XC Is Back On MARs!

It is time to start sharpening your spikes!  XC season is right around the corner and MARs will start preparing.  That means drills, strides, wet grass and a little pain.  Consider doing one or many of the races available below.

If you are a MARs competitive member you are eligible to enter any of the races with the cost varying from about $20 for the normal races to roughly $25 for Ontario Championships (In Bracebridge!!!! ) to roughly $35 for Canadian Championships in Kingston.  If you are a noncompetitive member you can upgrade easily.

This is a great opportunity to have the experience of running on a team.  Masters XC races are fun. Distances vary from 4K to 8K and results are broken down into 5 year age groups.  So you can be as old as Troy and still do well.  In addition, results are also presented as age graded %s which take into account that we all slow down as we age. Finally, at each race our top 5 age adjusted scores count for points in a race series called The Breslin Cup.  Help MARs move up the standings!

In past years MARs has paid most of the travel and hotel expenses for runners having the courage to go all the way to Kingston, so that is a teaser for 2017.  Hotels are already booked for Kingston.

Below is the list of races.  For the Toronto races, we typically leave from Summit Center parking lot at 9 am and are back around 5:30pm.  You do not have to commit to any of the races.  Usually the cut off for entering is a few days before the non championship races (and you can enter in person same day for a little more money) and a week prior for the two championship races.

  1. Taylor Creek 5K, Taylor Creek, Toronto 1pm, Sunday October 1
  2. Don Farquharson Harriers 4K, Toronto, Sunnybrook Park, Sunday October 15, 1pm
  3. Sunnybrook 8K, Toronto, Sunnybrook Park, Sunday November 5,  1pm
  4. Ontario XC Championships 5K, Morrison Meadows, Bracebridge, Sunday November 12, times TBA (usually between 9:30 and 10:30 for masters race)
  5. Canadian XC Championships 8K, Kingston, Ontario, SATURDAY November 25 (team usually departs Nov 24 and stays 2 nights in Kingston)

The final two races have youth age groups as well and at the Canadian XC Championships you will have the opportunity to watch the Senior Men and Women compete for spots on the World Championships Canadian team!

For more information on the race series click here

Finally, don’t forget The Muskoka Mud Run Saturday Sept 30 at Morrison Meadows.  Click here

MARs Summer Weekend Madness

With the long weekend only half way over, MARs has had some serious excitement.  The MARs summer party began when a tornado touched down on the Smith Mikhail property, cutting out power.  Consideration was given to cancelling the event but when Big T showed up on his bike 2 hours early, after cycling through a cyclone, the decision was made to carry on.

The first ever Muskoka Country Beer Mile was rain delayed (we waited until the rain got harder) until 5:45pm.  Fortunately, the tree down across the road exactly 200m from the driveway made a perfect turnaround for the out and back 400m lap.  None of the intrepid runners were struck by lightning.  Wade “Don’t Call Me Punk” McCormack won his first CBM at the age of 29, so we expect great things to come from him.  In second place was Tony The Runner Marra, who was rocking some vintage 1960s head gear and threatened to put on his terrifying old man mask. MARs President Cockroach Mikhail became the only runner in club history to be top three in every beer mile to date (if we all agree that that university punk cheated the year Pierre came 4th).  Darla Snotrocket Coles pretended to forget her shoes so was forced to wear track spikes as a penalty.  Kirstin Thomas broke a beer mile standard few thought was possible, eclipsing Mary Unsworth’s career worst 17 minute beer mile with a wind, rain, and peer-aided 20 minute beer mile.  The event was such a huge success that it was followed by the MARs 2 Beer Country Half Mile and Tornado Swithathon.  No runners died or were injured.

The races were followed by the annual MARs summer party, with thanks to Martina Morton, Algonquin Outfitters and Lake of Bays Breweries.  Thanks to all who came to the party!

On Saturday, Chris Watson did his club proud at the Ontario Masters Track and Field Championships with an impressive double in the 5000m then the 1500m a few hours later.  This was Chris’ first track meet in 25 years.  Chris placed 2nd in both races in 16:38 and 4:38, winning his age group in the 5000m.  The man who beat him in the 1500m ran on fresh legs, not running the 5000m like Chris!  Congratulations to Chris.

MARs workouts continue Sunday at Limberlost, meeting at Pierre’s house at 8am, with regular Tuesday and Thursday workouts this week at 6:15am at Conroy Track.  This is a great time to get running, with a unique opportunity coming this November, when the Ontario Cross Country Championships come to Muskoka.

See you on the roads and trails…