Running from Around the Bay to Boston

Kinsey Middleton wins Woodlands and Reid Coolsaet and Trevor Hofbauer are running Hamburg.

Kinsey Middleton wins Texas Woodlands half-marathon

Kinsey Middleton, the 2018 Canadian marathon champion, won the Woodlands half-marathon in Texas on Saturday. On Instagram, Kinsey said she got lost and ran more than 13.1 on her way to her 1:15:28 finish time.

Kinsey told Woodlands Online that the time was nowhere near her goal. “I was pretty far off of the time that I wanted to hit, but that’s OK. It was pretty humid
out today, so I just put a good effort out.”

Kinsey’s half PB is currently 1:12:30. Her plan for the rest of the season is to now focus on speed and try to nab the world standard in the 10K. Kinsey trains in Idaho with the Idaho Distance Project.

Jim Willet is running from Around the Bay to Boston

Jim Willett is running Around the Bay in Hamilton, Ont., on March 31, then three weeks later, he’s running the Boston Marathon on April 15.

NBD, lots of runners are doing that, right? Well, Jim is also running the 875km BETWEEN the two races. He’s raising money for Socks for the Homeless.

I learned about Jim and his journey through this profile from Canadian Running.

Why? Well, he told Canadian Running that “I thought it would be cool to connect the oldest race in North America with the second-oldest race in North America.” This year, the races are only two weeks apart (they are usually three), making it an ideal year to give it a go.

Willett is a cancer survivor who decided to dedicate himself to adventure and also giving back when he beat the disease.

He has a GoFundMe raising money for his cause. He’s already passed his goal of $5,000, but if you want to support him you can do that here.

“For me, I've always believed in the power of the journey. Life has taught me to look for the beauty in the struggle,” he writes on his fundraising page. “From a childhood of relying on social assistance programs and sometimes not having a roof over my head, to my battle with cancer, to running ultramarathons on 5 continents, my mantra has become ‘take another step.’ Sometimes what seems like the smallest act, or tiniest step, can have a profound impact.”

Reid Coolsaet and Trevor Hofbauer running the Hamburg marathon

It was revealed this week that both Reid Coolsaet and Trevor Hofbauer are running the Hamburg Marathon on April 28, 2019. Canadian Running says the runners are trying to hit the world standard mark of 2:13.

Hamburg will be Trevor’s second marathon ever. He ran his debut in 2017, when he won the Canadian marathon championship at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (STWM), running 2:18:05. Earlier this year, he ran the Houston half-marathon in 1:10:06, which was well off his PB of 1:04:28. His original goal race, the Monterey Bay Half, was cancelled 10 weeks earlier. He wrote about dealing with that and vaguely mentioned some health issues on a blog update at the end of January.

Coolsaet is looking to return to top form after a rough couple years. He came ninth at Boston in 2018, which was impressive given the historically terrible conditions. Then at STWM in 2018, Coolsaet ran 2:17:37, coming in as the second Canadian to Cam Levins, a performance he told Canadian Running he was “conflicted” about.

Reid wrote a little bit about his current training in boulder and why he’s running Hamburg on his blog. “I picked Hamburg because it’s known as a pretty fast course and they are supposed to have a 2:12-2:13 group,” he writes.

And while he’s currently not in 2:13 shape, he’s optimistic about how his current training block in Colorado is going. “Although nothing in my training so far points towards 2:13 I’m happy with how my body is feeling. I think that once I’m acclimated to the altitude and I have some solid weeks under my belt that I’ll be able to progress.”

Reid and Trevor were both on the Trackie podcast this week discussing their spring training and goals.

Canada sending mixed cross-country relay team to worlds for first time ever

A mixed-team relay was added to the World Cross-Country Championships in 2017. Canada is sending a team for the first time this year.

The team will consist of Lindsay Caron, Erica Digby, John Gay, Justin Kent, Yves Sikubwabo and Regan Yee.

The race is 8K, consisting of 2K loops. Four team members — two men and two women — will each run one loop. The team can run in any order they want.

The World Cross-Country Championships take place on March 30, in Aarhus, Denmark.

Athletics Illustrated has a preview of the race, which includes a chat with head coach Jon Lofranco, who believes a top eight finish is possible for this team.

Canada is also sending 24 athletes to compete in the four individual events.

The under 20 women’s team is Makenna Fitzgerald, Anne Forsyth, Brogan MacDougall, Taryn O’Neill, Maggie Smith and Charlotte Wood.

The under 20 men’s team is Evan Burke, Andrew Davies, Joshua Desouza, Ibrahim Kedir, Nicolas Mota and Maximus Thiessen.

The senior women’s team is Katelyn Ayers, Geneviève Lalonde, Jessica O’Connell, Andrea Seccafien, Claire Sumner and Natasha Wodak.

The senior men’s team is Lucas Bruchet, Ehab El-Sandali, Evan Esselink, Rory Linkletter, Benjamin Preisner and Mike Tate.

The national cross-country team completed in the NACAC championships in February. Canada did well, and I recapped the results in a previous newsletter, if you want to check them out.

The book to read this week

If you got into the NYC marathon last Wednesday, congratulations! It’s a life-changing race. That’s why this week’s book is A Race Like No Other by Liz Robbins. If you’re running NYC, this book will get you hyped for November 4. If you’re not, well, it’ll make you really, really want to run NYC. A Race Like No Other follows several runners participating in the 2007 race, from first-time marathoners to elite racers. As they run through the five boroughs, you learn more about them and their running journeys as well as more about the race itself and it’s storied history. It’s basically the Spirit of the Marathon documentary in book form, only at NYC.

Strides: links I liked this week

  • As mentioned in an earlier newsletter, 2018 Boston Marathon champion Yuki Kawauchi is running the BMO Vancouver marathon after he defends his Boston title later this year. iRun magazine spoke to Yuki about why he’s coming to Canada, his races-as-workouts approach to running and what life’s been life since winning Boston. It will be the first time Yuki has come to Canada, which he thinks is “Maple syrup and ginger ale.”

  • Not running, but The New York Times look at the world of shotput and the two athletes currently dominating it, Americans Ryan Crouser and Joe Kovacs, is excellent and worth your time. “Shot-put at the elite level is an often thankless job, with most of the suffering and little of the glory common to other professional sports. The athletes’ work is gruelling, and doesn’t make them rich. It barely makes them famous, even in their hometowns in Oregon and Pennsylvania.”

  • Calgary and Vancouver made this list of 51 places around the world to run and drink beer. As someone who has run and drank beer in a lot of places, I personally would add *at least* Toronto, Montreal and Halifax.

  • If you’re in Toronto, check out the Toronto Run Summit on March 10, hosted by the Runner’s Academy. It’s an all-day conference with panels, keynotes and more about running & running culture.

  • Brad Stulberg, the co-author of Peak Performance, has a new book coming out called The Passion Paradox. (Both books are co-written with Steve Magness.) It’s available in mid-March. On the website for the book, Stulberg wrote about the 15 keys to finding mastery: Caring, Health, Humility, Stress, Rest, Consistency, Confidence, Coaching, Community, Drive, Patience, Toughness, Acceptance, Acceptance, Presence and Vulnerability.

That’s it for this week! Thanks for reading and keep on running. Winter’s almost over… I think.