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      Hello Everyone,                                                                                                                                                      October 25, 2018            

     In this Issue:


  1. 46th Running of the Wiky 10k Championship
  2. In first marathon, Olympic runner shatters Canadian record
  3. Marathon du Petit Train Du Nord
  4. Marathon of Afghanistan: Supporting girls in their Quest to run
  5. Rocks!! Wednesday Pm After Run
  6. Upcoming Events November 3 Shred Cancer Mountain Bike Classic
  7. Running Room Run Club Update: 
  8. Track North News







46th Running of the Wiky 10k Championship

All Photos Here


Cool temperatures and a bit of a north wind did not deter avid walkers and runners from coming out to the 46th annual Wiky 10km championship. 33 runners and about 15 walkers toed the line in Kaboni and headed northeast to Wiky and the finish line.

For the first time ever perhaps the top male and female winners came from first nations ranks. The overall mens winner, Aurele Fox, is a resident of Wikwemikong and the overall female winner, Michelle Kennedy, is from the Oneida nation in southwestern Ontario. Congratulations to both.

We always look forward to the feast provided at the ceremonies. It'd a nice touch to have 2 different hot soups available on a cool day.

Thank you to Henry Hoy and all the organizers and volunteers for putting together a very rewarding event. We expect to see you again next year.


All Results Here



October 21 , 2018                             

In first marathon, Olympic runner shatters Canadian record

Lori Ewing, The Canadian Press
Published Sunday, October 21, 2018

Cameron Levins arrives at the finish line of the 2018 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. (Canadian Running Series / Twitter)

TORONTO -- Cam Levins chased a mark that had eluded Canada's fastest marathon men for more than four decades Sunday. And in the process, he wrote his own comeback story with every powerful step.

The 29-year-old from Black Creek, B.C., shattered the Canadian marathon record -- in his debut at the distance -- at the Toronto Scotiabank Waterfront Marathon, erasing the pain and frustration of three injury-plagued seasons.

"Entering the last 10 kilometres of this race I was thinking to myself: 'I'm going to take back my career. I'm going to be back to the athlete I know I can be,"' Levins said through a wide smile, a Canadian flag draped around his shoulders. "That was huge motivation."

Levins, who often considered quitting after a fluke foot injury in 2015 derailed his career, ran two hours nine minutes 25 seconds to finish fourth overall. He was also crowned the national marathon champion as the first Canadian across the finish line. Jerome Drayton set the previous record, one of the oldest on the books, of 2:10:09 in 1975.

"With 3K left I knew I could do it and with half a kilometre left, I was certain it was going to happen," said Levins. "I was just enjoying the moment."

Levins earned a bonus of $43,000 -- $1,000 for every year the record stood -- for breaking the mark. Organizers were attempting to connect Drayton and Levins by phone after the race.

Benson Kipruto of Kenya won the gold in 2:07:24, with Levins finishing fourth overall. Hamilton's Reid Coolsaet was 10th in 2:17.37.

Kinsey Middleton of Guelph, Ont., won the Canadian women's title in 2:32:09 in her marathon debut. She was seventh among all women.

Levins, meanwhile, was Canada's best distance runner on the track for several seasons, finishing 11th in the 10,000 and 14th in the 5,000 at the 2012 Olympics. He also captured bronze in the 10K at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

He was still on the rise when he injured his ankle after he was shoved from behind at the finish line of the 1,500 metres at the 2015 Canadian championships. The injury, which included a torn tendon and two stress fractures, required surgery and wiped out the better part of the next two seasons.

His wife Elizabeth and parents Gus and Barb Levins fought back tears at the finish line in the shadow of Toronto City Hall.

"The (2015) Pan Am Games in Toronto was where he had his first horrible race (after his injury), so it's very serendipitous that he should run so well back here in Toronto to restart this second phase of his career," Elizabeth said. "He's been preparing for the marathon for a long time, in his mileage and his philosophy in his training, so it's so rewarding to see that be successful here, especially at home in Canada."

Levins' fast time was even more remarkable considering Sunday's chilly conditions. Temperatures hovered around 2 C, with a low of minus-2 with the wind chill. And winds were gusting between 20 and 30 kilometres an hour in some portions.

The marathon is known for the unexpected. Marathoners will tell you the "second half" of the race actually hits with about 10 kilometres to go. Even the most experienced runners have been felled by those final gruelling steps.

Not Levins, who beat a handful of elite runners including Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda. The 2012 Olympic and 2013 world champ finished seventh.

"I knew in my buildup I was getting into shape to be able to do it, but you never know what's going to happen with the marathon, you never know if you're going to be a really good athlete at it or not," Levin said. "I was kind of expecting it to get really hard at one point."

The final seven kilometres were tough Levins said. But as he headed west toward the finish line, churning along Front Street then finally turning north onto Bay Street in the middle of Toronto's famous banking district with the finish line in sight, Levins told himself: "I have to do this. I've come too far not to do this."

"As I was doing it I was thinking 'This is not anything I haven't been through before, I've experienced this in runs, in races, that feeling,"' he said. "So it's good to know what that is now, and not have any fear of it or anxiety of what it's going to feel like."

It was a bittersweet day for Coolsaet, who prior to Sunday had been the closest to breaking Drayton's mystical mark, missing it by a mere 20 seconds in 2015 in Berlin.

"First of all, I don't have to answer those questions (about the record) anymore, it's great," Coolsaet joked at the post-race news conference.

Coolsaet, who'd been battling an illness the past couple of weeks, said Levins' success over the 42.195-kilometre marathon wasn't a huge surprise. Even while training for the shorter distances, Levins was legendary for his weekly mileage. He'd sometimes run three times in a single day; 300-kilometre weeks weren't out of the ordinary.

"It's been a long time that this guy has been training at that level," Coolsaet said. "I'm really excited to see what Cam does over the next whatever amount of years. Lots of marathons ahead of him."

Levins' race prompted an outpouring on Twitter, including a congratulatory tweet from Malcolm Gladwell.

"Congratulations to Cam Levins for breaking the Canadian marathon record today!" tweeted the Canadian writer and journalist -- and Levins' doppleganger.

Levins laughed about the tweet, and said he often listened to Gladwell's podcasts during his long runs.

Up next: Levins planned to enjoy a nice dinner with his family after "treating my body like a temple and eating really strictly." Then he and Elizabeth will leave Monday for a cruise to the Bahamas.

Middleton, meanwhile, said she "had so much fun" in her marathon debut.

"But boy, that second half of the race, they're not joking when they say halfway comes later than the actual halfway point of the race,"' she said. "Probably the last 500 metres, I felt like my legs were just done and I was just trying as hard as I could to push through that.

"But in the marathon, you feel good and then you don't feel good and then you feel good again, and so it's kind of about realizing that when you don't feel good, it's not the end. There are ebbs and flows."

Leslie Sexton of London, Ont., was ninth, while Krista DuChene of Strathroy, Ont., who won bronze at the Boston Marathon earlier this year, was 10th.

Locals in Toronto

Denise Clement and Jessica Guenard-Valiquette


Race recap!! by Jessica Guenard-Valiquette

Denise and I got out of bed at 7am, even though we’d been awake much longer than that. The beds at the hotel were comfy, what can we say?
And it was quiet!

We checked the weather and started to prepare for the race, changing outfits twice

A fabulous benefit of staying at a host hotel for this race is being so close to both the start and finish. Definitely recommended!

We found our starting corral and lined up beside a man running the full marathon in full firefighter gear, including an oxygen tank on his back.

Once we crossed the start line, Denise and I chatted about 1km then went on our separate ways with our own goals in mind

It’s been an a typical training season for us as Dee has graciously stayed at my side as we learn how being a mobility impaired runner works for me. (My run wife is better than yours, just sayin’)

We both had runs to be pleased with as we felt good through the majority of it. Denise was pretty gassed through the last 500m, and I was rather emotional, but we wouldn’t change a thing EXCEPT:

Waiting for 5 minutes for a porta potty at 9km. (Strangely enough, we met up at the porta potties)
If STWM takes anything from this race post; a race of over 25,000 runners needs more porta potties. Please.

Also: if you’re male, and you just need to pee...pee on a tree. We won’t judge.

Denise finished with a chip time of 2:15:28, meeting her soft goal of finishing and just missing her hard of 2:10. But, remember that 5minute potty stop. So her run pace was exactly what she wanted it to be.

She headed back to the hotel to warm up, while I tearily finished in 2:29:39, meeting my hard goal of under 2:30. Although DAMN that potty stop!!!!

As has become customary I was singled out by a medic at the finish inquiring if I was in need of assistance. “Nah, dude. This is how I always look. Thanks though”

An added bonus is that Denise and I can say we were at the race where Cam Levins, in his debut marathon, decimated the 43 yr old Canadian record set by Jerome Dayton.

That’s insane.

Additionally we can both say we finished our half marathons faster than the top Canadian female marathoner. I’ll take half as a fast as an elite marathoner as a win.

Scotiabank Toronto waterfront is an incredible race and mostly flat. So we Sudburians can crush this course easily.

Long May We Run


Robert Masih and Laura Haapamaki in the Half

Sudbury Results







Congratulations to my running buddies Yves Robichaud, Jesse Winters for completing the “petit train du Nord “ marathon. You guys rock !! Yves with another sub 4 hr and Jesse with a Boston qualifying time. Way to go boys. Wish I was there ! But way to represent !! Mike Wilson


684 2977 Yves Robichaud 3:56:57 3:56:50 50 - 59 125 Homme 494 5:36 min/km
857 3187 Jesse Winters 4:08:07 4:08:03 60 - 69 32 Homme 585 5:52 min/km




Marathon of Afghanistan: Supporting girls in their Quest to run

by Martin Parnell

All Photos Here


“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.”
Charles Swindoll, Author

Arriving in Afghanistan, I was looking forward to running with Zainab, the first Afghan woman to complete a marathon and the person who had inspired me during my recovery from a clot on the brain. However, two days before the race I had been told by Taylor Smith, Program Director for Free to Run, that Zainab had other commitments and would be unable to participate in the race. I was very disappointed. However, I knew there was a large number of Free to Run Afghan girls running their first marathon and I wondered how I could help.

Then a brain wave hit me, why not be the very first “Pace Bunny” in the Marathon of Afghanistan. I put it to Taylor about this and she thought it was a great idea. The night before the race I made a set of bunny ears and a time placard. I knew that was going to be an incredibly difficult course. The maximum elevation is over 11,000 feet (3,360m) which means the oxygen level drops from 21% to 13.7%. Also, the course is extremely hilly and the elevation gain / loss over the 42 km is 3,723 feet (1,135m). This would be a challenge for me and the girls. So with the cut off time being 8 hours I made the “pace bunny” time 7 hours. Go Bunny Go.

The next morning, at the Band e-Amir National Park race start area, I met up with Hassina, Free to Run Kabul Field Officer. She agreed to be my “Assistant Pace Bunny” and pointed to a group of girls who would be running with us. We got together and I gave them a pre-race talk.

There were six other girls, 2 from Bamyan, 2 from Herat and 2 from Kabul and I explained to them that we would let the other runners go ahead. I also explained that as we did this we would shout “Hey Ho, Let’s Go!” They were all very excited. There were speeches from Stephanie Case, founder of Free to Run and the Governor of Bamyan said a few words and then at 9.10am, James Bingham, Race Director, did the countdown 5….4….3….2…..1 and we were off.

The first part of the race was a 2 km out and back and at the completion of each km I yelled out “Hey Ho” to which the girls replied “Let’s Go!” Then we headed up on the first of many steep climbs out of the numerous valleys in Band e-Amir.

Check points were located every 7 kms and things were going pretty well with the group as we approached the first aid station. The route had been tough. My only concern was that one of the girls was complaining of back pain so I suggested she drop out at the next check point but she said no. I knew there was a sweep vehicle behind us and that she would probably take that before the next check point. The group kept moving forward and were on track up to the 10 km point. The course was marked with wooden planks, laying at the side of the road, with black arrows painted on and we had been following them diligently.

At a fork in the road we followed the arrow pointing left and continued for 2 kms down a path. Then we heard yells from across the valley and people were waving at us to come over. The girls and I trudge across a marshland and met up with the race volunteers. They told us that someone had turned the plank around and that we were going the wrong way.

This was a disaster and I was pretty mad. There was no way we would complete the marathon in 7 hours. It would be tough enough for the girls and I to even make the 8 hour cut-off without this, as some of them were, by now, struggling with the terrain and physical issues. At the 14 km check point I shared my feelings with the volunteers. I asked that they pass along a message to James Bingham to extend the cut-off to 9 hours.

We continued on and reached the 21km, half way check-point in 4hrs 30mins. However on my GPS it said 23kms, due to the detour. I knew at this pace we had a chance. The first half had been brutal, stunning views but it had been a tough slog up and down the steep, dusty hills. We had been told that the second half would be easier but I had my doubts. James Bingham had said the course had “Rolling Hills”.
As we left the 21 km check-point, I noticed the group had become smaller by one. I had lost sight of the girl with the bad back and another girl had started to lag.

A key milestone on the route, at the 26 km point, is the arched entrance to Band e-Amir National Park. It was a long straight climb from there and as I reached the top of the hill I looked back to the arch and couldn’t believe my eyes. There, in the distance, was the girl with the bad back. It had been 20 kms and 4 hours since I had seen her and she had kept going on her own and not given up. I decided there and then that I would try and get her, and the other girl who had fallen behind, across the line before the hoped for 9 hour cut-off.

I continued to the 28 km check point and told Hassina that I was going to wait there for the two girls and that she was to take the rest of the group to the 35 km check point and wait for me there. 20 mins later the two girls caught up and told me they wanted to continue. The girl who had been way back could speak a little English and she said her name was Sonya, she was 14 years old and lived in Herat. She told me that the other girl was Anita, 16 years old, also from Herat and her sister. Unbelievable.

We had 3 hours to do 14 km. The girls were struggling but they plodded on. We arrived at the 35 km check point but no Hassina or the other runners. She had done the right thing and not waited for us. Every so often we would do a “Little Run”, maybe 100m just to keep some momentum going. We had an ambulance following us and I asked the girls on a number of occasions if they wanted to get in but they always said no.

The last 3 kms were downhill and we had 55 mins complete it. The girls were getting excited and wanted to get their medals. The sun was setting as we rounded the last corner and then we heard the cheers and yells. The three of us ran across the finish line with hugs and tears all round. Sonya, Anita and myself had finished in 8 hours 46 minutes and were told that race director James Bingham had approved the 9 hour cut off limit. We had finished with 14 minutes to spare. I saw Hassina and the other girls and we were all extremely happy and relieved.

It had been an amazing day and in total 20 Free to Run women and girls completed the marathon. The resilience, persistence and determination shown by these women and girls is an example to the rest of us.





Rocks!! Wednesday Pm After Run

October 24, 2018



Upcoming Local Events


   November 3, 2018

Shred Cancer
Mountain Bike Classic








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