The Running Whys – Run for the Cure

personalThe UniCats. That was the name of the secret club Kathy and her friend Michelle had when they were 12 years old. UniCats believe in the power of magic/miracles (unicorns) and are as fierce as big cats.

Read Kathy’s Run For the Cure page here.

It is the perfect name for the team we are organizing for this year’s CIBC Run for the Cure on Sunday, Oct. 2. Continue reading

The Running Whys – Mark Kirby


Ottawa Marathon Finish Line

Mark Kirby, Allyson Finley and Tammy Blechschmidt cross the finish line at the 2016 Ottawa Marathon.

It’s almost a decade since Mark Kirby formally took up running, unsure if his initial steps in 2007 would lead him much past his five-kilometre training goal.

Fast forward nine years and Kirby has seven marathons to his credit, including the Ottawa Marathon last weekend, where he and 16 other Fredericton area athletes – including 13 marathoners – combated the heat to tackle major personal goals in one of the country’s biggest races. Continue reading

The Running Whys – Kent Barrett


Kent Barrett smiles after setting a new personal best at the 2015 Chicago Marathon

Kent Barrett of Charlottetown has worked on a major running goal for a while and in May, he will tackle the Fredericton Marathon to gauge his progress. He started running while living in Vancouver, got into a more intense involvement back on P.E.I. and now has a number of marathons on his resume. We ran the Chicago Marathon together where he posted a personal best of 3:53.34 in scorching hot conditions in the Windy City last October. This is the first of the 2016 Running Whys and outlines his plans for an even better clocking. Enjoy.


The Running Whys – Kent Barrett

What marathons have you competed in?

I have run the P.E.I. Marathon five times, Legs for Literacy in Moncton once and the Chicago Marathon (2015).

Continue reading

In Kathy’s words – The Running Whys


“Kathy, left, competed in a number of races last year, ultimately completing her first half marathon. (Photo: Topher Seguin)

“Race day was utter joy – one of those days you will remember for rest of your life. It was a beautiful fall day in my hometown of Charlottetown. I didn’t care about my time; I just wanted to run every single step. The tears started falling down my cheeks at the 4 km mark. That’s when I had gotten rid of my race nerves and was approaching the intersection where my daughters would be cheering for me.”

When Kathy decided to run a half marathon last year, she did so with some uncertainty. But it was fantastic to witness her progress, moving from single digits in training kilometres to each barrier she broke as the distances increased. Beyond that, though, was seeing her great determination and sheer will in order to meet her goals. A couple of years back, she did a half marathon, walking, as part of a Nordic-walking club, completing the route in a few seconds under four hours. This year in running the P.E.I. Half Marathon, after months of intense training, she took almost one hour and 30 minutes off that time, an amazing reward for her commitment.

Here is her story.




by Kathy Kaufield

I didn’t mean to become a runner. Continue reading

In Tanya’s words – The Running Whys

photo tanya

Tanya Munroe qualified for the 2015 Boston Marathon when she hit the qualifying standard at the 2013 P.E.I. Marathon.

“My running partner from home was running with us and the enthusiasm was infectious. My husband, who has never seen any of my races, had even come to watch…The beginning of the PEI Marathon is in PEI National Park, along the ocean, and it was the most beautiful, peaceful race start I have ever been at.”

I met Tanya for the first time less than 24 hours before the P.E.I. Marathon in October when we were both in the carb loading phase for the race. During that pasta night, she casually mentioned she was trying to qualify for Boston, needing to shave just a few minutes off her previous best clocking. Tanya and Kathy were friends when they were studying at  Acadia and in the past few years, reconnected through social media and running. We were happy to meet just prior to the big race on the Island.

This is her story from 2013.




by Tanya Munroe

In October of this year I qualified for the Boston Marathon.

Putting this in type seems a bit surreal, as this had been a ridiculous goal when I set foot on my treadmill in January 2011. In fact, I had no goals at that time (except to get off the damn thing).

My return to running after a 26 year hiatus was prompted by Continue reading

Recovery, fond memories, next goals


This was in the early stages of the P.E.I. Marathon Sunday as we ran adjacent to Brackley Beach.

I figure it took about 72 hours after the marathon for my legs to feel right. The biggest pains were in my thighs and walking to my second floor office was a chore on Tuesday and Wednesday.

But other than that, the physical discomfort and pain levels after the P.E.I. Marathon were surprisingly low, at least compared to a year earlier in Moncton.

I must admit, I have slept very well this entire week and while there was an urge to Continue reading

Race recap – P.E.I. Marathon


Here we are, celebrating at the finish line on Sunday.

So how to reward yourself after running a full marathon?

That’s right, hot hamburger and fries at the Big Stop in Salisbury. Extra Ketchup? Indeed.

Anyway, still in recovery mode from the big race Sunday.

Below I’ve listed the technical details, include a time break down and other thoughts. If you are not into numbers and KM splits, this is probably a little tedious.

Later on this week, I’ll post some random thoughts on the event, the weekend and the Old Home Week-like feel at the finish line as well as a few photos.

I was delighted with the result and now, some 48 hours after the start, my legs are still aching pretty good.

Well worth it though.

Anyway, here is the recap of the race.

Awoke at 5:45 a.m. for 8 a.m. start, got ready and was not thinking much as everything was laid out the previous night. Got dressed quickly, said goodbye to Kathy, who was running the half and off I went. It is a point-to-point race from Brackley Beach to Charlottetown. We were transported Continue reading

The calm before the storm


The race gear is ready for the 2013 Prince Edward Island Marathon.

Less than 12 hours away from the big race, we were carbed up, we were about to say goodbye to the girls for the night and my wife and I were headed back to our hotel to a good night’s sleep before our respective full and half marathons as part of the Prince Edward Island marathon weekend.

There were plenty of well wishes and words of encouragement and this piece of sage advice from one – ‘don’t you two have a wild night at the hotel’

Well now.

It has been a busy weekend already. We arrived Friday in a pretty decent downpour, took part in the kids Spud Run on Saturday, an event that featured sun but wind gusts of more than 35km hr. We did some visiting, took the kids swimming and enjoyed a wonderful supper with friends, family, and fellow Continue reading

Tempo Thursday

Thursday’s recap is a short one, but it was a long run, some 18km.

The biggest challenge was instead of Tempo Tuesday, It was Tempo Thursday, with 8 km of fast paced running in the middle of the 18km scheduled run, at 5:00 per km or better. It has been a while since I did a solid tempo effort and I must admit to approaching them with plenty of angst.

That said, through a series of rolling hills, I was under 5:00 for the desired distance – ranging from 4:44 to 4:58 and slightly over 39 minutes for the 8km.

Yup, it hurt, especially my hamstrings at the end, but it was worth it. And it was the first time this summer, I ran in pants and gloves – discouraging in some respects but encouraging that humidity was not a factor!

I have another long slow run of 19 km either Friday or Saturday and the Hampton Five Miler on Sunday. I might be able to crack a sub -38 minute time Sunday but the forecast is calling for cool temperatures and rain. Sometimes, those are good factors to produce a solid time. We shall see.




Welcome back; It’s been a while

A sure sign of fall is the obsession over fantasy football stats, back to school shopping and the Hampton 5-miler.  The Hampton race has developed into a tradition for our family, with events for the girls to get them into the swing of things, including a fun warm-up and a 1 km event around the school and the track. After, there is a challenging 8 km route for the adults, one featuring two decent hills that will test you as well as a significant downhill portion that can yield fast, fast times.

This year, the event serves as the NB championship for the 5-mile distance, which is a way to say there will be plenty of top level racers on hand and the pace will be quick.

That said, it is important for the rest of us to go our own pace and not to get caught up with the fast-paced rabbits. Easier said than done!

This is just my second race of the year, but it will be a good assessment of where I am at in prep for PEI.

The past two years, I have posted times of 38:04 and 38:02 for the 8 km. Not sure if I can better those but those will serve as measuring sticks.

After this race, it is likely we will head to Fredericton for a half marathon Sept. 22, the final race test before PEI.

As you can gather by the elongated break from this blog, August was pretty hectic in terms of life at the family homestead. My wife, who is training for a half marathon in PEI as well, was out of the country for nine days, we wrapped up our soccer season, traveled to PEI for my cousin’s wedding, which I took pictures at, and then got ready for school.

It ultimately cost me in terms of running. There were some gaps for sure. I got all the Sunday long runs in and most of the general runs but the biggest victims were the speed and tempo runs.

Tuesday, was a nice 11km recovery run with a slight drizzle, nothing too major and certainly not the downpour it was at times during the day.

It finished with six strides, those 100 metres sprints with 200 metres break. Overall, it was a nice evening for a run.

On the weekend, I tackled 32 km for the second time. It was humid and I started at 11:30 a.m. Two big strikes against potential success. Let’s say, if the humidity is a factor in PEI, I am toast. That simple. Sunday, I was great for the first 24 km then it hit.

So I basically ran-walked the final 8 km and still finished with an average of 6:35 per k, which is more than acceptable for a long slow run. Just the finish was blah.

This week features the Hampton run and a 27 km long run as well as some extended tempo work Thursday, featuring a series of 1,200 m intervals at 5km speed.

Just took a look at the registration for PEI. Last year, 275 people finished the full marathon and 3:59:59 was good for 117th place, slightly better than halfway. This year, registration is at 114 to date.