In this Issue:
- Rocks!! Wednesday Pm Run (with a blueberry
- Don't Miss the Beaton Classic
- Sudbury Fitness Challenge Rankings
- Canaqua Sports SwimRun Challenge
- The 41st annual running of the Mattawa
River Canoe Race
- This Sudbury man is running a marathon
for mental health
- Runner Dana Wilson grows from planting
- The meeting of the two sporting worlds
of Amber Konikow
- Upcoming Local Events:
Finlandia #3, Aug 13 Beaton Classic
- Running Room Run Club Update
- Track North News TNOR
Coachs on vacation
miss the 2017 Beaton Classic!
The Beaton Classic is the
6th event in the Sudbury Fitness Challenge series. Challenge
yourself in this unique Sudbury quadrathlon. Participate
solo, in a pair, or a team of 4. Kids aged 8-12 can take
part in the Beaton Youth triathlon.
All events are on Sunday August 13th at Moonlight Beach.
The Beaton starts at 9am, with the Youth Tri following
For more information, registration forms and course maps
see the links provided below.
Register online at the
Running Room, paper forms available at the Outside
Store (day of entries only for the Youth Tri):
We are in need of volunteers for all aspects of our event.
Students earn volunteer hours. Please consider helping
out. Volunteers get a race t-shirt, home-made jam, and
lots of amazing snacks.
Classic Route Maps
Classic Course Instructions
Canaqua Sports SwimRun
Challenge draws dozens to Kivi Park
First event of its kind in Ontario held
Dozens of competitors
participated in the first-ever SwimRun Challenge at Kivi
Park, which combined the sports of swimming and running
on the park's scenic trails and waterways. (Arron
With 47 registered participants for the
first-ever SwimRun Challenge at Kivi Park, the event's
organizer is optimistic it will only grow from here.
Ian Feldman, race director and owner of
Canaqua Sports, said he brought the first SwimRun Challenge
to Sudbury because he's received a great deal of support.
His technical director, Buddy Green, lives in Sudbury
and was responsible for setting up the course.
It's a 17-km course consisting of alternating
swim and run distances for participants to complete over
a variety of terrain throughout Kivi Park, including Crowley
Lake. The course included 3.6 kilometres of swimming,
split up into three 1.2-km legs, combined with running,
with stretches ranging from 1.5 km to 4.2 km, Feldman
The No. 1 rule for all racers was, whatever
equipment they started with, they have to finish with.
That includes all swimming aides like swim fins, goggles
and floats, even the swim caps issued to each participants
when they registered. Dropping any of the items along
the way means disqualification, he said.
“This type of race is huge in Europe,”
Feldman said. “There was nothing like this here.
A friend of mine introduced me to it two years ago, and
I thought it was one of the coolest things I've seen in
The race format has been modified from
the European races, he said.
“There, they race over much rougher
country. It's a nice alternative for triathletes who don't
necessarily want to do the biking any more, or for those
who don't have a bike.”
The Sudbury race is “very much a
test event,” he said, with hopes of launching more
races next year. Kivi Park set the scene for the first
race of its kind in Ontario, and the second in Canada.
“Kivi Park is amazing,” Feldman
said. “They said they would love to have us here,
and they've gone well out of their way to make this happen.
It's probably one of the most incredible settings I've
ever seen. The Sudbury race, which will be our signature
event, will remain at Kivi Park for as long as they'll
The course was just over 17
k with a nice mix of both swimming and running through Kivi
Park. Here are the distances.
Run 1 - 4.4km
Swim 1 - 1.2km
Run 2 - 1.6km
Swim 2 - 1.2km
Run 3 - 3.0km
Swim 3 - 1.2km
Run 4 - 4.8km
The overall winner: Jennifer
Piper from Powassen in a total time of 2:08:00
YOUNG: 'A real sense
Laura Young, Special to Sudbury Star
Monday, July 31, 2017
Rob Gregoris, left and Shawn
Bruins of Sudbury win the men's rec A division at the
Mattawa River Canoe Race on Saturday. They completed the
64-kilometre event in 6 hours 48 minutes, despite the
heat Saturday afternoon.
Was that six or eight inches?
Was the water drop a gradual thing since Wednesday, or
overnight, from Friday to Saturday?
And yes, many a canoe emerged from the
41st annual running of the Mattawa River Canoe Race scratched
and banged up from rocks.
Despite surprisingly low water on the
river, three Sudbury teams completed the 64-kilometre
event, placing first, third and fifth in the men's recreational
A division of the race, run by the North Bay-Mattawa Conservation
Shawn Bruins of Lively and Rob Gregoris
of Sudbury won in six hours, 48 minutes, two minutes faster
than last year.
They tested the durability of Gregoris'
homemade canoe by discovering a rock head-on in the river.
Later joking they should have deployed air bags on that
crash, they still finished well ahead of Brian Wall of
North Bay and Mike Todd of Oshawa, in 7:16, and second
Sudbury's perennial paddling father-son
duo of John and James Larmer were third in 7:20.47. Scott
Hopkins of Lively and Robert Marcolini of Sudbury, in
their first-ever attempt, were fifth of six teams, in
"It's the best race I've ever been
to," said Larmer, having replenished at the post-race
awards banquet and feast.
"As far as canoeing goes it has every
aspect of the sport -- whitewater, rapids, it's got flatwater,
wind, distance. It has really good people."
Still, it was a long day and they suffered
mightily as the race wore on. Larmer believes they simply
didn't eat enough to sustain them. Coupled with the heat,
they up and bonked.
"I'm happy with the time because
it got us on the podium," he said.
Marcolini was happy to finish a race he
has always wanted to enter.
"It's one of the best races in all
of the province for paddling," he said. "It's
like the granddaddy of paddling in Ontario. It's a good
mix of high-end racing and weekend warrior-type racing.
Everybody's got to go through the same thing. It's challenging
on and off the water. It's well-organized."
The 2017 edition of the Mattawa River
Canoe Race featured one of the highest-ever number of
entrants, said Brian Tayler, CAO of the conservation authority.
There were 63 teams entered in the 64-kilometre
race and seven in the family/division, which is a 13-kilometre
paddle from Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park into Mattawa.
Paddlers came from as far as Saskatoon, Sarnia and Ottawa
to join a core group from the Near North.
The overall winners were Mark Clout and
Dean Brown, in 6:3.5.
"It's a family event," said
Tayler. "It's families you've got that aren't always
together. Somehow they make this event something to do
The race is enjoying a resurgence of sorts.
Back in the mid-1990s, the number of sponsors had dropped;
then from 2005-2010, the number of entrants was down.
The race organizers began to broaden the
race classes and modernize the event by adding kayakers,
stand-up paddleboards and the stock race class. That class
features some very pretty watercraft, between professional
and regular recreational canoes. "It just opens up
the possibilities (of boats) for people," said Tayler.
Ironically there were no Voyageur canoes
entered along the historic Mattawa River, once an artery
in the fur-trading route.
For Hopkins and Marcolini (above), being
back of the pack didn't mean they were alone. There was
some back and forth and cheering with other teams, as
well as boaters on the river supporting the teams.
"When you get finished, you feel
a real sense of accomplishment," said Marcolini.
"At the end you get a great banquet."
On another note of marathon canoeing,
Sudbury will host the Canadian Marathon Championships
this weekend at the Northern Watersports Centre.
Laura Young's column appears each Monday
in The Sudbury Star.
Why this Sudbury man is running
a marathon for mental health
Body energized, mind mentally
Darren Parker is accepting charitable donations to bring running
therapy sessions to Sudbury, Ont. youth
Olivia Stefanovich, CBC News
Parker is planning to run in the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront
Marathon on October 22 to raise awareness about suicide
and mental health. (Olivia Stefanovich/CBC)
Parker has been feeling the effects of suicide since he
He said he lost three family members and
has contemplated taking his own life, but now he is living
by a new personal motto to never give up.
"In the midst of difficult circumstances,
we still can put one foot in front of the other,"
"I just know that I personally can't
afford to give up. I won't give up because there's lives
of people who I absolutely love who literally depend upon
Parker credits his family, faith and running
as his sources of strength.
Running to 'work it through'
Now 51, he is trying to help others with
their mental health issues use physical activity as a
form of therapy.
"It absolutely helps keep my body
energized and my mind mentally clear," Parker said.
"If I'm having a rough day ... when
I go out for a run, while I'm running, I'm able to work
On October 22, Parker plans to take part
in the Scotiabank Waterfront Toronto Marathon with the
hope of raising enough money and awareness to bring running
counselling sessions to young people in his hometown of
Sudbury, Ont. through the charity Cameron Helps.
Parker is accepting donations through
his "courageous hope fundraising campaign."
He said he became motivated to start the
initiative after participating in the Unbreakable Spring
Open in Sudbury last April, which was launched by teenagers
for the same cause.
'A way to stop suicide'
Parker's openness and perseverance with
mental health issues have become a source of inspiration
for his son Joshua, 29, who is overcoming his own struggles.
"I've spent a lot of time trying
to overcome and change, but I just seem to keep reverting,
and there are times where I kind of just throw in the
white flag and say what's the point," Joshua said.
"When I hear my dad saying he's never
going to give up, and I watch him ... It's rising up in
me that desire to never give up."
Speaking publicly about suicide has not
been easy, but Parker said he believes it is the right
thing to do for encouraging prevention and eradicating
"We are absolutely convinced that
there is a way to stop suicide," Parker said.
"Or to help people who are dealing
with severe depression and suicidal ideation, to help
them come to a place of restored hope so they can actually
see another way of managing life and to be convinced that
life is actually worth living."
Runner Dana Wilson grows
from planting trees
Wilson shows off her winnings from the 2017 Sudbury Rocks
There are countless starting points that have prompted
young adults to pick up running as a pastime that soon
transforms to a passion. But I can’t say that I
have heard “tree planting”, before, as the
genesis to a marathon championship.
Yet that was exactly the case for 39 year
old Wasaga Beach native and 2017 Sudbury Rocks Marathon
female first place finisher Dana Wilson. Having moved
to Sudbury with her husband (Nathan) in 2014, the mother
of two young children posted a time of 3:42:52 in showing
the way for the women’s delegation, completing the
fourth marathon of her career in May, but her first in
the past eight years or so.
A volleyball player during her high school
years, Wilson is in a relative minority of marathoners
who can look back on absolutely no competitive involvement
in either cross-country or track and field from their
youth. Her base, as noted, would come from a highly unlikely
“I went tree planting during the
first summer of my undergrad degree at Waterloo,”
stated the member of the team at the Sudbury District
Health Unit. “With tree planting, you make more
money the more you do, and I had a really great summer
“I worked really hard and made a
lot of money, and that gave me some positive feedback
about how gratifying it was to be out there doing something.
It was hard, physical work for sure. I would say I have
never worked so hard physically in my life. That was the
biggest thing that got me into fitness.”
Running initially with friends from school,
Wilson was not about to ease her way in. “A girlfriend
in grad school suggested training for a half marathon,
so my first race was actually a half,” said Wilson.
“I’ve actually never raced anything below
a half marathon.”
Her life journey, through her mid-twenties
and into her thirties, would take her on an interesting
academic path that featured stops at Waterloo, McMaster,
McGill and the University of New Brunswick, all of which
offered, to some extent or another, an accompanying side
trek that related to athletics.
“It kind of started with triathlon
training while at McGill,” recalled Wilson. “I
really enjoy swimming and really enjoy running, and I
really like biking, I just don’t like road bikes
as much. I just don’t feel safe. But they have the
F1 (Formula One) track that you can train on, and that
“When I was doing my post-doc at
UNB, I met some really lovely ladies that I lived with
for a summer, and we started training for triathlons,”
she added. “At the same time, the Fredericton Marathon
was coming up and it just happened to be the same route
that I was running quite regularly, so I said what the
heck. I had time to kill.”
By the time the family moved to Northern
Ontario and was in the process of expanding via the birth
of both Finn and Brooke, life became busier, as Wilson
looked to find a way to squeeze in various workouts, even
if racing was not in the mix.
“I started doing more running on
the treadmill in the basement, and then I would do other
fitness stuff – biking a lot, workout videos, swimming
a lot in the lake in the summer,” she said. Clearing
up some nagging post child-birth health issues, Wilson
received a clean bill of health late in 2016, wasting
no time at all in setting her sights on a brand new target.
“I had to wait until January 1st
to start running, but I think I went a couple of days
early, because I just couldn’t wait any longer,”
she laughed. “I wanted to do another marathon before
I turned 40, so I targeted the Rocks Marathon in May and
signed up right away. If I signed up, then I have to do
Indeed she would, opening a door to a
Sudbury running community that she did not even know existed.
Best to go directly to the long-time local running guru
who runs the Sudbury Rocks Running Club website and also
serves as a leader and primary contact person for twice
a week group runs.
“I emailed Vince (Perdue) the next
day. He told me not to worry, that there’s something
for everyone, that I would be welcomed.” While Wilson
was not new to the concept of training in a group setting,
there was something a little different with the set-up
in the city she now called home.
“I really had a great time running
with the Hyde Park Road Runners (Toronto), but it’s
a big place, and there are always thousands of people
in every race that you run,” noted Wilson. “I
feel like I’ve gotten to know Sudbury much better
through running with our group. Everyone that I trained
with was there on race day, which was really cool.”
That included, of course, the highly personable
point man of the group. “I don’t know how
Vince does it, out every Saturday, every Wednesday, always
there to give advice. He’s got a story for every
situation. He’s got every type of running experience.
If he hasn’t done it, he knows someone who has.”
Her victory in Sudbury was nice, though
Wilson had no trouble keeping it all in perspective. “I’ve
never been a speed demon, and there wasn’t a very
large number of female runners,” she said with a
smile. Still, she is looking to moving on to her next
challenge, perhaps aiming to break the 3:40 barrier in
the next year or two.
“Everyone is training for something,”
she stated. Even when one is simply planting trees.
The meeting of the two
sporting worlds of Amber Konikow
Amber Konikow is seen
tackling the 2016 Sinister 7 Ultra race in Alberta, taking her
through rugged, remote and beautiful terrain in the Rocky Mountains.
(Todd Weselake/Raven Eye Photography)
two-time national champion and bronze medal winner at
Worlds, there is no doubt that Amber Konikow drew heavily
from her boxing career as she transitioned towards her
current status as an accomplished ultra-distance marathoner.
Surprisingly, the carry-over was hardly
at all what one might have expected.
To be sure, the cardio and general fitness
that accompanied her demanding training regimen over a
series of years allowed Konikow to enjoy an athleticism
that became the base for her ability to now travel one
hundred miles or more, by foot, over a matter of just
a few days.
But the two distinct aspects of her life,
or at least her life since her late twenties, have truly
intermingled in manners so much more meaningful than that.
And it dates back to her very start in sports.
“I was active as a kid,” said
Konikow recently. “Because we lived in the country,
I would walk a lot, ride the bikes, doing activities,
but not organized sport. I had no interest whatsoever.
I was really shy, and felt intimidated.”
Fast forward to the age of 26, perhaps
27, and Konikow had now returned to Northern Ontario following
a stint in Washington D.C., a point in time in which she
admitted the “fit just wasn’t for me.”
“I moved back home and got a job
in ICU,” recalled the graduate of the Nursing program
at Cambrian College. “But that was all I was doing
– working, watching TV, working. I didn’t
know what I wanted to do, but I knew that I wanted more
than what I was doing, so I thought about getting in better
Taking a couple of cracks at various avenues
to physical fitness, Konikow was eventually steered towards
boxing, forging a connection that clicked immediately.
“At that time, I don’t really know why I wanted
to go, except that I felt such a great sense of belonging
in a very positive environment,” she said.
“For some reason, I felt like I
was allowed to learn and express myself there. Boxing
made me feel safe. Everyone was there to learn, no one
cared if you were a girl or a guy, I felt like we were
all equals. And I loved how it made me feel.”
“You could see the transition, the
confidence that was building up, the self-esteem that
was building up, and I was seeing it even in my professional
work as a nurse,” Konikow continued. “It progressed,
and it’s so empowering.”
Over time, that progression would create
a national champion boxer, as the inner potential of an
amazing athlete was only beginning to be unearthed. Looking
back now, connecting the dots, Konikow recognizes the
building blocks of a mental toughness that is the core
strength of her success in the challenging world of endurance
“Mentally, it’s how you perceive
yourself in that time and moment, whether it’s in
the ring, or it’s out doing a hundred miler,”
she said. “A lot of it is will, determination and
heart, and you have to have a passion for the sport that
you’re involved with. I was passionate about boxing.
With ultra marathon running, I’m always smiling.
I’m happy that I’m out there, just doing it.”
“I’m not saying the mental
strength came overnight, this has to build up over the
years.” There would be additional sources of information,
sources that could expand the scope of the athlete that
Konikow would eventually become, sources that she certainly
did not see coming.
“I ended up taking up yoga while
I was running ultras,” Konikow reminisced. “I
had kind of a bad attitude, like what’s yoga going
to do for me when I’m already a boxer and a runner.
But the benefits were huge and I was wrong to judge. Some
of the things that we talked about, being in the moment
and accepting where you are instead of when am I done,
I definitely used that.”
“I used to say that to the boxers,
never think when is it over, when is it over? Just be
in the moment and control the situation. Make it happen,
as (coach) Gord (Apolloni) would say, so I applied that
“If you’re doing a hundred
miles, you know damn well you’re going to be out
there for 24, 30 hours, so you might as well accept the
fact that you can’t change that,” Konikow
stated. “But you can be in that moment and enjoy
every step, take care of any challenges, go with the flow.
It’s helped me a lot.”
Pragmatically speaking, the training for
endurance racing simply filled the void when the laws
that govern international boxing stipulated that the bronze
medal winner at the 2008 World Boxing Championships in
China could no longer compete, due to her age.
“Boxing had become such a big part
of my life,” said Konikow. “Instead of having
to find motivation to do it, it just became part of my
normal routine. It was the joy of my life. When it was
gone, I felt such a huge emptiness. I think I lost a sense
of purpose. I was looking for other means to set goals
for myself, to try something interesting and challenging.”
Just a few short years later, Konikow
would again scale the mountain, earning bragging rights
as the first female finisher at the Haliburton 100. And
while there might be constant interconnectivity between
the two athletic pursuits that have dominated the past
fifteen years of her life, so too are there stark contrasts
between the two, even as she recalled her greatest achievements
in those respective fields.
“Compared to winning Haliburton,
the world medal is completely different,” she said.
“At first, I was told I wasn’t allowed to
go to worlds, because of my age, so I had to fight that
and got the OK to go. When I got there, I already felt
a sense of accomplishment.”
“When I actually won a medal and
was able to stand on the podium and see the Canadian flag,
it was the hugest thing I’ve ever, ever, ever achieved.
I was now one of those people that I used to watch on
TV, when I was thinking that I need to change my life.”
She was thinking back to a time when she
would start down a path that, amazingly, would eventually
see the meeting of the two sporting worlds of Amber Konikow.
Good morning everyone,
Hope you are all enjoying the beautiful
summer weather! As you enjoy your favourite activities,
please keep in mind hydrate and protect yourselves
from the sun! we hate to break the news to you, but
summer will not last for ever:) If you would like
to sign up for the Resolution Run, please keep in
mind there is a price increase tonight at midnight!
Yes, it seems unreal at this time of year, but it
will be here before you know it! sign up today.
Please know that we are offering a
FREE Survivors Training Program for breast cancer
survivors. it is a 10 week program that will get you
ready for the CIBC run for the Cure. Please share
with anybody that you think might be interested! Thank
Sudbury Beaton Classic is coming up
on Sunday, August 13th. you can register for this
unique event taking place at the Moonlight beach,
at www.events.runningroom.com or at the store! if
you are not planning on taking part please consider
Also, the Ramsey Tour 1/2 marathon
and 5km run is coming up on Sunday, September 10.
Please stop by the store to register!
See you all tonight for Run Club at
Eric, Ania, Brendan, Sam, Kristina,
We have FREE run club Wednesday nights
at 6pm and Sunday mornings at 8:30am.
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