Posted by & filed under 2018, Contender.

This spring we are profiling the 2018 ENDURrun Ultimate Contenders with Q&As in this blog.

Related: Full blog series | Full list of Contenders

We are excited to finally welcome Colleen Sweeney back for the full week once again!

 

What is your runner profile? 

I have been running since 1989. Mostly roads but have tinkered with some trail running. I was always a mid-pack runner but have found myself drifting towards the back of the pack as I get older. My goal is to keep running as long as I live!

 

What are your ENDURrun 2018 stories? 

When I finished the 2015 Ultimate (with the slowest time in the field) I immediately knew that I wanted to do it again off better training. I planned to do 2016 and 2017 but was unable to due to injuries in 2016 and time off due to illness in 2017. Now it is 3 years later and my motivation is to prove to myself that I can make my 56 year old body do this thing and do it better than I did in 2015. I guess it is sort of my way of saying F you to middle age!

 

What are you most looking forward to about ENDURrun 2018?

The people, the food, the incredible volunteers, the effort, the fun!

 

What are you nervous about, if anything?

Chicopee!

 

Can you share any details of your training?

Will be adding in trail runs twice a week later in the spring and back to back long runs most weekends along with hiking. I am trying to carve out time to be consistent with strength training as well. Squats, deadlifts and plyometrics.

 

You’ve trained for Ultimate before. What did you learn that you will build from (or avoid) this time around?

Put more miles on my legs (including non-running miles – hiking) and work on downhill running.

 

Besides training, what will be the same and/or different about this Ultimate compared to your first completion?

I think different will be knowing what is coming at me each day. Not sure if that is a good thing!

 

What is the one piece of advice that you’re glad you knew/you wish you knew before your first completion?

That downhill repeats are more important than uphill!

 

How were you feeling in the days and weeks following your first Ultimate completion?

Elated!

 

What is the most important part of the ENDURrun identity that appeals to you?

The opportunity to challenge myself along with the incredible feeling of camaraderie that comes with being part of this event.

Posted by & filed under 2018, Contender.

This spring we are profiling the 2018 ENDURrun Ultimate Contenders with Q&As in this blog.

Related: Full blog series | Full list of Contenders

Here’s Jack, who has run ENDURrun a few times. 

 

“Hello, my name is Jack, and I’m addicted to running.”

 

What is your runner profile? 

I have been running since 1996, when I did my first 5K and sprint triathlon. In 2004 I ran my first 50K, and fell in love with ultras. I completed 117 ultras between 2004 and 2016. 2014 was my best year of running. During that year I won the Ontario Ultra Series, and completed a 100-mile run on the Friday-Saturday before starting the ENDURrun on the Sunday. I run on a mixture of pavement and trails, and try to include hills in my routes.

 

How is your training going?

Trying something new this year.

 

How will your ENDURrun 2018 compare to previous years?

Hopefully it will be better than last year.

 

What are your ENDURrun 2018 goals?

To improve on last year’s times, and hopefully get back under 14 hours.

 

What are you most looking forward to about ENDURrun 2018?

Seeing a healthy Lloyd Schmidt running a stage or part of a stage. [Lloyd ran 5k last week!]

 

What are you nervous about, if anything?

The 3 longest stages.

 

Can you share any details of your training? 

My focus since developing OTS has been on shorter distances. I don’t have any simulations planned, although that might change. My weekly mileage is currently 80-85 km. I hope to get that up in the months to come.

 

What are the key pieces of advice to Rookies that you’ve learned over the years?

You can push yourself everyday if you utilize good recovery techniques, like ice baths, and lots of sleep.

 

For someone who has never been to ENDURrun week, what should they expect?

A unique experience that they will always cherish.

 

What is the most important part of the ENDURrun identity that appeals to you?

The community.

 

What about ENDURrun keeps you coming back?

The people and the food 🙂

 

What else would you like to share?

I love trail running.

 

Look for us to follow up with Jack in August on how he’s dealing with the longer stages.

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This spring we are profiling the 2018 ENDURrun Ultimate Contenders with Q&As in this blog.

Related: Full blog series | Full list of Contenders

Today we introduce Anne, new to ENDURrun and fundraising for a great charity at the same time.

 

ENDURrun: What is your runner profile? 

Anne: Running is an extremely versatile passion of mine that positively contributes to every aspect of my life. I love how running promotes a healthy immune system, how it can be exciting or peaceful, provides great social experiences, or allows for meditation alone. Running provides me with opportunities to continually challenge myself, to share with and help others, and to experience new events and places. I am so grateful for everything the running community has given to me and I am passionate about helping others experience the many positive benefits of running. I enjoy being an encouraging and enthusiastic leader of the full marathon and half marathon Running Works clinic and I am so happy and proud to see the clinic participants progress and achieve their individual goals. I also greatly appreciate the invaluable guidance and support I receive from the community of knowledgeable and experienced runners.

I’ve been running for 12 years; mostly roads – recently more trails; typical mileage without ENDURrun of 60k to 80k/week.

 

How did you find out about ENDURrun?

I have run other Run Waterloo races in the past. 

 

What convinced you to take the plunge?

(1) Good training experiences for long distances over the past couple years gave me confidence that this would be a great year to do ENDURrun; and (2) the ability to raise awareness and funds for Guelph Wellington Women-in-Crisis as part of the Charity of Choice program.

 

What are your ENDURrun 2018 stories? 

I am honoured to be a 2018 ENDURrun participant and to be part of the Charity of Choice program to raise awareness and funds for Guelph-Wellington Women-in-Crisis and the women’s shelter. The gratitude I feel for the support of the running community motivates me to train everyday and try my best to give back as much as I receive. I am motivated by the results I see from incorporating the advice of other runners into my training program – and sharing this success with them too.

You can learn more about Anne’s campaign (and donate) here.

 

What are you most looking forward to about ENDURrun 2018?

Having a nap each afternoon. 🙂

Seriously, I am most looking forward to the challenge and how much I can learn from the other participants.  

 

What are you nervous about, if anything?

Adapting well to the August humidity

 

Can you share any details of your training? Mileage, simulations, etc?

My training plan includes: (i) steadily increasing mileage each week through July; cross-training with cycling, rowing, Victors Bootcamp, yoga; (ii) training runs on the ENDURrun course; (iii) back-to-backs each week (10k,40k,20k); (iv) 50k in June; (v) several marathon ‘races’ as training runs.  

 

What advice have you been collecting? What are your sources?

Friends from Guelph Victors who have completed ENDURrun have been terrific at providing me with advice based upon their past experience.  

 

What are you still hoping to learn by August?

I would appreciate any and all advice to deal with the humidity – avoiding heat exhaustion is very important to me.

 

What is the most important part of the ENDURrun identity that appeals to you?

“one tough runner”

 

What can we follow-up with you about in August for a profile part 2?

My training plan over the next few months includes: (i) running my first ultra in June, (ii) attempting to improve my BQ marathon time in May, (iii) helping my run clinic group achieve their personal goals with several half and full marathons over the next three months. I hope to update everyone on the progress from these and other training races (MEC series, Goodlife, etc.) as I go.

Posted by & filed under 2018, Contender.

There are many runners and many races, but only a few contenders for the title of One Tough Runner.

This spring we are profiling the 2018 ENDURrun Ultimate Contenders with Q&As in this blog.

Related: Full blog series | Full list of Contenders

Today we catch up with Maria, who after a one-year hiatus is back for her second ENDURrun this August!

ENDURrun: Hi Maria!

Maria: Hello, Endurfamily! I’m Ashley, often referred to as Maria, and I look forward to being inspired by you (and swearing alongside you) for Endurrun 2018!

 

What is your runner profile? 
I’ve been running since I was forced to when I was 16 in rugby practice. I learned I loved it shortly after. I average 40-60km a week, depending on what’s going on and how tired my dogs are 🙂 I love trails and the treadmill, but I hate track workouts. This probably means I should do more of them.

You’ve trained for Ultimate before. What did you learn that you will build from (or avoid) this time around?
Don’t train too hard. But I never really train too hard. I like to have a few ultras in the months before, just so my body is used to time on its feet and running through discomfort (… and my brain saying “Hey idiot. Know what would be better than running? Anything.”)

Besides training, what will be the same and/or different about this Ultimate compared to your first completion?
The excitement. I had lost my mojo for running about two months out of my last Ultimate. After a week of running and hanging out with a bunch of other endorphin’d up whack-jobs, my love of running came back.

What is the one piece of advice that you’re glad you knew/you wish you knew before your first completion?
Get all the massages. Eat, even if you don’t feel like it. Make buddies – they will become your new confidantes and comrades.

How were you feeling in the days and weeks following your first Ultimate completion?
Serious post-endurrun syndrome. Thankfully, I ended up making about six solid buddies that I still train and run with to this day. Also, I felt super tanned, super jacked and weirdly confident. Weird, because usually I’m pretty insecure about myself as a human in general.

What are you most looking forward to about ENDURrun 2018?
Seeing my peeps again! Creating inventive swear words. Bad running puns.

What are you nervous about, if anything?
Chafe. Always chafe.

Can you share any details of your training?
Back-to-back long run days, or hard speed work followed by a leg workout. I try to get up to 80-100km a few times during training, but my life is a sh*tshow at the best of times, so a lot of it is just consistent running. I run a few 50k’s before Endurrun, and this time I’ll also have a 50 miler, so that helps.

What is the most important part of the ENDURrun identity that appeals to you?
The family. It’s like Runner Camp.

Look for us to follow up with Maria in August on balancing training and single parenting and working a 9-5 while also doing distance learning, as well as how her 212km week goes…

Posted by & filed under 2018, Contender.

Meaghan St. John is a true ENDURrun rookie, having never competed in any part of the event previously. Welcome Meaghan!

 

What is your runner profile? 

I have been running for about 10 years seriously, 6 marathons, 4 Ironman, American Triple T x2, Long Distance Triathlon World Championship ‘16, many other races. I enjoy a variety of trail and road running, preferring the longer distances.

 

How did you find out about ENDURrun?

Scrolling through races.

 

What convinced you to take the plunge?

I was terrified to sign up. Not actually knowing if I can finish.

 

 

What advice have you been collecting? 

Training section on website.

 

What are you still hoping to learn by August?

Keep in my own race.

 

What are your goals for ENDURrun 2018? 

Hoping to finish and not to die.

 

What are you most looking forward to about ENDURrun 2018?

The end.

 

What are you nervous about, if anything?

Proper pacing, heat.

 

What else would you like to share?

I’m nervous and excited to try something I’m not certain I can do well in or even finish.

 

What is the most important part of the ENDURrun identity that appeals to you?

The well roundedness of a runner it requires and the discipline to recover properly.

 

This is a pretty typical mindset of a new ENDURrunner. We look forward to meeting you this August! 

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Our fourth Contender bio is Nick Burt, a 24 year old runner from Kitchener who took top Rookie prize in 2017

 

ENDURrun: What is your runner profile? 

Nick: I started running in high-school when I joined the track team 9 years ago. Each year I have gotten more and more serious about running/training. My usual terrain for running is roads, and my mileage varies a lot but right now 70km/week is pretty comfortable for me before I start really training for something.

 

What are your ENDURrun 2018 goals?

I know I want to at least beat my time from last year. When it gets closer to August I will decide on a specific time goal. 

 

What are you most looking forward to about ENDURrun 2018?

A lot of people boast about big city races but I love the small, cozy size of ENDURrun. I love knowing/getting to know everyone there, watching everyone push their limits day after day, and I love the amazing support I receive from friends, family, and complete strangers. I also really appreciate the amazing food and since it is such a small race it makes it easy to watch everyone else finish after I’ve run and actually enjoy the food. I have to also point out how amazing it is to NEVER have to worry about parking on race day.

 

What are you nervous about, if anything?

Injuries. Whether they happen beforehand and interrupt my training or whether they happen during the week and ruin my performance.

 

 

You’ve trained for Ultimate before. What did you learn that you will build from (or avoid) this time around?

Training makes a huge difference. I plan on putting in even more weekly training and starting even earlier than last year.

 

Can you share any details of your training? Mileage, simulations, etc?

The plan is to build lots of weekly miles (>>100km) and add a lot of biking on top to increase training without risking too much injury. I also plan on hitting the “mountain” stages once or twice a week to get used to all the hills/trails.

 

Besides training, what will be the same and/or different about this Ultimate compared to your first completion?

I probably won’t wear racing flats for any of the stages this year.

 

What is the one piece of advice that you’re glad you knew/you wish you knew before your first completion?

I’m super glad I knew what to expect from Chicopee by running it multiple times in training.

 

How were you feeling in the days and weeks following your first Ultimate completion?

Sore. But I felt unbelievably accomplished and excited to train for my next race.

 

What is the most important part of the ENDURrun identity that appeals to you?

The most important part to me is that it is a small group of friendly, passionate people and that it’s quite a crazy event like no other.

 

Look for us to follow up with Nick in August on how his training went and ask him about his cycling trip…

Posted by & filed under 2018, Contender.

The Contenders blog is profiling the 2018 Ultimate field, daily. Patrick Kelly is an ENDURrun veteran with whom we last caught up in August.

 

ENDURrun: What is your runner profile? How long have you been running, general mileage, surfaces, etc.

Patrick: High mileage running for over 40 years.

 

What are you most looking forward to about ENDURrun 2018?

I look forward to reconnecting with my ENDURrun family. It is going to be a great week!

 

How is your training going?

Uphill battle. I am just doing as much as my body will let me do.

 

How will your ENDURrun 2018 compare to previous years?

Goal is for fun and results will be what the results will be.

 

What are your ENDURrun 2018 stories? 

Glad to have one of my children running with me this year.

 

What are you nervous about, if anything?

I don’t really get nerves for my own races but the hope for my daughter to be happy with her race(s) will shake things up a little.

 

What are the key pieces of advice to Rookies that you’ve learned over the years?

Run daily and run on hills with varied terrain.

 

For someone who has never been to ENDURrun week, what should they expect?

Don’t just run but enjoy the activities outside of the races. If you are not racing to win treat it like a running camp.

 

What is the most important part of the ENDURrun identity that appeals to you?

Family feel!

 

What about ENDURrun keeps you coming back?

The people, the runners, the volunteers and the quality of the event. This is a team running event, all the athletes, volunteers and race organizers are here to help you run your best.

Look for us to follow up with Patrick in August on how his training battle plays out.

Posted by & filed under 2018, Contender.

This is the second post in our daily Contender series. Here is the full list of Contenders. 

 

Lumi Duca has a lot of ENDURrun experience for an Ultimate Rookie, having competed in the relay each of the past three years, including two Stage 7 marathons. Welcome Lumi!

 

ENDURrun: What convinced you to take the plunge?

Lumi: I had a stress fracture last fall and I missed running over the winter. So I thought I have to run something different and challenging this summer as a come back and to celebrate being able to run again.

 

What are your motivations and goals for this ENDURrun 2018?

Motivation: I have to do it at least one in my life; it is right here at home!

Goals: I just want to finish every day wanting to go back for the next stage.

 

What are you most looking forward to about ENDURrun 2018?

The runner’s high! and the yummy food the volunteers are preparing!

 

What are you nervous about, if anything?

I am worried that my leg will not hold for the training and that the stress fracture would come back; before or during the race. I think everyone is the same after an injury; you feel it long after it is gone.

 

Can you share any details of your training? 

I am planning to run 90 – 120 km / week which will include hills and trails.

 

What is the most important part of the ENDURrun identity that appeals to you?

The many volunteers!

 

Look for us to follow up with Lumi in August on how much she wants to come back each day – especially after Stage 5!

Posted by & filed under 2018, Contender.

 

There are many runners and many races, but only a few contenders for the high honour of One Tough Runner. This spring we will be profiling the 2018 ENDURrun Ultimate Contenders with Q&As in this blog. This interview with Nikkole Welsh is the first in the series – enjoy!

 

Nikki has completed the Ultimate twice, in 2015 and 2016. After a one-year hiatus, she’s back and excited for ENDURrun 2018.

 

ENDURrun: What is your runner profile? 

Nikki: I used to run in high school with my step-dad around the river in Stratford. Then I started running again after my second baby and I’ve been running ever since. Now I run as a stress reliever and a way to take care of myself.

 

What are you most looking forward to about ENDURrun 2018?

I’m looking forward to seeing all of those familiar faces again!

 

How will your ENDURrun 2018 compare to 2015/2016?

This year I want to finish strong! By the end of the week, I’m running on empty and my goal this year is to maintain my strength and finish with my fastest marathon time yet 🙂

 

What is your motivation?

My motivation is always to show my three boys how important it is to be healthy and show them how strong women can be.

 

How is your training going? 

This year I’m running in the Outrun Trail series so training started early, and is going well!! I’m currently running over 100km a week in anticipation of my first race at the end of April.

 

What are the key pieces of advice to Rookies that you’ve learned over the years?

Don’t underestimate your own strength. It’s all about mind over matter.

 

What is the most important part of the ENDURrun identity that appeals to you?

Sense of community.

 

What about ENDURrun keeps you coming back?

The Schmidt family and the incredible volunteers!! You feel like you’re part of something really special, and by the end of the week everyone knows your name and everyone is supporting each other. It’s a pretty beautiful thing!

Posted by & filed under 2018.

We are pleased to announce the return of Robert Brouillette and Vicki Zandbergen to ENDURrun in 2018.

Both athletes are valued alumni to whom we have become accustomed to seeing on the start line, year after year. Notable is that 2018 will be only the 5th year in ENDURrun history that both male and female winners from the previous year will return to defend their title.

Robert is gunning for the 4-peat (four consecutive championships), which has never been accomplished by any man or woman. His first completion in 2015 was the 3rd fastest all-time, an accomplishment which he has since repeated in 2016 and again in 2017.

“This week has a special place in my heart because of how unique the event is, how it allows me to show my strengths over varies distances and terrains, it’s close to home, and I get to do all of it with my ENDURrun family. Chasing 14-15 year old records keeps things interesting. I’m very excited to see what I can do this year as I will be putting more focus towards chasing individual stage records this time around.”

Vicki is on track to complete her 8th consecutive ENDURrun, which is a record that she would set and share with Wilf Goron if they both complete the 2018 competition. Her most recent time (2017) is the 10th fastest all-time.

“I’m happy to return to my favourite event of the year, and excited to have the opportunity to wear gold during Stage 1 as the newest member of the Golden Club.”

Here are a few photos from a fun shoot we did in August 2017, after their ENDURrun wins.

ENDURrun winner photoshoot 2017

So many factors contribute to an athlete’s ability to participate in ENDURrun, and we are thrilled to say to both Rob and Vicki: see you in August!