Central Saint Martins

Posted by in Krista Prendergast | January 4, 2017

           In the summer of 2016 I traveled to London, England to study at Central Saint Martins, the Number 1 ranked international fashion design school. It had always been a goal of mine to study at CSM and be immersed in their creative curriculum. The tutors really push you to be very creative and come up with original designs. This article below is a great insight to what the CSM fashion program is about.

Willie Walters: “You have to be really careful that you don’t miss out on a rough diamond.”

A new twist to road racing will bring color to your face (and your shirt)

Posted by in Christine Blanchette | January 21, 2013

Running a race is about as basic as competition can get – it’s you versus the ones beside you and may the best woman (or man, of course) win.  But then you add different food, draw prizes and live entertainment, you’re left with unique events for people to choose from – with each one offering a different ambience, yet each is still a race from start to finish.

Now picture an event with all competitors dressed in white t-shirts while waiting for the starting gun. The runners/walkers then take off and through each kilometer they’re showered with color powder made with food grade cornstarch, 100% natural and safe.  It’s new, sounds like loads of fun, is coming to Montreal on August 17 and is called, “The Color Run 5km.”

For those runners who merely estimate their kilometer split times, this is the race for you as you will be doused five times with different colors, giving you a 70’s tie-dye look at the finish line.

Some runners will wear bandanas or dust masks because of the powder, thrown by volunteer color throwers, sponsors and Run for Color staff who aim low as much as possible when you pass by. The idea is to get your t-shirt as colorful as possible by race end. To re-state the obvious, you start in white and you finish looking like a hippie gearing up for a Joan Baez tribute concert.

You are officially a color runner/walker and you get to celebrate at a post 5km party. At the finish, the crowd will do a color throw every 15 minutes to welcome new runners coming in.

The first official Color Run was held in Tempe, AZ in January 2012. Since last year, the event debuted in 50 US cities and three international cities, with close to 600,000 participants in total. By the end of 2012, The Color Run has worked, as 60 per cent of participants were first-time 5k runners. The event selects a different local charity organization for each city, so everybody wins.

In a recent email interview with the Color Run mastermind, 34-year-old Travis Snyder from his office in Draper, Utah, the founder and executive director began by saying, "Seeing how happy The Color Run has made all different kinds of people has been very rewarding. It really is an event for all fitness levels, ages and backgrounds. Our tag line is "The happiest 5k on the planet" for a reason. That line was created after seeing how happy it made people." You might say it puts the fun into a fun run.

Snyder, a former triathlete and avid runner, began creating his own running events 10 years ago. In an effort to create a non threatening running environment where professional and novice runners could come together and enjoy the purity of the sport, The Color Run was born. "I wanted to create an event that would encourage people to get out and run just for the fun of it. I wanted people to enjoy the community experience of running together, and I wanted to add something a little out of the ordinary to the race; something that could serve as a sort of visual reward for all the hard work these runners put into training for the event," he said.

He continued, “The Color Run has had more first time 5k runners than any other event in history. For most of these runners it will lead to more participation in fun runs and competitive events. We take a lot of satisfaction in the fact that our events lead people to have a more healthy and active lifestyle. The demand has been crazy and exciting. Every day hundreds of people make requests on our Facebook page for us to bring the event to their favorite city. We're excited to answer the call!”

You can run the event solo or enter as a team. This makes me want to participate in this event. All you need is a white shirt, and be ready to have some fun running and getting splashed with color.

More information: www.thecolorrun.com


Twitter: christineruns

Dick Beardsley has the heart of a champion for both running and life

Posted by in kp athletic wear | December 16, 2012

At 4 am if you’re not working nights, most of us are probably still sleeping… but for 56- year-old running legend Dick Beardsley, he is ready to pound the pavement. This is a daily ritual for elite runner Beardsley - to go to bed at 10:45 pm and then wake up in the wee hours for his run.

Even when he is travelling it is no problem for him to fit in a 2:30 am run before going to the airport. It paints a picture of an extremely motivated and driven man that simply loves to run no matter the hour of day. While time has no bearing on his running, his positive attitude helped him to overcome obstacles in his personal life that may have rendered mere mortals to holding up the white flag and surrendering any notion of a successful running career. This is a story of someone who would not quit despite the odds, and became a champion runner, motivational speaker - to having his own foundation.

His passion for running has not diminished even 24 years after retiring from professional racing. He’s had ‘close encounters’ of the dangerous kind, like being chased by bears, stalked by a timber wolf, and his much too close view of a buck during a run in his native Minnesota. He recalled, “The buck stopped on the trail and snorted. I guess he was ready to attack me,” he laughed over the phone during a recent interview from his home in Austin, Texas.  The cliché, ‘speed kills’ has often been a good fit for Beardsley, however, that time, ‘speed saved’ as he got away unharmed.

Beardsley spoke fondly of his childhood and that little did he know, he already had the makings of a good speaker during his school years.  And like the accomplished story teller he’s become, he talked about his running background and his work as executive director of the Dick Beardsley Foundation, which opened in 2007.

He began, “I am an outdoorsy person who enjoys fishing and hunting and I remember my grandma giving me this book – a survival guide book when I was 10-12 years old. I still cherish this book and I learned that if you are faced with a bear you are to run down a steep hill.” Later on, this helped when he did run in the woods and was faced by a wild animal or two.

When he was a shy skinny kid in 9th grade he would bring dead animals to school in his back pack, which he would place in the lunchroom cooler and later tell stories to the other kids of how he caught the animals. “I still can’t believe I did this – this would never happen today. The bullies enjoyed listening to my trapper stories,” Beardsley laughed.

He almost died in a farming accident in 1989 and subsequently survived three car accidents that required hospitalization, in which he underwent three back operations in 1994 and knee surgery in 1995.

At the 1982 Boston Marathon, Beardsley and Alberto Salazar had combined to create the closest finish in 85 years, in which Beardsley lost the race by two seconds to Salazar.  Beardsley’s time of 2:08 marked his fastest time ever - the third-fastest American of all time.

He began his career in 1977, consequently becoming an international best selling author for ‘Running and in life.’ Most recently in his 50’s he’s had knee replacement surgery for both knees, yet that barely slowed him down.

When he isn’t running or speaking to packed schools and businesses, he is involved with his foundation to help youth live an active, healthy lifestyle and to educate kids and the public about the dangers of chemical abuse, as he was once addicted to prescription painkillers from the back and knee surgeries. He overcame this dependency in 1997 and founded The Dick Beardsley Foundation in 2007.
“I am very fortunate to work for myself and to follow my passion to also work alongside my wife Jill, who does all the bookings,” he said.

Beardsley says it best in the Spirit of the Marathon documentary: “When you cross the finish line, it will change your life forever.”


Twitter: christineruns

Coconut Water – is it just a trend among runners or healthy for you?

Posted by in kp athletic wear | November 13, 2012

 When I think of coconut – I think of basking in the sun at a tropical place while sipping an exotic drink with one of those little umbrellas.  Didn’t that famous chimpanzee, ‘Cheetah,’ supply Tarzan and Jane with all the coconuts they could eat?

Well, now there’s a new energy drink on the market - coconut water – and it’s trending in a large way with the North American running community.  No wonder Tarzan was so buff.   

What is coconut water you might ask? It is an all natural energy drink containing potassium and minerals, great for hydrating and low in calories.  You can buy coconut water almost anywhere these days. For those unfamiliar with this product, the main question is: Is it just a trend or a natural energy drink that will give you a needed boost at the right time?  To learn the health benefits, I recently tried coconut water with pulp for the first time and while it tasted refreshing and sweet, I wanted to learn more about how it compared to other energy drinks on the market. I asked registered dietitian and accomplished runner Crystal Higgins what are the benefits of drinking coconut water?  Does she drink it?  “Yes - especially when it is ice-cold. Don't try to drink it warm at room temperature,” Higgins said by email from her Vancouver office this week.

Are there substantial benefits to be gained from coconut water?  “Absolutely - coconut water is 100% natural compared to other sport drinks that are artificially sweetened, colored and flavored,” Higgins said.  She continued: “In fact coconut water has even been successfully used as an alterative IV treatment in remote areas. There may also be some antioxidant properties, which may aid in neutralizing reactive oxygen species production resulting from long duration exercise.”

According to PMC – US National Library of Medicine, coconut water is naturally occurring, is very rich in potassium, contains sodium chloride and carbohydrate and is viewed as the hydrating beverage of choice in many countries, including India, Brazil, Singapore, Southeast Asia and the Caribbean. 

Higgins said, “Runners should drink coconut water when performing an aerobic exercise or longer, more intense runs lasting longer than 75-90 minutes.” Higgins enjoys one cup (eight oz) after a 90 minute bikram (yoga) class or a long run. She finds it “quite tasty and refreshing.”   Remember, the large cans often have more than eight ounces, so watch the portion size she notes.

“Many people enjoy the flavor, the natural-factor and the fact that it has low carbohydrates, sugar and chemically manufactured elements,” Higgins says. “Most definitely it is a trend. There are currently limited studies and clinical evidence to suggest that coconut is any better than water or other sport drinks at rehydration, recovery and performance.  Carbohydrate-electrolyte beverages are widely consumed and represent a multi-billion dollar segment of the food and beverage industry.”      Higgins adds, “It is certainly a more natural choice relative to Gatorade, but there is not sufficient evidence to support that it's necessarily better. Although it is excellent in terms of potassium, coconut water falls short on sodium. If you're a "salty-sweater" you may require additional sodium for adequate rehydration and recovery.”

In an article by Molly Kimball, a registered dietitian in New Orleans, “coconut water ranges from 34 to 76 calories per eight ounce serving, compared to 50 calories for the same amount of Gatorade or PowerAde. Vita Coco, by the way, is the brand of coconut water that appears to most closely match the calorie content of a regular sports drink, with 45 calories per eight ounces.”

Ultimately, the choice is yours to try coconut water. I did but I still prefer old fashion water, nice and cold, straight from the tap.


Twitter: christineruns


Five-Time Olympian coaches athletes on his own fitness training system

Posted by in Christine Blanchette | October 29, 2012

Jorge Bonnet remembers vividly the circumstances which would motivate him to become a five-time Olympian for his native Puerto Rico.  He was just six years of age, the second eldest of five brothers and one sister that were bullied at school.  But that changed one day when his father enrolled them in Judo lessons. After six months of self defense training his neighborhood bullies, not so surprisingly, disappeared.  At age ten he earned his black belt, which was only the beginning of his remarkable Olympic journey.

At 16 he would make the Puerto Rico national judo team and followed up by making the Olympic team three years later, competing at the 1984 LA Olympics and placing seventh.  He returned to the Olympic team in 1988 at Seoul, South Korea. After the Seoul Games he retired from judo at just 23 years of age, yet he was only getting warmed up, figuratively speaking, as an Olympian.  

From Summer Olympics to Winter Olympics he went on to compete for his country in bobsled at the 1992, ‘94 and ‘98 Winter Games. In an NBC television interview, he said it was in 1992 that Puerto Rico would enter its first team and that he didn’t know what a bobsled was at the time.

Now at 47, six feet tall and 205 lbs for the first time from always being 160-170 1bs – Bonnet says he was always an unassuming contender to his competitors. His passion for ultimate physical fitness has been there since he was a child – he has morphed from a five-time Olympian to being one of the top strength and conditioning coaches in the world.

You can also give him the titles of inventor and educator of fitness too - he is the CEO and founder of PurMotion, which essentially is a fitness and training system of movement patterns.  He coaches athletes to push, pull, lift, jump and slide using one main platform. You can use it individually, to groups of up to 10-14 people who can use the machine doing various movement patterns such as squatting, pulling and lunging.

In a recent phone interview with Bonnet at his Pelham, Alabama office, he talked about how he got the idea for his fitness machine, to becoming a global company that is making a difference.  Pelham is a small town, population 5000, where his performance and training facility is located. “It was in 2008-09 I had no knowledge of designing fitness equipment for the public, manufacturers didn’t understand my concept or training philosophy and at that time there was the economic crisis. I went on to design it myself. There was no (fitness) tool out there to engage movement patterns,” Bonnet, who once had plans of becoming a doctor, said.  He wanted to make a difference to help athletes to perform better. From his first day at medical school he knew then it was to help people with the preventive performance side and not the people who were ill.

The first to try out his fitness training system were school kids and shortly afterward the US Army was embracing it.  In 2010 at the IHRSA (International Health, Racquet & Sports club Association) in San Diego, PurMotion was launched.

 “My workout philosophy focuses on balance and training in the way you move - the tools are user defined,” Bonnet explained.  “Think of movement first. We are educators, leaders in the fitness profession. Pushing, pulling, lunging, squatting, or working the body in one movement. It is proved that you need to be in constant motion to get a true workout.” He adds, “Running on a treadmill can be boring and you are using only one movement. The benefits of doing the various movements:  you gain muscle, tone muscle and it’s good for your cardio.”

The PurMotion system is good for everyone from physically challenged athletes to able bodied to the elite athletes.  With his training system having gone global, Bonnet will be helping athletes in a couple of weeks at the Beijing Olympic Training Centre where they are using his machine.   

Total fitness has never been so achievable.  To learn more, check out the web site below.



Twitter: christineruns

Where do you draw the line concerning how much is too much sugar?

Posted by in kp athletic wear | October 28, 2012

As much as I love running on a daily basis I also love to sweeten my coffee or tea at night, usually putting honey in both. The second favorite option would be brown sugar.  To find out how much is too much sugar I asked registered dietitian and accomplished runner, Crystal Higgins how much of the sweet stuff is safe to ingest daily.  Higgins says, “For men it should be 10 teaspoons every day and for women it should be six teaspoons. To keep it in perspective, think of one teaspoon as one sugar cube.”

While I have two teaspoons of sugar or honey in my java, that is not counting the sugar found in foods. In a Canadian Press story, November 21, 2011 it states, “A new report from Statistics Canada indicates that one in every five calories that Canadians consume comes from sugar - whether naturally occurring as in milk or fruit, or added to foods and beverages like soft drinks and candy.”

What is sugar? It is a carbohydrate that is in most foods we consume, even, as mentioned, milk, however, it is also added to many of our foods such as snack foods, juice and soft drinks. This is where we need to cut down on our sugar intake.

On average, the study, released Wednesday, found that Canadians consumed 110 grams of sugar a day, which works out to 26 teaspoons or 21 per cent of their daily calorie intake.  Also, in a September 27, 2011 Vancouver Sun article by Brian Meadows, he writes, “The report also shows that sugar consumption is rising and brings with it a myriad health implications such as tooth decay, obesity and type 2 diabetes.”

The information was collected as part of the 2004 Canadian Community Health Survey, which had more than 34,000 respondents recall everything they'd had to eat or drink in the past 24 hours.

The Canadian study shows 31 per cent of sugar consumed was from vegetables and fruit, while 35 per cent came from the "other" foods category, which includes items like soft drinks, ice cream and candy. And the sugar in these items, which is added rather than naturally occurring, has little or no nutritional value.

Did you know there is a natural, zero-calorie free alternative known as Stevia and is available as a dietary supplement in Canada. It is a sweetener - a South American herb. Stevia can be used to sweeten food and beverages and has been consumed for many years  in countries such as Japan since 1970.

What can Stevia do? It’s non-caloric and won’t affect glucose levels, which benefits people with diabetes. It also contains no fat and is great for people watching their weight. Stevia is used for baking/cooking.

Where you can buy Stevia? In most health food stores and it’s available in liquid form or powder.

Higgins said, “Stevia is the only sugar substitute that is safe.”  On the Stevia website it says, “Stevia is the healthiest natural sugar substitute, and the most trusted natural sweet plants on Earth.  It's 200 to 300 times sweeter than sugar, while being calorie and carbohydrate free.”

Stevia has been approved as a dietary supplement both in Canada and the United States.

Coconut Palm Sugar is made of sucrose with small amounts of glucose and fructose.  It is boiled and processed into a granule from the nectar of the coconut tree.

What about honey? It is a great source of antioxidants and contains polyphenols and flavonoids. According to healthmad.com - Per every 100g of honey about 79-82g is sugar, and the rest is mostly water.  

And the Sugar made from cane sugar? It is pure sucrose and is basically refined to a white crystal from cane sugar.

It is always best to check the ingredients or the labels to make sure your sugar is pure. For a healthier lifestyle with a balanced diet, watch for foods or drinks with added sugars. You might want to go for water instead of soda.


Twitter: christineruns


Où puisez-vous la ligne concernant la façon dont beaucoup trop de sucre?

 J'aime courir tous les jours and J'aime aussi pour sucrer mon café ou du thé dans la nuit, le plus souvent de mettre du miel dans les deux. Ma seconde choix préférée serait la cassonade. Pour savoir combien ya trop de sucre, j'ai demandé enregistrée coureur diététiste et accompli, Crystal Higgins combien de trucs sucrés est sûr d'ingérer quotidiennement. Higgins dit: Pour les hommes, il devrait être 10 cuillères à café par jour pour les femmes et il devrait être de six cuillères à café. Pour le garder plus en perspective, pensez à une cuillère à café comme un morceau de sucre. "

Alors j'ai deux cuillères à café de sucre ou de miel dans mon java, c'est sans compter le sucre contenu dans les aliments. Dans un article de la Presse canadienne, 21 Novembre 2011, il déclare « Un nouveau rapport de Statistique Canada indique qu'une personne sur cinq calories que les Canadiens consomment vient du sucre - si naturelle que dans le lait ou des fruits, ou ajoutés aux aliments et boissons comme le les boissons gazeuses et les bonbons. "

Qu'est-ce que le sucre? Il est un glucide qui est dans la plupart des aliments que nous consommons, même, comme mentionné, le lait, cependant, il est également ajouté à la plupart de nos aliments comme les grignotines, les jus et les boissons gazeuses. C'est là que nous devons réduire notre consommation de sucre. En moyenne, l'étude, publiée mercredi, a constaté que les Canadiens ont consommé 110 grammes de sucre par jour, ce qui équivaut à 26 cuillerées à thé ou 21 pour cent de leur apport calorique quotidien. En outre, dans une Septembre 27, 2011 Vancouver article Sun par Brian Meadows, écrit-il, « Le rapport montre également que la consommation de sucre est en hausse et apporte avec elle une myriade de conséquences sur la santé tels que la carie dentaire, l'obésité et le diabète de type 2."

 Les informations ont été recueillies dans le cadre de l'Enquête de 2004 sur la santé communautaire du Canada, qui comptait plus de 34.000 répondants se rappellent tout ce qu'ils avaient eu à manger ni à boire dans les 24 dernières heures. L'étude canadienne montre 31 pour cent de sucre consommée était de légumes et de fruits, tandis que 35 pour cent provenaient de la catégorie «autres» aliments, qui comprend des éléments comme les boissons gazeuses, de la glace et des bonbons. Et le sucre dans ces articles, qui est ajoutée plutôt que naturelle, n'a que peu ou pas de valeur nutritive. Saviez-vous qu'il est un produit naturel et sans calorie alternative libre appelée stévia et est disponible en tant que complément alimentaire au Canada. Il s'agit d'un édulcorant - une plante d'Amérique du Sud. Stevia peut être utilisé pour sucrer les aliments et les boissons et a été consommé depuis de nombreuses années dans des pays tels que le Japon depuis 1970. Que peut faire Stevia? Il est non calorique et n'affectera pas les niveaux de glucose, ce qui profite personnes atteintes de diabète. Il contient également pas de matières grasses et est idéal pour les personnes qui surveillent leur poids. Stevia est utilisé pour la cuisson / cuisson.

Où vous pouvez acheter Stevia? Dans la plupart des magasins d'aliments naturels et il est disponible sous forme liquide ou de poudre. Higgins a dit: «Stevia est le substitut de sucre que c'est sûr." Sur le site de Stevia dit-il, «Stevia est le substitut de sucre naturel sain, et les plus dignes de confiance plantes naturelles douces de la planète. Il est 200 à 300 fois plus sucré que le sucre, tout en étant en calories et en hydrates de carbone libres. "Stevia a été approuvé comme supplément diététique à la fois au Canada et aux États-Unis. Cocotier sucre est faite de saccharose avec de petites quantités de glucose et de fructose. Il est bouilli et transformé en un granulé à partir du nectar de l'arbre de noix de coco. Qu'en est-il du miel? Il est une excellente source d'antioxydants et contient des polyphénols et des flavonoïdes. Selon healthmad.com - Par tous les 100g de miel 82g environ 79-est du sucre, et le reste est principalement constitué d'eau. Et le sucre fabriqué à partir de sucre de canne? Il est le saccharose pur et raffiné est essentiellement un cristal blanc de canne à sucre.

Higgins a dit: Stevia est le substitut de sucre que c'est sûr." Sur le site de Stevia dit-il, Stevia est le substitut de sucre naturel sain, et les plus dignes de confiance plantes naturelles douces de la planète. Il est 200 à 300 fois plus sucré que le sucre, tout en étant en calories et en hydrates de carbone libres. "Stevia a été approuvé comme supplément diététique à la fois au Canada et aux États-Unis. Cocotier sucre est faite de saccharose avec de petites quantités de glucose et de fructose. Il est bouilli et transformé en un granulé à partir du nectar de l'arbre de noix de coco.

Qu'en est-il du miel? Il est une excellente source d'antioxydants et contient des polyphénols et des flavonoïdes. Selon healthmad.com - Par tous les 100g de miel 82g environ 79-est du sucre, et le reste est principalement constitué d'eau.

Et le sucre fabriqué à partir de sucre de canne? Il est le saccharose pur et raffiné est essentiellement un cristal blanc de canne à sucre. Il est toujours préférable de vérifier les ingrédients ou les étiquettes pour vous assurer que votre taux de sucre est pur. Pour un mode de vie sain avec une alimentation équilibrée, surveillez les aliments ou les boissons avec sucres ajoutés. Vous voudrez peut-être aller chercher de l'eau au lieu de soude.

The latest injury prevention tips will help you hit the ground running

Posted by in Christine Blanchette | August 21, 2012

If the unmatched spectacle of Usain Bolt winning the sprint double – again - at the London Olympics hasn’t captured your imagination, how about his classy compatriot, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce repeating as women’s Olympic 100m champion?  Jamaica is a tiny island nation of three million people, of which approximately half, or so it seems, are Olympians that took London by storm.

The Games of London, with all its glamour and pomp and “Dream Teams” and “Fab Fives”… yet which country will be most remembered?  I put the question to a group of friends and the overwhelming response was – Jamaica. You might have guessed the U.S. for Michael Phelps, or Canada, for its class in handling controversial results, or even host Great Britain, which produced newly minted Olympic 5000m and 10000m champion, Mo Farrah. The Games feature, however, several “sports” like pistol shooting, dressage and sailing (10 different classes).  Ballroom dancing is still trying to get in.  No, the sprints are the glamour events for a reason.  The fastest man and woman on earth capture the imagination like no other Olympian.

In Atlanta ’96, Canada won 22 medals, including Donovan Bailey’s gold in each of the men’s 100m and sprint relay.  Afterward, a European official (unofficially) proclaimed the Atlanta Games to be, “Canada’s Games,” such is the prestige held by the sprint champions.  Doubtless a new generation, not just in Jamaica – but world wide – will be inspired to become the Olympic heroes of tomorrow, taking on the challenge of matching or beating the phenomenal performances we’ve witnessed.  

Others will be inspired to just get out and get moving, enjoy the freedom our bodies give us while we still have it. Injuries are one sidebar of training, however, that most of us will experience from time to time.  The resulting frustration is sometimes enough to derail a comeback permanently. Those that persevere will have a better appreciation of getting there.

So before tying your shoes and heading out the door, you might want to know some injury prevention tips that will keep you on the road or trail.

The key is to listen to your body and see a doctor, physiotherapist or chiropractor when you feel injured.  Those aching shins could mean the onset of shin splints and lead to stress fractures.  It likely means your shoes are old and need replacing.

 Dr. Sean Graham, a Richmond, B.C. chiropractor, this week offered his insight to beginners and seasoned athletes.

There are various techniques that elite runners use to lower the risk of injury: Kinesiotape which helps to reduce muscle spasm and add strength to weak or strained muscles; active release techniques which is a soft tissue technique that helps to break up adhesions between muscle fibers and nerves; contrast baths (2 mins hot, 2 mins cold) help to remove lactic acid and decrease recovery time between training sessions. I asked, can a runner ever not get injured?  “If you run long enough,” says Graham, “you will eventually have to deal with an injury.”   Graham is noticing more injuries due to barefoot running. We are seeing more repetitive strain injuries due to the increase use of barefoot running shoes. Injuries to the lower leg such as calf strains, Achilles tendonitis, and stress fractures are more common since runners are forced to run on the balls of their feet which put more strain on the muscles and tendons on the posterior part of the lower leg.

To help prevent injuries, incorporate pool running and cycling into your program.  Any new runner should get fitted for proper shoes that are suited to their foot and body type at a reputable running store.  Start slowly.  Find a knowledgeable coach or running group instructor. Graham notes, “Runners should understand that it is okay to take time off from running if dealing with a nagging pain. It is better to take an extra day or two off from your training to allow your body to heal. Sometimes taking time off from running and substituting some cross training will increase your performance in the long run and prevent yourself from getting injured.”

 Like rain, injuries will happen but when you fall off a horse….  


Twitter: @christineruns

Harold Morioka at 69 – a sprinting legend on the comeback trail

Posted by in Christine Blanchette | August 8, 2012

Harold Morioka always had a passion for running but only at 29 did he decide to race the 100 meters for Simon Fraser University at a college track meet. No big deal, you say? Well, he went on to finish second in 11.0 at the Burnaby Mountain campus, despite no formal training of any kind. Then he decided to train and by age 30 became B.C. champion in both the 100m and 200m.

Along the way, he achieved degrees in education and kinesiology, and would teach high school and coach track for many years at Coquitlam’s Centennial Secondary School.

As for his gifted sprinting career, that’s where it began for a man that would overcome adversity of all kinds and beat the odds to set multiple world records to go with at least 100 Canadian age group sprint records.

Moriokais the only athlete to break world records for all distances from 60m to 800m. Deciding at age 50 to focus primarily on the 400m, he still holds the masters 45 world record of 50.60 seconds. He also holds every Canadian age group record at 400m from 45 to 60, yet one of his most impressive achievements was setting a world 45-49 record in the 100m at the Canadian Masters Championships inToronto. His time of 11.11 represented, “I think the best race I’ve ever done,”Morioka said this week from theRichmond, B.C. offices of his sponsor, Organika Health Inc. Resplendent in his athletic gear, he was fit, unassuming and friendly, looking much younger than his years.

Born February 2, 1943 at a Japanese internment camp in the B.C. Interior, Morioka lived there until age six when he moved, along with his parents, an older brother and two sisters, to a farm inSurrey, where they had to share the work in order to make ends meet. “I got my name from the nurse who delivered me at the internment camp.” Like many other Japanese Canadians, the Morioka family lost everything when they were forced to move to the camp. There would be no time for extra curricular activities. But there was plenty of healthy food which would help lay the foundation for future successes. “To this day I follow a healthy diet,” Morioka said. When asked if hard work on the farm had become a cornerstone to build on, he said, “Yes, definitely it was, and I didn’t have time to do anything else.”

Morioka has paid a huge price for his extended pursuit of excellence, enduring five knee surgeries since turning 54, while also surviving a genetic heart condition, which led to open heart surgery in 2009. By now, you will likely suspect none of this will keep Morioka down or stop him from getting into top competitive shape into his 70’s. One of his fitness secrets was to perform deep water pool running after surgeries to shorten the recovery road.

Morioka’s incredible story is not just about an amazing runner, but an extraordinary human being who against all odds beat adversity from his childhood growing up in the camp, to dealing with major health issues to making the world stage as a runner.

Athletes like Morioka come along about as frequently as 200-point hockey players. He even raced Canadian Olympian, Charmaine Crooks at 400m when she was in her prime and though she beat him, he ran his age, which means he was nipping at her heels in 51 seconds as a 51-year-old. There are too many spectacular times and races to list them all here.

These days, if he’s not on the track training with his masters club, the Greyhounds, he is coaching. He still is considering one more knee operation this year. “I want to make a comeback where I will compete at the Brazil World Championships in October. I hope to run the 400 meters under 60 seconds and win the gold.”

Like Wayne Gretzky used to do so often, it should surprise no one if Harold Morioka continues to set records. And we’ll just continue to be inspired by what he does.





Runner Girl Oatmeal

Posted by in Runner Girl Recipes | June 4, 2012

Runner Girl Oatmeal – The perfect cereal for runners on the go

 Along with my morning java in the morning, I have a bowl of my favorite breakfast cereal:  hot oatmeal which is what I enjoy eating on a daily basis.

It is my ultimate comfort food before my runs. While growing up on the hobby farm, oatmeal was always a food staple in the house.

 It is easy to make and cooks in less than 5 minutes like 1.5 minutes!

This warm cereal is not only delicious but healthy for you too.

On my oatmeal I usually sprinkle some brown sugar and pour in 1% milk.

It is cheap and I usually buy it in bulk. Quaker Oats is what I prefer to eat than instant oatmeal or steel oats.

I usually make enough oatmeal so I can have it for the next morning. I put the reminder in a plastic container and it usually is still fresh to eat the next morning. I would microwave it for about 1-2 minutes.

Sometimes I will even have it for a snack later in the day; especially on a cold day.

 Oatmeal is low in fat, high in fiber and to me it is easy to digest. Oatmeal in the morning before a training run or a race has always worked for my fitness regime.

How to make Runner Girl Oatmeal:

 Buy Old fashioned Quaker Oats – Did you know that ‘Oats can help reduce cholesterol as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol?’

Use 2-3 cups of oatmeal and use a mid sized pot and pour enough water in the pot like at half way and bring the water to a boil. Pour and stir in the oatmeal. Cook for five minutes or less- when it looks cooked enough.

Simmer and cover for a few minutes.

Put the desired amount in a bowl and sprinkle some brown sugar or any fruit you would like on it.

I use 1% milk.


For more information- www.quakeroats.com (provides 2 g per serving)

Disclaimer: I am an avid competitive runner who enjoys cooking and learning new recipes. I am not a nutritionist but I have a general knowledge of healthy eating and training.


Twitter: @christineruns


“Marathon Maniac” – Jon Mahoney runs the Globe

Posted by in kp athletic wear | May 30, 2012

Running a marathon once or twice a year is a huge accomplishment, and to run the 42.2 km distance is no easy feat for many. Your ultimate goal is to finish and receive a medal.

Then there are runners addicted to participating in several marathons each year. Marathon Maniacs is a club for those who love the distance. www.marathonmaniacs.com .

The Marathon Maniacs was founded in 2003 and is the biggest running club in North America. If you are looking for inspiration in your next marathon - then look no further to 60 year old Vancouverite, Jon Mahoney, a retired corporate pilot who has run an average of 20 marathons a year with most of his runs in a year being 37. In 2010 he was inducted into the Hall of Fame with the Marathon Maniacs and was their only 5 members inducted into the "Hall of Fame" with over 5000 membersMahoney is ranked #10 in the Marathon Maniacs club for all time marathons. He is also ranked 165th in the world for most marathons run and 2nd in most marathons runs in Canada. Indeed, his number of marathon rankings is an unbelievable marathon achievement. To add here, he completed the "Tahoe Triple" 4 times!  (3 marathons, in three days -- complete circle around Lake Tahoe) whew!

In a recent interview with Marathon Maniac #224 – Mahoney, he talked about why he started running, his favourite marathons and the next ones for him. Recently this month, he participated in the BMO Vancouver Marathon that marked his 400th Marathon. His first Vancouver Marathon was in 1995 and has run it 17 times. “(I) loved the new course. Much better. Really showed off our beautiful city,” said Mahoney about the new BMO Vancouver Marathon course. His first marathon was in Seattle 18 years ago and at 58, he ran Victoria in 3:24 which is his personal best.

 He started running in his 40’s as a way to stay in shape. “I was experiencing the typical mid-life crisis and decided I had to do something for better health.” He adds, “I make a point to travel to marathons all over the world by following the good weather around.”

He has run all over the world: New York, Dubai, Paris, Amsterdam, Cape Town, Belgium, France, Germany and including the Boston marathon last month. He comments, “NYC is my favorite big city marathon, over 2,000,000 spectators. Paris is the most beautiful. Amsterdam is the flattest marathon. Pike's Peak is the hilliest. Knee Knacker is my favorite trail run/ultra.”

Mahoney will be running “A double marathon, Sat/Sun in WA, state, June 2/3. Green River and North Olympic Discovery (Port Angeles), then 3 weeks recovery and then the Seattle Rock-n-Roll marathon, June 23 and the Scotia Half , June 24th, in Vancouver. I am very self- motivated and already excited to run these events.”

He further comments, “I do not train properly. “I just do it.”

Mahoney does just that – his love for marathoning takes him all over the world.


Twitter: christineruns