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Do You Need A Running Coach?

There are people who are naturals in their sports and they rise to conquer every challenge... I am not one of them. Like most, I've fumbled a lot in my various sports over the years and managed to do well at a few things, just through a lot of really hard work. It wasn't flawless or efficient, but I managed to get it done. I always see a lot of questions about coaches and for a long time and sort of dismissed that as an option for those who are elite or really trying to podium at a specific race. More and more, we are seeing runners at every level of ability using coaches to achieve their goals, and what a difference it is making in the sport. Let's talk a little bit about what coaches can bring and what you should expect.  Setting Goals A coach will look at what you want to do and figure out a plan to get you there. They will also help you to be realistic and look at the big picture. Sometimes you will be chomping at the bit to run a specific race, but it might make more s
Recent posts

My Perfect Race

There is no rest for the Sinister, and we are in the thick of planning for 2024. I follow a lot of race director forums to keep tabs on what's happening around the world, and there are always a lot of questions, both profound and basic. There is one common strain of questions asked by new RDs: can you plan a perfect race? And then I laugh and laugh because I love the naive optimism. 😂 I need to tell someone to get off my lawn now. So I'm pondering what would make a perfect race for me, from an organizer's standpoint...  My perfect race would have flawless registration and it would fill up really early so that we can plan our expenses for the year, and know how much swag to buy. Everyone would fill out their shirt sizes and not make any swaps last minute. All of it would be within our budget and vendors wouldn't increase our prices at the last minute. The permits would be a breeze and everyone would welcome us with open arms. There would be no course changes due to logg

Climate Change and Outdoor Events

Hi Folks - it has been a while! We were all wrapped up in race season but it's time to get back to blogging.  Rather than repeat what has already been written, check out this article in the Globe and Mail where I had the honour of being interviewed regarding my thoughts on how climate change affects outdoor events.

Gender Policy and Categories

Trail running is for everyone It is in that spirit that we are officially launching our new Gender Policy, which includes a non-binary category. This has been in the works for a couple of years, but we had been waiting for better guidelines from World Athletics . We had hoped for a more comprehensive, global vision, but most races have been making up their own policies. We have recently seen races like the Boston Marathon add a Non-Binary category, and Ultrasignup posted an update this fall, allowing race directors to do the same. This is a tectonic shift in the world of sports and the recommendations will undoubtedly continue to develop each year.  As I mentioned above, our crew has been discussing this off and on for years, and lately, we have had more inquiries about a formal gender policy. We have always had this sort of inclusive nature, but it was never in writing; we just treated people with respect. We sought out input from people in

GI Distress and Gut Training

This blog is 90% about racing from the point of a race director, but there are several perennial issues that racers ask about. One of the top discussions each year is GI health and dealing with gut distress. Few things weigh on racers more than that uncontrollable, gut-wrenching queasiness.  I am excited to introduce one of our newest crew members, Heidi Frehlich, a professional triathlete and ultramarathoner who specializes in these very issues. ~BG

Building Community

I first started out in endurance racing by crewing a team of coworkers from my former office. I could not believe that someone was capable of racing for 24+ hours and I wanted to see it for myself. I competed in my first race the following year, and 23 years later, endurance racing has become the focus of all my work. It's so common to hear "origin stories" like this from the people we meet at our events, and it shows that the first step into endurance sports is often not through being a competitor. That is why I am convinced that trail running is first and foremost about community. In my last blog post, I talked about how the racers - the people we meet - are what fuels our organization's passion for trail running. The TLDR version of this post - we hold a tremendous power to be a positive influence in the lives of everyone we welcome into our community, so let's be community builders at every opportunity. "Community" is our primary focus for 2023 and

Staying True to Your Vision

Love him or hate him, Simon Sinek has a lot of outstanding insights into the nature of work and how people interact (although, admittedly, he seems really harsh on Millenials). A number of years ago I saw a TED Talk where he said something that really resonated with me. It has informed virtually every decision we make as an organization, and it's also the title of one of his books:  Start with Why .  My background is in Industrial Design – designing the goods we use in our daily lives. I am a creator but I need some kind of outside pressure to spur me on, kind of like how a bit of sand irritates an oyster into creating a pearl. I have always had a strong sense of being true to my craft and making sure that I actually felt passionate about the things I was creating. I remember sitting in my office in Calgary, staring at the mountains and thinking "if I really want to be there, why am I here?" So when I quit working for "The Man" and started working full-time as a