MARS Rocks Canadian Cross Country Championships

Muskoka Algonquin Runners had a historic weekend in Kingston at the Canadian Cross Country Championships.  27 runners represented the club, making us one of the largest clubs present.  There were too many highlights to mention them all.  Having a large team was a wonderful experience and we hope to build on this as we head into winter.  We hope to see some runners take some chances by trying indoor track! It’s like going to the Bahamas (it’s warm indoors!) without the cost!

Leading the way on Saturday was the ageless Bob Wild, who placed first in the men’s 80-84 category.   Lia Kutzscher, Kim Russel-Brooks, and Chris Watson all placed 4th in their age groups.  Troy Cox and Nancy Edson both placed 5th in their age groups.  Our women’s 40-49 team surprised everyone with a Gold Medal performance!  Congratulations to Tina Steele, Jennifer Nicholson and Tannis Wetlauffer!

The women’s 50-59 team of Lia Kutzscher, Kim Russel-Brooks and Nancy Edson missed Gold by a cumulative time of 8 seconds! What a performance!

Our men’s 40-49 team placed four men in the top 30 with Troy Cox (8th), Chris Watson (16th), Mark Sinnige (27th) and Pierre Mikhail (29th).  The team placed second overall in the men’s 40-49 race, falling to a dominant performance by the Newmarket Huskies who had 3 runners in the top 10!  Newmarket smartly raced their top 50-59 year old runner down an age group.  The ageless Geoff Peat pushed that team over the hump (he was 10th) after being defeated by MARS all season.  MARS was deep in men’s 40-49 with a second team of Tony Marra, Lowel Greib and Dave Johnstone also performing very well.

Katherine Ahokas, Jess Sheppard, Mary Unsworth and Darla Coles battled the fastest runners in Canada in the Senior Women’s race, as did Josh Stevens and Kip Arlidge in the Senior Men’s race.  Congratulations to these intrepid racers!

After the race MARS celebrated with dinner for 40 at a nearby restaurant.

The club will be taking a break until the week of December 28th.  There will be informal runs posted on TeamSnap but no organized workouts will begin until then.  Our new year schedule will focus on the following races:

Indoor Track Races (January 31, Feb 28, March 19-20) – Toronto

March 6 Huntsville Half MARSathon (and 10K)

April 3 Around The Bay 30K (for those wanting a spot in one of 4 rooms with 2 Queen beds please contact Pierre – first come first served)

May 1 Toronto Half Marathon

May 29 Ottawa Race Weekend (5K, 10K, Half Marathon, Marathon)

The plan for the new year is to continue 6:15 am workouts Tuesdays and Thursdays  and Sundays at 7:30 am.  We are looking to add a Thursday 5 pm workout if we can find enough members willing to lead these runs. We will also bring back the occasional and popular Run To The Pub and look to restart Tuesday Fun Runs in the spring.

All MARS members are invited to a Christmas Party 8 pm at Pierre and Catherine’s on December 12.  Please RSVP Pierre at

The club will have a member sign up/information night on Tuesday January 5, location TBA.  We will update here soon.

See you on the roads…..


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