Ath­létisme Ville-Marie

A new Mon­treal club adopts a re­fresh­ingly pos­i­tive at­ti­tude

Canadian Running - - CLUB SCENE - By Ta­nia Haas Ta­nia Haas is a free­lance writer and run­ner, liv­ing in Toronto.

The scene was set for John Lofranco and Jim McDan­nald when they went on their first run to­gether back in 2011. Jim was new to town, and John wanted to show his fel­low pro­fes­sional coach the trea­sure of scenic trails avail­able to ur­ban run­ners. From charm­ing and his­toric neigh­bour­hoods to the Lachine Canal and René-Lévesque Park over­look­ing the St. Lawrence River – the city is a run­ner’s won­der­land, even dur­ing the harsh win­ters. The gem of the run­ning route crown, of course, is Mount Royal, a look­out that of­fers stun­ning views of the city. What was miss­ing, how­ever, was a run­ning club that helped run­ners reach their po­ten­tial in vary­ing dis­tances.

That “wel­come to town” run has since turned into the city’s new­est run­ning club, which launched ear­lier this year. Ath­létisme Ville-Marie, co-founded by Lofranco and McDan­nald, is for any type of de­ter­mined run­ner, but they also have a club part­ner­ship with Univer­sité du Québec à Mon­tréal.

“It doesn’t mat­ter how good you are when you start out with us,” says Lofranco. “We want to see you get a PB. We want ev­ery­one to be in the best shape of their life.”

Those prom­ises are backed up by Lofranco’s ex­ten­sive ex­pe­ri­ence and train­ing. Lofranco, a char­tered pro­fes­sional coach through the Coach­ing As­so­ci­a­tion of Canada, is the road run­ning co­or­di­na­tor at Ath­let­ics Canada and served as a learn­ing fa­cil­i­ta­tor and coach eval­u­a­tor for dif­fer­ent cour­ses.

“We’re both ex­cited to build a strong club and help pro­mote a sense of co­op­er­a­tion and ca­ma­raderie in Mon­treal’s run­ning com­mu­nity,” adds McDan­nald, who was mem­ber of the Ath­let­ics Canada staff at the iaaf World Ath­let­ics Cham­pi­onships in 2013 and 2015, the 2015 Pan Am Games and Team Canada in Rio last year.

“An im­por­tant mis­sion of our club is to give back,” says McDan­nald. “So, whether it’s vol­un­teer­ing at a lo­cal road race or hold­ing a youth run, jump, throw, wheel clinic, help­ing the sport grow in Mon­treal brings the team closer to­gether.”

The club had an au­to­matic crew with track and cross-coun­try run­ners from uqam, where Jim is the head coach. Round­ing up the club are a cou­ple of masters run­ners and com­pet­i­tive am­a­teurs bal­anc­ing ca­reers and fam­i­lies, like Me­lanie Myrand, who re­cently ran a 34:48 10k.

“I joined avm be­cause I trust the coaches,” says Myrand. “They are both pas­sion­ate about the sport and look­ing to im­prove the ath­letes’ long-term de­vel­op­ment. Lofranco and McDan­nald both are easy to com­mu­ni­cate with, ex­plain the rea­son for their ap­proach to train­ing, are re­source­ful and are quick to re­spond to any ques­tions or is­sues that come up.”

The founders’ coach­ing back­grounds led to very spe­cific team val­ues pro­moted at ev­ery prac­tice, like pro­gres­sion (“pro­gres­sion is rel­a­tive, it ap­plies to ev­ery­one in their own way”) and pa­tience (“suc­cess = ef­fort + time. Live that vi­sion ev­ery day”).

“We start work­outs to­gether and fin­ish to­gether. No­body is left be­hind be­fore the cool down starts. We share our re­sults and train­ing ques­tions on an app called Slack, and we all voted on the sin­glet colour and de­sign as a group,” says Myrand.

Wed­nes­day the team meets at Sum­mit Cir­cle for strength drills, tempo work or hills. Satur­days are re­served for long runs in dif­fer­ent parts of the city. Some long runs end at Jim’s fam­ily home, where fam­ished run­ners chow down on pan­cakes, bagels and egg and cheese sand­wiches. This is Mon­treal, af­ter all, so crois­sants, bagels and cof­fee are also plen­ti­ful.

RIGHT Fran­cois Jarry wins the 2017 Banque Sco­tia 21K de Mon­treal half­marathon in 1:07:22.2

LEFT Jul­lien Flynn wins the 2017 Banque Sco­tia 21K de Mon­treal 5K in 17:42

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.