We are here again with our line-up for Team CEP Canada 2014!
Follow our athlete ambassadors as they #rocktheirCEPs from the Olympics to personal bests!
Craig Thomas // Team Canada // Decathlon >> follow Craig on twitter! >> @Craig_AThomas
Jim Finlayson // Elite Runner // 10k/ Half Marathon >> follow Jim!
Phillipe Viau Dupuis // Coureur élite // 5k/10k/Demi-Marathon >> suive-Philippe!
Rose Marie Jarry // Coureur élite // 5k/10k/Spartan Race>> suive-Rose Marie!
Kip Kangogo // Elite Runner // 10k/Half Marathon/Marathon >> follow Kip!
Benard Onsare // Elite Runner // Marathon >> follow Benard!
Lisa Balerna // AG Champion // Triathlon >> follow Lisa!
Alexander Hinton // Elite Triathlete // Triathlon >> follow Alexander on twitter! >> @djashracing
Gareth Hadfield // Athletics // 3000m steeplechase >> follow Gareth!
Dany Guimond-Valcourt // Road Runner // Half Marathon/Marathon >> follow Dany!
Team CEP Canada 2013 athlete, Rose-Marie Jarry tells us the tale of her Spartan Beast in Glen Rose, Texas on the 14th of December, 2013. According to her this was definitely the most difficult race she’s ever participated in mostly due to the extreme cold:
When my plane landed in Texas I was very surprised to see snow on the runway. Not looking good so far! I never would have thought that escaping Quebec’s cold snowy winter to Texas would have offered a similar climate upon arrival. I was up at 5:30 AM the day of the race having breakfast, so basically eating a Kronobar. It’s still dark outside and the thermometer reads 28 degrees Fahrenheit (-2 degrees Celsius). I decided to wear as many clothes as I could reasonably manage during the race to keep as warm as possible even if I knew the first obstacle involved getting soaked in water at which time the warm clothes on my back would basically be rendered useless. My friend April Luu came to pick me up at 6:30 AM and we headed to the race. The first thing I noticed upon getting out of the car once we arrived on site was the how windy it was outside another unfavorable factor.
The race started at 8:15 AM, 15 minutes after the elite men’s. Within the first 200 meters it was clear the battle was going to be between myself, April Luu, K.K Stewart and Debbie Moreau. After the first 20 minutes a gap formed between us and we were split into two pairs as myself and Debbie fell off the “log up” which cost us our first set of 30 burpees and set us back behind April and K. K.
Debbie and I were toe to toe for about an hour until my knee started acting up on me. It was clicking and I was beginning to feel discomfort. This is the first time I’ve had a pain like this just show up on me during a race. I was thinking of quitting but kept going anyway yet I had to slow up and take caution on my down hills, oddly angled and bumpy terrain. For those who do not know Debbie she was the winner of the first Spartan Race in France a few weeks previous to this one. At this point in the race Debbie had gained some distance on me and I was the last of the original group of 4 girls in the lead. I was keeping myself going by passing some of the guys from the previous heat, haha!
Halfway through the race I was getting a bit discouraged as I had spent most of this time in 4th place and I wasn’t very happy with my position. Not to mention the fact that my body was extremely cold and my knee was still acting up. I was trying to stay positive none the less because I know I am the type to be fairly hard on myself.
After a few more kilometers of having time to think running solo I noticed someone in the distance, it’s Debbie! She was only about 200 meters away and all of a sudden I got a little burst of energy. I managed to pass Debbie as we were about to reach the javelin throw. I felt confident and capable, I took the spear telling myself that I’ve made this throw for the last 4 races, why wouldn’t I be able to do it now? The throw was right on target! I passed this obstacle and kept running. Debbie on the other hand missed and all of a sudden she was less of a threat to me having to 30 burpees and falling considerably far behind me. I didn’t see her again for the rest of the race.
With my motivation back I felt ready to take on the next obstacle even if I dreaded it deep down inside. The icy lake was waiting for me but the race organizer felt it best to let us walk around the lake knee deep in water rather than swim because the water was way too cold. With a little over 200 meters left before I could get out of the water I noticed that I could no longer feel my feet or my toes. As I was moving through the water, I tripped over a rock and my entire body fell in the water. For a second it felt like my heart was going to stop. I got up and kept going but as soon as I got out of the water, I couldn’t run and I actually couldn’t even move. Felt like I started running again I would tear my Achilles Tendon.
The two next obstacles were the Hercules Hoist and the Rope Cross over the lake. This obstacle is mandatory and failure to do so got me disqualified last year. No way was that going to happen again. The worst part about this obstacle is when you reach the completion point, you have let go of the rope and fall into the lake before you can keep on moving. I’m not much of a complainer and I hate to be dramatic but I let out a loud scream when my body came into contact with the water so much so that a volunteer came to check on me and tried to warm me up quickly before sending me on my way.
A few minutes later I saw another glimmer of hope off in the distance. K.K. Stewart was finishing up an obstacle that I was arriving at, the Tractor Pull. She seemed be dealing with the same discomfort I was due to the freezing water we both had to endure. When she saw me coming, she must not have been pleased to see that her lead was not as comfortable as she may have thought. We were at the 9th mile out of 13.5. I was gaining on her more and more but the cold was really bring me down. My entire body was so cold that I was actually running with my hands in my shorts to keep them warm in order keep a bit of dexterity so I could finish up some of the coming obstacles. I really wish I would have brought gloves.
The last few miles of the race were the hardest, they were absolutely atrocious. On top of dealing with the cold, the fatigue, my knee I started worrying about what all this was doing to my body, if I was soon going to reach the breaking point. Maybe even develop a nice case of hypothermia. I felt like I wanted to cry it hurt so bad.
I couldn’t handle the horizontal wall because my hands were too cold to grip onto the studs in the wall. I had a hard time doing my burpees too for the same reason, everything was frozen. It’s like my body wasn’t responding well to what my brain was telling it to do. The next obstacle was the rope climb where we had to sit down in the cold deep mud and pull me up using my arms but due to the material of the rope and the fact that once again, my hands were frozen, I couldn’t get this one done either. Boom, another round of burpees! Wonderful!
I managed to finish the race on my own two feet but I never did catch up the K.K. Stewart, she finished about 100 meters ahead of me. Luckily for me, I got some help from some of the volunteers to peel off a few layers of my cold wet clothes and help me get dressed back up in some warmer dry ones. My teeth were clicking together for about a good 30 minutes! My knee is still bothering me but I’ve been seeing good progress and it’s healing up well. Getting stronger! After the results of my MRI came out, I learned that I had developed a tendinitis in my knee, my recovery is going well and I plan on making a strong comeback this summer!
A very soaked and freezing Rose-Marie crawling to the next obstacle
Navigating a wall climb obstacle with her CEP Compression socks on
Doing penalty burpees at the end of her race. Ouch!
CEP is giving away a pair of CEP Ski Thermo Socks for the 28 days of February! CEP Compression Socks use graduated compression technology to accelerate venous blood flow back to the heart providing more energy, greater endurance, enhanced performance & muscle and joint stabilization for reduced risk of injury.
Like CEP Compression Canada on Facebook and then enter for your chance to win!
We checked in with Team CEP Canada 2013 athlete, Nikki Scott for a recap of her season!
2013 turned out to be an incredible year. Exciting races, lots of training and amazing opportunities such as getting to be a part of Team CEP Canada. As a recreational runner, being included in this team of such accomplished athletes was an honour.
Here’s how my year went:
Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge (Disneyworld, FL) I got to start my year off with what I thought would be my biggest challenge: a multi day event consisting of a half marathon on Saturday and a full marathon on Sunday. I trained with a fantastic group of runners all winter and I couldn’t have asked for a more memorable weekend. There was a time where I never thought I’d be able to run 5k let alone a half and full marathon on the same weekend! I learned a lot about digging deep and the importance of proper recovery during my training for this event and despite the hot Florida sun I wore my CEP Compression socks proudly all weekend!
Vancouver First Half Marathon (Vancouver, BC) I came home from Goofy looking for a new challenge and one of my long term goals has always been to hit a 2hr half marathon. The Vancouver First Half is the perfect course for a PR and after a few extra weeks of speed training I gave it a go. I missed my goal by a hair finishing in 2:01:30 but was so proud of earning a 9 minute PR.
BMO Vancouver Marathon (Vancouver, BC) My very first half marathon was the BMO Vancouver Half and being the it was the first race after my car accident, BMO holds a very special place in my heart. With one marathon under my belt I was very excited to run the full course and was dazzled by the scenic new course they introduced in the last couple years.
Run for Water Ultra Marathon (Abbotsford, BC) In May I had the incredible opportunity to be part of the ultra marathon team for this life-changing event. Lead by ultra marathoner Ray Zahab, our team raised over $35,000 for clean water projects and completed a beautiful 56km course, as a group. Aside from challenging myself physically, I learned so much about philanthropy, our power to affect change and how significant a change even just small efforts can make. Run for Water isn’t your average ultra marathon and it changed me in ways I never expected. I am proud to be part of the team for 2014 as well.
Rock n Roll Seattle Half Marathon (Seattle, WA) After so many big goal races it was time for a weekend getaway and a race based purely on fun. A few girlfriends and I made the drive down to Seattle in June and sparkled our way through 21.1km of scenic Seattle.
Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon (Vancouver, BC) Why run one half marathon when you can run two? We decided to turn the weekend into a double-header by heading home and running the Scotiabank Half Marathon the next day after RnR Seattle. It made for a fun, run-filled weekend and of course, CEP Compression was a big part of that since I needed to recover properly between the two races.
Lululemon Seawheeze Half Marathon (Vancouver, BC) In it’s second year, I got to run the quirky and always unique, Seawheeze Half Marathon. Running in a crowd of 10,000 all wearing bright, crazy shorts is quite the experience! From the free manicures at the race expo to the paddle board yoga in False Creek, Seawheeze is one of the most unique half marathons you could ever run. The day was made even more memorable by heading up to Squamish after my race to support friends running the Squamish23 and Squamish50 events.
Dumbo Double Dare (Disneyland, CA) Excited to earn a few extra medals, I took on the Coast to Coast Challenge and traveled to Disneyland to complete the Dumbo Double Dare. The younger sibling to the Goofy Challenge, Dumbo consisted of a 10k on Saturday and a half marathon on Sunday. It was such a fun weekend and earned me 4 beautiful runDisney medals.
Surrey Marathon (Surrey, BC) I was excited to have the chance to be an official blogger for the Surrey Marathon in my hometown of Surrey, BC. Leading a marathon clinic at my local Running Room made my Surrey Marathon experience even more special because I got to work with a group of runners, many of whom had never run a marathon. It was a pleasure to lead and support them and of course, share what I’ve learned about fueling, recovery and rest to help them ensure great finishes on race day.
Baker Lake 50k Ultra Marathon (Concrete, WA) I was nervous to sign up but decided to run the Baker Lake 50k Ultra with an amazing group of friends. It was my second ultra marathon but my first long distance trail event and falling just one week after Surrey Marathon, it was a challenging event for me. Luckily the trails at Baker Lake are so breathtaking, it was easy to get lost in the scenery. It was a slow day but such a memorable one and I can’t wait to run this course again in 2014.
The remainder for my year was full of short races, my first trail races and of course, some fun costume races too. I might not be a competitor but running is a very important part of my life and has lead me to love a healthy, active lifestyle. In 2014 I am looking forward to new challenges and returning to some of these same events. I will hopefully earn that coveted 2hr half marathon and look forward to CEP Compression being there for every step of the way.
Nikki with all her medals from the Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge
Nikki rocking her CEP Compression Canada Calf Sleeves with her medals at the Disneyland Half Marathon
Great photo from the BMO Vancouver Marathon – Way to go Nikki!
One of the most important parts of being an athlete – Recovery! Check out Nikki’s hot pink CEP Compression Socks!
We got a 2013 race season recap from Team CEP Canada Triathlete, Lisa Balerna:
It has been a really busy year for me but still managed to race in 11 events even when training was not up to my standard at times due to other obligations. However, it is amazing how a strong mind and race experience can help.
I had the pleasure of attending the Somersault Awards on Friday, November 29/13 with many other fellow competitors and friends. This is a great race series in Eastern Ontario that has Try-a-Tris, Sprint Tri, Olympic Tri, Half Irondistance Triathlon, Duathlon, running events and kids 1km events. At any given race weekend, there are 500 to 1500 competitors. The multi-sport world is definitely growing. I was blessed to win the Somersault Overall Female Duathlete award for the fourth year in a row. I love the challenge of trying to stay on the top as much younger athletes emerge to the scene. It is not easy to be so consistent year after year. I am most proud of this. At the same time, I enjoy offering tips to those new to the sport. My goal is always to inspire at least two people each year to give multi-sport a try! It seems to work so far. :)
2013 Race Season:
May 2013 – Day Before Mother’s Day Duathlon, Ottawa, ON 1st female overall
May 2013 – Early Bird Duathlon, Ottawa, ON, 1st female overall
June 2013 – Riverkeeper Duathlon, Ottawa, ON 1st female overall
June 2013 – Smith Falls Duathlon, Smith Falls, ON 1st female overall
July 2013 – Graham Beasley Duathlon, Carleton Place, ON, 1st female overall
Aug 2013 – National Capital Duathlon, Ottawa, ON, 1st female overall
Aug 2013 – Thousand Islands Duathlon, Brockville, ON, 1st female overall
Aug 2013 – Cornwall Duathlon, Cornwall, ON, 1st female overall
Sept 2013 – The Canadian Duathlon, Ottawa, ON, 1st female overall
Sept 2013 – Last Chance Duathlon, Ottawa, ON, 2nd female overall (Almost had a perfect season – I was in the lead but listened to a volunteer and went off course! It was a tricky course and came in 2nd by 38 seconds.
October 2013 – Fall Colours Duathlon, Ottawa, ON, 1st female overall
I am now enjoying an off-season period and deciding what will be my goals in 2014. I am proud to be associated with CEP Compression Canada. I love the CEP Compression socks and don’t go a day without wearing them! I wear them in training, racing, traveling and when sitting at my desk for a prolonged amount of time. The CEP Compression socks help with my recovery and I love the color options. I would like to thank CEP Compression Canada for their continued support and I hope we will continue to work together in 2014!
Lisa at the 2013 Somersault Awards
We checked in with Team CEP Canada athlete and self proclaimed “CEP super fan” Tina Garstad! She gave us an update on her year of great training, racing and fun:
This past February I was named to TEAM CEP CANADA 2013!
As a weekend warrior athlete I was honored to be named to the team with some really amazing elites! I am not fleet of foot, but I am a super fan of CEP compression! And even us slow kids need some compression love too! And after picking some new CEP compression socks and sleeves, I was stoked to be running a few races with my CEPs!
Between March and November, I laid down a lot of miles. I completed a few races along the way, including eight 10 km, nine half marathons, three virtual half marathons for training, a 15 km, two 5 milers and participated in Sinister7 and Banff Ekiden with two great teams. Oh and several 5 km fun runs too!
I wore CEPs for most of the half marathons, and if I didn’t wear them running, I definitely wore them for recovery! I wore them while traveling to and from Bozeman for a half marathon in March! Rocked out wearing them for the Run for L’Arche 5 Miler, Calgary Police Half, Rocky Mountain Soap Race Weekend (for both the half and the 10km), Calgary Marathon to mention a few! And, thankfully I wore them after running halfs at Edmonton Marathon , Loop Around the Lake, Harvest Half and Last Chance Half.
There were a lot of miles and an amazing way to push my endurance. Afterwards my legs felt pretty good. Sometimes those runs were hard, but I felt that my recovery was quick. And, I like to credit my happy legs to my CEP Compression Socks.
I do love running in them, but I actually think I love em even more AFTER the run. This year I really noticed they made a HUGE difference in my recovery! After I ran Leg 1&2 of Sinister 7, I changed out of one pair of sleeves, and wore another pair for the rest of the day. I even slept with em on. Woke up to legs that were feeling pretty good, in spite of one heck of a grueling workout!
I didn’t have the year I thought I would. I thought I would be faster. But on reflection, I got some solid running in, to be sure…two days from 2014 and I have hit 1000 miles. AWESOME. Getting shingles in October put a damper on a few of my goals. But I have had a year of immense learning. I kept moving forward! But this is truly the year I learned PERSEVERANCE. I didn’t have a single running injury. I gained a lot of smarts along the way. AND HAD FUN!
And, in 2014, the year of the MARATHON for me (6 months til the Calgary Mara!!!), I will use those learning to train better and relax more. And keep on running with my CEPs! Let the marathon training begin…
Thank You CEP!
Trail running with her red CEP Compression Calf Sleeves
Going for style points at the start of the Calgary Police Half Marathon!
Be sure to check out Tina’s blog: http://fabulosi-t.blogspot.ca/
Team CEP athlete Rose Marie Jarry gave us an update on the completion of her 2013 Spartan season which came to an end on September 21st in Killington, Vermont. Read below about the grueling event and her season wrap up:
In my last blog, it was stated that I was ranked 2nd overall in the world this year and that I had been on the podium 8 times since February 2013. My season was shorter and less spectacular that I would have liked, I unfortunately suffered a tendinitis close to my knee which put a stop to my training for 4 and a half months. I had to learn to adjust to my injury day by day depending on how my knee felt that day. All things considered I am still fairly satisfied by my results even with my serious lack of training.
The Spartan World Championships which took place in Vermont put a close the 2013 Race Series. This race was the most important as well as being the highest caliber the Spartan series has ever seen. This 21 km course was based on the Killington ski hill and had lots of uphill to deal with from beginning to the top of the mountain, multiple lakes that needed to be crossed, climbing, heavy weight to carry considerable distances and hard obstacles some needed be done in mud and water!
Many countries participated in this event; Canada, United States (Even Alaska), Britain, Mexico, Czechoslovakia, Australia, France and more. On top of everything, this event was televised by NBC Sports. You will get a chance to watch the race and all the details on the 19th of October from 1 PM to 3 PM Eastern Time.
Given my background as a middle distance runner & sprinter in track and field, long distance running is not quite my specialty even though I’m getting to be pretty decent because I’ve been putting in the mileage. Flat surfaces are where I excel the most, and it’s needless to say that Mount Killington wasn’t quite flat… As a matter of fact throughout the whole course I don’t remember one part being flat.
A month before the race, I tried to adapt my training to run this course and help with the obstacles. I started hitting the gym a bit more regularly to develop a bit more upper body strength I felt I was lacking for the obstacles. For example, one of the obstacles was to run up a double black diamond ski hill for 1200 meters (1.2 km / 0.75 miles) while carrying a 60 lb bag all the way up! Once again needless to say, the difficulty of this obstacle was a big surprise to many of the competitors especially for the women considering the fact that the men and women both carried the same 60 lb bags. That was the point in the race that crushed me, I lost so much time and so many placings (now I know I need to hit the strength exercises a bit harder). Before this obstacle I was the 5th woman and after having lugged that 60 lb bag, which weighed literally over half my weight all the way to the top, many passed me, I was now placed approximately 35th. I was a little discouraged at the top of the hill and even more discouraged when I realized that I had to go back down the hill with the same 60 lb bag! At the top of the hill I noticed that participants behind me were only coming back down once they get 1/3 of the hill done because the organization ran out of bags and they needed them back quicker. This wasn’t fair to me and I was being passed by people who only went a third of the way up the hill.
Through pride and determination I managed to push forward and gain back as many placings and as much time as possible. I had some catching up to do!! I wanted to catch as many competitors as I could and my efforts soon came to fruition as I got half way through the course, I caught up many of the favored runners from multiple countries such as an Olympic triathlete from Mexico who wasn’t used to this type of effort. She lost a lot of ground when it came to the water obstacles. The water was cold and stiffened our muscles; it was hard to recover when coming out of the water and for people who were unaccustomed to cold weather, dealing with this cold water killed performance as it was very traumatic. After having passed this great Mexican athlete I felt a spurt of motivation and I got the memory obstacle done which consisted of memorizing a word and a series of numbers at the beginning of the race that you have to remember near the end of the race you must stop and say them out loud correctly. The number wasn’t the same number for everyone, for example because my bib number ended with 38 I had a particular number which would have been the same for anyone who’s number ends with 38. It was easier for me to remember because mine started with the word Quebec (My home province), it was QUEBEC 326 8127.
We must bear in mind that any obstacle that was not completed bore a penalty of 30 full burpees before you could get back on the course. I’m happy I only had to do the burpees twice, so only a total of 60.
I could sit here all day and tell you plenty of anecdotes because the race lasted 5 hours and 14 minutes. That time put me in 13th place in the race. The average time of completion was 7 hours and 15 minutes. Even with this great time, I lost, which I attribute mostly to the fact that I’m so tiny and that 60 lb bag was a real tough one for me to handle! All in all at the end of the year, I’m ranked 2nd globally for women and 5th overall men and women combined!
The new season already started and my first race will be the Sacramento Beast October 26th where last year I lead the entire race and finished 21 minutes before any other female runner. I can’t wait to go back again!
Here are a few photos of the 2013 World Championships!
Rose Marie with a competitor at the start
The grueling 60 lb sand bag carry
Racing through a barbed wire obstacle
Rope traverse over water
The Offer: We are doing a special right now with Altra Footwear & CEP Compression. When you purchase a pair of Altra shoes you will get a FREE pair of CEP Compression Dynamic Short Socks!! Available only at the following retail locations:
Visit one of the above locations to take advantage of this fantastic opportunity! Offer valid while quantities last.
Altra is blowing up in the US. Altra has just won Runners World, Editor’s Choice for the Lone Peak 1.5! They are now the #8 shoe in Run Specialty (according to Leisure Trends and the 2nd best shoe in the 6mm or less category, trailing only Brooks Pure Flow). Altra has also done very well in Canada in its first year and we want to keep things moving to take advantage of this great international momentum.
CEP continues to be the dominant compression sock in Canada. Some people don’t want to commit to the ‘full height’ socks on all workouts but they LOVE the compression through the foot and want to keep the same foot bed. If you are unfamiliar to CEP products, this short sock is a great entry point to get a taste of the great product CEP makes. Also, a great product for plantar fasciitis, swollen feet and less than half the price of the full sock.
We at CEP Compression Canada along with our sister companies, Altra Running Canada and Yurbuds Canada, think it’s time for a contest!
Here’s what you have to do:
You will be entered in a draw to win a prize package including CEP Compression socks, Altra Running shoes and Yurbuds sport headphones!
The deadline for submissions is October 31st, 2013 at 12:00 PM MST
Check out these photos for some inspiration:
Pieter kicking off the contest at the Peace Bridge in Calgary, AB wearing his Altra Superior trail running shoes and his CEP Compression Run Socks
Sarah sporting her purple Yurbuds in front of the City of Brandon, MB welcome sign
Katie rocking her hot pink CEP Compression Run Socks 2.0 in front of the City of Surrey, BC welcome sign
Prize package includes:
1 – CEP Progressive Run Socks 2.0 ($70)
1 – CEP All Sports Calf Sleeves ($50)
1 – CEP Dynamic Short Socks ($30)
1 – CEP Dynamic Running Shorts ($110)
1- yurbuds Signature Series Sport Earphones ($50)
1 – Altra Zero Drop Instinct or Intuition ($125)
$435 total value
It has been a tough summer this year and hit by some bad luck. While out on an easy run, I found myself covered and mud and some tears – okay a lot – less than two weeks out from the National Triathlon Championships in Edmonton. While on a downhill section, I lost my footing and rolled my ankle, tearing my anterior talofibular ligament. Beyond being extremely painful, my ankle quickly swelled to the size of a pomegranate and it was tough to realize at that moment my racing in Edmonton would be cut short at some of my best fitness in my life.
It is in no small part that my best fitness and rehabilitation to this point has benefited strongly from the support of CEP Canada and the CEP line of products. Whether it was keeping my legs fresh between crucial workouts in the spring, or helping to promote some additional blood flow to my ankle this summer – CEP has been a big part of my recovery and training. I have just started to swim, bike, and run again and I have been using my CEP Compression Progressive Running Socks during workouts, and my CEP Recovery Socks when the workouts are done. What’s better? CEP’s RxOrtho line for ankle support has given me some extra protection, confidence, and support during workouts to get the job done and not have to worry about rolling my ankle again. I will race this month at the Ontario Provincial Triathlon Championships in Ottawa, then make some flights in October to Mexico and Puerto Rico for their ITU World Cup and Pan American Cup Triathlons respectively and CEP will be there all along the way.
Lacing up for the run in CEP Progressive Running Compression Socks
(CEP RxOrtho Ankle Support beneath)
Thank you CEP Compression for helping me along the journey!
Check out John’s blog here: www.johnnyraz.blogspot.ca
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