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      Hello Everyone,                                                                                                                                                      August 23, 2018            

     In this Issue:


  1. A very memorable summer stretch for Christina Robert
  2. 70 Year Old Gene Dykes Determined to Catch Ed Whitlock's Record
  3. Rocks!! Outdoors
  4. August 26 MOVE Fitness Series SUP Race CANCELLED
  5. Upcoming Events Aug 25- 26 2018 Canadian Marathon Canoe Championships, September 9 SudburyMasters Continental Insulation Ramsey Tour
  6. Running Room Run Club Update: 
  7. Track North News





A very memorable summer stretch for Christina Robert
by Randy Pascal

Bolting quickly from the starting blocks, there is absolutely no deviance in the route that 17 year old Track North Athletic Club sprinter Christina Robert travels prior to crossing the finish line, either 100 or 200 metres down the track.

The same could not necessarily be said for her attempts to maintain a steady progression in the sport. Like so many sprinters, Robert has been forced to endure far more peaks and valleys, specifically in terms of results, that many others might encounter in a team sport setting.

Thankfully, the bulk of the spring and summer of 2018 has been one to remember. Certainly not without hurdles, to be sure, but far more good than bad along the way.

Following a disappointing performance at the 2018 OFSAA Track & Field Championships, a meet at which she did not final in spite of showing every indication that she would, the grade 12 speedster at Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School not only dusted herself off to get back in the race, metaphorically speaking, but began breaking new ground in terms of personal best times.

A bronze medal performance at the provincial Legion championships showed signs of a rebound, with Robert racking up clockings of 12.53 and 12.35 in back to back races. Just one week later, solid showings of 12.40 and 12.44 easily advanced her to the final, where the best was yet to come.

Not only did Robert finish second only to highly touted Whitby sprinter Makenzy Pierce-Webster at the Athletic Ontario Outdoor U14, U16, U18 Track and Field Championships to claim silver, but her time of 12.16 seconds is the stuff that SDSSAA and NOSSA records are made of.

Through it all, the outgoing and talkative teenage girl feels the contradictions prevalent in this most high profile event, attempting to deal with the factors that can pull an athlete between being driven by the intense motivational fuel needed to succeed in the sprints, versus maintaining a likeable, more relaxed personality that can find friends in all.

Certainly the drive was evident, even from an early age.

"When I was just five or six years old, I remember I loved to run," said Robert. In fact, she recalled her first races, a very young competitor at Kiwatin School in Notre Dame du Nord (PQ), besting all other runners, but one, from the youngsters who were three, four and five grades her senior.

There is a pride in the accomplishment that is undeniable. The offset lies in trying to maintain equilibrium. "I just did it because I loved it," said Robert. "It's not about winning. Of course, I enjoy the competition, I'm not going to lie. But I really just wanted to run. I can't kick a ball, I can't shoot, but I can run."

That much was evident as she first burst on to the scene in Sudbury as an elementary aged runner at St Benedict. It carried directly through to a very strong showing as a high school freshman, when the then Lockerby Composite runner came within 2/100th of a second from hitting the podium in her first year of OFSAA competition.

"I went to OFSAA in grade nine and did not really worry about it," recalled Robert. "But the next year, I didn't like all the attention. Everyone looked back at what I did the year before." Combine the heightened expectations with a lingering bout of mononucleosis and one has the elements of a year to forget in 2017.

"You know, when you're at that level of competitiveness, you know when you're not able to perform," she said. "Even running indoors, I was running half a second slower than I was the year before. I didn't have the power."

Enter the 2017-2018 high-school season and the mixed feelings remained. "I wasn't sure I wanted to do track this year," Robert admitted. "I didn't want to go through another bad season." On her other shoulder, however, sat the voice of her conscience reminding her why she took to track in the first place.

"I love the speed, I love to race, I love to push myself." An indoor meet at York University provided the first glimmers of hope for 2018, as Robert lowered her 60m dash time from 7.95 to 7.80 over the course of just three races.

"I kicked it at York," Robert smiled. Still, the emotional teeter-totter swayed. "I was in a lot of pain. We had to adjust my warm-ups because I was in so much pain before the race. I've kind of gotten used to it. I think I have some of my dad's willpower, and my doctors have said that it's not going to get any worse."

Things were looking good, heading to OFSAA. Unfortunately, a key technical error proved disastrous, as elements combined to leave Robert on the outside of the finals, looking in. "I was ahead for 75, 80 metres, but got caught and started to panic."

For as much as Robert suggested that she runs solely for fun, her drive to be the best would get the better of her. "That was really, really hard for me," she said. "I sat on the couch for an entire week and did nothing."

Her emergence on the other side of the OFSAA setback, specifically at the AO meet, was more than just a little encouraging. "My start was bad, but from 40m to 60m, I just went," she said. "I remember dipping at the finish line and thinking that I had hoped I came third, I thought I had came third."

Her coach, however, traced the beginning of her turnaround to the Canadian Track and Field Championships just two weeks earlier. "I actually just brought her there for experience, to see what the national teamers do for warmups and to feel the supercharged atmosphere," noted Dick Moss. "However, she made the final, finishing eighth, and competed in front of a full house, just three races before Andre DeGrasse."

"She was able to share a therapy room with DeGrasse and warm-up in the same area as former Olympians like Crystal Emmanuel and Olympic finalist, Phylicia George. I think that experience helped her in the provincial Legions and Nationals."

For her part, Robert is absolutely convinced that a sub-12 clocking is a very realistic goal. She knows where the tenths of a second can be shaved. "Being a sprinter, you need speed, power and endurance," she explained.

"My start is usually exceptional. Then you need to drive and keep going. The last part we have been working on is the endurance. Dick has me running 120s, 150s."

More highlights, for Robert, are almost a given. The interesting test might well lie in how well she deals with the races that do not live up to expectations. "In sprinting, you have a short window," she stated. "If you stumble, you can't make up for it."

"I definitely haven't perfected it yet, but I need to remind myself that I run because I enjoy it. Dick doesn't put any pressure on me, my parents just want me to do my best, to do it because I love it."

And if she can remember all of that, Christina Robert should remain on the straight and narrow, in lighting fast speed.





70 Year Old Gene Dykes Determined to Catch Ed Whitlock's Record
By Ravi Singh - July 10, 2018


Eugene Dykes finishes the Rotterdam Marathon in 2:57 at the age of 70. All images courtesy of Eugene Dykes.

Earlier this year, Philadelphia resident Gene Dykes ran 2:57 at the Rotterdam Marathon. In the lead up, Gene ran a 50 mile ultra in January, followed by a 100 miler in February, which he says gave him enough time to recover for Rotterdam in April.

Gene Dykes is 70 years old.

“Well, basically I’m a guy who loves to run. I always have a blast doing it,” Dykes explains over the phone. That morning, Gene had already completed a hill workout of 12 miles and was heading into his 12th consecutive weekend of racing. “Races are so much fun,” Gene says, adding, “but part of the fun is seeing how much better you can get.”

In October, Gene will make his way to Toronto for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, where Ed Whitlock set the current world record for the 70-74 age group when he ran a 2:54 in 2004.

Like Ed, Gene’s current streak of accomplishments have come in the midst of a resurrected pursuit of running. According to Gene, “I first started running when I was 12 or 13 and had a girlfriend who lived about three miles away.” When his first attempt resulted in a walk break about a mile in, Gene was determined to never take a walk break again.

That initial foray into running led to a decent career as a high school competitor. When he got to college, “I was blown off the track and was getting lapped, so I switched to triple jump and hurdles so I could at least notch some points for the team.”

Following college, Gene “had it firmly entrenched that I was a mediocre runner.” Golf and bowling became his preferred avenues for recreation.

Gene jokingly explains that he “fell in with a bad crowd” later in life that encouraged him to chase his first half marathon. Gene’s result allowed him to bypass the lottery for the New York Marathon, his first crack at the distance at age 58, which in turn landed him in Boston. In the years since, Gene estimates that he’s completed 60 marathons and 44 ultras.

Marathons are great experiences, GEne grants, but it’s the ultras and adventure races that allow him to squeeze the most joy out of running. “I guess you could say that I train exclusively for marathons, but do ultras for fun,” Gene says. He and his coach have come to the conclusion that ultras in the summer prove excellent base building for spring and fall marathons, when he can chase national and world age group records.

Gene’s perhaps peculiar idea of fun has netted him the Triple Crown of 200s (Moab, Tahoe, and the Bigfoot 200).

While he’s determined to catch Ed Whitlock’s marathon record, Gene says his reverence for the Canadian legend will always be strong. “When people think of Ed, they tend to think of his marathon records, but he’s had records at shorter distances and on the track that I couldn’t dream of.”

Like Ed, a runner like Gene can baffle anyone who tries to understand his success through a single factor. One thing that’s clear about Gene, however, is that in running, he’s never written off the possibility of growth and has held enjoyment as running’s most prized reward. Gene also has a respect for gradual growth, believing in small improvements that, as he says, “eventually make the impossible routine.” It’s clear that Gene sees his journey in running as one with many more miles to go.




Rocks!! Outdoors

August 22, 2018 on Laurentian Trails



Upcoming Local Events

   August 25 - 26, 2018


2018 Canadian Marathon Canoe Championships
Sat, Aug 25, 2018 7:00 AM Sun, Aug 26, 2018 5:00 PM
Northern Water Sports Centre (map)
Sudbury's SCC to host the 2018 Canadian Marathon Canoe Championships

All Information at the link below:


Registration link below:


Note: There will also be a 20k SUP race Sunday at 9:00 am



September 9, 2018

5k & 21.1 k Roadraces

The SudburyMasters Continental Insulation Ramsey Tour

Sunday, September 9 at Laurentian University at 10:00 am. (8:30 am for the half walk)

5 km and a 1/2 marathon.

You can register on-line here through the Running Room                           Manual Entry Form


(5k map)

(21k map)



   August 26, 2018








Run Club Update




Store News


Good afternoon Sudbury Runner's and Walker's,


See you all at Run Club tonight 6pm


your Sudbury Staff,

Eric, Caleb, Brendan, Ania, Sam


We have FREE run club Wednesday nights at 6pm and Sunday mornings at 8:30am.







Track North News - by Dick Moss










Dick Moss, Head Coach
Laurentian XC/Track Team
c/o Coach Moss <pedigest@cyberbeach.net>
Web: http://laurentianxctrack.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/laurentianxctrack/

For information call me.
Vincent Perdue
341 Fourth Ave, Sudbury On. P3B-3R9
vt perdue@cyberbeach.net

Proud sponsor of the Sudbury Rocks!!! Race, Run or Walk for Diabetes



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