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      1. Thursday, January 23, 2020

        My my, hey hey
        Rock and roll is here to stay
        It's better to burn out
        Than to fade away
        My my, hey hey.

        Neil Young, Out of the Blue

        It's time to end this old blog.

        It's been a good old blog and has served me well, but it's time to take a bow and exit stage left. It was borne from a place of excited innocence in 2008, slowly evolved into a respected voice for all things running, and ends today in a whimper of irrefutable irrelevance.

        Truth is, no one reads blogs anymore; at best they're skimmed and scanned. The faster action is found on Twitter, and Instagram of which I have no clue and zero interest.

        I mean really, 280 characters, how is that communication?

        Yup, told you so, I'm way old school.

        I can't run despite the best efforts of Stephanie and her Little Shop of Pain. I use a bionic brace, and meds strong enough to down a herd of rhinos but I still can't run. So, why write about a community in which my membership has lapsed? I could write from the sideline, start a new blog, Mike The Voyeuristic Runner, and watch as the world runs by or I can gracefully bow out and move on.

        I choose to move on. I have made peace with myself. I have licked the wounds clean. The scabs are gone and the fading scars are mere momentos of time past. I am letting go of a beautiful time of life which showered me with love and immeasurable happiness. I am forever grateful for this time. I bid a fond adieu to all of you who made it possible.

        Unfortunately my words, honest as they are, at times offended some and I have suffered deeply the hurt of lost friendships.

        This I regret.

        I move forward.

        Please, if you will, indulge me in a few memories.

        .... and on and on...

        It's a good day to be alive.


        Sunday, October 20, 2019

        An open letter to Jonathan Torchia and his Indomitable Crew

        Dear Jonathan and Crew;

        Mann Tracht, Un Gott Lach ... humans plan, God laughs.... an ancient, yet entirely appropriate, Yiddish adage.  The eight annual WFPS Half Marathon did not go as planned.  In a fit of fury Old Ma Nature decimated 10 months of your crew's planning and hard work.  This unprecedented climate event lay waste to your dreams and left an entire  community disappointed and stunned with disbelief. 

        We cannot imagine the stress and disappointment you experienced in the days leading up to the decision to cancel the event. 

        The City of Winnipeg wisely cancelled the event out of concern for the safety of participants. We get it, but wow, the scale of disappointment is wide and cuts deep.  

        Jonathan you have kept your head high and have displayed full frontal leadership in the face of such dire adversity. You have publicly supported the City and have embraced the immense suck while many would have curled up into the fetal position. You are a leader.

        Bravo to you Jonathan and Crew.  You have done well by us.  You make us proud and we offer our full support. We wait with baited breath for the 9th annual in 2020.

        It is a good day to be alive,

        Mike and .....

        Ted's Run for Literacy Race Crew
        The WPS Half Marathon Team
        David Hooper RD Great Grain Relay
        Ashley Wilson RD, Run For the Burn
        Dennis Cunningham RD Frostbite River Run
        Leigh Patterson RD Duck and Run 
        Vern Barrett RD Huntington Heroes 
        Dave Lipchen RD East St. Paul Canada Day Run and Riding Mountain Half Marathon
        Michelle Froese RD, Boyne Book It Fun Run
        Dwayne Olson RD, Hecla Hal Marathon
        Leigh Patterson RD, Duck and Run
        Melanie Wall RD Treherne Half Marathon
        Daria Hyworon RD Lindon Woods Fall Classic
        Krista Waring, President MRA
        Kathy Wiens, Executive Director MRA
        Aldo Furlan, Board Member MRA 
        Chris Walton Event Coordinator, Running Room
        David (the other one)
        Marilyn (the other one)
        David (the other, other one)
        David (the other, other, other one)
        S. Arden
        and many, many more...

        Saturday, May 25, 2019

        Kudos to Manitoba Runners' Association

        Kudos to Manitoba Runners' Association for their fine leadership in our effort to reduce the carbon footprint of running events in our province.  MRA is the sport governing body for Road Running in Manitoba.  The board is composed of nine volunteers who work year round to ensure road racing and trail events meet the highest standards in terms of safety, fairness, and amenities for participants. An MRA sanctioned event means the course is accurately measured and meets all rules and regulations of the MRA.

        What does this mean to the average runner?

        It means the best payback for your hard earned dollars.  It means you are supporting a grass roots organization that improves the quality of life for all Manitobans, young, old, and differently abled. It means there will be toilets on the course (and we know that's really important!) and water stations. Now, in 2019,  it means the event you run is working towards a carbon neutral status.

        How are they doing this? Good question!

        In brief:

        MRA has purchased thousands of compostable cups which they will sell to all sanctioned event at cost.  They also collect and store the cups at their facility to be professionally composted in bulk at the end of the season.  The cups are made from Polyactic Acid, a bio-plastic made from natural sources. The cups must be professionally composted; they will not break down in a backyard composter or in a landfill.  This action would be cost prohibitive for a single event, but together, we can make a huge difference.

        Kids like bibs!  MRA is collecting non-recyclable bibs at the end of each event to be reused at youth running events such as the famous Ice Cream Run. The single use bibs typically end up in the landfill so even if they are used twice it helps.  (ed note... I have about a thousand that I'm willing to donate:)

        Many event will hand out ribbons for children runners.  Let's face it, ribbons don't hold much appeal even for kids. Typically they were tossed or not even accepted.  MRA has replaced ribbons with 'wooden nickels'. A wooden nickel is a reusable token that all child runners receive in place of the standard ribbon.  Children turn in the wooden nickel at the MRA tent for a chance to win a prize to be awarded at the Manitoba Marathon Expo. The nickels are reused or the children have the option of keeping the nickel.

        MRA has stopped using plastic bags for race kit pick-ups and encourage other events to do the same.  Kit bags are often stuffed with coupons from sponsors which events want to honour as sponsorship is very important. MRA encourages events to have coupons available at kit pick-up for registrants to select if they choose, but not impose by stuffing the kit-bag.

        MRA does not distribute paper copies of their minutes, agendas, or reports.  They have gone completely electronic.

        We thank MRA for their leadership.  They have started the conversation.

        Race Directors...what will you do to reduce your event's carbon footprint?

        It's a good day to be alive.


        Wednesday, February 27, 2019

        Please, stop taking my stuff!



        to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own : use (another's production) without crediting the source
        to commit literary theft : present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source

        Merriam Webster online dictionary

        Stop taking my stuff before I flip my lid!

        The Brag.

        See Mike Run (SMR) blog is now in its 12th year; a venerable pioneer in the blogosphere! There are 457 posts dating from January 2008 to February 2019. The number of 'hits' or visits from readers is just under 300,000 (but actually closer to 500,000 because I lost three years of data). The majority of visits originate in Canada yet readership is worldwide.

        The only renumeration I receive comes from the belief that I have contributed positively to our community. I have supported numerous small businesses such as GORP, City Park Runners, Cranked Energy, and Fix Bites.  I have supported dozens of local races by reporting on the experience -always positive. I supported The Manitoba Marathon when it was faced with declining registration and the lure of Fargo.

        I have given dozens of runners a voice through guest blogs and interviews.  I have shared my audacious vision of what running could be in Winnipeg if only we would collectively embrace the day and spark the dream.  Equally, I have bit my tongue and spoken around topics so as not to embarrass or call-out individuals or organizations.

        I have spoken openly about my mental health, my struggles, my dreams, my success, and my failures.  I have shown vulnerability. I have laughed out loud, I have cried, and I have bared my soul on these digital pages.  I have shown empathy and shared the struggles of others such as My Friend Jo  or Matt Morrison's For Em,  or Farahnaz Afaq's  Chasing Rainbows.  Bobbi Nicol used See Mike Run as a gateway platform to explain her Life in Transition. These are good stories, honest stories. These are stories of redemption, stories of pain, stories of life.

        And through all of this I have sworn once. I used the 'f' word in reference to cancer when my friend Jo was at her worst. My filter is set to PG because I do not wish to offend.

        The problem.

        People are taking my stuff without asking.  Several years ago a major city newspaper printed a piece I had written about the Boston Bombing entitled 4:49:44 into the Third Wave. The stolen piece was heavily edited and horribly reduced in scope and breadth. My writing drew comparison between a wisp of hair and humanity:
        But it's the wisp of hair that is the focal point. I carried a blurry image of this photograph on my long run this morning. The wisp of hair. The red singlet. The thinness of body. Legs buckling. Crumpled body. The incredible pragmatism of Bill's words ... "you're not going to stop there"... as if to challenge the evil head on. A wisp of hair. A wisp of fate. A wisp of humanity.

        The stolen piece attempted to capture this same sentiment, but failed completely.  The stolen piece used the same image that I used (and gave credit for) from a sea of thousands; coincidence?

        A major Canadian running magazine recently published a SMR guest blog without SMR's permission. The guest blog spoke of one man's struggle with mental health and how running provides solace. The magazine edited the piece and omitted my personal introduction which provided colour and texture to the story.  What is absent from the magazine's version is the backstory.

        The backstory to this piece is about 18 to 24 months in the making and is far too complex and private to delve into here. Suffice to say the story evolved over time and slow-burned to fruition. SMR engaged the person in countless conversations and gently prodded the writer to produce a beautiful and heartfelt story of his pursuit of happiness.

        What is missing is any kind of citation of this blog.

        Never -ever- was this piece, or any other piece on SMR, about selling running shoes for a large corporation.

        The ask.

        The ask is simple, and I think most would agree, reasonable.

        Simply stop taking my stuff without my permission or, at the very least, give credit by citing .

        It's a good day to be alive,


        Monday, February 18, 2019

        See Mike Nordic Walk

        Nordic Walking is like driving a Smart Car. You know it's good for you, but you can't help feeling a little silly while engaged.

        A case in point.

        While Nordic Walking through Omand's Creek this afternoon I was stopped by a man. I was listening to some groovy tunes so I couldn't make out what he was saying.

        I stopped, removed my gloves, toque, and ear buds, smiled patiently, thinking this better be worth it, and said "Pardon me."

        He said something about skis. Bewildered, I replied "Huh."

        "Your skis man! I found them, they're on top of the hill" to which he emphasized with a raised hand, pointing towards the hilltop.

        Even more bewildered I replied "What....skis?".

        "In case you're looking for your skis, I found them, they're up there" he replied with a mischievous grin.

        Hoodwinked and it's not even April Fools!

        Dude, funny!


        Not to confuse the issue, but Nordic Walking is also know as Urban Poling (correct) or Urban Trekking (incorrect, trekking is more of a long arduous journey similar to Ultra-marathons).

        Think of cross country ski-ing minus the skis. That's Nordic Walking in a nutshell. The poles help create a rhythmic, flowing movement of the entire body with an emphasis on arms, legs, and core. Nordic Walking is vigorous but, unlike running, there is little impact on the knees and hips. If used correctly the poles will alleviate some weight from the knees and hips. Some poles have built in shocks which help cushion the force on the arms as one plants the pole repeatedly with each step.

        Urban Poling is a real workout, make no mistake. You will work up a sweat and your heart rate will raise to a sustained 70 - 80% intensity. Your upper arms will ache and you'll sleep well.  It pairs very well with my personal favourite exercise regime, Good Life Body Pump.

        I don't want to get into the 'how' of Nordic Walking because I'm not an instructor. The best online resource I can find is Urban Poling.   There is also a small Urban Poling community in Winnipeg which one can track down online, but it's slim to non-existent. I'm more interested in the 'why' of Poling.

        I'm an injured runner. I have a torn meniscus, torn ACL, and arthritis in my right knee, and I suspect my left knee is not far behind.  I've been fitted for a brace which will arrive in a couple of weeks. I'm hurtin' and I miss my running routine, especially my Sunday forest runs. Most of all I miss the socail aspect of running. Let's face it folks, not running bites.

        Does Nordic Walking help fill the void?

        The short answer is yes. Nordic Walking satisfies my innate need to be physically active outdoors. Nordic walking allows me to enter the mystic zone, and I feel mentally satisfied after a one hour intense walk.   Physically I am drained but not to the same level as running.  My knees still hurt  (think low grade head ache in the knees), but nowhere near to the pain I have while running. I suggest all you injured runners give it a try.

        The longer, much more complicated answer, is no. Nordic Walking is excellent and I am enjoying it immensely, but it is not running.

        Running allows me to enter a world of altered states; an amalgam of pain, ecstasy, sweat, joy, and tears. Running gives me inner peace and knowledge that I am all that I can be, all that I have become.  Running forges friendships where talk and laughs runs freely and earnestly. Running allows for a world where age, sexual identity, profession, background, culture become meaningless.  Running is a world of perfection where our heart, muscle, bone, and mind combine to make perfection.

        That's all.

        Yo, good day to be alive.


        Saturday, February 2, 2019

        Knee Deep In A Rut

        I'm in a rut; a Winnipeg in February kind of rut.  You know; wheels spinning, gears grinding, hoping for a boost, need a push kind-of-a-rut.

        The good doctor made a diagnosis today. Not the one I was hoping for but, oddly I feel better knowing exactly what's happening to my body. I thought at one point it was all in my head.

        Turns out it's all in my knee; my right knee to be precise (but I suspect the left one is a little wonky and on borrowed time).

        The good doc interpreted my MRI today. It seems I have a hat trick of ailments.  I have a torn meniscus, a torn ACL, and ...  sh*t ... degenerative arthritis.

        The torn ACL stems from a prior tear from nasty trip on a forest gnome in April 2015 (see DNS).

        I have given up the large goals of marathon and ultras. I asked my doc if she thought a slow half-marathons was possible in time.  Her averted eyes told me no.  She then suggested working up to running for an hour at a time.  Apparently running for an hour won't cause more damage. In fact, she says it will probably strengthen the knee.  On the down side I have to wear one of those ugly bionic braces. On the plus side I have some pain management meds that seem to work well.

        Surgery is an option, but I don't want to go that route just yet and neither does the doc.

        I don't want to be a Miserable Mikey. I have it good. Hell, I can run for an hour.  Some would give anything for that one privilege.  I'm not complaining but it's my blog, my rut... I can whine if I want to!

        Did someone say wine?

        The hurt stems mostly from not being able to run.  A large part of my identity is wrapped up in the running community. Not running means the absence of a positive social outlet. Not running means diminished energy. Not running means languishing mental health. Not running means the continual presence of absence. The knee hurts, but the soul does too.

        I miss running in the zone where time slows and my mind flows freely.

        I miss my Sunday morning trail run with my chatty friend, WD50 ;)

        I miss running through the bush of ghosts.

        I have discovered Nordic Walking (aka Urban Poling). It's a great upper body workout and it allows me to get out on the trails and build up speed.  I would strongly encourage any hurtin' runner out there to work Urban Poling into their recovery plan.  There's very little stress and way less pounding on the on the knees.  I'll blog a article about Urban Poling soon.

        Bionic Mike
        I thank Dr. Christa Mason (In Motion Network) for her support.  She tells it straight, but she 'gets it'. She understands the pain is more than  knee deep.

        It's a good day to be alive.


        Tuesday, January 8, 2019

        Running Through the Bush of Ghosts; a guest blog by Tim MacKay

        Brother Tim; 

        We have travelled many hidden trails through dense bush. We have experienced the beauty of running in extreme conditions and extreme distances. We have shared intimate stories of ghosts past and present. We have bared our souls and exposed our true selves, our true identities. We have cussed and laughed and then cussed some more.  We have have offered a hand up, literally and figuratively, to one another on many occasions.  You have dragged my posterior over several lines in the sand and I have cussed you in gratitude.

        Tim, I identify deeply with this piece. Occasionally the ghost conspire and trip us on the path when we least expect their presence. You have shown vulnerability and have taken a risk. This, my friend, shows courage and strength. 

        Thanks for this Tim. It's a good day to be alive, despite the ghosts or, perhaps, because of the ghosts?








        The snow underneath my feet responds to my pace with a rhythmic crunch, matched by a parallel rhythm in my breathing. There’s great comfort in the rhythm. It’s soothing, healing. It’s important. Maybe essential. The rhythm - the consistent beating - is what keeps me going. It marks the mental space I find the most comfort in, with a steady ‘left, right, in, out’ bringing calm and peace. And when set along a trail in the woods, the forest bathing me in solitude and simplicity, this healing rhythm is as close as I can come to perfection.

        There’s no mystery to this. I’m not alone in treasuring the healing power of running’s rhythm and calm. I’m not alone in needing the solitude of a trail to run out my demons. I’m not alone in using running as an antidote to the stressors of life that challenge my mental health. Like many, I run to stay well.

        People sometimes ask chronic runners what they might be running from. For some of us, it’s a very simple answer - ghosts! It’s a bit like the experience of the main character in Amos Tutuola’s novel My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. The novel tells a series of stories about a young Nigerian boy who finds himself alone in a haunted forest, where he is completely unprepared for the strange spirits he encounters and the unusual and dreamlike experiences he faces. Life is like that for many of us. We are unprepared for the sometimes nightmarish things that happen to and around us. And we sometimes end up carrying the ghosts of these experiences long after the events have ended.

        Yet this oversimplifies it a bit too much, because the kind of running I’m talking about isn’t so much a ‘running from’ as it is a ‘running with’! Many of us run to find peace with the ghosts that we have come across. We run alongside them. The reality is that we may never be rid of the ghosts that haunt us, so running with them instead of away from them, befriending them, becomes the purpose. The bush of ghosts never fully goes away, it rarely gets cut down completely. We may find our way out of it for awhile, but invariably it sits somewhere over our shoulder waiting for an opportunity to swallow us again. The cure isn’t to run away. No, better to acknowledge it, embrace it, and find a rhythm to safely move through it, to befriend the spirits and ghosts and run with them. This is where wellness lives. In this sense, it might be better to ask, what are we running to!

        Running’s healing rhythm is no accident. Like an EMDR session for PTSD, the firing of left and right sides of the body, the deep and rhythmic breathing, they all make perfect sense, synchronizing a healthy rhythm across the hemispheres of the brain. Running is a metronome of wellbeing, beating out a steady rhythm of coherence and calm. It’s not meditation - anyone who has spent even a second on a mediation cushion could tell the difference. But the quiet, contemplative rhythm is powerfully therapeutic. It’s a healthy compliment to meditation and other wellness practices. And the resulting fatigue helps too. For those who sometimes struggle, the value of deep, sound sleep is unequalled. The research is solid on this - as part of a comprehensive approach to wellness, running can help to counterbalance many of the symptoms of depression, anxiety, PTSD, and other challenges to mental wellbeing.

        Some of us run more than others. Some run distances that others would even consider unwell - ‘crazy’, in fact. Some of us tire and run shorter distances as we age. But run we must. To be clear, not everyone who runs is running with ghosts. Not everyone who runs is using it as a strategy to stay mentally well. But for many, like me, running helps them navigate the bush of ghosts and keep moving through life. We tend to find each other and cluster in small groups of running buddies. We are comrades on the road and trail, despite each of us running through our own private bush of ghosts. Together and alone all at once, the friendships and solidarity providing an additional buffer to the ghosts. We run, sweat, hurt, and laugh together, making our way along untold kilometres of road and trail, step after step through the bush of ghosts.

        This January, when Bell encourages us to “talk about it”, some of us will run instead. In this sense, running is a form of communication akin to dance, a single-track ballet many of us perform as we navigate our way to wellness. Running can be our “talk”. It’s dark and cold through the month of January, yet many of us are out there running. And now you know why - the ghosts are fewer, smaller and far more friendly when outside on the run then they would be if we stayed inside and sat.

        Tim MacKay

        Sunday, November 25, 2018

        Blow it Up! Campaign

        Carly Peters interviewed by CBC
        We blew it up good on Harte Trail this morning. The Blow it Up! campaign had coffee, muffins, treats, tunes, heat, media, and lots and lots of high velocity whistles. Alas, someone forgot to invite the runners.  We had a couple of lone runners and a few more walkers, but not the droves we had anticipated.  Harte Trail, usually teaming with runners and hikers, was ...insert cricket sound...bare today.

        Carly Walsh Peters is an active and much appreciated board member. In between her duties as a busy mom, wife, professional career women, she has organized the Blow it Up! campaign. The old maxim, if you want to get something done, ask a busy person, applies in spades to Carly.

        Unfortunately this campaign was borne from violence. A women was recently sexually assaulted by a man on this idyllic trail ...mere meters from where we set up. Coincidently, today is the
        United Nations International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women  Out of tragedy grows hope.  Ted's Run for Literacy received over $800 in anonymous donations to purchase whistles. Support was also offered by a Hi-Vis City, a local safety company that provided the whistles at a substantial saving.

        The Blow it Up Campaign provides free whistles and a comprehensive information sheet for women's safety on the trail. We believe sound, especially the shriek of a high velocity whistle, may prevent a sexual assault from occurring. As Carly says, "forget politeness, if you feel threatened, blow the whistle".

        The tip sheet also offers suggestions for men on how to best support the women and girls in their lives. Upon reading it I immediately reflected on my own past practise and caused me to reflect inward on my attitudes and actions towards women.  I consider myself one of the enlightened men, but even so, I've never run a mile in a woman's shoes. I take my safety for granted while trail running, while women run with heightened awareness of their surrounding.

        Stay tuned for our next pop-up.  Grab a whistle for yourself or someone you love.

        It's a good day to be alive.


        Sunday, November 4, 2018

        Male runners have privileges not experienced by women runners.

        Give a little whistle
        Not just a little squeak, pucker up and blow.
        And if your whistle is weak, yell!

        Jiminy Cricket

        Last week I waxed poetic about running a single track trail along the Assiniboine River. I was in the moment and revelling in the natural beauty of this ancient river. I was approached from behind by a man who slowed to match my steps.  I knew he was there, I could hear his footsteps and his breathing. I knew he wanted to pass but the dense forest and narrow trail made this impossible.  We ran silently in single file for minutes.

        I wasn't scared or concerned about my safety. At no time did I feel threatened or nervous.  After several minutes of silence we engaged in a pleasant conversation before he pulled out on a flat section and passed me with a friendly wave.

        I have come to realize that, as a man, I am privileged. I run trails solo through dense forest or dimly lit streets, night or day without fear of sexual assault or hurtful, sexualized comments and threats.  Truth is, I don't give my safety a second thought.  I run without a plan. I often don't share my whereabouts with my wife, or my expected return time.  I just run, carefree, lost in bliss searching for perfection.

        I expect all men share my relaxed attitude and run freely without a care. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

        Women and girl runners do not enjoy the same freedom. They run with a heightened sense of awareness of their surroundings.

        And so they should!

        Last year 180 women were sexually assaulted in Winnipeg. Manitoba has the highest rate of sexual assault in Canada, almost double the national average. In 2016 about 109 people per 100,000 reported being sexually assaulted to police (the national rate is 58 per 100,000).

        A female friend recently found a woman on Harte Trail who had just been sexually assaulted. Her presence frightened the man and he ran away. The attack took place at about about 6:10 PM in light dusk. There were plenty of people on the trail enjoying the last moments of fall. Harte Trail winds through family friendly Charleswood, perhaps the safest neighbourhood in the city. If women can't feel safe on Harte Trail they .... sheesh, this is depressing.

        I invited female runners to comment.  This is a sampling edited for clarity and brevity:
        • I lost my courage to run alone. Maybe one day it will come back. Please be safe.
        • I always run there as it’s a block from my house It is isolated in some spots and as a woman I always am extra careful on trails. I have my phone out and take pictures of everyone on the trail. I can’t keep up with runners at the running room anymore so have to run alone ?? I’m just careful.
        • I usually run on the seine river trail depending on the day it can be isolated or busy. I most often feel safe but getting more concerned about running alone on trails.
        • I’m afraid to run alone in general. I stay where it is busy and light out. It’s unfortunate, i feel I have to stay away from trails.
        • I won’t run on isolated paths. I usually stick to main roads. I would love to run on trails but I just don’t feel safe.
        • I do not feel safe running alone on isolated paths at any time of day. I will run on trails/bike paths with good visibility during the day alone without ear phones, but not after dark. I am wary of my surrounding and will be extra careful under bridges etc. Realistically this forces me to run indoors during the work week for 6-8 months of the year.
        • I like the trails so one ear bud in and ready to groin kick the heck out of anyone who bugs me.
        • I was attacked just walking home not running but still the incident left me feeling hurt, uneasy, angry, scared, vulnerable and weak. I was fortunate enough to escape the attackers hold and thankfully a car passed by in time for me to do so. That was 10 years ago and I'm still jumpy and get easily startled. 
        • I run with a "personal protection device" and dog spray. Sadly, mace is illegal here so I need other forms of protection when out alone. 
        • If someone is attacking me, I'll use any means to defend myself.
        Many woman runners offered safety strategies including: dog spray, running with a buddy,  have a plan, tell your plan, and stick to your plan.  Another common strategy -news to me... again, male privilege talking here- is running with a whistle to alert others when in danger. Three long blasts from a whistle is the international code for distress so use it to your advantage.

        In response, Ted's Run for Literacy Race Committee will purchase 100 high quality whistles & lanyard with a top ten list of trail running safety tips for women. We will distribute the whistles and top ten list free of charge to any woman or girl that requests one.  We are partnering with a local company which will remain anonymous until the details are in place. Watch for details on Facebook and this blog.

        Please do not view this as opportunistic. Our race committee is mostly woman (about 75%) and we truly do care about our community.

        It's a good day to be alive.


        Sunday, October 28, 2018

        Wolseley, A Runner's Paradise.

        Olmands Creek, Wolseley
        Photo Credit Brad Cartman
        I know you think you live in the best neighbourhood in Winnipeg, but sorry, you're wrong.

        Wolseley is the best darn neighbourhood in Winnipeg. Five minutes from the most iconic intersection in Canada - tragically closed to foot traffic by car culture suburbanites who are least invested  in a thriving downtown neighbourhood. Known locally by the moniker The Granola Belt, home of Tall Grass Prairie Bakery, and the mystic jewel of the flatlands, Prairie Sky Bookstore. We love our trees almost as much as we welcome diversity. 

        We hold true the values of the 60's hippy counter culture, but we wear better clothes and keep better hair - thank goodness. We drive a Prius or equivalent or we chill with Peg Car or Tapp.

        We border The West End, West Broadway, St James, and our rich cousins to the south, old wealth Wellington Crescent.  We identify with exciting West Broadway for it is a neighbourhood in transition, much like the Wolseley of the 1970's.  

        Charleswood is a close second. With it's old village charm, young families, and access to Assiniboine Forest makes for an appealing neighbourhood, but, sorry, it ain't Wolseley, not even close.

        Throw a stone in any direction in Wolseley and you're on a breathtaking urban trail of self discovery, beauty - such beauty- and inner peace.  

        Today I ran an eight mile in Wolseley. I ran a trail hugging the low track of Assiniboine River.  Dozens of Canada Geese comically landing feet first on the calm brown water... insatiably squawking, honking Oh Canada for all who listen.

        Today I ran eight miles in Wolseley. I ran along grand old Wellington Crescent lined proudly with ancient Elms and benches. The water fountain, so welcoming, is closed for the winter, but will surely return with the promise of summer. Runners and walkers smile and wave as we pass. I thrive in the loveliness and smile at the perfection.

        Today I ran eight miles in Wolseley. A young man approached from behind on a skinny trail.  I knew he wanted to pass but the single track made it all but impossible. Instead this marvellous young man took my old pace, my old breath.  He engaged me in beautifully positive conversation. We were equal in that moment, old and young, running single file. His name is Arden and he knows of me from this old blog.

        Today I ran eight miles in Wolseley. I ran in organic kaleidoscope circles along tinted oblique trails while my mind wandered and my body flowed through time.  

        I am all that I can be.

        It's a good day to be alive.