Photos from the track at Point Grey Secondary with Mile 2 Marathon in Vancouver, BC on May 20, 2017.

When & Why did you get into running?

September 1982–UBC Friday noon hour Intramural 3k fun runs, blue Nike waffle trainers

 

How do you fit running into your busy lifestyle?

Routinely on the fly, before a kid’s soccer match, between connecting flights, maybe really early in the morning before heading into the office, that sort of thing.

 

What was the impetus to start working with Mile2Marathon?

My individual situation warranted bringing in a Mile2Marathon coach. I asked myself why am I running and is it simply part of my overall training program or am I serious about competing? After some honest athletic self-examination, I was willing to invest in my running and performance. Dylan Wykes orchestrates a very specific training program which optimizes my performance while simultaneously minimizing any injury risk.

“Jill’s passion for the sport is amazing. She’s been in the sport for a long time, yet she approaches every workout and every race with an inspiring enthusiasm. On the surface she’s all smiles, but once the gun goes off her determination to get the most out of herself is second to none. The stuff she is accomplishing, at her age, with her hectic life is something we should all aspire to” Coach DW

What do you enjoy most about being part of Mile2Marathon?

The group training environment provided by M2M makes training fun by offering a variety of workouts and running routes.  The personal coaching environment – in addition to providing motivation, feedback and planning – provides the “systems thinking” (as in processes and methodology). In other words, the M2M coaches know how to mix the different ingredients to provide a system and a plan to the relationship.  They know their athletes, and their potential. This allows the coach to prescribe workouts, not only for the day, but for the week and months down the road. What has this meant for me? It has allowed me to focus on the actual training with an open mind, knowing that Dylan’s system of training may help me climb upward to a new level of performance.

Photos from the track at Point Grey Secondary with Mile 2 Marathon in Vancouver, BC on May 20, 2017.

Photos by Jody Bailey

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

I love cross country running even more than track and will work towards qualifying for the National meet in Kingston, Ontario

“Jill’s passionate about track and cross country. When she told me she wanted to improve her 1500m time and qualify for National Cross Country champs I was thrilled. Her goals are refreshing and a throwback of sorts to the events and races that I grew up participating in and it’s exciting to relive some of that through Jill’s training and racing.” Coach DW

Person that inspires you in running or life?

Everyone in our local running community currently inspires me. We all live complex and challenging lives, yet find our reasons to run. When I first got into the sport in the 1980s, I was inspired by the athletes of the era – Deena Drossin, John Walker, Paul Tergat, Steve Jones, Anne Audain, Thelma Wright, Cathy Shiro, Abebe Bikila (‘60s), Jacqui Gareau and the like.

 

Fav quote (running related or non-running)? “You’re doing okay, keep going” – dad

 

Favorite book (“Freakonomics” S Dubner & S Levitt) and what are you reading now? (The Woman in the Window” A.J. Finn) and (“Peak: secrets from the new science of expertiseEricsson and Pool)

 

My fridge is always stocked with: a variety of cheeses, Harp Lager, Okanagan Pear Cider, Tito’s Vodka

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When & Why did you get into running?

I’m pretty new to the running scene. M2M is the first running group I’ve ever been to and it’s the first time I’ve ever had specific run coaching. That being said, athletics have always played a huge role in life. Growing up I played every sport – squash, volleyball, tennis, basketball – you name it, I probably played. Volleyball was my main sport in high school and I went on to play at the varsity level. It wasn’t until after university that I picked up running as a way to keep in shape.

 

I liked how there was no structure – I could grab my shoes and just go. I continued this unstructured running routine for years. I’d go for a few runs a week and periodically go in races to see how fast I could go. My first half marathon was in 2012 in 1:36, then a year later 1:29. More recently, with 6 months of M2M coaching, I ran the same race in 1:20. Regardless of the time, the reason I run remains the same – I love it.

 

How do you fit running into your busy lifestyle?

I work full time and sometimes it’s tough to find the time so I try to go for my run in the morning. In Vancouver that means it’s dark, cold and rainy 90% of the time but I’d rather get soaked then run on a treadmill. I’ve learned to embrace the PNW rainy vibes.

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What was the impetus to start working Mile2Marathon?

I can thank my sister for this. She told me to go to a running group so I could geek out about my runs with people who also liked running. I’d never been to any running group so when I dropped in for my first workout in November 2017 at the track I was pretty nervous. I hadn’t run track since elementary school and there were 30+ eager faces ready to roll. All it took was one workout and now I’m hooked. M2M coaches and Rob in particular have helped guide me to some big PBs and I’m excited for what’s to come.

 

What do you enjoy most about being part of Mile2Marathon?

Turning up every week and witnessing the M2M crew run for the pure joy of the sport. We all willingly go to the workouts, knowing full well we’re about to immerse ourselves in lactic acid and probable post-workout immobility and yet we wouldn’t miss it. There’s a twisted beauty to being part of M2M.

 

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

I just registered for my first marathon, California International Marathon (CIM), in December 2018. I’m feeling ready for whatever marathon training throws my way / whatever Rob throws my way. Bring it on!

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Person that inspires you in running or life?

There are so many inspiring athletes out there who I like to follow but the one person who continues to shape my running path is my Mum, Debs.

 

Thanks to Debs, running has always been part of life. There are countless photos of me in the baby-jogger with Debs rockin’ some seriously 90s running swag. She’s shown me what it means to run for the pure love of it and I hope to always hold onto that. Recently, I stumbled across her race bib from the 1994 ‘First Half’ Pacific Road Runners Half Marathon in Vancouver and she crushed a 1:36. She’d had 3 kids at this point yet somehow found time to go for a run. She’s a legend!

 

Fav quote (running related or non-running)? “I want to try the impossible to show it can be done.” Terry Fox, Marathon of Hope. My sister was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago and underwent the whole chemo journey. She showed me firsthand how to be strong and to never give up. Terry Fox set the stage for cancer research and fundraising in Canada and I’m so grateful because now my sister is approaching 5 years remission.

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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.

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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

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Everything you ever wanted to know about the marathon, presented by Mile2Marathon x Saucony

Join us for an evening of running and talking all things MARATHON

6:30pm SHARP for the workout
8:00pm for the Talky talk

Submit your quesitons to info@mile2marathon.com for a chance to win some sweet Saucony swag.

More details HERE.

Effective March 1, 2018 anyone who would like to attend M2M group workouts in Vancouver will be required to be a member of BC Athletics. This membership will be good for the remainder of the 2018 calendar year.

It has been wonderful for us to see the group in Vancouver grow. We still believe strongly in keeping the group workouts open to runners of all ages, abilities and commitment levels and therefore do not want to close or cap the group. However, we feel a certain level of safety and accountability is necessary at this time. The BC Athletics memberships will provide this for both Mile2Marathon and you, as well as some additional benefits to you.

Membership options include:

Non-competitive Training Only ($20):
◦ Discounts with BC Athletics partners, detailed HERE.
◦ Liability and Sport Injury/Accident Insurance
◦ Not eligible for entry in sanctioned events

Competitive Memberships:
1) Competitive Road/Trail ($60)
2) Masters, age 35+ ($70)
3) Competitive Track & Field/Road/Trail ($100)

◦ Discounts with BC Athletics partners, detailed HERE.
◦ Valid for entry in sanctioned events as noted
◦ $3.00 Day of Event membership exemption
◦ Liability and Sport Injury/Accident Insurance
◦ Performances included in Provincial & National rankings
◦ Eligible for entry in age category BC Athletics

To signup, please follow the below link. It should take 5 minutes to complete the registration process: www.trackiereg.com/M2M

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We are pumped to announce that Kate Gustafson is joining the M2M coaching crew! Kate is an amazing runner, coach, and woman. She’s inspired so many through her own running, coaching, and outreach with girls & woman across the globe. As M2M continues to grow in Vancouver and beyond, Kate will look to inspire more athletes and help them reach their goals. We feel truly lucky to have Kate join our crew of coaches. Kate’s full profile is below, and on our TEAM page, HERE.

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Kate Gustafson is a writer, runner, and coach—with her truest passions being travel and supporting women & girls in sport.
As a former Women’s NCAA Division I Ice Hockey player (named captain in her senior season), Kate loves sweaty pursuits. She has completed the Everest Base Camp Trek in Nepal, spent six weeks training at high altitude in Kenya, climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, raced twelve marathons and is a proud Guinness world record holder for distance run on a treadmill by twelve women over twelve hours.
Her personal best times include 2:46:40 in the marathon and 1:18:43 in the half marathon, both achieved in 2017 while training under fellow coach, Dylan Wykes.
When her hockey-playing days came to an end she revisited her passion for running. Eleven years later, she has completed 75+ races and trained with many inspiring coaches and teammates along the way—with all of this hard work culminating in a top 25 finish at the 2015 Boston Marathon and a 26th place finish at the 2017 Berlin Marathon.
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In 2013, Kate founded an online coaching business, and has since supported over 65 athletes across Canada in their various running pursuits. In 2014, she launched Girls With Gusto, a pilot running program for girls in Regent Park, one of Toronto’s most diverse neighbourhoods. And in 2015, she co-founded Run To Give YVR to bring Vancouver’s running community together to help the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre.
Kate has led cross training clinics at the Toronto Raptors Basketball Academy, Toronto Maple Leafs Hockey School and Scotiabank Girls Hockey Fest, Ottawa Senators Hockey Camps, and led the Female Hockey Jamboree and Hometown Hockey clinics with the Vancouver Canucks.
She believes that perseverance, grit, and a profound love for sport are essential. She strives to pass this along to young girls through mentorship, endurance athletes through coaching, and fellow teammates through her own training.
After graduating from Union College in upstate New York, Kate began her professional career in advertising in Atlanta and Toronto before spending the next few years in non-profit leading a team. In 2012, she made the jump to professional sports at Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment. In early 2015, Kate moved to Vancouver to write for lululemon. Kate also writes a blog; a project that started during a year spent travelling around the world.