This Sunday, Stirling Myles, a perfectly named Toronto-based musician, will be attempting his first marathon—virtually, with the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon, while raising funds for hard hit Canadian musicians. Lucky for us, he’s also a performer, as are his buddies, and this morning, they’ve released a new song on Spotify, that will move you. Listen to the track, donate to our friend, and read below for some inspiration.
iRun: How does one attempt their first marathon, virtually?
Myles: I was training for the Ottawa Marathon, which of course got cancelled, which was the right decision. So I wanted to put my training to a good use. Running has become a passion of mine—it helps me get out of the bed in the morning—and since so many of my friends in music are having such a hard time riding out the difficult financial storm of not gigging, it seemed like a chance to combine my twin passions.
iRun: It would be hard to be a professional musician when all gigs are cancelled.
Myles: Even during the good times, it’s feast or famine, it’s turbulent, but now it’s just a whole different thing.
iRun: So what are you doing?
Myles: Sweet Relief Musician Fund is something that helps musicians and industry workers needing extra support during this time, both in the US and Canada, and so I’m going out, running a marathon, and trying to raise money for my friends, other likeminded musicians. One more song from the project I’d like to share, by Erik Bleich.
iRun: It sounds super sweet, but have you ever run a marathon before?
Myles: I have not and maybe that’s some of the reason I’ve been so blown away by the support of my friends. Different people will meet me at safe distances at different stages of my run, and I started a GoFundMe account and, as of right now, I’m at 70% of my goal. I think we can get there, just trying to find that last little bit.
iRun: Do you find similarities between music and running?
Myles: Both things seem to contain a sense of magic and offer a space to reflect. They both help me process things and take me to a different place, different state of mind.
iRun: Tell me about the track we shared.
Myles: It was written and recorded by Mike Legere and when we talked about it, I just asked him to capture “music as movement,” and somehow express that sense of travel that I love. I think running puts you back into your body and Mike just really captured that. Of course, I gave him totally free reign, that’s what you have to do with artists, and I’m just so pleased and thrilled with what he created.
iRun: It seems like, for a lot of us, running has been helpful, especially now, in terms of our mental health.
Myles: Absolutely, and Mike wrote a beautiful, confessional song which is a lot about mental health, and I think both music and running have done so much for mental health with me.
iRun: So, I’m sorry man, but in 48 hours, you have to run a marathon.
Myles: I just ran my longest distance, 26 kilometres.
iRun: That’s definitely good. Now you just have to basically double that.
Myles: I think I just have to pace myself. I’m glad I have experiences where I ran with people at a safe distance and mentally I’m going to put myself in a place where I can just keep moving forward. My big goal was the half marathon, but now that I’m running basically a half marathon every weekend, I’ve normalized that distance and these are extraordinary times. Maybe I’ll do something extraordinary, too.
iRun: You already are, my friend. Good luck.
Myles: Thank you so much. And good luck to everyone else who’s running or racing or involved with whatever they’re doing this weekend. We’re all in this together.