Jenna Westaway, Jessica O’Connell, Marco Arop & Guelph's 4x400 men's relay team all set new national standards
Four Canadian records have been broken since my last newsletter
Canadian running is on fire this indoor season. Gabriela Stafford set two Canadian records so far this year (in the 5K and the mile), and four more have gone down this week.
Jenna Westaway, who is running for the University of Guelph in her final year of eligibility after running for the University of Calgary, set the Canadian 1K indoor record. She ran 2:37.04 at the David Hemery Valentine Invitational in Boston. The previous record of 2:38.28 was set in 2003 by Dianne Cummins.
Jenna wasn’t the only Canadian to run under the record at this meet — Madeleine Kelly, who runs for the University of Toronto, ran 2:37.79.
Jessica O’Connell placed third in the indoor 3K at the Millrose Games in New York, with a time of 8:46.5. That is the new Canadian indoor 3K record. The previous record of 8:48.56 was set by Meghan Wright back in 2008.
Marco Arop, who is from Edmonton and runs for Mississippi State, ran 1:45.90 at a meet at South Carolina’s Clemson University in the 800. The record he broke was 1:46.47 and was set by Gary Reid in 2004. You can watch his record-setting run in this Twitter video.
Guelph University’s 4x400 men’s relay team, consisting of Josh Hamilton, Graeme Thompson, Philip Osei and Daniel Harper, ran 3:07:43 at the collegiate Spire DI classic at in Ohio. This broke the old record of 3:07.77, which was set in 2013.
Malcolm Gladwell on Runners of NYC podcast
Malcolm Gladwell is a big deal. He’s a bestselling author, New Yorker writer and host of the popular podcast Revisionist History. He also loves running. And he’s Canadian. He is the guest on the most recent episode of Citius Mag’s podcast Runners of NYC. The episode is getting a ton of attention for what Gladwell says about being a mediocre runner (as per the tweet above, he says it’s more fun than being a good runner), but the episode is worth a listen because Gladwell is a HUGE RUNNING NERD. It’s the best.
Canada gets a ton of shout-outs, from Gladwell’s stellar high school career to his time at University of Toronto to why he’s not a New Yorker even though he’s lived there for years (he’s Canadian, duh) to why he’s not a baseball fan anymore (it’s the Blue Jays fault).
The Bailey Experience
I watched the first episode of TSN’s new series, Engraved on a Nation, which explores various moments and people in Canadian sports. The first episode was about Donovan Bailey.
Overall, it was a decent overview of Donovan, the person, the athlete, what the culture was like during his rise to the top, and the skepticism that followed his win. (Can we have another one-on-one track showdown at the SkyDome please?)
If you have a cable subscription, you can watch it online. It also appears to be airing on TSN pretty regularly too.
A final lesson from Sasha Gollish
I linked to lessons 1-6 in the last newsletter, but Sasha just keeps tweeting the wisdom.
Run shirtless in a polar vortex? Sure, for a good cause
A 5K run designed to bring awareness to the homeless situation in Calgary took place on Feb 3. The run was going to happen no matter what, but when temperatures felt like -45 Celsius, the run took on extra meaning. 23 runners braved the extreme cold to take part, raising over $30,000 for emergency shelter non-profit Inn from the Cold.
Gary Robbins’ reading list
Ultra runner Gary Robbins took a three-month social media sabbatical at the end of 2018/beginning of 2019. When he returned, he posted about the books he read during his break on Instagram. It’s an interesting mix of running books, literary fiction, nonfiction and CanCon. They were:
1. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
2. Finding Ultra by Rich Roll
3. The Saturday Night Ghost Club by Craig Davidson
4. 80/20 Running by Matt Fitzgerald
5. Circe by Madeline Miller
6. Born A Crime by Trevor Noah
7. North by Scott & Jenny Jurek
8. I've Been Meaning To Tell You by David Chariandy
9. Brother by David Chariandy
10. There Is No Map In Hell by Steve Birkinshaw
11. Endure by Alex Hutchinson
12. Artemis by Andy Weir
And Canadian Running talked to Aurora Rynda, a runner from Toronto who is currently making a name for herself on the NCAA circuit, running for the University of Michigan. Canadian Running’s website has been crushing it lately.
iRun talks to Canadian amateur runner and expert traveller Rick Shaver about packing for a race. And Rick knows what’s up: he’s travelled to more than 120 countries and has travelled to more than 20 marathons. His next race is Tokyo in March.
So many elite runners are sharing their journeys on social media and on blogs and I am here for it. I especially liked this post by Sam Parsons, who runs with Tinman Elite in the U.S. and holds dual American and German citizenship, about running for Germany to honour his mother.
American ultra runner Mike Wardian won the World Marathon challenge, where he ran seven marathons on seven continents in seven days, then went on to run three more marathons in three more days just for fun. His final marathon was his fastest, to boot. Washington City Paper has a great article about how it all came together.