Canada150 Ultramarathon Relay

canada150_logo

Montreal to Ottawa – July 1/17

Who: 7 teams, 57 runners
What: 150KM Ultramarathon Relay
Where: Montreal to Ottawa
When: July 1, 2017
Why: To celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday, sharing community spirit

We will be hosting a self-supported 150KM Ultramarathon relay on July 1, 2017, as a celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday!

We have brought together 7 teams of 57 runners, united on this journey from Montreal to Ottawa. The motivation behind the Canada 150 was fueled by Kevin’s desire to bring together the run community, in an event that would allow runners of all levels and abilities to accomplish something great together. Sometimes a race distance can be daunting and not possible for one individual to complete alone, so the team format brings together a group of individuals to accomplish great things together.

Each of the runners selected for the Canada 150 represent the diversity of the growing Montreal run community, and together in teams, they will work in unison to cover the distance of this self-supported relay. The segments have been carefully planned to offer a variety of distances and speeds, while keeping the runners sync’d in a group effort.  The shortest distance is 7.2K, with the longest being 15.7K. Speeds will vary from 9-12K/h with the total run time being 15 hours.

Departing from Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue on the West Island of Montreal, the runners will make their way to Ottawa utilizing the Prescott-Russel Recreational Trail, traversing through the small towns and communities along the way. Follow along on our Instagram and Twitter feeds as we post throughout the day on July 1st!

Click here to view our video preview of the event!

We are estimating our time-line as follows:
5:00 AM – Pedestrian Bridge Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue
6:00 AM – Vaudreuil
7:00 AM – Hudson
8:15 AM – Rigaud
9:40 AM – St-Eugene Pavilion
11:10 AM – VanKleek Hill Pavilion
12:25 PM – Caledonia Springs
1:55 PM – Plantegenet Pavilion
2:55 PM – Boudreau Road
3:55 PM – Hammond Pavilion
4:50 PM – Dunning Road
5:40 PM – Milton Road
6:40 PM -Anderson Raod
7:45 PM – Aviation Museum

screen_flag

Advertisements

Dream Big.

When we became run ambassadors for lululemon in October 2012, we didn’t realize the impact it would have on our lives, nor the path it would take us on.  Initially, we thought we’d simply be product testing some run shorts made by a company famous for their black-stretchy-pants –  instead, we got a whole lot more than anticipated.

Our vision was to give back to the community – to connect with others and help them overcome fears and courageously take on their dreams. To inspire 10 people, in hopes that they would then go out and inspire 10 more. Surprisingly, what happened as this process unfolded was that we gained a deeper understanding of ourselves – the meaning of gratitude and compassion. We learned how to create a long-term vision and set the short-term goals that would guide us.  Initially this was overwhelming, but as we began getting comfortable envisioning the future, it became easier to define what that might look like.  Through community connections and run events, photo shoots and ambassador summits, as we stretched out on yoga mats and took time to breathe, we learned to challenge ourselves – to think big, then BIGGER, then small, then SMALLER.

At the same time, our triathlon and run adventures that began in 2003, were forming the building blocks for our desire to explore more, and push the boundaries of possibility.  We also discovered that our travel and race experiences were most rewarding when shared with like-minded individuals. At some point, everything clicked and our goal setting ability brought our vision into clear view. RunTrippers is the result of that vision, with the goal to travel and run in different countries around the world, sharing the journey with anyone who wants to come along – literally or virtually.

In January 2017, we decided to leap forward and take our first official RunTrippers travel adventure – why wait until all the stars align and the timing is perfect – right now is perfect!

This spark was initiated by our friend Johany Jutras, who had photographed us in the past, with a vision to document our trip so we could tell our story.

@Annie-Claude Roberge-8646 (1)
She also suggested we bring along her videographer friend Annie-Claude Roberge to capture some footage of the journey. The question was, where would we go, and what would that destination represent.
D5J_6959
We knew the purpose of our trip was to venture to a place that would challenge and inspire us, and we wanted a landscape that offered incredible scenic beauty.  The choice was obvious – Iceland.  Who else but a couple of Canadians would travel to Iceland to go running in the middle of winter!

We put together a lululemon gear selection consisting of a Run for Cold Jacket, Cool Racerback II, WunderUnder and Inspire II Tights for Kat – and a Surge Warm ½ Zip, Metal Vent Tech Hoodie, Surge Warm Tights and a Pack It Jacket for Kev.  With our plan in place, and our travel packs loaded, we were ready to experience running in Iceland.

We flew into Keflavik on January 27, 2017 and for the next week, we ventured around the island exploring the extreme landscape and delving into the culture. From adventuring through the quiet city of Reykjavik with its soft glistening lights, to running across barren landscapes of the South Island with every-changing weather conditions – Iceland resonated with us very deeply.

The first three nights were spent in Reyjavik – catching the sunrise on Mount Esja, visiting the Old Harbour, Tjornin Pond, and the Opera house – with visuals that were beautiful and striking.
DJJ_3174
We explored the Ellioaardalur Valley – right in the heart of the city, and ran along the scenic Reykjavik marathon course.

We drove the Golden Circle route and found ourselves trekking through deep snow across the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates as the sun began to rise.

D5J_5258-2.jpg
Onwards to Pingvellier –  a UNESCO World Heritage site – then stops at Geysir and the Gullfoss waterfall. The air was so incredibly fresh and the vast landscape simply breathtaking.
 
We spent the next three nights in the countryside, living like locals in the beautiful remote setting of Hella. Our days were filled with adventure as we trekked 4km out to the black sand beach at Solheimasandur to visit the 1973 US Navy plane wreck. We hiked up and over the Langjokull and Vatnajokull glaciers, descended into the ice-caves and visited the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon – 370km from Reykjavik!

As we navigated through our itinerary, we also took the time to explore the unexpected places that seemed to appear at every turn in the road.
Larry Nadler
With our journey complete, we headed back home knowing there was still so much left to see. This trip taught us how valuable it is to slow things down and take a breath – to step away from everyday life and really look around.

Travel brings an opportunity to step out of our comfort zone and look back on the road we’ve wandered upon, to see where our compass guides us next.  Being courageous enough to take a leap and forge your path is when life truly begins!

We are already planning our next trip and have a long list of places we’d love to run through. It’s a great big planet out there and adventure awaits!

Skechers 2016 #getyourmilesin

Just as we began to ramp up our spring training miles for the 2016 Boston and London Marathons, the newest models in the Skechers Performance lineup arrived at our doorstep! Given the excellent performance of the 2015 models, we were excited to see what changes the team had incorporated into in the newest incarnations.

As soon as we opened the boxes, it was obvious that Skechers has been taking serious strides in product development – listening to us as runners and what we desire in a shoe. Throughout the line, they continue to impress us with extremely comfortable, lightweight shoes, geared towards a performance purpose.

Immediately apparent was the integration of breathable seamless uppers, and re-engineered features in the sole construction. We were excited to get laced up and head out the door, so here’s our take on how each shoe fits in with our run objectives this season.

GOrun4 – The original ‘Speed Demongets ever fasterslice_skechers_k&k4
When we first tested out the GOrun4 last year, it was clearly our ‘speed-demon’ of choice for the 2015 season. It surpassed all of our expectations and performed beautifully in a variety of conditions.  We raced in this model at several Half Ironman and Half Marathon events and did all of our speed work in these. It provided a great overall race/performance fit and feel, and was light as air. This was a model we thought couldn’t get any better, but when we tried out the latest version, we knew why it had become the 2016 Runner’s World Editor’s Choice.

The new GOknit mesh one-piece upper is soft and seamless, providing a smooth sock-like feel, and comfortable and supportive fit. The re-designed flexible ‘Resalyte’ midsole provides perfect amount of cushioning balanced with impact protection.  The modified outer edge ‘pods’ add durability and we found them to have a new super grippy type of traction that translated to straight-line speed!

This is an incredible shoe, and with a 4mm drop that promotes a mid-foot strike, ‘Quick-Fit’ portal and flexible heel-cup for quick transitions, this will remain our preferred mid-distance race shoe.

GOride 5 – Reinventedslice_skechers_k&krideThe GOride 3 was the first Skechers model we tested back in 2014, so it’s been remarkable to see how the team at Skechers have developed it over the past two years. This shoe has always been comfortable right out of the box, and the next generation of the GOride doesn’t disappoint.

In addition to a completely new seamless upper, with breathable side panels and more stability, we found the redesigned sole to have more cushioning and greater impact protection. The shoe also felt much more responsive, thanks to the new ‘Resalyte’ compound, and GOimpulse Sensors on the outsole, which offered flex and grip for a very smooth and responsive run experience. It also offers generous space in the fore-foot, so more room for your toes to spread out a bit. It also incorporates the 4mm heel drop design, and promotes a mid-foot strike for fluid transition and stride efficiency.

The GOride has always been an extremely comfortable shoe, almost disappearing on your foot, so the new GOride 5 will be our mid-distance ‘go-to’ training shoe when the runs are longer and we’re looking for maximum comfort.

Forza – Stability/Distance Kingslice_skechers_k&kforza
The same comfort found in the GOride and GOrun’s can be felt at the heart of the Forza, with this model offering superior stability and a well cushioned ride. The Forza also incorporates a breathable seamless mesh upper and two-part Resalyte midsole, for a very smooth heel to toe transition.

It features an 8mm drop, and we found this shoe to be super-lightweight with an excellent response right out of the box.  The heel cup on the Forza is moulded and well-padded for a more traditional style fit as well, so it really hugs your foot.

The Forza is a great choice for those looking to transition into the Skechers brand and like a traditional style of running shoe. Comfort and stability come together in this lightweight performance machine, making it our model of choice for long training runs.

In Summary
All of the Skechers shoes in the Performance line are extremely lightweight and super comfortable on the inside – with no stitching and great breathability. The upper is very flexible so the shoe feels unrestricted, with no hotspots or pressure. The re-engineered soles offer more cushion and traction with a nice mix of stability where needed. As a bonus, we absolutely LOVE the stock ‘flat-wound’ stretch laces!k&kduo.jpgOverall, these shoes offer exceptional performance in and impressive lineup of models, especially if you add the Ultra Road into the mix! Skechers have taken things to the next level, and tailored their Performance lineup to cater to all running styles and distances.

As we log longer mileage over the summer, we’ll be extensively testing the Ultra Trail model as we gear up for a double crossing of the Grand Canyon this fall – stay tuned!kat_skechers_16-4_web

Skechers Performance = Speedy Feet!

Our 2015 race season was planned to accommodate a late season build – racing the New York City Marathon on Nov 1st, then taking on the Ultraman World Championships in Hawaii from Nov 27-29th

We chose to do a progressive build towards the November targets by pacing some friends in a few half marathons, racing the 5150 in Tremblant, as well as doing two half Ironmans in September – all for fun and fitness. The ‘lead-up’ races brought in some focused speed-work, and were planned to land right in the midst of our final build phase.kat_skechersjoy_web
The great thing about the variety of races and mileage we laid out was that it gave us a perfect opportunity to thoroughly test various models of the Skechers Performance lineup – both in training and race settings. Shoe rotation is a great tactic for injury prevention, so being able to switch pairs often – especially for those ultra-long two-a-day run sessions, was a major bonus for us this year!

So, after logging several training and race miles in 2015 thus far, here’s our impression of the Skechers Performance lineup:

GOrun4 – The Speed Demon
If you are looking for a speed-demon, then the GOrun4 is for you. It’s lightweight, fits like a glove, and offers enough cushioning to easily take you into the Half Marathon distance.  We love the heel cup design – it’s flexible and thin so doesn’t even feel like it’s there – and the ‘Quick-Fit’ portal makes slipping these on quickly in triathlon transitions a breeze!  The GOrun4’s feature a flexible ‘Resalyte’ midsole and rubber ‘pods’ on out outer edges for durability.  We love their grippy traction on the road, as well as the 4 mm drop, offering superior fit and function.

In the races we’ve done this year, the breathability and drainage capabilities of the GOrun4’s have surpassed our expectations.  We’ve raced in a variety of conditions, from hot humid 41C weather at the Canadian Iron113, then pouring rain and 15C at the Demi-Esprit – every time the GOrun4’s performed beautifully.

Strada – The High Performance Trainer
If you prefer a little more cushion and stability, The Strada takes the support level up a notch, offering an excellent shoe for longer training runs and marathon distance racing. The Strada is built with more dense foam on the outsole as well as a combination of Resalyte and Resagip for a firmer ride. It features an 8mm drop, and feels excellent on flat roads where you can incorporate everything from quick sprints to longer tempo runs.

We love the stability of the Strada, which has become our ‘go-to’ shoe, covering all the bases from traditional trainer right into race-day performer.

Ultra Road – The Endurance Junkie 
After testing in the Ultra2 model for most of last season, and loving its cushioning comfort,  along came the Ultra Road this season, which took things to a whole new level for us.  This model instantly became our ultra-distance favourite. 

Right out of the box, the fit and feel was exceptional, offering great cushioning and a responsive ride. The Ultra Road features a Resalyte sole, with firmer outsole, making for a very responsive take-off for those times when you are looking to pick up the pace! With its  durable woven upper and no seams or liner, it performs great in the heat, providing exceptional breathability and water drainage.

Our first ‘test’ run was a 6 hour city jaunt, and the shoes offered great support and a very   comfortable fit. At the end of our long test run, we both looked at each other and said, ‘Yup, we can keep going in these!’ 

We LOVE the Ultra Road and they will definitely be our 2015 Ultraman World Championship shoe of choice!

In Summary
All of the Skechers shoes in the Performance lineup that we have run in were extremely comfortable on the inside – no stitching, excellent drainage and great breathability. The upper is very flexible so the shoe feels unrestricted, and paired with the stock ‘flat-wound’ stretch laces, the tongue always stays in place.

It’s a great feeling for an athlete when your gear becomes ‘one’ with you and it just seems to ‘disappear’ – it’s there, but it’s not. That’s exactly what we’ve found in the lineup, and with such a broad choice in the series, there’s a shoe option for everyone! Where ever it may be, from trails, to twisty roads to all out track sprints, we’re driven by excitement every time we lace up and head out the door!

kat&kev_ultraraod_1_web

Skechers GOrun Ultra…

Earlier in the season, we had the opportunity to connect with the team from Skechers.  They have developed a full line of Performance Shoes and they thought we’d make good product testers/brand ambassadors.  The Performance line was new to us, so we were excited to test them out and see what all the shoe-buzz was about!

We first tried out the GOrun models, and loved the light-weight and super-comfy fit. They were super flexible in the upper, and feature flat-lock stitching details for a seamless feel and fit. They also offered a great mid-foot strike. Next it was the GOrun ‘Ride’, which offers a 4mm heel drop and a unrestricted ‘stable’ feel, with a bit more lateral and medial support for longer runs.  We really got to test these out at the Chicago Marathon in October, where we both PB’d!

Then, as our training for the Ultraman World Championships was winding up, we slipped into the ‘GOrun Ultra’s‘, which provided the ultimate cushioning with the Resalyte shock absorption, and the option of a 4mm or 8mm heel drop. This shoe also offered us 65% more cushioning than the GOrun Rides, so the perfect balance of stability and support, promoting a mid-foot strike.  These is also a super light-weight shoe, which really help when those extra km’s kick in!

k&k_lulu_skechers1

If that wasn’t great enough…  we were presented with the GOrun Ultra ‘Extreme’ edition!  This was a new concept for us, as they are an ‘all weather’ version of the Ultra. We were already familiar with the great fit and grip of the Ultra’s, so decided to test out the ‘Extreme’ model on the first real ‘snowy/slushy’ night-run here in Montreal.

In the past, we’ve had to be super careful with foot-strike and stride-length out on the slippery streets, as well as dodging cars and the various obstacles that go with urban running.  What surprised us was that these shoes offered amazing TRACTION!  They were also extremely stable, and have a breathable water-resistant membrane, which allowed for great air circulation, while keeping the slush and snow out!  We really loved the fit and feel and are looking forward to the winter runs ahead in the new ‘Extreme’s’…

Meanwhile, we’ll be giving our GOrun Ultra’s the big test down in Hawaii at the Ultraman!

If you have the opportunity, we suggest you try out one of the models in the Skechers Performance lineup – there seems to be something for everyone!

Happy Trails!

k&k_lulu_skechers2

Self Massage = Injury Prevention + Free Speed

As athletes, we love getting a great massage prior to a big race to ensure we’ve gotten out all the kinks, but why wait until all the big training is in the bank to reward yourself? Why not do a little preventative and restorative work on your own, between massages, to keep tired muscles loose and moving! It’s a great way to prevent injury and keep tight and tired muscles supple during the build phases of your training plan.

Simply implement a few minutes of self massage a few times per week utilizing these three simple tools: a foam roller, massage stick and a tennis ball.

One minute rule – keep it short : Use your watch or iPhone to set a timer so that it beeps every minute – that’s all you need.

For the Feet – Tennis Ball:
Roll the ball under each foot for one minute. Apply enough pressure to feel out hot-spots or tension under the foot and gently roll back and forth.

For the Calves and Achillies tendon – Sport Stick :
We love this one, as you can apply focused pressure to deep knots in the calf’s and achilies tendon. Always roll from the bottom up to encourage circulation and blood flow to the muscles working on the calves and hamstrings for pin-pointed relief.

For the Quads – Foam Roller :
Bonus – this one will also give your upper body a bit of a workout! Lay the foam roller on the ground and using your upper body for balance and support, roll out your quad muscles from bottom to top!

For the IT bands – Foam Roller :
Same as for the Quads, your upper body can help support your weight while you work the IT Bands – trust us, this one is not only self-massage, but a workout at the same time!

For the Hamstrings – Foam Roller and Sport Stick :
We like to mix up a combination here, using both the Sport Stick for specific knots and the foam roller for the overall muscle.

For the Glutes – Foam Roller and Tennis Ball:
This is a great combo to roll out the hips and lower back across the foam roller, then get specific and pinpoint problem areas and knots deep within the glute muscles.

Make sure you take the time to breathe while doing these self-massage exercises. It’s normal to tend to hold your breath while engaged, so remember to simply breathe throughout the process. It usually takes about 2 days to feel the effects of self-massage, so if you implement this as part of your regular routine, you’ll find your muscles will loosen and range of motion will improve over time if you make this a regular part of our exercise routine!

20140330-104934.jpg

Winter running – 2014 edition!

Cold weather running…it’s not so bad, eh!!

Well it’s that time of year again for us here in the north – cold weather running season… don’t fret it though, with a little bit of forethought and planning, you can easily embrace the challenge!

“My lungs will freeze” is one of the most common comments we hear, but if you consider all the other aerobic winter activities that people do, why should running be any different. Think of alpine or Nordic skiing as an example, or even snowshoeing. These sports require a similar effort and are often performed in harsh conditions at sub freezing temperatures, and people don’t freeze while doing those activities – do they?

In order to optimize your outdoor winter runs, here are some tips to help make stepping outside more comfortable:

Check the hourly weather forecast in advance, and plan to head out at the warmest part of the day. You’ll find that by 9-9:30am, the sun is out and has begun to warm things up nicely. It’s important to pay particular attention to the wind-chill factor and wind direction, as well as humidity. The higher the humidity, the colder it will feel.

Layer your clothing. This is one of the most important factors to staying safe and warm. Double-walled socks will keep your feet warm, and layering your clothes will create heat pockets in between the layers. Be sure to keep the fabric closest to your body close fitting and sweat-wicking. You can layer over a second shirt and then finish with an outer layer that’s wind-resistant and waterproof. You should do the same for bottoms – layering long pants over fitted shorts, topped with a wind-resistant shell. A fitted glove, layered with a wind-resistant mitt can work well to keep your fingers warm – and don’t forget to protect your face and head using a face mask or scarf to cover your neck and face.

You can apply a sweat-resistant sport moisturizer such as Dermatone for extra protection, and petroleum jelly works great on lips, cheeks and your chin to protect exposed skin.

When first heading out, run ‘into’ the wind. This way, you’ll be able to gauge how cold it is and use the ‘tailwind’ to help you return home at the midway point in your run.

Be sure to shorten your stride in snow and ice. Keep your foot-strikes more in the center of the foot, and don’t over-stride out in front or follow through with a big kick. This will cause a loss in traction and result in a slippery stride. Best to keep the cadence (leg turnover) at a high rate, and stride-length shorter than you would on dry pavement.

Stay hydrated during your winter runs, and be sure to pack a small snack. We tend to burn more calories in the cold temperatures as our muscles are working harder to stay warm, so bring along a small snack (something that won’t freeze) to keep your energy stores up.

Enjoy the view. Winter running brings beautiful lighting and landscapes that are worth taking time to enjoy, so don’t forget to stop once in a while and look around.

Change out of your run clothes as soon as you finish. Your layers will most likely be damp underneath and getting into a dry change of clothes will help you regulate your core temperature and warm up more quickly.

Hopefully these tips will encourage you to head out the door and enjoy some winter running. The fresh air and winter scenery can make for some beautiful runs as your senses will experience a new variety of sights and sounds that we don’t get from spring, summer and fall running.

Remember, swimsuit season is just around the corner, so get out and run with some friends or even a group to stay active throughout the winter months. If you’re lucky, you’ll even take in some good old vitamin D if the sun happens to be out!

20140102-081856.jpg