Canadian Running

Fat Chance

- By Molly Hurford; Photos by Matt Cecill

As an ultratrail race, B.C.’s Fat Dog 120 is somewhat paradoxica­l. While it’s long, difficult and dangerous enough to be a Western States/ utmb/Hardrock/Badwater qualifier, it’s also small, intimate and remote. The course changes from year to year, making course records almost meaningles­s; for most participan­ts, finishing is the only goal.

6 wise words of advice from well-known winter characters

You know these characters, but did you know that they’re also winter runners? No? That’s because we totally made that up—just “run” with it and enjoy their imagined advice.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: No one “nose” better than me the importance of proper lighting in winter weather. My nose covers it all, but you’ll want to make sure you’re including lighting to both see and be seen. A headlamp is indispensa­ble for early-morning winter runs, and look for reflective materials on shoes, long-sleeved tops and jackets. Santa Claus: You’ve probably heard that I like to indulge in a cookie or two, but did you know I do it strategica­lly? It’s a good idea to increase your calories for winter running, because you’ll be burning more fuel to keep yourself warm. So don’t skimp on those carbohydra­tes and fuel up with cookies (like I do) or a ho-ho-hot bowl of oatmeal.

Frosty the Snowman: Most winter runners aren’t immune to the cold like I am, so make sure you’re protected. Magic hats are a must, and Buffs are pretty magical, too! They can be worn in many different ways to protect your head, neck and face from the cold.

Scrooge: I have a reputation for being miserly, but really, I’m just frugal. Save money by registerin­g for races months in advance and taking advantage of early-bird discounts.

Buddy the Elf: Take it from me, straying too far from home in the winter can get harrowing. When heading out for a winter run, don’t rely on your cellphone gps, in case your battery fails in the cold. Make sure you know your planned route well—better still, run with a “Buddy” (see what I did there?).

Elsa from Frozen: I mean, you knew what I was going to say, right? Winter running isn’t about chasing personal bests—it’s about letting go, not taking yourself so seriously and just having fun! Let the storm rage on— the cold never bothered us winter runners anyway.

5 winning tips for dealing with wind

Winter winds are not to be underestim­ated. Proper planning can help you triumph over wicked winds.

Start your run into the wind, so you return with the wind at your back. This will make for an easier split and means that the cold wind isn’t hitting you at your sweatiest.

Protect your face! If a full face mask isn’t your style, slather a layer of moisturize­r, petroleum jelly or an antichafin­g product like BodyGlide onto exposed skin. Avoid large, open areas on windy days and look for routes protected by tall buildings or trees. This is a great time to give trails a try, with hard-packed snow making tripping on roots less likely, and the wind protection provided by the forest.

You’ve got all the gear, but you’re still wearing rotten cotton underwear?! Ditch that gitch and invest in thermal winter running undies with built-in layers to protect your bits.

Look for an outer layer that will break the wind. A thin jacket or shell will cut down on windchill and make you feel warmer during your windy winter runs.

4 whimsical ideas for you and your crew

Let’s face it, we’re probably not going to set any time records on icy roads or in belowfreez­ing temperatur­es. Why not get the crew together to set some personal bests in consistenc­y, creativity and just plain fun?

Team up to create a winter running streak or similar challenge. Get creative! This could be anything from running a kilometre every day to running every neighbourh­ood in your town.

Plan a holiday lights run. Deck yourselves out in seasonal colours, wrap some batteryope­rated string lights around you, and run through residentia­l streets known for going all out with the Christmas lights. Sign up for a winter running scavenger hunt and complete challenges ranging from getting a run in on Christmas or New Year’s Day, to running decorated, to chugging a glass of eggnog every time you complete a loop of the track.

And while we’re on the topic of nog jogs, why not plan a winter beer mile, Croc mile or blue jean mile? The only rule is to pick something wacky and do it while running 1.6 km!

3 welcoming winter races across Canada

Stuck for winter running motivation? Nothing provides the nudge you need like signing up for a race. While it’s obviously not peak race season, there are still many races to choose from across the country.

The Santa Shuffle is in person this year, and will take place i n about 30 sites across Canada on Saturday, Dec. 10. Vist

santashuff­ to find a location near you. The Running Room’s annual Resolution Run is a great way to start the year off right. The Resolution Run offers a 5k as well as a family 1k in many cities. Ask at your local store or check online for more informatio­n.

Up for a longer distance? Look for a Hypothermi­c Half near you. They are like no other half-marathon, with their relaxed vibes, serious bragging rights and post-run brunches.

2 wild winter sports to add your running races

Are you following all our advice, but winter running is still leaving you cold? Maybe it’s time to add a new winter sport to your repertoire. Here are a couple of suggestion­s.

Snowshoein­g: Swap your running shoes for snowshoes and try a race like the dion Ignite the Night Snowshoe Race in Morrisburg, Ont.

Cross-country skiing: Doff the running shoes and strap on the skis. Try a duathlon, like the Discovery Duathlon and Duathlon Sprint at Pentathalo­n des Neiges in Quebec City.

1 whopper of a reason to get out and run this winter

Let’s face it, we’re not heading out for a run in a Canadian winter to attempt a PB, so there must be some other reason that compels us. Whatever could it be?


 ?? ??
 ?? ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada