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Race Day Essentials for the 2022 Under Armour Eastside 10K

By | Eastside 10k | No Comments

The countdown is on for this year’s Under Armour Eastside 10K, back in person on September 17 through Vancouver’s historic Gastown neighbourhood. We’re rounding up our top race day essentials to help you stay focused to the finish and crush your PB!

Cool, calm and comfortable:

Feeling the pressure? Don’t sweat it. Running gear from the Iso-Chill product line by our sponsor Under Armour feels cool to the touch, with sweat-wicking, quick-drying fabric to keep you ultra comfortable. The Iso-Chill Run 2-in-1 Shorts feature built-in mesh inner shorts to disperse body heat so you can breeze past the other runners.

Rain or shine:

The only way to really beat the forecast is to come prepared for any type of weather. A packable, water-repellent jacket like the Under Armour Run Anywhere Storm Jacket and the lightweight, breathable UA Shadow Run Adjustable Cap will keep you covered.

New best pace:

We know you’ve got it in you. Hit your stride and log a new best pace with shoes that put in work for you. The Under Armour Flow Velociti Wind 2 grips the ground with a rubberless sole that feels super lightweight and comfortable, sending you soaring over the finish line.

A photo finish:

Show the people what they want! Whether you’re participating virtually or in person, share your favourite #UAEastside10k moments on social media to show the world why the Under Armour Eastside 10K is the best run in Vancouver.

Who you are supporting:

The 2022 Under Armour Eastside 10K proudly supports the Vancouver community by working with four local charity partners – The Downtown Eastside Women’s CentreCLICK – Contributing to Lives of Inner City KidsPHS Community Services Society and the Urban Native Youth Association. Learn more about how you can help fundraise for our Eastside charities.

Under Armour Ambassadors Give Eastside 10K Training Tips

By | Eastside 10k | No Comments

With the Under Armour Eastside 10K just over a month away, you’ll want to do some planning to ensure you’re as prepared as you can be. Under Armour ambassadors shared with us some of their best tips for race day.

Nutrition

When it comes to the food that fuels you, you’ll want to avoid trying to level up the night before with a new nutrient-rich meal thinking you need a “healthy” boost for the next day. Eating something untested pre-race is a gamble no runner should make.

What should you do instead? Run Coach, Stéphane Hetherington, suggests testing meals as part of your training ahead of time so, that come race day you already know what works. Think of pre-race food as fuel, not nutrition, and go with what leaves you feeling satisfied and energized time and again.

“After years of experimentation, my pre-race meal evolved into one (1) Little Caesar’s Hot n’ Ready Cheese Pizza or if I raced in the morning, I’d have frosted mini wheats with skim milk. Pretty fancy huh? Oh, and time your meal based on your last bite, not the first,” he goes on to say.

Training

“Whether you’re aiming for a time, a place, to finish or something else, use that goal to structure your entire program,” Stephane suggests. He stresses that being realistic about how much time and energy you have for training is important – consistency or lack thereof can make or break your development.

Dr. Mitch Broser emphasizes the importance of including exercises in your warmup that prepare your joints for running. “A mobility routine that takes your spine, hips, knees, and ankles through their full range of motion will help not only prime your joints for optimal performance but reduce your risk of injury.”

Personal Trainer, Kevin Yeboah, suggests adding in weight training in between running days. Start off with three days a week, with different focuses each day. One day for your upper body, one for your lower, and one for a full body routine. The trick is to keep your weights light and your reps high! He recommends wearing training shoes like the UA Project Rock 4 for gym sessions so that you can maximize ground contact and get superior stability.

Motivation

“If we don’t believe we can reach our goal, we likely won’t,” says runner Sylvie Manaigre. “Positive self-talk and mindset are key.” Be sure to write out your goals to maintain your accountability and see your progress over time. Check out Under Armour’s Flow Velociti Wind 2 running shoes, which digitally connect to MapMyRun, an app that helps you track your running metrics. These shoes are rubberless making them lightweight while maximizing breathability. The outsole is super-durable, increasing ground traction to give you the kind of speed that feels like you have the wind at your back.

Show us how you’re applying these training tips on Instagram and be sure to tag @underarmourca and use the hashtag #UAEastside10K.

Lee Wesselius: Running Veterinarian to Run Toronto Waterfront 10K

By | Toronto Waterfront 10K | No Comments

By: Paul Gains

With the focus clearly on the medallists at the 2021 Canadian 10K Championships, it was easy to overlook the personal best setting performance of Lee Wesselius, who missed the podium by twenty seconds. Obscurity suits him fine, though.

The 28-year-old from River Glade, New Brunswick, a rural town half an hour outside Moncton, recorded a splendid 29:13 that day. Clearly, he enjoyed running along the shore of Lake Ontario as he will contest the 2022 Toronto Waterfront 10K on Saturday June 18th on an identical course. Memories of his previous visit linger.

“It had been a while since I had been racing and my training had been going well so I knew I was ready to make a big jump (last year),” he said from his current home in Mountain, Ontario where he works full time as a large animal veterinarian.

“It was a really good field there. I was in the middle of a marathon build so I was kind of just going to race and see where I was at. I was happy because some of the guys I was able to beat are pretty good competitors. And there were a few other guys just ahead of me who have run pretty fast times themselves, so I was pretty happy how it went.”

Three weeks after that 10K race, he finished second at the Indianapolis Marathon in a new personal best marathon time of 2:16:41.

What is remarkable about Wesselius is the fact he is able to combine veterinary medicine with running.

“Usually, my days are a 7:00 a.m. or 7:30 a.m. start and I am usually done 3:30 p.m. or 4:00 p.m. -ish,” he revealed. “I usually alternate (work) weeks of five days with four days. There’s also some on-calls every fourth weekend. It sometimes makes it harder to get training in. Usually, I stay close to home and sometimes you get ten minutes into a run and you get a call.

“Usually, I am able to squeeze two runs in. I just have to wake up a little earlier. It doesn’t always happen. During a non-marathon build, I will try and hit 100 miles – 160 clicks – then with a marathon, more.”

Although he admits to having many injuries while studying first at St. Francis Xavier and then at the University of Prince Edward Island’s veterinary school, he has been consistent more recently. His efforts earned him his first international vest worn at the 2022 NACAC Half Marathon Championship in San Jose, Costa Rica on May 22nd. He earned a bronze medal there.

“It was a nice to make a national team,” he said with a smile. “Obviously it helped that a few of the top guys had other plans and didn’t declare which allowed a few of us the chance to compete in an international event. There was one guy who had run 61 (for the distance). The field was smaller, the US and Mexico didn’t send teams, but it was nice to get to race internationally in a competitive race.”

Wesselius has been self-coached since leaving St. Francis Xavier when Bernie Chisholm was at the helm. So, he takes a rather relaxed approach to his training and racing. Indeed, at the recent 2022 Canadian 10K Championships, held in Ottawa this past weekend, he finished 5th (29:58) before getting up at 5:00 a.m. the next morning to pace Canada’s Kinsey Middleton to victory in the marathon.

He is in an enviable position in that he doesn’t depend on running for his living.

“I had a lot of injuries when I was an undergrad and I don’t feel I hit my potential, but I kept working on it,” he admitted. “I keep improving year after year and I figure as long as I am enjoying it and making those improvements, I will keep working.

“Obviously everyone wants to run the Olympics and World Championships but that is out of reach at this point. But if I can keep chopping minutes or seconds off here and there, I will see how far it takes me.”

Combining a full-time job with his training load can often be a challenge. He doesn’t have the luxury of relaxing between sessions as some of his competitors might.

“Some of the calls can be hard on the body,” he emphasized. “It would be nice to be able to sit round between sessions but running is not a sport where there is a ton of money involved unless you are at the very, very high end. It’s a lot harder to commit to that as a career.”

Wesselius will take on all comers at Toronto Waterfront 10K and if he has a particularly good work week then watch out. There is more improvement on the horizon.

For further information and registration for the Toronto Waterfront 10K, please visit see https://canadarunningseries.com/toronto-10k/.

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

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Media Contact

Sam O’Neill, Manager of Communications, Canada Running Series

sam@canadarunningseries.com | 604.653.0049

Rachel Hannah to Race Toronto Waterfront 10K

By | Toronto Waterfront 10K | No Comments

By: Paul Gains

Respect for Rachel Hannah definitely runs deep in the running community. She may never reach an Olympic medal podium, but she is a consistent force on the Canadian road racing scene, pushing the Olympians she encounters to deliver their best.

As the 35-year-old looks to the upcoming Toronto Waterfront 10K, taking place on Saturday, June 18th, it is with confidence but also with a ‘let’s see how it goes’ attitude—an approach that has carried her to the 2015 Pan American Games marathon bronze as well as an envious tally of domestic medals.

Those medals include the 2014 golds at both the Canadian 10K and Half Marathon Championships, the 2016 Canadian 10,000m Championships, and the 2017 Canadian Half Marathon Championships. Besides that hardware collection, she also finished a respectable 25th in the 2015 World Cross Country Championships in Guiyang, China, and ran a personal best marathon of 2:32:08 in Houston back in 2016. In 2014 and again in 2019, she was the overall Canada Running Series women’s champion.

Suffice it to say she is one of Canada’s best and her return to the Toronto Waterfront 10K is a celebratory moment for Canada Running Series.

She finished seventh in the Toronto Waterfront Marathon 10K in October 2021, running 34:11 that day, when in-person racing returned following Covid restrictions. The race served as the 2021 Canadian 10K Championships. This time, much will depend on how her recovery goes after her third-place finish in the BMO Vancouver Marathon on May 1st.

In Vancouver, she went out too hard, she admitted with no regret.

“I raced it the way you don’t want to race a marathon,” Hannah revealed with a laugh. “I went out quite hard with the elite women. I wanted to race (Olympians) Dayna (Pidhoresky) and Lanni (Marchant). That was my race plan, but normally I wouldn’t go out at that pace.

“I think I split the half marathon almost at my PB pace, which on that course is pretty fast. If I had been pacing myself, I would have gone out at least two minutes slower. I couldn’t hold the pace, so I slowed down in the end.”

After taking a couple of easy weeks, she reported her recovery is as good as she could hope. Now her sights are firmly set on the Toronto Waterfront 10K.

“I was looking back at that (2021 Toronto Waterfront Marathon 10K) race,” she admitted during a hands-free telephone chat from her car. “I actually want to try and run faster than that. I won’t be doing as much mileage going into it. I want to focus on speed. So, I am hoping that will help. Like when I ran last year, I really hadn’t been doing workouts at that pace. It was more marathon training.

“I will have to see who is entered. I am not actually sure competition-wise so I can’t really comment on that. I would love to run under 34 minutes. If I can run 33 something, I imagine that will be in the top few. I feel I should be able to do that based on my fitness.”

Hannah spends a lot of time in her car. Twice a week she provides nutrition advice to students at the University of Guelph Health and Performance Centre, almost two hours of drive time from her home in Port Elgin. Last July, she moved to the town on Lake Huron to be with her partner, Joe, a teacher who was born and raised there. It was Joe who hung her Pan Am medal in a picture frame on the wall of their home after finding it in a box of her running memorabilia.

Two days a week she also works with Toronto-based Medcan while managing her own nutrition practice. No doubt she is applying all she learned as a nutrition student at Georgia State University where she was a scholarship athlete between 2005 and 2009.

“I am really enjoying my career,” Hannah added. “I am doing mostly sports nutrition and weight management so it’s nice I am working with more runners and athletes. It’s really nice to work with athletes.”

That’s not to say that her running isn’t a priority. Occasionally she finds training partners in Guelph but most of the time she is running solo.

“Sometimes we will have a group out for a long run,” Hannah explained. “It’s hard to coordinate with my schedule. It’s easier to do it on my own. It would be nice to have training partners for sure.”

It is quite possible that the Toronto Waterfront 10K will be another family affair for Hannah. The youngest of three sisters, their mother, Ingrid, is a Metropolitan Toronto Police officer who enjoys signing up for paid duty work at Canada Running Series races.

“She has been doing it for 20 or more years,” Hannah revealed proudly. “She does paid duties where you put your name in to do additional work above normal shifts. Sometimes she will be blocking off the roads so cars don’t hit us while we are running. She gets a lot of lip from people when she is doing that.”

Inspiration to continue past what most considered the limit of elite distance running has been presented by Malindi Elmore and Natasha Wodak, both Olympians at age 41 and 39 respectively.

“It’s hard to say. I don’t know how many more years,” Hannah stated. “I definitely want to keep competing. I don’t know that I will go past 40. At the most, probably another five years. It depends on injuries. I am still really motivated and enjoy it. I have finally figured out the training volume mix so I can stay healthy.”

Running on a course with which she is familiar—and with confidence—Hannah will be a force to contend with for all comers.

For further information and registration to the Toronto Waterfront 10K, please visit see https://canadarunningseries.com/toronto-10k/.

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

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Media Contact

Sam O’Neill, Manager of Communications, Canada Running Series

sam@canadarunningseries.com | 604.653.0049

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.