iRun so my daughters know that they can, too Shelley Kirkpatrick, New Brunswick

iRun because it makes me a better person, a better wife, a better mother and a better friendNathalie Joncas-Caissie, St-Antoine, NB

iRun to kickstart my day Sharon Strueby, Saskatchewan

iRun to correct years of sedentary living! Mike Scott, Ontario

iRun because somebody once told me I couldn't Heidi Abbey-Der, Saskatchewan

iRun for the fresh air and adrenalin Charlyn McGregor, Saskatchewan

iRun for the moment when both feet are off the ground Catherine Anderson, British Columbia

iRun because I am not as clumsy I thought I was Hanna Baer, Quebec

iRun so that I can live longer and stronger Derek MacPhail, Ontario

iRun for meKiza Francis, Ottawa,ON

iRun because it cleans up my life, because I drink more water, sleep better and eat healthier foodsRobin McIntyre, Ottawa, ON

iRun to challenge my perceived limitations Cassandra Williams, Ontario

iRun because when I run I feel most aliveMeghan Lynch, Ottawa, ON

iRun because I love the solitude Janene Tailleur, British Columbia

iRun because iLoves my man Beverly Huang, Alberta

iRun because I want to live to be 100! Colette DeJean, Ontario

iRun for the challenge to go faster and farther Steven Matejka, Alberta

iRun because itís better than almost everything else Nathan Carey, Ontario

iRun because i love to Mirella Petriello, Ontario

iRun because it's a great stress release Brooke McKenzie, Yukon

iRun because I like buying running clothes Pamela Blaikie, Ontario

iRun because somebody once told me I couldnít Heidi Abbey-Der, Saskatchewan

iRun because I can and I’m gratefulTerry SanCartier, Gatineau, QC

iRun to eat Maureen Tritscher, Alberta

iRun because people around me inspire mePina Bevilacqua, Caledon, ON

iRun at 50 years old because at 43 I couldn't Peter Cicalo, Ontario

iRun to eat more, especially sweet potatoe fries Joanna Skomra, Ontario

iRun because couch potatoes die young Cathy Andrew, Ontario

iRun to prove to myself I canLesley McGougan, Brampton, ON

iRun because it makes me whole Denis Ladouceur, Quebec

iRun for me! Judi Wearing, Saskatchewan

iRun so I donít say never ever again Linda Klaric, Manitoba

iRun slowly!Jason Hoffman, Manitoba

iRun because endorphins are freeCassandra Chouinard, Ontario

iRun because I get foot rubs afterward Kate Howerton, British Columbia

iRun because walking is too slow Barry Knapp, Ontario

iRun because it reminds me of how strong I can be Monique Lavoie, Ontario

iRun whenever I feel the need to escape Iona Hillis, Ontario

iRun for the challenge and to remember to fully live Pascale Synnott, Quťbec

iRun because I like buying running clothes Pamela Blaikie, Ontario

iRun for relaxation and to motivate my two sons Keith Bradbury, Newfoundland

iRun because iEat Sherry Maligaspe, British Columbia

iRun because itís fun when itís done Sue Matte, Ontario

iRun see where my feet will take me todayMegan Dolinskas, New York

iRun because it helps me see things more clearly Jennifer Pitts, Ontario

iRun to challenge my mind, body and soul Sonia Mendes, Ontario

iRun because it makes me feel powerfulCarlene Paquette, Carp, ON

iRun for relaxation and to motivate my two sonsKeith Bradbury, Newfoundland

iRun because it reminds me that I am capable of so much more than I have doneJames Sauve, Ottawa, ON

iRun to satisfy the irresistible urge Tim Nixon, British Columbia

iRun because I cannot say no to a second slice of chocolate cakeEmily Shandruk, Vancouver, BC

iRun for my heart, so it runs for me! Cathy Brzoza, British Columbia

iRun because I want to be a role model for our six kids Catherine Empey, British Columbia

iRun because the wall is meant to be broken Jonathan Bird, Ontario

iRun for the cool t-shirts! Pina Bevilacqua, Ontario

iRun because Iíve lost 80 lbs and running has become fun Cheryl Kelly, Ontario

iRun for the individual pursuit Robert Pelletier, New Brunswick

iRun because running is like breathing to Stephanie McEvoy, Ontario

iRun to stay ahead of the weight gainMyra Abstreiter, Alberta

iRun because it gets my husband out there Tricia LaLonde, Alberta

iRun because I love the sense of accomplishment Amber Moase, Nova Scotia

iRun because itís a great way to see the world Sherry Mahoney, British Columbia

iRun away from the abyss Charlene Thomas, Ontario

iRun to get to know myself, my strength and my spirit Lisa Groulx, Ontario

iRun all the livelong day Pierre Saint-Laurent, Quťbec

iRun because it is my tonic and my salvation Georgia Ioannou, British Columbia

iRun because itís cheaper than therapy Leah Boulter, Alberta

iRun because it is my tonic and my salvation Georgia Ioannou, British Columbia

iRun because I want to qualify for Boston and raise money for charities near and dear to my heartChristine Gracel, Calgary, AB

iRun because I never thought I would be able toGary Morris, Winnipeg, MB

iRun because it gives me freedom to relax my brain Marie-Claude Gregoire, Nova Scotia

iRun to inspire my children! Wendy Bowen, Manitoba

iRun to my happy place and some days itís very Doreen May, Alberta

iRun at 50 years old because at 43 I couldnít Peter Cicalo, Ontario

iRun because I canít dance Mario Javier, Ontario

iRun because my heart tells me to William Martin, Manitoba

iRun therefore I amDuncan Walsh, Nottingham, UK

iRun slowly! Jason Hoffman, Manitoba

iRun because it makes me feel good, allows me to spend time with my friends and gives me a feeling of accomplishmentHelen Kolodziejzyk, Calgary, AB

iRun because it has saved my life John Marshall, Alberta

iRun because food tastes better afterwards Patrick Houston, Alberta

iRun because I like to be healthy Melanie Oickle, New Brunswick

iRun because it gives my day a boost of energy Sara Campbell, Nova Scotia

iRun because it gives me freedom to relax my brainMarie-Claude Gregoire, Nova Scotia

iRun but not enoughMichael Shaw, New Westminister, BC

iRun because otherwise Iím grumpy Alexandre Charest, Quebec

iRun to stay fit and release those running endorphinsLiliana Plava, Calgary, AB

iRun because not everyone can Olivia Harvey, New Brunswick

iRun because I liveGeorges Schneller, Laval, QC

iRun to feel great Kathryn Rachar, Saskatchewan

iRun because I need it to soothe the soul, keep me in shape and for overall wellbeingBeth Neil, Lombardy, ON

iRun because endorphins are free Cassandra Chouinard, Ontario

iRun to challenge myself, physically and mentallyKathleen Keenan, Brampton, ON

iRun away from the negative and towards the positive Teri Lepard, Alberta

iRun because of the peace and strength it brings meMichelle Jordan, Ottawa, ON

iRun because couch potatoes die young Cathy Andrew, Ontario

iRun because pecan pie, french fries and beer are chasing meTeresa Sterling, Ottawa , ON

iRun for health, i Run for life Pat Cheung, British Columbia

iRun because it sure beats the bus Robin Robbins, Alberta

iRun because iEat Sherry Maligaspe, British Columbia

iRun because it's better than almost everything else Nathan Carey, Ontario

iRun to be free and enjoy our beautiful countryCheryl Carter, Clearwater , BC

iRun to maintain a strong physical and mental state Tammy Rainville, Ontario

iRun to inspire my kids to tryGlen Johnston, Nunavut

iRun because it makes me feel powerful Sarah Kallaghan, Alberta

iRun to prove to them that iCan Catherine Smith, Manitoba

iRun to unleash my inner athleteAdelle Densham, Avonmore, ON

iRun and run, and run, and run, and nobody can stop me Andrei Lucaciu, Ontario

iRun because there is no finish line Claire Kilgour, Ontario

iRun because I learn more about who I am with every kmSteph Mansell, Quebec

iRun for overall wellbeingTrish McCourt, Halifax, NS

iRun because I learn more about who I am with every km Steph Mansell, Quebec

iRun to someday win the race Lindy Dunlop, Yukon

iRun because it's cheaper than therapy Leah Boulter, Alberta

iRun so I can eat ice cream Sandy Bolan, Ontario

iRun because itís like flying, only lower Glenn Johnson, Ontario

iRun because it’s in meMichael Foley, Stittsville, ON

iRun because all the ladies are chasing my sexy runner’s bodyChris Baker, Etobicoke, ON

Cover photo from the current issue of iRun Magazine
Calgary 2017 Flagbearer

Workout Wednesday

My Best Running Race

September 2012

Back to Table of Contents


The 'Oops' Factor

Destination races

People run for many reasons and people choose destination races for almost as many reasons, not the least of which is, well, it's a destination.

In my earlier years, I was lucky enough to race across North America and around the world (a few times). I raced on a triathlon team in southern France for three seasons. It was awesome and the experiences will stay with me for as long as my memory can hold onto them.

Because I was travelling to race, I went to international destinations, I raced and I left. I was not a tourist and I did not take many pictures. I definitely did not take the time to look around.

Now I regret the missed opportunities.

This spring, I was in Madrid for the Rock n' Roll Marathon as a coach with Team in Training. Our hotel was convenient to many things, including the metro and bus tour stops. I ran the first 25k of the marathon expediently to get to my coaching zone, then cheered and coached members of the team before happily accompanying one of the team all the way to the finish line. So I covered the entire course (and then some) at this destination race, but I didn’t see very much.

The next day, a group of us went on a bus tour. It was a hop on, hop off tour (truth be told, it was more like a hobble on and hobble off the day after the marathon) and it brought us to many great locations, all of which, it turns out, were on the marathon course. I only noticed a few of these key landmarks as I ran by the day before. In hindsight, I would really have liked to do a course preview with the audio feedback of where we were and what we were seeing before I ran the race. It would have been nice to know what we were running past.

I had a similar situation at the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco with Team in Training last fall (yes, it is such a hard job being surrounded by 21 000 women and only 1500guys, all running for a great cause). I went for a walk the next day and could not believe what I had not noticed the day before while I was running.

It is quite normal for me to look at a course profile to see how challenging it is, but I have never worried much about where it actually goes or what spectacular scenery or important monuments I might run past. As long as the course was accurate and we all ran the same route, I was happy.

From now on, though, I plan to do a bit more research into the course route and the tourist attractions along its way. If there is a pre-race bus tour option that would be low on the energy expenditure scale, I plan to take it.

I encourage you to do the same to make the most of your destination racing.

At the same time, if there are any Race Directors out there reading this trip down my memory lane, it might be nice if you would include a description of tourist attractions along your route, as well as an optional bus tour of the route with a tour guide. I think it would be very popular addition to any race experience—and would be a great way for runners to calm any pre-race jitters they might be feeling.

Rick Hellard, head coach of Zone3sports in Ottawa, is a lifelong running addict. He’s also made or seen just about every mistake under the sun, making him a world-class expert in oops-prevention.

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