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      Hello Everyone,                                                                                                                                                                                                             August 26, 2021        

     In this Issue:


  1. 2nd AnnualS.F.C Crowley Crawl Open Water Swim
  2. Skylar Roth-MacDonald RUN ACROSS CANADA
  3. Vivid memories of Beaton Classics past with Kerry Abols
  4. Photos This Week
  5. Upcoming Events: Sep 19 Terry Fox Run, Sep 25 Apex Endure Trail Run
  6. Running Room Run Club Update: 
  7. Track North




  August 22, 2021

AUG 22
2nd AnnualS.F.C Crowley Crawl Open Water Swim
Hosted by Neil Phipps and Sudbury Fitness Challenge



The second annual Crowley Crawl is in the books. Perfect weather for the event. Attached are the results. Let me know if you find any mistakes. You may have difficulty opening the file from some phones. They will also be posted on the Sudbury Rocks website along with photos from the event.
I'd like to send out a huge thank you to Kivi Park and staff (Kerry, Mani and Rebecca). Without their support this event would be a non-starter. Big thank you to Dairy Queen on the Kingsway for once again providing Dilly Bars for the athletes and volunteers. Thank you to Apex Warrior Gym and Fearn Sweat Shop Inc for providing the draw prizes. Last but not least, none of these events could happen without the volunteers. This year's crew was fantastic; thank you so much!! Neil P.

Congratulations to all who took part in the Sudbury Fitness Challenge Crowley Crawl. Kudos to the Organizers Neil and Sara and a big thanks to the volunteers. vince

All Photos Here

All Results Here







Skylar Roth-MacDonald as part of his RUN ACROSS CANADA

Mayor Bigger and Skylar

'I've seen so many grizzlies and black bears'
Wildlife keeps Skylar Roth-MacDonald alert as runs across Canada for mental health

Author of the article:Harold Carmichael

Avid ultra-marathon runner Skylar Roth-MacDonald is thoroughly enjoying his Miles for Smiles run across Canada to raise awareness and money for the Canadian Mental Health Association.

Along with curious onlookers and local runners who run along with him when he visits their communities, Roth-MacDonald is also encountering his fair share of wildlife including black bears, wolves, grizzly bears, and a cougar. “A cougar tried to attack me at the start (in British Columbia),” Roth-MacDonald said in an interview at Science North during a stop in Greater Sudbury on Thursday. Roth-MacDonald said he had to resort to using a can of bear spray to ward off the feline predator and he continued on his run. “I’ve seen so many grizzlies and black bears,” he said. “If you don’t bother them and their kids, they won’t bother you. (But) one followed me for two hours. It keeps you on your toes. It keeps you alert.”

Roth-MacDonald, 24, came into Sudbury on Highway 17 West. He will be heading next to North Bay and then on to Ottawa, but not visiting the major metropolitan centres in southern Ontario.

He indicated there were several reasons for doing so, one of them being COVID-19 and the other being that the recreational vehicle the Miles for Smiles team is using needs to be driven back to Calgary before the arrival of winter. He said a longer run starting earlier in the spring would have allowed him to visit large cities in the south such as Toronto.

The Miles for Smiles run began in Victoria on June 1 and should wrap up in St. John’s, Nfld. in October.

Roth-MacDonald, accompanied by his canine companion Dalmation Duke who sometimes runs with him, and a support team in a recreational vehicle, is averaging between 60 and 70 km a day.

To date, the campaign has raised about $20,000 of its $50,000 goal. Roth-MacDonald said money is being donated by people who see the run going through their area, but the majority of donations are happening online at the campaign website – www.milesforsmilescanada.com.

Roth MacDonald said it’s hard on the body running 60-70 km each day, but the reward is getting to experience the different geography found across Canada. “Every step is a new experience,” he said.

Roth-MacDonald said he is absolutely loving his time in Northern Ontario, one of the big reasons being that it reminds him of his hometown of Calgary and the Rocky Mountains, which are just 30 minutes away and a great place for an ultra-marathon runner to train due to its elevation.

“It is beautiful,” he said. “It’s definitely one of my favourite places. The Terrace Bay to Sault Ste Marie portion, I just can’t get enough of it.”

What does a runner tacking 60-70 km/day eat?

In Roth-MacDonald’s case, it’s lots of sandwiches, the odd batch of tacos, and even the occasional Kentucky Fried Chicken meal.

During his cross-Canada trick, Roth-MacDonald, who has said the run mirrors his own personal battle with depression, has been getting some physiotherapy help in cities he has stopped in, the staff at Active Therapy Plus locally helping him with leg flushing and stretching as well as an ice bath.

One of the people on hand to welcome Roth-MacDonald at Science North was Mayor Brian Bigger, who, in his younger years, was an avid runner. “I ran two marathons, but I know it doesn’t look like it,” he joked. Bigger said it’s tough running a marathon, but to run almost two a day, every day, for several weeks, is just remarkable.

“I can’t even fathom it,” he told the young man.

“It’s crazy,” said Roth-MacDonald. “The heat is hard.”

A marathon, incidentally, is 26.2 miles or 42.195 km.

Roth-MacDonald said he gets in most of his running in the mornings when it’s cooler.

Bigger presented Roth-MacDonald with a number of souvenir items to remember his Greater Sudbury stop including a Sudbury Wolves jersey, which, as an avid junior hockey fan, Roth-MacDonald simply marvelled at as he finds the Wolves’ logo to be very cool.


Twitter: @HaroldCarmichae

Enthusiastic Run Supporters








Vivid memories of Beaton Classics past with Kerry Abols
Randy Pascal

Kerry Abols

Fun fact: No Sudbury male has captured the Beaton Classic solo event more often than long-time teacher Kerry Abols.

The 45 year-old former varsity nordic skier at Lakehead University has finished first on nine separate occasions. Even more flabbergasting is the fact that those victories occur over a period of 16 some years, from 1998 through to 2013. And as recently as both 2018 and 2019, Abols would finish in the top three, just back of race winner Clinton Lahnalampi.

Fun fact #2: The younger of two children in the family, Abols competed in the Beaton solo excursion in 1990, for the very first time, at just fourteen years of age. At his first two races, he was forced to lie about his age, not yet having reached the event standard of sixteen.

Many of his students, past and current, as well as a boatload of Sudburians who are fans of athletic participation in general are well aware of Abols’ devotion to a lifestyle that still finds the avid outdoorsman among the constants of so many Sudbury Fitness Challenge events and the like.

But one would have to go back to his early contemporaries, the likes of Michael Hay, Adrian Gedye, Tim McLees, Jack Kosmerly and their co-horts to find folks who truly understand just how significant a contribution that Kerry Abols has made to the lore of the Beaton Classic.

And to think that if not for nordic ski coach Norm Neil, this might not all have been.

Abols grew up in New Sudbury, kick-starting this journey innocently enough.

“I did some hockey, just because that’s what most kids did,” he said recently, relaxing on the grounds of Lockerby Composite School, the institution he has called home since the turn of the millennium. “Mom’s side of the family was a little bit into cross-country skiing and in those days, we just had to cross Falconbridge highway to ski.”

“There was nothing on the other side (of the highway); we could just hop on the snowmobile trails. Skiing on groomed trails was a rarity, maybe an occasional trip to Laurentian.”

In his first year at Lasalle Secondary, Abols would join a very modest Lancer nordic ski team, rapidly taking stock of the competition. “I could see kids from other schools that were really good at skiing, so I asked: how do I get like that?”

Before long, Abols had made his way to his very first practice session with the Laurentian Nordic Ski Club (LNSC). It was still summer and it was an eye-opener. “It was a little overwhelming at first,” he acknowledged. “It was so much more structured and so much more organized that I could have ever imagined.”

“Fortunately, I decided to stick with it, because it was the best decision I ever made.”

To suggest the move was life–altering does not come close to meeting the requirement of hyperbole. And this is where we circle back to Norm Neil, a recent Laurentian grad at the time and the man who would spend just a couple of seasons as head coach of LNSC before working briefly with the national team program in Alberta.

Neil was an ardent believer in the value of multi-sport training. As such, his young skiers were encouraged to take part in what was then a very active Sudbury sports scene. “I was the type of kid that if there was anything around: bike race, running race, swim race, canoe – any local event, I pretty much did it,” said Abols.

The Neil-Abols partnership might well have been a short one, but it defined the next few decades for the young man who would go on to conquer the test of endurance that is the Ironman on no less than five occasions.

Almost every year from 1990 through until 2019, Kerry Abols has participated in the Beaton Classic, albeit not always in the solo event. If he was in town, he was doing the Beaton – no questions asked. Throughout that stretch and his string of victories (1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013), two summers would stand out among the rest.

“I remember the first time I did it very vividly, and I remember the first time I won very vividly,” said Abols. The stories are classics and 1200 words will not come close to doing them justice.

Though he felt little or no pressure to perform in 1990, still just a year into high-school, Abols was also young enough to not yet feel comfortable asking for much help. Back then, the event would draw a field of 250 or more, with a much larger delegation of family and friends supporting the athletes, strewn right across the Laurentian stadium.

“Norm didn’t really care about where we finished, he just wanted us doing stuff, and doing as much as we could,” said Abols. “This was really about just staying active so that when the fall came, we were in shape and ready to start the cross country training.”

If the first leg (the swim) of his first Beaton went well, the transition to the bike proved substantially more interesting. “Having not done it before, I was thinking I wanted to put on proper bike shorts,” said Abols. “Looking back, the serious triathletes would do the whole thing in the same outfit.”

“My plan was to bring a big huge blanket and get changed in the infield area of the stadium, under the blanket.” No use wasting time making his way to a washroom or such. “I threw the blanket over myself, not realizing that it’s not that easy to change under a blanket, let alone when you’re soaking wet and completely out of breath.”

“It seemed ingenious to me,” he added with a laugh.

Through five years of secondary schooling, Abols would follow more or less the same summer routine, all in anticipation of competing with the Lakehead Thunderwolves’ nordic ski team. “I never took it seriously, in the sense of racing it as a triathlete,” he said. “But I was always getting a little bit better.”

It wasn’t as though he was limited to Sudbury, tackling multi-sport events in North Bay and Elliot Lake and capturing the first ever Haileybury Triathlon. And though he would earn honours as the all-around Ontario Cup XC ski champion one winter (ironically without winning a single individual race – though lots of podium finishes), it was his summer passions that were beginning to take precedence.

“By second year at Lakehead, cross country ski is not the be all and end all,” said Abols. “I wasn’t going to stop cross country skiing, but I knew that I had gotten to where I was going to get. I was looking for something, something that was really going to push me.”

In the summer of 1998, with one final year of post-secondary studies still looming ahead back home at Laurentian University, Abols would find that challenge in the form of the Canadian Ironman. Scheduled two weeks after the Beaton Classic, the grueling endeavour would seem to pose a problem to his typical August itinerary.

“A lot of people wondered why I would do the Beaton, but to me, the Beaton was just something that you did,” said Abols. “I’m in the best shape of my life – why wouldn’t I do it?”

In one of the most fiercely contested battles, at least for the first two thirds of the race, Abols and four time champion Adrian Gedye would go toe to toe. “He knew that I was his competition and I knew that he was my competition.” According to Abols, the pairing likely flip-flopped possession of first place maybe a half dozen times or more.

The second half of the canoe leg would mark the difference, one that allowed Abols to finally break through.

“This made me feel like top dog in the community,” he said. “I had done well in ski races, but I didn’t win any big ski races.”

Some twenty years later, the tables have turned. No male has won the Beaton Classic as often as Kerry Abols – and it’s not even close.





Photos This Week


Aug 19 Sunrise over Fourth

Aug 19 Sandhill Cranes back of Moonlight

Aug 19 Miniature toad at Moonlight trails

Aug 19 Heron over Finlandia

Aug 19

Aug 19 Finlandia

Aug 20 Sunrise over Robinson Lake

Aug 20 Robinson Lake

Aug 20 Fourth Ave

Aug 21 Helen with Beana at Laurentain

Aug 21

Aug 22 Sunrise at Crowley Lake

Aug 22

Aug 22 at Crowley Lake

Aug 23 Oak Forest trail

Aug 23 Finlandia

Aug 24 Cranes at Perch Lake trail area

Aug 24

Aug 24 Loons on Perch Lake

Aug 24 Perch Bioski trails

Aug 24 Bioski trails

Aug 25 Liz on Moonlight trail






Upcoming Local Events

  September 19, 2021


Sunday, September 19, 2021

Run Day Details and Registration





  September 25-26, 2021

The APEX Trail Race Series Race # 3: APEX Endure

Presented by APEX Warrior

Date: September 25 - 26

Location: Course will be posted at www.apexwarrior.ca

Distances: 6km, 12km, 25km, 50km


25KM - 18+ (16+ if accompanied by an adult)

50KM - 18+






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.

Cancelled until Further Notice








Track North News - by Dick Moss








Dick Moss, Head Coach
Laurentian XC/Track Team
c/o Coach Moss <pedigest@cyberbeach.net>
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For information call me.
Vincent Perdue

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




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