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      Hello Everyone,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            June 11, 2020        

     In this Issue:


  1. Sprinter Sam Effah on running while black
  2. COVID-19 wins another round: No varsity sport for 2020
  3. A Special SudburyROCKS!!! 10km Walk/Run
  4. My Self Isolation 100 Miles and More
  5. Global Running Day
  6. GIRLSrun Sudbury
  7. Photos This Week
  8. Upcoming Events GirlsRun Virtual Event, July 1 Apex warrior Virtual Race Series, SudburyRocks!!! MOVED to OCT 25
  9. Running Room Run Club Update: 
  10. Track North





Sprinter Sam Effah on running while black
I am blessed to be surrounded on the start line by athletes I can identify with, and some of my biggest advocates are white, but the micro-aggressions and taunting never stop.

Runningmagazine.ca June 5, 2020

Sam Effah at 2018 Commonwealth Games, Australia. Photo: Athletics Canada


I step out of my apartment; the streets are empty. I rush to finish my sprints before sunrise hits. It’s an eerie feeling, but this is the reality of training through a pandemic. It’s different, it’s new, and I’m respecting social distance guidelines. I’m bundled up from head to toe because it’s chilly in the early morning. As people begin to populate the sidewalks, I joke to myself, “Are they staring because I’m out of breath from my workout? Or do they think I could be a threat?” I’ll never know.

People have done double takes on me for as long as I can remember. When you see a black man in hooded clothing, what’s the first thing that pops into your mind? Do you assume he’s in sport? Do you think he’s going for a brisk walk? Are you neutral? Or do you hold a negative assumption? The latter is an unconscious bias in a society predominantly dictated by white ideals – and I hate it.

I’m not speaking on a new issue, but this is my personal experience. When you’re judged unfairly as a black man, you suppress it, excuse it, develop a thick skin, and you keep it moving.

How does one begin to understand the rampant violence aimed at victims like George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Philando Castile and Ahmaud Arbery? You don’t, because you can’t.

I personally identified with Lawrence Crosby, a 25-year-old black engineering student who was tackled and arrested in Chicago in 2015 for “stealing” his own car. We were almost the same age. It was confusing to read the article, and painful to witness the tapes.

He was minding his own business, and the police racially profiled him and took him down aggressively. He co-operated peacefully. While the officers assaulted him, Lawrence recited the date of purchase and the car dealership’s address in case he ever faced a situation like this.

As a Canadian sprinter, I have been blessed to be surrounded on the start line by athletes I can identify with. I have a solid group of supporters from all backgrounds, with some of my biggest advocates being white. However, being subjected to micro-aggressions, taunting and racial slurs never stops. I’ve represented Canada across the globe at three world championships, three World University Games, two Commonwealth Games, and I am pushing for a 2021 Olympic berth.

I love track, because when I’m in the starting blocks, I have my own lane and my result is directly correlated to the efforts I’ve put forth in training. I control whether I win a medal, I am responsible for the races I lose and I am accountable for the injuries. Runners are judged by quantitative measures – which don’t discriminate. If you run the qualifying time and earn a place on the podium, you make the team.

In contrast, off the track I’m passionate about community development, mentorship and marketing – and I’ve had to prove myself more times than I can count. Why is it so difficult, as a black man, to be viewed as more than an athlete?


If you were to reverse the situation, few questions are asked of white athletes, and no one would be surprised to hear that he has several careers on the go.

“You ran track? There’s no way you graduated university, though.”

“Whoa! You’re so well spoken, for a black dude!”

“I can call you nigger – black guys rap it in songs. I don’t mean it.”

“You’re smart, but you’re definitely the exception, no offense.”


I am a proud bachelor of commerce graduate, and each statement hits hard. And I work harder. I’ve made a conscious effort to give no one a reason to utter these words. I’ve done more than 120 speaking engagements over the last 10 years. I present to schools, corporate businesses, senior executives, CEOs and diverse communities. I’m a member of the Canadian Association of Urban Financial Professionals (CAUFP), an organization that provides a link between corporations and black communities through innovative programs. They offer professional development and networking, which have been game changers in my life.

I love connecting with people, period. I want to show others that black athletes and black people generally are positive, contributing members to society.

I have spent a lot of time losing myself in this social media fever over the last few days, and I’m overwhelmed. Not because the situation is scary, but because it’s finally being taken seriously. I appreciate the check-in texts and the loads of inquiries to learn about my culture, but I’m extremely sad to see that we are still not having the right conversations.

This is not a black issue, but an issue that needs to be addressed by everyone. Unconscious bias needs to be looked at head first. I challenge you to figure out how we can undo these built-in mindsets and build a better society – one where you’re judged not by the colour of your skin but by the content of your character, like Martin Luther King Jr. historically described.

When you log out today, understand that retweets and reposts only go so far. Take the time to learn why you hold negative perceptions of black people as a default, and take action on how you’ve developed these deep-rooted mindsets. Be a free thinker. Approach every individual you encounter with a clean slate.

I’m a proud Canadian athlete, and I recognize that it’s a privilege to learn about racism instead of experiencing it first-hand.

Sam Effah is a two-time Canadian 100m champion, 2019 Amazing Race Canada runner-up, RBC Olympian and Keynote Speaker, and a member of the Commonwealth Games Canada Athlete Council. His website is sameffah.com. Twitter/Instagram: @sam_effah.





COVID-19 wins another round: No varsity sport for 2020
Laura Young For The Sudbury

Published on: June 8, 2020

Catherine Rocca of the Laurentian Voyageurs women's soccer team and Sarah Zutauen of the Carleton Ravens fight to head the ball during OUA soccer action in Sudbury, Ont. GINO DONATO/SUDBURY STAR/POSTMEDIA NETWORK

COVID-19 continues to wrestle the athletic world to its knees after Monday’s unsurprising announcement that fall varsity sports at Cambrian College, College Boreal and Laurentian University — indeed, at post-secondary schools across Canada — have been cancelled or suspended for the remainder of 2020.

The future of varsity sports and recreational activities into 2021, and two-semester sports like swimming, volleyball, badminton, basketball, and hockey, is currently unclear.

The situation affects hundreds of local student-athletes, including nearly 100 at Cambrian College alone and 300 at Laurentian, as well as coaches, trainers, fans and other stakeholders. Across Canada, more than 20,000 athletes are putting their varsity dreams on hold.

Athletes are taught to modify and adjust in their game or sport, says Tim Yu, Cambrian’s athletics director. The global pandemic and its consequences are like a hurdle to overcome, he says.

“We can train at home. We can find things online. We will still miss certain aspects and we all understand that. But we can keep ourselves mentally healthy by finding ways to modify what we do to keep it alive in our heads, in our minds and in our hearts until things come back to normal.”

It was a disappointing day in university sport history for Peter Hellstrom, Laurentian’s athletic director.

It was also one spent sending personal emails to athletes and coaches. The athletes were provided with links to mental health supports and asked to reach out to their coaches, he says.

“It’s tough. For a lot of them it’s the pinnacle of their careers. Or they’re training to get to the Olympics next year. In some sports, (university) is that platform. This is one of those things where we have to really pull up our sleeves and help our student-athletes the best we can.”

In the college and university systems, the contingency plans for full-year sports like swimming, basketball, volleyball, and college badminton are under review.

“Moving forward, there will be some work done by the OCAA to start coming up with more solid plans,” says Yu. “It’s such a dynamic situation that we can only plan and adjust as things go.”

The Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) governs 4,000 student-athletes at 27 schools.

At the university level, fall sports and championships are cancelled to the end of 2020. For U Sports, there are 56 schools and nearly 20,000 student-athletes affected across Canada. The OUA reported on its website that due to the fluid nature of COVID-19, nothing has been decided beyond the first term.

“The health and well-being of our student athletes, coaches, and our stakeholders is our guiding principle in this. Information is quite fluid on this pandemic and it’s the right thing to do right now,” Hellstrom says.

“Until things get crystal clear, it’s hard to plan a sports season.”


Whether actual training can be held in the facilities is a decision that is up to the individual institutions across the OUA, according to a release from Laurentian University. The building is currently closed.

The university’s athletics department is designing a return-to-train program in consultation with medical staff and a multitude of guidelines from an array of national and provincial governing bodies, says Hellstrom.

As well, U Sports is expected to make a decision this week on athlete eligibility and athletic financial awards.

Across town at Cambrian, the recreation facilities also remain closed. Yu says the focus is the health and safety of students and the safe delivery of academic programming before they can look at extracurricular activities.

For student-athletes who might have a different perspective, Yu says that it’s an unfortunate situation and that Cambrian did include opening of sports and the fitness centre in its reopening plan.

“We’re not forgotten.”

The college can only move forward with what it has in terms of guidelines and recommendations from all health governing bodies, says Yu.

Some online criticism says it’s too early to make this decision, but Yu believes some may be looking at a sport as its own entity.

“They’re not factoring in that we are part of a larger group and an educational institution,” he adds.

“How are we able to move forward with an extracurricular(s) if we haven’t gotten our primary role 100 per cent in control? We need the time to be able to work those out. We’d rather focus on one thing than spread ourselves too thin.”

Colleges are using the word suspended when it comes to their sports, so that the door is left open in case of any change and opportunities to deliver what wasn’t possible in the fall, Yu says.

Boreal’s communications unit did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Athletic director Andrea Boyce did write in an email that it was important to indicate that the OCAA announcement is not a cancellation, but a suspension, of sport.

Although the OCAA announced the suspension of the fall season, according to its website, winter-semester sports like volleyball and badminton are expected to happen, but with reduced schedules.

At LU, Hellstrom says no one ever thought they’d be administering sports through a pandemic of this magnitude. They did have two smaller ones in SARS and H1N1, he adds.

Like Yu, Hellstrom addresses the disappointment athletes might be feeling.

“It’s heart-wrenching. We want to keep moving forward and provide some hope on what January may look like,” Hellstrom says. “Or next September. Who knows?”

Now, they look to a focus on the training side and academics, and hope for the return to competition, he adds.

“The health of our student-athletes, coaches, administrators, officials, and fans is our No. 1 priority, and after significant consultation, we believe that OUA sport cannot be delivered prior to Dec. 31,” said Mike DeGagne, chair of the OUA board of directors and president of Nipissing University, in an OUA release.

For U Sports, that means cancelling six fall national championships, affecting women’s field hockey and rugby, men and women’s cross-country running, soccer, and football’s prestigious Vanier Cup.





A Special SudburyROCKS!!! 10km Walk/Run



You might have noticed that May 31st has come and gone, but while we missed seeing you for SudburyRocks Race, Run or Walk, there was something awesome happening just a little outside of Sudbury.

Shauna and friends/family did a 10km Walk/Run out at their camp to mark the day that she would have participated in the SudburyROCKS!!! 10km race and raised over $1,000 for the NCF! How cool is that?

"We have some very special family members who are battling cancer right now. We wanted to show our support, love and strength. What a great weekend!!!! Thanks Bill for always supporting me and kicking my butt when I was struggling to train for this run. Thank you to my sister for inspiring me. Thank you to my Mommy who is 72 years young and has still got it!!!" - Shauna

We're still looking forward to hosting the SudburyROCKS!!! Marathon on October 25th. You can check out all the info on www.sudburyrocksmarathon.com






My Self Isolation 100 Miles and More

Words by Donna Smrek



‘If it doesn’t challenge you it doesn’t change you’ … well my friend, prepare for change.

On June 13 & 14, 2020, my friend and fellow runner, Mary-Elizabeth Schweyer (Liz), is challenging herself to run 100 miles in 30 hours. WHY?? because she’s crazy LOL, no seriously, WHY would anyone run 100 miles on their own?

As you all know our beloved running events, along with so many others, have been postponed, deferred, cancelled etc., due to Covid-19. Many of us are searching for our reasons to continue to train and push ourselves to stay committed. Liz found her reasons all around her; e-mails postponing her planned running events, 2 young daughters at home trying to reach goals on a new virtual school program and a position as an event planner when all events are to be cancelled.

All the signs indicated ‘stop’, your plans need to slow down however Liz took a different approach, she looked in the mirror, gave a little wink and said ‘stand 6 feet back, here I come’.
She’d run 25 km, 50 km and 100 km and felt that ‘100 miles was the next logical step’. Logical to some perhaps, to others I refer back to the first paragraph:)

Liz knew she wanted to challenge herself and at the same time show her daughters that setting a goal, even if there are obstacles along the way, can be very satisfying and help you grow. She had signed up for the Mad Trapper Backyard Ultra, with a 100-mile goal, well instead of folding she decided to do it in her own back yard. Once that idea was sparked, she realized she could also challenge her community at the same time. Her work as an event planner with NCF, Northern Cancer Foundation, was also fluttering in the covid wind. She realized she had a ‘win, win, win’ situation she could tap into. My Self Isolation 100 Miles and More was a go!! ‘I’ll work toward my goal, show my daughters how adjusting to obstacles along the path to your goal is possible and set up a fundraiser where no one has to physically group together.’

Throughout this Covid-19 crisis, cancer has not self-isolated, it continues to impact and ravage the lives of individuals and their families. The NCF provides financial assistance, along with all their medical support, to individuals deep in the fight for their lives. As an organization relying on fundraising for support, their revenue flow is being strangled due to social restrictions.
There is a community of runners offering to support Liz along her journey, do a ‘loop with Liz’ to help ward off the mental games, the wild imagination that is set free on dark trails at night and to cheer her on as a motivator or the motivated. We will run with her, each contributing support from an appropriate distance, as she runs steady. We will tag team for steps, bring soup and coffee for sustenance and celebrate the miles along the way.

I invite you to join Liz in her effort to show that one person can make a difference. We won’t all run on the day and we aren’t all in a position to share our funds at this time. However, if you are able and willing, please follow the link to Liz’s FB event, send messages to cheer her on and support the fundraiser with whatever you can.
If it doesn’t challenge us, it won’t change us. Let’s join together, virtually, and embrace change.

"My Self Isolation 100 and More" Fundraiser! (https://www.facebook.com/donate/1648202715319248/)






Global Running Day








Congratulations to everyone that participated in our 1st virtual girls run Sudbury. I am so proud of every girl and woman who decided to give their best effort. All of you pushed yourself to accomplish the distance and to celebrate all of our hard work during these time.

I am also very proud of my daughter who decided to surprise me to run her 5 k by herself accompanied by her brother as the bike lead to ensure she was good.

Congratulation everyone! Let’s reserves next year date as June 6, 2021 as our annual event.

Until then keep up your training and perhaps sign up for another virtual event to keep you motivated.

Race Director


This virtual event went very well. we had 108 girls and women participating in our 1st annual! Hoping to run the sudbury rock in the fall.

2.5 k

5 k

10 k




Photos This Week

Keegan and Donna on the trails

Amber in the mud

Darren and Anne hiking on Loach's

Liz at Laurentian

Wanda and Catherine on Laurentian loop

Lise and friends at Laurentian lake

Steph and Barry near Wanup

Laura finishes virtual GIRLSrun

Eva on Walden trails

Laurentian wildlife

Lilac season by Greg Koett

Lily Pads at Laurentian by Ania










Upcoming Local Events


 July 1, 2020

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







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.








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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