So, for a
second straight summer, with a good number of the standard
trail races postponed or cancelled, that longperiod of
time involved the better part of a complete weekend as
she completed a 100-mile fundraiser in support of the
Northern Cancer Foundation a couple of weeks back.
This is not at all out of character.
For Schweyer, sport was always about far
more than just numbers, translating her love of dancing
to a whole spectrum of athletic pursuits.
“I enjoy people, so I loved being
part of teams, just hanging out with my friends,”
she suggested, with soccer being the summer go to —
behind running, of course.
Building up far more mileage than the
average high-school runner, Schweyer competed with the
Cambrian College varsity cross-country team. Though never
a serious threat to podium, she grew more and more attached
to a base of running that could easily diverge into parallel
“I had always participated in cross-country
and track, so I guess it was competitive back then, but
really, it was after college that I started doing the
Running Room clinics, that I really started to race,”
she said. “And before kids, I did quite a few triathlons.”
Schweyer topped out at nine triathlons
during a single summer stretch, including a pair of half
Ironmans. The distance was building, as she incorporated
both full and half marathons.
“There was a big crew of us in Sudbury
who were all training together,” she said. “Every
weekend, we were somewhere, racing.”
And then came the kids.
“After kids, I kind of retired the
bike and swimming, just because I couldn’t get out
for enough training,” she explained. “But
it was easy to run with the kids in the stroller. That
has been my thing, ever since.”
Whether you are dealing with triathlons
morphing over to the realm of the Ironman, or half-marathons
that eventually stretch their way into an ultra-marathon,
there is a constant and paramount need to always be conscious
of the toll that training can take on your body. The mind
set was behind the move to off-road workouts for Schweyer,
aggressively pursuing this path about a decade ago.
“I started to really enjoy the
50-kilometre mark and wanting to go beyond,” she
recalled. “There is a difference with the trails.
Your time is a lot slower, which means there’s more
time on your feet. But it’s a lot easier on your
knees, a lot easier on your joints and your body, for
It’s not as though Liz Schweyer
has gone cold turkey on road racing. She remains as committed
to the Rocks Marathon as she always has been, participating
in the event every single year since inception. Her first
full marathon, completed in Dublin as part of Team Diabetes
back in 2006, will always hold a special place in her
Still, it can’t hold a candle to
the fundraiser she first launched in 2020, an undertaking
that can proudly boast donations of almost $7,000 in the
“These races from last year and
this year are the races I’ve cared about the most
— they were my own idea,” said Schweyer, who
works with the Northern Cancer Foundation.
“This is kind of my way of honouring
In a sense, shortly after everything fell
apart last summer, everything then quickly fell back into
place. The schedule that Schweyer had devised, one built
around competing at the Mad Trapper Back Yard Ultra in
Denholm, Que., targeting a goal of 100 miles completed,
was victimized by the pandemic.
Things were equally as tough with the
cancer foundation, fundraising efforts almost completely
curtailed by the restrictions in the size of assembled
“I knew that I needed to do something special if
I wanted to raise funds, and this was the one thing that
I could do, for the foundation,” said Schweyer.
As much as this was a one-person race,
it was anything but a solo effort. In addition to the
manned crew that assisted in the parking lot of Kivi Park,
tending to refreshment and nutritional needs as well as
footwear and clothing requirements on a weekend that featured
plenty of rain, Schweyer enjoyed no lack of running companions.
“Our running community is amazing,
helping me create this event,” she said. “Everybody
wanted to be part of it. I wasn’t running with someone
at all points, but most points — it kept me going
Where her first crack at this effort took
her some 35 hours to complete, the 2021 edition saw her
cross the finish line in 27:53:13 — which is her
“on my feet, moving time.”
“I was definitely faster than last
year, a lot faster than last year,” said Schweyer.
All told, it requires a commitment of about 35 hours on
site, not to mention learning from prior experience.
“I always struggle with my feet
and blisters, so I made sure to bring more socks, more
pairs of shoes, and bigger sizes for the end.”
Having now surpassed $10,500 in donations
in Round 2, Schweyer noted that anyone who may have missed
out a few weeks ago can still visit the NCF website, www.ncfsudbury.com,
and search her out under Do-It-Yourself Fundraising, as
In the meantime, she has set her sights
on even lengthier treks, vowing to complete both a full
ironman and well as a 200-mile ultra in her lifetime.
It may not be fast, but chances are good
she will get it done.
Randy Pascal’s That Sudbury
Sports Guy column runs regularly in The Sudbury Star.