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. 

MARs at the Barrie Half Marathon

This past Sunday, MARs was represented at the Barrie Half Marathon by a small but mighty group of runners looking to maximize the spring racing season. Despite unfavourable, mucky conditions, Kat Ahokas lead the pack with a stellar positive attitude – “It’s lightened up… okay now it’s definitely lightened up” (it never lightened up). Kat took first place female in 1:25:08, a causal Sunday run considering she, “got lazy and slowed significantly between 12 and 18 km”. Uncoincidentally, right behind Kat was Lowell Greib, finishing in 1:26:22 and taking 6th male overall. Katelin Barkey also ran the half in 1:40:32 and Holly Sundy the 10k in 51:25.

Congratulations to these runners and best of luck to everyone gearing up for Band on the Run this coming weekend! Major recap to follow.

MARs in Ottawa 2.0

Last week, our beautiful country’s capital welcomed thousands of runners for the Ottawa Marathon race weekend. Attending on behalf of MARs were Martina Morton, Wade Cormack and Andre Boudreault. The day started with perfect conditions. As time went on, the sun rose and it got hot! Despite this, our intrepid runners battled on. Crowd support was amazing and the race organization was top notch.

Martina and Wade completed the full marathon in 3:20:14 and 3:32:30, respectively. Andre completed the half in 1:41:31. This was Wade’s first marathon and he’s officially caught the bug!

Thank you to Martina for this recap and congratulations to these runners on their accomplishments!

Around The Bay…Again

This past weekend, MARs descended on the beautiful City of Hamilton (sorry Dave) for its annual pilgrimage to Around The Bay (ATB). Many MARsians running Boston in three weeks opted to not race ATB, but the rock solid four (Big T, lil t, Reba Francis, and Tony the Runner) who are also racing Boston made the trip. They were joined in the 30k race by MARsians Martina Morton, Katelin Barkey, Lindsay Howes, Sharon Bennett, Brian Gray, Peter Ryback, and Holly Sundy. Rob Horton, Chris Near, Justine Brown, Jane Wolfe and Rose Evans tackled the 30k relay and Jacob Barkey competed in the 5k.

The group enjoyed a pre-race dinner the night before the race. A fracas almost ensued when Barkey tried to steal lil t’s pasta dinner. Order was restored and the group enjoyed some good food and each other’s company before heading back to hotel rooms for a good night’s sleep. Leading the way in the results (yet again) was the wily veteran Big T(ime) Cox. Despite the harsh gusty winds, Big T crossed the line in 41st place in a time of 1:55:34 good for first in his age group. At the Expo, it was mentioned to a vendor that this was Big T’s 20th ATB. The response was “There must be something wrong with you.” This doesn’t begin to explain what’s wrong with him!

Sporting his #bostonbeard, toque, and sunglasses, lil t was next across the line in 50th place in a time of 1:57:57 (3rd in his age group). Clearly lil t has some work to do. It appears though that he was a photographers favorite on the course. Perhaps it is because he looked a bit like Joaquin Phoenix in “I’m still here” circa 2010 (and he ran like him too). Age group results: Martina (6th), Tony (24th), Reba (28th), Katelin (21st), Lindsay (49th), Sharon (34th), Brian (95th) Peter (20th), and Holly (186th). The racers will take a few days rest and then will be back pounding the pavement to tune up for marathons in Boston, Toronto, and Ottawa.

Congrats to these intrepid racers!

MARs 2016 Top 10

It is now tradition that Big T, Troy Cox gives us his MARs top 10.  So here they are without further delay.  Please make sure to renew your membership in January.  Once the month ends members who have not renewed will be removed from TeamSnap access.

See you on the roads….

The Big T Top 10 2016

When I first thought about compiling a 2016 list this year, I thought I should maybe make it a Top 3. After the unbelievable results of 2015, 2016 seemed like a let down with the mass number of debilitating injuries we had suffered.  “There is a very fine line between being incredibly fit and being incredibly injured.” .. there were a large number of us step over that line this year.

Once I started going through our year though, I started to see that we had some pretty amazing results and the Top 10 started to come together quickly.

Number 10 – BBQ. (Boston Baby Qualifier)

Kirsten Jewell runs a debut 3:28 marathon in Toronto on a nasty rainy windy day to qualify for Boston. She celebrates by getting pregnant and won’t be able to race Boston.

Number 9 – XC Nats

The one single race in Canada that brings together all the best middle and long distance runners in the country to one venue is XC Nationals in Kingston. Although we didn’t have the numbers racing this year compared to 2015, MARs presence was noticed. 11 racers in total and a 2nd consecutive silver for the M40 team in a deep competitive field.

Number 8 – Shout Out to the Kids

Cam “Levins” Heinz 4th place finish at OFSAA was spectacular.

I saw him with 800m to go in 14th place when he unleashed one of the most devastatingly impressive kicks I have ever seen to snag 4th.

Special mention to Fiona Shearing who raced a gutsy aggressive race to finish 12th.  

Number 7 – Running in Circles

A small group of MARs runners went to the Ontario Indoor Masters Champs on March. 4 runners (Troy, Chris, Pierre and Mary) – 8 events – came home with 5 gold 1 silver and a bronze. Runner from the Huskies said “wow you guys are amazing .. you run XC, marathons AND indoor track”

” that’s because we are awesome and you’re not”

Number 6 – Snot Rocket and a Drunk

Our 3rd annual beer mile had 2 newcomers dominate the race.  

3 months of heavy drinking and no running seems to make for great training for the beer mile as Lil T got out from behind his walker and crushed the men’s race.

Darla “The Snot Rocket Vodka Shooter” Coles destroyed the women’s field in her 1st beer mile. Impressive victory considering she is only slightly bigger than a bottle of beer.

Darla started trash talking last year’s winner Helen (who was unable to race this year) about the show down next year – this could be Pay-Per-View good.

Number 5 – 26.2 Then A Wedding

This makes this list not really for the results but for the event.

Lowell ran his usual ” just over 3 hour” marathon AGAIN. Look for Lowells new book titled ” How To Run A 3 Hour Marathon (but not under).

Chapter One ” 100k weeks while taking Monday to Friday off”.

Kat was racing with a gimpy knee and was only able to train on trails.

The MARs “royal couple” raced Sunday and woke up early Monday to be married … This has to be a MARs highlight.

Number 4 – The Danamil Double

Dan ” Danamil” Quigg raced a 50mile trail race at the end of April on trails that still had snow and ice on them and followed that up 4 weeks later by racing the Ottawa marathon.

This is impressive on so many levels.

Can you imagine running 50 miles ? No

Can imagine running them on ice and rocks and all the other horrible things nature leaves on the trails for you to fall over ? No

Can you imagine then running a marathon a month later ? No

Number 3 – CR for OG

Mary “The OG” Unsworth breaks 38 year old Canadian record in the W35 5000m indoor by 1 min!! Running 19:00.

MARs now has a CR in the books.  

Number 2 – I hear there is a party in Boston in April

We all have different reasons why we run or what motivates us to push ourselves. When Tina Steele heard we had rented a house in Boston for the marathon – she thought that sounded like way too much fun to miss. The only way in ? BQ.

So the BQ quest began. With Tina’s race 6 weeks after Ottawa Tina was forced to train pretty much on her own with the help of other MARs members joining her for parts of workouts and long runs. Her intense determination and commitment to the marathon was awesome.

Having to delay race day by 2 weeks due to a conflict made the task even more difficult.

3:42 crushing her BQ qualifying time and reserving her spot at the MARs Boston house is well deserved at number 2.

Number 1 – Hottawa marathon

With 12 marathoners plus runners in 1/2 and 10k, MARs had a huge contingent of runners going to Ottawa and all marathoners aiming for BQs.

On the Friday before race day there was talk of cancelling the race due to heat concerns.

Unfazed, the group towed the line with optimism even though the heat was still a major concern.

I am still in awe over the results we posted that day. Every single runner ran as well if not better that we could have imagined especially with the weather.

11 BQ races … Truly an epic day for MARs.

3 results worth mentioning –

1. Lil t 1st completed marathon in a blistering 2:46

2. Helen Dempsters 3:10 .. Splits 1:35/1:35 … Wha? Who does that ? Well… Helen does.

3. Rebecca “Used To Be A Triathlete Now I’m A Runner”) Francis 6 min PB on her fall BQ guaranteeing entry into the Big race.  

Until next year …..

” there is no bad weather, there are just soft runners ” Bowerman

Big T Cox