Toronto Yonge Street 10K

Marchant And Gillis Take Toronto Yonge Street 10K Honours. By Paul Gains

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TYS10K Lanni Winner

Lanni Marchant breaks the tape in 31:49

TORONTO April 19th 2015. Despite a very strong headwind and cool temperatures for most of the race Lanni Marchant narrowly missed the course record at the Toronto Yonge Street 10k this morning.

The 30 year old resident of Chattanooga, Tennessee crossed the finish line in a time of 31:49,  just seven seconds off Florence Jepkoskei’s 2007 record time. It was her second victory in three years at this Canada Running Series race.

Marchant, who famously beat the Canadian women’s marathon record at the 2013 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (2:28:00), was all smiles as she greeted well wishers after the race. Missing the record didn’t disappoint her in the least.

“I am really happy with how I ran today,” she said. “I have been really focusing more on the 10,000m stuff for the track.  With the wind and conditions today I was happy to dip under (my P.B. on this course). I think I was 31:58 two years ago so I was a bit quicker than that this year so I will take it.”

From 3 kilometres on Marchant, who is originally from London, Ontario, was alone in the women’s race her chief rival, Tarah Korir, dropping back around that point. Korir, the 2012 Toronto Yonge Street 10k winner, spends most of the year in Cherangany, Kenya where her husband Wesley is a Member of Parliament. Marchant trained in Kenya during the winter and spent a lot of time with her friend and rival.

“I have known Tarah for years and we trained together in Kenya,” Marchant explained. “We did a lot of workouts in Kenya. She really made me work hard over there and she really made me work hard at the start of the race today.

“I never line up expecting to win or be the favourite.  I never want to doubt another girl’s fitness. I know how quickly I came on the scene so I never doubt how quickly another girl is going to do the same thing.”

Korir finished second in a time of 32:57 and soon after joined her parents at the Kenyan Kids Foundation table in the post race area. This is the charity she and Wesley started to help educate young Kenyan children. Although shivering in the cold wind she was pleased with her performance today.

“I started out with (Lanni) but then I felt like that pace was a bit too quick to maintain so I dropped back a little bit,” she revealed. “It was maybe 3 or 4k before I felt I was able to maintain a pace. I was able to pass runners.

“It was a lot better than a year ago. I was hoping to run a little faster but it was a decent race. I just want to continue improving from here.”

Marchant heads back to her latest high altitude training camp in Flagstaff, Arizona this evening where she will prepare for a pair of important track meets.

“I have been training in Flagstaff the last couple of weeks,” the London, Ontario native said. “I will head back there tonight then I head to California to do the Payton Jordan 10,000m on the track and try and get under 32 minutes for the IAAF world championships standard. Then I will be in Ottawa for the national 10k championships.

“I am going to do the Pan Am Games marathon so I will be back in Toronto for that. I can’t do two marathons in one summer and I really want to go to the IAAF world championships, so I have to become a 10k runner to do so.”

Eric Gillis crosses the finish line in 29:16

Eric Gillis crosses the finish line in 29:16

Two time Canadian Olympian Eric Gillis accomplished his goal of winning the men’s race albeit in a time reflective of the windy conditions. That time of 29:16 is more than a minute slower than his best on this course. He surged with 3 kilometres remaining in the race and earned a gap on Matt Loiselle which he held to the finish. Loiselle took second in 29:35 with the surprising Lamont Marshall finishing 3rd in 29:50.

“I wasn’t feeling that great this week,” Gillis revealed. “Some hip issues, so I played it conservative. Crazy wind out there all the way down Yonge Street. It didn’t feel as fast as normal on that course. But then things kind of clicked when I picked it up with 3k to go. I am a little sore now but I will get some therapy and I will be good to go.”

“I had Matt (alongside) until 7k and he did a bunch of the leading. Matt did a ton of the work. Just before 7k I knew we were going to make a turn and I was hoping the wind wasn’t going to be in our face and it wasn’t.  I just kept up the tempo from there, tried to feel good. I was feeling like if it was more than a 10k I could keep the rhythm going. I am pleased with the win and glad to get this one in.”

Loiselle had started the race wearing a hat but a gust of wind blew it off barely two hundred metres down the road. After losing the better part of two years rehabilitating from injuries he was pleased to make it to the starting line and test himself against Gillis. Two weeks ago the pair had raced at Harry’s Spring Run-Off 8k with the Olympian prevailing by 22 seconds.

“I am satisfied, I guess,” Loiselle, a 30 year old Athletics Toronto member, said. “Usually we have the wind coming from the north and, of course, today it was coming from the south.

“Originally I wanted to kind of push the pace and take it out from the gun. I tried anyway, maybe got a little bit of a gap at about 3k but Eric caught up to me. We stayed together until around 7k and he made a pretty good surge and I couldn’t react. Overall I am definitely happy with the effort. It was a better race than two weeks ago. Each week is getting a little bit better.”

Another notable performance today was the third place finish of Lioudmila Kortchaguina in a time of 33:44.  The Russian born Canadian, who represented Canada in the 2007 IAAF World Championships marathon, is now 43 years of age.

TYS10K Red Door Family Shelter

Race Director Alan Brookes, Councillor Michelle Beradinetti, and Red Door Family Shelter Executive Director Bernitta Hawkins

There were so many winners today including Red Door Family Shelter who went home with $12,700 to fund their Children’s Programs and Sick Kids Hospital who benefited from the fundraising efforts of the Justice League Runners. Toronto 2015 mascot PACHI joined the celebrations at the finish line as the star of many runners’ photo selfies during a special day for Toronto!


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Charities Stand To Gain In Toronto Yonge Street 10k Run. By Paul Gains

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TORONTO April 15th 2015. In excess of $6 million was raised through the 2014 Canada Running Series with hundreds of local charities benefiting from the philanthropic nature, not to mention the blood, sweat and tears of thousands of runners.

This year appears to be headed towards even greater success.

Up next in the eight race series is the Toronto Yonge Street 10k (April 19th), an event which has attracted, amongst others, two time Olympian Eric Gillis and Canadian Women’s Marathon Record Holder, Lanni Marchant.

Red Door Family ShelterRed Door Family Shelter was chosen as the ‘official charity’ of this year’s event which makes sense when one considers they have been involved with the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon fundraising for the past five years.

Their two shelters provide both short term and long-term housing for victims of domestic violence, housing crises, as well as refugees from other countries, and has a combined total of 156 beds. Serendipitous perhaps, but they are located near the 37km mark of the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, the Series’ flagship event.

“Some people come to us for one night,” explains Kathryn McKechnie, Red Door’s Fund Development Manager, “especially if it’s a domestic violence situation. They might come to us for one night but they might come a couple of times before they finally leave. But people can stay with us for as long as they need to.

“The average time is about three months, but people can stay for up to a year if their situation is complicated. Sometimes people, when they come to us, have no belongings, they have no access to their money, they have no job, nowhere to live.  They might want to get custody of their children and so we work through everything with them before they leave so that, when they do leave, they are not at risk of becoming homeless again.”

McKechnie says the shelters have been operating for thirty years and on any given night half the beds in the family shelter are filled by children. The association with the Toronto Yonge Street 10k is something she sees as very positive.

“We have about 100 staff altogether,” she reveals. “For the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon we have a regular group of between five and ten staff people, as well as a couple of board members and committee members, who ran the half marathon last year. That number has grown over time. So it was a great opportunity.”

While Red Door is the official charity runners Tarah and Wesley Korircan expect to see many other charities at the family area after the race is completed.  One of them is Kenyan Kids Foundation which received official charity status in Canada at the end of 2014. The founders are Wesley Korir, the 2012 Boston Marathon winner from Kenya and his wife, Tarah McKay-Korir, a native of St. Clement, Ontario, who is scheduled to race this year’s 10k. Three years ago she was the race winner.

Spending most of the year in Kenya where Wesley is now a Member of Parliament for Cherangany district, Tarah will challenge her friend and sometime training partner, Lanni Marchant who was in Kenya for several weeks this past winter.

“If I compare my training to 2012, well, I was training with Lanni a lot in Kenya,” Korir declares. “I wasn’t doing anywhere near the mileage (in 2012) I am doing now. I increased it. I am definitely in better shape than I was last year and hopefully my workouts have been showing that I am at least in ‘almost the best shape’ I have ever been in.”

Following the race Korir, victorious or not, will meet runners at the Kenyan Kids Foundation table.

“The key phrase and mission statement of the Canadian foundation is ’empowering families is equal to thriving communities.’“ Korir explains.

“Most of the residents of Cherangany are farmers, a lot of them are corn farmers. That allows them to get money once a year,” she explains. “They grow corn all year but often struggle to get money for their bags of corn.  The good thing about dairy farming is that it provides a daily income. So the Canadian foundation is trying to, first of all, bring the farmers together in a cooperative. If they sell the milk together they have more bargaining power.”

Korir says a large part of their involvement with the constituents is educating them in efficient farming techniques.  Two of the Canadian Kenyan Kids Foundation board members, who happen to be farmers from Southern Ontario, are presently in Kenya as part of this initiative.

PACHI at CN TowerThe Toronto Yonge Street 10k is also the only running event in the city to host the IGNITE Toronto 2015 Community Tour an initiative of the 2015 Pan Am Games organization. That too is a natural fit for the event since the Canada Running Series full time staff will handle logistics of the Pan Am Games marathon races in July.

Spectators and runners are invited to join in the post-race celebrations with Pachi, the Toronto 2015 mascot, and Mississauga Indie rockers Daylight for Deadeyes, while having the opportunity to explore the work that both Red Door Shelter and Kenyan Kids Foundations do.

As a matter of fact, there’s still time to support Red Door Family Shelter’s programs for children who are healing from the effects of homelessness and abuse. Make a donation today!



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How To Make The Perfect TYS10K Playlist

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Digital Champion Jess Collins began running as a way to complement her strength training workouts.  In 2011, she decided to challenge herself to run the Terry Fox Run (something she’d long wanted to do) as she was getting over a breakup, in order to focus her energy on a positive goal and raise money to fight cancer. She got hooked on running, and completed her first timed 10K race in March 2012. Jess’ most memorable running accomplishment was her first marathon in October 2014, at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. When she’s not running, you can find Jess baking (a lot!) and brewing beer! Connect with Jess on Twitter and Instagram.

The Making of a TYS10K Playlist. By Jess Collins. 

TORONTO April 13th 2015.

“The making of a great compilation tape, like breaking up is hard to do. It takes ages longer than it might seem. You gotta kick it off with a killer to grab attention. Then you gotta take it up a notch. But you don’t want to blow it. So then you gotta cool it off a notch. There are a lot of rules.” – Rob Gordon, High Fidelity

TYS10K Blog Jess Collins 2Running with music isn’t for everyone – most elite runners don’t race with music, and especially in a race scenario, it’s important to be able to hear announcements and your fellow runners. If you’re going to listen to music while racing, keep the volume low enough that you’re aware of what’s going on around you. That being said, I love listening to music during a race.

Preparing a playlist for each race is an essential part of my mental preparation. It gets me excited about the race and gives me something concrete to focus on while “relaxing” the night before, once all the training and other preparations are complete, aside from trying to get a good sleep!

Working on a playlist is a great opportunity to visualize the whole race. What songs will re-energize you when you’re tired, or just keep you at a steady pace? Plan your race in your head and think about what songs you might want to hear, at which points in the race.

My Tips for a Terrific Race Playlist:

  • Make a playlist that’s about a song or two longer than your expected time – that way, you won’t run out of music, and you can skip a song if you’re not feeling it during the race.
  • Keep it fresh – make sure to mix in some songs you haven’t listened to a thousand times on training runs.
  • However, make sure you have your favourites! If you have a killer “power song” that works for you, make sure it’s included! (“Wildcat” by Ratatat and “Rattlesnake” by St. Vincent both make me feel both fast, with some running “swagger.”)
  • If you’ve got guilty pleasure songs that motivate you, include them!
  • Start with a big uplifting song that gets you pumped up for the race. There are few moments like being at the top of the hill at Yonge and Eglinton, surrounded by other runners, during Toronto Yonge Street 10K!
  • Then, just like Rob Gordon’s mixtape-making advice, bring it down with a slightly more relaxed song or two. Your adrenaline will be high, and you need to check in with yourself to make sure you save some energy for later in the race.
  • If you’re expecting to need an extra push towards the end, stack the last third of your playlist with those fave songs that’ll give you a boost. (One of my personal traditions is to finish to “All My Friends” by LCD Soundsystem.)

Your playlist doesn’t need to impress others – you want something that will entertain and motivate you during the race. It’s your playlist, and it’s your Toronto Yonge Street 10K – make both of them your personal best!

TYS10K Blog Jess Collins

PACHI, Toronto 2015 Community Tour to star at Toronto Yonge Street 10K, April 19

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Ignite ImageCanada Running Series Foundation partners with the TO2015 IGNITE Program to Inspire its Community to Ignite the Spirit of the Games Through a Celebration of Sport and Culture

TORONTO, ON. April 10, 2015.  The Canada Running Series Foundation is excited to announce its new partnership with the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games through the IGNITE program, which enables individuals, organizations and communities to create their own special Games-themed initiative and/or increase awareness of existing projects through an association with the Games.

The partnership will see Toronto 2015 mascot PACHI star at PACHI at CN Towerthe Toronto Yonge Street 10k in support of Red Door Family Shelter, next Sunday, April 19, together with a supporting cast of the Toronto 2015 Community Tour.  More than 6,000 runners and walkers are expected to dash down Canada’s most famous Street from Eglinton to Historic Fort York, led by Canadian Olympian Eric Gillis and National Marathon record-holder Lanni Marchant who is expected to be one of the favourites in the Pam Am Women’s Marathon on July 18th. Canada Running Series will also be organizing the Women’s and Men’s Marathons at the Games. PACHI and the IGNITE Toronto 2015 Community Tour team will be waiting to greet the finishers in the post-race party area, complete with high-fives, all the information you need to connect with this summer’s sporting extravaganza, inflatable interactive sport activities, interactive photo cut-outs and SWAG! If that’s not enough, there will be extensive “selfie” photo opps with PACHI, between 9:40am and 10:25am, and during the Awards Ceremony from 10:45am to 11:30am. Councillors Christin Carmichael-Greb and Paula Fletcher will also be on hand to join in the celebrations.

“We are delighted to have this opportunity to partner with Toronto 2015 IGNITE program,” said Canada Running Series Race Director Alan Brookes. “The visit of PACHI and the Toronto 2015 Community Tour is an outstanding opportunity for Toronto’s running community to get up close and personal with the Games – to run, meet and mingle with the likes of Lanni and Eric, then make plans to follow them to the Games – to get excited and IGNITED!”

IGNITE has already connected more than 450 individuals and organizations to the TORONTO 2015 Games throughout the Greater Golden Horseshoe region. IGNITE is about leaving a social legacy behind after the Games.

“It’s great to see the IGNITE program in action,” said TO2015 Chief Executive Officer Saäd Rafi, “These are the Peoples’ Games and we want to see entire communities involved in our celebration of sport and culture. We couldn’t be more pleased with this new partnership as it will help us make that happen.”

For entry and further information on Toronto Yonge Street 10k see registration closes midnight on Monday April 13th.

About TO2015

The TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee (TO2015) is tasked with managing and delivering the Games. It is working to bring some of the world’s best athletes and artists to the Greater Golden Horseshoe region, giving Ontarians a unique chance to be part of the action, and making the region a hub for sport.

The TORONTO 2015 Games are funded by the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario, as well as Lead Partner CIBC and other partners and sponsors.

The TORONTO 2015 Pan American Games will take place July 10–26 and the Parapan American Games August 7–15.

For more information about the Games, please visit

About Canada Running Series Foundation. Formed in 2011 as a charitable foundation to support the community and charity initiatives at Canada’s premier road running series, CRSF has a mission to promote healthy, sustainable communities, and healthy lifestyles through running, especially amongst children. Together, the Series and CRSF raise more than $6 million a year for important community initiatives.


Gillis And Marchant Face Strong Challenges at Toronto Yonge Street 10K. By Paul Gains

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TYS10K Blog Eric Gills

Eric breaks the tape at Toronto Yonge Street 10k, 2014. His first win on Yonge Street and third try!

TORONTO April 8th 2015. Two time Canadian Olympian Eric Gillis heads up a strong men’s field while Canadian marathon record holder Lanni Marchant is the women’s favourite in the 2015 Yonge Street 10km race April 19th.

Gillis, a 35 year old Guelph, Ontario resident won this race last year with a time of 28:32 and went on to capture 2014 Canadian National titles in both the 10k and the Half-Marathon. He finished off the calendar year with a new personal best at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (2:11:21). It was no surprise that he was also the Canada Running Series overall champion.

He had intended to run the Rotterdam marathon this spring but a nagging case of tendonitis in his shin interrupted his marathon training and he was forced to change direction.

A spring road race season is now in the cards. A victory at the Harry’s Spring Run-Off 8k (24:18) last Saturday, April 4th amply demonstrated that he is in good shape.

“Yes I was pleased with (my performance) at Harry’s Spring Run-Off,” Gillis says. “It’s always nice getting a win and I felt in control at the end of a big week of training.

“It was nice getting a race in before the Toronto Yonge Street 10k.  I haven’t raced since the 2014 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon last October. So the Harry’s run is bound to help with confidence for (the race in) two weeks’ time. I’ll bring down my training more before Toronto Yonge Street 10k to make sure I’m fresh and read to go.”

Toronto Yonge Street 10k attracts a huge field and, like the Harry’s Spring Run-Off 8k and the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, is part of the Canada Running Series. Gillis faces a formidable challenge in Toronto from Athletics Toronto Track Club teammates Matt Loiselle and Sami Jibril.

Loiselle is returning from two years of injuries and chased Gillis around High Park to finish 2nd at Harry’s Spring Run Off in a time of 24:40 twenty-two seconds behind Gillis.

“Training is going well now,” Loiselle says. “I feel like I’m starting to turn a corner.  It was tough getting through the cold winter in Toronto, as anyone who was training here knows, but now spring is here and I’m looking forward to it.

“I’m excited for this year’s Toronto Yonge Street 10k.  For whatever reason, it’s really never fit into my plans since I’ve been living in Toronto.  It will be another stepping stone as I try to get back to the level I was once at. I know it’s a fast course and the competition is always great so I’m really looking forward to it.”

For the past four years Loiselle has provided accounting services for a large health food and supplement store in Markham called Nature’s Emporium.

“They are very understanding of my training and racing schedule so it’s a great place for me to work,” he adds. “I’m also in the process of obtaining my Certified Public Accountant license, so I’m in the middle of taking courses for that.  I’ve also been coaching the distance team at York University for about a year and a half, and I do some online coaching as well on the side.”

Equally busy and determined to perform well is training partner Sami Jibril. The 26 year old works the 3pm – 11pm shift as a streetcar maintenance repairman at the Toronto Transit Commission and fits in training before and after work. Twice he has run 29:16 at the Toronto Yonge Street 10k finishing as high as 3rd in the race’s 2013 edition.

“My fitness is better than last year,” Jibril insists. “I have had a great winter training without warm weather training camp this year. My main goal is to ‘PB’; I have run identical times back to back years of 29:15.5.

“Eric Gillis is a great Canadian champion and is, by far, the favourite to win. I will be focusing on myself and am preparing to finish in the top three and challenge the top guys for the 2015 Yonge street 10k title.”

Jibril tried his hand at the longer distance in March finishing 3rd at last month’s Around The Bay 30k Road Race in Hamilton with a time of 1:35:48. Consequently, he rested through this weekend’s Harry’s Spring Run-Off 8k a race he won two years ago.

Marchant, who ran 31:58 on this course to take the 2013 race, will be challenged by Tarah Korir,  the 2012 race champion. Both have recently spent time training in Kenya.

Korir, is married to 2012 Boston Marathon champion, Wesley Korir, and spends several months a year in the country as Wesley is the Member of Parliament for Cherangany district.

Lanni on her way to victory at Modo Spring Run Off Vancouver 8k on March 22nd.

Lanni on her way to victory at Modo Spring Run Off Vancouver 8k on March 22nd.

Marchant recently won the Modo Spring Run-Off Vancouver 8k in 26:43. That race kicked off the 2015 Canada Running Series.  She then finished 4th in the 10,000m at the Stanford Invitational. Her time there (32:11.06) was a new personal best and the second fastest time ever recorded by a Canadian.

The 31 year old from London, Ontario is best known for setting a Canadian marathon record of 2:28:00 at the 2013 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon.

“I will be doing the Payton Jordan 10000m in May,” she reveals. “I love the longer stuff. I can run marathon pace until the cats come home but getting me to run quicker is proving to be a bit of a task! So, I was happy to get out and race Modo 8k as a rust buster.

“I am doing the Pan Am Games Marathon definitely, so (I will) play around with the shorter stuff then by May I will do my last 10k and turn our heads back to the longer stuff and what I am more comfortable with anyways.”

Another runner to watch at this year’s Toronto Yonge Street 10k is Flotrack World Beer Mile champion Corey Gallagher from Winnipeg. A year ago he ran a personal best time of 30:32 at this race to finish a credible 10th overall.

“For Toronto Yonge street 10k I’m really looking to set a ‘PB’ and aim for top 10 overall,” he says. “To ‘PB’ I think I need to be a little more aggressive at the start and not sit back or be scared to go for it.”

Since winning the beer mile championship the Canada Post worker has been in the news constantly.

“It’s crazy how much attention I have got since I won Flotrack Beer Mile World Championships,” he says laughing. “I figured it would be like most things – fifteen minutes of fame – but here we are going on five months later and I’m still getting attention.

“The response at the Modo 8k was amazing. People were nice and curious about what a beer mile was. I think people like hearing about the Beer mile, everyone understands a mile and most people have had a beer. So mixing the two and hearing how fast I do both (5:00.23) seems to catch people’s attention. I’m enjoying chatting with people about the Beer Mile, and getting everyone’s take on it, positive or negative.”

As part of the nationwide Canada Running Series, the Toronto Yonge Street 10k maintains the high standard set by a full time professional management team. The downhill point to point course offers runners the chance to lower their personal best times and have an enjoyable time doing it. It is also an important fundraiser for Red Door Family Shelter.


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Running as Moving Meditation: The Mind-Body-Spirit Connection

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TORONTO April 7th 2015. Digital Champion Paul Silva started running to get his body moving in a meaningful way. He knew that running would touch all parts of the mind-body-spirit connection, and it hasn’t failed to do that for him yet. Paul’s favourite distance to run is the 10K, but his most memorable running accomplishment was completing his first marathon last October at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. It was much more difficult, physically and mentally, than he had expected, but he persevered and that’s what made it so memorable. Connect with Paul on Twitter and on his blog.

Paul Silva Blog Pace and MindRunning as Moving Meditation: The Mind-Body-Spirit Connection. By Paul Silva

I never wanted to run.

For 40+ years, I was content to not strap on shoes at ungodly hours and run distances that I would normally cover with my car.  Even though my dad was a runner, I wasn’t interested.  He ran for decades.  When I was a child, he would come home all sweaty from an afternoon run, and chased my brother and I to hug us and cover us in his sweat, all of us laughing while getting grossed out.  He didn’t race marathons, but he did take part in some 5K and 10K races now and then.  In the end, he ran because it was what he did.  It was important to him.

Running came to me as a sort of calling one morning.  I don’t know why I decided that morning I would try running, but it was monumental for me.  Because for a good chunk of those 40+ years, the only running I did was to the bottle.  Getting out of my own head and escaping the world were factors in driving me to drink.  So needless to say, after about 2 ½ years of sobriety, I was shocked and surprised that something pushed me to the one thing I thought I would never do – lace up and tackle the pavement.

I started with the Couch to 5K program in 2013 and before I knew it, I was running a half-marathon eight months later.  A full marathon five months after that.  My passion and love for running gripped me like nothing ever did before.  Running gave me something that fulfilled me in so many ways .  It spoke to me on all levels – mind, body and spirit.  And that is very important for me.  I strongly believe in the mind-body-spirit connection.  Like three legs on a stool, when one of those things is out of whack, I am not on solid footing.  I am a bit askew. And being solid is what brings me contentment. And joy. And keeps my recovery strong.

When I crave running, it’s also a craving to connect.  When my feet touch the ground, I am also touching something greater than myself, spiritually.  My mind is free to wander, or to focus, or to just settle.  My body gets the nourishment it needs in being free, in working hard, in feeling growing pains.  And my soul gets the joy of chasing dreams, of being thankful, of being relieved of the weariness of material-based living. And when I run, all three of these things are in sync.  Even on the bad runs, I get something out of it.  Even when my body feels broken, or when my mind tells me I can’t do it, I get the sense of accomplishment.  I feel a sense of ease and comfort with the world and myself.

Paul Silva Blog STWMRacing with others also brings me a sense of community that I never had.  The friendships that I have formed with other runners in such a short time have been one of the unexpected benefits of running. I am always amazed at the generosity and the support the community offers.  Being in a corral, waiting to start the race, always brings both a buzz and a sense of serenity.  Everyone has their reasons for running and yet we all stand shoulder to shoulder in the same place.

I understand why my dad ran now.  I understand the peace of mind, the pride of accomplishment, the exhale of negativity and the inhale of joy.  Running is my moving meditation, and as I move through this journey, I understand just how it impacts my mind-body-spirit connection.  When I don’t run, I feel it.  Not just my body, but in how I interact with the world and myself.  I feel it deep within.  But I run, and that’s what I do.  It brings the world into focus, one kilometer at a time.

I look forward in seeing everyone at the Toronto Yonge Street 10K.  I know I will see some familiar faces, meet some new ones and cross the finish line with a smile. And hopefully my two boys will be there, so I can grab them and cover them with my own sweat.  And laugh while doing so.

There Is No Finish Line For Me

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TORONTO March 16th 2015. Digital Champion Robert Brouillette started running 6 years ago because he was looking for a sport to fit into. Rober has raced every distance from 1 mile all the way up to full marathon, but is really focusing on the 10K this year. His favourite racing distance is the marathon because he sees himself as a long distance athlete. Robert is currently training in Kenya and will back in Toronto for the Toronto Yonge Street 10K on Sunday April 19th. Connect with Robert on Twitter, Instagram and his blog.

There Is No Finish Line For Me. By Robert Brouillette. 

Once upon a time there was a kid that would do anything to avoid running whenever he could. Fast forward 7 years and that same kid is now a dedicated, passionate, and hard working 22 year old, sub-elite runner. He’s now racing faster, longer, and harder events with more training then he ever imagined. This is the story of how I discovered the sport of running and did everything I could to be the athlete I am today, loving every moment along the way.

Everyday, from the moment I wake up until I go to sleep, my day is filled with running related things. It can be as simple as going for a run, stretching, cross-training or resting my body, as well as working at a running retail store, having a meal to fuel my next workout or making sure I get enough sleep. Sometimes it also can be passing up on a night out with the guys, but in the end I treasure every moment running has given me. I can honestly say I never thought I would be a runner, let alone at the sub-elite level, but I don’t regret this running focused life at all.  I am very happy this is who I turned out to be as it has led me to many exciting opportunities, positive moments, and allowed me to meet many amazing running lovers. With so much love and support from friends, family, teammates, and the whole running community there’s no looking back now.

Going back to when this journey first began, I was in my second year of high school and looking to find a sport to fit into by trying soccer, basketball, floor hockey, baseball, and others. On an educational trip to Paris, France that year, I thought it would be fun to see how fast I could run from the bottom to the top of the Eiffel Tower while my classmates took the elevator. At the top my teacher, who also happened to be the High School Cross-Country Coach told me I did a great job and should check out the team. The following year with the company of my younger brother, I started running daily with the team and locally with the Cambridge Harriers. In my first year of High School Cross-Country, I was lucky not to come in last place amongst my friends. In the second year I was battling for fourth place. But in my last year, I was one of the top guys for my school.

I eventually moved on to the Cross-Country team at Conestoga College for 3 years and learned just how competitive the sport could be! This was when my running career really took off. Going to provincial and national competitions showed me the talent of runners in Canada, and being a middle-of-the-pack guy, I told myself I wanted to be up at the front one of these days. I took my running career to the next level by travelling to Kenya for high-altitude training to run with some of the best runners in the world. I have been to Kenya for 1 to 3 month periods over the past 4 years, for a total of 8 months. Day after day, being surrounded by such a talented running community has really opened my eyes and made me want to keep improving. The most serious runners dream to come to Kenya and live the African running lifestyle and to have made that dream come true is amazing, and just the start to many more dreams I have planned to complete.

Back in Canada, I train with the Health & Performance Club in Waterloo for speed work and long runs. I do my solo easy runs on the trails of Shades Mill Conservation Area in Cambridge. I have completed road races from the 5K to the marathon, odd trail distance races, a few track races, and some fun runs to keep things interesting along the way. I could go on forever talking about all sorts of running experiences! With many races under my belt, dozens of medals, my huge collection of shoes, and thousands of kilometres in my legs, there’s always some sort of interesting tale to tell, and many more awaiting me.

The moral of my story is that, although I was hesitant at first and didn’t see my potential, and slowly had to build my skills, I was quickly hooked on running and I’ll never look back. Running will be a part of my life forever because when I’m out there running I’m in my happy place and I feel like I fit in. I chose to title this piece “There Is No Finish Line For Me” because even though I may complete a running race, there will always be another event, with more training and new challenges. The finish line of my future races may be visible with medals, signs and cheering fans, but the finish line to my running career is still very far away.

Everyone has a unique running lifestyle and with the help of one another, we can take our fitness to new levels and achieve things we never thought possible. Some of us run for fun and some of us are elite. It doesn’t matter where you came from, as long as you know where you want to go. With the help of a coach, some training partners and the running community, the rest is in your hands to guide yourself to any finish line you want to cross. I hope I’ll see you all at the Toronto Yonge Street 10K and just remember that you “Can’t Won’t Stop” believing in yourself, even after you cross that finish line!


Reasons To Run The Toronto Yonge Street 10K

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TORONTO March 9th 2015. Digital Champion Carmen Do started running in high school after her friend convinced her to join track practice. Running up and down hills was hardly what she wanted to do, but eventually she fell in love with running and hasn’t looked back. Running has helped Carmen through the rough patches in her life and has helped her grow as a person. When she’s not running, Carmen is either blogging or at school studying and thinking about her next run. Connect with Carmen on Twitter and Instagram.

Reasons To Run The Toronto Yonge Street 10K. By Carmen Do.

If you have been running for a while now, doing you thing and having run, you may be curious about racing! There are a few key factors that every runner should consider when picking a race, especially if it is your first. Here are the things I think about and the reasons why the Toronto Yonge Street 10K should be the race you sign up for this year!


Do you want your first race to be nearby or a destination race?

Picking a local in-town race means you can sleep at home in your own bed, wake up and prep in a familiar space, and not worry about forgetting to pack something.  Another reason local races are great for a first race is because you can have your friends and family there to support you on course or at the finish line.  Having your friends and family around for your first race can be quite exciting as it means lots and lots of (free) race photos!

Destination races are a great way to sneak in a mini vacation. If you’re not from Toronto,  why not plan a weekend getaway and sign up for the Toronto Yonge Street 10K?  You can get a feel of Toronto by running through the city and picking out places you want to hit up afterwards.  After the race, you can check out Toronto’s Koreatown, Chinatown, downtown shopping district, or hang out by the waterfront! They are all just a short subway or bus ride away from the centre of the city. Also, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to run down Yonge Street and then hit up one of the many delicious restaurants you pass along the way?


Why a 10K? 10K is a great distance to race!  I find that 5K is too short – there is no room for error, whereas 10K is more forgiving.  Racing 10K is great because even if you go out too hard at the beginning, you still have time to readjust and get your head back in the game. 10K races are short enough that you can complete them before the day “starts”, while still getting a chance to experience the race atmosphere. As a student, I love how I still have the whole day left to study afterwards or spend time with my loved ones.  Training for a 10K is also less of a time commitment than training for a marathon, but still challenging enough to keep things interesting.


Did you know The Toronto Yonge Street 10K is a downhill course? It’s the perfect race for a PR if you’re not a fan of hill repeats! I don’t know about you, but they had me at “downhill.” As the website says, “Canada’s EASIEST and one of the fastest downhill 10k’s.” Check out the course map here!


The Toronto Yonge Street 10K is made up of an amazing community of runners.  We have groups all over Toronto (and outside the city) that train together for the race and host community events to connect the running community.  Some of the groups include Tribe Fitness, Night Terrors (they’re not terrifying, promise!), Parkdale Roadrunners, and more!  See here for a list of groups you can join.

The Importance Of Listening To Your Body

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TORONTO February 23rd 2015. Digital Champion Laurie McCann started running after a good friend asked her to join in training for a half-marathon. Once she started running, she was hooked and running became her therapy. Laurie’s favourite distance is the half-marathon because it challenges her and with each race she strives to beat her PB. When she’s not running, Laurie is a  police officer with The Toronto Police Service. She is also a member of a competitive Syncro Figure Skating team, but what she enjoys most is hanging out with her 2 little girls. Connect with Laurie on Twitter and Instagram.

The Importance Of Listening To Your Body. By Laurie McCann. 

I competed in my first and only fitness competition in June of 2004. I was challenged by a friend of mine to compete, and if you know anything about me, I don’t back down from a challenge. I worked out twice a day and ate chicken, broccoli, black coffee (not my usual double double) and oatmeal.

I competed in the fitness model category and placed mid-pack. I was proud of myself but realized, I never wanted to do this again!  A friend of mine who had also competed asked me if I wanted to do a half marathon in September of 2004. I thought “sure, why not?” and signed up for 2, just a week apart from one another. The only issue was, I wasn’t a regular runner, and when I did get out for a jog it was never more than 2K.  But I took this as another challenge and away we went.

Laurie blog 2I started training and soon began to realized that I was falling in love with this thing called running. From that point on I was hooked and somewhat addicted. I finished my first half-marathon in 1 hour and 52 minutes and was very proud of myself for accomplishing what I had set out to do. My friend and I even crossed the finish line together!  Despite the fact that my legs were extremely sore for the next week, I still completed my second half-marathon the following weekend. After that, I could barely walk!  Looking back now, I wouldn’t say this was my smartest decision and I was very lucky that I didn’t injure myself.

Fast forward to 2007 and I was still running and now have two young children.  My running slowed down because of some hip and pelvis issues I was having. Unfortunately for me, with age I still didn’t learn to “listen to my body” and I ran through the pain. I signed up for and crossed another half-marathon off my list, just a month after having my first child and could barely walk out of the finish chute to get my medal. I decided it was time to get some medical help to fix the pain I was having, and that turned out to be a very smart move. I was slowly becoming pain free.

A few years later in 2013, I was feeling good and had been injury free for a while. I decided to join my Toronto Police colleagues and run from Toronto to Ottawa in the ‘National Peace and Police Officers Memorial Run’ in September. The run would take place over a 3-day period, so I decided to ramp up my training. I was feeling great at first, but then started to experience lower leg pain. I ran through it, of course, until I couldn’t run anymore and ended up with a stress reaction, which was very close to a stress fracture. I was put in an air cast for 2 months, but I would take it off to ride my bike. I was determined, but determination isn’t always a good thing.

I ran to Ottawa in September, despite my Doctor’s orders and I ran in pain to the point that I couldn’t complete the final leg of the run into Parliament Hill and to the memorial. I was in tears, in pain and very disappointed with myself. I came back to Toronto to find out that my injury had progressed to a stress fracture so I was back into the air cast for 4 months. I also needed treatment from a bone healing machine. It took some scolding from my Doctor to finally “get it” and when I did start listening to my body, I finally started healing.

I had to park my runners for 5 months and did not return to running until March of 2014. It was the longest 5 months of my life. So, after learning the hard way, I now listen to and respect my body so I can stay healthy, run happy and keep my feet on the road. #LoveTheRoad and #ListenToYourBody.

Respect The Run

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TORONTO February 17th 2015. Digital Champion Matt Small started running in 2006 when he was challenged by a supervisor at work to participate in a charity run. From there he was hooked on the excitement of the crowds, both participants and volunteers! Matt’s most memorable running accomplishment was running his first sub-2 half-marathon. When he’s not running, Matt is a police officer. His hobbies include running, reading, social media and travelling. Connect with Matt on Twitter and Instagram.

Respect The Run. By Matt Small. 

TYS10K Matt Small BlogI started running in the Spring of 2006. Challenged by a supervisor at work to participate in a 5k race after I mentioned to her that I was interested, but couldn’t get motivated to start. That challenge is what got the ball rolling for me!

I registered for a 5km run and from there I was hooked! I had no idea how big these events were! The atmosphere at the race kit pick-up was pretty incredible! Complete strangers were talking to me about running and races and from that day on, I decided that running was something I wanted to be a part of. I immediately started reading running magazines and getting all the cool clothes to wear. My running improved slightly and I decided that I wanted to start running longer distances.

I began running half-marathons. These were challenging for me. That’s putting it nicely. After speaking to some ‘real running’ friends, I realized that I was going about things incorrectly. I followed training plans, but in distance only. I didn’t quite understand the idea of having to run at different intensities in order to improve my overall running. When I went for a run, I went out and ran. That was it. Some days were faster than others, but that was only because I let my ego get the better of me and push on. I was making mistakes and NOT respecting the run.

Alas, four years passed from the time I ran my first 5K race and I decided I really needed to understand running. I had to concentrate on hitting my pace for tempo runs, long slow runs (this was hardest for me and admittedly sometimes still is) and interval runs. Once this made sense to me, I also came to realize that as important as the actual running was what I did before (nutrition) and after (stretching) my runs. I truly began to RESPECT the run. When I gave the run the RESPECT it deserved, my race times improved considerably and I truly began to #LoveTheRun.

Henry Rollins wrote a piece about working out called “The Iron”. As I am prone to do from time to time, I took some creative liberties and altered it some so that it could be applied to running.

The Run
The run never lies to you. 
You can walk outside and listen to all kinds of talk, get told you are a God or a total b*stard. 
The run will always kick you the real deal. 
The run is the great reference point, the all-knowing perspective giver always there like a beacon in the pitch black. 
I have found the run to be my greatest friend, it never freaks out on me, never leaves. 
Friends may come and go but 26.2 miles is always 26.2 miles and this is why I #LoveTheRun

I look forward to running with you and all the #TYS10K Digital Champions as we run down Yonge Street on Sunday April 19th!