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After watching the incredible displays of athleticism, perseverance and spirit during the 2016 ENDURrun last week, and then switching focus to the track and field competition at the 2016 Rio Olympics, we can’t help but draw parallels between the two, and especially to the multi-event sports of heptathlon and decathlon.

First, the obvious similarities. In multi-event competitions, women compete across seven events (100m hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200m, long jump, javelin, 800m) and men across ten (100m, long jump, shot put, high jump, 400m, 110m hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin, 1500m), each over a number of days. Ultimates showcase the breadth of their talents in many disciplines of the sport of running, as they demonstrate their abilities over a range of distances, terrains and racing formats. In all cases, athletes constantly weigh fatigue and performance in future events/stages. The leading multi-sport athlete wears a yellow bib; the leading runner, a gold jersey.

But more than that, the athletes in these competitions display a similar camaraderie as ENDURrun Ultimates. Each deca/heptathlete is primarily competing against his or her own personal bests, to improve themselves, and they cheer and support each other as they succeed and empathize when they don’t. Through two days of contesting so many events together, they develop a bond that is unique to the multi-event competitions.

The women’s heptathlon concluded on August 13th, with Canada’s Brianne Thiesen-Eaton winning the bronze medal. After the final event, the entire field of 29 athletes lined up together to hold hands and acknowledge the crowds. It was a powerful moment, showing that although they are rivals, they are also friends.

Heptathlon

Remind you of anything?

group
The official 2016 ENDURrun group photo.

The men’s decathlon concludes tonight with the javelin (5:35pm EDT) and 1500m (8:45pm EDT). After 7 events Canada’s Damian Warner is sitting in second behind defending Olympic Champion and world record holder Ashton Eaton of the USA – the husband of Thiesen-Eaton.

Sportsmanship and friendship

This same spirit of friendship was also showcased in the women’s 5000m heats when American and New Zealand runners Abbey D’Agostino and Nikki Hamblin tangled and fell in the middle of their race. Instead of immediately trying to catch up with the pack, both women took the time to help each other up and make sure the other was okay. This action earned them both a place in the final, scheduled to go off August 19th at 8:40pm EDT. D’Agostino sustained serious injuries to her knee such that she will not be able to compete; however, Hamblin is expected to be on the start line.

Who knows, maybe ENDURrun will make it to the Olympics one day …

Posted by & filed under 2016, Recaps, Results.

Thank you for another great year!

The above photo is the official 2016 Ultimate Finisher group photo. It’s an emotional experience for runners who have become both competitors and friends over the course of the week.

But to reach that photo, runners were put through one final test: The Marathon. On a morning where runners, volunteers and families gave up their opportunity to watch world-class women compete in the Olympic Marathon, our own heroes pounded the pavement for the same 42.2 kilometres.

After a grueling week, the last stage of the 2016 ENDURrun saw slightly better conditions for the field, with much lower humidity thanks to a Saturday evening rain shower. Half the field started at 6am to beat the heat and try to finish before noon, with the main start at 7:30am. Unfortunately, one final runner was unable to finish: 2014 alumnus Ben Hack was forced to retire at 12 kilometres due to injury. 

Ultimate leaders after Stage 6, Angela Batsford-Mermans and Robert Brouillette, both won their divisions again to take overall victories. They both collected the queen/king of the mountain and trail queen/king awards as well. Rob was able to take 10:40 off of his cumulative time from 2015 to finish in 10:29:40- the third fastest ultimate time ever and the fastest in 12 years. Rob’s 2:37:22 is the 22nd fastest marathon by a Canadian man in 2016.

In the relay competition, H+P #Team Nick’s captain Nick Burt pulled out a major victory with a PB 2:57 marathon to overtake the H+P Women’s A team for the relay title, which had been leading since Stage 1. 

The sport competition also concluded today, won by Holger Kleinke in 7:03:24.

 Stage 7 results | Cumulative after 7 Stages

champions

Posted by & filed under 2016, Recaps, Results.

How fast would you run a 10 KM race, the day before a marathon?

How fast could you go the day after Stage 5? Stage 6 is only 10 kilometres, but it is tricky. It’s popular for Guests and unpopular among Ultimates for similar reasons; flat and fast can be a bad recipe if you’re racing the next day.

Everyone was in good spirits at the start line in Elmira, despite the humidity. Most Ultimates use the 10 kilometres of Mennonite countryside as a recovery run.

There is no change in leadership for Ultimate, Sport or Relay to report. The H+P Women’s A team didn’t win the stage, but their lead over the second-place team has grown to 10:16.

All of today’s results  |  Current cumulative results after Stage 6

Tomorrow morning, runners start at 6:00am or 7:30am for Stage 7: Marathon. Robert Brouillette is 3:56 behind his own third-place time after six Stages from 2015. Rob has a comfortable lead of 1:18:54 over Mark Meyers.

Angela Batsford-Mermans is ahead of her 2015 pace, but trails her personal record after six Stages (2014) by 13:26. Second-place Vicki Zandbergen is 23:54 behind Angela’s pace after Stage 6.

Early look at photos below. More soon!

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Time your race preparations with this projected start order.

The 10 KM Time Trial (TT) starts one runner each minute, in reverse order to their seed time, which is determined from previous results and expected finish times. Dropouts and no-shows may still adjust the start times by up to 10 minutes from the Estimated Start Time – check in early. Participant check-in and Guest runner bib pickup is at the start line in Elmira.

This list will be finalized and available at the start line at 8:00am August 13.

Division Relay Team Name Name Place
Guest Colleen Sweeney 8:00
Guest Heather Heij 8:00
Sport Joanne Boustead 8:00
Guest Melanie King 8:00
Ultimate Chris Battaglia 8:01
Ultimate Michelle Barnes 8:01
Ultimate Wilf Goron 8:01
Guest Paul Mora 8:01
Ultimate Jodi Kalman 8:02
Guest Alice Pfeifer Hanov 8:03
Ultimate Tammy Hergott 8:04
Guest Derek Hergott 8:05
Guest Ian Maton 8:06
Guest Karen Maton 8:06
Ultimate Maureen Pecknold 8:07
Guest Carrie Taylor 8:08
Guest Rachel Zimner 8:08
Guest Donna Kelly 8:08
Relay H+P FUN-atics Jaime Lynn Reichle 8:09
Ultimate Deirdre Large 8:10
Ultimate Sara Blanchett 8:11
Ultimate Rich Peers 8:12
Ultimate Amanda Booth 8:13
Ultimate Taylor Kelly 8:14
Ultimate Jenny-lynn Fortin 8:15
Guest Rubi Willows 8:16
Sport Steve Mahood 8:17
Ultimate Ashley Sametz 8:18
Ultimate Shimon Schwartz 8:19
Ultimate Christoph Kessel 8:20
Guest Kelly Thomas 8:21
Guest Keenan Schmidt 8:22
Relay Runners By Choice Liana Nolan 8:23
Ultimate Jane Kearnan Den Bak 8:24
Ultimate Andre Fortin 8:25
Ultimate Giovanni Cisternino 8:26
Ultimate Andrew Heij 8:27
Guest K. Bill Dost 8:28
Ultimate Rebecca Kruisselbrink 8:29
Guest Thomas Barnes 8:30
Guest Doug Cunningham 8:31
Guest Mike Gregory 8:32
Relay H+P Team Switzer Mike Hewitson 8:33
Ultimate Rob Park 8:34
Ultimate Nikkole Welsh 8:35
Ultimate Cathy Putman 8:36
Ultimate Joanne Bink 8:37
Relay Bestest Dudes Jeff Benoit 8:38
Sport Steve Stewart 8:39
Ultimate Karen Tays 8:40
Ultimate Ben Hack 8:41
Ultimate Mark McDonald 8:42
Ultimate Jack Kilislian 8:43
Relay H+P Team Prefontaine Dragan Zubac 8:44
Ultimate Hunter Kelly 8:45
Ultimate Patrick Kelly 8:46
Guest Amy Robitaille 8:47
Sport Holger Kleinke 8:48
Relay RC Ramblers Ernie Forster 8:49
Ultimate Vicki Zandbergen 8:50
Ultimate Baoshi Sun 8:51
Ultimate Nick Wagner 8:52
Guest Tina Lorentz 8:53
Relay H+P Masters Men Jeff Martin 8:54
Relay H+P Women’s A Robyn Collins 8:55
Ultimate Patrick Campbell 8:56
Ultimate Patrick Voo 8:57
Ultimate Angela Batsford-Mermans 8:58
Guest Paul Braun 8:59
Relay H+P #TeamNick Mike Piazza 9:00
Ultimate Kyle Den Bak 9:01
Ultimate Mark Meyers 9:02
Relay H+P #TeamGreg Jordan Schmidt 9:03
Ultimate Robert Brouillette 9:04

Posted by & filed under 2016, Recaps, Results.

If Stage 3 is a test, Stage 5 is an exam. (Not the final exam; that is Sunday’s marathon.)

Today, ENDURrunners enjoyed five supremely challenging loops at the Chicopee Ski & Summer Resort. With gains of approximately 150m per 5.12km loop, today’s heat and humidity also amplified the difficulty of the various terrains including grass, singletrack, boardwalks, sand, cinder blocks, and gravel.

Thank you to everyone who followed along with our live results today. It’s the next-best thing to being out on the slopes 🙂

All of today’s results  |  Current cumulative results after Stage 3

Ultimate division: Robert Brouillette increased his overall lead today, although fell behind his 2015 championship pace by a total of 2:44. Second-place Vicki Zandbergen gained 2:27 to pull within an even 20:00 of leader Angela Batsford-Mermans.

Relay division: H+P #TeamGreg took the overall victory today on the strength of Eric Hunsberger’s effort. The overall leaders H+P Women’s A team now lead by a reduced 19:08 over H+P #TeamNick heading into the final two Stages.

Sport division: Welcome to the the four athletes in the Sport division, which started today. Ultimate veterans Holger Kleinke, Steve Stewart, Steve Mahood are joined by Joanne Boustead in the Stages 5, 6 and 7 competition. Holger took the win today.

Today, we said goodbye to Ken B. Anderson, who was unable to start today’s stage. At 73, Ken has withdrawn from his second attempt to become the oldest ENDURrunner, but he’s already signed up for 2017!

Photos: You won’t see these photos until at least next week, but until then, here’s a teaser album from Julie Schmidt. Check Flickr for albums from Stages 3 and 4 within the next few days.

Runners were also battling the prospect of a 10 KM Time Trial tomorrow morning. Start list will be posted Friday afternoon.

Posted by & filed under Resources.

August is hot, and this August is hotter than normal. Cooling and hydration has never been more important.

16s2bTo this point, we asked Dr. Sean Delanghe for tips on staying cool. Dr. Delanghe is a local chiropractor, runner and coach, and he writes a monthly column for RW Magazine on the Science of Training and Performance.

Hello ENDURruners!

There’s no denying temperatures are on the rise and reaching a challenging level. With this comes, as a best case, a decrease in performance, as a worst case, heat stroke. Doing the right things to manage the heat will help to get through the next 3 stages successfully. Here are some of the things I did to survive last night’s 10-Miler.

Pre-Cooling: There is an abundance of research out there showing that starting with a lower core temperature and delaying the rise can significantly enhance performance. I live close to the start of the 10-Miler, so I had a 10 minute freezing cold shower very close to start time to try to lower my core temperature. Sponging with ice cold water, staying in the shade, staying in AC or in front of a fan also works. The idea is not to keep you from warming up pre-race, but to start colder than you normally would. Allow your core temperature to rise half way through the race, not before you toe the line!

Hydrating: Hydrating throughout is obviously very important, and all runners know this. Stay on top of it and don’t wait until you’re in trouble to hydrate, systematically take on fluids throughout the entire race.

Showering and/or sponging: In addition, it is 100% extremely important to constantly dump ice cold water/ ice on your head/core throughout the entire race. Don’t wait to get hot to cool down, stay cold as long as you can. Coach Gill from our team bought two cases of water and filled up two coolers with ice and distributed it to us last night, and it saved me! There were many others who did the same to help. Thank you all so much, these efforts really do go a long way in enhancing performance and mitigating risk. If you are able to get ahold of those ice cold spongers (thanks Miles!), squeezing them over your head is useful in enhancing performance. There is evidence for sticking them in your shorts/at thigh level to hit the femoral artery to cool the blood coming to and from your legs as well.

Gear: Generally avoid wearing hats, especially ones that do not breathe – opt for a visor if you need something. Let the heat flow from your head, don’t bottle it in! For carrying water: on Friday, the farthest you will run is 2km between aid stations, so it might not strictly be necessary. On Sunday, as aid stations are 3km apart, carrying water is a good idea, the longer you plan to be out on the course.

Race smart: It is also very important to modify your pace – something that is hard for me to accept, but it’s the truth. There’s no denying that heat is one of the number one sources of stimuli that signals our brain to slow down our legs. It is impossible to expect a PB pace with the same level of fitness if you are racing in 35-40C weather. Start slow, and listen to your body and perceived level of exertion. I was slower than I expected last night, but the effort was through the roof. Finally, a tough pill to swallow is to drop out when you notice signs and symptoms beyond normal running pain. It is never a mistake or something to be ashamed of. Dizziness, nausea, headaches in the early phases are all signs that is time to consider making the smart choice and to drop out.

I hope this helps! I’ll see you all at Chicopee tomorrow!

At every ENDURrun aid station, you can expect cold water, gatorade, and a volunteer with cell phone. For Stage 5, there are aid stations at 2.2km, 4km, and 5km of the 5.12km loop. At Stage 7, aid stations are at every 3rd kilometre marker for the 21km loop. Thank you to the dozens of members of the community that dotted the course at Stage 4 with icy cold support.

DSC_0445_3

Posted by & filed under 2016, News.

The ENDURrun is an event that is rich in many things, not the least of which are traditions.

This year saw the birth of a new custom designed to celebrate excellence and to publicly recognize some of our top performers. The Golden Club is for any runner who has ever won a Gold Jersey. A Gold Jersey is awarded to a runner who leads the Ultimate division after Stages 1-6.

The perk for being in the Golden Club is the opportunity to wear the Gold Jersey again, in The ENDURrun, without leading the cumulative division. Wearing gold and yellow coloured shirts or jerseys is prohibited for any runner except the male and female cumulative leaders in Stages 2-7. In this new exception, all Golden Club members are encouraged to wear the jersey at Stage 1 in any future ENDURrun.

Twenty-one runners have won a Gold Jersey in the history of ENDURrun (full list below). A runner does not need to win the Ultimate division to be included; five of the twenty-one members of the club do not have the championship to their name. However, Angela Batsford-Mermans joined the club in 2016 and has a golden opportunity to win the championship this year. (Update: Angela did win the 2016 ENDURrun!)

16s1 Golden Club

In 2016, five members ran in Stage 1: (l-r) Robert Brouillette, Stefan Gudmundson, Joanne Bink and Mark Meyers in the Ultimate division, and Rick Straughen in as a Guest runner.

List of Golden Club Members

1 M Rich Tremain 2003
2 F Karin Duyn 2003 Champion: 2003
3 M Charles Bedley 2003 Champion: 2003, 2004
4 F Catherine Champagne 2004 Champion: 2004
5 M Mike Strano 2005 Champion: 2005
6 F April Boultbee 2005 Champion: 2005, 2007
7 M Bob Jackman 2006 Champion: 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012
8 M Brad Cunningham 2006
9 M Jon Belanger 2007 Champion, 2007
10 F Joanne Bink 2008 Champion: 2011
11 M Steve Formaneck 2008
12 F Jackie Gorski Jackman 2009 Champion: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012
13 M Rick Straughen 2011 Champion: 2011
14 M Mark Meyers 2013
15 M Stefan Gudmundson 2013 Champion: 2013
16 F Catherine Kelly 2013 Champion: 2013
17 M Matthew Leduc 2014 Champion: 2014
18 F Mindy Fleming 2014 Champion: 2014
19 M Robert Brouillette 2015 Champion: 2015, 2016
20 F Victoria Siemon 2015 Champion: 2015
21 F Angela Batsford-Mermans 2016 Champion: 2016

Careful inspection of this table will reveal a technical curiosity of the Gold Jersey: one is awarded for the explicit purpose of wearing at The ENDURrun and not for the merit of leading the cumulative alone. The niche case is that you can’t win one by leading after Stage 7. This actually happened; in 2008, Jackie Gorski trailed after Stages 1-6 but took the overall victory in Stage 7, and was not awarded a Gold Jersey for it. It wasn’t until she returned and won Stage 1 in 2009 that she was admitted to the Golden Club. Under the modern Golden Club rule, Jackie would have actually been presented with the jersey before that 2009 Stage 1.

We look forward to welcoming back club members to Stage 1 on August 13, 2017.

Posted by & filed under 2016, 2017, Results.

Tonight’s 10 Miler was a sweaty one. Congratulations to all runners for tackling some of the biggest hills in Waterloo Region.

Huge thank you to all the spectators and volunteers, including REACT, WRPS and Auxiliary, for keeping the runners safe and hydrated in this heat. Every sponge, cup and smoothie was key!

At Stage 4, runners officially cross the halfway point of Stages (4/7) and kilometres (82.2). No changes in gold jerseys to report (Robert Brouillette and Angela Batsford-Mermans for the SEO).

Full results: Stage | Cumulative

As we do every year, we are trying to capture the ENDURrun fever by opening registration for 2017 this evening. Join the ENDURrunners facebook group for the $50 promo code!

Posted by & filed under 2016, Recaps, Results.

The third Stage of ENDURrun is its largest yet – a 30 kilometre cross country course.

It’s hot. It’s loopy. It challenges runners mentally and physically for six 5 KM laps of grass, woodchip, dirt, gravel and pavement. In the first lap, runners pass an ominous “40 KM” sign: Ultimates have run one-quarter of the week’s distance.

Gold jersey leaders extended their lead today, as Angela Batsford-Mermans and Robert Brouillette, each won their division. Fifty three runners started today, and 53 gutsy performances were recorded.

All of today’s results  |  Current cumulative results after Stage 3

Today’s race saw one Ultimate DNS (Steven Gastfield) and one Relay DNF (Justin Buis). Justin will be ok; he is in the hospital and his condition will be updated as is appropriate. The Relay team, H+P Team Switzer, will be allowed a substitute runner (Rules, page 3) of fellow H+P athlete and Ultimate participant Vicki Zandbergen.

Tomorrow runners have the option to sleep in, as the middle Stage is an evening 10 miler on the “flat and fast” Wilmot Line.

Posted by & filed under 2016, Results.

The second Stage of ENDURrun is a cycling-inspired time trial.

16s2bAt this Stage, runners start individually and chase those ahead of them for 15 kilometres of flat country roads. It leads to solo efforts and exciting finishes!

Our gold jersey wearers, Angela Batsford-Mermans and Robert Brouillette, each won their division today and extended their cumulative leads, as did Erin McClure for the H+P Women’s A Relay team.

All of today’s results  |  Current cumulative results after Stage 2

Three men in the Ultimate field did not start today: Stefan Gudmundson (former champion), Derek Hergott (withdrew due to injury for the second straight year) and K. Bill Dost (who we hope to see at later stages this week!) Ultimate competitors who withdraw are welcome to run further stages as Guest runners, although they are ineligible from future Ultimate rankings that year.

Ultimate participants gain an increasing sense of comfort after the second stage. Stage 3, the 30 KM cross country course, is the first true test of ENDURrun.