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Lots to look for as our Ultimate and Relay runners enter their seventh day of racing!

Overall leads

MaleRob Brouillette has a commanding lead over Nick Burt (53:32). There is still a battle to complete the podium: Stefan Gudmundson has a 10:19 lead over a hard-closing Andrew Keeves for 3rd place!

FemaleVicki Zandbergen has won four of six Stages, building up a 9:45 lead over second place Catherine Desrosiers, who leads Valery Hobson by another 5:26.  This is the second-closest ever women’s race entering Stage 7 (2013).

Relay – Health + Performance is dominating the podium right now, with teams fighting for first place (Masters Men lead Millenials by 6:00) and for third place (In Betweeners lead Women’s A by 9:18).

Chasing historical times

Male – After six Stages, Robert Brouillette is in 3rd place all-time, 17:59 ahead of his previous best time (2016). He trails the second best all-time Ultimate performance by 2:59, meaning he would need a 2:32:31 marathon to assume the second best time, ever. (Rob ran 2:37:22 on this course in 2016.) This would be a new course record for the marathon by 11 seconds

Female – In a week of crushing PBs, Vicki Zandbergen (who sits 13th all-time after 6 Stages) can move into the top 10 all-time with a 3:17:05 marathon. Crazier things have happened! Joanne Bink owns the entire podium for Masters Women, but Catherine and Valery are knocking on the door; marathons of 3:13:47 or 3:08:22 respectively would gain either woman 3rd place in all-time Masters Women’s finishes.

Relay – The H+P Masters Men need a 3:11:24 to maintain their 10th place position, which they sit in after Stage 6. There are two more teams within two minutes, and the H+P Millenials also have a great shot to reach the Top 10 all-time. The H+P Women’s A team is 1:42 back of their time from last year, which is the current record for fastest ever all-female Relay team. A 3:12:39 marathon is what it would take to best their own record!

Other storylines

ENDURrun Bests – There are several Ultimate contenders this year who are running their best ever ENDURrun week, besides Vicki and Rob. Thaddeus Homewood, Merzi Dastoor, Valery Hobson, Trish Benoit and Rebecca Kruisselbrink are all competing in the Ultimate for their second time, and all five of them have run ENDURrun bests at almost every stage! Will Spaetzel is also running his second Ultimate, and is currently 7 minutes ahead of his 2013 result, thanks to a huge 27:34 PB at Chicopee. Amanda Booth (third time Ultimate competitor) is also currently 6:36 ahead of her own 2016 performance. Interesting fact: both Merzi and Amanda ran exactly the same time in their 10KM TT this year as they did in their last Ultimate competition!

Year over Year Improvements – We’ve already covered Michelle’s close races against the cut-off clock, but that doesn’t mean we’re done talking about how great her races have been this year! Michelle is currently 1:21:18 ahead of her 2016 self! Wilf Goron is also having a fantastic week, his fastest ENDURrun since 2013! He is on pace to run over 4 hours faster than his 2016 self!

Middle of the Pack Relay Competitions – Orange is the New Fast, currently sitting sixth, has a strong marathoner in Jonathan Redfearn, and is 21:01 behind the Women’s A team (fourth), with the RC Wed Knights in between. TEAM LLOYD 1 and TEAM LLOYD 2 are only 7:10 apart after Stage 6! What can April Boultbee vs. Patrick Campbell add to this unexpectedly close battle?

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Denis Allen’s primary annual goal is to stay healthy.

On the verge of his fourth Ultimate finish, never has his worldview been so simple. Running and personal health are two sides of the same coin, and Denis knows he’s successful if everything clicks for his main event – the ENDURrun Ultimate.

More than anything else, the camaraderie and community has helped to establish the event as an annual highlight – a “fitness vacation” – and Denis uses the event to set big, concrete personal goals. When he signed up in January 2017, it set in motion a larger plan. Seven months later, he has seen great success, and has lost about three-quarters of the way to his ideal race weight. Stage 7 will determine whether or not this year is his slowest ENDURrun, but even as injuries have gradually grinded him down over the years, he’s on the bounce-back and his outlook is rightly positive.

He credits Run Waterloo in general with helping to nurture his love of the sport. Denis has already committed to be back next year, and he has big plans to compete with his 2011 self (his fastest Ultimate). But for this fall, his eyes are squarely focused another longtime goal: the sub-20 5k. He has had varying degrees of success over the years, but his current PB – 20:21 from the 2010 Laurier Loop – has to go. If he can’t do it on his own, he is determined to get help, which will probably include joining Health + Performance!

These ambitious goals will make ENDURrun 2018 his best, ever, and we are super excited for it!

2017 ENDURrace Stage 4: Hilly 10 Miler

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You can’t run very far in Run Waterloo without having a camera in your face.

Our paparazzi is friendly, and they capture some amazing memories that all all free to use. Through the first four Stages of ENDURrun 2017, our photographers have posted over 3,000 photos to Flickr. Here’s what you need to know about them.

Who is taking my photos?

Our photo team is led by Julie Schmidt. At ENDURrun, Julie and Jeff Wemp are the main photographers you see out there.

Where do the photos go?

We have hundreds of thousands of photos on our Flickr page, going back two years. (Our archive of a decade of Picasa photos are being restored to Flickr, slowly.)

They are super easy to find right from When the photo album is ready, a little camera icon will appear in the main list of events, and on each results page (see below).


What can I do with these photos?

Please feel free to use them however you wish. We ask that you credit the photographer (name tagged in Flickr) if you want to. If you want to use a photo for commercial purposes, please contact us first. Photos are easy to share from the Flickr app to social media, and anyone can download photos (even without a Flickr account).

Do I need a Flickr account?

To browse and download photos, no. An account will give you other abilities, such as upload notifications and the ability to tag photos (below).

What else can I do with photos?

We have built in some cool features to our results site that get the most out of the event photos. Anyone with a Flickr account can tag photos (with bib number), and the crowdsourced tagged photos are linked directly to names in the results. (See image below and read more about how this works.)

If you’ve got some free time tonight, why not check out the albums from Stages 1-4 and drop a few tags!



What about video?

Where we take finish line video, we also tag that in the results as well.

What if I need a photo removed?

If you want a photo of your removed, or a tag of you removed, please contact us – we’re happy to help.

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Unfortunately for Taylor Kelly, the answer to that question is clear: this is still too early.

When Taylor completed the 2016 ENDURrun, she signed up right away for 2017. But training didn’t go as planned this year, and when she sustained a concussion at the end of July, it all but ended her chances of completing the Ultimate. She is glad she gave it a try, but had no expectations about finishing the first Stage, let alone the entire week. (36 of the 380 ENDURrun Ultimate attempts – 9.5% – have ended in a DNF.) I informed Taylor that she now owns the lucky record for fewest kilometres run for the ENDURrun Ultimate: 3. She laughed, and noted that since her concussion, she is eager to start training for 2018, as soon as her doctor clears her to resume activity.

Lucky for us, her schedule as a teacher allowed her to still embrace the full week, even as she was forced to withdraw from the competition. More than previous years, this has allowed Taylor to embrace spectating and volunteering, and even though she would rather be running, she enjoys this new role very much. The rest of the volunteers do too!

ENDURrun is a family tradition for the Kellys; father Patrick and sister Hunter. Between the three, they have six Ultimate finishes and counting. So as Taylor plans her wedding for August 2018, ENDURrun will be a factor in date selection (Patrick is serious about this), even if it means that Taylor won’t be able to participate. Hunter as signed up, Patrick will today (!!), and Taylor is as motivated as ever to get healthy and back in the field. All the best for the upcoming year, Taylor!

2017 ENDURrun: Stage 1 Half Marathon

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Quietly, Nick But is putting together an incredible run at ENDURrun 2017.

Rob‘s Stage wins are appropriately grabbing the headlines this year, but Nick‘s performances this week are nothing short of awesome. After 5 Stages, Nick is cumulatively 20th all-time and he has a firm grip on the 2017 male Rookie award. We already knew that Nick is talented and well-trained, but how is our youngest 2017 competitor pulling this off?

If you’re looking for ENDURrun advice, recovery is no secret. He is quick to credit his coach, Sean Delanghe/Health + Performance, and some Ultimate mentors and teammates including Dave, Vicki, and Val as valuable resources. He has certainly felt soreness, but has developed and followed a strict routine including nutrition, rest, compression socks, but never any massage. So far, Nick has been pleasantly surprised by how much he recovers each day. He has also found the carefully designed ENDURrun week to be helpful, by balancing terrains and rest (the whole rest day was especially helpful), and he’s glad to now put the mountain Stages behind him. And at 23 years old, being in the 3rd percentile of all ever ENDURrunners by age, certainly doesn’t hurt!

Nick was swept up in ENDURrun hype in August 2016 when he became one of the first signups for ENDURrun 2017. It’s not hard to see why, as he was around for much of the week, captaining a Relay team, and running a spectacular 2:57 marathon. He admits that he wasn’t looking for motivation through signing up, but over the course of the year – through winter and injuries – having ENDURrun on the calendar has kept his training strong and focused. It wasn’t easy, but he never regretted it, and it’s showing why, now. He is already looking towards the Ultimate for 2018, but as he is graduating from the University of Guelph next April, he is wisely taking some extra time this year before deciding whether he will actually sign up. After an extended period without A races, Nick is excited to finally have the flexibility in his schedule to add some fast ones, including Fall 5 KM Classic or Road 2 Hope half marathon this fall. We know his fitness has come a long way and we’re looking forward to seeing his speed post-ENDURrun!

2017 ENDURrun Stage 3: 30 KM Trail Run

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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. Shuttles of people to Elmira are available in Conestogo, and shuttles of gear back are available from the start line.

Division Sex Age Bib Estimated Start Time First Name Last Name
Guest F 33 302 8:00 Sohaila Shakari
Guest M 60 442 8:01 Chris Battaglia
Guest F 21 426 8:02 Holly McIntyre
Guest M 22 425 8:03 Tyler Kehl
Relay F 40 204 8:04 Jaime Lynn Reichle
Ultimate F 47 101 8:05 Michelle Barnes
Guest M 50 305 8:06 Sean Tamkin
Sport M 37 303 8:07 Chris Ladubec
Guest F 29 427 8:08 Rachel Zimner
Ultimate F 39 105 8:09 Sara Blanchett
Ultimate M 34 26 8:10 William Spaetzel
Ultimate F 36 104 8:11 Sonja Bissegger
Ultimate F 36 102 8:12 Angela Bell
Ultimate M 59 4 8:13 Ed Andringa
Ultimate M 67 5 8:14 Glen Avery
Ultimate F 31 110 8:15 Rachael Drost
Ultimate F 51 106 8:16 Amanda Booth
Sport F 39 301 8:17 Sharon Ditner
Relay F 55 213 8:18 Susan Moizer
Ultimate M 62 11 8:19 Wilf Goron
Ultimate F 49 117 8:20 Maureen Pecknold
Ultimate M 36 14 8:21 Andrew Heij
Guest M 47 401 8:22 Thomas Barnes
Guest M 8:23 Mark Byerley
Guest M 71 434 8:24 Doug Cunningham
Ultimate M 44 20 8:25 Michael Mahoney
Ultimate M 49 23 8:26 Michel Pawlicz
Ultimate M 55 2 8:27 Denis Allen
Ultimate M 56 16 8:28 Ronald Irwin
Relay F 43 203 8:29 Melanie Lynch
Relay F 20 210 8:30 Klaudia Dunne
Ultimate F 42 118 8:31 Cathy Putman
Ultimate M 35 21 8:32 Mark McDonald
Ultimate F 33 115 8:33 Rebecca Kruisselbrink
Sport M 40 304 8:34 Joel Miller
Guest M 8:35 Mike Mazurek
Relay F 50 212 8:36 Joanne Bink
Relay M 41 211 8:37 Chris Mintz
Ultimate M 37 25 8:38 Luke Simon
Ultimate F 39 103 8:39 Trish Benoit
Ultimate M 41 24 8:40 Aaron Putman
Ultimate M 47 19 8:41 Jack Kilislian
Relay M 59 214 8:42 Ernest Forster
Ultimate F 38 119 8:43 Amy Robitaille
Ultimate M 25 12 8:44 Ian Grzegorczyk
Ultimate M 54 18 8:45 Patrick Kelly
Relay M 36 202 8:46 Martin Chmiel
Relay F 207 8:47 Emily Dodge
Ultimate F 47 112 8:48 Valery Hobson
Ultimate F 41 109 8:49 Catherine Desrosiers
Ultimate M 39 8 8:50 Merzi Dastoor
Ultimate M 35 17 8:51 Andrew Keeves
Ultimate M 31 15 8:52 Thaddeus Homewood
Ultimate F 38 121 8:53 Vicki Zandbergen
Relay F 40 209 8:54 Robyn Collins
Ultimate M 47 13 8:55 Stefan Gudmundson
Guest M 8:56 Colin Rhodes
Relay M 205 8:57 Lucas Shwed
Relay M 28 201 8:58 Graham Stonebridge
Relay M 46 208 8:59 Jonathan Fugelsang
Relay M 206 9:00 Joel Reany
Ultimate M 23 7 9:01 Nick Burt
Ultimate M 25 1 9:02 Robert Brouillette

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Five years between Ultimate entries is a long time.

Of the 2017 Ultimate field, Merzi Dastoor has taken the second most years between Ultimate finishes (his previous was 2012). Many Ultimate runners compete for one single year, or run many, often consecutive years. Merzi was one of those one-timers until we were pleasantly surprised to find out in June that he was back in for 2017, if only because it is generally so rare to have such a large gap between entries. As his family has grown and as Merzi has kept busy with a variety of sports, he has also continued to be involved with Run Waterloo and ENDURrun, and it’s great for everything to come together for another Ultimate this year. So being back for the week, is it as he remembers? “It’s like coming home, again.” Except for the Stage 5 course, which is more technical and less flat than the last time! Excuse me if we’ve covered this before, but it’s the people and the food that really stand out as excellent, five years on.

Merzi is lucky to have some good competition in the cumulative rankings, both in 2012, and again this year, with spots 4-10 separated by less than 20 minutes after Stage 5. Being in the middle of these battles has some perks, including that Merzi has a witnessed one of (many of) the cool on-course moments of ENDURrun 2017. For this we need some context: Catherine was trailing Vicki for 1st Overall by 6:43 after Stage 3. About halfway through Stage 4, Vicki made what she describes as a series of “rookie mistakes” – first by carrying fuel for the 10 miler, and then by stopping to pick it up – because she had dropped it! Merzi, who has had a back-and-forth battle with Vicki all week (the gap was less than two minutes after Stage 4), had the perfect view of the episode unfolding in front of him. Vicki turns around, which is a bizarre thing to witness in a race, especially with the Gold Jersey involved, and Merzi knows things are about to get interesting. And it would, as he sees Catherine make a move, and go on to extend the gap and win the Stage by 43 seconds, marking the first (and so far, only) time the cumulative leader has seen their lead decrease. It’s a case of right place, right time, and it only happens when battles are close.

Thanks for sharing that. Great having you back, Merzi!

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One of the early storylines of ENDURrun 2017 was the enforcement of time limits, the tweaking of some limits, and the resulting community debate.

In the months since, as 12:30pm on Tuesday, August 15 drew closer, not many people were more affected by that deadline than Michelle Barnes. Of the seven Stages, 3, 4, and 5 can be the tightest. Michelle Barnes has created two of the moments of ENDURrun 2017 with her finishes in Stages 3 and 4, coming in a combined 6:15 under the time limits.

2017 ENDURrun Stage 3: 30 KM Trail Run

Michelle commutes over an hour each way during ENDURrun, so we conducted this interview by email. That gives us the opportunity, to publish in her own words, Michelle’s journey to this point and her outlook for this morning.

“I originally withdrew from the event because I had a knee injury and I knew that my breathing would not enable me to finish within the time limits. I didn’t want to force the volunteers to stay longer because of me, and I also was very prideful. I’ve never DNF’d, so why should I intentionally put myself in a situation where I was guaranteed one? I stopped running for a few months, and during that time my knee seemed to have healed. So did my pride and ego. I started running again and realized that a DNS is worse than a DNF and that I should just do what I could. So here I am, not worried about missing a time cutoff because that’s not what ENDURrun is about. It is about pushing yourself to your limit. It’s about finding out just how strong you really are, even when you think you can’t possibly make it. It’s about supporting each other and having your ENDURrun family believe in you even when you don’t quite believe in yourself. I am so incredibly glad that I decided to run the event anyway, even if I do spend every stage doubting myself. I don’t think I’ll make the cutoff on Friday because of the ski hills, but I will still do my best and will be proud of myself no matter how long it takes me. Besides, there is a huge advantage to coming in last – I get the biggest cheering section!

I want to thank all of the volunteers! It is so exciting to see who is at each aid station or who is marshaling various points along the course. Everyone is so enthusiastic and supportive. I also want to thank all of the other runners who tell me that I am doing a great job as they pass me; if I don’t verbally respond at the time it is because I am focusing on my breathing and can’t talk. I do appreciate the encouragement even if it doesn’t appear that way at the time.”

Michelle is currently halfway through her second lap here at Stage 5. Good luck! Update: Michelle made it in 7 minutes under the cutoff! How does she feel? “I’m shocked.” Congratulations!

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It’s hard to believe that we’ve known the Putmans for eight years now.

It took some prodding from Paul Mora and Mark McDonald just to get them into the Relay competition, and then several years of organizing teams (2010-2013) before Cathy finally took the plunge in 2014. Both she and Aaron have extensive histories of ultramarathoning, multisport, and international competitions, so it wasn’t until 2017 that we finally get to see them in action together.

Throughout the years, ENDURrun has always felt like home to the Putmans. Although they live in Durham Region now, Cathy grew up in Kitchener, so the rest day is a good opportunity to spend time with friends and family, and of course, stop in at KW Health Connection.

ENDURrun history is checkered with many couples, and the Putmans will join that group on Sunday!


2017 ENDURrun Stage 2: 15 KM Time Trial

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Without a doubt, Jack Kilislian is one of the most enthusiastic ENDURrunners.

In a community brimming with enthusiasm, Jack stands out. He is often one of the first runners to arrive and and one of the last to leave. He’s a fixture at all ENDURrun socials – including the rest day brunch, where we caught up with him today – and is well known for always lending a helping hand to volunteers. But Jack has another extraordinary claim to fame: more often than not, Jack is the first registrant for next year’s event (2018 included).

Why is Jack making the commitment so early, year after year? Simply put, it’s his “favourite running week of the year.” It’s a vacation, it’s and a strong community experience. He relishes the chance to feel like a professional runner (if you haven’t experienced the care of the ENDURrun food crew, you’re missing out). Many people need goals to plan towards or a commitment to ensure training, but with Jack, it’s just a no-brainer. (We truly appreciate the support!)

Jack approaches the subject of ENDURrun training as a dedicated ultrarunner. He sees the training for ENDURrunning and ultramarathoning as complementary to each other. (This is a topic we will explore in depth over the next year). This year, Jack is able to enjoy the event a little more than usual, as it is the first year since 2011 that he hasn’t run an ultra the day before Stage 1!

So you know where Jack will be on August 12, 2018. Who’s ready to join him!

At the time of writing, we have Rebecca, Merlin, Ashley, Race Day Mark, and Maureen too!