mark-now

When & Why did you get into running?

Back in 2012, when I reached my highest of 310 pounds, I knew I needed to make a change. I first started my running as a way to lose weight. As the weight came off, I started to really enjoy the feeling of running a race and improving each time. Initially I started training with various groups with the goal of one day finishing a marathon.  Both goals were met, by reaching my goal weight with a loss of 140 pounds and finishing that first marathon.

mark-before

How do you fit running into your busy lifestyle?

Running is such a major part of my life now that I just work everything else around it. With a full time job and other family commitments, I know when training days are and I always find time to run.

 

What was the impetus to start working Mile2Marathon?

As I continued to compete and get faster, my goals in running changed. I used to think qualifying for Boston was just a dream until I had breakthrough race in Eugene in 2017 breaking 4 hours in a marathon for the first time. Now I realize that maybe Boston is not as far away as I thought. I knew I had to take a big step in my training to realize my goal of getting a BQ. I finally found where I was meant to be; with Mile2Marathon. I know with coaching from Tony, Dylan, and Rob it is not a matter of if I will BQ but when I will.

 

What do you enjoy most about being part of Mile2Marathon?

My favourite part of being a member of Mile2Marathon is the incredible amount of support everybody gives each other. From racing together to training together, we all truly care that everyone achieves their goals.

 

Mark exemplifies the true joy we all strive to achieve through a lifestyle of running. As one of the first athletes to arrive at each training session, he shows up with a genuine smile on his face and eagerness to take on the challenge ahead. As a result, Mark has made leaps and bounds towards his ultimate running goals since joining the crew.”  Coach Tony Tomsich

 

Where to next/What’s your big goal currently?

I have a few local races coming up but my big goal is still to run a Boston qualifying time. I am hoping to accomplish this when I run the New York City Marathon in November. I know that Mile2Marathon will give me all the tools I need to get this done.

 

Person that inspires you in running or life?

The person that inspires me the most in running is Steve Prefontaine. The way he trained and raced is how I’ve tried to model my running style after.

 

Fav quote (running related or non-running)?

“The real purpose of running is not to win the race. It’s to test the limits of the human heart.” -Bill Bowerman

Athlete feature arthur oskan

Arthur is a pretty cool dude and we are excited to feature him this week. It’s always fun getting to know our athletes and what they do outside of running. It was pretty awesome to discover that Arthur, who resides in Toronto, is a renowned DJ who has been nominated for a Juno! He is also a badass runner who has been taking huge chunks of his PB’s, bringing his 10k down to 41:28 (from 45:06) at Waterfront 10k in June and most recently his half down to 1:35:38 (from 1:40:46) at STWM. No surprise to us given his dedication and work ethic. Read on to learn more about Arthur and check out the video on him at the link below.

How did you get into running?
I ran track and cross country through middle school. In 2008, my wife began running marathons and I ended up tagging along for her races. I had already been mulling the idea of getting back into running, but not competitively. To my surprise, she signed me up for Harry’s (a yearly charity run 5K run in Toronto). My finishing time after a 30 year layoff? 37 mins. While I was happy to finish, I knew I could do better. It was in that moment that I decided to take it the next level. My current 5k PR is over 17 minutes faster.

Tell us about how your music influences your running and vice versa?
Running has been an incredibly positive influence on my creativity for both a music and design. Whether things are going well or not, I feel a run helps with perspective.

Are you a fan of listening to music while you run? If so, what would be on your playlist?
When I first started training, I’d almost always run with music. My playlists evolved based on where I was in my running phases. I felt certain tunes created a surreal atmosphere, or could help wrap my thoughts around my run.

Here’s a short list:
            •           Tame Impala “Let it Happen” – A blast of energy.
            •           New Order “Ceremony” – I ran with this song in middle school. It brings me back.
            •           Sam Cook “A Change is Gonna Come” – I broke my foot on a training run two weeks before the marathon back in 2014. This song helped me in my comeback in every way imaginable.
            •           Beck “My Heart is a Drum” – For sunrise runs. Pure bliss.
            •           Manfred Man “The Runner” – Guilty pleasure.
            •           Fink “Pilgrim” –  Such a huge song that ends like you’ve just won a race.

But as I took training more seriously, I found that running without music I was better able to focus on my breathing, form, and heart rate – especially for tempo and interval workouts.  Nowadays I’ll run with music on long runs from time to time, but I prefer just being present and listening to the world around me.

What’s the big running goal over the next 12 months?
Getting stronger and faster. Training and competing in middle distance races. As I’ve gotten older I’ve battled injuries, so my main running goal is to find that high volume/high intensity training sweet spot for the marathon, and if I can stay healthy, take a shot at a BQ next fall.

Anything else you want to add?
I can say with all certainty that coming onboard with M2M has been the best decision I’ve made with regards to achieving my running goals. Coach Dylan has been incredible through the whole process, understanding what my current abilities are, and having the foresight to shape me into the runner I know I can be.

Be sure to check out this wicked video too: A Long Run ft. Arthur Oskan