Hello Everyone,                                                                                                                                                                                                 June 26, 2024        

                    In this Issue:


  1. Apex Sprint June 22, 2024
  2. The Mystique of the Barkley Marathons makes its way to Sudbury
  3. BackYard Ultra Coming to Sudbury
  4. The Ageless Athlete Blog Martin Parnell
  5. Photos This Week
  6. Upcoming Events: July 6 Apex X, July 13 Cambrian Pride Run
  7. Running Room Run Club Update: 
  8. Track North and Laurentian XC News






Apex Sprint June 22, 2024

The APEX Trail Race Series Race # 1: Apex Sprint

Presented by APEX Warrior


All Results Here


Organizers Marc, Aime and Dennis

All Photos Here



The Mystique of the Barkley Marathons makes its way to Sudbury
Randy Pascal


Some will suggest that by their very nature, there is something seriously wrong with those devoted folks who push their bodies to the brink by undertaking various distances of ultra-marathons.

Of course, those in this camp will contend that with proper training and a keen awareness of one’s own body, ultras are actually quite manageable.

But even those folks are apt to note that it’s a whole other level of obsession when one decides to tackle the legend that is the Barkley Marathon.

For as much as a story on THE actual Barkley Marathon, the one that is staged in Frozen State Head Park in Tennessee, the one that was launched in 1986 by the race icon that is Gary “Lazarus Lake” Cantrell, the one that requires a really solid understanding of the peculiarities of the rules and logistics on race day would constitute an incredible story in and of itself, this column is actually being devoted to its Sudbury offspring.

The Sudbury Barkley, as it was dubbed by the “maniacs” (as the organizers were affectionately referred to by Fun Run finisher and DNF runner Lisa Zych), was introduced for the very first time last Sunday, contested largely among the gazillion or so trails that criss-cross the Lake Laurentian Conservation Area and adjacent lands.

While only 40 entries are accepted every year for the authentic event in Tennessee, the local group that was headed by André Dumais, Helen Francis, David Crockett and Vince Perdue sent out invitations to 45 or so locals, with 16 registering, ten starting the race and only three completing the full three laps that covered roughly 90 kilometres.

“The Barkley is almost a cult-like race, very clandestine and under the radar,” explained Dumais as the 15 hour maximum allotted time to completion was beginning to draw near. “It’s known as the most difficult ultra marathon on the planet, the race that eats its young.”

The challenges run well beyond the sheer distance that is being covered.

Staying true to several of the unique aspects of the American race namesake, the Sudbury Barkley would see participants present themselves to the trail start just off the Bio-Ski parking lot at 4:00 a.m. last Sunday. It was only then that the actual course that was to be completed was shared with the athletes – well, sort of.

“We didn’t get a trail map, per se,” explained Zych, a native Torontonian who moved north with a northern-rooted spouse and subsequently wandered across a good number of the more fervent fitness buffs in the region to finally make her way to taking a crack at the Sudbury race.

(falling short of completing the laps in the requisite time, Zych and Stacy Halohan covered some 63.5km in earning their stripes as “Fun Run” finishers – with Jeffrey Paul also in that grouping)

“We got a blank map and had to mark where the books were.”

Ah yes, the infamous books.

In essence, the race completion is based on making your way through trails and lands that are groomed, or perhaps not, searching for a series of books (the Sudbury Barkley had 18 scattered to and fro). Upon reaching the books, participants are to rip out the page that corresponds with their bib number, providing proof of having reached that check point.

“It’s kind of like a weird scavenger hunt,” said Zych with a laugh. “We did a lot of bushwhacking to try and find shortcuts – which I think was pretty successful.”

Like the original Barkley, there is no standard outlined course for this race. It changes from year to year, with participants allowed to create their own pathway, in a sense.

“Runners make their own choice on how they are going to run the course,” noted Dumais. “Of the six lead runners (a group that completed the first loop of 30km in about 4hrs and 25 minutes – or with slightly more than 30 minutes to spare), five know these trails inside and out – and they still lost 25 minutes looking for a book.”

“Between book nine and book then, there are probably 30 different ways to get there. It’s so easy to get turned around and get lost.”

Understandably, participants are stripped of their phones and their watches – basically anything that can provide navigational assistance beyond the maps they received at the start.

For the record, Shelley Walushka, Michael Rouleau and Jake Geale comprised the triumphant trio who successfully defeated the Sudbury challenge this year. Of the 40 participants who were sent “letter of condolences” signalling their accepted entry to the Tennessee race, five made it to the very end in 2024, including Jasmin Paris from Britain, the first woman ever to conquer the Barkley.

A relatively casual runner through high-school and college, Zych ran her first ultra roughly three years ago when she completed an Apex 50km run. And while one might think the natural progression for these folks would be to move from a 10km, on to a half-marathon (21kms), then taking a shot at the full marathon (42kms) before jumping into an ultra, such seems to seldom be the case.

“I don’t really do a lot of racing,” said Zych. “But I would do a 20 km run for fun. Last summer, I committed to doing at least a 20km run every weekend – and then kept that up after the season ended. I love trail running, but I also love that I can get more kilometres in more quickly on the road.”

As for her inaugural Sudbury Barkley, Zych provided clear evidence of the double-edged sword that draws those of her ilk to challenges like this.

“This was really hard,” she stressed. “I am really glad to be done.”

And still it took her only an hour or so to send in her registration, from the time she was asked – and she is every bit as likely to be just as prompt again in 2025.

Ultra marathoners are a different breed, to be sure.





Oct 5, 2024

Backyard Ultra Coming to Sudbury


What is a backyard ultra?

In a backyard ultra, runners complete a 6.7 kilometre loop every hour. Why such an odd number? It is the pace equivalent of running a 100 miles in 24 hours. The format is simple yet demanding: runners have one hour to finish the loop, and any time left over can be used to rest, refuel, and prepare for the next lap. This cycle repeats until only one runner remains, having completed one more loop than the second-to-last competitor.

But there’s more to it than being the last bb standing. This format allows you to truly challenge yourself to go further than you’ve ever gone before, whether that’s 13.4km, 100km, or more ??

Join us on October 5-6 at Kivi Park and challenge yourself to go one more lap.

Information and Registration















Age is just a number


(Martin is a SudburyRock!! from the early days)

There will be 25 blogs in total, with 2 or 3 a month and finishing in December.

BLOG 19/25
June 19th 2024

Chapter 12
All or Nothing (Part 2 of 2)

The next day I headed off. My flight left Calgary at 6:20 a.m. and went via Vancouver to Sacramento. Malc was coming in at 1 p.m. on Saturday so I spent Friday afternoon and evening relaxing at the Holiday Inn. Dominique and Kevin were scheduled to arrive at 11 p.m. Friday night so I would hook up with them the next morning.

I didn’t sleep well. Dominique and Kevin had texted me to meet them for breakfast and I headed down at 5 a.m. They were there and we talked about the logistics of filming the marathon. They had been given permission by the race authorities and had decided to bring on board another camera person.

After breakfast I relaxed for a bit, then headed out for a “loosen-up” run. Malc had wanted me to do an easy 5 km, then four sets of strides to finish it off. The day was cool but clear and I headed out to the historic downtown and the Sacramento River. It was great running along the boardwalk. Everything felt good. All the injuries and frustrations were behind me. I had nervous anticipation for the race the next day but I was ready for it.

Full Blog Here






Photos This Week

June 19 Rocks!! Apex Wednesday pm run

June 19

June 20 Bell Park

June 20 Bell Park

June 20 Bell Park

June 21 Finlandia

June 21 Finlandia

June 22 Rocks!! Saturday am Run

June 22

June 22 Roatry Park Lookout

June 22 Bioski

June 22 Bioski

June 22 Bioski

June 24 Moonlight Bridge











Upcoming Events


  July 6, 2024

Kivi Park






  July 13, 2024

Cambrian Pride Run 2024

Date & Time
Saturday, July 13, 2024,
8:30 AM - 1:00 PM


Register Here





Run Club Update




Store News


Good afternoon Sudbury Runners and Walkers,



Cancelled until Further Notice

NOTE: There is a Wednesday pm group leaving the Apex Warrior gym On Loach's Rd. at 6pm








Track North and Laurentian XC News










For information call me.
Vincent Perdue

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




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