New Year on MARS!

Welcome to 2015 on MARS. There’s lots going on so pay attention!

The Sunday MARS Long Run tradition continues.  Do not be afraid to join in.  We will always do an out and back and you are welcome to do as little or as much as you want, timing your finish to end with us for coffee and snacks afterwards.  Today, we completed The MARS Triathlon (run, sauna, hot tub) and hope to make this a tradition.

2015 memberships are available and required to run with MARS for liability reasons.  Download forms here and pay in person at The SportLab.  The cheapest membership is $25 and you can upgrade at a later date if you are not sure.  If you plan to run any indoor track or cross country in the fall, get the $55 Masters membership if you are over 30.  When you register, there is an option to make a donation to MARS.  We keep our fees very low (Athletics Ontario fee plus $5) but hope to continue supporting running endeavours in Muskoka.  We’d like to thank our official sponsors The SportLab and Pharmasave for continuing their support in 2015.

Our training calendar is now housed at our TeamSnap website.  Once you become a MARS member you will be emailed an invitation to TeamSnap and will be able to see our training calendar.  Our winter calendar is geared towards Around The Bay 30K March 29 and spring 1/2 and full marathons.  Those wanting to train for shorter distances can simply adjust the length of their long runs.  We have organized runs Tuesdays at 6:15 from The Summit Center parking lot.  As well, there are two options on Thursdays, 6 am from Summit Center (led by Roger Penney) and 12 noon from Tim Horton’s on Highway 60.  Sunday morning runs are 7:30 am with location listed on the calendar.  When the conditions are good we have been going from Pierre’s house as Limberlost Rd is quiet Sundays so we can run 4 across!  In addition, many members run Saturdays and communicate through TeamSnap.  Finally, please use TeamSnap to indicate if you are planning to attend a run.

Masters Indoor Track season is under way.  There are races Jan 11, 25,  Feb 8, 22 and March 14-15.  MARS is targeting the February 8 race as a great race to go to for those training for Around The Bay.  The race at that meet is a 5000m race.  Usually the distance races are early afternoon around 2 pm allowing same day travel.  Those doing that race will do their long run Thursday that week and train through the race.  Details of the indoor track season can be found here.

The Chilly Hilly Half MARSathon will take place Sunday February 22, 2015.  Start times will be 9:00, 9:05, 9:10 and 9:15.  Registration is $15 for MARS members and $20 for non members.  Cash only for registration paid in person on race day at 08:45 am. You MUST register online to participate as there is an online waiver.  The race will be self timed (there will be a clipboard at the finish to record times). Participants can bring a bottle (with your name labeled on it) filled with their nutrition of choice that will be available to you at the half way turnaround point.  It is an out and back course that is simple to negotiate with no traffic lights. Registration and details can be found here.  Registrants will receive a commemorative 16 ounce MARS coffee mug.  First place (not fastest time) will receive the grand prize of 1kg of milk chocolate!

MARS will be returning to Craftsbury Outdoor Center’s High School Cross Country Running Camp in 2015!  The group will depart Saturday June 27 and the camp runs June 28-July 4.  This is one of the most affordable sleep-over camps around with superb facilities, fantastic coaching (including NCAA coaches, high school coaches, and head coach Olympian Lynn Jennings).  The camp costs $649 US which includes accomodations, all coaching and activities while at the camp.  We spend one day overnight enroute to Craftsbury in a hotel in St Alban’s, VT.  The estimated costs of travel including van rental and travel expenses will be $150.  The camp is limited to 25 runners, so although it’s winter, think about signing up soon or you will miss out.  Contact Pierre Mikhail of you have questions.  Also, you can speak to high schoolers who have attended in the past to hear how great the camp is.  You must be in or entering high school in 2015 to attend.  Details can be found here.  If you plan to register you need to let us know first (pmikhail@me.com) so we can reserve you a spot in our van(s).  Then you have to call the camp and pay $250 non-refundable deposit to hold your reservation. Please call (802)586-7767 or fax (802)586-7768 your credit card information (mastercard or visa).

MARS is planning a Spring Fun Run Series and is looking for feedback.  The idea would be that starting in May MARS will host a once weekly evening fun run race.  One idea is to have a race series based on “The Double”.  Each week there would be a 5K and a Mile race with 30 minutes between races.  The whole event would take just over an hour.  Combined times would be calculated and something like the top 5 of 8 races would score, allowing runners to miss weeks but still be in “the running”.  Participants could also choose to run only the 5K or only the Mile.  The Mile races would take place up on Lion’s Lookout track and the 5K on a 2.5K loop around Lion’s Lookout/University of Waterloo.  We are eager to hear other ideas and are seeking feedback regarding day of week/time of day that would make this as successful as possible.  Please give us your feedback.

For those of you running Around The Bay, we will be trying to get together both MARS members and nonmembers for a social evening spearheaded by the handsome Roger Penney sometime in the next month or so.  Stay tuned.

Finally, MARS has been compiling biographies on its members.  They can be found here. Our latest biography features Martina Morton.  Martina joined MARS in 2014 after relocating to Huntsville with her husband John, son Hudson, and dog Boston.  Martina’s 2014 running accomplishments are especially impressive considering she PR-ed in both the marathon and half marathon a mere months after giving birth to Hudson!

Martina post race with Hudson

Martina post race with Hudson

Here’s what you need to know about Martina:

Nickname(s): Mommy, Angry Runner 2

Weaknesses: Distances That Aren’t 35K, Speedwork

Favourite Races: 35K if it existed

Career PRs: 3:10 Ottawa Marathon 2014, 1:27 Half Marathon Toronto 2014

Pre-Workout Rituals: Dirty Looks

End of Race Rituals: Hug from Hudson

Favourite Quote(s): “Why do we have to do speedwork”, “Can’t we just run 35K?”, “Why aren’t our team colours yellow?”

See you on the roads……

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