A new goal for #STWM – to rock the Scotiabank Charity Challenge

STWM

Once again this year I’ll be racing the Canada Running Series Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon, but this year I’m upping my goals – not by trying to rock a PB, although yes, I will give it a try, but by participating in the Scotiabank Charity Challenge fundraising for the YWCA Toronto.

The Scotiabank Charity Challenge unites the spirit of runners with a unique fundraising program to help create a stronger future for young people and build vibrant communities.

In 2017, participants raised $3.5 million for 199 community charities through the Scotiabank Charity Challenge at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. This has a huge impact.

As many of you know my mum, Jill Rumble, was the CEO of the YWCA Hamilton, before passing away 14 years ago of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). The YWCA played a huge role in my life growing up – not only keeping my sister and I busy as kids through swimming, dance, and gymnastics, but gave us our first jobs as camp councillors and life guards, but most importantly created my foundational love of fitness which had direct impact on my profession now and opening Tribe. I remember in high school waking up early on Saturday morning and going with my mum to aerobics class. Like 90s style aerobics high four-count beats, grapevines, box steps, and lots of clapping. I loved it.

Through the Scotiabank Charity Challenge, the YWCA of Toronto is hoping to reach their goal of raising $25,000 for programs that will help women and girls triumph over the barriers to equality and to make a better, more equitable world for us all.

Here’s how you can help me:

  1. Donate! Any amount of money to support this cause close to my heart is greatly appreciated. Skip your morning coffee for a couple days and help us out. Click here to donate. Now I realize it might not be that simple for some of you so, here are some other options.
  2. Share this post! You’ve got friends and followers, please let them know why this cause is important and share away.
  3. Run and fundraise yourself. More hands (or sneakers in this case) make for light work. Check out the list of official charities here. Create an account and fundraise for a charity that’s important to you.

Thanks for supporting in any way to you. See you at the start line!

Heather

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How Toronto can become a more ‘welcoming place’ for runners – and their tourism dollars

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Photo by Patrick Leung – the Ghost Race

Back in May 2017 I was invited to speak at City Hall sharing my perspective on Running Tourism in the City of Toronto. I had previously written for iRun magazine on Running Tourism, researching both the monetary benefits and social benefits for communities including Toronto, NYC, Ottawa, and Vancouver. So my perspective has came from that of a marathon runner in other countries, the research I complied for iRun, and my experiences as a leader in the Toronto run community. I was happy to share what I thought the city could do to support this sport and it’s athletes from near and afar and I was happy to continue the conversation in early 2018 as part of the working group establishing recommendations for the city council’s economic development committee. Some thoughts on that initial conversation were shared here by CBC.

On April 14th, the report that had been developed through the established working group of City Councillors, City employees, and community stake holders was released and the city council’s economic development committee voted to take a closer look at our recommendations.

Some recommendations from the working group included ideas like opening public transit earlier, having various City teams communicate more clearly and easily with race directors, and some welcoming and inviting tasks like displaying race promotional material on bus shelters, street banners, and even at the air port, as many Marathon Majors do welcoming athletes to the city and celebrating the event.

We highlight the financial benefit to the city, including a comparison of Toronto’s two marathons (and yes, only have one major race was brought up) to Marathon Majors including NYC ($36 Million CAD of $415 Million USD).

CBC did a follow up interview which I supported. You can check it out here.

As the city council’s economic development committee will be taking a closer look at these recommendations I am glad the the conversation continues and look forward to Toronto continuing to grow as an epic place to race and live.

 

4 Bay-sic Hill Training Tips

With the Around the Bay Road Race  happening this weekend in Hamilton, I spent Tuesday morning with the team from CH Morning Live chatting the race and sharing tips to rock the Valley Inn Rd hill. Watch it here and read my 4 tips to conquer the hill below.

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Four tips to dominate your next hill workout.

1. Keep your chest up and open. The most common advice you might have received is to “lean into the hill”. Unfortunately, this causes many runners to hunch at the waist to lean forward. This constricts your airway and makes it harder to breathe deeply. You do need to lean forward, but make sure you lean at the hips, not the waist.

2. Keep your head and eyes up. Dropping your head  leads to a slouch in your form and restricts how much oxygen you can take in. So  instead, drive your arms straight forward and back using them like pistons. Keep your elbows bent in a 90-degree angle, and swing them straight back and forth, and not across your body.

3. Drive your knees up off the hill and not into the hill – think of this as your knee drive. Work on landing on the ball of your foot to spring up the hill.

4. Bend your ankle. Think of yourself exploding off your ankle and using that last bit of power to propel you up the hill with minimal energy expenditure. Focusing on plantar flexion can save you a lot of energy and really help you get up the hill faster and with less energy.

What are some tips and tricks you use to power up a hill?