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March 13, 2008

May 4, 2008



   Hello Everyone,                                                                                                             March 13, 2008

In this Issue:

  1. Minna's Team
  2. Warming Up to One Cool Idea
  3. 101-Year-Old Attempts Marathon
  4. Think Diabetes Can't Happen to You
  5. Upcoming Local Events -
  6. Running Room Update -
  7. Track North News -


Minna's Team

an open letter from Minna Mettinen Kekalainen

Sudbury Rocks!! Wheelchair Athlete

You are receiving this letter because either we trained together, or you were there to help me repair or maintain my body and mind while I was training.

But during the last 2 1/2 yrs that I've been training full time, I've come to know each of you well and feel a great deal of gratitude for your role in helping me reach my goals.

As I trained, many of you often told me that I put my heart and soul into it, I also knew I was working as hard as I could. There were exceptional races, memorable training dates and a couple of memorable injuries and crashes also. Along with one luckily avoided mishap when I was racing the ROCKS 1/2 last yr and my wheel started coming off on the 18km mark. It was out about 75% and I wondered whether to stop, or keep going until either the finish line came, or the wheel would fall off. I decided to go for the finish line, and made it there. There was my last road race at the 2007 Firecracker 5km, where I blew a tire, but was there to pace the race for a first time racer.(Minna donated her prize to the same lad she paced)

There were many other moments that linger in my mind, the podium at CIRC indoor rowing National championships, the races at Nationals for sprint kayaking, and subsequent World Sprint Trials last Sept.

That race turned out to be my last serious race. I raced on a Sat. and by Mon. when I arrived for training the coach brought me to the ER. That reminds me of the trouble Allison from Rowing Canada went through, with my concussion and having to wake me every 2 hrs nightly upon bringing me back to the residence at the National Team Selection camp.

Since Sept. -that event, my health has not been the best, and despite the upswing I'm experiencing after that death defying hospitalization, I'm now admitting I'm not the same person as prior to Sept.

Today, I must plan my life around energy to eat, drink, and other daily 'musts', along with rest periods, disbursed within the activities I enjoy. Friends are being recruited at times to help with errands that are difficult to do or spare energy for. The wintry sidewalks are enough to stop me this year. Today for the first time I asked for a friend to come meet me at the YMCA rather then across the street at Books & Beans -our usual downtown coffee shop -because I did not have the energy to go there after my 1 hr workout.

Now, Clee is the main 'trainer', but his duty is not as Mike and Cal's were -to help me train my body and mind to race Nationally, or Internationally, but rather to help me keep my strength to pull my parachute ripcord. Perhaps comical, but seriously, I laugh when I read it. That is how I described it to Clee. Showing him the basic muscle movements I need and the required pound's of pull for the ripcord, I told Clee that asides from breathing, that is my only other training goal. It may be simple, but I think someone once told me the secret to live was to try to keep it simple. My plan is to try to remember to pull the rip cord at the right time, despite the altitude awareness spoiling a perfectly good sky dive. At a certain level, I feel a sense of ease, a sense of distance and detachment and things which were important at one point are not now. Now, I look for peace each day somewhere, and positive dreams of flying in the skies, of rowing casually with Thomas, my rowing partner Steve(and soon to be Paralympic champ ion. but don't tell him that-it's a secret) or others at the club. Kayaking I have to look forward to as well.

I think my life is now at that stage, where I need to take time to be with friends, see things, perhaps go to places or experience something new, but the pace of life has needed to change for me.

There will not be road races, nor rowing races.
There will not be Nationals, or Masters in kayaking either.
There will be new ways to be involved with rowing, kayaking, and road racing.
It is time to be there, to support others and share what ever I can. It is time to reflect, encourage, and participate in a new way.

I want to thank Vince-Sudbury ROCKS Running Club- for being the fellow who first opened the doors to racing for me. It was without hesitation that Vince accepted my request to join a road running club. He did not question what I was planning to do when I wanted to race the 1st Sudbury ROCKS event, he entered me and put up with my insistence of using my own chip. Then there was Mike Moore-Physical Trainer. He took on the internship of training me early in 2006. Mike has been in my support circle since-Thanks Mike, you proved to me that it is possible to train someone so out of shape as I was, to rowing over 150 km atop the rest of my training and sports, in a month last year January-preparing for rowing. Without a doubt, Mike is an exceptional friend, he has gone out of his way to transport, store and fix my racing chair, brought me to LU to see the film festivals, and driven miles to bring me home from training. Not to mention learning to deal with my infamous 'bonking out' regularly, which Donna, Clee and Thomas got initiated with as well. Mike became so good at detecting my next sudden drop in energy, he would call me off the Delki Dozzi track on the last lap I could manage before my lower lip started to quiver and goose bumps began forming to announce my energy crash.

The YMCA has always been my haven, my refuge. I spent approx. 20-30 hrs/wk there, for almost 2 yrs.
Without getting paid, I do not think anyone else slept there, ate there, trained there, held meetings there, bathed and played basketball there as much as I did for those 2 yrs. The YMCA now holds a place of comfort, a place where I weekly see how my 'pull cord test' is going (still well above the limit, I can still safely go skydiving!), and see friends whom I have made there over the years. The YMCA still is the place I meet reporters, friends, aide's, and even my sport psychologist.

Then there are the therapists, the gems of Sudbury, without whom I would not have survived past my 1st race.

In fact I met Julie-Massage Therapist- at my first race. Thanks to Julie's magical hands, I was able to train optimally, and when ever something was ready to blow, or tear Julie would detect the problem and send me vacationing with my over training slip.

I of course complied the best I could. Julie averted many potential injuries, and nursed me through some others. More importantly, Julie has always traveled this journey with me. She has been there to help me focus, to psychologically prepare for racing. Sharing her wealth of knowledge, her passion for sport is coupled with a deep sense of compassion for her friends. Julie came to the hospital daily when I was ill, and visits me often.

Cal-Athletic trainer- he has helped me immensely in ways that are difficult to put in words. He has not only been an excellent trainer, mentor and friend, but his immense knowledge regarding healthy physical activity, bringing out the potential in a person and his positive outlook has kept me going always... even if as a placebo effect. Since I do not train with him at LU, I enjoy his company too infrequently.

Donna-YMCA has always been fun, supportive of any of my athletic adventures and exceptionally accommodating with her sharing her knowledge as well as helping to host a variety of athletic information or coaching sessions that I dragged into town in search of starting sport programs for individuals with disabilities.
She immediately shared my enthusiasm when I asked for space to hold the adaptive rowing coaching session and supported my rowing machine adaption to make it accessible. In fact, because of the open and inviting people at the Y, I see more individuals with disabilities frequenting there now then ever before.

This brings me to Thomas-Rowing Coach. Thomas came looking for me. That's awesome! Usually I need to go knocking at their doors, and sometimes I need to knock persistently.
Thomas arrived with his enthusiasm and dedication. Both of which have not ran out, and seem to only be on the climb. Thomas has surpassed any coach I have had. Over the years I have had many, but none who dedicate such care for the well being of his athletes, and the program. He truly displays the qualities a coach must have.

Thomas is my friend and co-founder of the Sudbury Rowing Club's Adaptive Rowing Program in 2007. We have journeyed through much this last year.
Now we will enjoy building the adaptive rowing program, having fun with the athletes and working together to bring our current Canadian record holder, and Sudbury's newest competitive adaptive rower -Steve to the National Team selection camp for a shot at Beijing this summer.
Thomas and I will journey on together until the end of time, and since my sky diving coach Angus has offered to tow my butt across the skies in tandem dives when I cannot pull that cord anymore, I nominate Thomas to row my butt across Ramsey in The Minna when I cannot pull that oar anymore.

Wendy-Athletic Therapist- stepped into the picture when I was injured with a rotator cuff and elbow issues that kept me from lifting cups to drink from, and generally pushing myself around. Wendy has the unfortunate position of meeting so many athletes in our worst moments, or after we cannot struggle with our injured malfunctioning limbs. Being my athletic therapist Wendy had to give me the stern talk about resting my injured body. That was my first experience with reduced activity level. Reduced quality of life -it looked like to me. Little did I know a year ago, that today I would be happy to be functioning at that injured level.

Wendy is a gem in Sudbury most do not know of. Having been the chief athletic therapist at several International events, including Paralympics she knew exactly how to work with 'wheelies' as well as determined, one track minded athletes who are driven by an internal dragon to perform outrageous acts of intense activity at early hours of the day, repeatedly.
Wendy understood my psyche totally. I did not have to try to explain to her what I was thinking. Yet Wendy knew what my limitations were, but did not focus on them. She focused on my goals, and helping me get there with her expertise. We were able to keep my shoulder stable to race the Nationals, and the World Sprint trials.

Then I got ill, again.. and again... until in Dec. my body had enough and it was ready to quit on me. That's when you all took to action. Mike, Wendy, Clee, Brian, Donna, Jason, Gergely, and Dan came to the hospital. All people I train or race with, who coach me, or help me reach my goals. Angus, my skydiving coach arrived after 5 hrs drive in a blizzard to my bedside at the critical care unit, to remind me of the blue skies awaiting me. Wendy reminded me of the lunch we didn't have yet, and Donna's face was comforting to see the day she came, I remembered how much I want to be here still. Julie and Thomas, they took me under their care and nursed me to health. In and out of the hospital. These are all people connected through sport.

Today, Blair is the sport psych. who is helping me to "retire" from competitive rowing and whose support has been immensely helpful in me being able to accept things and see a future for me by building myself a life with meaning.

This is the closing of "Minna's Team'' as Wendy so well put together. The time is coming that our relationship with each other is shifting to a level outside of the beginnings we met under. Some of you, I will continue to work with at some level, such as Clee, whom is trusted with the duties of helping me keep breathing, keep pushing myself around a bit at least and to keep pulling the cord on that parachute. The Y will always be a home to me, and the ROCKS will be my road race till the end of time. Some things never change, only the form they take. Our presence in each others lives is beginning to shift, and as time moves on we will find a new fit that works for us.

In the meantime, Wendy lets have lunch, Vince and Donna if you need a volunteer I'm here, Thomas and Julie you will always be friends with whom I will remain working with sports, Mike lets go paddling together this summer, and Clee lets keep working to live!

Thank you all for being a part of my life in such a meaningful way, and thank you for travelling this future journey with me to see what live brings around this corner. Stay tuned, I'm going to the wind tunnel in NH Apr. 21-23 to be the first test pilot for my "gimp free fly pants" to get ready for the world premiere of 'drop the gimp from the plane and see if she can fly' event coming soon to a drop zone near you. Still breaking new ground, after so many falls!

Be well and remain strong,

"The brave may not live forever, but the cautious do not live at all"
-Brian Germain

"People living deeply have no fear of death."
Anais Nin

"The ground isn't fast, but it's patient, fair and very hard. It cares not a jot for your reputation and its a limit that will not be pushed." -tonto

"Up here, above the fog, in the lonely dark emptiness, there is no Life and Death.
There is infinity and a moment in between,
when we fly so full of life and so close to death that they become one." -Richard Bach

Minna's last row of the season


Warming up to one cool idea

forwarded by Tim Uuksulainen

Warming up to one cool idea
Mark Sutcliffe, The Ottawa Citizen
Published: Sunday, March 02, 2008

When you looked out yesterday morning at a fresh pile of snow on your front step, what's the first thing that crossed your mind? I'm betting it wasn't, "I wish I could run a marathon today!"

But almost exactly one year from now, you'll be able to do just that, if Terry McKinty has his way.

McKinty, a partner in area event organizer Somersault Promotions, announced Friday he is creating a new marathon for the capital. The Ottawa Winterman Marathon will be held Feb. 28, 2009. If you're one of those runners who thinks it's too hot on Ottawa Race Weekend in May, this marathon's for you.


101-year-old Attempts Marathon

forwarded by Tim Uuksulainen

Reuters - Mar 5, 1:45 pm EST
Gallery LONDON - Already Britain's oldest employee, 101-year-old Buster Martin now aims to become the world's oldest marathon runner by completing the London Marathon and celebrating with a pint of beer and a cigarette.

Sprightly and bearded, he completed a half marathon at the weekend in five hours 13 minutes. The former army physical training instructor works three days a week for a London plumbing firm and says he has trained for the April 13th race in his spare time.

"I've said I'll attempt it," he told Reuters by telephone from his workplace at Pimlico Plumbers. "I haven't said I'll complete it. If I do make it, all the better. I hadn't thought of doing it before but someone asked me and the money goes to charity so why not?"

His sponsorship money will go to the Rhys Daniels Trust, which provides temporary accommodation for
families of patients in specialist children's hospitals.

Martin, who had 17 children and returned to work at the age of 99 saying he was bored after two years of
retirement, would beat the previous record for world's oldest marathon runner by eight years.

"If I finish, I'll do what I always do and have a pint and a fag," he said. "People ask what is my secret but
I haven't got one. They say fags and booze are bad for you-but I'm still here, aren't I?"


                May 4, 2008

Think diabetes can’t happen to you? Marathon runner Patrick Perry had to guess again.
By Lori Rudzki

“I’m just a guy who enjoys living his life”, said Patrick Perry, an accomplished marathon runner with diabetes. For Pat and 2 million other Canadians, that also means living with an incurable disease.

On September of 2003, in his mid 40’s, Perry was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. While committing to a healthy lifestyle, diabetes was not something that anybody saw coming for him.

“I don’t fall under all the stereotypes that we read about. I’ve managed to remain active in sports over the years. I’ve been involved in things such as running, triathlons, martial arts and hockey.”

Although diabetes has taken Perry and his family by surprise, Perry has managed to not let diabetes come between him and his goals.

When he was first diagnosed, Perry began researching the disease on the Internet and came across Team Diabetes.

“What I discovered was a Canadian Diabetes Association fundraising program that focuses on the exercise and fitness aspect of diabetes treatment, while assisting members in their fundraising efforts,” said Perry.

Since discovering Team Diabetes, Perry has taken on a number of roles as a volunteer within the Canadian Diabetes Association, including joining the Board of Directors.

“My involvement to-date has consisted of participating in Ironman Canada – 2004 and the Dublin Marathon – 2006. I will be heading to Iceland and the Iceland Marathon in August 2008,” said Perry.

Last year, Perry also participated in the 21.1-kilometer half marathon during the SudburyROCKS!!! Race, Run, or Walk for diabetes.

Promoting awareness motivates Perry to run in events that help to raise money for the Canadian Diabetes Association.

“I’m an all or nothing person. I made a commitment to learn about the Canadian Diabetes Association and grow as a part of it. And as long as what I do helps one person and they become more healthy from it, then it worked,” explained Perry.

Proceeds and pledges of the SudburyROCKS!!! Race, Run or Walk for Diabetes supports local programs and research of the Canadian Diabetes Association.

For more information or to register for the SudburyROCKS!!! Race, Run or Walk for Diabetes:

please visit http://www.sudburyrocksmarathon.com/ or call 670-1993 ext 7.



Meagan on the summit of Mount Everest

Captain Meagan McGrath, climber of the “Seven Summits” speaks at Pasta Dinner

On May 3rd, 2008, Meagan McGrath will be addressing approximately 300 runners and other interested participants at a Pasta Dinner at the Radisson Hotel at 6 p.m. Come be inspired by her photos and journey from marathons to mountain climber.

Register today for the SUDBURYROCKS!!! Race, Run, or Walk for Diabetes on May 4, 2008 at www.sudburyrocksmarathon.com, and join us at the Pasta Dinner on May 3rd. Tickets are limited and are available for $20 per person. Proceeds of the SUDBURYROCKS!!! Race, Run, or Walk for Diabetes support the Canadian Diabetes Association.

For more information or to purchase tickets, please contact Jennifer Blouin at the Canadian Diabetes Association at 670-1993 x7.





Upcoming Local Events


May 4, 2008



Visit our Events Section for all the Details



Run Club Update



Happy Trails!
Kris, Alison, Reed, Amanda, Danielle, Frank and Russ!
Store phone: 523-4664



Track North News - by Dick Moss

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Alumni In the News

TNOR and LU Alumni have been in the news lately. Here's a quick summary:

Rebecca Johnston was named rookie of the year in her conference this year, while playing for her Cornell team. She has also just been named to Canada's senior national team for the World hockey championships to be held in Japan, later this year.

Devon Kershaw placed fifth at the World Nordic Skiing Championships in the 1.4k sprint.

Kerry Salmoni and Andrea Poryckyj did a polar bear dip to raise money for cancer research. You can see the video at: http://www.sudbury24.ca/media/1205/Polar_Bear_Plunge/

There's a very nice article on Leila Angrand in the Northern Life this weekend. Leila races at the CIS Championships this weekend.Go Leila!



Dick Moss, Coach,
Track North Athletic Club/Laurentian U. XC,

For information call me.
Vincent Perdue
341 Fourth Ave, Sudbury On. P3B-3R9


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