MARSians Defeat Winter

Runners on MARS have proven this week that winter is no match for them.  On Tuesday, several hearty MARSians ran in -35C.  Yesterday, several more battled similar temperatures while completing a long run (16 miles).  At 4:30 pm, a lone MARSian (Tina Steele) did the requisite pre-pub run while her right ear disagreed completely with the temperature and let her know afterwards.  Other MARSians, while annoyed at the temperatures, were not to be defeated and took their run to the indoor track before hitting the pub.  The next Run To The Pub will be Thursday February 20 at 4:30pm to run and 5:30pm at the pub.  Anyone wanting to show up a little early to save a table for runners is welcome.

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This Saturday at 7 am, we will be doing a 60-75 minute out and back Steady State run from 1027 East Walker Lake Drive.  Coffee and recovery snacks afterwards, plus hot tub for those interested.  All level of runner are welcome.  If you are not a member yet, you can sign up after the run.  If you don’t know what a Steady State Run is, it doesn’t matter.  You can also run less time if you prefer.

Memberships remain available at The Sportlab and registration forms can be downloaded here.  In addition, MARS will be unveiling its sexy new logo very shortly.  New tech racing gear and running shirts will also be available for order through The Sportlab soon.

Entries for Vermont City Marathon are still available here.  Relay entries open March 1 (a change from February 1).  Consider entering the lottery for a 2 person or 2-5 person relay team.  There are currently close to a dozen local runners heading to Vermont in May.  Why not join the fun?

There are nine spots left at Crafstbury Outdoor Centre’s High School XC Camp June 29-July 5.  There are still spots in our vans.  Click here for details and contact us for a spot in one of our vans.  This is a great way to kick off your summer, meet great teenagers from across the US and jump start your summer running.

Craftsbury Hills

Craftsbury Hills

Post Run Posing

Post Run Posing

Post Run River Fun

Post Run River Fun

Craftsbury Water Fun

Craftsbury Water Fun

Craftsbury Ridge Run

Craftsbury Ridge Run

HHS Runners and Coaches with Lynn Jennings at Craftsbury

HHS Runners and Coaches with Lynn Jennings at Craftsbury

The next Masters Indoor Track Meets are February 2, March 9 and March 15-16.  Details here.

The website has updated local races for 2014.  Click here for details.

See you on the roads.


This Week on MARS

Despite an ugly reminder from Old Man Winter, it will be a busy week on MARS this week.

To begin with, last week finished with Mini Meet #2, the second indoor track meet of the winter season at York University.  Another World Record was set in the W60 60m dash by Karla Del Grande, and there were many more superb performances, as evidenced by a sampling of pictures from the meet (below).  Maybe you see yourself in these pictures?  Mini Meet #3 is February 2, The Ontario Masters Indoor Championships are March 9 and The Canadian Masters Indoor Championships are March 15-16, all at York University in Toronto.  The races all begin in the afternoon making travel from Huntsville the same day easy.  If you are curious but afraid, contact us for details.

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This week there are several MARS workouts planned (see Calendar) including: Fartlek Run 6:30 am Tuesday (meet HHS Parking lot); Long Run Thursday noon from HWY 60 Tim Horton’s; Pace Booster Run Saturday 6:30 am (Location TBA on Calendar).  We won’t let the cold deter us this week.

Finally, our third Run To The Pub event is this Thursday January 23.  Join us for a run at 4:30 pm at River Mill Park and/or Pub at 5:30 pm.  New members welcome to sign up in the pub after the run.

See you on the snow roads!


Random Thoughts on MARS?

Join us on MARS this week.  We have in store a Fartlek Run (Tuesday morning 6:30 am), a 90 minute Progression Run (Thursday noon) and a Fast Finish Progression Run (Saturday 6:30 am).  In addition, the Sunday Morning Running Group remains active (see their Facebook page) and Mini Meet #2 at York University is this Sunday as well.

Don’t forget to renew/get your MARS Memberships at The Sportlab.  Download registration forms at Membership tab.  Gear orders also through Sportlab.  The next RUn for The Pub is Thursday January 23 at 4:30 pm (run) and 5:30 pm (pub).  See you there.

At Mini Meet#1, W60 Karla Del Grande and M70 Tony Powell both broke the CAN records in the 50m   Karla ran 7.51 –  breaking the old mark of 7.73 set by Carol Lafayette-Boyd SK in 2003.  Tony ran 7.50 – breaking Mike Morris’ 7.57 mark from 2012.  The University of Toronto Track Club set a ONT record in the M60 4X200m (Peter Zowkewych, Duncan Greenshields, Doug Smith, John Helliker).  Congratulations to these Masters Runners.  Why not give it a try? Future meet dates are Jan 19, Feb2, March 9 and March 15-16.  Details here.

4x200m Record Setters

4x200m Record Setters

Karla and Tony

Karla and Tony

If you are still looking for reasons to get up off the couch and train for a race, have you considered these:

Lee Majors and Farrah Fawcett did it, but back then they called it “jogging”.

Lee and Farrah

Lee and Farrah

You can now buy a running outfit with built in mp3 that is powered by your running.  MARS does not recommend this particular suit.

Self powered running outfit mp3 player

Self powered running outfit mp3 player

On MARS, it may be better to get a more hardy outfit with larger speakers, maybe something like this:

High tech mp3 player with subwoofer.  Good also for core.

High tech mp3 player with subwoofer. Good also for core.

See you on the roads.





MARSians Battle Winter!

Winter rages on in Muskoka but MARS members, also known as MARSians have been ignoring winter’s rude call.  Despite calls for blizzard conditions and record lows this morning MARSians came out in solid numbers to thumb their noses at winter and did a solid Fartlek run.  Even “The Doug” came out today.  Those of you thinking “but I can’t keep up with them” should be reassured that all of our quality running either happens on a loop course or an out-and-back so you are never really alone.

Our fancy new gear is just being finalized and pictures will be available soon at the website, as well as samples at The Sportlab.  Membership renewals are also done through The Sportlab.  The club also now has Square, technology that allows us to accept credit cards to process memberships in a mobile fashion using our iphone or ipad.  So, if you’d like to come out to the next “Run To The Pub” event (Thursday January 23, 2014 at 4:30 to run and 5:30 to pub) but aren’t a member, you can join us for the run then register inside the pub afterwards!  Membership details here.

The final Orillia Snowflake Series run is this Sunday.  Details here.

The next Ontario Masters Mini Meet (Indoor Track) is Sunday January 19.  This is a great way to spice up your winter running, even if you have been doing little or are training for a spring race like a marathon or half marathon.  Details here.  The meet starts at noon, making same day travel from Huntsville easy.

There is still space at the Vermont City Marathon, with lots of time to train.  Registration for the Marathon Relay lottery opens February 1, 2014 with 2 person and 3-5 person teams allowed.  The contingent of MARSians road-tripping it to Vermont in May is growing and there is now a team event.  Why not join the unstoppable MARSian train in May? Details here.

Finally, for you high schoolers out there, Craftsbury Running Camp is filling up quickly.  It is a great way to start your summer with incredible training in a fabulous camp setting, where you will meet teenagers from across North America and train with an American running legend.  Muskoka Algonquin Runners can take up to twelve local runners, departing June 28 and returning July 5.  Details here.

"The Doug" (back row, far right) and a bunch of other MARSians this morning

“The Doug” (back row, far right) and a bunch of other MARSians this morning


It’s January.  You are thinking of New Year’s Resolutions that you can accomplish without remorse and breaking the bank.  Why not join or renew your membership with Muskoka Algonquin Runners.  Starting this week runners will have to be club members to join us for runs.   Consider these reasons to join:

Best Value For Money
We challenge you to find a club whose benefits are so huge with a cost that is so little.Whether you join in January or December the membership costs the same so why not get the most out of your money?

Someone to Run With
Remember what it feels like to be so absorbed in conversation while running that when your running buddy announces the four mile mark, you say “what?! no way!” It’s a good feeling. Not only is it nice to get out and connect with people who share your passion for running, they’ll help motivate you to get out when you don’t feel like it, especially I winter.  They will also help you to stick with a training plan and run your best.

Running Club Bling
Who doesn’t love running bling? MARS is launching new gear soon, with orders made through The Sportlab when you join the club. That’s called winning. You’re welcome. See our website for more details.

New Running Routes
Raise your hand if you’ve done that one loop by your house more than three times this week? Yeah. Totally been there. Mapping out new routes and exploring new territory can be daunting when you’re all by your lonesome. Joining a running club will inspire and encourage you to get out and explore Huntsville and its surrounding area. You’ll get to see something besides your neighbourhood and that’s always fun. Plus, you may get to experience the gut-wrenching “Run for the Doug 5K Time Trial” when the weather improves.

Nobody wants to get into their car and drive to go to a race. It’s a little counter intuitive. It can be a hell of a lot of fun to pile into a car with your running buddies and head to a race (think Around The Bay, Yonge Street 10K, Toronto ½, Vermont City Marathon).

New Friends
It’s pretty hard to meet up with someone two to three times a week, run 10 miles through the hills, exchange chia seed recipes, and complain about chafing without making a new friend or two. Plus, if you’re lucky you could meet “The Doug”.

Race Buddies
“So, what race are you doing next?” The most frequently asked question in a running club. Seriously. You will hear more about races including local races like Band on the Run than you ever imagined. If you’re looking for new races (think cross country or indoor track) or training buddies for the races you’ve already signed up for, this is the place to go.

Fun Runs and New Drinking Buddies
Runs that end at the pub? Because beer is the best recovery drink. Not every run has to be about personal records and negative splits. Sometimes they should be about beer and tasty treats. You earned it. Come out to our once monthly “Run To The Pub” events.  Next one Thursday January 23 (4:30pm run, 5:30pm pub).

Hostile teenagers, runaway dogs, and traffic are all threats to the lone runner wearing tights. Runners face a lot of obstacles on the trail and on the road, and there is definitely something to be said for safety in numbers. Joining a running club ensures that you’ll never hit the roads or trails alone (unless you want to) and that you’ll look super cool charging Huntsville streets in a pack of five, ten, or twenty runners.

Pay It Forward

Repay any past kindness in sports you have received by mentoring others.  Help out with summer workouts for high school runners preparing for fall cross country season.

See you on the roads!

Crash Land on MARS in the New Year!

Muskoka Algonquin Runners wishes all runners, retired runners and prospective runners a happy new year!

If you’ve been hiding indoors, come out of hibernation with lengthening days and join us for some runs.  The benefits of running are too many to list here but include avoidance of the winter blahs.

Memberships and renewals are the best value around and are available at The Sportlab, one of our two new sponsors.  Details on memberships here.  Exciting new gear available for order soon.  Stay tuned.

Our other new sponsor, Pharmasave, offers all members discounted Cliff Bars.  Contact Troy Cox at Pharmasave 705-789-7300 for details.

Despite winter there are lots of running related activities to consider:

4 weekly runs (Tuesday/Saturday mornings, Thursday noon and Sunday Morning Running Group) – see Calendar for details

Last Orillia Snowflake Run January 12.

Indoor Track Meets January 5,19, Feb 2, March 9, 15-16 Here

Next Run To The Pub Thursday January 23.  Meet 4:30 pm River Mill Park and/or 5:30 pm at the pub afterwards.

MARS heading to Around The Bay 30km March 30, 2014.

MARS heading to The Yonge Street 10K April 13, 2014.

MARS heading to the Vermont City Marathon and Marathon Relay May 25, 2014.

April 11-13 TriSummit includes talks on coaching the endurance athlete.  Details here.

MARS is returning to Craftsbury Outdoor Center in late June for the High School XC Camp.

Happy New Year!