ARTICLES

2014 Readers’ Choice Awards

The votes have been tallied (over 2,500 of them) and the winners have been chosen. Drumroll please!

The votes are in – more than 2,500 of them! The winners of our 10th annual Readers’ Choice Awards represent the best races, businesses, places and events as decided by you, our readers. Where applicable, Readers’ Choice Awards are presented in three geographic regions: Eastern Canada (Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada), Western Canada (Alberta, B.C., Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Yukon, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories) and National. Awards in the National category represent events or organizations with at least one event/operation in both the Eastern Canada and Western Canada divisions. Winners in the National category are not eligible to win a regional award. Where there are no votes or a multi-way tie (with more than four winners), no winner is indicated. Congratulations to all of our 2014 award winners.

Best Adventure Race

Eastern Canada: Storm the Trent www.stormthetrent.com

Western Canada: The Swamp Donkey www.swampdonkeyar.com


Best Charity Training Program

Team in Training www.teamintraining.ca


Best Cross Country Ski Race / Event

Eastern Canada: Gatineau Loppet www.gatineauloppet.com

Western Canada: Canadian Birkebeiner www.canadianbirkie.com


Best Cross Country Ski Facility

Eastern Canada: Hardwood Ski and Bike www.hardwoodskiandbike.ca

Western Canada: Canmore Nordic Centre www.albertaparks.ca


Best Cycling Club

Eastern Canada: Toronto Bicycling Network www.tbn.ca

Western Canada: United Riders of Crowsnest www.uroc.ca


Best Event T-Shirt

Eastern Canada: Ultra-Trail Harricana http://harricana.info/en/

Western Canada: Sinister 7 www.sinister7.com


Best Health/Fitness Club

National: GoodLife Fitness www.goodlifefitness.com

Eastern Canada: Buns of Steel Boot Camp www.bunsofsteelbootcamp.com

Western Canada: Aspire Fitness www.aspirefitness.ca


Best Lap Swimming Pool

Eastern Canada: Regent Park Aquatic Centre www.toronto.ca

Western Canada: Kinsmen Sports Centre www.edmonton.ca tied with Kitsilano Pool www.vancouver.ca


Best Marathon

Eastern Canada: Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon www.torontowaterfrontmarathon.com

Western Canada: BMO Vancouver Marathon www.bmovanmarathon.ca


Best Masters Swim Club

Eastern Canada: Nepean Masters Swim Club www.nmsc.org

Western Canada: LifeSport Swim Masters http://www.lifesportcoaching.com/


Best Mountain Biking Event/Race

Eastern Canada: 24 Hours of Summer Solstice www.chicoracing.com

Western Canada: BC Bike Race www.bcbikerace.com


Best Mountain Biking Facility

Eastern Canada: Hardwood Ski and Bike www.hardwoodskiandbike.ca

Western Canada: Canmore Nordic Centre www.albertaparks.ca


Best Obstacle / Mud Racing Event

National Series: Mud Hero www.mudhero.com

Eastern Canada: XMAN Montreal www.xmanrace.com

Western Canada: Dirty Donkey Mud Run www.dirtydonkeyrun.com


Best Colour Run

National Series: Color Me Rad www.colormerad.com

Eastern Canada/Western Canada: No clear winner


Best Off-Road Triathlon

Eastern Canada: Mine Over Matter www.elementracing.ca

Western Canada: Edmonton River Valley Offroad Triathlon www.ervtri.com


Best Orienteering Event/Race

Eastern Canada: Raid the Hammer www.dontgetlost.ca

Western Canada: Manitoba Orienteering Association Jessica Lake www.orienteering.mb.ca


Best Outdoors Store:

National: Mountain Equipment Co-op www.mec.ca

Eastern Canada: Bushtukah www.bushtukah.com

Western Canada: Wilderness Supply www.wildernesssupply.ca


Best Personal Trainer

Eastern Canada: Jay Quarmby, Southern Cross Fitness  http://linkd.in/1Gcz6J6

Western Canada: Kim Ogren, Kim’s Kickin’ Fit http://on.fb.me/1HAnzaT


Best Piece of Sports Gear or Apparel

Asics GEL-Cumulus Running Shoes


Best Place to Buy a Bike

Eastern Canada: Gears Bike Shop www.gearsbikeshop.com

Western Canada: Bikes and Beyond www.bikesandbeyond.ca


Best Place to Buy Running Shoes

National: The Running Room www.runningroom.com

Eastern Canada: The Runners Shop www.therunnersshop.com

Western Canada: Fast Trax Run and Ski Shop www.fasttraxskishop.com


Best Place to Buy Tri Gear

Eastern Canada: Enduro Sport www.endurosport.com

Western Canada: Tri It Multisport www.tri-it.ca


Best Place to Do a Spin Class

National: GoodLife Fitness www.goodlifefitness.com

Eastern Canada: Quad Spinning www.quadspin.com

Western Canada: Tri It Multisport www.tri-it.ca


Best Place to go with a Sports Injury

Eastern Canada: 361 Degree Chiropractic Sports & Wellness www.361clinic.com

Western Canada: Pan Am Clinic www.panamclinic.org


Best Post-Race Party

National: Mud Hero www.mudhero.com

Eastern Canada: Muskoka River X www.muskokariverx.com

Western Canada: Electric Donkey Run www.electricdonkeyrun.com


Best Race Kit

National: 5 Peaks Adventures - Trail Running Series www.5peaks.com

Eastern Canada: Muskoka River X www.muskokariverx.com

Western Canada: SeaWheeze Half Marathon www.seawheeze.com


Best Road Cycling Race/Event

Eastern Canada: Wellspring Peloton Challenge wellspringride.ca

Western Canada: RBC GranFondo Whistler www.granfondowhistler.com


Best Road Triathlon

Eastern Canada: Niagara Falls Barrelman www.niagarafallstriathlon.com

Western Canada: The Great White North Triathlon www.gwntriathlon.com


Best Run Club

National: The Running Room www.runningroom.com

Eastern Canada: Tribe Fitness www.facebook.com/tribefitnesstoronto

Western Canada: Fast Trax Run and Ski Shop www.fasttraxskishop.com


Best Road Running Race (non-marathon)

Eastern Canada: Around the Bay Road Race www.bayrace.com

Western Canada: Winnipeg 10 & 10 www.facebook.com/winnipeg1010


Best Ski Hill

Eastern Canada: Blue Mountain Resort www.bluemountain.ca

Western Canada: Whistler Blackcomb www.whistlerblackcomb.com


Best Snowshoe Race / Event

Eastern Canada: Don’t Get Lost Snowshoe Raid www.dontgetlost.ca

Western Canada: The Yeti – Snowshoe Racing Series www.theyeti.ca


Best Sports Drink

Gatorade www.gatorade.ca


Best Sport Nutrition Food

GORP Clean Energy Bar www.gorpworld.com


Best SUP Race

Eastern Canada: Eastern Canada SUP Championships www.supintoronto.com  

Western Canada: Kalamalka Classic www.kalamalkaclassic.com


Best Trail/Ultra Run

National: 5 Peaks Trail Running Series www.5peaks.com

Eastern Canada: UTHC Harricana www.harricana.info

Western Canada: Sinister 7 Ultra www.sinister7.com


Best Winter Race:

Eastern Canada: Pentathlon des Neiges www.pentathlondesneiges.com

Western Canada: Ice Donkey www.swampdonkeyar.com


Best Indoor Climbing Gym

Eastern Canada: Climber’s Rock Indoor Climbing Gym www.climbersrock.com

Western Canada: Vertically Inclined www.verticallyinclined.com


Best Urban Race

National: City Chase www.citychase.ca

Eastern Canada: No clear winner

Western Canada: Pain in the ASSiniboine www.swampdonkeyar.com


Best Sports Photography Company

Kelly Morton Photography www.kellymortonphotography.com


Best Outdoor Festival

Eastern Canada: Montreal International Jazz Fest www.montrealjazzfest.com

Western Canada: Fire & Water Music Festival www.firenwater.ca



 

Comments

Race Reviews

Race reports from running races, triathlons, duathlons, adventure races, obstacles runs, bike races and more!

VIEW ALL

Age and Mentorship in Ultrarunning

By: Ian MacNairn  

Ultrarunning is still a fairly obscure sport populated predominantly by the endurance world’s outliers. That said, ultrarunning popularity has been and continues to expand phenomenally. It has been historically pursued and dominated by Master athletes. In fact, even a few years ago, one would struggle to find a large number of athletes under the age of 30 in most ultramarathons. Even in 2013, approximately 54% of ultrarunning participants in North America were in the Master (40+ years old) class. Another 33% were 30-39 years old.

In the past few years there has been growth in younger demographics with many more athletes in their 20s and early 30s competing in ultras of all types and distances. There are even teenage runners participating in and placing quite high in competitive fields. Ford Smith, 17, of Austin, TX has been ripping it up from 26 to 100 mile events. Andrew Miller, 18, of Corvallis, OR is another who has been diligently crafting his ultra resume since he first entered his teen years. And then there are the even more surreal adolescent ultra phenoms such as Colby Wentlandt, 13 –the youngest to complete a 100 mile event at age 12, or Tajh, 10, and Teagan, 8, Redden, brother and sister who crush 50K trail runs as part of their everyday family adventuring!

A crop of the young guns are coming to ultrarunning from relatively recently completed collegiate track and cross-country careers. Others transitioned from elite (and successful) road-running into the world of mountain, ultra and trail-running. Then there are the mountain climbing and ski machines that have easily found their running legs. Not only is the expanding magnetism of ultrarunning attracting younger athletes, but this new blood infused into the sport is fast. On both the men’s and women’s fronts, these folk are winning regional, national and even international events with increasingly deeply competitive fields.

While races are won on the day, young runners, as a group, have not yet begun to break down many course records (CR) that stand on iconic and classic routes both domestically and internationally. The bars have been set, sometimes decades ago, by those veteran runners that spent much time in the sport, experimenting with and learning the myriad of nuances that culminate in exceptional ultra performances.

Naturally, the landscape of ultrarunning changes. The demographic shifts and expands and an increasing number of stakeholders result in an expanding universe. New runners bring raw speed and, possibly, great talent into the ultra gene pool. However, the nature of ultrarunning is far more expansive than physicality or some sense of imbued aptitude. Ultrarunning, while situated first and foremost in the individual, is built on community and no small part of that is the process of mentorship. Following in the footsteps of veterans and CR holders, the new generation of ultrarunners has begun to reap the benefits of mighty mentors.

Under Hal Koerner’s tutelage, the Rogue Valley Runners shop in Ashland, Oregon doubles as a training stable for a slew of very fast young ultrarunners. Kilian Jornet, possibly the greatest endurance athlete of his generation, has continually pursued legendary mentors the likes of Bruno Brunod, Stéphane Brosse and Pablo Vigil. Dominic Grossman, of Los Angeles, has drawn from his relationship with local legend Jorge Pacheco in leading to his own ultrarunning prowess in Southern California. Grossman describes: “Jorge taught me the standard of competitive ultrarunning: train hard, believe in yourself, listen to your body, and don’t give up. The details will work out if you’re consistent and keep at it. Four years later, I’m a much better runner for his guidance.”

This inclusion of mentorship and the greater supportive community in young athletes’ experience will help in leading them to greater feats than seen in the sport to date. Furthermore, this care can aid athletes in developing sustainable practices while simultaneously benefiting the sport by ensuring the passing on of the tightknit fellowship in shared suffering from which ultrarunning first emerged.