Building Community Through Running

Maraboli

Three years ago, Canada Running Series introduced a new ambassador program called the Digital Champions. Their goal was to build an online community of support for runners as they trained for the Toronto Yonge Street 10k and the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. I am honoured to have been a part of the Digital Champions team. I have witnessed the growth of the running community in Toronto – from Running Room groups to the vast running crews we now have. I used to run by myself around my neighborhood; now I can always find someone to run with. It’s more motivating when you have someone to run with, especially when it’s cold out or when you need to get a long training run in. The Toronto running community is such an inspiring community of runners both online and off and you can always find someone or some crew running on any day of the week.

Through running, I have met so many wonderful runners, who have become some of my closest friends. They have become my run buddies, my role model and my inspiration. I have also grown to be a better runner. I have learned everything from which gels and chews to take to what kind of stretches I should be doing and clothes I should be wearing. Gone are the days of wearing regular Nike’s (not even the running ones) and cotton everything. Much is learned through my personal trial and error; but a lot is learned from my fellow runners.

The running community also challenges me. I am continuously learning and setting new challenges and goals for myself. Seeing, hearing and reading about everyone’s training for their various goal races inspires me to keep training to excel in mine. It motivates me to try new races and new distances. Perhaps a triathlon or an ultramarathon one day…? 🙂

I am excited and honoured to announce that I am now a Canada Running Series Community Leader! Alongside 11 other ultra inspiring runners and friends of mine, we will be year-round ambassadors of Canada Running Series. We will be out in the community all year long, sharing the CRS mission of “building community through running” and hoping to continue to inspire other runners. Catch us at the CRS races in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver; and connect with us anytime online via social media.

Check out all the Canada Running Series Community Leaders here and a more detailed bio of everyone here.

The running community has inspired me so much and I hope that be living the best version of myself, that I can pay it forward and inspire others to live the best versions of themselves. ❤ xo. LN

InspirePeople InspireOthers

 

2014 Medal Collection

Mandela

I forgot to post a picture of my 2014 medal collection. Despite being injured in the last quarter; I had a remarkable 2014 race year. I’m kinda happy I got injured after my obstacle course race season in Eastern Canada ended. Injuries are never fun, but I was still blessed and fortunate to have completed so many races. I finished 2014 with a record breaking 25 races [11 road, 14 obstacle course race’s – not including multiple lap races, 1 CN Tower Stair Climb and 1 DNF].

Some notable accomplishments:

  • I completed 10 Spartan Races (9 in Canada and my first 1 in USA).
  • Earned a Double Trifecta (my goal at the beginning of 2014 was a Double, then I was lucky enough to meet people to travel to all the races with, so that goal increased to a Quintuple Trifecta; and then injury struck but happy I still earned my Double Trifecta).
  • First year running multiple lap races (I ran 2 laps at the Ottawa Spartan Sprint Saturday and Sunday, so 4 laps total and 4 medals! I ran 3 laps at the Toronto Warrior Dash).
  • Back to back half marathon weekends (Apr. 27/14 Nike Women’s Half and May 4/14 Mississauga Half).
  • 3 half marathons and first 30k race.
  • PB in a 5k (26:27).
  • First RACEcation (I’ve also never been to Washington, DC before).

I met so many new friends this year from road races and OCR’s and from various parts of the world. Running definitely brings people together. I am honoured and thankful to be able to run and to have met some amazing people along the way who share the passion for the sport as I do.

Hopefully, through my active lifestyle, I have inspired at least one person to start running or to start living a healthy and active lifestyle. My medals are not for bragging rights, but to show that IT IS POSSIBLE. Thank you all for sharing in my journey to live the best version of myself. I look forward to new races and new adventures in 2015! 🙂

2014Medals

See my Race Calendar for a list of my 2014 races and results.

Happy Anniversary To My Tribe

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My first run coming back from a shoulder injury and without a sling, happened to fall on the Tribe Fitness 1 year anniversary run. I plan to take the rest of the year off to recover and start running and training again in January but for my Tribe, I made an exception. 🙂

I’ve been running with Tribe for almost a year now. It is the first running group that I joined; other than the paid half marathon clinic program that I did with the Running Room. From my first run with Tribe to 1 year later; I have grown both as a runner and a person. I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to meet some amazing runners and athletes from beginners to elites and of all different backgrounds. I have formed close friendships with some of the Tribe and am grateful they are now my #TribeBrothers and #TribeSisters; my #TribeFamily. I’ve learned a lot from the Tribe members and continually do so. The biggest thing I learned was how to run in polar vortex conditions. This was my first year running throughout the winter and I enjoyed it. I hate to admit it, but I am kinda looking forward to running in the winter again.

I trained for my longest race to date: Around The Bay 30k this past March. I am thankful to have found a group of dedicated runners who were also training for ATB and thus helped pushed me to finish that race. It was hard getting up early on a Saturday in the winter when it was still dark out and taking the subway downtown to the Tribe meet up spot. Some days there were only a handful of us, or the weather would be brutally cold; but we showed up and knocked those kilometer’s out. Every Saturday, I knew there would be a group of runners waiting to do a long run, whether I showed up or not. But I knew that to be a better runner, you just have to run more. I am so thankful I did. To that group of runners that motivated me to get out of bed on Saturday mornings, I sincerely thank you!

Thanks to my Tribe, I have grown to become a better and more dedicated runner. I discovered that I’m a winter warrior and really enjoy winter running, I actually prefer it over humid summers any day. I’ve also grown as a person and discovered a new found passion, [although some of my friends might call it obsession 😉 ] with running. This year I also participated in the most road races ever. Good thing I had my Tribe along for all of those races, both running or cheering me on.

I am proud to be a member of Tribe Fitness, but I am more proud of the Tribe’s accomplishment. I’ve witnessed new runners completing their longest distance races ever to runners transitioning to and completing Triathlons and Ironmans. Not only am I proud of my Tribe’s accomplishments, but also motivated and inspired to grow and seek new challenges for myself. Who knows, maybe I will want to be an ultra runner or Traithlete as well. Over the year, I’ve learned that whatever goals or challenges I set for myself, I will always have a fabulous group of athletes there to support me, challenge me, motivate me and encourage me. To my Tribe and of course, our fearless leader Heather, I thank you! You will always have a special place in my heart. ❤

TribeClanPlenty of run memories were created this year! Let’s take a trip down memory lane with some of my favourite moments with the Tribe. It’s hard to believe it’s only been a year. There are so many photos, you can check out Tribe Fitness on Facebook for more.

My first run with Tribe

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What polar vortex..!? We even train hills in the winter and the last picture in this group is quite possibly the coldest day of the year in 2014!

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Tribe Ugly Sweater Run

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Around the Bay simulation run and shake out / race kit pick up run

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Jenna and I had a goal for 2014, but due to our injuries, is pushed to 2015. We will crush it!

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Spot the Olympian! 😉

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Warmer weather is among us

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The time we crashed Twitter with our famous ‘Ellen’ selfie

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My birthday run! ❤

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The time a running magazine featured our picture from the Mississauga Marathon

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The time we decided to wear our new compression socks during a Saturday long run

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The time we decided to dress all in white and get colour bombs thrown at us

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Tribe Does Trail

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Tribe Scavenger Run

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The time we volunteered as pace monsters for the Ivivva kids 3k Monster Mash Dash

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What better way to celebrate 1 year of sweating for social good, than to have a run party and run around downtown Toronto to various checkpoints answering Tribe related trivia

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Can you see our Tribe shirts?

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Thanks to Vega Toronto and Oakley Canada for supporting Tribe at the RUNiversary and year roundtribeanniversary

Last but not least, check out the amazing statistics Tribe racked up in just 1 year! Thank You Tribe Fitness! We love you and proud to watch you continuously grow.

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Running: The Passion That Unites Us All

Runners Understand

I am honoured to return as a 2014 #TYS10K Digital Champion for Canada Running Series. This inspiring and motivating group of runners is what pushes me every single day to become a better, stronger and faster runner, athlete and person. I have learned so much from all of them since the inauguration of the Digital Champion program in 2013 and am honoured and thankful to know them all. If you ever get the opportunity to meet any of the Digital Champions, consider yourself lucky. I always do. Thank you my Digital Champions family.

Check out my #TYS10K blog post on the CRS page as well as posts from other Digital Champtions.

I’ve also copied my blog post below.

Running: The Passion That Unites Us All

TORONTO. February 19th 2014. Digital Champion Linda Nguyen is an avid runner and obstacle course racer. Her 2013 fitness achievements include completing 12 road races and 5 obstacle races with some notable achievements including having completed her first half marathon, running 25k (her longest race), completing Tough Mudder in a snow and hail storm and becoming a member of the Spartan Race Trifecta Tribe. 2014 will be a big year for Linda. She hopes to PB the Toronto Yonge Street 10k race, achieve two Trifecta medals and run her first full marathon in October at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon! Connect with Linda on Twitter @lindamnguyen and on her blog.

Running: The Passion That Unites Us All. By Linda Nguyen.TYS10K Linda Blog

If you’re a Toronto Maple Leafs fan, which I’m assuming you are, you would have heard the tagline “The Passion That Unites Us All” many times before. I think it is a wonderful slogan and it can be applied to many areas of our life.

There are many things in life which I am passionate about, but running is at the top of the list. When we have a passion for something, it becomes our hobby, our past-time, and an escape from our everyday routine. It can be something we enjoy doing by ourselves, a time to reflect on personal growth; or it can be something we share with others who have the same passion as us. If I am not running a race on the weekends, then I am training for one. If I am not participating in a race as a runner or volunteer, than I am there supporting my friends.

An important part of growing up is finding out what your passions are. Completing a half-marathon and a full marathon have always been on my bucket list. When I signed up with the North York Running Room half-marathon clinic in 2012, I was not registered for any races yet. I wanted to see how my long distance training would go before I committed myself to 21.1K. I was a short distance track runner during school so I knew the conversion would require a lot of training. It was at the training clinic that I began to like long distance running. I was blessed with amazing and dedicated coaches who shared their passion of teaching and running with us. I met all different levels of runners from newbies like myself to veterans to runners who were getting back into running.

I learned a lot throughout the clinic. I learned that I was unprepared and the only thing I had right was my running shoes. I was able to try different fuels and gels during our Sunday long runs and even got to test run some new kicks. Needless to say, towards the end of the clinic, I had given in to the sport of running and all the cool (and at times pricey) accessories that went along with it to ‘enhance’ my experience. I had discovered a new passion and created new friendships while bonding over GPS watches, waterbelts the latest races we had registered for.

TYS10K Linda Blog 2

It wasn’t until one year later when I was asked to be a Digital Champion for the Toronto Yonge Street 10k that I united virtually with other runners that I had never met before. At first, I wasn’t sure what to expect or what I was getting myself into. I’m thankful to Canada Running Series for the opportunity and for my increased passion for running. By race day, I had gained new friends; some who I still see often, some who I only see at races and some whom I have never gotten the opportunity to meet in person but still consider my ‘online friends’. I have learned so much within the past year and am fortunate and thankful to be a part of a wonderful, motivating and inspiring community of runners.

The passion and unity doesn’t stop within’ our immediate community. Through the power of social media, I have connected with a global community of runners and athletes . It has allowed me to learn from other athletes about training and nutrition; to learn about new and inaugural races both locally and internationally; to create bonds and friendships with people in different time zones and various parts of the world; and most importantantly, it has provided me with the inspiration, dedication and determination to be a better,
faster and stronger runner, athlete and person.

Whether you’re a passionate runner or you’re a new runner looking for some training tips or inspiration to start running, join a run group and join the conversation online. There are lots of runners, including the rest of our #TYS10K Digital Champions team that are more than willing to share our experiences and training with you. Just have a look around and you’ll see that the passion and inspiration is everywhere.