New Experience #7: Get My Photo Taken with Canada’s #1 Ranked Male Marathoner!

Last evening, Michelle and I attended a running-related event:

the event details!

Funny enough, I heard about this free presentation in the Runner’s World Forums, “Canada” section! I rarely look in this category, so it was just meant to be that I happened upon the posting. I recruited Michelle to join me, knowing she’d be as gung-ho as me about attending.

Guelph is a 30 minute drive from Waterloo, so Michelle and I enjoyed girl time [ie gossip chitchat] in the car, to and fro. She is a lot of fun to hang out with!

The theme of the evening:

a subject near and dear to my heart! ok, one of my PRIMARY PASSIONS!

I cannot express how excited I was to be in this atmosphere! Attendance was well over 100 people, I’d say, so I wasn’t alone in my enthusiasm! And how’s this for funny – after a washroom break, when I re-entered the hotel conference room, I could decidedly smell “running” – that slightly sweaty, wet-tech-fabric scent was definitely in the room! (Yea, kinda gross, but comes with the territory!).

The host/MC for the evening was Alan Brookes, race director of the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and the Canada Running Series of road races.

mr brookes introducing the evening's line up

i took this shot solely (pun!) so you could see mr brookes' footwear; "you know you're at a running event when..."!

The first guest speaker was Dave Scott Thomas, renowned running coach. I loved his exubert, passionate, yet casual and modest way of presenting material.

i think his age is older than he appears! very youthful demeanor and attitude but a wealth of knowledge and background

Dave is the coach of the Guelph Speed River Track and Field Club and coaches THREE of the FOUR top-ranked male marathoners right now in Canada! How awesome that they are based just DOWN THE ROAD from my city??!

Here are the three guys:

reid is ranked #1, right now; fun fact: he worked for the running room, even at my location, at one time!

eric gillis is ranked #2...

...and, rob watson, ranked #4, had a breakout performance at the houston marathon in january

The best part?? All three guys were in attendance!

left to right: alan brookes; dave scott-thomas; reid coolsaet; eric gillis; rob watson

And the very VERY best part??! I got my photo taken with Reid! What an unassuming, quiet, polite, modest, nice guy! I kinda gushed when I asked for the photo – and Eric Gillis took it for me (embarrassingly, I did the photo opp before the presentation, and didn’t realize Eric was Eric – oops! Coulda had TWO celeb running photos, had I known!):

canada's #1 ranked male marathoner ... plus me!!!

Dave Scott Thomas discussed the training regimens of the marathoners. I was impressed that he imparted some trade secrets, even:

dave details specific workouts leading up the "A" race/marathon

more insider info!

The second guest expert was Dr Trent Stellingwerff. Michelle knows him from way back, so he came over and chatted before the evening started – a very nice, unassuming, well-spoken guy.

impressive credentials!

Trent spoke about marathon nutrition for both the elite and recreational athlete, addressing fueling for pre-run, during the race, and post-workout recovery. Again, he shared details specific to Reid, Eric and Rob’s training – lots of spreadsheets, graphs, percentages up on the Power Point. I love this stuff!

After the two presentations, the floor was opened up for a Q & A session. Michelle asked a question – and received a Powerbar goodie bag!

powerbar was one of the evening's main sponsors

I would have given my right arm loved to have walked out with a giftie bag; alas, I couldn’t come up with an intelligent question to save my soul that I could pose to the group…

My favourite question came from the recreational runner who asked if it’s really necessary to forego alcohol as a non-elite runner (ie a daily glass of wine). Trent’s simple reply? No!

I HAD SO MUCH FUN! Call me a geek, but I thoroughly enjoyed learning the optimal number of carb grams you should take per hour during your marathon (it’s 60 g for most people, but is based on body weight). I could write you a 15 page essay on all the information presented, all the details; suffice to say, I picked up ideas, but even more, I just had FUN soaking up the information, basking in the geekdom of running-related minutiae.

That being said, I just have to post a couple of tidbits of knowledge (I know some of you are marathon training, so not everyone will be bored to tears!)

**the major take-home piece of info? as you’ve likely heard before, we are all experiments of one.

~what type of sports drink should you consume during your run? Studies prove a mix of glucose + fructose is optimal

~fuel during your race is weather independent; fluid intake is weather dependent

~it’s ok to lose 2-3% of your body weight during a workout

~ if your urine is clear, you’re likely overhydrated; you want a slight yellow tinge to your pee (no subject is sacred to runners!)

~”you don’t need to bang out tons of intensity [mileage] to become a pretty good runner.” Dave Scott Thomas

~in his lead-up to last fall’s Scotiabank Marathon, Reid peaked at 227 km per week; his taper week before the ‘thon was 100k (this mileage includes the 42.2 k of race day)

Two complaints about the eve: 1) it went on too long. Michelle and I left at 9:30 p.m., finally (the evening started at 7:00 p.m.). Alan Brookes was quite…verbose. And Dave and Trent had a lot of information to share. 2) they only brought the three marathoners up for the Q & A at the very end of the session – I could have listened to a lot more of just them sharing their experiences and tips.

It’s an exciting time for marathoning in Canada! We could be on the cusp of some breakthrough performances, and Jerome Drayton’s longstanding Canadian marathon record time of 2:10:08 could be eclipsed within the next few years.

The exciting final announcement of the event was that all three marathoners will be competing at the Waterfront Marathon this fall. Click here for the link to the official press release. Wow. I just may have to have a New Experience!…”witness the breaking of the Canadian male marathon record!”

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  • Stephanie  On March 3, 2011 at 7:23 am

    Marathon training = something I don’t think I’ll ever, ever do.

    I have tons of respect for any kind of runner. Marathon runners? Oh my goodness! I bow down!

    • 1970kikiproject  On March 3, 2011 at 8:28 am

      i am totally in awe of the mileage these guys can do, and the attention to details in their training and approach. such dedication!!!

  • Andrea  On March 3, 2011 at 6:42 am

    Ooh, I’m inspired – Will have to go for a run tomorrow! (although not close to marathon proportions)

    Also, interesting to know that I probably should be drinking LESS water. 🙂

    • 1970kikiproject  On March 3, 2011 at 6:48 am

      oh, i would so love to join you on a run around your new ‘hood! hope all is going super well for you, andrea! 🙂 yea, i was glad they addressed the “bodily fluids” issue – so often we’re told to drink, drink, drink…well, you CAN reach a saturation point!

      • Andrea  On March 3, 2011 at 6:52 am

        We are so fortunate to have a path across the road from us that runs parallel to the beach for kms upon kms – it’s wonderful!

  • Gina Unger  On March 2, 2011 at 10:49 pm

    Wow! Jeff and I both read your blog here and were intrigued! Great job getting that celeb photo! Totally feel for ya re: the length of the prez. Keep it short and sweet, people! And they, of all people, should know about that kind of thing (exercise and the brain, etc..)

    • 1970kikiproject  On March 3, 2011 at 5:13 am

      i was so thinking of you both during the presentations because i think j would have really enjoyed all the numbers and details of training – how to best refuel the body post w/o, and some of the training speeds these guys hit. i was so impressed by how low-key and modest the three guys were – not a hothead in the bunch!

  • Zo  On March 2, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    I’m constantly amazed at how much art and science there is to running…a lot more than putting one foot in front of the other. I’m glad you had a good time and a possible New Experience.

    Personally, I think even the most interesting talk stops being engaging after 1-1.5 hours. Just get tired of listening and sitting still!

    • 1970kikiproject  On March 2, 2011 at 9:40 pm

      i’m with you on time frames!! i would have had dave and trent STICK to the “budgeted” 20-30 minutes, each, then had questions for 15 minutes and that’s a wrap, folks. oh well – at least i got my photo and i DID enjoy the information. i love, too, that what works for you (hydration etc) one day can NOT work another day, depending on your nutrition, rest, sleep…so many factord come into play!

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