Paramedic Mike

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Running with the @jlr_toronto for a special kind of Personal Best

When I think about a personal best for my runs it usually revolves around a new shorter time for a distance, a new total distance, or a better pace.  But what if there was a different kind of personal best? One that’s more satisfying, more exhilarating and more gratifying.  Bring on the Justice League Runners and their campaign to run while raising money for The Hospital Sick Children in Toronto.

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While training for the Toronto Yonge Street 10k myself and my good friend Matt Small had come up with a race goal of sub 45min.  As time went on and my training runs became quicker and quicker I had gotten very excited that this possible new personal best could actually become a reality!

Though my experience with being a Digital Champion for this race I had the great pleasure of meeting a whole bunch of runners I had never known about before.  One of those people was JP Hernandez.  It didn’t take long for me to realize the true super hero powers of JP.  He truly inspired me with his charisma, humility and down to earth welcome everyone with open arms personality.  In 2013 JP ran the Scotia Toronto Waterfront Marathon as Batman and raised money for SickKids hospital.  In just 2 short years JP’s marathon run as Batman has evolved in something AMAZING!  The Justice League Runners. It didn’t take me long to decide that this was something I wanted to be a part of!  I contacted JP asking him if I could participate and he quite enthusiastically welcomed me into his League!  SickKids already holds a special place in my heart for me and my family so I was quite excited to be a part of a team raising money for Sick Kids Foundation.  If you would like to read more about JP’s journey to the creation of the Justice League Runners I really recommend you click here.

I have been finding it quite difficult to put into words the feelings I had on race day, April 19th 2015, but I will do my best 🙂  The morning started with the excitement of meeting many of the runners I had only conversed with through Twitter and Facebook.  There were many pictures taken, many hellos, and many high fives.  I always love the time before a run as I meet running friends both new and old and just the camaraderie that takes place as people mill around.

Coral #Runfie

Coral #Runfie

We assembled ourselves into our coral talked about how we were all going to stay together and do our very best to put a smile of every single kid  (and adult for that matter) we came across.

Aprox 3-4 km into the run we were approached by a runner and mom who said her daughter had been a patient of SickKids.  She went of to say that her daughter would be cheering her on father down the course and asked if we might give her a wave as we ran by.  Well that’s not what what we were going to do!  When we got tot he corner of Yonge and Bloor all 15 of us stopped gave her a high five and asked if she would stand for a picture with us!  Mom showed up just as we were getting the pictures taken by grandma.  The look of sheer gratitude and emotion on all 3 of their smiling faces was something I don’t think I will ever forget and I have a pretty good feeling that little girl will never forget either!  This was proof right there that we were up to something magical!

We continued down the rest of the course high-fiving and stopping for pics with any and all the kids we saw along the route.  The cheers from the spectators and volunteers at the water stations was exhilarating.  As we neared the end of the run I found myself a little sad that this train was coming to an end but I soon realized this was not the end it was merely stop on the journey.  This train has a long road ahead of it with many stops to make, more smiles to induce and money raised to help kids in need.

In the end I was left with a whole new sense of accomplishment, satisfaction and inspiration.  It was a whole new kind of personal best for me!  One that I will cherish forever.  One that I hope to better as my running career continues!  You can still donate by visiting my page here.

All this could not be possible without these amazing members of the team I ran with!  I encourage you to follow them on their social networks!

JP Hernandez aka Batman — Twitter, Facebook, Blog, Instagram

Steve Layton aka Green Lantern — Twitter, Blog, Instagram

Luc Ippersiel aka Green Arrow — Twitter, Blog, Instagram

Maria Lalla aka Batgirl — TwitterWebsiteInstagram

Michelle Clark aka Batgirl — Twitter, Blog, Instagram

Amber-Lynn Renton aka Batwoman — Twitter, Instagram

Heather Gardner aka Super Woman — Twitter, Blog, Instagram

Michael Losinger aka Superman — Twitter, Instagram

Laura Eng aka Lady Green Lantern — Twitter, Instagram

Todd Chretien aka The Flash — Facebook

Big thanks to Canada Running Series the family and friends of all the runners as well as all the volunteers for all their support; this couldn’t have happened without them!

I’ll leave you with this one picture that I think is an amazing representation for the day.  I little boy approached us after the race with a super excited voice saying “CAPTAIN AMERICA!!!!”

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#KeepSmilin 🙂

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Running with the @Parkdale_RR for #TYS10K & a new record

I should have known! I learned a rule about my job a long time ago.  NEVER MAKE PLANS AFTER WORK!  So, silly me, what do I do?  I plan a #TYS10K training run with Parkdale Roadrunners after my 6am-6pm shift!

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Just as Murphy’s Law of EMS would dictate I got a call near the end of my shift that put me into overtime…..  You’d think I’ve learned my lesson by now, which I have, but sometimes you just have no choice about when you need to schedule things.  I ended up clocking out at around 615pm (should been about 545pm) which actually wasn’t that bad since The Parkdale Roadrunners run every Tuesday at 8pm sharp.  The only other speed bump was that I offered to pick up fellow Digital Champion Allison Miceli.  I had just enough time to change in to my running gear and high tail it out of my base and head downtown.

The Parkdale Roadrunners take a lot of pride in the fact that they will never turn anyone away!  If you want to run with them you show up and they will welcome you with open arms

EVERY TUESDAY. 8PM.

RAIN OR SHINE. ON TIME.

NO ONE LEFT BEHIND.

I arrived in the city at exactly the time Allison and I had planed; Thank You traffic gods!  We found parking, slightly farther than we liked, and headed into Community54.  WOW it was parked!!!  This to me is a sign of an amazing running crew!  Allison and I snaked our way through the sea of other runners in the store and we were able to briefly meet Melissa Doldron, Jess Colinsand the amazingly talented Digital Champions Manager Jenna Pettinato.

The group was quickly quieted down and gathered closer so that a rep from Parkdale Roadrunners and Alan Brookes could speak.  The welcomes were made and the instructions for the run given.  An announcement from the organizers that the group had collectively raised over $10,000 towards Ronald McDonald house in honour of one of their members that needed their services!  Way to go!  Alan was then called up and he gave a very motivating talk to all of us pumping us up for the nights run and the upcoming #HSROT & #TYS10k.  He also told us about the subliminal messages that are printed onto the Canada Running Series Medals.  You’ll have to register and complete a race to get your own and find out what it is for this year though 🙂

Alan Brookes rally the runner before the 8k run

Alan Brookes rally the runner before the 8k run

Very quickly the group was then ushered outside for a group photo (remember the whole “ON TIME” part of their slogan).  Something they do a lot of before their runs.

Can you spot me in the group?

It wasn’t long after the pic was done before the group just stood right up and started running!  Holy crap!! I didn’t even have my Garmin turned on!!  Lesson learned!! I only discovered after I downloaded the data, how long it took for the GPS to get a full signal!  You can see how long it took here.  It also will show how difficult it is to actually maintain a good signal when you’re running in a city like Toronto!  I didn’t actually run all over the street(zoom the map in) like that and it was supposed to be a complete loop!

Speaking of running in the city; what a new experience that was for me!  I found out in a hurry just how used to running in my quiet subdivision I am!  I really felt like I was running an urban obstacle course!  There are traffic lights to keep track of {oh by the way you may as well just turn off that run/walk setting you have cause with the street lights you be running and walking totally different times and distances than your used to!} pedestrians, cyclists, parked bikes on bike posts, bags of garbage out for morning collection and large tree planters.  So you step off the curb to the road to avoid the big mess oh wait watch out for that crazy cabbie honking at you!

All in all I was able to stay with the lead pack of the long run and push myself to a harder run than I was used to!  Thank you Parkdale Roadrunners for that!  I even managed to get a new record!

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I highly recommend you seek out and try running with a running crew at least once!  The Parkdale Roadrunners is an excellent choice if you’d like my opinion!

Have you ever run with a running crew or part of one?

How was your last run?

Have you run in a big city before?

Is it call a #PB or #PR?

#KeepSmilin

#Runners Wanted! Your @RunCRS #TYS10K cheer squad awaits #RunWithMe

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 Look at those smiling eager faces! Faces of people who would like nothing better than to help you through your journey as you train for #TYS10K!

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I am really honoured and excited to be working with such a talented group of runners, motivators and friends!  These are 6 of the 10 Toronto Yonge Street 10K #DigitalChampions and this image can be found on the Canada Running Series Facebook page.  Between both the website and the Facebook page you can find lots of valuable resources and information about this run and all the other Canada Running Series runs.  Your Digital Champions are your resource for this run, make use of them as much as you can.  You can find all our SM contact information on the Digital Champions link above so “friend” us, say hi, and  ask your questions!   We are all excited to help reach your goals and can’t wait to meet you on race day April 19 2015!

#KeepSmilin 🙂

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