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Episode

48. Jacky Hunt-Broersma: Cancer Survivor, Amputee, Ultramarathoner

“That’s part of the reason why I do a lot of these hard races is to show well, you know what, you can do anything that you put your heart and your mind to. You can do it. You can achieve it and you don’t have to be held back by a disability.” – Jacky Hunt-Broersma

At 26, Jacky Hunt-Broersma discovered a sensitive spot on her leg which doctors initially thought was scar tissue from a prior surgery; however, when Jacky woke up one morning to discover a lump on her leg, her doctor quickly scheduled a biopsy. Two days later, Jacky received the news she had Ewing Sarcoma and while she was mentally preparing for her battle with cancer, a specialist shared the news she was not prepared for; it was recommended that Jacky have her leg amputated due to the location of the tumor. Jacky credits her stubbornness for what would happen next. Jacky not only had to learn to walk with a prosthetic, she quickly decided she wanted to run and that set her off on a mission to research the different options available to amputee runners. Once Jacky started running, she couldn’t stop and her journey has been truly inspiring. Last April, Jacky ran 100 miles in 23 hours and 38 minutes on a treadmill and became the first amputee to accomplish this incredible feat. When she’s not running incredibly long distances on a treadmill, she’s crushing ultramarathons in the trails and this coming October, Jacky will be attempting the Moab 240; a 240 mile race in Moab, Utah.

When Jacky isn’t running, she’s helping other amputee athletes prove they not only don’t have to be held back by a disability, they can run even further than they have before.

To learn more about Jacky, you can follow her on Instagram at: @ncrunnerjacky

 
 
 
 
 
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Episode

47. Filsan Abdiaman on Exploring Matters of The Heart Through Running

“My relationship with running shifted. It was around the time I started doing ultra racing and trail running when it actually really switched for me. I would run to just work on me and my relationship with my mind and my relationship with my body and find a better way to love myself even more.” – Filsan Abdiaman

Filsan Abdiaman’s love for running came at a time of self discovery. In 2014, Filsan traveled from Canada to her hometown in Kenya following a breakup and, in the process, discovered she was struggling with depression, eating disorders, and anxiety attacks. Upon returning to Canada to get her life on track, Filsan started to focus on her health and mental wellness. Initially she was introduced to running as a way to lose weight and escape her mental health issues, but Filsan quickly realized the true transformative power of running. After much recovery and healing, as well as seeking help from professionals, Filsan discovered new skills and tools to cope with her mental health and her relationship with running shifted to time spent focusing on self love.

In 2016, Filsan started Project Love Run; a safe space where self-identifying womxn could meet others, move their body in an inclusive environment, and talk about matters of the heart. With chapters in Vancouver, Victoria, Edmonton, Toronto, and Montreal, Project Love Run has grown into a community that advocates for and advances mental and physical health for all womxn.

Filsan, André and Jonathan met when we first started discovering run crews in Toronto and it was truly wonderful reconnecting with this incredibly inspiring athlete and advocate for mental health.

To learn more about Filsan, you can follow her on Instagram at: @runnersinstinct

To learn more about Project Love Run, you can follow them at: @projectloverun

 
 
 
 
 
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Episode

46. April and Melanie Boultbee on Ultrarunning and the Indigenous Running Community

April and Melanie Boultbee are twin, Indigenous runners who have been blazing a trail in the running community for more than 25 years. Early on, April and Melanie had great success running cross country in school and continued to have success later in life, even after taking a break in High School to party. After dominating the roads, both April and Melanie transitioned to trail running where they continued to have success. In 2016, April finished first overall in That Dam Hill 24 hour race by running 204.25km in the alloted time.

When April and Melanie are not racing, they’re both very active in the running community. They’re ambassadors for Fast and Female, Endurance Tap, and INKnBURN and they raise awareness for women’s health, mental health, and the indigenous running community. In June, April and Melanie teamed up with Native Women Running to set a goal to run 215 miles in the month to honor the 215 Indigenous children who were discovered buried at the Kamloops Indian Residential School in Kamloops, BC.

We’re grateful to April and Melanie for speaking with us about this difficult subject and we hope you feel as inspired as we do after listening to this episode.

To learn more about April, you can follow her on Instagram at: @aprilboultbee

To learn more about Melanie, you can follow her on Instagram at: @melboultbee

To learn more about ON Canada Project, you can follow them on Instagram at: @oncanadaproject

 
 
 
 
 
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Episode

45. Lindsay Scott on Building Better Runners

“The fun part about running is every experience, every race, every training run is an opportunity to learn something. Put that into your back pocket and try to tease out what works best for you. It’s kind of this endless curiosity of how do we just fine tune just a little bit more.” – Lindsay Scott

After University, Lindsay Scott moved to Nepal, where she would spend the next eight months teaching life skills through sport play, leadership, and goal setting. The trip was also an opportunity for Lindsay to connect with the sport of running while discovering the community at the same time. The experience of running on her own terms gave Lindsay the luxury to fall in love with the sport without the pressure of competing.

When Lindsay moved back to Toronto to pursue her Master of Science Degree in Physical Therapy, running became a means to commute from home to school. Eventually Lindsay would connect with the Toronto running community as a Lululemon ambassador where she would introduce people to the joy of running. In 2016, Lindsay started working at the Runner’s Academy, a health and wellness clinic dedicated to helping anyone who enjoys, or wants to enjoy, running. As a Registered Physiotherapist, Lindsay strives to get to the root of runners’ issues and aims to get them back in action, stronger than ever; she also enjoys helping clients achieve their personal goals through a balance of education, manual therapy, personalized exercise prescription, acupuncture, health promotion, and injury prevention.

Lindsay is not only a student of the sport, she’s helping others recognize their true potential by teaching them how to be better runners and it’s not just runners she is coaching and mentoring; she also runs mastermind and mentorship programs to bring together a collective of like-minded clinicians and coaches who want to excel in supporting runners!

To learn more about Lindsay, you can follow her on Instagram at: @lindsayscottphysio

To learn more about the The Runner’s Academy, you can follow them on Instagram at: @therunnersacademy

 
 
 
 
 
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Episode

44. Baring it all with the Toronto Wolfpack Run Club

Wolves are social animals and occasionally a lone wolf will break off from a pack to join another pack or form their own. Unlike wolves, Jon Suckling and Paul Brioux didn’t stray from their original pack; they just formed another one within it.

Blacktoe Running is a local running store in Toronto owned and operated by Mike and Maya Anderson. Not only do they sell the latest and greatest products, they also do a lot of great work in the running community; giving back to the athletes who make this amazing community. Back Toe Running also offers a run club with a coached program suitable for both beginners and experienced runners. This is where Jon and Paul met; the two were grouped together with other runners who ran similar paces and soon discovered they had similar interests. Very quickly, the pack would expand with the addition of Kyle Stolys, Dan Baggaley, and Alex Desroches. The group of friends wanted to connect with the running community in different ways, while continuing to run with the Black toe Run Club, so they established the Toronto Wolfpack Run Club.

In their relatively short existence, the Wolfpack is leaving their mark (pun intended) in the running community through their hilarious instagram account, their dominating results in virtual races, and time trials and, just like wolves, this group of friends show how collaboration, sharing knowledge, and their special bond can bring out the best in themselves and each other.

To learn more about Jon, you can follow her on Instagram at: @jon.suckling

To learn more about Paul, you can follow her on Instagram at: @mrpaulbrioux

To learn more about Wolfpack Run Club, you can follow her on Instagram at: @wolfpackto

To learn more about BlackToe Run Club, you can visit their site at: https://www.blacktoerunning.com/products/blacktoe-run-club

 
 
 
 
 
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Episode

43. Get to Know the High Park Rogue Runners

This week on the pod, we’re chatting with Dr. Meghan Hughes and Danielle O’Hanley, two members of The High Park Rogue Runners Executive Team. Both Meghan and Danielle found themselves at the High Park Running Room for different reasons, but ultimately they would meet Colin Murray-Lawson, a coach at that location. When Meghan qualified for the Boston Marathon, she wanted to find a group of runners who could train with her, so Colin and Meghan created the High Park Rogue Runners.

Today, the High Park Rogue Runners have over 60 runners on custom plans and countless others who drop-in on a weekly basis (pre-pandemic, of course!). Their unique approach to training is the secret to their success. In lieu of coaching fees, the executive team asks their runners to support the community through volunteerism, gifts in kind, gear donations, and monetary donations. It’s a concept they coined the “energy exchange” and the outcome is an inclusive space where runners exhibit the values and standards modelled by the executive team.

To learn more about Meghan, you can follow her on Instagram at: @meghug17

To learn more about Danielle, you can follow her on Instagram at: @dohanley

To learn more about High Park Rogue Runners, you can follow them on Instagram at: @roguerunners

 
 
 
 
 
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Episode

42. Krista DuChene on Setting the Canadian 50K Record

I’ve traveled all over the world to race in big events and sometimes it comes down to those simple things that motivate you and push you to be your best and create those memories and how I can be that to my daughter and other girls. Those things excite me and motivate me.” – Krista DuChene

Krista DuChene is one of Canada’s most decorated marathon runners with an impressive list of accomplishments that started back in 2010 when she first became the National Marathon Champion. In 2012, Krista and teammate Lanni Marchant both ran faster than the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) Olympic standard in Rotterdam; however, neither athlete met the Canadian standard. While both athletes appealed, the decision to not send them to the 2012 Olympics in London was upheld. The experience fueled Krista to return to Rotterdam three years later where she improved her time and punched her ticket to the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Two years later, Krista conquered a gruelling Boston Marathon with wind, rain and cold temperatures to place 3rd overall and 1st masters. After the race, many blog posts discussed how Krista was the most prepared for the elements that day. We ask Krista about preparing for the race and how patience and perseverance led her to the podium. Last, but not least, we discuss the decision for Krista to attempt the Canadian 50K record and her approach to fueling, heat training (spoiler alert: it was HOT that day!) and what it was like to share the experience with her daughter. Krista also shares how her coach, and previous podcast guest, Reid Coolseat was instrumental in preparing her for the record attempt.

To learn more about Krista, you can follow her on Instagram at: @kristaduchene

 
 
 
 
 
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Episode

41. Canada Race Organizers on Porta-Potties, Virtual Races, and The Future of Racing

As the World starts to return to normal ways of living, we’re also starting to see the return of live racing in cities like Boston, New York, and elsewhere. So what does this mean for Canada? We invited two of the top race organizers in Canada to share their thoughts on everything from porta-potties to motivating runners in a virtual race format.

We’ll also discuss what’s required to pivot from virtual racing to in-person racing; it’s harder than we thought!

As the Event Director for Canada Running Series, Charlotte Brooks is responsible for organizing and managing events in Montreal, Edmonton and Toronto. Perhaps the most well known race is the IAAF Gold Label Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. Cory Freedman is the CEO/Founder of MAX VO2 Event Management Inc. and the Toronto Women’s Run Series.

Cory is the Race Director for many races in Toronto, including the Sporting Life 10k.

We can’t wait to see our listeners and friends in Canada and the rest of the World in person at the start line of our favourite races and when that day comes, let’s remember all the hard work race organizers and volunteers are doing to make your race day special!

To learn more about Canada Running Series, you can follow them on Instagram at: @runcrs

You can also find them at: https://canadarunningseries.com/

To learn more about Max VO2 Management Inc., you can find them at:  http://www.maxvo2inc.com/

 
 
 
 
 
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Episode

40. Celebrating 25 Years of The Toronto Pride & Remembrance Run

In June, LGBTQ2S+ communities around the world come together to celebrate love, diversity and acceptance. The month of June was chosen to commemorate the riots held by members of the community against a police raid that took place at the Stonewall Inn in New York City on June 28, 1969. In addition to the parades, parties, and concerts, various cities around the world organize a Pride Run. Twenty Five years ago, Alan Belaiche started the Pride & Remembrance Run in Toronto to honour his friend who died of AIDS the year prior.

It’s not just a race, it’s a party. Yes we’re taking it serious, yes we’re running fast, yes we’re trying to win, but you can’t help but party; you can’t help but dance – Gabriel Jarquin

In this episode, we’re joined by Chris Brohman, President of the Pride and Remembrance Association, and Gabriel Jarquin, Experience Director who provide a behind-the-scenes look at the Pride and Remembrance Foundation, the run, and what the event means to the community and the beneficiaries of every dollar received through the foundation’s fundraising efforts.

To learn more about the Pride & Remembrance Run, you can follow them on Instagram at: @priderunto  

You can also find them at: https://www.priderun.org/  

To learn more about Chris, you can follow him on Instagram at: @chrisbrohman  

To learn more about the Gabriel, you can follow him on Instagram at: @gabrieljarquin

 
 
 
 
 
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Episode

39. Aristotle Domingo on Losing His Legs to Reclaim His Life

In 2001, Aristotle Domingo’s mom discovered him unconscious in the hallway in their home and he was rushed to the hospital where he lay in a coma, on life support, for the next three months due to sepsis. Aristotle would beat the odds and survive, but that was not the end of his fight. For the next 15 years, Aristotle endured physical, mental, and emotional pain from multiple surgeries to his feet; a result of complications from his bout with sepsis.

I’ve already been living 15 years in this pain. How do I want to live the rest of my life? If I was given a second chance 15 years ago, what else can I do now? I was willing to try anything, so I said, ‘I think I want the leg gone.’ – Aristotle Domingo

Aristotle desperately wanted his life to change from surviving to thriving and that’s when he decided to proceed with a below the knee amputation to his left leg. Aristotle immediately started to rediscover all the activities that brought him joy in his past which, for starters, meant simply standing or walking his dog without pain. Aristotle even registered for a 5K run while in the hospital, recovering from the surgery! Two years later, Aristotle experienced issues with his right leg and discovered he had an infection in the bone due to an untreated fracture or break in the leg. Aristotle wasted no time electing to amputate his right leg as well. Aristotle is now an advocate and ambassador for the limb loss community and shares his story, and the stories of other limb loss athletes on his podcast, The AmpuTO Show. In 2017, Aristotle founded the Amputee Coalition of Toronto, a peer support group for other amputees and, three years later, he won the ParaSport Ontario 2020 Ambassador of the Year Award. Aristotle is proving losing his limbs hasn’t disabled him; instead, it enabled him to live his very best life!

To learn more about Aristotle Domingo, you can follow him on Instagram at: @amput_o

You can also connect with him through his website at: http://aristotledomingo.com/

 
 
 
 
 
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