Jodi Isenor has introduced thousands of Atlantic Canadians to trail running—through a slate of cool races, weekly group runs and coaching—not to mention by being a totally inspiring badass runner himself.
Since organizing the Cuddly Coyote in Tantallon, N.S. in 2010, he and his wife, Karine, have grown their Nova Scotia Trail Running series to a half-dozen races from one end of Nova Scotia to the other, including Capes 100—the first, and still only, 100-miler in Atlantic Canada.
“It totally hit home at Capes this year as to why we do this,” says Isenor. “Just being able to share these special moments, to be at the finish line bawling our heads off with friends and complete strangers. We know how it feels, and we thrive on those moments.”
Another is Keji ’s Backyard Ultra, which involves running a 6-km loop every hour until only one person is left. “A big chunk of it is on a road, so that is less intimidating for some people,” says Leah Jabbour, president of Nova Scotia’s Youth Running Series, who credits Isenor with tailoring his races to appeal to a wide variety of runners, adding that Isenor has built a reputation for putting on great races.
Isenor’s own running resume includes five Barkley Marathons attempts (including a Fun Run finish i n 2014, which involves completing three loops of the 25-mile course in under 40 hours), as well as becoming the first person to run the 298-km Cabot Trail, in 2020, during which he raised $14,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation; he followed that up in 2021 by running all the trails in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park—250 km total, with 5,600 m of vert—and raising another $5,000.—