The Importance of Running Communities

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By Kara Leinweber, Ultra Runner

We are road runners, trail runners, elite and amateur runners. Some of us are 5k runners and others are  100 mile finishers. Whether you run fast or slow or in-between, we are all runners; we all chase post run glow, runners high and celebrations with new friends at the finish line. We are part of incredible run communities and crave connection with like minded individuals.

I love crushing both road and trail miles and compete in several road and ultra trail events each season. I am also the Race Director for The Lewiston Ultra (; a new event to celebrate community, connection and adventure. I am wild about run community and want to create opportunity to connect to something bigger, experience the power of community, float on gorgeous trails and take in an incredible finish line celebration. When we allow ourselves to be supported and support others, we have incredibly clear moments to push further and reach a higher level of focus in run.

Training on road and trail can be daunting and the mental toughness, commitment and accountability can be isolating. While I do complete many training runs solo in the pain cave, many of my training miles will be shared with running partners and run clubs. This has given opportunities to connect with runners that share the same pace, training ideas, gather the latest & greatest on run gear and create forever friendships. When you’re spending hours on the road or trails with a run buddy, you’re bound to chat about anything and everything. When I race ultras and run alongside a new friend for hours, we start sharing things that I wouldn’t even share with my closest of friends. You fight through the challenges together and there is nothing sweeter than rising up to be part of each other’s race success. I swear it is better than therapy. For all these reasons, I included an option in The Lewiston Ultra for relay runners to complete as many legs as they fancy with their relay team or with a soloist. I want to encourage the incredible bonds that are formed over the miles.

Stop by your local run store to connect with local run clubs and find out about race events. I have joined more run clubs that I can count and most will post the distance, route and pace prior so you know what your running into.  There are several types of run clubs: recreational, trail, triathlon, marathon, ultra marathon, track, stroller, etc. Run clubs are welcoming, encouraging to new members and ready to share stories and the runventure journey. Get out there and find your run community.



Ryan Chilibeck joins Canada Running Series as Western Race Director

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VANCOUVER. January 30th, 2018. Canada Running Series is delighted to announce the appointment of Ryan Chilibeck, who will join the team as Race Director, CRS West, replacing Clif Cunningham. Ryan’s first day will be tomorrow, January 31st, though Clif will continue full-time until the summer as part of a smooth transition.

“After 17 years, we’re sad to see Clif move on in search of new adventures,” said President Alan Brookes, “but thrilled to have someone with Ryan’s combined running, community and business experience on board to continue to build on the success of the events.”

Ryan ChilibeckA lifetime sportsperson, Ryan turned to running in 2010, and got the “race experience” bug when he signed up for Canada Running Series’ Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon in 2014. That was also the year he founded East Van Run Crew:

“Until 2014, I typically ran alone,” he recalls. “Then one of my friends was running with Parkdale Roadrunners in Toronto and I couldn’t stop watching his social media feed to see what was going on. I looked around Vancouver and didn’t see anything that really captured the energy of this new running movement that they were bringing to the streets every week. In the lead up to my 2014 Scotia Half, EVRC was founded over social media, to a lukewarm reception. From there, things have just snowballed into what EVRC is today…a large, dynamic, inviting, open-door, community-building and thirsty group of people who also like to run.

Once this social aspect of running came into my life, it gave me another thing to look forward to every week: a new circle of friends and a creative output that no job could not offer me at the time. We were able to raise money for charities, jump on social media to connect with runners across the globe, host group events in our own city and represent our run crews at races around the world.”

From 2012 to 2016, Ryan also gained invaluable business experience establishing and managing a flourishing Famoso Pizza franchise in East Vancouver that also helped sponsor races and act as a popular location for crew runs, post-run pizza and beer, as well as supporting a wide range of community-based charities. He also coordinated and oversaw the training of new Famoso partners and their management teams, and re-vamped and refreshed the music offerings at 29 Famoso locations across Canada.

Ryan has spent the past year in Edmonton where he launched and managed the Northern Alberta Trail Run Series.

“Bringing a new Race Series to Edmonton was an incredibly rewarding experience. I was able to use my previous racing knowledge to coordinate the entire runner-experience from registration to finish line. There is no better feeling than seeing a lofty vision and months’ worth of planning come to reality. The only downside was that I never got to race in any of them! I’m really looking forward to bringing my personal experiences and talents to the amazing structure that Clif, Tom and the rest of the CRS team has worked hard to create across the country.”

Ryan will be joined on the Canada Running Series West team by Jen Cerullo and Ron Denischuk, two high-energy event professionals, as Event Manager and Operations Manager, respectively. Jen has worked on many Vancouver-area events including prominent roles with lululemon’s Seawheeze, the Rock ‘n Roll Vancouver Half marathon and the First Half Half Marathon, as well as with CRS on the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon in a range of volunteer-management, course, venue and “people” areas. Ron has worked with CRS under Tom Skinner for 5 years, as well as on the Sun Run and other major events. A UBC Business graduate, he is eager to step up as Tom moves on to a new challenge with HUB Cycling. Like Clif, though, Tom will be there in the transition to support the Scotia Half and the Under Armour Eastside 10k in race-week roles.

“We’re really excited about 2018, from Vancouver to Toronto and Montreal,” said Brookes. “And we’re looking forward to seeing the running community out in force to give Clif and Tom a royal send-off, and be part of the new energy, excitement and innovation that Ryan and his team will bring. We’re all building this together.”

Canada Running Series [CRS] is the nation’s premier running circuit with 7 events: 4 in Toronto, 2 in Vancouver and 1 in Montreal.  It annually attracts some 60,000 participants and raises more than $6 million for some 320 mostly-local charities. The Series includes the IAAF Gold Label Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, and the Scotiabank Vancouver Half marathon, the only event in Canada to receive “Inspire Gold” certification from the Council for Responsible Sport in Oregon for its exemplary practice of sustainability. 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”.

Staying Fit Through The Holidays

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December 2016

As soon as the calendar turns to December 1st and the holiday season hits, even the most dedicated of runners tend to fall off their training regimen.  Instead of training, people’s agendas fill up with festive dinners, parties, and other social gatherings.  As it’s nearly impossible to resist all temptations, here are five ways to keep oneself in check during the holidays and avoid having months of training go to waste over four weeks of indulgence.

1 – Make a schedule

By planning runs around work parties and other obligatory social gatherings, it’ll be less likely workouts get missed.  Most get-togethers are planned ahead of time, so plan runs around them.  Know there’s going to some rockin’ around the Christmas tree in the evening?  Run in the morning.  If a schedule is set, it’s easier to adhere to.

2 – Find a buddy

Having someone to be accountable to makes a big difference when staying on track with training at any time of the year.  Whether it’s a colleague, a friend, or a training group, make sure you don’t leave them hanging!  Use it as an opportunity to catch-up with out-of-town friends, or get an extra push in a workout.  The camaraderie through the cold and dark days is invaluable.

3 – Up the intensity

Trying to get in long runs or high mileage during the winter isn’t always feasible.  When commitments arise and only leave a short window of time to get a run in, up the intensity and get more bang for your buck.  Doing a 30-45 minute fartlek or hill session will provide a fitness boost and be far more efficient than taking it easy for the same duration.

4 – Avoid temptation

When buffet tables become more common than sit-at-home meals, it’s easy to get eyes bigger than your stomach.  Add in happy hours, and desserts galore, the calories can sneak in without you even noticing.  There will always be a time to indulge, just try not to make it a habit.  When options are aplenty, pick and choose, or find a dinner buddy to split treats with.  That way you can indulge in twice the amount of treats, with half the guilt.

It’s not what you eat between Christmas and New Year’s, it’s what you eat between New Year’s and Christmas – Vinnie Tortorich

5 – Cross-train

As the weather takes a turn for the worse, sometimes the conditions aren’t ideal for running.  Use this as a way to fall back in love with spin classes, the pool, or the gym.  These activities are great alternatives to the monotonous pavement pounding runners adore, but will help keep you in shape and avoid injury when the running mileage ramps up again.

CRS News and Dates – January 20, 2015

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Canada Running Series Headline News – January 20, 2015

  • Have you seen our 2 NEW, fabulous, inspirational STWM VIDEOS [1 minute each]:
  • NEW Canada Running Series 2015 SOCIAL HUB launched. We want to hear from you [and see those #runfies]! Share your training, goals, daily ups & downs, great runs and well…the tough ones too. ALL your posts on Twitter and Instagram will come together in one innovative place as long as you use one or more of our race hashtags:
    • #runCRS
    • #modo8k
    • #HarrysTO10
    • #TYS10k
    • #Scotia21KMtl
    • #scotiahalf
    • #eastside10k
    • #ZooRunTO

Note: Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront 2015 will continue to have its own, separate Social Hub with hashtag #STWM

Upcoming Dates and Deadlines

Sponsorship, Marketing Opportunities NOW available for CRS & STWM 2015: Opportunities exist at a wide range of levels all the way from single event sampling to Event Title. Find our how we can help you connect with 60,000+ fitness enthusiasts. Connect with