World Litter Run

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” –  Mahatma Gandhi

WHAT IS #WorldLitterRun?

Stop, drop, dunk and make a difference! Shout out about it after with #WorldLitterRun!

The world is filled with litter and there are more and more people roaming our planet with every second that goes by. One Canadian runner decided to make a change and is now spreading his message around the globe; about his World Litter Run.
Runners are often those who spend more time than others on the roads and sidewalks dodging and running through litter strewn by others. One Canadian runner decided to stop, bend down and make a difference while out on a run.

Luke
Luke MacDonald, a runner, dad and part owner of the running store, Aerobics First in Halifax, Nova Scotia had an idea. It was an idea that sprung from the panic and anxiety he felt one day after running by so much litter on his run, usually something he did for stress-relief. The idea was to pick up the garbage along your regular running route. The first run was on Luke’s birthday with friend and they collected 19 bags of garbage on a 5k run! Others found out, liked the idea and before long, a National Litter Run was organized. The idea caught fire and kept burning and spreading.

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Luke is a runner, dad and part owner of the running store, Aerobics First in Halifax, Nova Scotia had an idea. It was an idea that sprung from the panic and anxiety he felt one day after running by so much litter on his run, usually something he did for stress-relief. The idea was to pick up the garbage along your regular running route. The first run was on Luke’s birthday with friend and they collected 19 bags of garbage on a 5k run! Others found out, liked the idea and before long, a National Litter Run was organized. The idea caught fire and kept burning and spreading.

Through word of mouth and social media, a Canadian Litter Run has spread and is now a #WorldLitterRun with people in many countries participating and make their streets and world a bit cleaner with every run. The little litter run in Halifax took on a more global vision.

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In addition to World Litter  Run, Luke has been involved with or started other projects such as, Fit-It-Forward, raising money and finding businesses donate shoes for the homeless, Sparks Fly, raising money to place stationary bikes in classrooms to help kids get active and help them learn, helping the local Gambian Association raise money for schools and  community centres and has raised money and awareness about making water barrels that can be pushed available to countries where water is often carried in buckets on their heads.

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One small action can often create a chain-reaction. Luke is an example of this. While out running, stop to grab a piece of litter and realize you are helping create change.

WHEN IS IT?

#WorldLitterRun is April 30th this year (2019) – but Luke says every day is #WorldLitterRun and that it can be celebrated on every run.

In 2019 – why not help out with the Tim Horton’s sponsored Pitch in Week (April 22-29) where Canadians are encouraged to make a difference and make their world a little greener and cleaner.

WHAT DO I DO?

Run, pick up litter, take a picture of the difference you are making and use the hashtag #WorldLitterRun.

HOW DO I CONTACT LUKE?

Luke on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Lukeshoefitter

Luke on Twitter: @LukeShoeFitter

About World Litter Run: Here!

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Listen to Luke on my runningdad podcast where we chatted about #WorldLitterRun!

*Luke is a very humble runner who at age 54 is chasing a 20-minute 5k time. He insisted I not mention he is a former 32-minute 10k runner, so I have not. He is an active member of the Nova Scotia running community and an inspiration to many in his community.

 

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Sharing stories I have stumbled across

“Every runner has a story and a reason they reach down to tie up their running shoes.”

Over 200 pages of stories and profiles of runners from around the globe. That’s what my book is. Between the stories, there are thoughts and inspirational quotes. The stories are from well-known runners, Olympians, record holders but also just ordinary runners as well with reasons to run, a story to tell or something to share. I have interviewed them, asked them questions and learned more about them and myself with every word.

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I have written for Canadian Running magazine, iRun magazine and also have this blog where I have profiled, chatted with and been honoured to share others stories of running. I decided it was time to compile and share with others. Some of the runners inside include my friend Melinda, Olympian Suzy Favor-Hamilton and the amazing Dean Karnazes…..to find out the others you will have to grab a copy!

Order the book on Amazon here! (or simply search for my name)

Writers never make money – my goal is to share this book and hope others enjoy. If you want to do a review, want to profile me or the book – get in touch!

Foreword

Written by Canadian runner, writer and broadcaster and founder of iRun magazine, Mark Sutcliffe. Mark and I share some common passions and he knows how talking running is often just an excuse to hear someone’s real story.

Back cover recommendation

Kind words on the back of my book from Kenyan elite and writer Justin Lagat. Justin has published as few of his own books and consider him my Kenyan brother.

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Connect with me

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My first book

I also have another book that is published on Amazon that is a short collection of my thoughts, poems and musings on life, being a runningdad and running – if you are interested here is the link!

There is another book project on the way – I am always looking for runners to connect with, people who are interested in the book!

Order the book on Amazon here! (or simply search for my name)

Depression is not always forever

“Everyone is different and the path back to mental health is a different journey for everyone.” – Noel Paine

Have I had a history of mental health issues or illness? No. Did I suffer a period of depression at a low point in my life and consider calling it quits. Yep. My story, like every piece of sand on the beach and every person in the world, is different.

I am back to my active, happy self now and still meditate, run and occasionally talk to my therapist but for maintenance – not because the dark dog of depression is nipping at my heels.

Here is a bit more of my story – someone questioning my depression and my story – made me want to share.

My story

I struggled after the birth of my daughter with the new dad life combined with stress and unhappiness at work. Overload which led to the breakdown of my marriage. I got to a point where I was going to call it quits – but I pulled back and reached out. I took that one step and realized I needed time off work to work on myself. I have always been a happy, active person and I wanted that person back. I also had the added pressure that I needed to be there for my daughter.

My wife at the time was always supportive and although there were some arguments it was a pretty mild breakup from what I have seen. We now work together with the goal of co-parenting our daughter. I even spend time at my ex’s place to make supper and put my daughter to bed – all so my daughter has one stable home and she visits Poppa ever second weekend. It’s not perfect – but you make it work. I have always paid child support and we work together, we may never be friends, but we are not adversaries. We sat down together and worked out our divorce without issue or argument and I will still shovel the driveway or help move something if I am there – why wouldn’t someone?

I have moved on and the problems and focus on the positive and still continue to reflect and learn about myself.

Life is about living and you choose how you live it.

How I made it back

  • Doing something
  • Talking to friends, family and a therapist
  • Writing a journal
  • Taking time to meditate and continue to run
  • Focusing on the positive
  • Hard work and self-reflection

I was never officially diagnosed with depression but took some time off work to get to a more positive place and focus on myself and so that I could also be a focused dad.

My advice

  • Realize you have a mental health issue to tackle – small or big
  • Make any move to get out of bed or get moving
  • Talk to someone – share
  • Find a counselor or therapist – it can’t hurt
  • Focus on the positive in your life
  • Surround yourself with positive people
  • Do more than read about things to do – do them
  • Think about the past, focus on the now and move towards the future
  • Learn from mistakes and look at your strengths
  • Take medication if you need it (I did not)

Why I share

I share my story here and on social media so others know it is okay to talk about any kind of mental illness or mental health issues and to get help. Whether an isolated incident or a long-term battle, it is important to know you are not alone.

Know you are never alone and that you need to reach out for help. You need to take one step at a time, be honest with yourself, self-reflect and not only read about ways to get better or to improve your mental health – but do them.

Oh – and keep running friends!

 

Making a sporty running frame your everyday set of glasses

“Your glasses often define your look and how you are perceived. If you are a runner why not have glasses that reflect that – and can be used for work and play!”

I am a runner, a dad and a communications professional. I am also someone who often hates changing glasses for sunglasses and needs to see (with prescription lenses) when I am trail running. I have funky Rudy Project Zyon frames which I briefly talked about in an earlier blog here. I sometimes wear sunglasses without prescription on really bright days or when I am not concerned about roots and rocks on a trail run – but having my trusty Rudy Project glasses on my face 90% of the time has been an amazing experience. Love them!

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What I like

  • They look cool and suites my sport personality
  • They stay on my face when running (grippy adjustable arms and nosepiece)
  • Durable and no paint to chip
  • Better coverage than most glasses
  • Transition lenses make easy to wear as glasses on sunny days

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*The Zyon (above) has little wings on the arms that can add extra coverage from wind etc or be taken off. I removed mine and normally wear without.

Why go Rx sunglasses frame

Rudy Project has a number of prescription (Rx) options but I did not want flip ups or clip ins – I wanted something that was just like normal glasses but was funky, sporty, functional and could be used at the office and for running.

Rudy Project RX options.

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How to make it happen

  1. Frame: Find a frame on the Rudy website that you like and has the possibility of Rx lenses (not all models). Contact Rudy about any other frames not obviously listed as available for Rx.
  2. Prescription: Get your Rx updated at your optometrist.
  3. PD: Get your Pupil Distance (PD) from your optometrist. It is the distance between the centre of each pupil of your eyes. This can often be difficult to get from an eye exam – at least in Ontario (Canada) – the PD is not a necessary part of your Rx and is usually measured by someone in the dispensary (who sells glasses) (Many optometrists are co-located with eyeglasses stores). Be nice and they may give you – or perhaps go to an optometrist who is not co-located with a store (they want you to use your PD to buy glasses there).
  4. Online: Submit all your information online and pay and wait! In Canada Rudy seems to come via Purolator and if they cannot deliver to a mailbox they will hold or can send to a nearby pick-up location.
  5.  Insurance: Most health insurance plans will cover the cost of the eye exam and then you will have to check whether they will cover cost of frames and lenses. Most plans cover cost of frames bought from an optometry clinic but may not from online – you will need to check this out.

If you need help locating a Rudy dealer, they have a locator to guide patients/athletes to professionals for their RX work. Only Optical Locations can assist patients with multi-focal or Progressive lenses. Optical locations can honor Insurance plans, if necessary
Rudy Project honors a $50 rebate when an RX job is done through an authorized dealer through Rudy Project.

The optical jobs take, on average, 7-10 business days for completion (Canada: Please include additional shipping time, depending on your proximity to Southern California)
We use the lab, ICOAT, based in Santa Fe Springs, to digitally surface our RX lenses.

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I love my Zyon frames but have decided to try out another frame – it has been a couple years and have chosen to go even funkier and going with the AirGrip frame in blue! Life is short – why be dull!

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A runningdad review of the AirGrip is coming!

Life and running can be unpredictable my friends – grab life, shake it for all its worth and squeeze all the fun out of it that you can. Live, laugh, love and smile out there!

The fastest shoes in the World

“Running is a simple sport and the only real essential gear for most of us are shoes.”

Okay so to make them the fastest shoes in the world someone needs to run a world record in them or some such thing – but they are the lightest.

Get this, the shoe weighs 3.52oz!!!! (To give perspective that about the weight of 3.5 envelopes!)

Let me introduce you to the Reebok Floatride Run Fast Pro!

So I heard about this insanely light shoe from Reebok and had to find out more. I inquired and soon enough a box arrived from the friendly folks at Reebok. Little did they know that they would have to wait a few months for this busy runningdad to get the blog review done!

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WHAT YOU GET

Here are the details of what makes up the shoe and what Reebok recommends you use it for:

  • Materials: Engineered mesh to offer support and breathable flexibility
  • Best for: Racing, intervals, tempo workouts, neutral foot strike
  • Floatride foam sockliner for lightweight comfort
  • EVA sockliner for lightweight comfort
  • Ultra thin high traction outsole for optimal grip
  • Floatride Foam is significantly lighter than traditional EVA foam, for soft, lightweight cushioning
  • Bootie construction for a comfortable sock-like fit
  • 3.52oz. 6mm Drop
  • Best for: racing, intervals, tempo workouts, neutral foot strike
  • Materials: single layer engineered mesh upper and Floatride Foam technology for superior cushioning
  • Product code: CN7006
  • Product colour: White / Solar Yellow / Black

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THE EXPERIENCE

I liked this racing flat. The fit was comfortable and despite being insanely light and with minimal midsole and upper material it felt like a solid shoe and cushioned my foot well.

  • Silly, silly light – like you are not wearing anything
  • Comfortable fit for my feet
  • Decent width at forefoot (I have average foot width)
  • Snug heel but thin heelcup
  • Outsole has just enough material and lugs for road racing or track

Running on it felt better than some other lightweight racing flat I have worn and did not feel like I was standing on the road with nothing underneath and di not feel like I had no cushioning underneath. I was instantly impressed.

I went for a few quick runs and it felt as close to barefoot running but with some cushioning underneath as I have ever felt. I pushed off hard, slowed to 10k pace and still felt good. Impressed.

WHAT MAKES THEM LIGHT

Its the Floatride foam used in the midsole that really is the thing to focus on here. The foam was actually used by Reebok to design lightweight, cushioned shoes for NASA astronauts (article). Impressive. When the upper is just enough material to provide a little support and be comfortable and then the outsole is just enough material (little bits)—it makes for a ridiculously light shoe —did I mention its light?!

LIGHTNESS COMPARISON

The Floatride racing flat weight 3.52oz…lets compare that to few other racing/light shoes you may know.

  • New Balance 1400                  7.90oz
  • Mizuno Wave Ekidan 11       5.2oz
  • Brooks Hyperion                    6.6oz
  • Brooks Wire 4 Track Spike   3.9oz

CONCLUSION

Love the fit and comfort and cushioning. I love the lightness and feel on the run (for someone who is lean and relatively light on my feet). Its basically a running/racing shoe that weighs a little less than a light track spike that you can run on the roads with.

I would recommend this shoe for efficient, quicker runners who are looking for an amazingly light racer shoe to squeeze seconds from their times. For $300, its not cheap but definitely worth it. You will see me with this shoe on for some races, workouts and maybe time trials!

 

Reebok Floatride Run Fast Pro

Reebok on Twitter: @ReebokCanada

Grabbing life by the balls

“There are things you need to do to be responsible.”

Its the Canadain runningdad here with a short piece on something that I bet a lot of men do not talk about. Yep vasectomies. So why is a runner and writer…guy who often chats about being a dad and mental health opening up about this? Well, its related to being a dad and it certainly stopped me from running for a week and a bit and its related to my mental health. So worth writing about. What is a vasectomy?

Deciding

Pretty simple. I am 43 and do not want to have any more children and wanted to make sure of it. I have eased into being a dad and love my daughter but do not want to be the old dad or have a surprise with my girlfriend. Protection is always a good idea but this just takes the worry out of things. That’s it. I thought about and decided it was the responsible thing. It made sense for me.

It did mean I would probably have to take at least a week off running though – grrrrr. I bit the bullet. The mental health part is –I hate needles or procedures. I had to psych myself up, prepare and deep breathe through the procedure, no pain, no discomfort–I simply felt slight pressure and knew what was going on. I decided on a no needle no scalpel vasectomy.

How to prepare for vasectomy?

The meat of it

  • No asprin week before
  • Shave scrotum couple days before appointment
  • $250 that Quebec Health Insurance covers about $180 of
  • 15 minutes
  • My pants down in front of a doctor
  • No needle, local freezing
  • Jockstrap to wear for a week
  • Wait 10-minutes and go home (have someone drive you if possible)
  • Cost and coverage

The sausage factory (the experience)

I was nervous. Went up, registered, paid and got a little bag with instructions, a sample bottle and a sucker (yep candy lol). I waited and then was called into a room. I was instructed to put a jock strap over my underwear and wait to see the doctor.

The doctor arrived, we chatted and he asked about the situation and confirmed details and asked my girlfriend and I about the decision.

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More waiting and then walked to another small room with a dentist-like chair that was laid back all the way and low on the floor and a bright surgical overhead light. A chair for someone else to sit in the room…and that was about it. Simple. I was told to drop pants and everything else to ankles and then lay back. (Girlfriend watched the entire procedure).

A small surgical cloth with an opening for the boys was placed on me and then the doctor explained what was going to happen. He then told me he was going to freeze with what looked like an over-sized metal pen. Four shots of air that would feel like an elastic snapping, less and less so with after each one. Was ok.

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I was tense but all I felt was pressure. I smelled burning hair as things were cauterized but nothing else. The done, gauze and was asked to sit up slowly. Then everything pulled up and it was over.

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Where the snip happened

You may not be from Canada or even Ottawa but here is where I had my vasectomy done. They were friendly, professional and I was out pretty quickly. If you want the details  – it was:

OVIC – Ottawa Vasectomy and Infant Circumcision
South Ottawa Medical Centre
1650 Queensdale Avenue, Unit 2, Ottawa, ON, K1T 1N8

My doctor was Dr. Marc Brulotte, nice, young and very friendly.

After it all happened

I was quite cautious and got a drive back after the minor surgery but had no pain, swelling or discomfort. I rested and did little but did walk around. I had no pain, took nothing and had no bleeding (tiny spot on gauze I removed after first evening)

  • Rest and little activity 2 days after
  • No activity for a week (sports/exercise)
  • Minimal lifting
  • Use jockstrap for extra support

I have not run in a week and a day and everything now feels normal and feel ok easing back into activity and longer and longer runs. It was a good decision for me, a chance to overcome some anxiety and was a forced rest from running.

Now back to the roads!

 

 

A Kenyan runner with a dream

“Running is a brutal and emotional sport. It’s also a simple, primal sport. As humans, on a most basic level, we get hungry, we sleep, we yearn for love, we run.” – “Running with the Kenyans” by Adharanand Finn

I have lots of running friends all over the world. One new friend is a lean and insanely fast Kenyan who reached out to me via social media. He is looking to race and race fast. He is currently training in Iten, kenya with some of the fastest runners in the world.

Bernard Chemugo

Bernard is a fast Kenyan runner and knows my friend Justin Lagat (fellow runningdad and writer).  His hometown is Marakwet, Kenya and he dreams of showing his potential and speed on the roads in North America. He is looking to race and race hard. He says his focus is the half-marathon and his goal is sub-60!

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5’6″ 56kg (123lbs)

Coach: Joseph Apermoi

Personal Bests

  • 5K           14:57
  • 10K         28:58
  • Half:       62:57 (on a hilly course in Kenya)
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Winning the Hastings half marathon

Races

You can connect with Bernard via his Facebook account.

Mental Health Birthday Run

“The strength of two or more is always stronger than going alone.”

My birthday is at the end of the month and I have in the past few years gone on ultra runs to think, celebrate and try and do some good on foot at the same time. This year is no different. Age 40 it was 258km in 2.5 days along the Rideau trail, age 41 was 100km along the Prescott-Russel trail, ripe age of 42 was 42km with my good friend Gesine (who I had honour of helping to run 200km from Montreal to Ottawa in June) one November evening. I am 43 this year.

I intended to run 143km for my 43rd year here. A challenge, a chance to run with friends and to celebrate life, not giving up and raising awareness about mental health and that we are all never alone. Well 143km I will do another day – this year it will be something that others can join me for.

Both myself and Gesine Freund invite you to join us for our 43rd birthday run for mental health in Ottawa. Life is worth living!

How to join me

Join me at the start or anywhere along the route. We will try and run at the pace of whoever joins us. It is a run about never being alone, friendship and life. I will try and post via social media (Twitter @NoelPaine and @Gesinef).

The Run

  • 43-kilometres for 43 years
  • Saturday October 27, 2018
  • 7am start at Michael Budd Park in Blackburn Hamlet (Gloucester)
  • Blackburn Hamlet into Ottawa along paths and city streets
  • Will be teaming up with my good friend Gesine Freund
  • IF we feel crazy once we reach 43k we may go for another 43k – but TBD.

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The Route (Ottawa)

  • 7:00   Michael Budd Park to Innes Rd.
  • Tavette St. to Greenbelt pathway
  • Continue on to Ottawa River Pathway
  • Sussex Drive past Rideau Falls
  • Path along Rideau River
  • 9:00   Across Union Street bridge to Stanley Park (17.6km)
  • Rideau River Eastern Pathway
  • Rideau River Pedestrian bridge by Gee Gees field
  • 10:00   Rideau River Nature Trail to Bank St. (25.9km)
  • North on Bank St. to Slater St.
  • Over McKenzie bridge to Stewart St.
  • 10:40   Stewart St. to King Edward (31km)
  • North on King Edward to Rideau St.
  • Up Rideau to North River Rd.
  • North River Rd. to McArthur Ave.
  • Right along Vanier to Donald
  • Donald to Cummings
  • Cummings to Cyrville Rd.
  • Cyrville to Innes Rd.
  • 12:00   Innes Rd. to Rondel (finish) (43km)

*Times in ORANGE are approximate times based on 7min/km pace (intend to run with whoever shows up – so could be bit quicker or slower.

The Cause

It has been another tough year of growth, learning, struggle, love and not giving up. Life is worth living. I have decided to promote an organization I have just recently learned of called Worth Living.

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Worth Living (WL) was founded by Keith Anderson who battled back from depression and a breakdown and now talks about how life is now living. Sounds like a perfect fit to me. I am all about sucking the joy and energy from life and sharing and being positive – and promoting others who I think are doing good. Please check out what WL and Keith are doing.

*I hope to be a WL ambassador at a spring marathon where I am aiming for a 42.2km PB.

One step at a time my friends, focus on the positive, control what you can and do what you can with the rest, smile, laugh, love and live life!

 

Beating the Bonk with Bonk Breaker

“Nothing hurts more mentally and physically than running out of fuel in a race or on a training run – all your plans crumble away.”

Okay – its another Runningdad review! I do this to have fun, share what I find and promote great stuff that enhances the running experience! This blog is about another company that has fuel to help runners perform better, fuel up properly or recover from training.

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WHAT IS IT?

Bonk Breaker is owned and operated by Jason Winn and Chris Frank. Jason and Chris are both elite level athletes in their own right, Jason a former Division 1 college football quarterback turned triathlete, and Chris a Category 1 Road cyclist. Since Jason and his Mom cooked up the first PB&J in the apartment kitchen, their mission has been to create the “World’s Greatest Nutrition Bars”. By combining great flavors with simple, fresh ingredients they have a lineup that includes 14 unique flavors of Energy and Protein Bars.

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Their Philosophy

Bonk Breaker Nutrition products embody a whole foods philosophy of creating simple, high quality, REAL food ingredients into great tasting bars, chews, and hydration products that provide both a delicious snack and a competitive edge to fuel the active lifestyle. Made with 10-12 REAL ingredients that you can recognize and pronounce, all Bonk Breaker® products are Gluten Free.

In my own words (much above peeled from their website) Bonk Breaker is about trying to make tasty, real-food based nutritional bars for active people.

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WHAT I THOUGHT

Bars

I started with the Nutrition bars (9-12 Ingredients | 4-6g Protein | Gluten Free | GMO Free | Vegetarian Friendly) and tried some delicious flavours (Banana cream and PB&J). The texture for each bar changed a bit but they were all really tasty and easy to eat. They do not taste fake and were easy on my stomach. I ate as a healthy snack during the day and after a few runs. I really liked the PB&J option. Were they the best bars I have ever had? Not sure – but way up on the list! The nutrition bar has a 4:1 carb-to-protein ratio  and aim is to provide sustained energy to fuel you through the day. Worked for me.

The protein bars were also a nice tasty post workout fuel. Once again – not amazingly different than other bars I have tried over the years – but natural ingredients and taste would have me leaning to Bonk as opposed to others.

Like all their products – they demonstrate thought behind what is put into their products. The protein bars use a  blend of pasture-raised collagen protein & grass fed whey for an all-natural, low calorie, low carb protein bar.

Chews

The strawberry chews with caffeine from Bonk folks were easy to eat, tasty and seem to give a bit of energy (like supposed to) – but did not really notice the caffeine kick (but seldom do). They were good and very similar to other brands of chews in size, shape and texture. Very good but not a lot different than others you may have tried. The natural ingredients might be the difference.

Ingredients

Organic tapioca syrup, organic sugar, organic tapioca syrup solids, pectin, citric acid, potassium citrate, color added (organic black carrot concentrate), white tea caffeine, natural flavor, ascorbic acid, sea salt, organic sunflower oil, carnauba wax.

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Check out all their products.

I loved the taste of everything I tried! In conclusion – being really straight forwared and simple — great guys behind these products, tasty, natural and well thought out and my stomach had no issues with them. Worth buying and testing out!

Listen to my Runningdad podcast chat with Bonk Breaker co-founder Chris Frank.

You can find Bonk Breaker on their website (https://bonkbreaker.com/) and on social media:

 

Keep on lacing up friends and keep living life to the fullest!

 

*If you have a story to share or a product you want me to test – give me a shout!

 

Running to Remember

“Running can put you in touch with your feelings, some you may not realize you had.”

I have a great respect for people who help others in general. Among that group of people in society who choose to help others as a profession are police officers. They are the people out there making sure people follow the rules and law but also there in disasters, conflicts and accidents. They put on the uniform and regularly put themselves in potential danger and harm. Some of them lose their lives.

There is a run from Toronto to Ottawa that remembers those that have lost their lives. It starts on two days on September 27th.

National Peace Officers’ Memorial ‘Run to Remember’

The run is to raise awareness and focus attention on the annual Police and Peace Officers’ Memorial Service. The annual Service is held on the last Sunday of September in Ottawa with the run occurring over a three day period immediately preceding it.

The ‘Run to Remember’ is a 460 km relay that makes it’s way through many communities between the start at the Ontario Police Memorial site in Toronto to the end at the National Memorial on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. Not only does the run raise awareness about the Memorial Service it also gives peace officers and citizens along the route the opportunity to participate in some small way if they are unable to attend the actual Memorial Service.

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Laurie (far left) and fellow police officers on the Memorial Run.

The run was established in 2005 when the Peel Regional Police running team, The Pacers, decided to raise awareness of the annual Police and Peace Officer’s Memorial Service held annually on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. The running team wanted to create a way of raising awareness of the annual Service and at the same time pay tribute to those officers who have so valiantly given their lives in service of their community.

Go to the The National Peace Officers’ Memorial Run website for more information.

I connected with a running friend and officer to talk about the run. Her name is Laurie McCann.

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Laurie
Laurie has been putting on a Police officer uniform 20 years. After years of service she is now instructing at a Police college teaching Social Media and is also the facilitator and instructor for The Road to Mental Readiness.

Running
Putting on the same police uniform is not the only thing Laurie has been doing for quite a while. Lacing up and running is also something she loves to do and has been doing for for the past 15 years. “I got started in running when a friend asked if I wanted to run a half (how could I say no..lol) I have been hooked since. I have completed 10 half marathons, 10km and 5km races. Mostly I run for my mental health. It is my “me time” and it’s what keeps me sane.”

Have you personally been touched by death of a colleague in the job?

“I lost a friend of mine in 1994 PC Todd Baylis #114 he was killed in the line of duty. He was shot in the head. I have also lost a colleague to suicide as well.”

What does this run mean to you?

“The National Peace Officer’s Memorial run is so important, it is a time to reflect on the job we do and remembering all the officers who lost their lives while serving their communities. This run takes us from Toronto to Ottawa over 3 days and on the 4th day we put on our number ones and march up Parliament Hill and stand at attention to honour those who have fallen.”

Do you think running has helped you deal with job, its risks?

“I absolutely think running has helped me deal with the job of policing, it is a huge stress reliever for me. I do my best thinking when I run. Definitely helps keep my mental health in check.”

What do you hope this run accomplishes and what do you hope to take from it?

“I hope this runs helps both officers and the community to remember those who have lost their lives doing the job they love. To know they didn’t get to go home that fateful night. This run reminds me that life is fragile and we need honour those who made the ultimate sacrifice. For me, this also includes officers who lost their life by suicide because of a job related mental injury.”

What are running plans for the rest of 2018 and into 2019?

“My running plans for 2018 may include one more short race and hoping to add some more Half marathons to my schedule for 2019 and of course the National Peace Officers Memorial Run (@460km) . This year was about recovering from a bad injury sustained last May. But I am back and ready to train for 2019.”

Keep running Laurie. I find running helps people deal with pain, mental health and often just getting through life and it is also a great way to raise awareness or do some good on foot. Let us not forget those who have paid the ultimate price to help others.

Run on friends.

 

Do you have an interesting running story to tell or know someone I should profile? Love to hear from you!