3 Trinis endure 100-mile ENDURrun in Canada
Three Trinidadian long distance runners are about to embark on what is called the ‘Tour de France’ of Running. The ENDURrun in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.
From Sunday August 10-17th, over eight days, the 6-year old event tests runners over varying distances and terrain.
The three locals taking part for the first time are, Victorio Hawkins, Alfred Patrick and John Lum Young of the T&T Road Runners Club. They are the only foreigners among the 30 entrants, all others being North Americans.
The prizes are not great, Can $750 being the 1st prize for the Overall Male & Female finishers. The winner of each stage wins a GOLD jersey to wear for the following stage. Overall Male & Female winners have their names engraved onto the Endurrun Trophy.
In 2007, just 11 runners completed the gruelling seven stages. The Ultimate Male winner was Jon Belanger, 23, of Guelph, Canada. His cumulative time was 11:25:17.
The Ultimate Female winner was April Boultbee, 35, of Toronto. Her time, 12:12:03.
With her identical twin sister, Melanie just 34 seconds behind, they brought the female finishers to three.
The format and organisation however, appear to be 5-star.
The schedule of runs is: 21K, 15K, 30K, 16K, Rest Day, 25K, 10K and 42 K.
The terrain encompasses paved roads alongside the Conestogo River, wood chipped paths, forest trails, rapid successions of hills, flat countryside paths between Mennonite farms and demanding hills in the Chicopee Ski Resort surrounded by alpine scenery.
Great athlete camaraderie, re-fuelling stations, massages from qualified practitioners and sumptious after-race food buffets are some of the attractions.
Lum Young and Patrick enjoy running marathons in different countries.
Together, the trio have completed 4 Marathons outside of T&T, since 2006.
Marathon of the Palm Beaches, over 2 days, in Florida (Dec 2006), Houston (Dec 2007), and the Boston Marathon in April 2008.
To successfully run and complete 100 miles, back-to-back, supreme mental and physical condition is a pre-requisite. The TT team, which is un-sponsored, and paying its own way is clearly interested in non-material rewards. Fortunately, apartment accommodation is provided at the University of Waterloo, at reasonable prices.
Hawkins did write to the Ministry of Sport, for sponsorship, but did not receive a reply.
While the focus is on endurance and finishing, personal bests are often achieved.
Endurance Training creates the physical foundation, upon which strength and speed can be built. Endurance is slow to build, and happily, slow to erode.
The physiological changes which occur via endurance training are long-lasting.
Hawkins also spoke to Arena about the “runner’s high”. While running long distances :”We consume so much oxygen, that after some time, nothing is like it….after a while…we crave an oxygen fix.”
So how did the three train for the Endurrun?
Patrick lives in the West, and trains alone. He added Hill Training to his regular routine. Lum Young did alot of cycling, recently competing in the NGC 100-mile Charity ride. Hawkins trained at the Mount St. Benedict, and in the Maracas Valley up to Lluango early mornings. All three added more carbohydrates to their diets.
“Recovery will be crucial”, explained Lum Young, who will be taking complex carbohydrates to enable his muscles to handle all 7 stages.
While the Trinidadians are notably the oldest runners in Endurrun 2008 and did not receive any official sponsorship or support, they have apparel in the national colours from their club.
Family members also have national flags to cheer them on.
Realising personal dreams, and promoting T&T positively.
It’s not Beijing, or the Olympics. But for these runners, it could as well be.
Click to enlarge photo…
L-R: Alfred Patrick,
Victorio Hawkins and
John Lum Young.