MARs Winter Beverage Mile

MARs’ fourth annual winter beer mile lived up to its billing as a race for the stoic. Braving frigid temperatures and icy road conditions, five brave souls (ed: fools?) kept the tradition alive, and were cheered on by a greater number of more lily-livered spectators.

Kip, wisely sporting track spikes, thankfully beat out a visiting Newmarket Husky (whom we shall not deign to name) for the victory, in dramatic fashion – barely crossing the line before experiencing what would have been a penalty lap incurring event. Host of this year’s race, Mark, exploited home course advantage to full effect for a third place finish. With the steadiness of a seasoned pro, Darla repeated as women’s winter beer mile champion; her victory was uncontested. Despite his dead-last finish, we commend Ben for being recognized as this year’s ‘Most Improved Beer Miler’— may medical training strengthen his stomach.

Congratulations to all participants!

Thanks to Mary for this recap! See you on the roads.

MARs at the Collingwood Half & 10k

MARs had a strong showing at the Collingwood Half Marathon and 10k this past weekend, with fifteen members and many other Huntsville locals making the trip south to race. Here are a few of their results!

In the half, several runners claimed personal bests, with others conquering the distance for the first time. Katie Barkey (hi!) ran 1:41:28, thanks to pacing by Lowell ‘Dr. Angry’ Greib. Close behind were Terri O’Brien (1:48:03), Nancy Edson (1:51:42), and Holly Sundy (1:53:19). Power couple Kevin and Tannis Wettlaufer finished neck and neck in 1:56:40 and 1:57:05, respectively. It should be noted that Tannis also summited Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa, last month, alongside MARs member Tina Steele and two other Huntsville women. #nobigdeal #kindofabigdeal

Also in the half were Kirstin Thomas (2:05:00), Susan Bobyk (2:08:21), Stacy Tinkler (2:22:54), and Stephanie Harvey (2:28:50). Way to work, ladies!

Last but not least, in the 10k, Kat Ahokas cruised to 1st female and 9th overall in 40:26.  Also running were Cecilia Castillo (1:00:57), Rose Evans (1:01:41), and Alicia Cox (1:08:15). Congrats to these women as they continue to achieve new distances and PRs.

Regular Tuesday and Thursday workouts continue at 6:15 am along with varying Saturday and Sunday long runs. Be sure to check TeamSnap for specifics.

Finally, don’t forget, the next Cross Country race is the Sunnybrook 4k this Sunday, October 15th. Meet at the Summit Centre for 9 am. Be sure to register soon (before Pierre does it for you).

See you on the roads!

MARs kicks off XC Season at Taylor Creek

Muskoka Algonquin Runners kicked off the 2017 Cross Country season at Taylor Creek 5k this past weekend. Six runners made the trip to East York to race. In attendance was Andre Boudreault, Brian Gray, Tony Marra, Pierre Mikhail, Mary Unsworth and Chris Watson.

Chris Watson led the group, finishing in 17:25 and 5th overall. Tony Marra finished in the top 30 in 19:54, with Mary Unsworth close behind him. Mary was the 3rd female overall, running 20:04. Close behind was Brian Gray (21:48), Pierre Mikhail (21:54), and Andre Boudreault (23:11). The 40-49 men did the club proud with a 2nd place team finish. Congratulations, runners!

Next race is the Sunnybrook 4k on Sunday October 15th. Be sure to get in on the fun (and one of Tony Marra’s signature selfies).


Summer on MARs

After a few weeks of blogging hiatus, it’s time to recap some of the highlights from this past summer on MARs. Despite off season training, many of our members managed to pack in a solid amount of running and racing, from Fun Runs to 5ks to marathons, on and off the roads.

Back in July, Erin Gaughan and Mel Mar traveled north to run in the Massey Marathon. In case you haven’t heard, this was one week after completing Ironman 70.3 Muskoka. Erin and Mel both finished in impressive times, 3:42:43 and 3:59:19, respectively, with Massey being the first full marathon distance for Mel. We are cheering them on as they prepare for the Hamilton Marathon in November, with a gentle reminder to exclude any sort of half ironman business from their marathon taper, this time around.

Coincidentally, that same weekend, a handful of other MARs women celebrated the off season in a different way, spending three days camping in Algonquin Park on #MARsisland. A huge thanks again to Reba and Darla for skillfully organizing this trip. We look forward to even more women joining us next year (assuming we make it past the access point, given that our two fearless leaders are most likely taking a well earned sabbatical).

August saw a fantastic group of MARs women race the Toronto Women’s 10k and 5k. In the 10k, Kat Ahokas dominated with a 38:48, placing 4th overall and 3rd in her age group. Closely behind Kat was Martina Morton, running 41:06 for 8th overall and 4th in category. Right on Martina’s tails, Huntsville local Saree Sasson (soon to be MARs member) ran an impressive 41:15 for 9th overall and 2nd in her age category. Also in the 10k was Amy Harkness, 44:01, Nancy Edson, 49:53 (her first 10k under 50 minutes), Tannis Wettlaufer, 52:02, and Kirstin Thomas, 53:18. In the 5k, Mary Unsworth took 2nd overall and 1st in her age group, finishing in 19:06. Way to go, ladies!

July and August also saw four themed Fun Run Events, presented by The SportLab, that were a great success. Thank you to Lake of Bays Brewery for supporting the Fun Run Series and thank you to all of those who participated!

Fast forward to September, MARs had a strong representation at the Ragnar Trail Cottage Country, held at Hardwood Hills. This was the first trail Ragnar Race in Canada. A total of 24 runners on 4 teams participated, an impressive turnout coming from (mostly) our small town. Congratulations to the two ultra teams, MARs, Attacks! and Red Planet Runners, on taking the win in their respective divisions.

While some MARs members were racing the trails, MARs member Mark Wilding traveled to the Erie Marathon, running a 3:29:14, earning himself a Boston Qualifier. Way to go, Mark!

Last but not least, it has been decided that MARs President, Pierre Mikhail, made his ‘post-injury racing debut’ at the Terry Fox Run this past Sunday (just don’t tell him it was actually 9.6 km, not 10…). We have warmly welcomed Pierre back to morning workouts, along with his unmistakeable banter, and look forward to his rumoured return to Cross Country this fall.

Regular Tuesday and Thursday workouts continue at 6:15 am along with varying Sunday long runs. Be sure to check TeamSnap for specifics. Cross Country Season is also upon us and we are excited to see what it has in store for MARs. Contact Pierre or check the website for more details.







Life on MARs – Running, selfies, free beer… Come again?

Wednesday July 19th marked the kick off of the fun run series hosted by The SportLab. Twenty participants ranging from newbies to advanced runners showed up to conquer the challenge. Five teams set off with the objective of running to various locations and taking team selfies to be judged at the end of the run. The winning team walked away with sweet SportLab hats and water bottles.

Afterwards, nearly everyone gathered at Main St. Local for a free can of Switchback Pilsner provided by Lake of Bays Brewery. The beer and food were delicious!

Join us for our next fun run adventure on Wednesday, August 2nd.

Special mention to Katie Barkey who was randomly selected to win the grab bag kindly donated by Algonquin Outfitters.

Big thanks to Martina for authoring this post! See you on the roads!

MARs at The Limberlost Challenge & 70.3

MARs had a strong showing this past Saturday at the The Limberlost Challenge. Despite a difficult (as always) course and some questionable footing, all of our runners gave strong efforts for this year’s race.

In the 14k, Chris Watson ran a solid 1:07:45, finishing 3rd overall and 1st in his age group. ‘Danimal’ Dan Quigg also finished in the top 10, running 1:13:07 for 8th overall. Up and coming Owen Johnstone was 3rd in his age group with 1:16:26. Close behind was Jeramie Carbonaro 1:17:04, Tony Marra 1:19:43, Chris Bennett 1:22:17 and Dave Johnstone 1:26:14.

Also placing in their respective age groups were Emily Fletcher, 1:27:48 for 1st AG, and Rebecca Francis, 1:29:10 for 2nd AG. Other finishers include Sharon Bennett 1:35:25, Andre Boudreault 1:35:59, Chris Near 1:41:33, Jennifer Macmillan 1:41:42, Susanne Allen 1:41:57 (later racing a 5k that same day), Catherine Smith 1:50:15, Jane Wolfe 1:56:44, Rose Evans 1:58:37, Elijah Quigg 2:10:47 and Michelle Quigg 2:16:35

In the 28k was lone Nathan Johnstone, finishing in 2:43:53 and placing 8th overall as well as 3rd in his age group.

Off (and on) the course was Lowell Greib, serving as Medical Director for the 8th year running. Thanks to Lowell and his team of medical personnel for keeping all of the participants safe and sound.

Last but certainly not least, a few MARs members and family rocked the Ironman 70.3 Muskoka earlier today. Jon Morton completed the race in an impressive 5:03:45. Despite a few setbacks, Jess Adam finished in a speedy 5:36:48. Roger Penney completed his 9th consecutive hometown race with a solid 5:52:40 finish. Erin Gaughan also finished in a solid 6:17:28 and Melanie Mar in 6:39:02, an impressive time for her first 70.3. Stay tuned for Erin and Mel’s upcoming adventures in racing. A big thank you as well to everyone who came out to volunteer at the aid station – a well oiled machine headed up by Dave Johnstone.

Congratulations to these runners on their impressive results! Now, back to the roads.

MARs Crushes BOTR

It was a nice and sunny day, and from the start it was obvious that heat was going to be an issue. The new Band on the Run Course for 2017 saw some beautiful scenery, and steady rolling hills.

In the half marathon, Troy Cox had a tough race, and had to settle for 2nd place overall but 1st in his age group in a time of 1:22:09. Helen Dempster chased down the leader and finished as the 1st women, 4th overall in great time of 1:30:20, an amazing comeback after several months of time off. Mark Wilding showed steady pacing and completed the course in a very respectable 1:46:41. Lindsey Howes who is in the midst of moving (and off training), ran in 1:50:03. Andre Boudreault finished in 1:50:47, and can attest that the heat was definitely a factor on the return leg. Olivia Crozier came in in 1:52:41, good for 1st in her age group. Marly Hogue was 2nd in her age group with a time of 2:00:54.  Natasha Nieder was close behind at 2:00:56, and Nicole Howell completed her half marathon in 2:08:53.

In the 10 km race, Jen Nicholson finished 2nd female and 1st in her age group.  Dave Johnstone was 4th in his age group with 45:00 flat. Also in at 45:00 was Jessica Adam. Rebecca Francis ran a 46:14, good enough for 4th female and 1st in her age group. Brian Gray ran a solid 47:43. Other finishers include Chris Near in 51:56, Tannis Wettlaufer in 52:43, Nancy Edson in 54:08, Kirstin Thomas in 54:23, Catherine Smith in 57:13, Katherine Andrews 1:05:17, Mary Henderson 1:06:45, Peter Ryback 1:07:12 and Stacy Tinkler 1:08:26. Kat Ahokas, along with fellow members of the Huntsville/Lake of Bays Fire Department, also ran the 10k in full bunker gear in support of Community Living Huntsville.

There were a number of MARs members running the 5 km Race, many of whom were running with family members. Martina Morton ran in a quick 20:14 and was 2nd female – only 2 weeks after the Ottawa Marathon. Fiona Shearing ran a speedy 20:57 and was the 4th overall female. Sebastian Horton ran 21:23. Ben and Tony Shearing finished together at 21:32. Elias Coles ran 23:29, while his mom Darla Coles ran a 24:53 with her other speedy son Sol. Chris Watson, also running with family ran a 26:38. Sharon Bennett ran with her daughter Paige in 26:58. Holly Sundy clocked a solid 28:06, while pushing a stroller and having raced the weekend prior.

A warm welcome to those new MARs members who have recently finished The SportLab’s Running Program, many of whom also raced over the weekend. We hope to see you out training with MARs over the summer.

A very successful and fun weekend for many MARs runners.

Thank you to Andre and Kat for contributing to this race recap and a big congratulations to everyone who completed Band on the Run! Apologies to anyone who may have been missed.