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Hello Running Enthusiasts, cannot wait to run with you all!

Follow this blog for profiles on the 2018 ENDURrun Ultimate Contenders.

Related: Full blog series | Full list of Contenders

Welcome home Smiley Savvas. Your attitude is a beautiful thing! 

 

ENDURrun: What about ENDURrun keeps you coming back?

Smiley Savvas: The feeling of being part of an amazing family of runners for an entire week and spending time with volunteers and Schmidt family and catching up with running friends. My first ultimate was in 2009 where I met many amazing runners that I have kept in touch with (Jack Kilislian, Joanne Bink, Jodi Kalman, Suzan Moizer, Andrew Moizer, etc.). It’s also opportunity to run in my hometown of Kitchener-Waterloo.

 

What are your ENDURrun 2018 stories? 

The 2018 ENDURrun will be my 4th ultimate and as I slow down my running goals, I hope to get more pleasure and satisfaction in encouraging my fellow runners to achieve their running goals. Recently, I trained my friend, who turned 40 and has 3 young kids, to complete his first marathon (2018 Cornwall Marathon) and the satisfaction and joy as I ran with him from start to finish was priceless and I hope to help many more people.

 

What are you most looking forward to about ENDURrun 2018?

Spending time with Lloyd Schmidt and family, discussing about running adventures, trips, and catching up with fellow runners. My running goal are to finish under 15 hours!

 

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

To cherish each stage and the volunteers and Schmidt family. It’s a magical experience that will not be replicated, so don’t run too hard early to conserve energy for stage 5 and 7 as they are tough!

 

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

Each runner will be treated like a winner and there is a sense of community amongst runners supporting each other to finish! The chance to hang out with Lloyd and Julie Schmidt and their amazing family, to feel an energy of caring and support from day one to the last.

 

What are you nervous about, if anything?

I am nervous about the feeling of my legs after 3 days of continuous running, but looking forward to the amazing buffet style cuisine after each race.

 

How is your training going? 

My training started slowly as Ottawa winters are tough on running, but I have done a few half-marathons and the Cornwall marathon. I am doing many trail races this sumer to help me for Stage 3 and the dreaded Stage 5 – Chicopee. I run about 30-45 km per week, but it will vary between hills, trails and road running. I don’t run as much as I used to and personally, I find it more liberating and allows to focus on my other hobbies, like painting, reading, and world history.

 

How will your ENDURrun 2018 compare to previous years?

I hope to beat my 2015 ENDURrun where we had unusually hot year and I struggled that year, especially the marathon distance, but Joanne and Vicki helped inspire me to stick with it and finish!

 

What is your runner profile? 

I started running in high school for track and cross-country about 25 years ago, but I have been mostly doing road races from 2004 to present. I have completed 29 full marathons in 17 different cities – I love travelling and learning about new cultures and trying out different cuisines. The three most beautiful marathons I have completed are (1) Victoria, BC, (2) Athens Greece, and (3) Big Sur California.

 

What else would you like to share?

The ENDURrun is a homecoming for me (born and raised in Kitchener), and I love the runners, volunteers and Schmidt family as they welcome me with open arms and I keep coming up every other year or so. Also, I have ran most of these races with my identical twin brother and it’s a great experience to share together!

After ENDURrun, I will be doing a few trail races (Haliburton 50K) and visiting my dad and my family on a beautiful Greek Island!

 

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

The feeling of running with your friends for an entire week and sharing the same pain and aches as we are all human! Sharing stories, laughing and inspiring each other through wisdom and encouragement!

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Hi everyone! I’m looking forward to being a part of this – can’t wait to get started!

Follow this blog for profiles on the 2018 ENDURrun Ultimate Contenders.

Related: Full blog series | Full list of Contenders

Dave Harmsworth is a wildcard in this competition. He’s got the speed and the mileage, so who knows where this Rookie campaign will go!!

 

ENDURrun: How did you find out about ENDURrun?

Dave: I remember hearing about plans for it before the inaugural event. I was fascinated by the concept!

 

What convinced you to take the plunge?

I’ve been thinking about it ever since I started running again two/three years ago. I figure I’m in the best shape I’ve been in for 18 years, and not getting any younger…. if not now then when?

 

What advice have you been collecting? 

I’ve been reading the other contender bios and testimonials, but that’s it. Perhaps I’ll have some advice for others afterwards about how not to prepare?

 

What are you still hoping to learn?

I need to figure out my pacing for the longer stages – and how to stay hydrated.

 

What are your ENDURrun 2018 stories? 

I think of myself as a 10k runner, so this will be a massive challenge. Stage 7 will be my first-ever marathon! Of course I have some times in mind, but the #1 goal is to survive the week without injury.

 

What are you most looking forward to about ENDURrun 2018?

Everything I love about race day – times 7.  

 

What exposure did you have to ENDURrun 2017? 

I ran Stage 4, came out to watch the marathon, and followed online.

 

What are you nervous about, if anything?

The three longest stages. Each one of them is going to be longer and/or tougher than any race I’ve ever done.

 

Can you share any details of your training? 

I’ve been gradually increasing my mileage since January, from 40-ish to 80 km/week, with occasional tough weeks and recovery weeks. I’ve included a few 30k runs (which I still find tough), and in April I did do something like a mock EndurRun – similar mileage over eight days, except with fewer hills and just 30k on the final day instead of the full marathon.

 

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

I’ve been in and out of running over the years. I ran track in high school, ran cross-country and road races in grad school, and now I’ve returned to it again in my 40s. Almost all road now – I like trail-running, but I’m a bit gun-shy after a couple of scary falls.

 

What else would you like to share?

I wouldn’t be doing this without my wife’s help and support. Thanks, Deb! 🙂

 

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

The multi-stage format. If there was a similar event in the area with shorter distances, I would have done it long ago.

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Hello running family! My name is Deirdre but you know me as Dee. So excited to be heading back for my 4th Ultimate this year. Every year has brought a new challenge, new goals and very sweet people into my life. And the quest for that perfect tank top!

 

Follow this blog for profiles on the 2018 ENDURrun Ultimate Contenders.

Related: Full blog series | Full list of Contenders

After an Ultimate hiatus of one year, we’re super excited to have Deirdre Large back on the other side of the start line this year!

 

ENDURrun: How will your ENDURrun 2018 compare to previous years?

Deirdre: I’m hoping to finish each stage before the cutoff! This wasn’t really a concern in past years but with my recovery now I’m a bit worried.

 

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

Get plenty of sleep between stages. RELAX as best you can between stages. Enjoy and embrace all the “non racing” parts of the week. It’s a very special experience when you do.

 

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

They can expect to be welcomed with open arms, cared for as a competitor in all aspects of racing and end every day well fed.

 

What about ENDURrun keeps you coming back?

all of the above! And the Schmidt family <3

 

What are your ENDURrun 2018 stories? 

My first ENDURrun in 2014 was part of my #bigscarygoals year. First 30km race, first full marathon and finally, first Ultimate at ENDURrun that year. My goal every year is to not fall at Chicopee Stage 5 (still a thing), RUN up the hill every loop at Bechtel Stage 3 (nope) and not lose a toenail. One outta three ain’t bad…..

 

What are you most looking forward to about ENDURrun 2018?

The people. Always the people. And happy healthy Lloyd.

 

What are you nervous about, if anything?

Making the cutoffs for every stage!

 

Can you share any details of your training?

I’ve always tried to do a few back to back long runs. Get used to running on tired legs. And a bunch of runs on Wilmot Line, hills glorious hills! We are very lucky to live so close and train on the actual routes.

 

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

I’ve been running for 10 years, mostly daily short runs and 5km races for the first 5 years. But in the last 5 years I started training and running marathons, trail races (25 and 50km races) and even finished my first triathlon last year! But I still love my 8-10km daily runs around the neighbourhood the most.

 

What else would you like to share?

This week always feels like going home. The athletes, the volunteers, the supporters cheering us on and the Schmidt family. I still haven’t found any other running experience quite like it.  

 

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

One Tough Runner. I think the fact that it is a multi-stage race is very appealing. And that it is accessible to all levels of runners if they put in the training.

 

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

If my stress fracture survived the week.

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Hiya! Good luck everyone – I look forward to eating your dust.

Follow this blog for profiles on the 2018 ENDURrun Ultimate Contenders.

Related: Full blog series | Full list of Contenders

Welcome Sharon Ditner for your first Ultimate attempt!

 

ENDURrun: How far back do you go with ENDURrun?

Sharon: In 2008 I attempted put together a relay team but it fell apart. Three team members did their events – I chickened out of my 30 km event.

 

E: What convinced you to take the plunge ten years later?

S: I did the Sport option last year, was going to try to better my Sport result but that is not an option in 2018 – so I took the “plunge”. [Sport was a category offered from 2005-2017. We have discontinued that category for 2018.]

 

E: What are your ENDURrun 2018 stories? 

S: If I can finish this year I’ve been thinking about running for a charity in 2019.

 

E: What are you nervous about, if anything?

S: Chicopee and Bechtel Park.

 

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

S: The supportive vibe of the ENDURrun community; the runners, the volunteers, the spectators, friends and family – veterans and newbies coming together.

Posted by & filed under 2018, Contender.

Greeting and salutations, my excitement to meet again is gaining traction and growing by the week.

Follow this blog for profiles on the 2018 ENDURrun Ultimate Contenders.

Related: Full blog series | Full list of Contenders

We’re excited to see what Andrew Keeves (Winter) can do in 2018, without giving the field a 30 minute Stage 1 head start!

 

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

Winter: I signed up for ENDURrun 2017 on a whim so I started the training later than most, but I was pretty pleased overall with how my legs held up. This time around I’ll try to be as dedicated as when I was going for Boston qualifying. I’ll definitely do more hill and trail running (any trails would be more) as I was totally unprepared for the second trail stage.

 

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

W: Well, first off, I’ll show up on time. That seems to be a good way to save some energy for the late stages.

 

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

W: Not knowing anything about the courses except the distance and type of race was maybe the best thing for me. Now, when training, all I can think about is the hurt from Chicopee.

 

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

W: I was really drained. I generally recover quickly after races but this took a couple weeks to get my legs to a point I could run a comfortable 10 or 20k.

 

E: What are your ENDURrun 2018 stories? Motivations, goals, etc.

W: My competitive nature may create its own story. My overall goal is to beat my 2017 time while trying for a podium finish.

 

E: What are you most looking forward to about ENDURrun 2018?

W: To see how much more I can push myself.

 

E: What are you nervous about, if anything?

W: Hoping the job doesn’t get in the way so I can attend.

 

E: Can you share any details of your training? 

W: My training is pretty sporadic but signing up for races keeps me moving toward my goals.

 

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

W: I’ve been running and doing triathlons since 2012, I just like being active.

 

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

W: The small, close-knit community aspect, getting to meet the organizers, volunteers and competitors all.

 

Posted by & filed under 2018, Contender.

Hello, I am excited to join the Ultimate for the first time. Looking forward to meeting all crazy people!

Follow this blog for profiles on the 2018 ENDURrun Ultimate Contenders.

Related: Full blog series | Full list of Contenders

We love rookie contenders … welcome Mark Ishikawa!

 

What convinced you to take the plunge?

I used to be an ultra runner. When people call me CRAZY, that is my happiest moment. I wanted to feel that again this summer.

 

What exposure did you have to ENDURrun 2017? 

Was following online, dreaming I would run in 2018!

 

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

From my own experience for 35 years including 97 marathons and countless ultras

 

What are you still hoping to learn by August?

How to manage everyday races. I’ve never done three and more consecutive days.

 

What are your ENDURrun 2018 stories? 

I’m not afraid of distance itself. Speed/time is secondary. My goal is to finish all 7 races with happy smile 🙂

 

What are you most looking forward to about ENDURrun 2018?

Meeting extremely crazy people, and then feeling that I am still far from crazy

 

What is your runner profile? 

My first marathon was more than 30 years ago. Since then I’ve done 2-3 marathons per year. I’ve reached 97 marathons now. The day 7 marathon of Ultimate will be my 98th marathon (if I can finish). I participated in OUTRACE in 2015 series, was the 2nd place in Male 50+. Normally I do 150-250km/month on various surfaces such as dirt trail, paved roads, indoor track, treadmill. My favorite training route is Rail Trail in Hamilton.

 

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

Consecutive days, each day has its race. 

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Hello everyone! I am looking forward to returning to the ENDURrun in 2018 for my 8th consecutive year. I hope to see you there!

Follow this blog for profiles on the 2018 ENDURrun Ultimate Contenders.

Related: Full blog series | Full list of Contenders

Vicki is the defending Ultimate champion.

 

ENDURrun: What is your runner profile? 

Vicki: I started running casually in 2005, ran my first race in the fall of 2006 (Oktoberfest Run 5K). I love trail running but do enjoy racing on roads.

 

How is your training going? 

So far so good… nit mixing things up TOO much this year.

 

How will your ENDURrun 2018 compare to previous years?

Time will tell. 🙂

 

What are your ENDURrun 2018 stories? 

After surprising myself in 2017, I am hoping to build on that and (fingers crossed) maybe even improve in 2018.

 

What are you most looking forward to about ENDURrun 2018?

Seeing all the returning runners and meeting the new ones.

 

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

It’s a long week; take it one stage at a time, but don’t forget that you need to do it again tomorrow.  

 

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

ENDURrun is race/event experience like no other: superior organization, amazing food, the best people around (the runners, the volunteers, the spectators… everyone).

 

What about ENDURrun keeps you coming back?

See my answer to the previous question.

 

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

The variation in terrain and distance from day to day: a test of the all-around runner.

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Hi, my name is Slow Moe and I am addicted to ENDURrun. I keep saying “this is the last year” and I keep falling off the wagon…. it’s been since 2009 and I can’t break the habit.

 

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

Related: Full blog series | Full list of Contenders

Hi, we are ENDURrun, and we are addicted to hosting Maureen every August. 

 

ENDURrun: How will your ENDURrun 2018 compare to previous years?
Slow Moe: We’ll see! I’m hoping it will be a bit faster than last year.

What are your ENDURrun 2018 stories? Motivations, goals, etc.
As always, just to have fun.

What are you most looking forward to about ENDURrun 2018?
Seeing all the peeps.

What are you nervous about, if anything?
As always, getting through Chicopee…..

Can you share any details of your training? Mileage, simulations, etc?
I just go out and run.

What are the key pieces of advice to Rookies that you’ve learned over the years?
Don’t think ahead. Just do one day at a time and enjoy every km.

For someone who has never been to ENDURrun week, what should they expect?
Great company and great food!

What is the most important part of the ENDURrun identity that appeals to you?
Being a finisher of the tour de France of running.

I can hardly wait to see everyone!

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Hi. I’m Chris from Cornwall, I like to push myself when running but am pretty happy no matter what, as long as I get to run, spend time with other like minded people and eat and have a few drinks.

We’re back with daily posts for the next few weeks. Follow this blog for profiles on the 2018 ENDURrun Ultimate Contenders.

Related: Full blog series | Full list of Contenders

 

ENDURrun: What is your runner profile? 

Christian: I started running about 15 years ago. Mostly roads, but I enjoy trails, even though I’m not very technically strong. I usually like the longer races (21km-42km).

 

How will your ENDURrun 2018 compare to previous years?

If things go to plan, this year’s will be similar, run a strong (for me), well paced week.

 

What are your ENDURrun 2018 stories? 

I’m doing an Ironman on September 30th. I’m hoping to use my ENDURrun run strength to kick butt in my triathlon.

 

What are you most looking forward to about ENDURrun 2018?

Good weather, the food, a week off work and doing well in the run events.

 

What are you nervous about, if anything?

Pain in the butt (literally).   

 

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

Same general plan as most years, increased my max week from 100 to 140km. I run 6 times a week (80-140km); bike 4-5 times a week (approx 300km) and swim 3 times (12km).

 

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

Don’t lose hope during the week and if you feel beat-up. If you did the training, your body will loosen up each morning after a few km. It knows what to do.

 

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

Variety of courses, friendly faces, and great food.

 

What about ENDURrun keeps you coming back?

It’s a really well organised event, and a great personal challenge.

 

What else would you like to share?

I went to Laurier in late 90’s. Love the Waterloo area, looking forward to visiting some of my old stomping grounds. I’m biking around 4th of 5 great lakes this summer with my wife. I should have some cool adventure stories to share about that trip.

 

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

Low key, smaller # of participants

 

Look for us to follow up with Christian in August on how well he’s stuck with his strength and flexibility program: “My hips and glutes are not what they used to be now that I’m well into my 40s.”

 

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“Hey ENDURrunners! Can’t wait for August 12th!”

We’re back with daily posts for the next few weeks. Follow this blog for profiles on the 2018 ENDURrun Ultimate Contenders.

Related: Full blog series | Full list of Contenders

 

ENDURrun: How is your training going? 

Rebecca: Training is going well – had a strong start to the year but took a wee setback with illness and am working back up to distance and speed, slowly and carefully. Plan this year involves more interval training, more strength work, and more hills (always more hills!)   

 

How will your ENDURrun 2018 compare to previous years?

Not really sure – will have to wait and see! Plan to do my best every day, encourage all of the new (and old) faces on the course, and have a blast!   

 

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

ENDURrun is a family. The best piece of ‘advice’ I got my first day in 2016 was from Joanne Bink who said simply ‘welcome to the family’. That mentality makes an enormous difference to your week. The encouragement from spectators and aid station volunteers and other runners is amazing, heartfelt, and personal. Even disappointments (maybe your half marathon is slower than you wanted it to be) are easier to handle because the group cares about your race, supports you, and gets you out again the next day. The other piece of advice is – most of the volunteers and spectators around you are seasoned ENDURrunners – so their advice is WELL worth heeding!  

Congratulations and welcome to the new ENDURrunners in 2018. It’s a big step to take the plunge and register for this crazy event but I promise you it will be SO worth it.

 

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

Expect…..a fantastic variety of race styles and settings, the best post race food you’ve ever eaten, amazing race photos, tons of encouragement (by name)….oh, and expect to be tired. You will need to protect sleep time that week!  

 

What about ENDURrun keeps you coming back?

The races, the volunteers, the race courses, Lloyd and Julie and the entire Schmidt family, and the whole group of runners (and their families). I can’t believe how lucky I am to have this event in my own neighborhood.  

 

What are your ENDURrun 2018 stories? Motivations, goals, etc.

First goal is always to finish. Every.single.kilometer. Second goal is to finish with an overall faster time – even if just a few minutes 🙂 Third goal is to know every runner’s name by the end of the week. I got pretty close last year but not quite….the runner profile series is helping! Overall, though, I just want to enjoy the week. No matter what running-oriented goals I can or cannot achieve this year, being able to run is amazing – a privilege many athletes have taken away from them (my mom included) so every km I get to run, I’m thankful for.  

 

What are you most looking forward to about ENDURrun 2018?

Running down hill at Chicopee. (I’m serious – I LOVE those downhills).   

 

What are you nervous about, if anything?

I’m not really nervous about anything…..should I be?  

 

Can you share any details of your training? 

Sure! I get to about 70-80 km a week when I am training regularly. I’m building back to that mileage after an unexpected hospital stay in early April…..

I do intervals either on my own or with H&P once or twice a week; deliberate hill runs every couple of weeks, and strength training once or twice a week when I can. Long runs don’t happen every weekend, but I try, and sometimes I do two 20 kms back to back. I’ll have one, maybe two weeks where my mileage gets to over 100 km but those weeks are extremely rare (I’m very, very injury averse!)  

 

What is your runner profile? 

I ran 5 km distances frequently as a teenager and university student, but didn’t run my first half marathon till 2014 – Boston’s Run to Remember! Never looked back….first marathon was July 2014, and plenty more since! Every year, I do a mix of road and trail, find at least one new marathon and one new trail race, and try to find one race in a place I’ve never raced before. This year, it’ll be the Chicago Marathon if all goes well.

Oh – one other important thing….my favorite runs are the one I do with other people 🙂  

 

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

Camaraderie. Intensity. Striving for excellence while achieving an incredibly supportive environment.

 

Welcome back, Rebecca!