Greepers Creepers

Have you had the frustrating experience of your shoelaces coming undone during a race  or on a really cold day even though you tied them in multitudinous knots? Well, help is at hand.

A product which has for some strange reason been given the name Greepers is your salvation. I am thinking the name comes from some derivation of the word “grip”. Anyway, I recently bought a set which are in actual fact, a complex pair of laces and laced them up on a pair of shoes that notoriously come undone regularly during runs.

Now you might believe that’s all there is to it. Just buy a pair and problem solved. Not quite. First, one has to read the instructions which come in 5 different languages and has illustrations right out of Ikea. You need a Robinson screwdriver, a calliper, a compass and a strong drink at the ready. Only kidding, just the strong drink is essential. After around 15 minutes I had completed lacing up one shoe.

So did these Greepers work? They certainly did! I’m not sure when I will attempt to use them for another pair of shoes. Probably when another set of laces decide to unravel. How much do these miracle laces cost and where can you buy them? I bought mine at a race expo but I feel sure they must be available at regular running stores. Price paid – $10.00 plus tax. The strong drink can be purchased at either a beer or liquor store.

Bob Glazier

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spending Time with the Toronto Running Club

Maya’s Journal (visiting from Japan)

Today I would like to introduce the Toronto Running Club. This is a club for runners who gather and share the fun.  They practice twice a week on Wednesday night and Saturday morning. The meeting location is the North Toronto Memorial Community Cenrer near Eglinton station, which is the four stops north of my school.  The average attendance is 15-30 runners. The runners are divided into three groups based on their ability and the length they want to run. I always keep up with the first group and run around 13K. After running, I usually go to the pub with them on Wednesday and for a coffee on Saturday.

 

Finding the TRC might be the best things about this study abroad. I can not only enjoy running but also have good opportunities to listen to native English and to speak a lot. And we have the same hobby – running, so it is easier to keep the conversation going.

To extend friendship to local Canadians and to become accustomed to how fast they talk.

 

 

The Fantastic Runners

■Peter

Before I joined the first practice on April 13, I contacted Peter.  He is so kind and very gentle. I have never seen such a nice cool man as Peter!   In fact, he is 63 years old, but he looks very young!

■Bob

He is an amazing man!  He is 74 years old, but he can run faster than me. I couldn’t keep up with him many times. Actually,he always wins the races, sweeping his age category. He is also very kind.

■Christopher

He lived in Hymenia, Japan for 6 years. We are the same age; moreover he wants to try Ultra Marathons. He seems to be interested in my experiences of running ultra trail races in Japan. So, we immediately became friends.  ※Ultra marathon= over 42.195K.

■Andy

He is so funny. I have never heard him say anything serious.  I think he maybe only tells jokes. I need to understand all jokes!  I’m very glad he always starts a conversation.

 

■Dan and Steve

They are adventure racers※.  I took part in Adventure races four times in Japan, but to find an adventure racer is very rare. Naturally we often run with each other – “Birds of a feather flock together”?   Can you imagine I ran with a Canadian as a pacer-moreover as Cameron’s pacer?

 

When he asked me to be his pacer, I was so excited. This was an unexpected happening like a dream, but I did on May 25-26 at Ancaster. The name of the race was “Sulphur Springs Trail Run”

 

It took place on a 20K loop, – the running surface was 97% prepared forest trail .The 100 Mile runners had to complete eight laps of the 20km loop within 30 hours.  A Pacer could run  the last two loops. He had another pacer named Maryka.  We ran with him each one loop.

 

Before the race, he said he just wanted me to run beside or behind him and he would take 3-3.5 hours a loop. So I was to start running from midnight. Until midnight, I was going to take a nap in his tent.

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Adventure race=the combination of two or more endurance disciplines, including orienteering  and navigation , cross-country running, mountain biking, paddling and climbing and related rope skills.

But when I arrived at the starting point and checked his results, he had already run 100K and it was much faster than I thought. After I calculated when he would arrive, I set my alarm and I tried to take a nap, but it was difficult because I was nervous.

 

When I met him, he didn’t look so tired. He ate some pieces of pizza and drank chocolate milk. So, I thought he was his usual self.  But I asked him ‘how are you?” his answer was “I don’t know”.

 

Definitely no one knows what would happen to him next. After 130k, the temperature suddenly descended. It is felt like it was blow zero degrees. It was unusual for the end of MAY.  When I saw him, he was freezing. I lent him my neck-warmer, and took my rain jacket off for him. But it was too late. Due to being frozen, I thought he would waste a lot of energy, so he wouldn’t able to run fast. I think he suffered hypothermia.  According to his comment after he finished, the idea to quit hit him at least 20 times.

 

■Cameron

I am very curious about this guy called “Crazy Cameron”. He is an ultra trail runner※ and he a ran total of 800K in May. I still can’t believe that, but it is true (I checked his record in RUNKEEPER ). He is the craziest guy in my life.

※Ultra runner=a person who runs over 42.195K.

But he got it done.  His goal was very impressive.   I was glad to see his big smile.  160K is never easy.  He is awesome, excellent, very strong and super cool!

 

On the other hand, I was disappointed in myself.   I felt sorry that I couldn’t support him well. I should have noticed his physical condition earlier. And I wanted to cheer him up more, but I couldn’t speak English well enough.

 

On the next Wednesday, I was able to talk with him at the running club. He said he was satisfied with his result, because this was his best time.  And he said “Thank you again for ALL your help. You were really great “That comment made me feel much better than before.

 

He started running 20K two days later; nevertheless he was still feeling sore in his legs.  After all, he is crazy.

 

Ed Whitlock – Runner Supreme

Ed and AlanWho is Ed Whitlock you might ask if you haven’t heard this name before. Well, he’s the most amazing phenomenon on today’s world running scene. Okay now, let’s explain why.

First, he is currently 82 years old. He is not someone jogging at the back of the pack; he’s someone running near the front. And if he were a member of TRC, he would be, if not the fastest, definitely, one of the fastest.

Sounds incredible doesn’t it but let’s add the figures.

He holds 15 world records ranging from 1500 metres to 10,000 metres as well as many half and full marathon world records achieved in the 65+, 70+, 75+ and 80+ age categories.

When he turned 70, no one had broken 3 hours in that Marathon category but Ed did in 2 hours 59 minutes and followed that up with an incredible 2 hours 54 minutes when he was 73! Since turning 80, he has run 3 hours 15 minutes! He also finished a half marathon at 81 in 1 hour 38 minutes.

Ed was born in the UK and did run as a teenager but then gave it up and didn’t start again until his 40s. His training regime is to run daily around a cemetery in Milton, Ontario where he lives. Each training run is around 3 hours.

If you ever get to meet Ed, you will find he is the most modest man you will ever come across. He has also been examined by many sports doctors and others trying to find out what is so special about this runner. Ed himself says “Maybe it’s that I had an uncle who lived to be 106″.

What’s the betting that Ed will be breaking more records when he is 90!