Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Toronto Waterfront - 2011 Finale

What a day!

The Toronto Waterfront Run marked the finale of our first year running the Fit with Phonak program, and what an event it was.  The weather on race morning appeared ominous as grey skies and harsh winds threatened to make the day very, very uncomfortable.  Although this is a well organized event the sheer number of participants made the simple act of getting to the start line a bit of an effort.  I was happy to have fellow Phonakians Steve Mahon, and Brad Caves with me on the way to our designated “coral’.  A small case of race nerves had been brewing, but were quickly put in check when we passed a small crowed of fans surrounding 100 year old Fauja Singh, pictured below, who was about to embark on his 26.2 mile mission to become the oldest man to ever run a marathon (a feat that he accomplished that day in 8hrs 11mins.)  We managed to see quite a few of the over one hundred Phonak/CanHEAR teammates at the start, but with thousands of people in the queue it was near impossible to make contact with anyone.  

I'm officially out of excuses.....

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Congratulations to everyone who ran last Sunday.  I haven't heard from the West-Coast crew yet, but Phonak's own Janace Daley informed me that everyone who ran Wolfville lived to tell the tale.  Apparently the weather on course this year was unexpectedly warm, which is a stark contrast to the cool windy day we had last year.  I  hope everyone is recovering nicely.  Congrats again!

Janace, Dana, and Aimee looking great after the finish!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Toronto Participants

Hello All

I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving weekend and used the opportunity to do a little bit of advanced "carb-loading" for the race.  There are a lot of details that you need to familiarize yourself with for the run this weekend, particularly if you are coming in from out of town.  Most importantly, you need to arrange to pick-up your kit prior to Sunday....see details about this and other race information below:

Friday, October 7, 2011

Best of luck this weekend....

to our runners on the East/West Coast.  I'll be thinking of you all this weekend.  This morning's 4 day forecast looks stellar, brisk, but stellar.  Remember to layer up for you warm-up.  Daryl Houghton will be on hand in Victoria, and Janace Daley will be running with the gang in Wolfville.

For any of you that end up with photos of the CanHEAR team in action please send them along.  If anyone cares to add a report to the blog I'd certainly be happy to post that also.  Best of luck, and happy Thanksgiving.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Can't make it to the Toronto run???

If you are registered for the Toronto run (particularly the half marathon) but don't think you'll be able to make it please let me know ASAP.  We've got quite a few last minute folks who really want to run and are on our waiting list.  As the half marathon is closed to general entry, a transfer spot is their only hope.

That said, I hope that everyone is injury free and pumped to take on Lakeshore Blvd in a couple of weeks.

Looking forward to seeing you all.

Friday, September 30, 2011

9 Days until Victoria/Wolfville

Hello All

We're in the final weeks of our 2011 race calendar with races in Victoria and Wolfville just 9 Days away.  As always, please refer to the race sites to ensure that you are familiar with the race schedule for the weekend.

Race kit pick-ups:

Victoria does not permit raceday kit pick up unless you are from out of town:
Standard Kit Pick-up is as follows:
Victoria Conference Centre, 720 Douglas Street
October 7-9, 2011
Map of Conference Centre
  • Expo Hours of Operation:
    • Friday, October 7, 3:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
    • Saturday, October 8, 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Wolfville is pretty straight forward as you can pick up your race kits on the Saturday before the race, but also any time after 6:30am on race day:

Wolfville Kit Pick-Up

Acadia University Athletics Complex, Acadia Main Gym
Saturday, 8 October 12:00pm to 7:00pm
Sunday, 9 October 6:30am to 8:15am

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Hear the World / Special Olympics - Athens 2011

During the Special Olympics in Athens this past July, athletes underwent a thorough health screening program, including an in depth hearing screening. The results revealed that 22.6 percent of all the athletes tested were affected by hearing loss. The Hear the World Foundation gave a total of 344 high-quality hearing instruments to the participating athletes with treatable cases of hearing loss, and is arranging free follow-up care.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Army Run Report

6:30am, alarm goes off, race day begins.  Inventory time…running shoes…check, race#...check.  Quick stop at Timmy’s for a bagel and some caffeine and then I’m off to watch the 5km race start.  The air is cool but it’s sunny as the thousands of runners make their way through the start line.  It takes over 10 minutes to get everyone on their way.  It’s quite the spectacle seeing that many people heading out at once.  As this is a race organized by the Canadian Army there was an awesome presence of soldiers in full gear, including this maniac who opted to run the 5km wearing full chemical gear (gas mask included).

Thursday, September 15, 2011

3 more sleeps.....

....until the Ottawa Army race.  I hope at this point you've all logged some miles, or at a minimum have gone out to buy a pair of running shoes (you know who you are).  You might have noticed that it's been a little chilly out the past few days, please prepare for that.  For those running an event like this for the first time you're often required to line-up a little while before the gun goes off so make sure you're dressed appropriately.

For those running the half for the first time, if it's really cold I would recommend having a "junk-layer", something over your race shirt that you can dispose of at one of the aid stations along the way.

I already mentioned meeting up for a photo in an earlier post so I hope to see you all there.  For those of you that I haven't met I'll be the guy in the white running visor looking slightly nervous about a lack of recent mileage.  Please introduce yourself.

Okay, that's it for updates, make sure you throw a high-five or a "Go CanHEAR" when you see your teammates out on the course...see you Sunday.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Our Coolest Ambassador yet....

Move over Mick Jagger, I'd like to take a moment to introduce Ayden Marie Vargas.  Okay, I know there are a lot of Stones fans out there (I'm one of them), but as this is a blog entitled "FitwithPhonak", I'm rating the coolness factor based on an entirely different set of criteria than that by which rock legends are measured.  As far as I know Mick has never run a marathon...and I'd be willing to bet good money that Keith Richards hasn't either (and I'm pretty sure he never will). 

Ayden on the other hand is not only a runner, Hear the World ambassador, and all around cool individual, but she has unique understanding of what it is like to experience the sudden onset of hearing-loss.  More importantly, she's a great example of why living with a hearing-loss should never prevent you from living life to the fullest...

Read Ayden's story here...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Better idea....

Make that 8:45 on the steps of City Hall at 110 Laurier (just north of the drill hall and across the street from the park where the race ends).  Thanks for the suggestion Debbie, apparently the finish line is going to be nuts!!!!

Low of 5 degrees forecasted, brrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Army Run Update - Group shot

Hi Team

For those of you that haven't looked at your race times yet, I strongly recommend that you take a look at the race schedule for the weekend.  As I mentioned, I would love to have a group photo...

The 5km race starts at 8:00, so I'll be floating around to take a few pics.  It would be great if you could head to the corner of Elgin and Queen after your race to swap stories and high-fives. As the half marathon crew will be heading off at 9:00 this will likely be our best chance to get a group shot with everybody.

So there it is, Elgin and Queen at approx 8:40 for a post/pre run photo.
Looking forward to seeing you all.  Rest up.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Army Run - 11 Days and counting

Hey Ottawa team, everyone should have received their shirts by now, if you  have not please drop me a line.  Race kit pick-up is available on Friday and Saturday, please familiarize yourself with the weekend schedule.  We'll be arranging a spot to meet before the race for a few team photos, looking forward to seeing you all.  More details to follow.....


Thursday, August 18, 2011


Our first batch of runners hit the road on August 7th for the Défi Boréal Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue.  The fit French contingent did a great job flying the flag for CanHEAR Uganda.  Way to go team!

Here are a couple of shots of team members before the race....I hope we get the same weather in October....

I know these two. (looking good gents)

Next run will be in Ottawa, September 18th...see you there.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Registration Update...

Hey Team

Registration for all races have been taken care of.  Some of you will have received confirmation already and you may have noticed Phonak's Mississauga address.  If this is the case it was due to the organizer's registration process.  I will let you know when the organizers have updated their confirmation pages with our team entries.  Until that point don't worry if you're not on the list of your respective race.

I do urge you to visit the website of the run that you are participating in to familiarize yourself with the schedule of events, package pick-up, start-times, etc..

Each race is a bit different.  The Toronto Waterfront race will require you to pick up your race kit (timing chip, bib#, etc.) prior to race-day.  Please plan accordingly.

We will definitely schedule team photos either before or after each event.  Details to follow....


Saturday, July 30, 2011

A good couple of weeks....

Another CanHEAR Uganda rider managed to get his nose out in front of the pack at a the Giro di Bolton (a race supporting SickKids Hospital).  Justen Winster (shown in the center) finished the 75km race in 1st place after battling out the sprint with Vancouver's Graham Tutti; Colin Busby of Toronto wasn't far off in 3rd place.  Congrats Justen!

Full story:

Monday, July 25, 2011

On the Podium....

A huge effort by teammates Bob Tomsic and Justin Rogers earned Justin a spot on the podium at the Provincial Road Racing Championship yesterday.  After 101km of very hilly racing at nearly 40kph Bob managed to launch Justin into the final sprint earning him 3rd place overall.  It's great to see the CanHEAR logo on display at such an elite event.  Well done!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

On the road....

A couple of shots of riders supporting CanHEAR Uganda at the Tom Jehlicka Memorial Criterium.  They'll be racing in the M1 Category at the Provincial Championships tomorrow.  Best of luck fellas!

Getting down to business.....

Monday, July 11, 2011

Victoria Registration Now Open

We're extremely encouraged to learn that folks from all over the country are staying fit and willing to go the distance in support of such a good cause.  As mentioned previously we are proud to add the Victoria Good Life Fitness run to our list of official Phonak/CanHEAR Uganda events.  Registration is now open so sign up ASAP!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Thanks Naomi...we're headed WEST!!!!

When we sent out the last email blast requesting everyone's formal registration we received quite a few emails inquiring why there wasn't a run out west.  In short, the reason is that we had no idea that this idea would be popular enough to encourage participation country-wide.  I am in the final stages of confirming that we will be adding the Good Life Half-Marathon in Victoria to our list of events, and will have registration information out shortly.

One of my favourite emails from the West Coast Contingent came in from Naomi Smith who, as it turns out, is a very accomplished runner, triathlete, and all around go-getter!  When I learned that Naomi ran the Boston Marathon I assumed that like many endurance immortals she was just born fast, it turns out this wasn't the case.  For any of you out there that have found that all of this "fitness stuff" just isn't coming easily to you, I'd like you to take a minute to read the following account of her journey from "last picked" in gym class, to the start of the Boston Marathon.

Thanks Naomi....we'll see you in Victoria!

Naomi Smith (chilling with her boys)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Running in the heat

Now that I've forgiven Mother Nature for the worst May in recent memory I think it's time that we discuss the realities of running in warmer temperatures.

Online Registration Required by July 1st!

Thank-you to all those who emailed to confirm interest, we will still need you to register at the following link to provide the race organizers with all required information.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Meet Andrea Lynn Sloan

We're definitely lucky to work in an industry with such an interesteing cast of characters, and Andrea Lynn Sloan is no exception.  I first met Andrea back in 2007 at a launch event when somone suggested that she and I shared a passion for endurance events.  Little did I know that I was about to have my socks blown off by her very nonchalant description of the types of events that she had participated in.  Fast forward about a year and I bumped into Andrea just after she had returned from one of the most ultra, of ultra-marathons across the Desert in Morocco.  Yes, Ladies and Gents, Andrea is a bonafied ULTRA-Marathoner and we're thrilled to have her as part of the Phonak/CanHEAR Uganda running team.....

Andrea on May 29th after a soggy Sulphur Springs Ultra-Marathon

Here's a little bit more about Andrea.......

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Half Marathon Program

Okay, this isn't "the" half-marathon program as much as it is "a" half-marathon program.  Depending on the event that you're planning on taking part in you should be starting to follow a plan by now (assuming you want to finish healthy and enjoy the experience).  I know a guy (okay, it was me), who ran his first marathon without training awful way to spend a morning, and I paid for it every time I had to climb or descend stairs for the following week.

As stated, this is a good "suggested" plan, we're all coming at this with different fitness and experience.  Do what works for you....

Monday, May 2, 2011

Our newest HTW Ambassador....

What do I know about Joey McIntyre?  Until recently not a lot beyond the fact that he was my sister's favourite in the early 90's boy band "New Kids on the Block".  Lately however Joey has made his way back on to my radar; no, my sister hasn't dusted off his posters in light of their recent reunion tours (her husband wouldn't approve), but rather the fact that Joey has become one of our Hear the World Ambassadors.  Joey's endorsement comes along with deep personal significance as his son Rhys was born with a severe hearing loss.  Joey has a become a strong voice in his mission to raise awareness on behalf of children with hearing loss, and we are extremely grateful for his support.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Without a rope....

There isn't a single step of running in this video, but I thought I'd post it as it never ceases to amaze me what people are capable of.  My heartrate was up a few times during this one.  Once you've watched it think how much more comfortable you are with the idea of running a 5km or half marathon :)

Have a great weekend everyone.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Symposium Run????

For those heading to Symposium in Niagara Falls next week I'll be running each morning at 7am (rain/shine), if you'd like to come along meet me in the lobby at the Hilton.  It will be a great way to shake off the previous evening's festivities.  If you're coming let me know and I'll pack your team shirt.

Monday, March 28, 2011

30km Around the Bay

Congratulations Rebecca and Isabelle!

This past weekend two of our CanHEAR Uganda Run participants Rebecca Vanderelst, and Isabelle Carriere braved the wind and battled their way through the 30km Around the Bay run in Hamilton, Ontario.  Congratulations on this huge accomplishment.

Rebecca has provided us with a great summary of the day in the following race report:

Busy time, busy times.....

Oh how life gets in the way of good intentions at times.  Given a moment to actually sit at my desk I realize that an insanely busy March has lead to a few weeks without blog updates.  I hope everyone is starting to take advantage of the longer days to get out for some evening air.  The mercury is still sitting a tad low for many, but there is some great running weather just around the corner.

Our friends at CanHEAR Uganda have just created a new page on Facebook so for those of you with a Facebook profile you can follow the link and add your "Like" to their new communication page:!/pages/CanHEAR-Uganda/119878258088447

More to come shortly......

Saturday, February 26, 2011

and the Winner of the Nike/iPod Contest is.....

Sacha McCollum

Congratulations Sacha, thanks again for taking part!

Top Workout Songs

A big thank-you to everyone who took the time to send me your top ten workout tunes.  I have consolidated the list by song title / artist for those looking for iTunes suggestions.  A very nice mix for hours of sweaty goodness......

Friday, February 25, 2011

Staying Injury Free with Foam Rollers

Injury prevention in any sport is extremely important.  I've touched on this already but given the repetitive nature of running it's something that you need to be very aware of.  There are a lot of great ways to keep yourself strong and flexible enough to run injury free year round, and the following article outlines a great tool and method to help keep the pain away.  A special thanks to Michael Hutton for brining this forward!

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Globe and Mail - Winter Running

With a tease of warmer weather on Friday we were back to frigid temperatures again by Saturday.  I was hoping to avoid more weather banter but since winter appears to be stubborn this year I thought I'd share a great article from the Globe.  A few really good pointers listed as well as some great related links:

P.S.  Thanks to Maxine for posting this on facebook, I would have missed it otherwise :)

Friday, February 11, 2011

5 Day Forecast

No, I am not going to be polluting this blog with daily weather reports, but given the recent cold snap I thought I would point out that Toronto is due for some absolutely "balmy" weather this weekend.  Time to dust of the old runners or take the new ones out for a test run.....

P.S.  It's looking pretty good for you East-Coasters too.  Sorry Ottawa, no plus temperatures until Monday.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

February Draw-Prize!!

As I have grown tired of my iPod's playlist I need your help with some suggestions to get me through February training.  So this month we'll be giving away a new 8GB iPod Nano along with the Nike training interface. 

To be eligible for the draw I'm going to need your top 10 workout tunes, gym-jams, training beats, or whatever you want to call them.  It's not going to get any easier than this so get them in quick.

P.S.  Don't be shy, I'll be posting all of the lists (anonymously) at the end of the month:


Half Marathon Training Plan

The following entry outlines two "suggested" half marathon training programs.  The first is for new runners who have been doing some walking and conditioning.  The second is for more experienced runners who are interested in setting a time goal.  Both programs are based on 16 weeks of training so it is very early to start following either; that said, once the warmer weather shows up it won't hurt to have your head around a routine.

Monday, January 24, 2011

It's cold out......

Okay so it's freezing in Ontario, and despite my winter running tips I still don't feel like running outside until it warms up by a few degrees.  Tonight's update is to the link banner on the right hand side of the screen.  You'll notice two more events listed, the Ottawa Army Run, and the Valley Harvest Run in Wolfville Nova Scotia.  Through an encouraging early response to this program I've been reminded that Toronto is not the centre of the universe.  As such we've added a couple of events to ensure that we're able to provide options both by date and location.  I had the pleasure of running the Wolfville Marathon last fall and definitely look forward to heading back this year.  The Army Run will be new for me but I've heard great things and look forward to taking part with our friends from the 613' this year.

Stay warm,

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Team Shirt Design

A special thanks to Brett Hill for another stellar design job!!!!!

These shirts will be made of a high-tech sweat wicking fabric.  The manufacturer Champion System is an industry leader in Custom Athletic Apparel.  They currently outfit the Canadian National Triathlon team and we are very happy to have them working on our team clothing this year.

Monday, January 17, 2011

My Better is Better

Maybe it's a bit early for a Nike motivational video but I couldn't resist posting this one.....

Time to get training!!!!!!