Friday, May 8, 2009

We Remember Ted Swain.

Ted Swain was a runner. He inspired the discouraged, mentored the inexperienced, and comforted the tired. Ted loved the running community with all his heart and gained the respect and admiration of hundreds of runners. I expect many will carry Ted's name on their bib at the Fargo Marathon this weekend to help spur them across the line and, knowing this fine crew, there will be more than a few toasts of good cheer in the name of our Ted.
Here's to you Ted, enjoy the taper good friend, and thank you. Thank you for your guidance, your passion, and most of all, thank you for your friendship.
The tributes that follow are written from the heart. We hope they bring comfort to those of you who ran alongside Ted. To his dear family, know that Ted was loved and know that he will be profoundly missed by us, his running pals. Thank you for sharing Ted with us. We are indebted.
I remember Ted gathering his group outside the running room in preparation for his run and he would always comment about the group I ran with "you don't want to run with them, they are the speedy people". Although, that wasn't really true in my case it made be feel so good to think someone thought I was one of the "speedy people". Thank you Ted, I will miss you.
Gwen Watson
I remember my first 10K clinic, we were a dedicated bunch of runners (the majority of the group were looking forward to the half marathon) the perfect audience for Ted and all of his knowledge. He told us he never had a10K clinic like this one (maybe he told that to all the groups). At our goal race we named ourselves 'Ted's Disciples' and I think he quite liked that. I have included a couple of pictures from that day. Ted was a great ambassador for the sport of running and he was a great influence and inspiration for me.
Sandra Danberg
I remember early this spring Lorraine commenting on me wearing capris and wanting to bet on who would be the first to wear shorts. I said Onkar, but her money was on Ted. Because "he's crazy" she smiled and said with much affection.
Shelley Timlick.
I will remember Ted as a great story teller…he always had a story. Ted and I started the Police ½ race together…I talked to him for about 5 minutes prior to the start….he looked good and was pumped about running the race, account he’d missed participating in the Hypothermic Half…. He indicated “I’m going to finish this race” ….I teased him because he was wearing track/running pants and he normally wears shorts, even in cold weather. He was also my race leader for the Hypo Half this past winter. On one particular Sunday we ran from the Running Room to the Forks and back (12 miles) along the river from Omand’s Creek…it was such a beautiful day. On our return, when we got to Centennial and Academy he indicated he had to stop….the group kept going. I stayed with Ted and we walked in (I have always liked walking)… the next time I saw Ted he apologized for not talking much that day as he indicated he was in pain that day…. Godspeed Ted!!!!”
Murray Ross
I did not know Ted personally, but I was part of his group for some shorter mid-week runs. He was always there for the Wednesday evening runs, no matter what the weather, he always seemed to be wearing shorts. I always thought it was odd to be wearing them even when it had just snowed, so I knew if I came to run club in shorts I wouldn't be the only one. He was an inspiration to the running community and his stories will continue to be told over and again.
Caitlin Tucker
Tedd was my first clinic instructor, he was teaching a Learn to Run, and their was only 5 of us for the 5k, so we ended up with Ted. He and I ran a 10k race a few years ago, the arrow sign was kicked and a few of us ended up running a longer route, and he told me after that was the fast 10k he had ever done. I will have fond memories of Ted. He will always be the shorts and gripper guy. I plan on writing something on my bib in Fargo for Ted. The running community lost a good guy. He will be remembered.
Lorie Lee
I met Ted two years ago when I was attending a Running Room clinic and training for my first half marathon. I hooked up with Ted's 2:30 pace group, which was HUGE, fun and boisterous. I vividly remember Ted's dry wit and encouragement as he led us on our training runs. And of course, I remember Ted, always in his shorts while we were still dressing in multiple layers, deep in Winnipeg winter. After a few runs, like a father robin, Ted gently kicked me out of the nest, telling me I should be with the "faster runners." Since then, every time I ran by Ted and his group, I waved and greeted Ted, and Ted would say, "there go the FAST runners." The thing is, Ted and his group always seemed to be having the most fun ... Ted dedicated himself to mentoring and encouraging "his runners." He will be greatly missed.
Vivian Rachlis
Unlike a lot of you, I did not know Ted very well, but I know from all the other wonderful people I have met, and ran with these past 4 odd years, he must have been a very special kind of person. I am sure, the entire running room group will be the poorer, with his absence.
Onkar Singh
I have a number of “I remember stories” about Ted as I had the honour of training for and running several races in his group. The one I will mention here was from the Hypothermic in 2008. Both Ted and I were having a tough race so we ran it together, I was very discouraged but as the born leader he was, he kept us going. At the finish, I got my last bit of energy and sped up, just then Ted runs ahead of me and says "Oh no you don't, I can't let you beat me now." Ted was a true teacher, I learned more from him then I could ever say here. On any given race day I would look for Ted as he was always a friendly face in amongst the crowd. It will be strange not to look for him on race day anymore but I will carry with me all he has taught me for a lifetime.
Pam Falk
I first met Ted a year ago when I did a 10km clinic to get back into running after having a baby, and I continued to seek him out for the Sunday long runs in preparation for the Hypothermic Half. I remember well his indomitable good humour on those ridiculous 18km runs this winter with a wind chill in the mid minus 40s. How did he do it?! Ted was wonderful company – we swapped stories about teaching and travelling, and he offered sound running advice and inspiration. He made just finishing the race – whatever the distance -- into an excellent and worthy goal. I respected (and have seen benefits from) his view that it was not possible to run too slowly on the long runs, and appreciated his little ‘instructive’ remarks when I ran ahead of the group. Having spent so many hours running and talking with Ted, I consider him a friend, and am deeply saddened by his much too early exit.
Cheryl Dueck
Ted was in the first Half Marathon clinic I took, back in the days before he was a clinic leader. Which doesn't mean he didn't have a LOT of info to impart to newbies like me, especially the mantra: "Do not change anything on race day, not even your shoelaces." Come the day (a Hypothermic Half), some bright spark had read an article insisting 7 and 1s were better than 10 and 1s, and changed his race day plan. That was Ted, and he finished well behind the rest of us. But with a big smile.
Barb Janes
I will not forget his advice, dedication, and his overwhelming encouragement to the running community. I would like to talk with him after a run; he would typically be encouraging newbies. I will not forget seeing him run up Grant - he will be missed.
Scott Nachtigall
I think my heart fell out of chest when I realized who Ted Swain was. I didn't think I had ever met him during my training through the Running Room, but after recognizing him in a picture that someone sent out after learning of his passing; I did spend one evening with Ted. It was a about four years ago.. a beautiful sunny evening; he was taking the place of the usual 1/2 marathon clinic instructor that night; I had never met Ted before but we hit it off right away. I wore leggings for running and this was quite concerning to him. He couldn't believe I was not wearing shorts. It was a good part of the conversation of that evening's short run; how shorts would help me run faster, etc. It was quite funny I must say. Ted obviously had many friends and will be missed and remembered by so many people he touched!
Miss Viv (Horne)
We have been altered because we knew this kind and generous man, Ted Swain. His highly motivational and passionate coaching style has provided inspiration for many to start and keep on running. He was teaching his 19th clinic. The Running Room was indeed fortunate to have such a leader on the team.He changed the lives of many and we are changed because we knew him.
Adieu dear friend.
Lorraine Walton Manager Kenaston Running Room
Ted was the instructor for the hypo half clinic winter 08/09. I remember one particular day. It was around Rememberance Day so the weather wasn't absolutely frigid yet, but it wasn't warm. The sun was out so it looked deceptively nice. And there was Ted. Dressed in shorts and this crazy viking hat/wig with long braids! I wasn't running in his group, but I can only imagine the thoughts of the people driving by thinking, what the....?
Irene Blank
I was so saddened to hear of Ted's Passing, I was in shock.
I remember my first Running Room Clinic only one short year ago, when I first met Ted. I looked forward to coming to his clinic class every single week. Ted's enthusiasm is one of the reasons why I am still running one year later, with now four half marathons under my belt since. With his encouragement, I am now preparing for my first Manitoba Full marathon this June.
I cannot imagine not seeing him on Sundays each week. It still has not sunk in. I start to question if everything in life really happens for a reason... things sometimes do not make any sense.
Then I think back over the last year of discussions with him, whether it be race tips, race strategy, reasons for running, his goals, my goals, and then I smile. I saw his enthusiasm for life, for teaching...for leading. He was a special person. Every time I run, every time I race, I will think of Ted. He will always be there...
We will miss you Ted.
Mike Smith
I remember passing Ted at the Cops For Cancer Run. He was on a walk break and was drinking some high-falootin runners concoction. I approached from his left side and placed my hand on his shoulder as I slowed to pass. I squeezed his shoulder firmly and said "Have a good run Ted". He smiled that Ted smile, lighting up the world, and quietly cheered me on, "Run like the wind Mike... run."
And I did. I ran like the wind. Thank you Ted.
Now in the solitude of reflection with tears brimming I understand the outpouring of grief from his beloved community. Ted ran because he loved us all and wanted us to be the best we can be. Blessing of blessings to you Ted.
So dear friends, run hard, love much, be kind, and remember always, it's a good day to be alive.
Mike Bennett


MaryAnn said...

Ted taught 2 of the 3 clinics I took at the RR. I remember Ted's wit and the knowledge he imparted during runs. As a newbie I soaked up every bit of information I could from Ted. His encouraging clinic e-mails during the Hypothermic Half this past winter motivated me to get out and do those long, very cold, Sunday runs. I feel fortunate that I was able to be in his RR clinics. -MaryAnn

eme said...

I am a little late but Ted and I ran our first marathon together in 2004.

We were both injured and hurting but we were both to stubborn to quit. I remember telling him (much to his amusement) "I am going to finish this stupid marathon, even if I have to crawl!".

Ted reminded me of this quite a few times, since we were equally stubborn people.

Lately, I had got in to the habit of having really good conversations with him on Tuesday nights when I was working at the Running Room - I'll miss our talks.

He truly enjoyed teaching clinics, seeing new and seasoned runners succeed and exceed their goals.

Hard to believe that he is gone.

Colleen Kelly-Wardle

Ryan said...

I remember Ted as the great white beard and easy grin. Ted mentored my wife and I through our first 10k Clinic, his easy going attitude and coaching made each and every “training” run a moment to remember. My wife and I continue to make running a part of our lives and hope to pass our on to our child.

I often wonder what we can do to bring meaning to our lives, to touch the world and leave it a better place than when we came in. I think Ted knows. Do what you love. Be kind along the way. Enjoy the moments. Our moments will become our lives.

Thanks Ted,

Ryan and Sherie Gray

Juanita Huletey said...

Ted was a friend and trainer who actually got me started with running. I remember my first ever 10K training with the running room. He was very instrumental and motivated me to pick up running. We packed our cars beside each other for the Winnipeg Police 1/2 Marathon just this past May 2009 and walked together to the race start line. Never knew that was the last time I will ever speak to Ted. I was looking forward to training with him for my first full Marathon. My trainer and good friend is no more and I’m very saddened by it.

I did not actually know he has passed away until today… that I met another member of the Ted’s Disciples who told me about him. I can’t believe it and I’m in total shock…

May his soul rest in peace… May the God Lord comfort the family

Juanita - one of Ted Disciples