St. Catharines is going to Rio


Mohammed Ahmed was named to Team Canada to compete in the 5,000m and 10,000m at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. I snipped this photo from @Moh_Speed on Twitter.

St. Catharines, ON and Niagara will have a rooting interest in the 5,000 m and 10,000 m track events at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games later on this summer.

Today, Mohammed Ahmed was among the 65 athletes named to represent Team Canada in track and field. It will be the  25-year-old’s second Olympic Games — he competed in the 10,000m at 2012 London Olympic Games, placing 18th. Last summer, Ahmed won gold in the 10,000m at the 2015 Toronto Pan Am Games.

The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and Athletics Canada announced the team going to Rio following the Canadian Championships and Selection Trials which took place in Edmonton over the weekend.

Reid Coolsaet

Reid Coolsaet, Canadian Olympic marathoner, was talking about training at the Skylon Tower Health and Fitness Expo back in 2012 at the Niagara Falls International Marathon.

Also named to the team is marathon runner Reid Coolsaet. in 2013, Coolsaet, from Hamilton, ON, set the course record for the half marathon at the Niagara Falls International Marathon: 1:03:11. Amazing!

So excited for Olympics! A lot of people are calling this group of athletes one of the strongest teams to represent Canada in track and field events. Congrats and good luck to all the athletes selected to Team Canada.

Gotta run! Rob

Blog photo Team Canada.PNG

I snipped this photo from Twitter: @AthleticsCanada.

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Day off


I fell last night while running. It was during my easy run, exactly at my turn-around spot that I slipped on an icy patch of road.
Must have been hilarious to see. I kind of picture myself looking like Kermit the Frog with my arms flailing out to protect myself. There were witnesses.  No Internet video has turned up. Yet.
I was fine. I’m well-practiced at spectacular bails: it usually happens once or twice during winter training. Also when I’m walking the dog.
Worse, though was when I rolled my ankle a few ks later. Stepped on a chunk of ice that I didn’t even see coming (streetlights were out on that stretch of Glendale Avenue for some reason). I didn’t go down and managed to stay within my goal pace for the rest of the run.
Today, though, I’m feeling tightness in my core and stiffness in my ankle. I am not hurting but decided to take it easy today based on advice from Internet.
So, I’ve been reading about running, instead.
I know I’m not losing anything by taking a day off but it still hard to break from routine. Really looking forward to getting back at it on my long run tomorrow.

Gotta run,

Running in the snow

Winter has arrived in Niagara and conveniently coincided with the start of my marathon training.

It wasn’t really an issue for this time around. I think we got off pretty easy – probably just more than 16 cm of snow for the week. Only moved one workout to the indoor track at the YMCA; the roads and sidewalks were good enough for easy running this week.

I’m keeping a training log as I prepare for the Cornwall Run to End MS marathon. If anyone is interested click here to see how I am doing.

I plan on setting a new PB at the race and qualifying for the Boston Marathon. I’ve used the third edition of Daniel’s Running Formula to help me with my training. It’s been a while since I ran 100k in a week, but haven’t found the increase in mileage too hard (it’s only week one, lol). I did find my threshold workout yesterday challenging to complete and I think it was probably due to the more mileage. Can’t wait to see how I improve.

I’ve also updated my Races in Niagara listing with the DSBN Road Race in April, the Rankin Cancer Run in May and the Niagara Falls Women’s Half Marathon in June. Which race are you going to do?

Gotta run,



Marathon training has begun

Got out for my first official marathon training run for the Cornwall Run to End MS marathon and it was a long, wet one.

While it was quite rainy for most of it, I got in before it really got nasty. In Niagara, its been a pretty mild winter. Today wasn’t much different. But it did get could this afternoon and it snowed. I probably was feeling some pre-run jitters this morning — didn’t want to start off my first long run in the rain. I was glad I didn’t wait when I saw what it was doing outside at 4 p.m.

I went for 28km today, the longest I’ve run lately. It felt good, although I was a little beat up the last couple of kilometers. Went out a little fast –what else is new — for the conditions I guess. Overall, still manage to average my goal pace over the duration of the run.

And so, 16 weeks of marathon training has begun. My parents entered me into the Cornwall marathon as a Christmas present. They also gifted me the third edition of Daniel’s Running Formula, a book about training. It’s interesting and includes plans for marathon training. I’m reading through it and hope to implement some of its suggestions into my training  for the April 30 run. I’m just looking to shake my training so I can PB in my hometown.

Gotta run!


Race Calendar

Fill your calendar with races in Niagara.

Fill your calendar with races in Niagara.

Happy New Year. I wish everyone a great year of running and many personal bests in 2016.

Who is chasing a PB this year? I think it is going to be a great winter for training and there will be plenty of chances to run new PBs here in Niagara. I’ve often started my season with a hard, fast run at the Jordan 5k in April. I also love the Valentine’s Day 5k in February, although I’ve never posted a fast time at that race. Check out my listing of Races in Niagara.

It’s not a complete list yet, so please check back. If you know of any races that are not on the list, please let me know.

Gotta run,



No PB but Batman will do


No sub -16, no PB but I did bring home a third place overall trophy with Batman on top from the Reindeer Run 5k in Rochester.

I was aiming for a sub-16 minute and wasn’t even close. But I did enjoy the run despite it being probably the coldest day of December so far.

I ended up wearing a long-sleeved tech shirt, shorts, hat and gloves. I felt warm enough while running but cold before the start.

Wasn’t my best race but still a great time.

Singlet or no singlet


Singlet or no singlet?

Going to try for a new 5k PB at tomorrow’s Reindeer Run in Rochester, N.Y.

I’ve been trying to run a sub-16 minute 5k for a while and was starting to think I might be ready. I always feel faster than i really am. I have had some good training run building up to this and I feel really well rested.

But this week holiday revelry kicked in and I’ve been indulging. Already today I’ve enjoyed a burger and fries from The Works, Subway on the way to Rochester and Doritos right now as I write this. Still feeling confident I will run at least a 16:30. I hope.

My real problem is what to wear. I’m most comfortable in running shorts and my singlet. Last week I would have been fine. Tomorrow, though, it’s forecasted to be -2 degrees Celsius and to feel like -9. It’s been so mild in Niagara I’m not sure I built up a tolerance to temps that cold yet.

I may do a long sleeve with shorts, hat and gloves. Click here to see what Runner’s World suggests.

I haven’t pinned on my bib yet so we’ll see how it feels in the morning. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Hello, I know it’s been a while …

That's me in the center of the podium at the Pro Football Hall of Fame Gold Jacket 5k in Buffalo N.Y. It was a race that went really well for me and was a lot of fun.

That’s me in the center of the podium at the Pro Football Hall of Fame Gold Jacket 5k in Buffalo N.Y. It was a race that went really well for me and was a lot of fun.

Dear readers,

I’ve been looking forward to updating the Niagara Runner blog for some time now. I like doing the blog but will admit I’ve put little time to it since the urgency of getting a good mark for a digital media class has gone away. It was at some point today while enjoy a long run in the sun on the Niagara Parkway that I decided its time to get this thing back online.

Niagara Runner started as a class project a couple of years ago. I’ve done my best to keep the Niagara race calendar up to date because we’ve got a lot of great races here and I know a lot of people are interested in them. I’ll be getting the Niagara race calendar up-to-date with 2016 races shortly – I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want to run next year and am sure others are doing the same.

2016 is going to be special. I celebrated my fifth season as a runner of road races with some great performances and new personal bests in 2015. I’ve made great friends through running and learned a lot about myself and what I can do. Running has taught me a lot and I’ve had some great experiences. I still have a lot learn and I still have goals that I’m ready to chase down the road for.

I think I’ve found a good balance between training, racing and rest. I paying more attention to nutrition and plan to make better choices in 2016. I’ll also try to push some weights around a little more to make my body stronger. I’m looking forward to running some faster times next year and think I have a good plan to get to the next level. I’m changing the stimulus a bit, so to speak, but keeping the roots of what’s worked well. Does that make sense? We’ll see if it works out for me.

It’s funny because I find myself in a place similar to when I started Niagara Runner: preparing to chase a QT for Boston. I’m looking at 2017 so am planning to do a spring marathon. That means training through another Niagara winter. Lucky for me They are saying its going to be a mild one. We will see.

Ok, enough rambling for tonight. Marathon training hasn’t officially started yet but I love the long run and I had a good one today. So, it’s time for rest. Happy to say Niagara Runner is back. Mark this down as Post 01 for the journey to get back to Boston.

Talk to you later,





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Last long run before my half next weekend

My last long run before the @ForestCityRaces half next weekend was a good one. It was a nice night for a run and I felt strong even though it was the second of back-to-back meaningful workouts.

I was flexible with my training this week. Some stuff came up and I rearranged some training days, missing one hard speed day. I always feel so guilty after missing a run, like months of training just went out the window. It doesn’t. But, its always in back of my mind.
It was tough training through the winter this year. But, I made it through and now the half that seemed so far away in January is next weekend. I am looking forward to some rest this week and a new PB next Sunday.

Waiting for the start

Boston is Monday. I am ready.

After months of training and planning, the start for the 2014 Boston Marathon is now only a few days away. Feels like the last month just flew by. Maybe it’s because Niagara is finally out of the winter that seemed like it would never end. It could be because I’ve been spinning so many plates these last few weeks that I barely noticed the time go by.

In any case, it’s April 18. The Boston Marathon is on Monday. And I am ready.

I think.

So, the self doubt is creeping in. With one week to go, it’s right on schedule. Its ok, self doubt is a friend I know well. Since I’ve taken some time off running to rest up for the Boston Marathon, what runners call the taper, I’ve had more time to think. And, what I keep thinking about is what could go wrong.

Craziness, but common among runners, I hear. Everyone tells me to reflect on my training and the milestones along the way.

Did that. But the thing is, my training has been different this time around. The winter was brutal, and my mileage wasn’t where it I wanted it to be. I still averaged about 75 to 95 kilometers a week, but I usually ran more preparing for the marathons I’ve completed in the fall.

I also haven’t been running every day. Fall marathons usually involve a run streak.

But, the training I have been doing has been intense. My paces have been around six minute miles (average of 60 minutes for 16k). I’ve also enjoyed the rest after hard workouts.

Also, the bulk of my hill training came in the last third of my prep because my favourite routes were cover in snow and ice.

So, I’ve had good training. It’s just been different. And, I felt ready after my last hard tempo run, a 24k run in about 1:32. That was two-and-a-half weeks ago, though.

Will it be enough to run Boston in 2:45? We will see, I guess. But, no matter what, I’m enjoying the experience and loving the challenge.

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