Wednesday, 12 October 2016

A look at STWM and is running something of a religion?

Hey folks, so here we are, a few days out from STWM weekend. I'm super excited, not only to race but to spend some time in one of my favorite cities and hang out with some good peeps. The weather is looking anything but favorable with heavy rain and winds in the 30km/h range but I'm still going to go out and give it a good rip. Anyway, I don't have a lot of time for this post so I'll quickly give some shout outs and people to watch this weekend followed by a short rant about how I feel like in this day and age people seem to be looking for a sense of belonging and where some would turn to religion in the past, I wonder if they are choosing activities/groups like running, crossfit, cycling... etc more and more in modern day.

Athletics Canada Updating 2017 WC Marathon Standards.

So I'm sure most of you that read this know that earlier today Athletics Canada announced that the standards used for the 2015 WC in Beijing have been updated and made stricter. To be assured of a place on the 3 person team you have to run the times that were in place for the Olympic selection. (2:12:50 and 2:29:50) Or, run their secondary time, which doesn't guarantee selection of 2:14:10 and 2:31:20, both well under the previous marks of 2:15:00 and 2:35:00. I know this has got to be super frustration for some of the girls and guys who were planning on trying to run the standard this weekend in Toronto. With such little notice, the weather forecast and added pressure of knowing the time is faster then anticipated it's an unfortunate situation. I really don't think the previous standards needed to be altered, it would have been great to send a full squad so they could gain the experience of competing at the highest level and return knowing what it takes to get to that next level. I'll save the discussion on this until more comes out, but it's something we need to talk about for sure.

Shout Outs

So lot's went down last weekend from road races to cross country meets people were out there getting after it. The biggest one on the east coast was the AUS meet where Mr. Cyr and Dewolf appeard to be out for a Sunday jog going 1-2 in the exact same time. I didn't catch the finish line photo but I suspect they did a "super friends" high five as they crossed. I predict some serious pack running from X at the AUS champs with Neuffer and Donald in there as well. I'm interested to see how they fair at CIS this year, they have 5 men who will all run very well and are in 30-31 minute shape so they are in the mix for sure. My boy Matt Power also showed some racing chops and hung tough with the boys until they shifted into beast mode and managed a strong 3rd place showing. I predict Matt will be an AUS all star and finish 6th at the big dance. On the other end of the country was the Victoria Marathon Weekend. Robbie D won the half as he continues his comeback on route to NYC. Trevor "Nacho Libre" Hofbauer got the win in the 8km while Lyndsay Carson cleaned up on the women's side. In the marathon we saw Sabrina Wilkie back in action making her debut in an impressive 2:45. Well done friends....well done!

People to watch this weekend at STWM

1 - Eric Gillis - Complete stud, coming off his best year to date and a 10th place finish in Rio, if the weather holds he's going to be close to the CR.

2 - The women's national marathon championship battle. Realistically I see this going down between Krista, Rachel, Leslie, Dayna and Tarah. There are other great athletes in the field like Erin, Meggan, Shelly, Tanis who could all throw down something fast and possibly sneak under 2:35. But, it'll be interesting to see that pack of 5 shake out up front. All have potential to run very close to if not under 2:30 so keep an eye on this storyline.

3 - The battle of the beauties, John Mason, Kevin Coffey, Robert Winslow, David  Le Porho and Philippe Viau-Dupuis. All seem to be close in fitness and running well. On a perfect day I can see all these guys going south of 2:20, heck 2 have already done it. This could be the battle for the 3rd spot in the Canadian Championship. (I like Kip to repeat his Silver). 

4 - The debut of Tristan Woodfine and Jeff Costen. (Now to be fair I feel like I remember Woodfine running Rotterdam a couple years back when Winslow went 2:19?). Anyway, Woodfine is a stud when he's at his best and could potentially run as fast as 2:15 if all goes well. The marathon is cruel tho so we will have to wait until 11:00 on Sunday to see where the dust settles. As for Costen, like I've said before, kids got spunk, loves to put himself in the hurt box and grind. He's a student of the sport and knows his range of abilities and 9 times out of 10 gets the most out of his body. He ran his half debut on this course in 2014 going 1:08:02 for 3rd and won the half last year, I expect a smartly executed race from the wolf, with a strong last 10k as he runs through the carnage.

5 - The half debut of Matt McNeil. This kid has a ton of talent, he didn't get much love on the boards last year going into CIS but he certainly showed he deserved to be in the conversation with the big boys. I could seriously she him running 5 minute miles the whole way and looking smooth doing it. Watch out for this one, it's going to be fast!

Is Running like Religion?

That's a weird way to phrase it, but after reading Michael Rochus's last two articles and listening to more Joe Rogan podcasts then I care to admit, I've been doing some serious thinking about this. As it stands, there doesn't seem to be the same numbers going to church every Sunday like you would see say 50 years ago. Now, I'm not a super spiritual person. I've read the Bible, and I believe the scriptures but I don't see the need or point for that matter of going to church one hour a week and claiming that religion. A building is just that, a building. One's faith is different, it's something that's yours and you don't have to show up somewhere or be seen attending a mass to believe what you believe. If you truly have faith, then your a living testimony to your beliefs, you don't have to tell anyone anything, they will see what you believe through the way you live and that's simply enough.

So with that said, I feel like people in general like the feeling of belonging, and church/religion for most people is just that, a sense of belonging to something. What I'm wondering, are sports like running, triathlon, cycling, crossfit starting to attract more people and fill that void that some people are searching for? When you have something that makes you different, and something you share with only other like minded people it gives that sense of belonging and accomplishment. Not to mention that it's improving ones health and you normally participate in these activities with like minded, driven individuals.

This may be just a jumble of thoughts but it's something that I've been thinking about a lot recently. When I'm driving on a Sunday morning and pass a church with a few dozen cars in the parking lot, then 5 minutes later pass a group of 75 runners heading out on their Sunday long run from their local Running Room I can't help but smile and think, how great is it that we can find belonging in a pursuit as simple as running.

Anyway friends, that's all I've got time for this week, I promise I'm going somewhere with that last point about running/religion haha, I assure you I haven't lost my whole mind yet. I'll elaborate more when I spend some more time thinking about it. But yeah, it's off to Scotia, I'll report back next week with great stories, a race recap and some snaps of some beauties getting into shenanigans! :).

Thanks for reading and see you next time

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