, Chicks Run the Six, RunTObeer, and Rogue Runners.     

Women’s Leaders:  

  1. Leslie Sexton – 27:00
  2. Alexandra Lucki – 27:06
  3. Laura Desjardins – 27:25
  4. Sasha Gollish – 27:38
  5. Brittany Moran – 27:49

Men’s Leaders: 

  1. Jeremy Coughler – 23:37
  2. Lee Wesselius – 23:48
  3. Kyle Grieve – 24:06
  4. Kevin Coffey – 24:41
  5. Dylan Alick – 24:42

About Canada Running Series 

Canada Running Series is the nation’s premier running circuit with seven events: four in Toronto, two in Vancouver and one in Montreal. It annually attracts over 70,000 participants and raises more than $6 million for some 320 mostly local charities. The Series includes the World Athletics Gold Label TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon and the Athletics Canada National Marathon Championships. Since 1999, CRS has gained international recognition for innovation and organization. 

We are passionately committed to staging great experiences for runners of all levels, from Canadian Olympians and international stars to healthy lifestyle people and charity runners, and to making sport part of sustainable communities and the city-building process. Our mission is “building community through the sport of running.” 

For more information about the Under Armour Spring Run-Off, please visit:  https://canadarunningseries.com/spring-run-off/  

For more information about Canada Running Series, please visit: https://canadarunningseries.com/ 

Media Contact: 

Sam O’Neill
Marketing and Communications Coordinator
sam@canadarunningseries.com
(604) 653-0049 

Under Armour Spring Run-Off 8K: Women’s Preview 

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The 45th edition of Toronto’s oldest race promises maple syrup, bagpipes, and a great women’s elite race with track specialists, road warriors, and Sasha Gollish, who is a bit of both

TORONTO, April 7, 2022 — Since the last time she raced in the Under Armour Spring Run-Off in 2014 and finished third, Sasha Gollish has excelled in disciplines far shorter and longer than eight kilometres.

As recently as February of this year, the Toronto-based athlete ran 1:14:11 at the First Half half marathon in Vancouver, before shifting gears and setting a world record in the women’s 40+ indoor mile in 4:38.73 two weeks later. She attributes part of her strong start to the year to a newfound love for Nordic skiing, which she does on the trails near her cottage in the Wasaga region, 90 minutes north of Toronto.

“I’m desperately holding on to winter,” said Gollish. “I love skiing; it’s fun and it made me stronger physically. My best seasons as an elite have been when I was doing different things to supplement my running and playing to other strengths.”

The professional engineer surprised even herself by racing so well this early in the year – she broke the world record before even making any spring racing plans.

“A part of me was shocked,” said Gollish. “I’m definitely in better shape than I thought – that mile was like doing a workout with friends.”

But racing still feels unfamiliar to her, following two years of sporadic lockdowns. Gollish said her objective for this year’s Spring Run-Off is simply to get into the groove of competing again.

“I’m emerging to top form, but I’m not there yet. My goal is to nail the preparation and properly getting to the start line. That means showing up prepared to compete without pressure for place, time or outcome…reintegrating racing into our new normal.”

Gollish will contend for the title with a handful of women, who will include current Canadian National 10K Champion Leslie Sexton. The Markham native and Vancouver resident is coming off her best year of training and racing, in which she won the 2021 Athletics Canada 10K Championship on Toronto’s waterfront in 32:04, and later became the sixth fastest female marathoner in Canadian history by running 2:28.35 at the Philadelphia Marathon.

Toronto-born rising star, Alexandra Lucki, will also challenge for the win, despite being just two weeks removed from representing Canada at the Pan-American Cross-Country Cup, where she finished seventh in the open women’s race. Lucki, a University of Maryland and NCAA alumna with a 4:34 mile and 9:01 3,000m, showed promise on the roads last fall by finishing fourth at the Canadian 10K Championship in 33:58. Cleo Boyd of Kingston, meanwhile, will come to the start line just months removed from personal bests of 15:57 and 33:02 in the 5,000m and 10,000m.

The rest of the women’s elite field combines youth and experience. Recent U SPORTS All-Canadians and now post-collegiate athletes Jenn Dowling-Medley of Montreal and Kristina Popadich of Toronto will both make their Spring Run-Off debut. Dowling-Medley was tenth at the Canadian cross-country championship last fall, while Popadich finished 26th.

Laura Desjardins, meanwhile, will try to reclaim the podium after finishing second at the Spring Run-Off’s 2018 edition. The Toronto-based athlete ran the Houston Half Marathon in 1:15:45 earlier this year, and was just two places and 11 seconds behind Lucki at last year’s Canadian 10K Championship.

Brittany Moran, also of Toronto, returns to High Park’s elite start line for the first time since 2015. The chiropractor should challenge for the medals, too, after posting a massive personal best of 2:33:37 in the marathon last fall, and then a third-place finish at the Around the Bay Road Race two weeks ago.

Canada Running Series Race Director, Alan Brookes, said the race is Sexton’s to lose, but that predicting the rest of the finishing order feels like an impossible task.

“One of the most intriguing things about the COVID-19 interlude is that we don’t know how it’s affected different athletes,” he said. “Who’s fit? Who was too unmotivated to train with no in-person races? We’ll find out on April 9th.”

Brookes said he is thrilled that Toronto’s oldest ongoing race is back this year, with its iconic Canadian traditions: piper Dave MacGonigal leading everyone to the start lines; fresh maple syrup awards from Madawaska Maple Products; the King and Queen of The Hill competition; the Kardia Athletica crew cheer zone on Spring Road Hill and Rogue Runners on Centre Road. Participants will also be raising $60,000 for the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation and are invited to reward themselves at the post-race pancake breakfast in support of the High Park Nature Centre.

Information on the elite race and complete Women’s Start List can be found here: https://canadarunningseries.com/spring-run-off/elites-and-prizing/

About The Under Armour Spring Run-Off

Date: Saturday April 9, 2022

8K Start Time: 10:00 a.m.

Location: High Park, Toronto

For media access on race day, please contact Sam O’Neill, Marketing and Communications Coordinator at sam@canadarunningseries.com

About Canada Running Series

Canada Running Series is the nation’s premier running circuit with seven events: four in Toronto, two in Vancouver and one in Montreal. It annually attracts over 70,000 participants and raises more than $6 million for some 320 mostly local charities. The Series includes the World Athletics Gold Label TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon and the Athletics Canada National Marathon Championships. Since 1999, CRS has gained international recognition for innovation and organization.

We are passionately committed to staging great experiences for runners of all levels, from Canadian Olympians and international stars to healthy lifestyle people and charity runners, and to making sport part of sustainable communities and the city-building process. Our mission is “building community through the sport of running.”

More info: https://canadarunningseries.com/

Under Armour Spring Run Off 8k: Men’s Preview

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Photo credit: Todd Fraser/Canada Running Series 

It’s opening day for Canada Running Series and the 45th edition of Toronto’s oldest race promises a battle for the men’s crown with 3-time champ Tristan Woodfine absent for the first time since 2016. Some exciting up-and-comers to take on wily veterans.

Lee Wesselius is still getting used to racing with a target on his back.

Things have not been quite the same for the New Brunswick-born veterinarian since last fall, when he finished seventh at the Canadian 10km Championships in 29:13, and then followed that with a silver medal performance and 12-minute personal best of 2:16:37 at the Indianapolis Marathon. Wesselius, then a relative unknown unencumbered by the weight of expectation, had run the third fastest marathon by a Canadian in 2021. Now, as he prepares to challenge a youthful and hungry men’s field at his first ever Under Armour Spring Run-Off, he knows his competitors will not take his presence lightly.

“Though I still think that, to an extent, I’m unknown,” said the 28-year-old Wesselius, who lives and trains in Kemptville, 40 minutes south of Ottawa. “I’m still an underdog, but I don’t think people will be that surprised anymore if I’m still hanging in with one kilometre to go.”

Wesselius has been logging regular 160-kilometre weeks for much of the past year, covering most of his mileage between the end of his work day and dinner time. Lately, he mostly runs alone due to an injury to his training partner Blair Morgan. The relative isolation has made him eager to compete and test his fitness against that of others on Saturday.

“I’ll just put myself in a position to win and see if that unfolds or not,” he said. “I’ve been feeling solid in training just by myself, but I know it won’t be easy.”

Wesselius’ top challenger on High Park’s hills could be Jeremy Coughler, an Indiana University alumnus now training with the Bandits Elite club in London, Ontario. The 26-year-old chiropractor got the best of Wesselius last fall in the Canadian 10km Championships, beating him by nine seconds and finishing fourth overall in a time of 29:04 – just 22 seconds off the winning time. Coughler is the only runner in this year’s elite field to have broken 14 minutes over 5,000m, which makes him a threat in any sprint finish.

Kyle Grieve, meanwhile, comes into the race more familiar with the Spring Run-Off’s course than any other top contender. The Toronto-based athlete has finished third in the race’s last two editions of 2018 and 2019, covering the hilly course in 24:50 and 24:48, respectively. Coughler and Wesselius both beat Grieve when the trio last raced each other at the Canadian 10km Championships in 2021, where Grieve’s time of 29:43 was good enough for 12th place.

The absence of three-time defending champion Tristan Woodfine may make Coughler, Wesselius and Grieve the favourites to succeed him, but a 21-man-deep elite field filled with wily veterans and rising stars could open the door to surprises. Kevin Coffey, the Kingston-based 2:20:22 marathoner who has made road podiums for the better part of the last decade, comes to the Spring Run-Off start line with great momentum. In late March, he bested Olympian Reid Coolsaet at the Around the Bay Road Race in Hamilton, finishing the 30k race in 1:40:10.

Also challenging the leaders will be 24-year-old recent McMaster University graduate Dylan Alick, who finished just seven seconds behind Coffey at the Canadian 10km Championships last October in 30:19. Meanwhile, the 2019 Spring Run-Off runner-up Adam Hortian, as well as the best-selling author of Endure: Mind, Body and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance, Alex Hutchinson, will add texture and experience to the field.

“This year promises a wide-open contest with the absence of defending champion Tristan Woodfine,” said Canada Running Series race director Alan Brookes. “It’s the wily veterans like Hortian and Coffey versus the up-and comers like Coughler, Wesselius and Grieve. Throw in Quebec’s François Jarry into the mix to shake things up amongst Ontarians and we’ve got a race!”

For information on the elite race including complete Men’s Start List, visit: https://canadarunningseries.com/spring-run-off/elites-and-prizing/

About The Under Armour Spring Run-Off

Date: Saturday April 9, 2022

8K Start Time: 10:00 a.m.

Location: High Park, Toronto

For media access on race day, please contact Sam O’Neill, Marketing and Communications Coordinator at sam@canadarunningseries.com

About Canada Running Series

Canada Running Series is the nation’s premier running circuit with seven events: four in Toronto, two in Vancouver and one in Montreal. It annually attracts over 70,000 participants and raises more than $6 million for some 320 mostly local charities. The Series includes the World Athletics Gold Label TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon and the Athletics Canada National Marathon Championships. Since 1999, CRS has gained international recognition for innovation and organization.

We are passionately committed to staging great experiences for runners of all levels, from Canadian Olympians and international stars to healthy lifestyle people and charity runners, and to making sport part of sustainable communities and the city-building process. Our mission is “building community through the sport of running.”

More info: https://canadarunningseries.com/

2022 Race Day Essentials for the Under Armour Spring Run-Off

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Spring is just around the corner and so is our first race of the year, the Under Armour Spring Run-Off. If this is your first 5K or 8K or simply your first in-person race in a while, our title sponsor has all your race day essentials.

The beginning of April can be a challenging time weather-wise. Winter blues have melted away, but mornings are still ridden with brisk winds and unpredictable temperatures. Check out Under Armour’s Flow technology for high-performance shoes with grippy and supportive singular-foam compound bringing unparalleled lightweight cushion. The durable material has increased ground traction, perfect for road running on uneven surfaces.

The UA RUSH product line is perfect for all race day weather. The mineral-infused fabric absorbs body heat and converts it into infrared energy that is re-emitted back into the body. This recycled energy promotes improved performance, stamina and recovery. The RUSH product line provides HeatGear, ColdGear and Fleece depending on your needs.

If you’re looking for a new mask, try the UA Sportsmask. Made with high-performance UA materials, designed to be worn all day and when participating in sports. This mask has UA Iso-Chill fabric on interior lining and ear loops that feels cool to the touch for as long as you wear it.

In-person event participants will get a chance to check out all the latest running gear at the Race Kit Pickup at the Under Armour Brand House at the Eaton Centre.

Lastly, have fun and be sure to share your training and race day experience and PB on social using the hashtag #UAspringRunOff.

Sexton shooting for gold at 45th edition of Under Armour Spring Run-Off

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Fresh off personal bests in the 10k and the marathon, Leslie Sexton looks to test her fitness over 8km in High Park on Saturday.

Four years have passed since Leslie Sexton won her first Under Armour Spring Run-Off title, and in that time she has become nearly unrecognizable as an athlete.

The 34-year-old Markham native, who lives and trains in Vancouver, has dropped minutes off her road times since winning the 2018 edition of the High Park 8km race in 27:51. Just last fall, she won the Canadian 10km championship in a personal best of 32:04, and weeks later became the sixth fastest marathoner in Canadian history by covering the Philadelphia Marathon course in 2:28:35.

“Some of it is the shoe technology,” she said, reflecting on her recent improvements, “but I’m also in the best shape of my life. Stacking on lots of years of consistent training pays off, with patience.”

Racing times and pandemic notwithstanding, much has changed for Sexton since the 2018 edition of the race: she left her long-time training grounds of London, Ontario for Kingston and then Vancouver in 2021, where she and her partner are coaching with the Vancouver Thunderbirds Track Club. She said that moving west has intensified her love for training and racing.

“Relocating out here allowed me to get rid of some life and work stress, and live within running distance of lots of friends. I’ve never had such a big running community around me,” she said, before adding that she now occasionally links with fellow elite marathoner Natasha Wodak for workouts. “Mentally I’m doing well, and I’m just really enjoying the training.”

Despite now living three time zones away from her stomping grounds, Sexton made it a point to come back to Ontario for the Spring Run-Off because she sees the race as an important step towards her ultimate goal: to qualify for the 2022 World Championship in Eugene, Oregon. In the past, a marathoner of her calibre would easily have made the team: her personal best is almost a full minute faster than the competition standard of 2:29:30. But times have changed in Canadian distance running: three women have broken the 2:27:00 mark since 2019, and Sexton fully expects others, like national marathon record holder Malindi Elmore, to challenge her for a spot on Team Canada.

A maximum of three athletes can qualify for the World Championship, and Sexton wants to stay sharp in case she eventually has to post an even faster time to secure her place. That’s where the Spring Run-Off comes in.

“For me, being fit for the marathon means I’m also fit for the shorter distances,” she said. “Last fall, I used the 10km championship as preparation for my goal marathon in Philadelphia. Running well there gave me a lot of confidence, and if I can prove this weekend that I have good range, that’s a good sign.”

The key to staying sharp, said Sexton, is to race athletes who are more speed-inclined than she is. This year in High Park, the marathoner will be up against a fleet of fellow road warriors like 2:33 marathoner Brittany Moran and 1:15 half-marathoner Laura Desjardins, but also track specialists like the world record holder in the women’s 40+ indoor mile Sasha Gollish, and 9:01 3,000m runner Alex Lucki.

Sexton, however, is the only woman on the elite start list with a Spring Run-Off title under her belt, and Canada Running Series Race Director Alan Brookes calls her the class of this year’s field. Yet, Brookes wonders if Cleo Boyd, a late addition to the elite women’s field, might pull off a surprise victory.

“The race can still be Leslie’s to lose – she was National 10k Champion on the Waterfront last October, but Cleo Boyd was 2nd behind her – albeit over a minute back in 33:21.

Still, Sexton is not taking a race win for granted. Besides, her objectives have more to do with effort than placing.

“Really, the goal is to get back to doing a race and event I really enjoy and get a feel for that 8k pain, which certainly won’t be a problem with the hill at the end of the course,” she said.

“At that point, you’re not saving energy and there are no decisions left to make… it’s simple: you just go hard.”

About The Under Armour Spring Run-Off

Date: Saturday April 9, 2022

8K Start Time: 10:00 a.m.

Location: High Park, Toronto

For media access on race day, please contact Sam O’Neill, Marketing and Communications Coordinator at sam@canadarunningseries.com

About Canada Running Series

Canada Running Series is the nation’s premier running circuit with seven events: four in Toronto, two in Vancouver and one in Montreal. It annually attracts over 70,000 participants and raises more than $6 million for some 320 mostly local charities. The Series includes the World Athletics Gold Label TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon and the Athletics Canada National Marathon Championships. Since 1999, CRS has gained international recognition for innovation and organization.

We are passionately committed to staging great experiences for runners of all levels, from Canadian Olympians and international stars to healthy lifestyle people and charity runners, and to making sport part of sustainable communities and the city-building process. Our mission is “building community through the sport of running.”

More info: https://canadarunningseries.com/

Under Armour Spring Run-Off Training Tips

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Before running any 5K or 8K race, you’ll need to train your body to be in top form. Under Armour has tips for every aspect of your training preparation.

Strength

Strength training helps build muscle and increase mobility. Add lifting into your routine three days a week, with one upper body day, one lower body day and one full body day, focusing on high reps with low weights. Flat shoes such as TriBase Reign 3 training shoes help maximize ground contact and improve overall stability.

Endurance

Starting a diverse running program several weeks before the race is an effective way to maintain endurance and meet personal goals.

  1. Tempo runs are fast runs at a steady pace, working at a threshold. Tempo runs make runners stronger milers with less fatigue.
  2. Hill repeats help runners build strength and improve speed. This teaches your body to recover quickly.
  3. Interval runs involve short, intense runs repeated with short breaks between. Interval runs increase muscle size and cardiovascular health.
  4. Long runs involve a steady and comfortable pace. The purpose of long runs is to increase endurance and stamina.

Recovery

Cooldowns, stretching and foam rolling are proactive actions to keep the body injury-free as muscles are strained while training. Cooldowns at the end of a workout bring the heart rate down and promote gradual recovery. Try a brisk five-minute walk, followed by static stretching – holding each stretch for 30 seconds.

Foam rolling before and after workouts helps to alleviate soreness and increases flexibility. By implementing 10-15 minutes of foam rolling into your workout routine, runners become more muscular, less injury-prone and recover faster. 

Nutrition

The key to any fitness goal is to complement your training with a balanced diet. The morning of the race, leave yourself at least a 1.5 – 2-hour window to eat. You want to be able to fuel your body, but if you eat too close to race time your body will expend energy trying to digest. Hydration is also crucial. To ensure your body is ready to perform, you should be drinking 2 – 3 litres a day leading up to the race to avoid cramping.

Motivation

The hardest part of the race won’t be the actual running but rather staying motivated leading up to the race. Set your goals and create a playlist of songs you love. Organization is also key to success. Plan out your training schedule ahead of time, setting small, achievable goals. By writing down goals and results, you’ll make yourself accountable and be able to see the progress you’re making in real-time.

Read the official UA Spring Run-Off Training plan here and show us how you’re applying these training tips on Instagram with #UASpringRunOff.

ASICS Returns As Official Partner for Canada Running Series’ Top Three Races

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ASICS to bring unparalleled expertise and experience to the TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon, 21K de Montréal, and Vancouver Half Marathon.

[February 2, 2022 – Toronto, CAN] – Today, ASICS and Canada Running Series (CRS) are thrilled to announce a partnership between the two brands which will see ASICS serve as the official partner for CRS’s three largest events, the TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon, 21K de Montréal, and Vancouver Half Marathon. This five-year deal, beginning in 2022, will see ASICS leverage the brand’s various platforms and performance running products to support and benefit CRS’s core running audience. As part of the partnership, ASICS’ apparel will serve as the official merchandise brand for the TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon and ASICS will support the pacer programs for all three CRS races. Also, as part of the partnership, access to the ASICS Runkeeper app will provide CRS athletes with exclusive, personalized, and flexible training programs leading up to each race. Lastly, CRS will continue using Race Roster, a leading race registration platform for running events and a recent ASICS brand acquisition.

“ASICS is excited to partner with CRS and to support the top distance running races in Canada,” said Kris French, Country Manager at ASICS Canada. “We hope that through our platforms and products that we can help share the power of movement and the impact that sport can have on these communities.”

“We are immensely proud to partner once again with ASICS and leverage their extensive knowledge of race technology to dramatically enhance the participant experience,” said Charlotte Brookes, National Event Director at Canada Running Series. “While we remain focused on our mission to build community through running, our community has evolved, pivoting toward virtual connections and subsequently allowing us to expand our community well beyond our racecourses. The unique partnership between ASICS, the ASICS Runkeeper app, and Race Roster will allow us to continue driving positive change for both virtual and in-person racing.”

Registration is now open for all three events. The 21K de Montréal will be held on April 23-24, 2022, while the Vancouver Half Marathon is set for June 26, 2022, and the TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon will take place on October 16, 2022. With hybrid events here for the foreseeable future, each event will offer all distances virtually as well.

For more information on Canada Running Series events, please visit canadarunningseries.com.

For more information on ASICS Corporation, please visit: www.asics.com/ca.

-ENDS-

About Canada Running Series
Canada Running Series is Canada’s premier road race series, offering eight annual events nationwide. Since 2017, CRS’s flagship event, the TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon, has served as the Athletics Canada national marathon championship race and has doubled as the Olympic trials. In 2021, CRS raised $4.8 million for 260 local charities through the Charity Challenge.

Using innovation and organization as guiding principles, Canada Running Series stages great experiences for runners of all levels, from Canadian Olympians to recreational and charity runners. With a mission of “building community through the sport of running,” CRS is committed to making sport part of sustainable communities and the city-building process. For more information, visit: canadarunningseries.com.

About ASICS
Anima Sana In Corpore Sano, meaning “A Sound Mind in a Sound Body,” is an old Latin phrase from which ASICS is derived and the fundamental platform on which the brand still stands. The company was founded more than 70 years ago by Kihachiro Onitsuka and is now a leading designer and manufacturer of performance athletic footwear, apparel and accessories. For more information, visit www.asics.com/ca. Follow @ASICSCanada on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube for exclusive content and real-time news around ASICS products, events, and elite athletes.

Media Inquiries
Sam O’Neill
Marketing and Communications Coordinator
Canada Running Series
sam@canadarunningseries.com