In this Issue:
- Sara McIlraith is good at a whole lot
- TRAIL TALK - the run and talk interview show
- My Self-Isolation 100 Miles and More!
- Even the nature of northern Ontario
could be closed for COVID-19 if hikers don't follow
- How To Run a Marathon (Or Thrive During
- Current State of Track & Field
Events - As of 4/16/20
- Photos This Week
- Upcoming Events
May 24 Apex Dash, SudburyRocks!!!
MOVED to OCT 25
- Running Room Run Club Update:
- Track North
Sara McIlraith is good
at a whole lot of somethings
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
"I had my feet in
a lot of things, but I never really had that competitive
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
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
"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
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
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
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
by Mary-Elizabeth Schweyer
Like many other seasonal
runners my spring races have all been postponed or
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
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.
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
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
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,"
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
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
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.
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,"
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
"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
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
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
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
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
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.
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!!
Photos This Week
(to soothe the soul)
Vince - Jesse Winters and crew on
Beaver Pond Trail - practicing proper distancing
Beaver Pond Trail
Ania - Laurentian Trails
Upcoming Local Events
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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
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
Register at www.apexwarrior.ca
North News - by Dick
Dick Moss, Head Coach
Laurentian XC/Track Team
c/o Coach Moss <email@example.com>
information call me.
sponsor of the Sudbury Rocks!!! Race-Run-Walk for the Health of it
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