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      Hello Everyone,                                                                                                                                                                                                         April 23, 2020        

     In this Issue:


  1. Sara McIlraith is good at a whole lot of somethings
  2. TRAIL TALK - the run and talk interview show
  3. My Self-Isolation 100 Miles and More!
  4. Even the nature of northern Ontario could be closed for COVID-19 if hikers don't follow the rules
  5. How To Run a Marathon (Or Thrive During a Pandemic)
  6. Current State of Track & Field Events - As of 4/16/20
  7. Photos This Week
  8. Upcoming Events NEW VIRTUAL May 24 Apex Dash, SudburyRocks!!! MOVED to OCT 25
  9. Running Room Run Club Update: 
  10. Track North





Sara McIlraith is good at a whole lot of somethings
Randy Pascal



A little confidence can go a long way.

In the case of Sara McIlraith, it can apparently go a long, long way, in a variety of formats, in very fast times.

The lifelong Sudbury multi-sport athlete has captured the women's individual title at the Beaton Classic nearly a half dozen times, is likely the foremost master nordic skier in the province, captured her age bracket in the 2019 Subaru Triathlon Series, and has completed a half-marathon in just over ninety minutes.

And she has done all of this after celebrating her 30th birthday.

More active than intensely athletic in her youth, McIlraith nonetheless developed a base upon which she would build, later in life, when her time would come.

"We were very outdoorsy, but not so much in terms of organized sport," noted the 48 year old daughter of teachers, the younger sister to one older brother. "I tried a lot of things when I was younger, everything from cross country running to swimming and skiing, even ringette for one winter."

"I had my feet in a lot of things, but I never really had that competitive drive."

Sure, there were some signs of what might come later, as McIlraith worked out with three male teammates with the Voima nordic ski club, and swam under her father, as coach, with the high-school team at Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School.

But by and large, right through university stops at both Western and Guelph, this Geography major who specialized in geographic information systems would tend to back away as the level of her sporting involvement became more serious.

The birth of daughter Kate, now 20 years of age, signalled an up-tick in keeping active, making family walks a regular part of her schedule, and contemplating the notion of becoming a runner.

But truly, it was the impact of co-worker Glen Johns, a running mainstay in Sudbury, diagnosed and eventually succumbing to brain cancer, that prompted a life-altering shift for McIlraith.

"I kind of took it upon myself to take over as a runner for him," she explained. Still, the trepidation was ever-present, as McIlraith ran simply for the joy of running, oblivious to split times and such, before tackling her very first race some two years later.

"I had built up a little bit of confidence in my running, but I had no idea what kind of times I was running," McIlraith reminisced. "I had never compared myself to anyone, had never timed myself. I decided to run the Sudbury Rocks half marathon as my first race and finished first in my age group." "That's when I realized that maybe I was good at something."


Years later, it would become apparent that Sara McIlraith is very good at a whole lot of somethings. Initially, however, running was her only true pursuit. "It was something that I could do totally on my own, and for me, it was completely distance based," she said.

"I was just trying to increase my distance, I never even wore a watch." As she and her ex-husband separated, McIlraith would immerse herself in the comfort zone that was taking to the trails, or making new friends in her sport.

"That really fueled me to take running on, more seriously, and about the same time, Vince Perdue recruited me and I became part of the Sudbury Rocks Running Club." And though running remains at the forefront of her athletic repertoire, McIlraith was about to experience an explosion of possibilities.

Just as her parents had done with her, Sara would introduce her daughter to the joys of nordic skiing before her third birthday. "I was in the skiing world, as a coach, and met Neil (Phipps) through coaching," she said.

"He opened up a whole world to me and helped me gain confidence. Neil would buy me presents - new skis, a new bike," she laughed. "This was a whole new world that I immediately fell in love with."

Sure, there had been degrees of success as a runner for McIlraith. A personal best time of 1:32 in the Ottawa Half Marathon, posting increasingly faster times in completing Around the Bay (30 kms) in Hamilton, finally running a sub-20 minute five kms.

Yet the realities of the stress of constantly training a single sport as one ages, combined with the single-minded focus that McIlraith would strive towards reaching goals that were falling just out of reach, prompted a change.

"I did transition myself over, because I had always considered myself a runner," she stated. "A few years ago, I switched over to doing a lot more triathlons during the summer. It was just a nice change from straight running. I really enjoyed it."

The variety now was nearly never-ending. Skiing in the winter, with the occasional run, cycling and swimming in the summer, mixing in distance workouts on foot. "It gives me something different to work on," admitted McIlraith.

"I was finding that I was not loving running anymore, because I had these incredibly high expectations of myself that I don't think are sustainable."

The very nature of triathlons tended to dissipate her ultra lofty goals. "Triathlons are a little like skiing, because every course is different, so how you do in one is not the same as how you would do in another."

All of which is not to suggest that McIlraith has cast aside any personal targets entirely. After decreasing the distance to the shorter Subaru Series events after dealing with a pair of frustrating half ironmans, the local woman is looking to spend more time training, this summer, in anticipation of another shot at the half ironman in September.

Where many a sport is completely grounded by Covid, McIlraith has not yet been forced to substantially alter her training regimen. "I'm pretty privileged on a lot of fronts," she said. "I do miss the Sudbury Rocks (group), because I would run with them probably two to three times a week."

"But I am a trail runner, at heart. I love to run the trails, with the dog, and I'm doing a lot of that now."

Coming off yet another phenomenal winter of nordic ski racing, McIlraith is contemplating perhaps entering the World Masters in Alberta in 2021. Gliding across the snow at speeds that exceed the vast majority of local high-school competitors, she is most in her element with the one sport that dates back to her very early childhood.

These days, however, she tackles it with confidence - and that's a very good thing.




TRAIL TALK - the run and talk interview show

by Darren Klevin


This is the debut episode in this new venture that combines running on trails all year round in all conditions with interviewing interesting people about interesting topics.

Because of the restrictions due to Covid 19 it turned out that I am the first guest. Stay tuned for more thoughts and people sharing their passions, humour, and intelligent insights on a wide range of events, viewpoints, and personal reflection.



Here's a trail memory from one year ago in April 2019

I was out running and testing cameras etc and roughing another episode and I remembered that last year around this time I was running and encountered Vince and Steve.






My Self-Isolation 100 Miles and More!
by Mary-Elizabeth Schweyer


Like many other seasonal runners my spring races have all been postponed or cancelled.
I have worked way too hard to just give up.
So what am I doing about it you ask? Running, just like I planned but on my own time!

1. On April 25th I will run 50km
2. On May 18th I will run 38km (for my 38th Birthday)
3. On June 13th I will be run 100 Miles.

And well now that I am doing this on my own, I can choose my own charity.
So, I have chosen to run for the Northern Cancer Foundation!

Want to join me in supporting a good cause?
100% of proceeds will support the Northern Cancer Foundation. More importantly, every dollar received by foundation will stay in our community to support vital patient care, new equipment purchases and world-class research in our own backyard.







Even the nature of northern Ontario could be closed for COVID-19 if hikers don't follow the rules

Two popular walking paths in Sudbury closed so far over physical distancing concerns

Erik White · CBC News · Posted: Apr 16, 2020


When Carl Jorgensen walks the trails at Lake Laurentian Conservation Area these days, he's looking to see how far apart the other hikers are.

The general manager of Conservation Sudbury also interviews people coming off the trails to see if they noticed anyone not following the rules laid out by public health officials during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"So far, extremely overwhelming positive response from everybody. I think people who are continuing to use our trails are enjoying them and are aware if they are not social distancing that could be an issue and we may see a trail closure," says Jorgensen.

That has happened already in Sudbury, with the Bell Park Boardwalk and the trails at the A.Y. Jackson Lookout on the Onaping River. Both closed when city staff worried people were walking too close to each other. Note: I believe Bell Park was reopened today Wednesday April 22.

Jorgensen says the conservation areas are only open for walking and not for picnicking, fishing or anything else people used to do there.

Across the province, playgrounds and park amenities such as gazebos and tennis courts have been ordered closed, but most municipal parks remain open.

"Certainly we have a lot of trail systems and a lot of park area, so I don't think it's too difficult for people who aren't part of family groups to maintain physical distancing. I think there's quite a lot of space to do that," says Sault Ste. Marie chief administrative officer Malcolm White.

The Sault Ste. Marie Region Conservation Authority says it's seen a "spike" in visitors to the Fort Creek Conservation Area and has reached out to public health officials to see what action it should take.

The North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority has closed the Mattawa Island Conservation Area on the request of Mattawa town council, because of fears the basketball court there could be a gathering spot.

Communications advisor Sue Buckle says they've also removed all garbage cans that people needed to open with their hands, but admitted that it could cause other problems.

"Well the idea is that they're bear proof, so we'll see how that goes. We're trying to keep things as normal as possible," she says.

About half of the conservation areas in Ontario have been closed, almost all of them in the more crowded south, where many city parks have been totally roped off as well.

Glenn Thurston, parks manager for the City of Timmins, says the issue could come to a head in the north once the warmer weather finally arrives.

"We still have a lot of snow on the ground, which is slowing people down from going into the parks," says Thurston.

"I hope that we don't have to start closing off greenspaces, but it is a real possibility depending on how people behave themselves."





How To Run a Marathon (Or Thrive During a Pandemic)

forwarded by Michelle Brunette

Most of us didn't train as athletes, and never expected to tackle a marathon. Even if you did, you probably didn't expect to parent through a pandemic. But this pandemic is turning out to be more of a marathon than a sprint. So it's the perfect time to revisit some lessons from long-distance athletes about cultivating our resilience during the long slog of this pandemic.

1. Try to get a little better, every day.
The pressure cooker of life in a pandemic is guaranteed to highlight any place in your life that needs more strengthening or better structure to withstand stress. And as athletes know, any place you feel uncomfortable is an invitation to stretch and build strength.

Marathons take training, which means that you keep working it. In the next 24 hours you'll have 1440 minutes, or 1440 opportunities to show up with emotional generosity, towards yourself and everyone else. You don't have to be perfect, just keep moving in your desired direction. Because if you can improve your ratio of good to bad moments during a pandemic, you can manage anything life throws at you.

2. Give yourself the support you need to be your best.
What about those times when you can't show up as your best? Forgive yourself: you're human. And then find a way to give yourself more support. Do you need more sleep? Less news or social media? More connection with friends or time outside in nature or moving your body?

Or maybe you need to upgrade how you talk to yourself, to be the perfect coach or parent for you? When experienced athletes start thinking "I can't do this any longer" they nip that thought in the bud and substitute encouragement: "One step at a time. This is one of the hardest things I've ever done and I'm DOING it! I'm so proud of myself." Notice this isn't denial ("I feel great.") It's acknowledgment and support and a pep talk, all in one.

3. Pace Yourself.
Marathon trainings happen one step at a time. And you don't sprint through a marathon; you save some strength for those moments when you hit the wall. Expect some back-sliding and some bad days. You're in this for the long haul. What matters is that when you miss the mark -- which we all do at times -- you find ways to inspire yourself and get back on track and headed in the right direction.

4. Focus on how you feel, not how you look.
Comparison is always a thief of joy, and Instagram is not your friend right now if it makes you feel inadequate. Photos on social media of the schedule you're trying to get your children to follow don't build your strength for the journey. What does? Connecting with your children to come up with a schedule together and helping them through the day in a positive way. Starting a family gratitude practice. Finding a free online yoga or meditation teacher you like and being disciplined to do it every day for 15 minutes.

5. Be Flexible.
If we've learned anything recently, we've learned that things often don't go as we expected. On those days when everyone's whining or cranky, regroup and start over. Stop, Drop (your agenda, just for now) and Breathe. Calm yourself. Reconnect with your child. Consider everyone's needs and make a new plan. Flexibility is essential to resilience.

6. This too shall pass.
When you're facing physical discomfort or pain, that sensation can overshadow everything else and seem eternal. But as athletes learn, they can endure it, because it's not permanent. The one thing we can count on in life is Change. When we feel big emotions, they seem like we've always felt them and we always will. But emotions arise and pass away, and the more we acknowledge them, the faster they pass.

This moment is temporary. Take the pandemic, with all its challenges, one day at a time. This too shall pass.

7. Focus on what you CAN control, not what you can't.
Pandemics and marathons are overwhelming. Hey, even without a pandemic, parenting is frequently overwhelming.

As a parent, you've probably come up with a few tricks to manage the overwhelm. Now it's time for a few more. Start by claiming the power you do have. That's the power over yourself: your thoughts and your attitude, which create your emotions and your mood. Your words, which can inspire or injure (yourself as well as others). Your actions, which can be thoughtless reactions, or conscious choices.

You can't really control anybody else, even your child. But you have tremendous influence, and you're always radiating whatever mood you're in. Why not start there? You'll see changes in everyone around you.

You didn't choose this particular marathon. But you're learning something about your own strength, and how to support yourself to be your best. You can come out of this crisis stronger and more emotionally fit. Your choices now may even mean that your children will look back and say "It was the coronavirus pandemic but our family had so much fun together; we got closer!"

Sometimes the most challenging experiences are the things that teach us the most, and end up being the most meaningful as we look back on our lives -- even though they're lessons we would never have asked for.






Current State of Track & Field Events - As of 4/16/20

Laurentian XC/Track

Self-isolation policies due to the coronavirus have caused the cancellation of many events that involve large groups of people. That, of course, includes Spring/Summer track meets and road races.

When might competition resume? Here's the current state of track and field in Ontario/Canada.

Cancelled Events
Blackflies Open Track Meet
Sudbury Rocks Road Races (rescheduled to October 25)
NOSSA Track and Field Championships
OFSAA Track and Field Championships
Legion District H Provincial Championships
Legion Provincial Championships
Legion National Championships
All Athletics Ontario events until July 1
All track meets in Quebec - until Sept 1/20

Events Which MAY Be Postponed Rather Than Cancelled
(Decision to Be Made Later in the Spring/Summer…But Chances Aren’t Great)

City High School Track and Field Championships
Elementary School Track and Field Meets
Track North Bobcats - Cancelled for now. Potential to start up again in the summer.
Athletics Ontario sanctioned July meets
Track North Twilight Meets
Athletics Canada Championships

If there's some advice for our athletes, it's to keep training. This is a super time to develop a strength, aerobic and speed base to overcome any strength and flexibility issues that might have caused recurrent injuries, or have the potential to cause future injuries or performance decrements.

While the lack of immediate competitions and group practices might reduce some of the fun and immediate motivation from your training, in the long run, this could provide the opportunity to become better, more injury-free runners!! When competition does resume, we'll be absolute beasts!!

Take care!





Photos This Week

(to soothe the soul)


Colin Ward

Vince - Jesse Winters and crew on Beaver Pond Trail - practicing proper distancing

Moonlight Trails

Beaver Pond Trail

Ania - Laurentian Trails












Upcoming Local Events

 May 24, 2020

We made the hard decision to change the Apex Trail Race series to virtual. Your safety, and health is our biggest concern. With that in mind from the start date of the event we are giving everyone 7 days to race and enter their results. You create your own start time, and have the option to run your own course.

Race 1 - May 24-31
6km / 12km
We will have a course marked from the start looping around 6km. You have the choice to run this course or your own. Please choose to run trails as this is a trail running race.
For the 12km racers complete 2 laps

Race 2 - July 1-8
6km / 12km / 25km
No course will be marked out, run any trail of your choice and upload results!

Race 3 Sept 20-27
6km / 12km / 25km / 50km
A 6km course will be marked out, complete 2 laps for the 12km. More info to come for longer distance courses.

Register at www.apexwarrior.ca







Given the current situation related to COVID-19, the SudburyROCKS!!! Marathon organizing committee has decided to postpone our race. The new date for the 2020 SudburyROCKS!!! Marathon will be Sunday, October 25th. We know this news may be disappointing to you and for that we are very sorry, however we recognize this is the right thing to do at this time.
We are still encouraging participants and the public to register for the 2020 SudburyROCKS!!! Marathon and to support our beneficiary the Northern Cancer Foundation by collecting pledges. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this time.
If you have any questions please feel free to connect with Elizabeth Taillefer at the Northern Cancer Foundation by email at etaillefer@hsnsudbury.ca or by calling 705.523.4673.
The organizing committee will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and keep our participants and friends up to date.
Please take care and stay healthy.
Thank you,
SudburyROCKS!!! Marathon
Organizing Committee












Run Club Update




Store News


Good afternoon Sudbury Runners and Walkers,


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

We made the hard decision to change the Apex Trail Race series to virtual. Your safety, and health is our biggest concern. With that in mind from the start date of the event we are giving everyone 7 days to race and enter their results. You create your own start time, and have the option to run your own course.

Race 1 - May 24-31
6km / 12km
We will have a course marked from the start looping around 6km. You have the choice to run this course or your own. Please choose to run trails as this is a trail running race.
For the 12km racers complete 2 laps

Race 2 - July 1-8
6km / 12km / 25km
No course will be marked out, run any trail of your choice and upload results!

Race 3 Sept 20-27
6km / 12km / 25km / 50km
A 6km course will be marked out, complete 2 laps for the 12km. More info to come for longer distance courses.

Register at www.apexwarrior.ca







Track North News - by Dick Moss





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/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/@luxctrack
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/laurentianxctrack/




For information call me.
Vincent Perdue

Proud sponsor of the Sudbury Rocks!!! Race-Run-Walk for the Health of it




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