Sunday, July 27, 2014

Go Fast on Wellington

Have you ever had a run that is as perfect a run as a perfect run can be? A run that leaves you breathless and wanting more?  A run where the conversation is smart and rich. A run where the laughter flows freely and cracks like a whip? A run that is so intoxicating we become drunk with life and high with the oneness of the moment.

I happened upon Melissa, Christine, Tim, Scott, and Gary this morning as I trudged solo down Wellington Crescent. I'm currently training for the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon on October 5 and my schedule calls for 16 miles. This isn't a huge distance, but it's just long enough to register 'boring' on the fun-scale if running alone.

Like a sailor on a 24 hour furlow I was looking for a little fun and a little company to ease the tedium.

"Come join us" they yelled.

It was all the invitation this sailor needed.  I jumped into cue and the banter began... non-stop, relentlessly positive, full frontal, take no prisoners, laugh-a-minute, rich, unadulterated perfect chatter.

This group holds a healthy irreverence to the traditional running rules. They are renegades in their own right and I love them for their independent spirit. Allow me to stitch together some moments to explain.

We ran to McDonalds on Marion for a Coke and muffin ... what the heck?.. a Coke and muffin at McDonalds! This sailor held back and stuck to water and an extra-crappy GU ... after all, the day is still young and I'm wary of where this could go.  The muffin was devoured, the Coke chugged and the empty cup banged on the counter. With a sleeve-wipe to the mouth we were once again off and running.

Scott, aka The Cisco Truck, carries all sorts of treats in his extra buff fanny pack. He's a virtual mobile Pollock's Hardware, a Willy Wonka treat machine, a Hunter S. Thompson pharmacist,  and an all around cool guy.  He's the MacGyver of running. Legend has it he pulled a a flat of ice-cold Cokes out of his fanny pack on one particularly hot ultra-marathon.

Scott tells how 7-11 head office in Vancouver contacted him about his 7-11 race series and offered all sorts of incentive to grow this race.  Next year, says Scott, will be better and bigger than ever.  Mark your calendars 7-11-15 at 7-11 AM.  Stay tuned for details.

Christine becomes emotional with the talking garbage can at McDonalds.  She has four daughters and takes comfort in the programmed robotic "thank-you" from the garbage can.  She says it's the only thank-you she ever gets as she purposefully places another piece of garbage in the can., and another, and another, tears welling.

As a car approaches from the rear Melissa yells "SCATTER" and like sand-crabs we all scurry to different sections of the raodway.  The driver passes shaking his head.

We cross Main Street in the general vicinity of a crosswalk ... kinda-sorta.

Melissa leaves half a Coke hidden in the bushes in the Gates to be savoured on the return trip. As we approach an hour later only a sip remains.  Did someone help them self to Melissa's Coke?  Only Gary Morris knows for sure.

"Go fast on Wellington" yells Melissa as she scoots ahead at a 7:30 MM pace. We go fast. Tim and I stall out at an 8:30 pace. We catch our breath at the water fountain and then continue forward; forever forward, no looking back.

On Centennial at Kingsway we say "20% done", at Grosvenor "40% done", at Corydon "60% done" and then, at John Brebeuf, 80% done".

I finish strong, smiling, happy.

I run 3 miles home. I come across an old friend on Raglan.  We dance a slow-dance for the remaining mile picking up the conversation from where we left off three years ago. A cherry-on-top finish to this most perfect run.

It was... it is... and will forever be... a good day to be alive.


Saturday, July 26, 2014

The People of Ted's Run for Literacy; Meet Glenn Shultz

The People of Ted's Run for Literacy is a 'behind the scenes' look at the many individuals that make up Ted's Run for Literacy; from committee members, to runners, to volunteers, to sponsors.  Every week leading up to Race Day we will interview another individual whose contribution to TRL defines the heart and soul of this fine event. The People of TRL is the brainchild of our Social Media chair, Carly Walsh. 

Glenn Schultz is the picture of determination - as you can see. After getting some not so good medical news he decided to take back his health and his life, and running has played a big part in doing that. 

Ted’s Run is proud to have been his first race (in both the 4 and 10km distance), and we applaud his efforts to continue his health and fitness goals while supporting others to do the same!

Ted’s Run for Literacy - How long have you been running? Why did you start?
Glenn Schultz - I started running June 2012. In February 2012, my doctor said I was pre-diabetic. I was 290 pounds. He said needed to change my lifestyle around. I started slowly to make changes with food and walking. Within 3 months I dropped 50 pounds and was no longer a diabetic. By October had lost 100 pounds! I then decided to do the 4 km run at Ted's Run for Literacy as a challenge and to help others.

In 2013, I did a 20 km walk for Cancer Care Manitoba in June. I ran on a relay team in the Manitoba Marathon. I pedaled my bike 760 kms in 6 days across Iowa in Ragbrai, the world’s biggest bike ride in July. I ran the 10 kms at Teds Run for Literacy in October.

In 2014, I ran my first Half Marathon at the Manitoba Marathon. I plan to do a triathlon in Pinawa in August and of course Ted’s in October. I also quit smoking now for over a year.

Where it all started for me? It’s all about challenges. I helped my self to better life now I want to help others who want a better life. Seventeen years ago I could barely walk with Psoriatic Arthritis. “Anything is possible” is my motto.

TRL - What's your "go to" post run snack/meal?
GS - My post race snack is bananas and chocolate milk.

TRL - When you are having a tough run what's the one thought, or piece of motivation that keeps you going?
GS - When I’m having a tough run I keep telling myself 5 more minutes, 5 more minutes. And that quitting is not a option.

TRL - What's the best sign you've ever seen on a race course, and how it make you feel?
GS - One of the signs I saw was in the Manitoba Marathon. It said Go Strangers Go. That got me laughing.

TRL - What does Ted's Run mean to you?
GS - Ted’s Run is 2 things: Its helping others and its helping me for a better life and longer life.

It's a good day to be alive.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The People of Ted's Run for Literacy; Meet Jonathan Torchia

The People of Ted's Run for Literacy is a 'behind the scenes' look at the many individuals that make up Ted's Run for Literacy; from committee members, to runners, to volunteers, to sponsors.  Every week leading up to Race Day we will interview another individual whose contribution to TRL defines the heart and soul of this fine event. The People of TRL is the brainchild of our Social Media chair, Carly Walsh. 
Jonathan Torchia ripping up the course.
You probably know Jonathan Torchia as the founder and race director for the wildly popular Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service Half Marathon, but what you might not know is he’s only been running for four years, and apparently has a plan if a rabid dog (or bear) starts nipping at his heels.

We’ve been happy to have Jonathan support Ted’s Run by being a fan of TRL and helping to spread the word. This year he won’t be joining us - he’ll be running the Chicago Marathon chasing a “BQ.” We wish him nothing but luck.

Ted’s Run Literacy - How long have you been running, and what got you started?

Jonathan Torchia - Believe it or not I have only been running since 2010! Prior to 2010 I couldn’t run a mile to save my life, literally. I was a big boy ( 225lbs ) and played football my whole life and never ever ran. I knew some lifestyle changes had to be made after my amateur football career was over. So I took up running and changed my diet in 2009 making some big changes for the future, and have not looked back since.

In 2010 I signed for my first race ever - The Manitoba Half Marathon. I figured I would set the bar high and go for it, and go for it I did. My first half marathon ever was a 1:39:11 I will never forget that time, ha ha ). I knew I was HOOKED! Post running The Manitoba Half Marathon I got that great feeling that every runner gets of, “When is the next event I can do?” At this early time in my running career I didn’t know much about local events, and can recall I was flipping through my Runners World magazine at work and saw an advertisement for the Toronto Waterfront event in October and immediately thought to my self, “Yes, that’s the one!” So as soon as I could after returning home from work I registered for the event, booked my flight, and arranged to stay with my family. It has been full throttle since 2010 for me, now with running 27 half marathons, multiple 10 mile, 10k, 5k races, and getting the full marathon itch going after doing Twin Cities Marathon ( fantastic event ) in 2013.

I am currently training my guts out for the Chicago Marathon come this fall in October, and hoping for a BQ. One can dream and set the bar really high. A 3:05 Full Marathon time is a huge lofty goal, but like one of my favourite sayings go “a dream without a plan is only a wish”

TRL - While out running you find yourself suddenly being chased by a bear/cougar/scary animal of your choice. How do you get away?

JT - Ha ha, this is a tough one….I have imagined in the past being chased by a really aggressive dog while out for a run, and always think to myself “what would you do?” I have concluded that I would just give her like hell and hope to out run the dog which likely wouldn’t happen, or find a wall or fence that it can’t chase you up on. Thank god, we don’t have bears roaming around though, I would turtle and throw my bright coloured Asics at it.

TRL - You're back from defeating said animal and come home to find your fridge is only stocked with....?

JT - Hmmm, I have a pretty boring diet that consist of eggs, chicken breast, avocados, bananas, Greek yogurt, oatmeal, fish, quinoa and lots of fruits and vegetables. Now secretly what would I actually want to devour after that…, burgers, chips oh and a DQ Blizzard.

TRL - When you're on a tough run what's your go to mantra to pull through?
JT - My go to one would have to be “never give up, keep grinding.” While out on my runs as of late I keep muttering under my breath about my goals I have set out for the Chicago Marathon and if I cut my work out short, or didn’t finish the training session to its completion that I will be the only one to blame. And also saying these two letters a few times “BQ” “BQ” always seems to give me that extra little push, that extra little motivation.

TRL - As a race director yourself, what does it mean to you when someone decides to sign up for your race?

JT - I genuinely from the bottom of my heart cannot describe in words how thankful, how appreciative, how much it means to me when this happens. There are so many great running events out there to choose from, and for someone to cognitively say to them selves “Yes, I want to run this event “ is an amazing thing! I am unbelievably humbled and thankful to each and every single participant and volunteer of the WFPS Half Marathon. When I see people out in public wearing one of our event shirts, race hats, or any apparel for that matter, it gives me chills and the biggest smile ever. I could never have dreamt in my wildest dreams when we started out a few years back the event would be the size it is today!

It's a good day to be alive.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

The People of Ted's Run for Literacy, Meet Tyler Walsh

The People of Ted's Run for Literacy is a 'behind the scenes' look at the many individuals that make up Ted's Run for Literacy; from committee members, to runners, to volunteers, to sponsors.  Every week leading up to Race Day we will interview another individual whose contribution to TRL defines the heart and soul of this fine event. The People of TRL is the brainchild of our Social Media chair, Carly Walsh. 

Tyler Walsh receiving a 'high-five' from his wife Carly as he enters the finishers' chute!
After his wife forced him to get off the couch to join her in a mud run, Tyler Walsh just kept running. What keeps him going? Apparently it’s the fear of fictional Star Trek characters. 

Ted’s Run for Literacy - How long have you been running and why did you start?
Tyler Walsh - Just over a year. And because my wife made me. My wife wanted me to run the Dirty Donkey with her, so I thought I better train a bit so I wouldn’t pass out in the mud. After that I just continued to run and actually enjoy it.

TRL - What’s on your iPod when you run?
TW - I’m currently mid-way through Catching Fire, the second book in the Hunger Games trilogy (Please don’t Mock-ingjay me). I can nail two birds with one stone - I can feel good about getting outside to exercise and enjoy a good “read” at the same time.

TRL - If a movie/TV villain was chasing you who would have you running at top speed?
TW - The Borg - no one wants to be assimilated.

TRL - What’s the best tip you learned after one year of running?
TW - I think having a goal race is something that helps you to stay on track and gives you something to look forward to. Races are fun.

TRL - What does Ted’s Run for Literacy mean to you?
TW - It was my first 10k race, so it was an achievement for me, but I think it’s supporting a race/organization that brings two key elements of life success - reading and physical activity - to kids that need it most.

It's a god day to be alive.

Monday, June 30, 2014

What's the best darn Energy Bar in the world?

Twelve very active friends have volunteered to participate in a 'blind poll' to definitively answer the ageless question that has plagued athletes since the dawn of time, or since last week when I first put the bug in their ears... 
What's the best darn Energy Bar in the world?

Yup, See Mike Run doesn't shy away from investigative journalism. Bring on the tough questions! 

Each of the participants will sample ten different Energy Bars that are identified by number only. While they munch on the samples they will answer a series of questions. The results will be published on SMR within a week (or so).

With thanks to....
Carly Walsh
Bob Nicol
David Fielder
Ainsley MacDougall
Fern Berard
Darcie Wadelius
Connie Lowe
Melissa Budd
Tim MacKay
Joanne Schiewe
Cynthia Menzies
Nadine Linder

Happy Canada Day everyone; it's a good day to be alive all full of energy and good health!


Thursday, June 26, 2014

The People of Ted's Run for Literacy; Meet Bryan and Cheryl

The People of Ted's Run for Literacy is a 'behind the scenes' look at the many individuals that make up Ted's Run for Literacy; from committee members, to runners, to volunteers, to sponsors.  Every week leading up to race day we will interview an individual whose contribution to TRL helps to define the heart and soul of this fine event. The People of TRL is the brainchild of our Social Media chair, Carly Walsh.
Cheryl Peters (right, blue jacket) trained for months to walk the 2-k event at TRL.
Cheryl and Bryan, two of TRL's favourite volunteers.
If you are a runner you know that a cheer from the sidelines can be all it takes to dig deep for that extra bit of energy. Bryan and Cheryl Peters have been those friendly faces on the TRL course and other races around the city, cheering on their daughter Connie (a TRL volunteer coordinator) and other runners come sleet or snow. We can’t thank them enough for their support and their signs!

Ted’s Run for Literacy - Why do you feel it's important to volunteer at races and other running events?
Bryan and Cheryl Peters - We believe that running events are a wonderful way to support charitable causes. Not only do they raise funds but they go a long way to bringing awareness to them as well. We are blessed to have a daughter who loves running and we want to encourage her and others to keep running in these events.

TRL - What has been your favourite race to volunteer/cheer at and why?
BCP - The "Hypo-halfs" are always fun. We try to be at as many spots as possible to encourage our daughter. We also cheer on others with signs and banners as we go from spot to spot. We love the interaction we get as we have come to know many of the runners over the years.

TRL - What are positive words you can give to keep runners motivated?
BCP - On a serious side we just want the runners to know that this is a personal thing. Many of them are running against their own best time. To hear someone on the sidelines yelling encouragements only fuels them to drag that last ounce of willpower out and finish the race. On a lighter side we love to make banners and signs that show up at every race we go to. Signs like "RUN LIKE YOU STOLE SOMETHING" or "TOENAILS ARE FOR SISSIES". We have a double sided sign that says "YOU CAN DO IT" on one side and a quick flip to the other side brings out everything from smiles to stumbling laughter. The back of the sign says "DON'T POOP". Apparently this is a big concern for some runners.

TRL - How do you stay positive out on the course? Especially when it's raining/cold/super hot?
BCP - Cheryl volunteered to cheer runners on at the Police half marathon. It was supposed to be a warm spring day. As it turned out the day was met by a full on blizzard. Cheryl still went out armed with banners and frozen shouts of "YOUR ALMOST THERE". The coffee shop nearby kept bringing her hot drinks and the runners warmed her soul with hugs as they went by. Many of the Ted's Run marathons have started on chilly mornings. When you get there and see familiar faces and get into the mood you soon forget about the cold and wet. This isn't about us but about the cause and the many runners who are giving it their best to support a worthwhile cause.

TRL - What does Ted's Run mean to you?
BCP - For Cheryl it has been the goal of walking the 2K one year after having a total knee replacement and knocking a big chunk off her previous time when she walked it the following year.

For me it has been to capture the expressions on the runners faces as they cross the finish line. I've been taking pictures since I was a kid and this has been such fun to capture those images. I also know what it's like to have trouble reading. It's taken many years to learn to enjoy a book. Supporting a program that helps kids read and also supports physical activity is all good stuff.

Bryan Peters, official TRL photographer.

It's a good day to be alive, especially when Bryan and Cheryl are volunteering at Ted's Run for Literacy.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Runner Down; Rick Lecuyer Collapses at Boston Marathon

Rick Lecuyer
Fifty-seven year old Rick Lecuyer is an extraordinary individual.  The 2014 Boston Marathon was to be his twenty-first full marathon and second Boston Marathon but, as with many things in life, it did not go as planned.

Rick first qualified for Boston in 2008 at the Ottawa Marathon. He qualified again in 2012 at the Chicago Marathon with an outstanding 3:12:27, almost 18 minutes faster than the required time.  In addition, Rick has completed over 30 half-marathons and dozens of 5 and 10 k event. Clearly, this man is no stranger to distance running.

Rick is the consummate runner; he knows about pain, suffering, goals, triumphs, and defeats. He frequently volunteers at races throughout the city and can often be seen cheering runners curbside. Those that know him will attest that he’s well respected and loved within our tight community. He’s quiet, reserved and shy about sharing his achievements with this pesky blogger. He understands the significance of the events leading up to his collapse and wants others to be cautious.  Rick agrees his story could save a fellow runner's life and for this reason, he wants it told.

Rick was feeling confident and strong in the days leading up to the Boston Marathon.  He was eating and sleeping well and was hydrated. He ran a “good strong pace” the day before the marathon to loosen the legs and ease the pre-race jitters.

Rick was seeded in wave 1, corral 9 as planned, while his life-partner Lorraine started in wave 3, corral 8.

“We’ll meet at the finish line” was the fateful plan du jour.

Rick started strong and was on pace for the first 13 miles. He first sensed a twitch of discomfort at mile 14 and slowed his pace. Still running, he became light headed and disoriented. Suddenly a jolt of pain permeated his right arm and then his chest felt tight and his breathing became labored.  At mile 15 Rick went down on one knee clutching his chest and fainted, collapsing in the gutter of the famed Boston Marathon.

The all too familiar call was made “runner down” and the critical response team jumped to action.

He remembers opening his eyes about a minute later, bewildered, confused and wanting to continue with the race. The police on site told him that wouldn’t be happening and an ambulance was dispatched.  Rick was taken to Beth Israel Hospital, the same hospital the bombing victims were triaged in 2013. 

The medical team noticed Rick’s Road ID and called his daughters Noelle and Nicole who then began the arduous task of contacting friends and family. Lorraine’s daughter Jenn was the first contacted. In the face of adversity these three amazing women calmly developed a plan to text contacts at the Boston Marathon who would then meet with Lorraine.  Noelle was steadfast in her communication with the hospital and together, with good friend Bill Diehl Jones, critical information trickled to his loved ones and friends gathered in bars, hotels, and coffee shops throughout Boston.

The attention now shifted to finding Lorraine who was still on the course oblivious to the happenings.  Two friends eventually located her next to the Boston Common gate.  They provided broad strokes and advised her to call home.

Exhausted and elated from just having completed the most prestigious marathon in the entire world, and now hit with this tragic news, Lorraine’s brain was simply not capable of retaining information. She quickly passed the phone to a friend who took the details.

Lorraine shares:

“The scene at the Beth Israel was somewhat of a war zone with lots of injured runners. By the time I reached him they were discussing options for his care… and concluded that he had not suffered cardiac arrest.”

The reason for Rick’s collapse remains a mystery and is as perplexing as it is unsettling.  He now runs with a HRM and has newfound appreciation of his own mortality.

The final word goes to Rick

“Never leave home without your Road I.D. during training times or race day. It saved my life and it could save yours. Write the names and phone numbers on the back of your bib of people waiting at the finish line.”

It’s a good day to be alive, right Rick?


Order your Road ID today.  Tell 'em Rick and Lorraine sent you.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The People of Ted's Run For Literacy; Meet Wayne Sage

The People of Ted's Run for Literacy is a 'behind the scenes' look at the many individuals that make up Ted's Run for Literacy; from committee members, to runners, to volunteers, to sponsors.  Every week leading up to Race Day we will interview another individual whose contribution to TRL defines the heart and soul of this fine event. The People of TRL is the brainchild of our Social Media chair, Carly Walsh.

Wayne Sage
Premier Sponsor of TRL 2013
Owner Hardwood Designs
Wayne is a TRL double threat - his company, Harwood Design Builders is a premier sponsor, and Wayne is also a TRL racer. We’re proud to have been his first race, and happy that he’ll be back on the pavement in 2014!

Ted’s Run for Literacy: How long have you been running, and why did you start?
Wayne Sage: I’ve been running two years. I started on a dare/bet with good friends Eric and Sandra Danberg who challenged me to get into running. I was 272 pounds and had every syndrome that could be associated with that so I thought running would be part of my weight loss. I lost almost 50 pounds over the next year and Ted’s Run 5k was my first run. I have now done Fargo 10k, and also went to Big Sur, California to run the Big Sur Trail Half Marathon with 3,000 feet of elevation change

TRL: What motivates you to go for a run even when you might not really want to?
WS: Staying in shape and escaping things for a while, running and pushing to see how far I can go and accomplish, and looking at duathalon and maybe triathalon as well

TRL:If your iPod got stuck on repeat while running what song would you want to listen to over and over and over?
WS: Jimmy Buffet’s “Boat Drinks”

TRL: Do you have any pre-race rituals?
WS: Scrambling at the last minute to find where my dogs have hidden my running gear......followed by a regimen of Advil.

TRL: Why did you choose to run in TRL?
WS: My good friend Sandra Danberg is on the organizing committee and asked me to be a sponsor and also thought it would be a good first run for me. After getting involved and learning Ted’s story and the great work that was being done I was so impressed that I became a premier sponsor and will continue to return.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

I Am Thankful

"The bone is not the reward - digging for the bone is the reward."

Today I ran the 36th annual Manitoba Marathon in the company of thousands. Like others, I trained many, many miles in trying conditions.  I ran when my mind screamed no.  I ran when my body ached from head to toe. I ran when my spirit slagged and I wanted to curl up in a corner... 

But I run, and I run, and I run... and I ran, and I ran, and I ran.  I ran until I was ready, and then I ran some more.

And what did I learn through these 650 training miles for this single event?

"I wish I didn't do that run" said no one. Ever.  

I learned we can do more than we believe. I learned we can be courageous on the outside when we cower on the inside. I learned life is better when we push our minds, spirits and bodies to uncomfortable extremes. 

That's what I learned.

My time was respectable for an old sea-dog such as myself: 4:14:57, placing 20/40 in my age category (55-59), and 217/391 in my gender placement. What do these numbers mean? Not much really, but for number geeks it means...

If you take 100 male marathoners of all ages and line them up from slowest to fastest I would be number 56 in that line. Forty-four would be faster than me and fifty-five would be slower.

The numbers are interesting and add a layer to my performance, but they are clinical, as if dissecting a frog in grade 11 biology. The marathon is a unique experience for it's about more human matters than mere numbers.  The marathon is about grace and humility. It's about pain and joy.  It's about tears and it's about laughter. It's about all this and more, but truly, it's not about numbers.

So I give thanks...

I am thankful for my health.

I am thankful for my strength.

I am thankful for my heart, my lungs, my bones.

I am thankful for my wife Jennifer for the warmth of her embrace.

I am thankful for my son Max (he makes me glow warm with pride and love)

I am thankful for my deceased father, Charles aka Charlie, aka dad, aka Poppa.

I am thankful for my deceased mother, Dorothy, aka Dixie, aka mom, aka Nan.

I am thankful for my my running friends, so many and so pure of heart and full of joy.

I am thankful for Laura and her daughters, Zara and Lucy  who stood steadfast in the cold rain waiting patiently for a glimpse of me.

I am thankful for my sister Judith, our family matriarch, for hugging me and cheering me.

I am thankful for Ainsley for her kind note waiting for me at 4AM wake-up, go mike go!

I am thankful for the readers of this tired old running blog, you mean so much to me.

Thank you and remember always, it is a good day to be alive, even when it feels as though the walls are crashing down all around.


Friday, June 13, 2014

The People of Ted's Run for Literacy; Meet Christy Zamzow

The People of Ted's Run for Literacy is a 'behind the scenes' look at the many individuals that make up Ted's Run for Literacy; from committee members, to runners, to volunteers, to sponsors.  Every week leading up to Race Day we will interview another individual whose contribution to TRL defines the heart and soul of this fine event. The People of TRL is the brainchild of our Social Media chair, Carly Walsh.

Christy Zamzow; TRL Committee member
If you’ve had the pleasure of being in one of Christy’s running clinics at the Running Room on Kenaston, you know she for sure rhymes run with fun (I mean check out her photos). The TRL Board is lucky to have her as a web-design-type-person, registration-organizer-lady, utlitmate-brochure-creator, and just all-around-super-supporter.

Ted’s Run for Literacy - How long have you been running?
Christy Zamzow - I started running for fitness when I was 18 and despised every minute of it. It was hard! I ran off and on until 2005 when a "frenemy" challenged me to a half marathon. I still remember the first 10 mile training run and thinking, "I just ran 10 miles! All at once!" I think that was when I realized I actually liked running and thinking I could do anything. Even now though, every race I get nervous and think "I can't do this." That is when you just have to trust your training and realize that no matter what, you have just passed everyone on the couch.

TRL - You're known for having a little fun with your race attire - what's been your best costume?
CZ - Ha! Who have you been talking to? I am boring! Lies! All Lies! Doesn't everyone run in a "I Dream of Genie" costume for the Hypothermic Half? Probably my favourite would be the miniature Elvis costume because I could make him dance while I run!

TRL - Do you have a running mantra?
CZ - I do! Have you ever run with Edwina Keats? She is a machine! She just doesn't quit. I did one training run with her and it was a pretty windy day. Every time we had to run into the wind, Edwina sped up. We were on a trail by the river and there were a few hills. Every hill, Edwina sped up. The amazing thing is, the harder the challenge, the faster she goes. Ever since then my mantra has been "Be Edwina. Be Edwina, Be Edwina."

TRL - If you had one item of food waiting for you at the finish line what would it be?
CZ - A cold cold beer.

TRL - What does Ted's Run mean to you?
CZ - Ted was one of the best clinic instructors out there. He always, and I mean always, made sure that everyone got across the finish line. He knew his stuff and he was always available if you had questions. He never made you feel bad for asking. The fact that we can support a charity in his honour that teachers running and literacy to children is just fantastic. Sport is so important for kids and their developing minds.It's absolutely great that we can teach them how to set a long term goal and attain it without a T.V. screen! I will always support this run.

It's a good day to be alive!