2021 was a weird year. There’s no way around that. As a group of coaches, we spent a lot of time discussing how best to support our athletes through the pandemic. There were athletes with so many unique situations, more than usual, and it truly tested our expertise as coaches.
In the end, it was a hugely successful year. A big thank you and shout out to all of our athletes and members of our team who have stuck with us and your goals over the past two years.
We asked our coaches to share a highlight or favourite moment from the year and have compiled them here for you.
seeing athletes take a leap of faith into the unknown whether it was trying out new events like the marathon or ultramarathon or trying to push themselves to hit certain goals. These athletes grew both as runners and people! The takeaway was don’t be too fearful of the unknown, be curious and get excited!— Coach Garrett
Definitely seeing people get back into races and just be really grateful to be out there and having a good time. I think also during the "darker" parts of the pandemic talking to people at group workouts and just seeing how happy they were to be back/how much it meant to them.— Coach Lauren Prufer
Calgary Chase the Pace. Matt, Bridget and I paced athletes to personal bests at 5k! Well attended by Calgary M2M members and their families. The kid's race was super cool also!— Coach Lisa
JOINING THE MILE2MARATHON COACHING SQUAD!— Coach Kat
Also, watching Kelley Heyes-Voros qualify for Boston after a strong PTDN. It felt great to be a part of it and see her success.
Highlight has to be watching my athlete Srini Radhakrishnan grow in the sport. He went from hardly running, and just doing walk-runs, to doing 20k straight. He's extremely passionate and dedicated to growing in all aspects is his life including running, and it's been really fun for me to see him grow in the past several months!— Coach Evan
Another highlight is my athlete, Brian Kelly, who took off 24 minutes of his marathon time. He came to me with no prior coaching and has bought into everything. He's very dedicated and grinds solo at group workouts when I give him something longer to focus on.
Coaching the Tuesday group. There were a few really rainy nights where people were taking turns tracking splits and rest intervals, pushing each other, cheering each other on and just really showing up for one another all while wringing their soaked jackets at the end. That's what it's all about. It's days like this that make you deliver on a startline.— Coach Laurel
Being back in Vancouver for a week and running with the group again. Not only was it nice to be back with the crew, but it was really nice to see people excited about fall events and actually training for real races. Having those conversations with my athletes and the rest of the crew was truly reenergizing.— Coach Tony
Chase the Pace Calgary at the Rotary Challenger Park track. It was awesome to see how excited the athletes were for their first ever track race, and the kids' 400m race was epic!— Coach Bridget
so so many. When we ended the Wednesday (trail workout) sessions for the winter, the number of people that reached out to say how much they valued and looked forward to those workouts, how much the community had grown— Coach Liam
Also, my athlete Thibaut surprising himself (but not me haha) finishing CCC at UTMB 3 hours under his goal time!
Similarly, Susan ran her first ultra at UTHC and she was expecting to be chasing cutoff times, but ended up finishing several hours ahead of those cutoffs!
Overall just seeing people surprise themselves at what they can do when they put the work in.
The biggest highlight in my year was starting the Kingston M2M group. It was amazing to see people training in my hometown and helping them work towards their goals. Not to mention, I was able to do in person training, finally! I have had a great time showing some new faces to the city and all the amazing secret running spots.— Coach Kevin
The other major highlight was hearing people say how pumped they are to be back racing. I think I took that for granted in the past. We all raced so much that it became very normal for all of us. There is something to say about eating too late, the nerves of the start line and "I hope I trained enough for this race” stresses. Most importantly, this year reminded us of the incredible feeling when you cross the finish line with your community of fellow runners.
My athlete Kara getting an iron transfusion. She struggled a lot mentally the last year or two, not seeing results, having friends getting PBs and despite all of her efforts, never saw results. Kept grinding, had a breast cancer scare, started working with a dietician, got a blood transfusion and finally felt good running. Ended up running her fastest 10k since 1997 (49:24) - her last sub-50 was when she was half her current age! Her consistency, drive and belief is infectious, and now to see the times happening for her is amazing. Excited for what's to come for her, which is a lot considering what we've accomplished so far in 5 years I've been working with her!— Coach Kim
Organizing Chase The Pace in Calgary, got to put on a super fun event for our group and reach some new people. Everyone had a ton of fun and ran fast times.— Coach Matthew
A big highlight of my year has been watching the Burnaby group grow and develop. I think what started as a ‘group workout’ has turned more into an actual community and it’s been really cool to see and be a part of.— Coach Justin
But more recently, being at the finish line for the moustache miler 5km and seeing all the excitement, joy, pain, pleasure; all those finish line feels the athletes had missed the past two years. To be able to witness that and share that moment with them was definitely a highlight of my year.
Tom Peters crushing 3 hours for the first time with a 2:44— Coach Luc
Also a return to racing for all of our athletes