Posted by & filed under 2019.

As is typical this time of year, Robert Brouillette is dark on social media. We made the effort to catch up with him and challenger Josh Bolton for a quick update.

Each year since 2015, top finishers in the women’s race have been considerably closer than for the men. Robert Brouillette has excelled as he as chased times from 2003 and 2004, and has always won the week-long Ultimate race by over 30 minutes.

Having Josh Bolton in the field this year presents the possibility of one of the most exciting men’s races of all time. With both guys chasing historical times, we could see Stage records fall this year, or even sub-10 hour times – none of which has happened since 2004.

Since there is no apparent rivalry – these Grand River Endurance teammates say they’re just excited to compete with and against each other – we’ll take a look at some key factors:

Experience – Rob

Rob has raced and recovered at ENDURrun for four years and has a wealth of data and feel. Not to discount Josh, who has coached Rob during this time and has extensive recovery plans of his own. Rob defied some expectations in his debut in 2015, but even still, he had run Stage 7 the previous year as a Relay runner.

Speed – Josh

Josh has the edge here, with faster PBs in the 10k and half marathon. Rob isn’t far behind, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see Josh snag a Gold Jersey in the first few days of the competition.

Health – Wildcard

Rob is healthy but not in his own top form, and Josh is on a strong comeback from achilles surgery in the fall. Until we see it, it’s hard to know how much separation there is.

Course experience – Rob

We put experience in twice because of the advantage that Rob has earned by leaving sweat and footprints on every turn of every course over a long period of time. Even the Stage 2 course move is directly into Rob’s stomping grounds of Cambridge, Ontario. Josh has strong reconnaissance on every Stage … except Chicopee.

Motivation – Toss Up

Both guys express sincere motivation to achieve historic wins. We don’t think it’s wise to doubt either of them.

Prediction

If you like the top-end speed, or if you value the experience even higher, then you have your obvious answer. But until he is unseated, Rob is the four-time defending champion.

Pictured: Rob and Josh at Stage 4 in 2016.

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Hi I’m Chris! I love running. Especially trails. This will be my second Endurrun Ultimate. Before that I did Endurrun Sport once, and have participated in several stages as a guest over the years. It is my favourite week of the year! I am looking forward to running and eating great food with everyone!

We were super happy to see Chris Ladubec squeak into the Ultimate less than a week before it starts!

What are your ENDURrun 2019 stories? I didn’t think I was going to be able to sign up for Endurrun Ultimate this year, but thanks to the support of my wonderful wife Robi, I was able to sign up. It would be nice to beat my time from last year, but realistically I will be happy with a finish.

What are you most looking forward to about ENDURrun 2019? The entire 8 days!!

What are you nervous about, if anything? I rolled my ankle at the end of July, I hope it holds up.

Can you share any details of your training? Like last year I didn’t specifically train for this event, but will again attempt to rely on whatever fitness is left from my last race. I attempted the Sulphur Springs 100 miler this year at the end of May. I ran 140 km, but was too slow for the final 20 km. I wasn’t fast enough for all the mud and the 30 hour cutoff. Since then I have been mostly trying to recover, while working a bit on getting faster. I have mostly been recovering with short runs and maybe 20-50 km a week. I have also been lifting weights about once a week. I only found out that running Endurrun this year was possible for me at the beginning of August.

What is your runner profile? I have been running for about 10 years now. I started to help me quit smoking cigarettes. My weeks are inconsistent, some I don’t run at all, and my peak weeks in training are about 80-100 km. I run about 1400 km a year. Over the last few years I have run many marathons and ultras (slowly). I prefer trails, but run on all surfaces.

Posted by & filed under 2019, Contender.

Running is terrific fitness and provides great wellness in my life.

Bob Baxter has made a habit out of signing up in the last week before ENDURrun each of the past two years! Welcome back!!

You’ve trained for Ultimate before. What did you learn that you will build from (or avoid) this time around? Likely important to do more trail and hill running at Chicopee or similar than I did.

Besides training, what will be the same and/or different about this Ultimate compared to your first completion? I have better knowledge of stretches for post race and will get massage after chicopee and marathon.

What is the one piece of advice that you’re glad you knew/you wish you knew before your first completion? Spend lots of time stretching, and focus on sciatic nerve, IT Band, inner quads, and hip stretches.

What are your ENDURrun 2019 stories? Have a healthy race.

What are you most looking forward to about ENDURrun 2019? Congratulating Lloyd on an amazing event and seeing old friends and meeting new ones.

What are you nervous about, if anything? Getting a flat on a downhill:)

Can you share any details of your training? I was able to put in several back to back long runs in the last 4 weeks, and one week with lots of km (only time I had after recovering injury).

What is your runner profile? Running since 2011 to prepare for 1st marathon in late 2011.

What else would you like to share? Run for fitness forever.

Posted by & filed under 2019, Contender.

Hey everyone, looking forward to meeting the new rookies and catching up with everyone else

Mark McDonald is one of five members of the 2019 field who are going for Ultimate Number 9. Number 9. Number 9.

How is your training going? Training was going well until I was sidelined with a stress fracture in March 2019. I have been back into routine since June, but it has been a struggle to find my way since then, I have not been successful in getting long runs in – still too many aches and pains

How will your ENDURrun 2019 compare to previous years? It will be a disaster lol 😂

What are the key pieces of advice to Rookies that you’ve learned over the years? Pace yourself, don’t get caught up in the races of others and have fun.

For someone who has never been to ENDURrun week, what should they expect? A summer camp like experience

What about ENDURrun keeps you coming back? The physical challenge and the camaraderie

What are your ENDURrun 2019 stories? I don’t have any expectations going into 2019 – I will take it one stage at a time and keep pushing until I can’t push any further.

What can we follow-up with you about in August for a profile part 2? Are my legs holding up to make it through the week.

What are you most looking forward to about ENDURrun 2019? I like seeing the rookies experience endurrun for the first time. I have a friend that will be a first timer coming and looking forward to seeing her experiences.

What are you nervous about, if anything? Finishing

Can you share any details of your training? I have only been running a few days a week and my mileage max was 14km. Prior to my stress fracture I was running a 30km every weekend

What is your runner profile? I started running in 2006 as a way to combat weight loss. I started at 10km distance for racing, and jumped to the half marathon distance the same year in 2007. In 2009 I joined a Running Room clinic and this began my racing career and helped develop my skills and knowledge of pacing, nutrition, cross training, etc. I have made significant gains since then, and progressed to marathon distance and triathlon, completing 4 Ironmans since 2012. I have completed 26 marathons, countless half marathons and 8 ENDURrun Ultimate finishes. I now lead a group of runners out of Lifetime Fitness Ajax

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To those that know me… Hello Again… to those that don’t… well I am sure you’ll hear my voice throughout the week.

Trevor Boss has already made history by being the first person on the wait list. So the expectations are sky high 🙂

How did you find out about ENDURrun?
Adam Dixon

What convinced you to take the plunge?
Adam Dixon

What exposure did you have to ENDURrun 2018?
Relay member with H+P

What advice have you been collecting? What are your sources?
run hard relax harder

What are your ENDURrun 2019 goals?
Finish each day with a smile… avoid cramping

What are you most looking forward to about ENDURrun 2019?
Burning a lot of Calories

Posted by & filed under 2019.

The Running Rarebits will be out in full force next week, with a Relay team, at least 10 Ultimates, and a massive spectating, cheering, and volunteering contingent.

Before the week kicks off, we wanted to draw some attention to the massive effort that the Rarebits are undertaking in 2019: Rarebits do ENDURrun Food.

For this piece, we talked with team leader Rachael Drost and committee members Adrienne Farrell and Nick Maude, as well as ENDURrun Race Director Lloyd Schmidt.

Rarebits do ENDURrun Food

ENDURrun food is legendary, which is a blessing and a curse. With our longtime food crew retiring after 2018, we needed a fresh take in 2019 and so we approached the first group we thought would be up to the challenge.

What sets The Rarebits apart from any other running club we know is the focus on community service as an essential part of the culture. Not only have Rarebits always had a strong volunteer presence in Run Waterloo/ENDURrun already, but they have tons of experience doing coordinated volunteering activities at events of all kinds. So we presented the group with an offer they couldn’t refuse – or something like that. Either way, we were both thrilled with the opportunity.

As to what participants can expect: the old favorites, with a few updates. “We don’t want to mess with success! Therefore, we will be following the general meal plan and process that has worked for years. Expect a few new dishes and many new faces.”

It’s hard to describe the enormity of the undertaking. At least 30 Rarebits are directly helping with food preparation, shopping, delivery, setup, service and clean up. They are enthusiastically up for the challenge of maintaining our high standards, which include feeding around 140 people each day, ensuring there is plenty of food for all regardless of role and finish time, along with accounting for allergies, sensitivities, and preferences. All the food must be portable to all the different race locations. There is extensive planning and preparation for this event – not just the food but organizing the volunteers and dealing with issues that arise.

2018 ENDURrun Stage 3: 30k

As an Ultimate alumna (2017), Rachael has extra insight. “It’s given me a good foundation of the level of expectations that are expected by past participants! The food has always been plentiful, mostly home made, and of great quality.. and past participants have come to expect that .. it’s been helpful to know the bar that’s been set!”

Please Share the Love!

Volunteers in general are an essential part of our community. Rarebits have extensive experience volunteering, so we worked with them to come up with a few easy reminders to keep everything running smoothly:
• Thank your volunteers early and often 🙂
• Remember that volunteers are people – not pylons 🙂
• Don’t take any frustrations you have out on the volunteers 🙂
• Bring your own plate! 🙂

More on the Running Rarebits

The Rarebits are a running community that focuses on charity, good sportsmanship and inclusivity. The motto “You don’t have to be fast – but you have to be fun” sets the tone for a group that welcomes runners of all skill levels and capabilities, and supports each member’s individual running goals. There is no official membership fee or paperwork – you can become a member by having an existing member vouch for you as Rarebit material. There are currently over 250 members across Ontario, and even a strong Northern chapter in Yellowknife.
You will always see a Rarebit volunteer at any local running event, and beyond. Rarebits also volunteer for many other events and causes. Rarebits are very involved in fundraising and volunteer work. Members fundraise for many great causes – there is always a fundraising campaign going on, for example, current campaigns include:
Chris Mintz for Kidsability
• Rich Peers is coordinating his Job Runner 24 hour run/walk for the Grand River Cancer Centre
• The Hergott family is working on the Terry Fox run
• Clay Williams is organizing the Monarch Ultra run as well as the Canal Pursuit to raise money for the Mood Disorders Society
• Jill Monroe is helping to organize Strides for Melanoma.
Jen Gaduoa‘s Race Across Waterloo region fundraiser for the Sexual Assault Support Centre
The Rarebits also organize many social events and runs. From regular run groups to informal organized runs (eg. a recent Campfire race / Smores event BBQ). ENDURrun kicks off for Rarebits with a Rally weekend featuring softball (Go Burnt Toast!), a pool party, and the second annual 2K Cider run.
Believe it or not, they find time for running too. From those working on their first 5k to 200mile races and everything in between.

Thank you Running Rarebits, on behalf of the ENDURrun organizers, and all participants!

Posted by & filed under 2019, Contender.

I look forward to seeing old friends and making new ones.

You could say it wouldn’t feel like ENDURrun without “fill in the blank” and it would be true, but it’s especially true for Ronald Irwin! Welcome back!!

How is your training going? Routine, starting in late April its been an Ultra or Marathon every 2 weeks. I throw in a little bit of speed work now and again nothing too structured.

How will your ENDURrun 2019 compare to previous years? Similar, I would be happy with one Endur PB, it would be fantastic if it was the 1/2.

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

For someone who has never been to ENDURrun week, what should they expect? Friendly competition from the front to the back of the pack.

What about ENDURrun keeps you coming back? Its a yearly running vacation with some great participants and organizers.

What are your ENDURrun 2019 stories? #1 goal , don’t leave anything on the course…run fast, run at my limits.

What can we follow-up with you about in August for a profile part 2? What is my 2019 max heart rate?

What are you most looking forward to about ENDURrun 2019? Everything.

What are you nervous about, if anything? If there was a 5 km event I would be nervous otherwise no worries!

Can you share any details of your training? I the past year I average around 200 km / month trying to get a 30 km run at least every 10 days. I run a lot of short slow runs occasionally doing a little bit of speed work.

What is your runner profile? I identify as a ” Trail Runner”. I started running in 2003 doing my first race in 2005 the ” Trillium 10K”. Hit the trail in 2007 running the “Dam Tuff Ruff Bluff 25k” and never looked back. Peaked in 2011 running Boston and my first 100 miler celebrating my 50th Birthday. Since the first Ultra in 2008 I have logged 110 + Marathons or longer the majority being ” 50Kers” .

Posted by & filed under 2019, Contender.

Looking forward to seeing everyone!

Denis Allen is back for Ultimate #6, and his first three-peat!

How is your training going? I have a running coach (H+P) now and a solid routine with a lot recovery volume based running 80K to 110K weeks and I keep chipping away at increasing my speed. My week consists of 4-5 Recovery Runs, 1 Long run and 1 Speed run. It’s working to keep me healthy and I am enjoying it.

How will your ENDURrun 2019 compare to previous years? For 2019 my plan is stay healthy during the week and make some improvement on my time.

What are the key pieces of advice to Rookies that you’ve learned over the years? Enjoy the week, treat it like a fitness vacation and have fun. Learn from the experienced Ultimates, engage in conversation and make friends. You can make the week competitive if you need that edge by finding a group of runners that match your pace and use them for your race strategies. That’s fun too.

For someone who has never been to ENDURrun week, what should they expect? A friendly, supportive and running family atmosphere.

What about ENDURrun keeps you coming back? Besides the friendly, supportive and the running family atmosphere. I think the ENDURrun has now become my center for my overall running purpose and hope it will be there for many years to come.
Sophomore questions

What are your ENDURrun 2019 stories? The 2019 ENDURrun will be my 6th Ultimate and I have slowed down. This was mainly due to injuries. My fastest year was my first ENDURrun in 2011. This past year, I have got a running coaching to help me get back on top of things and have been very happy with the progress. This year should be a step in improvements and my goal is to stay healthy, have fun and improve my times.

What are you most looking forward to about ENDURrun 2019? Seeing everyone again this year and the camaraderie.

What are you nervous about, if anything? On June 24th 2019 I wiped out on a trail and sprained my right ankle. Everything looks OK after some recovery, but it will be in the back of my mind when we run Bechtel and Chicopee so I will need to stay focused on those run and make sure my root avoidance radar is turned on.

Can you share any details of your training? Lots of recovery volume based running 80K to 110K weeks. My week consists of 4-5 Recovery Runs, 1 Long run and 1 Speed run.

What is your runner profile? I ran cross country in public school and track in high school. That was over 40 years ago. At that time, I was able to run a sub-5 minute mile. In 2009, I got back into running for the fitness and being a competitive person, the racing. My main goal was a sub-20 minute 5K and I got close, 20:21. I changed my focus to longer distance and in 2011 started running the ENDURrun as an Ultimate. Out of the gate it went well, then over the years I started running into small issues with my left hamstring and glute and started slowing down, lost my running mojo too. But, I didn’t give it up, kept trying to get back at it. In 2017, I went back after my main goal again sub-20 minute 5K and that is where my bigger focus is right now but at the same time keeping up with the longer distance running. To help me get there I started with coaching (H+P) in Oct 2018 and this has helped big time. I am happy in the direction I am going and hopefully soon I will bust the sub-20 minute 5K. Once that is accomplished I will set a new goal.

What else would you like to share? I am really looking forward to this running week. I treat it like a fitness vacation.

Posted by & filed under 2019, Contender.

I can’t wait to run with all of you!

Colleen Sweeney is back for her second Ultimate and has promised to wear these shorts!

You’ve trained for Ultimate before. What did you learn that you will build from (or avoid) this time around? I learned that your mind can take you beyond what you think is possible. And hill….run more hills!

Besides training, what will be the same and/or different about this Ultimate compared to your first completion in 2015? The the family-like atmosphere of the entire event will be the same. So looking forward to it!

What is the one piece of advice that you’re glad you knew/you wish you knew before 2015? I wish I had known that you can get injured running down hills!

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

What are your ENDURrun 2019 stories? As a long time runner who was always mid-pack, I have found myself getting closer to the back of the pack in the years since I turned 50. I love pushing my personal limits and am striving to simply beat the cut-offs. That would be total victory for me! That, and to have fun each day!

What can we follow-up with you about in August for a profile part 2? Did I meet my goals?

What are you most looking forward to about ENDURrun 2019? The hills, the friends, the food!

What are you nervous about, if anything? The hills!

Can you share any details of your training? Trying to do as much hill training as possible but struggle to find adequate hills in my area so keep running up and down the same darn hill!

What is your runner profile? 30 years running, mileage has varied depending on what was going on in my life, mostly roads.

Posted by & filed under 2019, Contender.

SO happy to be running with you all again this year! Have the best time!

Rebecca Kruisselbrink has improved her overall time substantially in her second and third Ultimates. What is in store for number four?

How is your training going? good routine, building a bit of volume, and speedwork; trying to stave off a few threatening injuries that seem to stick around too!

How will your ENDURrun 2019 compare to previous years? no big changes….running because I can, because I love it, and because every race challenges me in different ways

What are the key pieces of advice to Rookies that you’ve learned over the years? 1. smile! 2. enjoy the week – every race, every loop of Chicopee, and every step of the second loop of the marathon! it’s a whole year till it happens again! 3. embrace the camaraderie of the ENDURrun family!

For someone who has never been to ENDURrun week, what should they expect? You will be challenged in a way you’ve never felt before; you’ll go places and accomplish things, running, you never thought you could….and you’ll receive more encouragement and support before, after, and during each event than you thought possible.

What are your ENDURrun 2019 stories? My goal is to run strong, avoid injury, PB a few stages, and negative split the marathon 🙂 Last year I finished in tears because I BQ’d on the marathon….this year I want to finish smiling 🙂

What can we follow-up with you about in August for a profile part 2? ask me how the right plantar fascia feels – ask me if I still love running in the heat…..and ask me if EndurRun is still my favourite running event in the entire year (ie, better than Comrades and better than Boston)…..because it will be, and I’ll elaborate!

What are you most looking forward to about ENDURrun 2019? EVERYTHING.

What are you nervous about, if anything? Injury. Plantar fascia has been giving me problems. I dont’ want to get hurt….I want to run!

Can you share any details of your training? I train on 30% trails, 70% road; 80-100 km a week, sometimes more and sometimes less; try to get in a workout once or twice a week with H+P or on my own; and have been out to Chicopee a few times.

What is your runner profile? See above. Running since 2014. Milestones in 2019: Boston marathon; Comrades back to back; and…..first 100 miler (registered for Hali) if all goes well!

What else would you like to share? EndurRun is one of the most unique events I’ve been part of. It gets better every single year. Thank you thank you thank you to everyone who makes it happen!