Race Recap: Famous Canadian Beer Run

On Sunday September 18th I had the pleasure of being part of the Brew Crew at the first official Famous Canadian Beer Run.

img_4302Hundreds of beer and running enthusiasts ran around Ontario Place for a 5K run-meets-craft beer and food festival. This was the first race of its kind in Toronto, pairing participants’ passion for running and love of a post-run cold one.

Being part of the “Brew Crew” didn’t require me to “pace” or anything serious – it was in fact the opposite or “serious”, my goal was to dress up and help runners have a blast and well at a themed run like this it was very easy to do.

img_4346This run route was awesome. The route ventured around and through Ontario Place, where we checked out the scenic lake and city skyline views while touring the east and west islands. We definitely went to places in Ontario I had never been, and some I haven’t seen for many years. In addition, we were also treated to a preview of the art installations which were set up as part of the in/future art experience taking place simultaneously.

Post-run participants kicked back, danced, and waited in line at the Craft Beer and Food Festival. As part of the race entry we were given free beer tickets for samples of the finest craft brews from Ontario brewers, as well as  gourmet food from the city’s top food trucks. These were also available for purchase (cash only). Live entertainment also took place at the Heritage Square post-race party.

The $50 run entry was a great value which included

  • Entry into post-run Craft Beer & Food Festival
  • 4 beer/beverage chips (good for two 8 oz. beers, or four 4 oz. beer samples)
  • Commemorative beer stein
  • Run t-shirt
  • Customized race bib
  • Race kit filled with samples

img_4309

The run did have a few logistical problems resulting from lack of volunteers and being a first time experience. The lines everywhere were very long. Registration had to be checked when entering Ontario Place as there were two types of tickets – the run – the festival – so they had to confirm everyone had paid. Once you were in the park we lined up again and this time it was to get our race kits. Had the bib numbers been emailed prior, or even a link to check them ourselves online, we would’ve saved time. More volunteers could’ve helped more things along here as well. As a result of these two lines the start of the race was delayed and all subsequent waves were pushed back. The wave starts were pretty relaxed and even with these lines people were in great spirits.

Now the other problem…the 5km run route was only 4.3km long. Obviously not great, but this was a run, not a race, and it wasn’t timed at all, BUT integrity is important and I think this is a big mistake, but one that can easily be fixed for next year.

img_4307

The run was promoted really well, had a great route, and a wonderful atmosphere and energy. Even with these two hiccups, the runners had great attitudes and very few people were getting upset. I’m sure if the run happens again they will be on top of these two mishaps and so I would highly suggest anyone who likes beer gets in on this event. Bring your friends, dress up, and have an awesome afternoon.

Wild About It: Gaiam Blue Sundial Foldable Yoga Mat (2mm)

While Mark and I were on our summer work-cation we brought a “travel” yoga mat with us from Vancouver to LA. This mat came in very handy on the beach when we didn’t have towels, but was not easy to store as it needed to be rolled up and wasn’t as compact or convenient as it could’ve been. I ended up folding it which gave it weird creases and it no longer lays flat.

05-62214_foldablemat_bluesundial_a

Photo from Gaiam.com

After we returned from our trip I was introduced to the Gaiam Foldable Yoga Mat. This mat was everything I had been wanting in my other mat. Not only was it thin and light weight (weighs just 1 lb), it folds into a compact square with it’s almost perforated seems, making it easy for travel and yoga on the go.

This rubber mat has a sticky feel that won’t let your hands slip, no matter the temperature. I took it with me to last weeks CH Morning Live segment and while it was perfect to travel with various items from the ground – sand and dirt – got stuck and required a bit of brushing and shaking to remove.

This mat certainly impressed me with it’s size and it’s compact-ability. It was exactly what I’ve been looking for and if you’re someone who travels a lot, you should definitely look into it.

Available where Gaiam products are sold in store and online for $21.99.

For more information check out this video from Gaiam.com

Get the Facts on Quality H&PE

The following post is one I wrote for Ophea’s #FunFact Friday. View the original post here.

A new school year means a fresh opportunity to get students moving and inspire physical activity in all areas of school. Research has shown connections between increased levels of physical activity and better academic achievement, better concentration, better classroom behaviour, and more focused learning[1], now what teacher wouldn’t want that for their students.

The Ontario Health and Physical Education (H&PE) curriculum is important in ensuring the development of physical literacy and promoting lifelong active living. To help demonstrate its impact we’ve compiled four of our favourite statistics to help inspire you to motivate your students and colleagues to move more!

1. H&PE makes quality physical activity accessible: Community sports teams might be few and far between in your area, or might come at a costly price. According to the UNESCO Quality Physical Education: Guidelines for Policy-Makers[2] , quality physical education is embedded into the school curriculum to provide developmentally appropriate and inclusive physical education learning experiences. The Ontario H&PE curriculum promotes important living skills and goals that support the development of health literacy, physical literacy and character. All students, no matter their social economic background can take part and have fun in developing a healthy, active lifestyle.

2. H&PE in the early years matters: Active kids become active adults. H&PE in the early years is important to develop confident movers who have acquired the transferable skills and strategies they need to be active throughout their lives. Research into motor development indicates that learners acquire new fundamental movement skills (motor skills) most successfully during the preschool and elementary years.[3] By helping students become competent and confident movers in the early learners, they won’t shy away from active pursuits later on in life.

3. H&PE helps students get the physical activity they need: Only 9% of Canadian kids get the 60 minutes of heart-pumping physical activity they need each day.[4] H&PE classes can support students in reaching 60 minutes a day but that still may not be enough. As one of the H&PE curriculum Fundamental Principles states, “Health and physical education programs are most effective when they are delivered in healthy schools and when students’ learning is supported by school staff, families, and communities.” Teachers, administration, parents and community members (public health professionals and recreation leaders) can support getting students active before, during and after school.

Need to get your school community on board? Check out Ophea’s Healthy Schools Certification. This initiative promotes a Healthy Schools approach which supports H&PE curriculum values beyond just the gym, and can help all school community members see the value in getting students active. Check out certification details and try something new this year!

4. H&PE leads to lifelong enjoyment in active living: Through implementation of quality H&PE, students are exposed to a variety of games and activities that they can fall in love with and take part in for the rest of their life. For example, the Teaching Games for Understanding (TGFU) approach supports students to build transferable game skills and strategies while encouraging inclusive and fun spaces. Moreover, H&PE and Daily Physical Activity provide motivating and empowering settings where students may instill a lifelong sense of awareness, value and enjoyment of physical activity.[5]

Whether it’s helping students gain physical literacy skills, creating an accessible program for all abilities, or promoting life long active living, research shows our students need H&PE and the Ontario H&PE curriculum is here for them.

To learn more about the Ontario H&PE curriculum and how it supports educators implement active, safe and inclusive schools, check out the Ontario Ministry of Education’s Elementary Curriculum & Resources and/or Secondary Curriculum & Resources.

For more information on how Ophea supports H&PE implementation visit, ophea.net/HPESupports.

 

[1] Ontario Ministry of Education. (2015). The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 1-8: Health and Physical Education. Retrieved from https://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/curriculum/elementary/health1to8.pdf

[2] United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). (2015). Quality physical education (QPE): Guidelines for policy-makers. Paris, France: UNESCO Publishing.

[3] Ontario Ministry of Education. (2015). The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 1-8: Health and Physical Education. Retrieved from https://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/curriculum/elementary/health1to8.pdf

[4] Statistics Canada. “Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS).” www23.statcan.gc.ca. http://www23.statcan.gc.ca/imdb/p2SV.pl?Function=getSurvey&SDDS=5071 (Accessed Sep 12, 2016).

[5] Cradock, A.L., Barrett, J.L., Carter, J., McHugh, A., Sproul, J., Russo, E.T.,… Gortmaker, S.L. (2014). Impact of the Boston Active School Day policy to promote physical activity among children. American Journal of Health Promotion, 28(3 Suppl), S54-64. doi: 10.4278/ajhp.130430-QUAN-204.