Running Long Again in 2022

P'Tit Train du Nord Marathon

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Garson - Sudbury,ON,Canada

Member Since:

Apr 20, 2013



Goal Type:


Running Accomplishments:

I ran my first marathon in 1998: "The Friendly Marathon" in Massey, Ontario.  I was 32. I had never raced in a shorter event, and I trained really poorly - ended up running it in 4:00:30.  After that, I gave up running for the most part for 6 years.  I got into karate a bit more seriously, until I got my knee kicked out and had ACL surgery.  Then I became a 'fair weather runner' and started to run half marathons every so often.  As a priest, entering weekend races always meant having to book a holiday, so it just didn't happen much.  My holidays were primarily focussed on various canoe and kayak trips.

At some point, I started training more consistently, and started to think of myself as a runner.  I guess doing that in your 40's is better than never doing it at all.  I even started to wonder if I had it in me to qualify for Boston.  Well, I did - twice.  First time didn't count, I suppose, since I didn't make the "cut".  But the second time was a charm, and on my sixth Marathon, run in Chicago in 2015, I beat my BQ by almost 6 minutes.

Through it all, I've made tons of mistakes - and have had lots of injuries to show for it.  Hopefully, now that I'm in my 50's, I'm a bit wiser and can use that to my advantage to continue running for a very long time.

My PRs:

5k (12 run):      Guelph, ON.     October 10, 2016   (50 yrs.)   20:10

10k (10 run):    Collingwood      October 5, 2013  (47 yrs.)  43:37

Half Marathon  (24 run): Cleveland   May 18, 2014  (48 yrs)  1:33:08

Marathon (12 run):  Ste-Jerome, QC  October 3, 2021   (55 yrs.)  3:22:10

Ultras (5 run):   

Run for the Toad 50k Trail   September 30, 2017 (51 yrs.)  5:31:23

Niagara Falls 100k   June 17, 2018 (52 yrs.)  12:26:30

That Dam Hill 24 hours   September 15-16, 2018  Completed 100 Miles in 23:20:44

Sulphur Springs 50 mile Trail   May 25, 2019  10:37:27

Haliburton Forest 100 mile Trail   September 7-8, 2019  26:46:27

Click for Options

Pacing my sister in her 1st Half Marathon.

Short-Term Running Goals:

P'Tit Train du Nord (Little Train of the North) - October 3, 2021 - Training has gone very well; I'm thinking of pushing for a PR here.  A new PR by nearly 2 minutes, a BQ by almost 13 minutes, and a New York City Marathon Qualifier by 50 seconds.


Sulphur Springs 50 Miles - May 2022 - Thinking of going back to Ultras next year.  Still undecided.  This would be a training run for my Fall 100.

Some Marathon.  Somewhere.  Summer 2022.  More of a training run for the Haliburton.

Haliburton 100 Miles - September 2022 - Depending on a number of variables.  I won the Masters division here in 2019.  Was a very interesting experience.  A new course this year.  I'm keeping it open as a strong possibility.

New York Marathon - November 2022 - I qualified for it; will have to wait and see if that actually gets me there.


Thinking of going for speed in 2022.  Breaking 20 minutes in the 5k.  Beating my 10k PR, and breaking 3:20 in the Marathon.  For that, I would return to the Little Train in Quebec.

Long-Term Running Goals:

Run until this old body of mine won't let me run any more.  I was inspired in the Spring of 2016, watching the start of the Ottawa Marathon.  Near the back of the pack was an 'old man', running with his walker.  I loved it!  I thought ... there's me in 20 years.  Maybe.  


I am a Roman Catholic priest of 27 years, ministering in the Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie.  I spent 8 years ministering in the small town of Wawa (where I helped establish the annual Blackfly Run) and 9 years in Sault Ste. Marie.  I have been in the Sudbury region now for 9 years.  Currently I Pastor 2 small Parishes:  St. John the Evangelist in Garson, and St. Bernardine of Siena in Skead, covering the area just Northeast of the city, surrounding the Sudbury Airport.

Russian champion tries Crocs, commits to racing a marathon in them

Nikolay Chavkin in the video below did 3x1000, first two in Adidas carbon-fiber models, the last one in Crocs. Surprised by the result (2:52, 2:52, 2:50) with the fastest interval done in Crocs, he committed to racing a marathon in Crocs if the video gets 42K likes and 195 comments (for 42 km 195 m, the marathon distance). Nikolay's current marathon PR is 2:14:00. The video was created by a Russian sporting goods store chain. Their moto is "more sports - brighter life", which we think is wonderful, and also deserves a Like. If you want to see a fast marathon in Crocs, go to the video and click the Like button. And make sure to share it with your friends.

Miles:This week: 28.00 Month: 17.00 Year: 1973.15
Mizuno Wave Sayonara 2 Lifetime Miles: 395.40
Brooks Cascadia 11 Lifetime Miles: 299.00
Salomon Speedcross 4 Lifetime Miles: 160.25
Triumph ISO 5 Lifetime Miles: 539.00
Brooks Ghost 13 Lifetime Miles: 433.00
Brooks Launch 8 Lifetime Miles: 82.00
Triumph ISO 5 Lifetime Miles: 181.00
Saucony Triumph 17 Lifetime Miles: 78.25
Brooks Glycerin 18 Treadmill Lifetime Miles: 17.00
Saucony Triumph 18 Treadmill Lifetime Miles: 21.00
Total Distance
Mizuno Wave Sayonara 2 Miles: 26.20
Weight: 159.00
Race: P'Tit Train du Nord Marathon (26.2 Miles) 03:22:10, Place overall: 310, Place in age division: 40
Total Distance

The short report:  I achieved my goal.  A PR by nearly 2 minutes - my previous PR was 6 years ago.  And I qualified for the New York Marathon.  And I did it (unintentionally) with positive splits.  Why do it the easy way?

The full report:  I pulled it off!  It was an emotional end to a hard fought victory.   

I drove Friday from my home in Garson the 7 hours (non-stop) to Ste-Jerome, Quebec.  I picked up my race package first, and then to the airbnb I had booked for 3 nights.  An eat in pasta meal and then to bed.

Saturday was a slow, three mile run in the rain.  Then I drove to the finish line later that morning to make sure I knew the way.  The Half Marathon was being run at that time, so as to stretch out the field a la Covid-19.  The rest of Saturday was relaxation, with another eat in pasta meal that night.

Sunday I was up at 4:45 to eat a light breakfast and by 6:30 I was driving to the Finish Line to catch the bus to the Start Line - a 30 minute ride through the Laurentian Mountains.  It's all stunningly gorgeous, with the moutains covered in Fall colours.  I've been skiing here before, and so have seen it all in the winter.  This is special.  The Start Line was in Val-David.  They had 12 waves starting (a la Covid-19), spaced 5 minute apart.  The first wave was off at 8am.  I was in wave 3, and so started at 8:10.

The course is run on an old rail line that has been converted into a bike trail.  The first 4 miles or so is pavement, and then packed fine gravel for most of the rest.  It is a 722 foot gradual drop, with the biggest drop being between miles 4.3 - 8.7.  There are gradual climbs as well, with the longest being over 2 miles between miles 15 and 17.4 and then another one between miles 20.5 and 21.75.  The scenery is stunning, with incredible colours, lakes and rivers that run directly along the route.  

I decided to go for my New York Qualifying pace of 3:23 (7:44/mile).  I knew I would have to rein it in for the downhill miles and really watch my pace.  There were no pacers for the event, due to Covid-19 regulations.  All that being said, no matter how much I reined it in, I consistently ran the early miles faster than intended.  Here are the splits as recorded by my GPS.  Take them with a grain of salt.  I think the thick tree canopy overhead, the steep rock cuts in places, and the three tunnels under roads really threw the numbers off:

(1) 7:40     (2) 7:36    (3) 7:45     (4) 7:39     (5) 7:37     (6) 7:13     (7) 7:13     (8) 8:12     (9) 6:33     (10) 7:40     (11) 7:43     (12) 7:13     (13) 8:04     (14) 7:46     (15) 7:53     (16) 7:48     (17) 8:06     (18) 7:51     (19) 7:43     (20) 7:50     (21) 7:56     (22) 8:03     (23) 7:39     (24) 7:54     (25) 8:04     (26) 8:09

My official time was 3:22:10 (7:43 pace), meaning I cleared my New York Marathon qualification time of 3:23.  My official splits were:

10km 45:17 - (7:26 pace - way too fast for the first 10K)

1/2 Marathon 1:39:18 - (7:40 pace for this 11K segment - much better pace)

30km 2:21:56 - (7:41 pace for this 9K segment - again much better pace)

The final 12.2 km was run at a 7:55 pace.  My legs were paying the price for the speed of the first 6 miles.

The fast start concerned me, as I knew I'd pay for it later in the race.  However, my pace did feel even, and I question the 3 miles at 7:13, mile 8 at 8:12, and most especially mile 9 at 6:33.  Those numbers did, however, play in my head as I struggled to maintain an even pace.  At the end of mile 9, my GPS was showing an average pace of 7:33.  I knew that would not end well.

The long uphill was a struggle between miles 15 and 17.4, even though it was very gradual.  My splits slowed considerably after that and my legs were quickly loosing their strength.  I was concerned I would be hit with dead legs too soon in the race.  It was here that I knew I had to parlay the early speed into achieving my goal, and so was doing the math in my head --- if I can just keep my pace below 8:00/mile for the final 6, I can do this!  Maybe.  Positive splits are never a good way to go.

I suppose the final miles were no different than any other marathon run hard.  The legs wanted to go off in their own direction, and it took a ton of concentration to keep moving forward.  When I crossed the finish line, I nearly collapsed.  I had to grab something to stay upright.  And I was quite emotional, knowing what I had accomplished.

A huge plus for me was overcoming the GI issues that had hit me hard last year in Fort Lauderdale.  I didn't have to even think about stopping, and I was easily able to consume the nutrition as planned:  one chew every mile and one gel every 6 miles.

This is a fun, well organized event.  The volunteers were fabulous, the route incredible, and the results speak for themselves. 







Mizuno Wave Sayonara 2 Miles: 26.20
Weight: 159.00
Total Distance
Mizuno Wave Sayonara 2 Miles: 26.20
Weight: 159.00
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