Off the Beaten Path
The Pre-Race De-jittering List
Rachel Hannah 2015 Pan Am Games silver medallist Before the race, I’ll think of key words I’d say when things get tough, such as: relax, breath, focus, form, knee drive. I did this at Boston, and it worked. NEWBIE ADVICE: Simulate your race experience before the main event, starting with what you will be eating that morning, and practice fuelling at the exact same intervals in your long run. Thomas Toth Represented Canada at the 2017 World Championships I have a pair of socks I prefer and I usually throw one of my wife’s hair elastics on my left wrist. NEWBIE ADVICE: Keep it simple and don’t stress yourself out. Remember: rituals help calm and relax athletes, but don’t play any actual role in the outcome of the race. Lanni Marchant Canadian marathon record holder I have a special song on my phone. It’s my race day alarm – it’s “Ground Shake” by Dirty Radio. NEWBIE ADVICE: Being nervous is good. At the Olympics I was standing beside the fastest women in the world and I had to remember I don’t get to control the pace of the race; I could only control racing the best of my ability and having fun. Remember you’ve done all the prep work and when that gun goes off, it’s out of your control. Eric Gillis 10th at the 2016 Olympic marathon Music. For something mellow, Frazey Ford, and for that energ y kick, The Killers. NEWBIE ADVICE: The goal I had for my first marathon was having a feeling at the end of it that I wanted to do another one. Reid Coolsaet Olympian, second fastest Canadian marathoner of all-time When I’m tapering for a marathon I try and cut out sweets during the last week. When I crave something I’ll write it down and then post-race make sure I get that as a treat. NEWBIE ADVICE: Figure out what breakfast works best before key runs and eat the same thing on race day. Timing of the meal is important, too.
Marilyn Warren 3:47 marathoner, police officer When I completed Boston this year, I treated myself to another t attoo of t he famous Boston Unicorn. Pius Rolheiser 3:18 marathoner, Aboriginal consultation advisor I jump over the 20-mile pylon on the road – kind of an in-your-face rebel yell! Doreen Katchmar 3:41 marathoner, accountant Write my goal time on a piece of paper then stick it under the inner sole of my left runner, cause it’s on the same side as my heart. Heather Harker 3:40 marathoner, accountant I always believe thanking all the course Marshall volunteers is good Karma. The more I say thanks – the better my race gets. A good time is better than a good time. Heather Davis 3:38 marathoner, financial analyst Never try anything new on race day. Marylene Vestergom is a regular contributor.
ABOVE Eric Gillis puts his routine to the test and wins the 2017 Canadian 10K Championships in Ottawa
LEFT Lanni Marchant at the Vancouver Eastside 10K
BELOW RIGHT Thomas Toth takes the win at the Calgary Half Marathon 2016
BELOW Reid Coolsaet at the 2017 Canadian XC championships in Kingston, Ont.