Canada took home 5 world championship medals, the Chicago marathon is coming and more

I touch on the Alberto Salazar ban, recap the highlights from worlds, and share some links worth reading from the world of running.


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This issue has a recap of world championships (outside the highlights I shared last week), a small Chicago marathon preview, an INEOS 1:59 challenge preview and a lot of links to check out.

The London marathon lottery ballot draw starts this week. Good luck to everyone who entered!

In my Sunday morning run crew this week, we had a sports psychologist come and give us mental performance tips. She said there are seven techniques she uses with athletes, but for us, she focused on two.

The first was when you start to get tense and start to freak out, calm the hell down and breathe. The second was when your mind starts to drift and go to bad places, you need to shake that off and re-focus on your race plan and/or your technique.

So, yeah, she basically told us to channel two Taylor Swift songs: You Need to Calm Down and Shake It Off.

Can I make a Taylor Swift reference in every issue of Run the North? Stay subscribed to find out…


The world championships have wrapped up

The world track & field championships have wrapped up! Canada had a successful meet overall, with five medals and four broken Canadian records.

Canada’s medals were:

  • Silver: Andre De Grasse, 200m

  • Bronze: Andre De Grasse, 100m

  • Bronze: Moh Ahmed, 5,000m

  • Bronze: Evan Dunfee, 50K racewalk

  • Bronze: Damian Warner, decathlon

Canada’s new records were:

  • Austin Cole, Aiyanna-Brigitte Stiverne, Madeline Price and Philip Osei, 4x400m mixed relay: 3:16.76

  • Sage Watson, 400m hurdles: 54.32

  • Gabriela DeBues-Stafford, 1,500m: 3:56.12

  • Moh Ahmed, 10,000m: 26:59

I shared the highlights from the first three days of competition in last week’s newsletter.

Highlights from the rest of the meet can be found below, along with some tidbits about the competition overall.

Scott Russell wrote a great recap piece for CBC Sports where he concluded that Canada is heading in the right direction for Tokyo 2020.

The next world championships will be held in 2021 in Eugene, Oregon.

Gabriela DeBues-Stafford breaks 1,500m record in 3:56.12, places sixth overall

Yeah, we don't know what just happened either.

So I broke the World Championship record by over 2 seconds... Unfortunately so did the 5 women in front of me. 3:56. Wot. That's a pretty good consolation prize.

Lots of people to thank for this crazy year, but I'll start with these guys. Thank you Laura, Andy, and Jemma for taking a chance on me.
Xo - G
October 6, 2019

Gabriela DeBues-Stafford ran 3:56.12 in the 1,500m finals. She broke the world championship record by two seconds, her own Canadian record by almost four seconds — and placed sixth.

She was beat by the Netherlands’ Sifan Hassan, Kenyan Faith Kipyegon, Ethiopian Gudaf Tsegay, American Shelby Houlihan and Brit Laura Muir (who is DeBues-Stafford’s training partner).

That’s eight times DeBues-Stafford lowered a Canadian record in 2019. She previously broke the 1,500m twice this summer: running 4:00.26 to break the record the first time and running 3:59.59 to become the first Canadian woman to run under four minutes.

From CBC Sports:

“It's not enough to be the best right now. Being the best right now means you're one of the best of all-time,” DeBues-Stafford told CBC's Scott Russell on Thursday. “It's a ridiculously stacked [event] right now and I'm just excited to be [in] the conversation.

“If you don't get a medal, the next best thing you can hope for is a personal best and that [3:56.12] was massive. I'm super-pumped about that and it's an exciting time to be in the women's 1,500.”

Unfortunately, this race — possibly the greatest 1,500m ever — is clouded in controversy. The winner, Dutch runner Sifan Hassan, is coached by recently suspended coach Alberto Salazar.

Salazar is the long-time coach of the Nike Oregon Project and was just served a four-year ban for doping violations. I have more on this later in the newsletter.

Moh Ahmed wins bronze in 5,000m Canada’s first worlds distance medal, breaks Canadian 10,000m record

🇨🇦 heritage moment...
October 3, 2019

Moh Ahmed had a sensational meet, winning Canada’s first distance running world championships medal and breaking his own Canadian 10,000m record.

Ahmed took home bronze in the 5,000m in a completely thrilling race. This and the women’s 1,500m were probably the two best races of the meet.

Beating Ahmed on the podium were Ethiopia’s Muktar Edris (12:58.85) and Selemon Barega (12:59.70).

From CBC Sports:

“To be honest I don't know where the hell I am,” exclaimed Ahmed as he first reacted. “It's just surreal.”

And then, gathering his strength, he began to ramble and reflected on all the things that had taken him to this point. He spoke of the Commonwealth silver medals at 5,000m and 10,000m last year in Gold Coast, Australia, and the disappointment of being fourth at the Olympics in Rio three years ago, and all of the times that he had been fourth or sixth or seventh in a race. But this time, he surmised, he was not going to let that happen.

“With a few laps to go I said [expletive],” Ahmed exclaimed. “I'm not going to be a passenger … I'm going to make some moves. This time I didn't miss out. I'm on the podium and I'm happy to do it because this is something that the Canadian distance community can share.”

Justyn Knight also ran the 5,000m final. He finished in 13:26.63 to place 10th. Knight was thrilled for his teammate.

From CBC Sports:

“This is huge for the Canadian distance community,” beamed young Knight, who arrived to our mixed zone while Ahmed was being liberally feted by the international media. “Moh is such a great guy. He brought me over with the flag. I really appreciate that. I'm going to wait for him right here if that's OK.”

In the 10,000m, Ahmed placed sixth, running 26:59. The time broke Ahmed’s own Canadian record of 27:04 in the distance and he became the first Canadian to go under 27 minutes in the 10,000m.

The top three in the 10,000m were Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei (26:48), Ethiopia’s Yomif Kejelcha (26:49) and Kenya’s Rhonex Kipruto (26:50).

Kejelcha is coached by Alberto Salazar.

Andre De Grasse wins silver in 200m, to go with his 100m bronze

Andre De Grasse won two medals at this year’s competition: he took home bronze in the 100m (I wrote about that last week) and also won silver in the 200m.

De Grasse ran 19.95 to claim second. He lost to American Noah Lyles, who ran 19.50. Third place went to Ecuador’s Alex Quinonez, who ran 19.98.

“I think in the last 10 metres I might have [blown] it a little. My legs got a little fatigued," De Grasse told CBC Sports. “I think that's when Lyles came and passed me. I'm not disappointed. I didn't think I'd be here a year ago.”

De Grasse now owns seven world championship medals.

A fun note: Canada is the only country to have sent two runners to both the 100m final and the 200m final. Aaron Brown ran in both too.

Brown placed eighth in the 100m, with a time of 10.08, and sixth in the 200m, with a time of 20.10.

De Grasse and Brown were both on the men’s 4x100m relay team, along with Gavin Smellie and Brendon Rodney.

They ran 37.91 in the semi final heat. However, their heat was fiiiiiire and they placed sixth and did not advance by five-thousandths of a second.

Damian Warner wins bronze in decathlon, Pierce LePage takes 5th

Damian Warner took home bronze the the decathlon. The PanAm gold medallist was looking for gold, but had a tough competition and had to settle for third place.

It was the third time making the worlds podium for Warner — he won bronze in 2013 and silver in 2015. He also won bronze at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

“It helps that it's another medal for Canada, but it is a little bit disappointing," Warner told CBC Sports. “These last six weeks leading up to this decathlon [have] been a bit rough for many reasons, but I'm happy that the season's over and I can regroup and get ready for the big push next year.”

Fellow Canadian Pierce LePage placed fifth in his first world championships.

Fifth in the world!!!!

I’d be lying to say I’m not frustrated with how certain events went knowing medal contention was well within reach, but overall I’m super happy with where I finished at my first world championship.

Thank you to every one who has supported me throughout the season! Special thanks to my coach Gregory Portnoy who’s put so much effort in getting me here. My therapists Andrea Stephens and @drrickysingh , supporting staff @jhuntoon21 and my training partner @david.vargas_98 who have all played a special part in supporting me this year

📷 Bjorn Paree/Scott Russel
October 4, 2019

LePage was actually leading the competition early on the second day, thanks to an impressive 400m run and javelin throw.

The 23-year-old RBC Training Ground winner has a bright future ahead of him.

Sage Watson sets Canadian record en route to 400m hurdles finals appearance

WE DID IT!!! New Canadian Record and moving on to the world championship finals! ⁣

Thank you everyone from the bottom of my heart❤️ More to come!!!💪🏼💋🇨🇦⁣

#championshiptime #teamcanada #nike #xendurance #aftershokz
October 2, 2019

Sage Watson has been chasing the 400m Canadian hurdles record ever since she emerged on the international scene. In Doha, she finally did it.

Watson ran 54.32 in the semi-finals, which qualified her for the finals and broke the 23-year-old record, set by Rosey Edeh. Edeh ran 54.39 at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.

From CBC Sports:

“I knew I was ready to run that time,” said Watson. “My coach [Fred Harvey], last night, broke down a race for me to run 54.30, so I feel like I just believed in it and went out there and did it.”

Watson's previous best of 54.52 was her winning time at the 2017 NCAA championships in Eugene, Ore.

Watson placed eighth in the final, with a run of 54.82.

The top three were American Dalilah Muhammad, who ran a world-record time of 52.16, American Sydney McLaughlin (52.23) and Jamaican Rushell Clayton (53.74).

Watson was also the anchor of Canada’s 4x400m women’s relay team. Watson ran with Alicia Brown, Aiyanna-Brigitte Stiverne and Madeline Price.

The team also made the final, where they placed fifth with a time of 3:25.91. They were later DQed for stepping outside their lane during the first exchange.

Andrea Seccafien breaks 15 minutes in 5,000m, places 13th overall

Placed 13th in the World with my first sub 15 run - 14:59.9 💫

I’m proud that I never gave up on myself this season. This makes getting through every setback worth it.

Thank you to everyone who made this championships so special- coach @melbtrackclub, all my MTC teammates, bae back home @jamiewhitfield, everyone who watched and sent well wishes and the phenom @athleticscanada staff here in Doha.
#Sub15 #PersonalBest #IAAFWorldChampionships2019 #Doha #AthleticsCanada #TeamCanada #5000 #OffSeason #BreakTime #EarnedIt
October 6, 2019

Canada had three women in the 5,000m: marathon and half-marathon record holder Rachel Cliff, Jessica O’Connell and Andrea Seccafien.

O’Connell withdrew from competition due to lower-leg injury.

Cliff ran 15:41.27 in the semi-final and did not qualify for the finals.

Seccafien put together back-to-back personal bests to break 15:00, nab the Olympic standard and place 13th overall. She ran 15:04.67 in the semi-finals and 14:59.95 in the finals.

From CBC Sports:

“It would have been nice to place a bit higher but we're all so close at this level that if we ran the race again it would be a different outcome,” the 29-year-old said. “I'm pleased with my first [world] final.”

“The race split into three groups midway and Andrea was in the third group but never lost complete contact and fought hard in the last mile when fatigue and the heat would have been a big factor,” said CBC Sports analyst Dave Moorcroft, who set a men's world record in the 5,000 in 1982 when he clocked 13:00.41.

“I thought she showed real courage and determination to fight hard in the last few laps and be rewarded by a fast time.”

The top three in the race were Kenya’s Hellen Obiri (14:26.72), Kenya’s Margaret Chelimo Kipkemboi (14:27.49) and Germany’s Konstanze Klosterhalfen (14:28.43).

Klosterhalfen is a Nike Oregon Project athlete.

Seccfien was the first Canadian to make the 5,000m since 2008.

Other notable results from the 2019 world championships

This isn’t a comprehensive list by any means, but a roundup of some other results I thought you’d might like to know about.

Natasha Wodak has had a phenomenal 2019, but it ended on a disappointing note. She won the 10,000m Canadian championships and PanAm gold in the distance, but her world championship race was well off her goal of 31:30.

Wodak ran 32:31 in the 10,000m final, which put her in 17th place.

This photo was taken moments after my race- that’s the only smile I could manage as I held back tears.
32:31 & 17th place at the World Champs was not at all what I was hoping for. I had visualized & felt prepared for sub 31:30- and I was no where close. I felt rough from the start - finding it a struggle to run a pace I am normally comfortable with. After only 2k I started to fall back & mentally I began to break down. I won’t go through the whole race- but the last 20 laps were the hardest of my life. I never gave up & im proud of that. But I’m heart broken to end my season like this 💔
I will take a few days to be sad & process the race- BUT then I’ll enjoy a wonderful vacation with my Alan Bolt in Greece & Italy- with NO RUNNING. Life is about so much more than this running stuff.
Coach Lynn- I’m sorry I couldn’t show the world how fit you got me! Thank you for being there for me last night ❤️ #worldchamps2019
Photo- @cbc.sports @cbcscottrussell
September 29, 2019

→ The 4x400 mixed relay team, comprised of Austin Cole, Aiyanna-Brigitte Stiverne, Madeline Price and Philip Osei, broke the Canadian record for the second time this season. However, their time of 3:16.76 was not good enough to advance to the finals.

→ In the 800m, Canadian champion Brandon McBride failed to advance to the finals. But up-and-coming star Marco Arop did. Arop, who won gold at the Pan Am Games in July, ran 1:45.78 in the finals to finish seventh.

→ The men’s marathon saw much better conditions than the woman’s race. 19 athletes still DNFed, which was 24 percent of the field. The race was won by Ethiopia’s Lelisa Desisa, who crossed the finish line in 2:10:40. This makes Desisa the first runner to win the Boston marathon, the NYC marathon and the world championship marathon. Coming in second was Ethiopia’s Mosinet Geremew in 2:10:44. Third went to Kenyan Amos Kipruto in 2:10:51.

Canadians John Mason ran 2:19:21, good for 36th place, and Berhanu Girma ran 2:22:28 to finish 45th.

Sifan Hassan also won the women’s 10,000m, becoming the first athlete to ever win the 10,000m and the 1,500m at the world championships.

Sasha Gollish writes about her world championship marathon DNF

Fawk, again.
‘Bout sums up last night for me, right @melmyrand?
September 28, 2019

Sasha Gollish was one of three Canadian women who ran the extra hot extra humid world championship marathon last week. The other two were Lyndsay Tessier and Melanie Myrand.

Gollish was the only Canadian who did not finish. 41% of the women’s field DNFed in the extreme conditions. Tessier came ninth and Myrand came 27th.

Gollish, who is sponsored by Oiselle, wrote about it on Oiselle’s blog:

While that event was a failure, I am not a failure. 

I am writing about my emotions, because I need them off my chest so I can start to move on. 

I’m home now and the reality of my race is weighing on my mind. 

I finally downloaded the file of my partial race. It affirmed that I made the right decision to stop when I did. My heart rate was well over 200 beats per minute for a sustained amount of time. Couple that with knowing that my core temperature was at 39.9°C (103.8°F) fifteen minutes after I stopped running and had been in cold water immersion, I am thankful I listened to the distress signals. 

Somewhere around 18km (just short of 11mi) I noticed that my skin was dry. It was ~91°F, felt like 112°F, and I had stopped sweating. Then came the goosebumps, and, just before I stopped, my forearms felt chilled. Feeling chilled in that kind of heat and humidity is a telltale sign that something is not right. 

While physically I knew my body would not cooperate for me to reach the finish line my brain still asks the question, “Did you really do everything you could to prepare?”

The head keeps telling the heart, “Yes.” The heart responds, “Are you sure?”

Up next for Gollish is the NYC marathon on Nov. 3. A top 10 finish there would get her the Olympic standard.

Evan Dunfee shares his worlds racewalking fuelling strategy

Evan Dunfee placed third in the 50K racewalk in conditions brutally similar to the women’s marathon. Dunfee started out conservatively and made his move at the end, knocking out some of the fastest splits of anyone in the race in his last 10K.

Dunfee and fellow Canadian racewalker Mathieu Bilodeau prepared for the weather accordingly.

From Canadian Running:

“We knew it was going to be hot, so our entire race strategy was centred around cooling. I ice-bathed for 10 minutes before entering the call room and then wore a towel soaked in ice as I waited to start. During the race there were 74 opportunities to take water and personal drinks and I took as much as I could hold every time. The two water stations were about 700m and 1.3K into the loop and the personal drinks were like 1.9K in. At each water station I would try to take two bottles of water and one or two sponges. At each personal drinks table I would take my bottle, a hat that had been on ice, a neck sausage that was full of ice and a cold towel to also wrap around my neck. I just kept myself constantly wet. There were only one or two points in the race where I felt hot. I one-hundred per cent attribute my success to this strategy.”

Bilodeau also had success with this fuelling and cooling strategy: he placed 14th overall.

Dunfee was originally scheduled to run the 50K and 20K double, but opted out of the 20K and cheered instead.

Dunfee already has the Olympic standard for Tokyo 2020.

The suspension of coach Alberto Salazar puts cloud over entire event

Last week, I wrote about the two stories dominating the world championship headlines: the heat and the empty stadiums.

Well, the weather cooled off a bit and the stadiums filled up for the weekend, thanks in part to local high jump hero Mutaz Essa Barshim — he successfully defended his gold medal — but a third story came out to put another grey cloud over the competition: Alberto Salazar, the longtime coach of Nike Oregon Project, was served a four-year ban for doping violations by the U.S. Anti-doping Agency (USADA).

He was found guilty of:

  1. Administration of a Prohibited Method (with respect to an infusion in excess of the applicable limit);

  2. Tampering and/or attempted tampering with the doping control process;

  3. Trafficking of testosterone through involvement in a testosterone testing program in violation of the rules.

Endocrinologist Jeffrey Brown was also served with a four-year ban.

From the Associated Press:

USADA released a pair of 100-plus-page decisions by an arbitration panel that delivered the suspensions for both Salazar and Dr. Jeffrey Brown, the endocrinologist who did contract work for NOP and administered the medicine.

The documents, combined with earlier reporting spearheaded by the BBC and ProPublica, paint a picture of a coach and doctor who used athletes, employees and, in one case, even Salazar’s own sons, as guinea pigs to test theories on how supplements and medicine could enhance performance without breaking anti-doping rules. The documents also show they went to great lengths to produce falsified and incomplete medical records that made their master plan hard to detect.

Behind it all was the world’s largest sportswear company. Nike wrote the contracts and paid the athletes, making it difficult for them to refuse the direction of their revered coach and his hand-picked doctor.

This BBC article, about how the investigation came together, is also worth reading:

But the rumours about the American, while not public, were persistent in elite circles; whispers of unorthodox methods, athletes being given unnecessary prescriptions and even the use of banned substances and methods at the prestigious Nike Oregon Project (NOP) over which Salazar presided.

Salazar was legendary in US athletics circles, and the most prominent running coach in the world. Winner of the New York Marathon three years in a row from 1980-82, he had once pushed so hard in a race he ran himself unconscious and had the last rites administered.

Salazar remains more famous in the US than any athletes currently competing. If he was cheating, this was going to be a tough story to break.

Nike Oregon Project had seven athletes at the world championships. Not all of them are coached directly by Salazar:

  • Sifan Hassan, who won the 1,500m and 10,000m, an unprecedented feat in track and field;

  • Yomif Kejelcha, who placed second in his second-ever 10,000m;

  • Clayton Murphy, who placed eighth in the 800m;

  • Donavan Brazier, who took home gold in the 800m;

  • Craig Engels, who placed 10th in the 1,500m;

  • Konstanze Klosterhalfen, who placed third in the 5,000m;

  • Jessica Hull, who did not make the 1,500m final.

From what I can gather online, Hassan and Kejelcha are coached by Salazar directly, and Kejelcha, Brazier, Engels, Murphy, Klosterhalfen and Hull are coached by NOP assistant coach Pete Julian.

The ban meant Salazar’s world championship accreditation was revoked mid-competition and his athletes were barred from communicating with him.

This resulted in several outspoken athletes and awkward moments in various post-race media, as athletes avoided talking about it, said something vague about it or leaned right into it and spoke about.

Some of his other current athletes are American marathoners Galen Rupp and Jordan Hasay, who are both running the Chicago marathon this week.

Canadian marathon record holder Cam Levins was coached by Salazar from 2013 to 2017. He left after a series of injuries to work with his college coach, Southern Utah University’s Eric Houle.

No athletes, past or present, have been implicated.

I get that it’s hard for athletes, especially young, vulnerable ones, to take a stand against powerful, wealthy organizations and powerful, influential coaches. To take less money or no money. To say no. But I would say that athletes are ultimately responsible for who they align themselves with and what they put into their bodies.

So, clean or not, if you’ve ever worn a Nike Oregon Project kit or ever worked with Salazar, those results have a gray cloud hanging over them.

The Chicago marathon is this Sunday!

The Chicago marathon is on Sunday, Oct. 13. I have not successfully found a legal viewing link for Canadian viewers, but will update this post online if I do.

I’ve run the Chicago marathon twice, and it’s one of my favourite races. It has such a great balance of being an accessible, low-key race while also being a world marathon major.

Here are four questions I have for the Chicago race!

Who is Natasha Labeaud and what can she do?

Canada has one elite runner in this year’s field: Natasha Labeaud.

Labeaud lives in San Diego. She holds dual Canadian and American citizenship. She ran for Georgetown University in her college years.

She previously represented Canada in 2015, when she ran in the IAAF cross-country world championships. According to her bio, she’s the founder of the non-profit 2nd Recess, has a masters degree in journalism and a PhD in public health.

Labeaud’s personal best in the marathon is 2:35:33, which she ran at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon in 2014.

According to Canadian Running, Labeaud has top 10 in mind in Chicago:

“The big goal for the race is to be top ten. I’ve also had the 2:29 Olympic standard written down as a time goal. I’ve had my eyes on the Olympic rings since I was young and my sights are still set there. There are ups and downs and the Olympics is a big goal, but it’s certainly on my radar heading into Chicago.”

The women’s elite field includes Americans Jordan Hasay, Emma Bates, Stephanie Bruce and Sarah Sellers, Kenyans Brigid Kosgei and Betsy Saina, Mexican Madai Perez and Australian Lisa Weightman.

For context, last year Melanie Myrand ran 2:34:08 to finish ninth.

A 2:29:30 finish time or a top 10 finish would give Labeaud an Olympic standard. Only two Canadians have the standard currently: Rachel Cliff and Lyndsay Tessier.

Mo Farah versus Galen Rupp: Who will come out on top?

Chicago 2019 is shaping up to be a showdown between Galen Rupp and Mo Farah, just like last year.

In 2018, Farah emerged victorious, winning it all in 02:05:11, while Rupp faded to fifth and finished in 02:06:21.

Rupp is coached by Alberto Salazar, while Farah was coached by him from 2010 to 2017.

So, will one of them win? And if they do, will people accept it as a clean result? Or will another man emerge victorious?

Other men in the Chicago elite field include American Parker Stinson, Ethiopia’s Getaneh Molla, Herpasa Negasa and Lawrence Cherono and Kenyan Hassan El Abbassi.

Can Jordan Hasay break the American marathon record?

Immediately after Boston 2019, Jordan Hasay announced her next goal: she was going after Deena Kastor’s American record of 2:19:36 at Chicago this year.

Hasay, like Rupp, is coached by Alberto Salazar. Hasay denied any wrongdoing on her part on social media:

“Let them judge you. Let them misunderstand you. Let them gossip about you. Their opinions aren’t your problems. You stay kind, committed to love, and free in your authenticity. No matter what they do or say, don’t you dare doubt your worth or the beauty of your truth. Just keep shining like you do.”- Scott Stabile

Just finished my last hard interval workout before @chimarathon, 15x 1k! 🏃‍♀️💪
With regard to yesterday’s news, I want to convey that Alberto has been like a father figure to me and has treated me with nothing but respect, and the highest of ethical coaching standards. I wish him the best moving forward as I remain committed and focused towards racing the Chicago marathon in 12 days, and the Olympic Trials marathon in February 2020. .
@nikerunning @pacesportsmanagement #chicagomarathon
October 1, 2019

So the question is, can Hasay — who had the best American debut at 42.2K ever at Boston in 2018 and holds the second-fastest American marathon time ever — go sub 2:19:36? And if she does will anyone believe it’s clean?

Can Brigid Kosgei make it three major marathon wins in a row?

Kenyan Brigid Kosgei is the defending Chicago champion. She also won the London marathon this year and set the world’s fastest half-marathon time at the Great North Run this summer, when she won in 1:04:28. Her marathon PB is from London 2019, 2:18:20.

Kosgei is good. And she’s fit. So what is she going to throw down on the streets of Chicago?

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Michal Kapral sets 10K joggling world record

Canadian joggler Michal Kapral set a brand-new world record: 10K while juggling four balls.

Kapral ran 55:48 at a 10K race in the Maldives.

The record has yet to be ratified. Kapral told Canadian Running that juggling four objects, instead of the usual three, is much harder than you’d think because the juggling motion is different. “Anytime I lost my concentration for half a second, I’d drop a ball or two,” he told the magazine. “The heat and humidity started to take a toll after the 5K turnaround, but I just pushed on and started counting every second toss–1, 2, 3, 4…”

Kapral will attempt another world record on Oct. 11: most steps taken while juggling three objects.

Harry Jerome got a Google Doodle

On Sept. 30, Harry Jerome got a Google Doodle, in honour of what would have been his 79th birthday.

The Saskatchewan-born sprinter competed in three Olympics: 1960, 1964, and 1968. Jerome was a sprinter and over the course of his career set seven world records.

Jerome moved to Vancouver with his family when he was 12 years old. From there, he would go to university at the University of Oregon, where he would train under the legendary Bill Bowerman before breaking onto the international scene.

Throughout his career, Jerome had to fight racism and injustice.

From CBC:

But beyond the victories, there were hardships, including mistrust and racism from those around them. They were the only black people at Canadian championships in 1959 and 1960, his sister recalled.

“We were definitely outsiders and certainly to much of the press — certainly not all of it — Harry was just somebody who they didn't take to,” she said. “He was very quiet. He was shy, but they decided that he was arrogant and an uppity black.”

He died in 1982 at the age of 42.

Kat Surin wants to follow in her father’s footsteps

Kat Surin is a world track & field championships team member. Kat just graduated after a successful NCAA DI career at the University of Connecticut.

She’s also the daughter of Canadian sprint legend Bruny Surin.

Kat wrote a piece about following in her father’s footsteps for the CBC Sports series Players’ Own Voice:

It was only fair, with all my father’s experience, that people assumed he would coach me. I don’t think he ever wanted that responsibility, and I didn’t want him to have it either. Instead, he put me in a trusted track club and always made sure that I was happy with my training. More importantly, he also made sure that I was having fun. My father does an excellent job of letting my coach do his job. He never jumps in to tell me what I should do or second guess my practices. Unless I ask him something, he respects his role.

Malindi Elmore is ready to take on the Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Running in Canada continued their Toronto Waterfront Marathon preview profiles this week with Malindi Elmore. Elmore will be running 42.2K for the second time in Toronto — she came out of seemingly nowhere to run a fantastic debut in Houston in January. But it wasn’t really nowhere — Elmore ran for Canada in the 2004 Olympics in the 1,500m. She just took an 19-year break to start a family and dabble in triathlons (Dabble, in this case, means running competitive Ironmans).

She now has her eye on returning to the Olympics and the 2:29:30 women’s Olympic standard.

From Running in Canada:

The addition of Elmore to this field makes everything more intriguing. Like other Canadian’s in the field, Elmore told me that the decision to run STWM was simple: “I love Championships racing and the opportunity to race a big marathon in Canada is pretty special. I know that Alan Brooks and his team will have a vested interest in our success and the opportunity of potentially reaching my goals this year on Canadian soil is very exciting.”

Although she is toeing the line for many of the same reasons as the Canadian elites, it is safe to say that her training regiment is vastly different than the majority. As a mom and a masters athlete, Elmore admits “it’s a bit of a juggling act.” She continued to say that “I have had to take a more ‘relaxed’ approach in some aspects while also being very committed to my training. For example, I have to not freak out if I am up several times in a night and just accept it as part of the journey of parenting — I think in the past it would have stressed me out much more. At the same time, I am committed to my goals so I make them happen however I can — using a treadmill during nap times, using the 80 minute childminding window at the local recreation centre and running around my husband’s work schedule.  Thankfully my husband — who is also coaching me — is totally on board with this project so he steps up a ton with the childcare / household tasks whenever he can around his own commitments.”

Brampton is getting a new half-marathon

The city of Brampton, Ont., announced this week that they will host their first half-marathon in June 2020.

The June 14 event will feature a 10K and a 21.1K race.

From the press release:

Pleasant Village hosts both the start and finish lines where runners and spectators can take in the historic Canadian Pacific Railway station. A single loop course will take runners through the west end of the city with beautiful farmland along Heritage Road and Lionhead Golf Club.

June might be hot as hell in the GTA, but it’s always good to see another race added to the schedule.

It might conflict with the very popular lululemon Toronto 10K, but that event’s 2020 date hasn’t been announced yet.

The INEOS 1:59 challenge will be streamed on YouTube

Eliud Kipchoge will be going for a sub 2:00 marathon on Oct. 12, weather pending. The race will be streamed live on YouTube at approx. 2 a.m. ET.

Kipchoge will be running a 9.6K loop in Vienna. Organizers hope to line the route with fans. 41 pacemakers from around the world are being employed to help Kipchoge.

For the Nike Breaking2 project, Kipchoge got closer to the two-hour barrier than anyone expected, running 2:00:25. He then went on to break the legal marathon world record at Berlin in 2018, running 2:01:39.

Runner’s World UK has a great preview article:

Skeptics might question whether Kipchoge will be as committed to waht could be seen as a gimmick for an extra payday, but he sees this as part of his legacy. “It's more important [than Olympics or Majors],” he says. “It's like the first man to go to the moon: I will be the first man to run under two hours, this is crucial. This is about history, it's about leaving a legacy. Breaking the two-hour barrier is crucial for me. I want to show the world that when you trust in something and have faith in what you are doing, you will achieve it, whether you're a runner, a teacher or a lawyer.”

I think he’s going to do it.

The YouTube embed for the race is below. Sign up so you don’t miss it.

The final kick

That’s it for this week!

Since Monday, Oct. 14 is Thanksgiving, Run the North will be in your inbox on Tuesday, Oct. 15.

It will include a recap of the INEOS 1:59 challenge (if it’s happened!), a recap of the Chicago marathon and a GIANT preview of Canada’s biggest, most important marathon, the Toronto Waterfront Marathon!

If you want to reach out for any reason, you can email me at

Thanks for reading and keep on running!