Friday, December 12, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
The Cayman Islands Marathon is an excellent running tourism destination. The organizers work really hard to put on a quality event, and generally treat the runners like gold. Plus, once you're finished your race, there are so many things do to on the island of Grand Cayman. My personal trip highlight swimming with rays at Stingray City, a sandbank off the north end of the island, where friendly stingrays nuzzle up to snorkellers. Cayman looks just like it does on the postcards -- stunning.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Here's the lastest update from the site:
The response to this campaign has far, far exceeded our hopes. We've received donations from Newfoundland to British Columbia, and even from the United States - the generosity of the running community has been truly humbling. We've also received more potential good news: It appears Danny may be eligible for a significantly higher payment from OHIP than initially thought; and a charity in Ottawa may be willing to fund one specific part of Danny's treatment (a portable defibrillator vest which he was required to wear before being allowed to fly), which cost just over $3,000 to rent. Neither of these possible sources of funding are confirmed, and it may take several months before we find out if they will actually happen. However, if we add that tentative funding to the money we've received so far, along with other pledges we've received and cheques that we expect will continue arriving next week, we're starting to get close to the minimum goal of $18,000 (a little over 12,000 euros). While it's almost certain that we'll need to raise a little more money later, we're going to TURN OFF THE ONLINE DONATION FEATURE TEMPORARILY, just to make sure we don't run into the "problem" of raising more than we need.
Needless to say, Danny has been overwhelmed by the response, and by the messages of support he has received. If you have any questions, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Danny Kassap, one of Canada’s finest distance runners, very nearly died last month when he collapsed while running the Berlin Marathon. Now he needs help from the running community to pay for the lifesaving medical care that he received while hospitalized in Berlin.
If you follow distance running in Canada, you’ve probably heard of Danny Kassap. A native of the Democratic Republic of Congo, he came to Canada as a teenager in 2001 for the Francophone Games. He made a daring escape from the athletes' village, seeking refugee status in Canada on the basis of political persecution.
Meanwhile, Danny found his way to Toronto, and began training with the University of Toronto Track Club. In 2004, he won the first marathon he ever ran in a very impressive time of 2:14:50. For the next several years, he continued to run very fast times on very high mileage, while also working full-time and obtaining his high school equivalency. Danny has never been on any form of social assistance.
After numerous legal setbacks, Danny finally became a landed immigrant in April of this year, and a Canadian citizen in August. As a result, he was finally able to run a race outside of Canada. In April, he travelled to England to run the London Marathon, one of the world’s most prestigious and competitive road races. He finished 15th, just three places behind the reigning Olympic marathon champion Stefano Baldini. In September, he travelled to Berlin to run his first marathon as a Canadian citizen.
For the first several kilometres in Berlin, Danny appeared poised to have another outstanding race. However, near the 5 km mark, disaster struck when Danny suddenly collapsed. A Good Samaritan who happened to be in close proximity to him at the time began administering CPR almost immediately, and a paramedic on a motorcycle got to him within a minute. Danny received between 15-19 shocks from a defibrillator, and the paramedics worked on him for 45 minutes before his condition stabilized. He was placed in a medically-induced coma for several days, and remained in a Berlin hospital for over two weeks before he was able to return home to Toronto.
The doctors determined that Danny suffered a “ventricular fibrillation” (an uncoordinated contraction of the cardiac muscle) brought on by myocarditis (an inflammation of the heart), which in turn was caused by a cold virus. Danny will not be able to run for at least the next three months, but doctors are cautiously optimistic that he will make a full recovery.
Danny received outstanding medical care while in Berlin, but it has left him with a crippling debt. Even with OHIP covering a portion of Danny’s medical bills, he still owes $18,000 to the hospital which cared for him, and which discharged him on the undertaking that the amount owing will be paid in a timely manner.
Danny presently works full-time as an assistant manager at the Running Room. Eighteen thousand dollars is a prohibitively large amount for him to have to repay quickly. Danny has been unable to contact his family since coming to Canada, and even if he could, they would be unable to provide him with any financial assistance. However, we are hopeful that Danny’s many friends and well-wishers within the running community will be able to provide him with some measure of support.
Danny’s primary motivation for running the Berlin Marathon was to secure a spot on his first Canadian national team so that he could proudly represent Canada at next summer’s World Championships. Danny has made a tremendous contribution to the Canadian running community since arriving here more than seven years ago, and now is our chance to return the favour.
You can make a secure online donation at http://www.dannykassapfund.com/.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
At the Royal Victoria Marathon, I met my running hero, Dick Beardsley. He's an incredible speaker and just a great guy to talk to. He's been through more in his life than just about anyone I've ever met, and he's all the stronger for it. The same tenacity that Beardsley used to fight his way through the Duel in Sun at the 1982 Boston Marathon carried him through the battle with near-deadly injuries and prescription narcotics addiction. He has so many good stories to tell about running and life. Cheers to Beards! If you're ever looking to book a motivational speaker, click on the above link -- you won't be sorry.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Friday, October 3, 2008
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
This year, the Longboat Toronto Island races were held later in September so as not to coincide with the Virgin Festival. It was a perfect day for running -- fairly cool and overcast, with a nice breeze. I joggled the 10K in an attempt to break my own record of 36:27. I was on pace, but had to stop and tie my shoelace around the halfway mark, finishing in 36:50.
This Sunday, I'm racing the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (no joggling this time) dressed as Tom Longboat. I haven't done any long runs, so the results could be disastrous.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Monday, September 8, 2008
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Here's a photo on Inside Toronto from the Canadian Running Magazine 5K Joggle-off. And the caption:
Michal Kapral (a.k.a. The Joggler), left, and Simon Hodge (a.k.a. The Eco-Joggler) join the recent Canadian Running Magazine 5-km race at Varsity Stadium. The joggling duo fell short of reaching a world record time for running/juggling 5 km.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Lap Time Cumulative
5 80.89 6:41.69
8 83.08 10:46.06
10 86.67 13:37.39
12 83.56 16:30.24
** All of your splits were accurate except the last ½ lap (estimated, because it was on the opposite side of the track)
Pictures to follow soon.
I had a bit of a lapse in laps 10 and 11. I'm kicking myself now for slowing down. Now I'm all fired up to try again. Simon had a couple of friends pace us for 80-second laps, which was a huge help. The guys staying right on pace through 4000m, then pulled aside as planned for us to finish it up on our own.
Simon dropped five times, and surely would have broken the record with a drop-free race. I didn't drop, but didn't run fast enough. Thanks to everyone who showed up to spectate, and to Canadian Running Magazine for sponsoring the event. It was so much fun to joggle on the Varsity track.
Next up: Running the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on the Tom Longboat team. The race is celebrating 100 years of the marathon distance with teams of runners dressed as Tom Longboat, the Toronto runner who was favoured to win the 1908 Olympic marathon in London, Dorando Pietri, who crossed the line first but was disqualified for being helped across the line, and Johnny Hayes, who won the gold after Pietri's disqualification.
Friday, August 29, 2008
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
One day, I will learn to do this (or maybe not):
It's funny to watch Anthony Gatto do this in practice after seeing Cirque to Soleil, where a drumroll leads into a short run of maybe 14 catches of seven clubs like it's a huge deal for him.
Friday, July 18, 2008
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Impressive speed on these Quest velomobiles. The winner of the 25K race, Ymte Sijbrandij, averaged just under 57 km/h. I've pushed the Mango up to 55 km/h on a flat, but that took some serious huffing and puffing.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Monday, July 14, 2008
Friday, July 11, 2008
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
I've joggled of couple of 5Ks on the road – recently the Father's Day Run in Toronto – but this one will be a serious attempt to break the record on the track. Joggling adds about 10 per cent to your running time, which means I'd have to get in about 15:20 shape for the 5000.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Canadian Running Magazine Warms Up the Track for the
Beijing 2008 Olympic Games with an In-Depth Olympic Issue
From 100m in 9.72 seconds to 42.2K in 2 hours, 4 minutes and 26 seconds, in the world of running everyone’s watching the clock and thinking ‘how fast?’ But at the Olympic Games, the ultimate international competition, the race is about so much more than time. Canadian Running Magazine’s July/August issue takes a comprehensive look at the running world behind the upcoming Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
From issues of Olympic contention to the athletes to watch to training tips from some of Canada’s top performers, Canadian Running Magazine gives readers the lowdown on running at this year’s Olympics. The upcoming Olympic Issue hits newsstands across Canada by July 1.
Below is an outline of the Olympic stories to catch in the July/August issue of Canadian Running Magazine:
By Alex Hutchinson
Canadians Giitah Macharia and Tara Quinn-Smith were crowned Canadian Marathon Champions at the ING Ottawa Marathon in May, also qualifying by IOC standards for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, but the two champions will not compete in the most revered of international competitions this August. Find out why in the upcoming issue of Canadian Running Magazine. Senior editor Alex Hutchinson takes an objective look at Canada’s much-debated and often maligned Olympic qualifying standards and how they affect the running world. Speaking with current and former athletes, Hutchinson examines the hows, whys and repercussions of Canada’s high standards. “The real difference in opinion is what the definition of success is,” says Canadian 2:16 marathoner Matt McInnes commenting on the IOC versus COC Olympic standards.
Canada’s Olympic Hopefuls
When the Games of the XXIX Olympiad begin on August 8, a select group of Canadian runners will march into Beijing’s National Stadium in front of 90,000 spectators and billions of TV viewers, fulfilling what for many of them will be a lifelong dream. Canadian Running Magazine profiles some of Canada’s best hopes to make the athletics team. Contenders include Simon Bairu (men’s 10,000m), Reid Coolsaet (men’s 10,000m), Megan Metcalfe (women’s 5000m), Malindi Elmore (women’s 1500m), Hilary Stellingwerff (women’s 1500m), Carmen Douma-Hussar (women’s 1500m), Kevin Sullivan (men’s 1500m), Ryan McKenzie (men’s 1500m), Nathan Brannen (men’s 1500m), Alex Genest (men’s 3000m steeplechase), Gary Reed (men’s 800m), and Tyler Christopher (men’s 400m). Note that marathoners Lioudmila Kortchaguina and Dylan Wykes are also profiled in the article, but neither athlete successfully met the COC marathon standards by the May 25 deadline.
Paralympic Profile: Jason Dunkerly: Going for Gold in Beijing
By Kyle Desormeaux
Jason Dunkerly, one of the most decorated middle-distance runners in Canada, is heading to September’s Paralympic Games in China. An eye condition called Leber’s congenital amaurosis has left Dunkerly with no vision other than minimal light perception. Kyle Desmoreaux gives readers a little insight into Dunkerly’s world.
Fair Weather Fans
By Peter Hadzipetros
Picture the Don Cherry of running – starched singlet and plaid high-cut shorts, ranting about the Canadian way. It might be one way to cure our country’s fledgling running fan base according to Peter Hadzipetros. Canadians tune in to the running scene essentially only once every four years during the Olympics. This column gets Canadians thinking about the reasons our road races are lined with, well, nearly nobody.
Final Prep: The Call Rooms
By Leah Pells
Former Olympian Leah Pells gives readers a first-hand account of the typical check-in procedure athletes endure leading into a final race. From uniform scrutiny to logo management to health hazards, Pells provides readers a true behind-the-scenes look. Pells finished fourth in the 1500m at the 1996 Atlanta Games.
Run Stronger with Olympic Training
By Kristin Kent
Step up your performance with training tips from some of Canada’s leading Olympians. Learn how plyometrics can increase speed, power and running economy, ice baths can speed up recovery time from delayed onset muscle soreness, and new stretching techniques can add spring to tired muscles.
Tips From Canada’s Best: What’s Your Favourite Post-Workout Snack?
By Hilary Stellingwerff
From PowerBar recovery drinks and fruit with yogurt and granola to doughnuts and even squeezed lemon with cayenne pepper, find out what foods motivate and rejuvenate some of Canada’s Olympic hopefuls.
Canadian Running Magazine is available on special displays at Running Room stores across the country, in most Shoppers Drug Marts and at all major Canadian airports. Canadian Running Magazine is also sold at independent retailers across Canada (please visit http://www.runningmagazine.ca/ for a complete list).
For subscriptions, please go to http://www.runningmagazine.ca/ or call 416-927-0774.
Monday, June 16, 2008
Dianne also returned to the racing world with an impressive 23:20.
Last week, I also ran into the newly retired Perry, who was in Toronto to watch the Jays play the Cubs. Perry told me he would be doing some joggling in the city. Sure enough, at the race on Sunday, Peter Donato my MyNextRace.com told me he was shocked to see another joggler running along the waterfront.
Monday, June 2, 2008
As many of you know, my joggling rival Zach Warren also holds the records for the fastest mile on a unicycle and the fastest mile on a unicycle while juggling. I learned how to unicycle when I was a teenager, for a high school circus, and I've been itching to try it again ever since. If I had the time, I would consider doing the Ride the Lobster race in Nova Scotia - an 800K unicycle stage race that starts on June 16. Naturally, I would do it while juggling. What would that be called, unicycluggling?
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Due to my ridiculously long-lasting joggling, gum-chewing marathon feats, Stride, "the ridiculously long-lasting gum," has supplied me with a bunch of free samples.
I've tested Stride's Forever Fruit flavour on a few joggles and concluded that it's the perfect joggling gum. The flavour is not super-strong, as claimed, it lasts a long time, and most importantly, the chewability factor is very high - that is, it keeps a nice, chewy consistency for many kilometres of joggling.
So far, my unofficial role as Stride's joggling ambassador is really paying off. It's a new brand in Canada, and I've been converting many gum-chewers, who tell me two things about it: good gum, funny TV spots.
Hopefully, they'll launch Sweet Berry and Always Mandarin in Canada soon - flavours just launched in the U.S. I think I know what kind of gum I'll be chewing for my first 5-ball joggling marathon.
Saturday, May 3, 2008
For some reason, both my feet felt like they'd been put through a blender, plus my Achilles got worse. So after I crossed the timing mat at 50K in 3:57, I decided to pack it in. Too bad I didn't listen to my mom and enter the 50K instead the 100K, because I would have won it. It's also a shame I couldn't finish the 100K because I was having so much fun. The race was well-organized, the 10K out-and-back course was scenic, and those crazy ultra runners were ultra-friendly. It was a surprisingly satisfying DNF, but I hope this isn't the start of a trend.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
I'm planning to pace for 7 hours and 45 minutes, though I'm guessing it'll take me much longer. I hope I don't ruin my DNF-free running record. It was tempting to joggle this race, but I don't think there's an existing record for the 100K joggle, plus I didn't want to worry about getting it verified.
A big congratulations to Perry Romanowski for joggling the Flora London Marathon drop-free, in the rain, in 3:35.
Monday, April 14, 2008
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
What a finish. This is the gutsiest marathon win I've seen since Salazar and Beardsley's Duel in the Sun. The announcer is great - he says: "I don't know you Martha, but what you're doing is incredible!"
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
It’s a rough life being the editor of a national running magazine. On March 22, I’ll embark on my first field assignment for Canadian Running Magazine by competing in the Rock and Ice Ultra in the Northwest Territories.
The main event is the Diamond Ultra, a six-day stage race of about 45K a day across ungroomed, snow-covered tundra, but I’ve chosen the comparatively easy (ha!) three-day K-Rock Ultra, which covers a total distance of 135K. If you’re curious to find out if I survive, I’ll be posting race updates on the Canadian Running website: www.runningmagazine.ca.
And no, I will not be joggling the whole thing. I will, however, bring along a set of Joggler Sportballs, and plan to do a token amount of joggling – maybe for the last few minutes of each stage.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Our Mango has been bured under a heap of snow for a couple of weeks. There is no way I could drive it through the stacks of snow on our sidestreets that haven't been ploughed.
Friday, February 15, 2008
Friday, February 8, 2008
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
On Your Mark, Get Set, Go!
New Canadian Running Magazine Launches in February
– Editorial Team Goes the Distance for Runners North of the Border –
Toronto (February 5, 2008) – Canada has an estimated one million runners, more than 500 running races, and expected sales of two million pairs of running shoes in 2008. And now, finally, Canada has its own magazine dedicated to running. Gripped Inc. launches Canadian Running Magazine, the only running magazine published in Canada and with all-Canadian content, in February.
“This is the first running magazine that is truly dedicated to all levels of runners in the Great White North, from St. John’s to Ottawa to Victoria,” says editor-in-chief Michal Kapral. “At last, Canadians can read about the best running routes, the excellent races, the most influential and up-and-coming runners, inspirational stories, winter running tips, and running news – in Canada! Oh, and running programs in kilometres, not miles!”
Coverage will also include articles on the latest running issues, fitness tips for all seasons, diet and nutrition information, in-depth features, and expert reviews of the latest footwear, fashion and accessories for runners.
“Our editorial team is led by accomplished runners who are tapped into the running community,” says Gripped Inc. publisher Sam Cohen. “We found the right people and ran with them. And hey, the first issue speaks for itself.”
Editor-in-chief Michal Kapral won the Toronto Marathon in 2002 with a personal best time of 2:30:40, holds the Guinness World Record for the fastest marathon while juggling (2:50:09), and is a sponsored athlete. Senior editor Kevin Mackinnon is an accomplished runner, triathlete and coach, and the editor of Triathlon Magazine Canada. Senior editor Alex Hutchinson represented Canada at the World Championships. Publisher Sam Cohen is a life-long runner who will focus on 5K and 10K races in 2008. Publisher and editorial director Dave Chaundy-Smart is a passionate runner who completed his first and second marathons two weeks apart last fall.
Canadian Running Magazine is Gripped Inc.’s third magazine. The company first launched Gripped: The Climbing Magazine in 1999, followed by Triathlon Magazine Canada in March 2006.
“Running is one of the simplest and most accessible fitness activities in Canada, so it’s a mass-appeal sport,” says Cohen. “Triathlon Magazine Canada was so successful that we decided to use the same formula to enter a larger, more mainstream market.” Cohen says the Canadian running magazine market has significant room for growth. The U.S. publication Runner’s World sells about 25,000 subscriptions in Canada and 10,000 copies on newsstands – with total U.S. sales of 600,000. Based on population – Canada has one-tenth the population of the U.S. – Canadian Running Magazine has the potential to reach 60,000 Canadians subscriptions.
The launch issue tells the story of Danny Kassap, a political refugee from Congo with dreams of Canadian citizenship and the Beijing Olympics. The magazine also talks to Olympic hopeful Hilary Stellingwerff, profiles B.C.’s Bastion Running Club, explores the surge in popularity of running forums with a look at http://www.runningmania.com/, talks to running celebrity Ron MacLean of CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada, takes readers on a running tour of Quebec City and explores trail runs in the Maritimes and the Rockies. Other features include training and nutrition tips, inspiration for winter running, and both shoe and gear reviews.
Canadian Running Magazine will start to appear on newsstands in Ontario on February 21, Quebec on February 25, and the rest of the country on February 26. The magazine will be sold on special displays at Running Room stores across the country, in most Shoppers Drug Marts and at all major Canadian airports. Canadian Running Magazine will also be sold at independent retailers across Canada (please see the attached fact sheet for a list of several retailers in each province).
Canadian Running Magazine’s website (http://www.runningmagazine.ca/) will launch on February 15. For subscriptions, please go to http://www.runningmagazine.ca/ or call 416-927-0774.
Michal Kapral, Editor-in-Chief, 416-861-8319 ext. 232, email@example.com
Dianne Kapral, Media Relations, 416-690-4555, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dave Chaundy-Smart, Editorial Director, 416-927-0774, email@example.com
Sam Cohen, Publisher, 416-927-0774, firstname.lastname@example.org (available starting Monday, February 11)
Monday, February 4, 2008
Saturday, February 2, 2008
Japanese half-marathon record-holder Kayoko Fukushi made her marathon debut in Osaka last weekend. She started out at sub-2:20 pace, and here's how it ended up.
This is pretty much what I looked like at the end of my first joggling marathon.
Here's an interesting analysis of her pacing freefall.
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
I've done a bit of joggling here and there, just to keep my chops up, but mostly it's just been plain old running.