Monday, March 31, 2008

April is Autism Awareness Month. Beware...

April is Autism Awareness Month. Beware...

This A Square 8/Squack Video, was reposted here with permission.
Please take a moment to watch it.
Many Thanx to Bev at Asperger Square 8

In fact, October is Autism Awareness Month in Canada.
However, The United Nations has declared
April 2nd 2008 the first International Autism Awareness Day

Saturday, March 29, 2008

PEI RoadRunners April Schedule

I slept in this morning. It will be the last time I'll be sleeping in on a Saturday morning for a long time - the PEI RoadRunners race schedule gets underway in earnest next Saturday morning. Alex will be running almost every weekend from now until October, sometimes twice a weekend.

A major dilemma lies ahead on July 26th when both the Cox & Palmer Run in Charlottetown and the Potato Blossom Festival Run at the Mill River Resort in Woodstock both start at 9am. He has run the Potato Blossom Festival run since 2004 and greatly enjoyed the first running of the Cox & Palmer run last year. It will be interesting to see which one he chooses.

This year, April in fact, he's hoping to run his first race on the mainland. We nearly made it last year and again this year the Grande-Digue 15K is on our calendar. Race organizer, Sylvio Bourke, goes all out in putting on this race and I'm hoping nothing prevents us from attending this year. Sylvio should be over here to run one of our races before his race on the 27th.

Here's what's on the PEI RoadRunners April Schedule:

Saturday, April 5, 2008
Dairy Queen/Source for Sports Bunny Hop Run 10K
(Points Race)
Distance: 10 K
Starting Time: 9:00 a.m.
Registration: 7:30 a.m. at the Dairy Queen,
Univ. Ave, Charlottetown
Sponsor: Dairy Queen / Source for Sports
Fund Raiser: Kidney Foundation
Course Description: Few hills, but quite fast.
(Alex Past Bunny Hops)

Saturday, April 12, 2008
Colonel Gray/McDonald's Run for SADD
(Points for 10K run only)
Distance: 10 K Run and 5K Walk
Starting Time: 9:00 a.m.
Registration: 8:00 a.m. Colonel Gray High School
Spring Park Road, Charlottetown
Sponsor: McDonald's Restaurant
Fund Raiser: Students Against Drunk Driving (SADD)
Course Description: Both hilly and flat sections
(Alex Past SADD Runs)

Saturday, April 19, 2008
Run for It
Distance: varied ... up to 13K
Starting Time: 10:00 a.m.
Registration: 9:00 a.m. at ... TBA
By donation
Fund Raiser: PEI Chapter of the Canadian Hemophilia Society
Course Description: Starting at Joe Ghiz Park, Confed. Trailto Lwr.Malpeque Rd, around to Melody Lane, back to Stockman Dr. gives you 13K.
(This is the first year for the Run For It Run)

Saturday, April 26, 2008
Sporting Intentions 10K Run
Distance: 10K
Starting Time: 9:00 a.m.
Registration: 8:00 a.m. at Sporting Intentions
614 North River Road
Sponsor: Sporting Intentions
Fund Raiser: Heart & Stroke PEI
Course Description: Some Hills.
(This is the first year Sporting Intentions Run)

(The following is not a PEI RoadRunner scheduled race but is on our schedule)
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Le 15 km de GRANDE-DIGUE
Grande-Digue, New Brunswick
  • Grande-Digue 15KM Run $30 ($40 Race Day)
  • Grande-Digue 15KM Walk $30 ($40 Race Day)
  • Grande-Digue 3KM Run/Walk $20 ($30 Race Day)
Starting Time:
  • Grande-Digue 15KM (Run) - 11:00am
  • Grande-Digue 15KM (Walk) - 10:00am
  • Grande-Digue 3KM (Run/Walk) - 11:10am
Reception will be held at Notre Centre
(2007 Le 15Km de Grande-Digue -- Sorry we missed it)

Running For Autism
Not Against It
acceptance not cure

You're never too old.....Buster Martin to Run The London Marathon at 101

Man, 101, to run London Marathon
A 101-year-old man has his sights on the London Marathon in a bid to become the world's oldest competitive runner.

Working plumber Buster Martin ran Sunday's Roding Valley half marathon in Essex in five hours 13 minutes, and is now focusing on London's 26-mile event.

On finishing the run, the first words of the ex-member of rock band The Zimmers were: "Where's my beer?"

Mr Martin, who has 17 children, started work at Pimlico Plumbers in London three years ago because he was bored.

He drank a tankard of ale before signing autographs and chatting to fans near the finish line of the Essex race.

'A revelation'

Charlie Mullins, managing director of Pimlico Plumbers, said he was "amazed" when Mr Martin appeared at work on Monday morning after his exertions.

He said: "I was amazed and delighted, he turned up on time and set to work polishing the vans. He's a revelation."

Mr Martin's trainer is marathon enthusiast Harmander Singh, who helped Fauja Singh, 96, break the London marathon record for the over-90s.

Buster, who lives in London, made headlines last year when he signed up as an agony uncle for men's magazine FHM, offering guidance to a younger generation.

He also found fame when The Zimmers, who had a combined age of more than 3,000 years, scored a hit single last year with a cover of The Who's My Generation.

101-year-old Buster Martin is training to become the world's oldest marathon runner
when he runs in the London marathon next month. He ran the half marathon last weekend,
completing it in just over five hours. (Pimlico Plumbers)

He Sings, He Runs and He's Only 101

Meet the Man Ready to Become World's Oldest Marathon Runner

Buster Martin is an unlikely candidate to set a marathon record. He drinks beer, smokes cigarettes and stays out late. And he's 101.

But Martin expects to shatter, or at least ease past, the record next month when he runs London's marathon. And he is counting on having a beer at the finish line.

"He smokes, drinks, stays out late, which is probably why he is still alive," said Charlie Mullins, the managing director of the plumbing company where Martin cleans vans.

When not working three days a week for Mullins, Martin can be found in a nearby boxing gym working with a pair of trainers in preparation for April's run. He refuses to be impressed by the fact that he is still running.

"I am not doing anything unusual. I am just running a marathon," he told ABC News.

Age is no more an obstacle to Martin's running than that strip of winners tape at the finish line. "You are never too old to do what you enjoy."

And Martin likes running, "but not as much as I like my beer," he added.

He is already a man of many firsts. Martin holds three world title records for the oldest person to run the 5K, 10K and the half marathon.

Martin says that in the last weekend, he's completed a 13-mile half marathon that took him a little more than five hours. It would have been faster, he says, but he says he stopped for a beer and a cigarette.

Martin runs in the name of charity. He is raising money for the Rhys Daniels Trust, which provides a "home from home" for parents of children having treatment for life-threatening illnesses.

Mullins describes him as a "remarkable chap, unbelievable. He's an ordinary fellow but remarkable at the same time especially for someone at his age to get involved in this sort of charity."

Martin is also the father of 17 children, which also doesn't impress him. "Pity I didn't have anymore kids," he said with a sigh.

He "likes to live life to the full. … He is as sharp as a razor," Mullins said. He told ABC that Martin's got "unbelievable hearing."

To his colleagues, at 101 years old, Martin is a "great inspiration, he's got a million stories to tell, he is so knowledgeable," his manager said.

To celebrate Martin's birthday, his work colleagues named a beer after him called Buster's Beer.

So, does his manager think Martin can achieve his goal of being the oldest runner in the world? "Undoubtedly," said Mullins.

Martin was also part of the seniors' rock 'n' roll group called the Zimmers.

The band had a combined age of more than 3,000 years and scored a hit single last year with a cover of The Who's ''My Generation.''

When asked what Mullins thought of Martin's voice, he replied, "It's actually quite good."


.....Guinness received information that Mr Martin, whose real name is Pierre Jean Martin, told NHS staff that he was born on September 1, 1913, not 1906, as he now claims. A senior adviser to the world record company warned Guinness officials that Mr Martin “appears to be a fake, and more so, one being exploited by his company, which is using him to promote their services”.....

Full Text :

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Yes, Running Can Make You High

Yes, Running Can Make You High

Published: March 27, 2008

THE runner’s high: Every athlete has heard of it, most seem to believe in it and many say they have experienced it. But for years scientists have reserved judgment because no rigorous test confirmed its existence.

Yes, some people reported that they felt so good when they exercised that it was as if they had taken mood-altering drugs. But was that feeling real or just a delusion? And even if it was real, what was the feeling supposed to be, and what caused it?

Some who said they had experienced a runner’s high said it was uncommon. They might feel relaxed or at peace after exercising, but only occasionally did they feel euphoric. Was the calmness itself a runner’s high?

Often, those who said they experienced an intense euphoria reported that it came after an endurance event.

My friend Marian Westley said her runner’s high came at the end of a marathon, and it was paired with such volatile emotions that the sight of a puppy had the power to make her weep.

Others said they experienced a high when pushing themselves almost to the point of collapse in a short, intense effort, such as running a five-kilometer race.

But then there are those like my friend Annie Hiniker, who says that when she finishes a 5-k race, the last thing she feels is euphoric. “I feel like I want to throw up,” she said.

The runner’s-high hypothesis proposed that there were real biochemical effects of exercise on the brain. Chemicals were released that could change an athlete’s mood, and those chemicals were endorphins, the brain’s naturally occurring opiates. Running was not the only way to get the feeling; it could also occur with most intense or endurance exercise.

The problem with the hypothesis was that it was not feasible to do a spinal tap before and after someone exercised to look for a flood of endorphins in the brain. Researchers could detect endorphins in people’s blood after a run, but those endorphins were part of the body’s stress response and could not travel from the blood to the brain. They were not responsible for elevating one’s mood. So for more than 30 years, the runner’s high remained an unproved hypothesis.

But now medical technology has caught up with exercise lore. Researchers in Germany, using advances in neuroscience, report in the current issue of the journal Cerebral Cortex that the folk belief is true: Running does elicit a flood of endorphins in the brain. The endorphins are associated with mood changes, and the more endorphins a runner’s body pumps out, the greater the effect.

Leading endorphin researchers not associated with the study said they accepted its findings.

“Impressive,” said Dr. Solomon Snyder, a neuroscience professor at Johns Hopkins and a discoverer of endorphins in the 1970’s.

“I like it,” said Huda Akil, a professor of neurosciences at the University of Michigan. “This is the first time someone took this head on. It wasn’t that the idea was not the right idea. It was that the evidence was not there.”

For athletes, the study offers a sort of vindication that runner’s high is not just a New Agey excuse for their claims of feeling good after a hard workout.

For athletes and nonathletes alike, the results are opening a new chapter in exercise science. They show that it is possible to define and measure the runner’s high and that it should be possible to figure out what brings it on. They even offer hope for those who do not enjoy exercise but do it anyway. These exercisers might learn techniques to elicit a feeling that makes working out positively addictive.

The lead researcher for the new study, Dr. Henning Boecker of the University of Bonn, said he got the idea of testing the endorphin hypothesis when he realized that methods he and others were using to study pain were directly applicable.

The idea was to use PET scans combined with recently available chemicals that reveal endorphins in the brain, to compare runners’ brains before and after a long run. If the scans showed that endorphins were being produced and were attaching themselves to areas of the brain involved with mood, that would be direct evidence for the endorphin hypothesis. And if the runners, who were not told what the study was looking for, also reported mood changes whose intensity correlated with the amount of endorphins produced, that would be another clincher for the argument.

Dr. Boecker and colleagues recruited 10 distance runners and told them they were studying opioid receptors in the brain. But the runners did not realize that the investigators were studying the release of endorphins and the runner’s high. The athletes had a PET scan before and after a two-hour run. They also took a standard psychological test that indicated their mood before and after running.

The data showed that, indeed, endorphins were produced during running and were attaching themselves to areas of the brain associated with emotions, in particular the limbic and prefrontal areas.

The limbic and prefrontal areas, Dr. Boecker said, are activated when people are involved in romantic love affairs or, he said, “when you hear music that gives you a chill of euphoria, like Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3.” The greater the euphoria the runners reported, the more endorphins in their brain.

“Some people have these really extreme experiences with very long or intensive training,” said Dr. Boecker, a casual runner and cyclist, who said he feels completely relaxed and his head is clearer after a run.

That was also what happened to the study subjects, he said: “You could really see the difference after two hours of running. You could see it in their faces.”

In a follow-up study, Dr. Boecker is investigating if running affects pain perception. “There are studies that showed enhanced pain tolerance in runners,” he said. “You have to give higher pain stimuli before they say, ‘O.K., this hurts.’ ”

And, he said, there are stories of runners who had stress fractures, even heart attacks, and kept on running.

Dr. Boecker and his colleagues have recruited 20 marathon runners and a similar number of nonathletes and are studying the perception of pain after a run, and whether there are related changes in brain scans. He is also having the subjects walk to see whether the effects, if any, are because of the intensity of the exercise.

The nonathletes can help investigators assess whether untrained people experience the same effects. Maybe one reason some people love intense exercise and others do not is that some respond with a runner’s high or changed pain perception.

Annie might question that. She loves to run, but wonders why. But her husband tells her that the look on her face when she is running is just blissful. So maybe even she gets a runner’s high.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Autistic Celebration Run - The Video

Up until now, Alex's video of his 300+Km, Tip-to-Tip on PEI, Autistic Celebration Run, was only available in 3 parts on YouTube. Now, for your enjoyment, here it is as it was intended, all one piece (~21 minutes) on Vimeo.

Alex made this short video as part of his presentation at the Prince Edward Island Marathon Speakers Series
in October, 2006.

Here is the introduction I gave it when we first posted it (in 3 parts) on his iRunan Blog:

"When Alex first told me he wanted to run across PEI, he told me he wanted to make a documentary about it. So, shortly before we took off, I rolled up my jars of saved quarters and loonies ($1. coins) and we bought a little video camera.

We didn't get a lot of footage. It was hard enough biking and keeping my balance, snapping all the photos I did was quite a bonus, but trying to video as we were in motion proved next to impossible. Every morning (except the morning we were in Charlottetown and discovered the camera had been left on and the batteries were dead) we started our day with Alex's commentary. We do have some footage from the trail, far more than made it into this final cut. His first movie was over an hour and a quarter long. Because, at the time, he was putting it together to show during our PEI Marathon presentation I told him he'd have to cut it down to about 30 minutes and he cut out all the actual Run video except, I think, a bit in Summerside, the Police escort into Kensington, and the bit at the end as he reaches the East Point lighthouse.

What he ended up with in this video short is a 21 minute video that tells the story of his run, in daily commentary of where we are and where we're going, his choice of photos from that day, and his choice of music to help tell his story. He has captioned it to accommodate his poor articulation so you'll all understand him.

Again thanks to everyone who helped make the Run possible and helped out along the way."


The Autistic Celebration Run, Tip-to-Tip Prince Edward Island.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Mouse Island Marathon - New at the Provincial Library

For Island runners with young kids (4-8).....

There's a new book at the Provincial Library, The Mouse Island Marathon by by Geronimo Stilton (translated from the Italian La maratona più pazza del mondo!). I know nothing about it but maybe it will help your children understand this crazy thing you do....

Book Description
I admit it. I'm not much of a muscle mouse. So when I accidentally got signed up for the Mouse Island Marathon, I was so shocked that I lost my squeak! Me, run a marathon? But my friends and family were determined to help me cross that finish line. Holey cheese, I was never going to make it!

128 Pages, Ages 4-8.
Check it out....

Boston Marathon to Air Live Locally and Nationally

Boston Marathon to Air Live

Locally and Nationally

WBZ-TV and VERSUS to Again Televise Race

Posted Tuesday, 25 March, 2008

BOSTON, Mass. – The Boston Athletic Association announced today that the 112th Boston Marathon will be televised live, wire-to-wire, both locally and nationally on Monday, April 21.

WBZ-TV (CBS owned-and-operated, Channel 4) will once again be providing live local coverage. Their broadcast will run from 8 a.m. (ET) until 3 p.m. (ET). WBZ-TV, now a partner of the Boston Athletic Association for 28 years, will be the only local television station providing live wire-to-wire coverage.

VERSUS will once again televise the Boston Marathon for the fourth consecutive year. The telecast will air from 9:30 a.m. (ET) to 12:30 p.m. (ET), making the Boston Marathon the only road race in the United States to have a complete, live, national telecast.

The 2008 Boston Marathon will be held on Monday, April 21, 2008, Patriots' Day in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The race will begin with the Elite Women's Start at 9:35 a.m.

"We're excited to once again partner with WBZ-TV and VERSUS to make the Boston Marathon the only U.S. road race to air live, wire-to-wire, locally and nationally," said Guy Morse, Executive Director of the Boston Athletic Association. "Boston is one of the most prestigious races in the world, so it's fitting to have such respected outlets as television partners so that our race can be enjoyed by fans around Boston and across the country on April 21."

Established in 1887, the Boston Athletic Association is a non-profit organization with a mission of managing athletic events and promoting a healthy lifestyle through sports, especially running. The B.A.A.'s Boston Marathon is the world's oldest annual marathon, and the organization manages other local events and supports comprehensive charity, youth, and year-round running programs. Since 1986, the principal sponsor of the Boston Marathon has been John Hancock Financial Services.


Site gets run for its money buys rights to Boston Marathon

By Donna Goodison | Tuesday, March 25, 2008 |

Running enthusiasts across the globe will be able to watch this year’s Boston Marathon by traveling no further than their computers.

The 112th running of one of the world’s most storied races will be streamed live online to an international audience this year for the first time ever .

The Boston Athletic Association has sold the Internet rights to the April 21 marathon to the World Championship Sports Network, which will showcase the race online at

Los Angeles-based WCSN is a paid-subscription network dedicated to year-round Web and cable TV coverage of the 35 sports featured in the Olympic Games and the athletes who compete in them. It also syndicates sports clips to a variety of online outlets, including YouTube and Yahoo! [YHOO] Sports.

“They’re definitely a prestigious partner for us in what’s a new industry and a new audience online,” BAA spokesman Marc Chalufour said. “They cover a huge level of sports at a very elite level.”

WCSN will stream the Versus cable TV network’s feed of the marathon, with experts Al Trautwig and Larry Rawson providing commentary.

Versus is the BAA’s national TV broadcast partner, while Boston-based WBZ-TV has the local rights to the marathon.

“For running, which is probably our most important category, we have really worked very hard to aggregate as many of the major marathons around the world for our customers - a season of marathons,” said Claude Ruibal, WCSN’s co-founder and CEO.

Last year, about 25,000 viewers watched a live Webcast of the London Marathon on despite the time difference.

Ruibal expects an even larger audience for the Boston Marathon.

However, neither the nonprofit BAA nor WCSN would disclose the value of their Internet-rights deal.

Alex will be there for every minute of coverage, as he always is,

and he'll be watching for the Island's finest - 21 Islanders will be there

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Cornwall and area sports groups to raise money

Cornwall and area sports groups to raise money
The Guardian

CORNWALL - Cornwall and area sports groups are planning a major event for May 24th that could raise a good deal of money for school breakfast programs in the area and a local sports equipment fund.

The first annual Let's Give Back Campaign will incorporate a walk/run-a-thon, games, an inflatable play area, sports clinics, a barbecue, a yard sale and other attractions.

Slated for the Cornwall Turf Field this fun-filled day is jointly sponsored by the North River Minor Hockey Association, Cornwall & area Skating Club, Cornwall & Area Minor Ball Association, Eliot River Ramblers Soccer & Timberwolves Football.

These events, which will take place between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. that day, are open to parents, players, area residents of all ages and anyone else interested in making the community an active, family-friendly place to live.

Pledge sheets will be distributed in area schools May 1.

They can also be picked up at the town hall.

Prizes will be awarded to the top pledge in each school, the top class in each school and the top four students overall.

There is also a prize for the top pledge who is not a student.

Door prizes will be drawn for throughout the day.

Fifty per cent of the proceeds will go to the Westwood, Eliot River and East Wiltshire School breakfast programs and the Bluefield Sports Equipment Fund.

Further information on the Let's Give Back Campaign is available by calling 628-6260.

On the run - Kinesiologist Stan Chaisson & PEI In Motion

Stan Chaisson, owner of P.E.I. In Motion, works with UPEI student Katie Younker on a training program.
His business is working with people to reach their running and fitness goals. Guardian photo by Jim Day

The Guardian

Stan Chaisson, who hit the ground running early in life, has headed full stride into his young business called PEI In Motion.

The 25-year-old certified Charlottetown kinesiologist has had a passion to run dating back at least to Grade 1, when he always found himself, at or near, the front of the pack.

He grew up in Bear River, located west of Souris, in a fine-tuned fiddle family.

All of his siblings — Stephen, Bradley, Andrew and Melanie — can rosin’ up the bow with considerable skill. His mother, Doreen, may not have the Chaisson fiddle genes, but she can do a fancy step dance or two.
Stan Chaisson’s father, Peter, would commonly awaken the household by eagerly playing the fiddle.
“The alarm clock was fiddle music and it still is when I go visit,’’ said Chaisson. “My father plays every morning, pretty much.’’
Retired from his former work as a labourer in the Georgetown Shipyard, Peter is pivotal in putting on the long-running Rollo Bay Fiddle Festival each summer. Peter also likes his adult children, Stan included, to fiddle as a family.

“I can always do enough to get by,’’ said Stan Chaisson.

But he has been, for as long as he can remember, far more focused on moving his feet fast than in trying to race a bow across strings. Chaisson was a boy on the run.

“Right after school, our book bags didn’t even make it into the house before we were playing soccer on our field or in our front yard,’’ he said.

A natural athlete, Chaisson was big into high school sports, playing basketball, badminton and especially shining as a soccer player. He was named MVP and most sportsmanlike player one year for the Souris Regional High School soccer squad.

He still plays soccer today, in the men’s senior league, and has also taken a serious hand at squash.
But running — running far and running fast — has always been Chaisson’s greatest passion.
Adrenaline rushes and nervous energy before a race still have him eager to toe the starting line.
In Grade 8, he won an Atlantic cross-country running championship.

He raced across the Confederation Bridge in 1997, in the run to mark the official opening of the fixed link. Only 14 at the time, he finished in the top 50 among the thousands, including many seasoned runners, who laced up for the 13-kilometre run.

Chaisson won the provincial cross-country championship in every single one of his high school years.
Then he shot through Dalhousie University, picking up along the way in 2005 a bachelor of science in kinesiology — the study of the mechanics of motion with respect to the human anatomy. He was named Atlantic University Sport (AUS) rookie of the year for cross country in his first year at Dal.

In 2004, he received Canadian Inter-University Sport Cross-Country All-Canadian honours. The following year, he was named Atlantic champion in the 3,000 metres.

His fastest 10-kilometre race at Dalhousie — a time of 32 minutes and nine seconds — came in his fourth year.
He hasn’t slowed down much since returning to the Island to start his P.E.I. In Motion business.

He has won the Prince Edward Island half marathon the past two years running, accomplishing the feat in a mere one hour, 12 minutes and 14 seconds in 2007.

Chaisson hopes to work his way up to taking competitive runs at big marathons, like the ones in Boston and New York City.

He is certainly used to, well, running around. He has travelled throughout Canada, the United States and most recently Europe to compete in various national and international races.

He feels through his long-running running experiences and his training at Dalhousie, he has learned the skills needed to help motivate and inspire others.

Others agree.

Blair Cutcliffe, Joints in Motion co-ordinator with the Arthritis Society, P.E.I. division, is thrilled with Chaisson’s talent to work people into shape.

Chaisson is now in his second year of training people for Joints in Motion, a program designed to raise funds for the Arthritis Society by people who train to complete a marathon in one of any number of spectacular locales, such as Dublin, Ireland.

“Stanley has been fantastic,’’' said Cutcliffe.

“Stanley is quite well rounded and is able to help anyone regardless of their experience.’’

Last year, for example, Chaisson worked with a 56-year-old woman who has arthritis.

He included getting her into a pool to train, helping reduce the strain on her body. The woman went on to walk a full marathon in Athens, Greece — home to this long run that dates back some 2,500 years — in a time that was 45 minutes faster than her previous best.

Charlottetown lawyer Brian McKenna also put his faith in Chaisson to help in running his first ever marathon in 2007. He is full of praise for Chaisson’s structured and personable approach.

“Stanley is great because he is so encouraging,’’ said McKenna, who successfully completed the Prince Edward Island Marathon last year.

“He’s sincere. Even if you are just hobbling around, he makes you feel great.’’

Chaisson was named male runner of the year for 2007 by the P.E.I. RoadRunners Club, an honour awarded not only on the basis of a runner’s race times but also on his involvement in club activities and on his promotion of the sport of running in P.E.I.

His clientele range from elite athletes like Tyler Reid, a nationally ranked triathlete, to people who have never trained to run signing up for his introductory classes.

“You get all shapes and sizes,’’ he said. “It’s amazing to see how people improve by training properly.’’
Chaisson said challenging people to improve their fitness is a rewarding job.

“It’s the best feeling to see someone reach their goal and know you had something to do with it,’’ he said. "It’s awesome.’’

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Grant’s sights set on Beijing

Grant’s sights set on Beijing
Modern pentathlete is working hard to achieve her goal
The Guardian

SUMMERSIDE — Stratford P.E.I.’s Kara Grant is well on her way to representing Canada at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games this summer in modern pentathlon.

“I’m working really hard,” Grant said in an interview Wednesday. “We’re in the home stretch. I have two more months left before the qualification period ends and I have several important events.”

Grant won a bronze medal in the World Cup competition 10 days ago. It was her first World Cup medal and a very significant factor in her Olympic qualification.

“That’s really good news for me and I’m in a very secure position for Olympic qualification,” she said. “It won’t be finalized until the end of May, after the world championships, which are taking place in Budapest. But I’m in a very secure position now and I have the confidence after this (bronze medal) result to go out there and get another result like that or even better.”

As a modern pentathlete, Grant competes in five disciplines — shooting, fencing, swimming, show jumping and running.

Competing in one Olympic event requires hours of training and sacrifice, but the Stratford native is involved in five separate competitions.

“I train about 35 hours a week right now and I average about four training sessions a day,” she said. “It could be anywhere from a shoot in the morning, followed by and hour-and-a-half swim, a break and then a riding lesson after lunch and a running session in the evening or sometimes a fencing session. I have a few other things I do such as strength training and things like that. It really keeps me busy and out of trouble.

Grant got involved in the competition through the Charlottetown Pony Club, which she said no longer exists.

“Hopefully, it will come back,” she said. “I did a lot of riding as I was growing up here on the Island and that was the real inspiration to me. I got involved in the tetrathlon, which is four sports. Then I heard about pentathlon and took up fencing.”

The competition opened a lot of doors for Grant and she took advantage of them.

“I realized that if I wanted to pursue that there would be an opportunity to perhaps compete nationally and internationally,” she said. “Then I realized perhaps I could compete in the Pan American Games and maybe the Olympics.”

She said her arrival at the Olympic level didn’t come overnight. It came through a series of steps along the way.

“I think that’s the thing people have to remember with striving for big goals,” she said. “It’s certainly possible. There are lots of steps along the way, and if you’re willing to make a plan and work hard, there are all kinds of opportunities available out there for people to do all kinds of things, whether that be high-performance sports or some other activity that really inspires them.”

Grant is not a newcomer to national and international competition and isn’t certain how many times she has competed.

“I don’t know (how many) to be honest,” she said. “I’ve been competing for 10 years. I’ve probably averaged between seven and 12 competitions a year. Probably in the range of between 80 and 100.”

A lot has been made of the poor air quality that exists in Beijing, but Grant doesn’t see that as a hindrance to her performance.

“It’s not really a big concern of mine at this point,” she said. “Of the five events, three of them will be indoors. The running is the only one that will be affected. We only run a three-kilometre (event) and we only compete once and three kilometres hopefully will be over in 10 minutes.”

Kara Grant's Website

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Letter from PEI's Premier, Robert Ghiz

This letter arrived in the mail yesterday....

(Click to Enlarge & Read)
Thank You PEI RoadRunners - Volunteer of the Year

Without volunteers, there would be no runs & races
My hat is off to all the volunteers

Premier Robert Ghiz at the 2007 Terry Fox Run in Charlottetown

Premier Robert Ghiz running the Half-Marathon at the 2007 PEI Marathon

Running News - Gebrselassie skips Beijing, Shay's cause of death

Gebrselassie will skip Beijing marathon

(CNN) -- World record holder Haile Gebrselassie has again ruled out competing in the marathon at the Beijing Olympics, telling a Spanish newspaper that he would be "committing suicide" by running in unfavorable conditions.

Gebrselassie, who suffers from asthma, told El Pais that he would instead try to qualify for the Ethiopian team in the shorter 10,000 meters track event. He was Olympic champion over the distance in Atlanta and Sydney.

His decision comes a day after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced that it would consider postponing events at the Games such as the marathon if they felt conditions were unsafe.

"I have no intention of committing suicide in Beijing," Gebrselassie was quoted.

"I know that several other athletes are starting to have doubts about this.

"It's purely a personal decision that I have taken to protect my health. I do not want to endanger my future. I do not want to kill myself in Beijing.

"The marathon will be impossible because of the pollution, heat and humidity."

Gebrselassie added that he would attempt to finish his career with victory in the marathon at the London Olympics in 2012 when he would be 39.

Concerns about pollution led the IOC medical commission to hire independent experts to conduct a study into air quality.

They concuded that heat and humidity would pose just as big a threat to long distance athletes.

"We find that the competitions, although not necessarily under ideal conditions at every moment ... will be good for athletes to compete during the Beijing Games."

However, the IOC's commission conceded there will be some risk to competitors in endurance events "that include minimum one hour continuous physical efforts at high level - urban road cycling, mountain bike, marathon, marathon swimming, triathlon and road walk."

And the risk is deemed high enough for the IOC to begin working on "procedures which will allow a 'plan B' to be activated for such events if necessary."

The 34-year-old Gebrselassie holds the world marathon record of two hours four minutes and 26 seconds.

Heart Condition Led to Runner’s Death

Published: March 19, 2008

More than four months after Ryan Shay collapsed in Central Park during the United States Olympic marathon trials, the New York City medical examiner determined that his death was caused by an irregular heartbeat that stemmed from an enlarged and scarred heart.

Shay, who was 28 when he died Nov. 3 in pursuit of a berth in the Beijing Olympics, was found to have an enlarged heart at age 14, according to his father, Joe Shay. The medical examiner could not determine the origin of the patchy scars, called fibrosis.

Ellen Borakove, a spokeswoman for the medical examiner, said she could not comment on the specific results of the toxicology tests as a matter of policy, nor could she reveal what chemicals were tested for. Joe Shay said none of the toxicology tests were positive, although he did not know what tests were conducted.

“I believe it was a fair and accurate assessment,” Joe Shay said Tuesday in a telephone interview from the family’s home in Central Lake, Mich. He was informed of the results by telephone and e-mail messages from the medical examiner’s office and was awaiting a copy of the full report.

“Everything that could be done was done,” he said, “and it’s great that they devoted so much time to this.”

Shay arrived in New York last fall with aspirations of making his first Olympic team, but about five and a half miles into the race he collapsed. He was taken to Lenox Hill Hospital and was pronounced dead at 8:46 a.m., while the 26.2-mile race was still under way.

The 2003 United States marathon champion, Shay was seemingly as fit as any elite endurance athlete, leading to speculation after his death that he may have had a condition known as athlete’s heart, an enlarged heart developed from training. Dr. Paul Thompson, a cardiologist in Hartford who specializes in heart disease in athletes, said the scars detected in the autopsy probably ruled that out.

“With athlete’s heart, you shouldn’t have fibrosis,” Dr. Thompson said.

“Patchy fibrosis means something in the past injured the heart. Usually a viral infection leads to the death of some cells, and when heart cells die, they’re replaced by fibrotic tissue, which is tough, stringy stuff. These tough scars can set up abnormal electrical currents. If normal conductivity gets blocked, it can result in fast abnormal rhythms and a person can die.”

Joe Shay said the medical examiner’s office told him the scars suggested “old damage.”

“But I don’t know what old is,” he said. “Could go back to when he was 14 years old, because that’s when he had the pneumonia. I think they’re going to archive some of the samples, because in 10 years they may be able to test. Right now, they don’t.”

As the medical examiner investigated Shay’s death, the Shay family became concerned that a genetic disease called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, known as HCM, was the cause. HCM is the leading cause of sudden cardiac death in young people in the United States.

“I have a son that runs 80-100 miles a week,” Joe Shay said, referring to Stephan, the youngest of his eight children and an athlete at Brigham Young University. “I wanted to know, ‘Are we going to have the same problems here?’ ”

Signs of HCM include the thickening of the heart’s walls and a disarray of muscle cells that would normally appear aligned as bricks in a wall. But a group of cardiologists determined that Shay’s heart did not reveal that condition, so they chose not to conduct three types of genetic tests.

Shay was found to have an enlarged heart when he was a teenager. Three years after having a chest X-ray when he had pneumonia, Shay was in a minor car accident and had another chest X-ray at the same hospital. “They compared the two X-rays and said his heart was getting bigger,” Joe Shay said.

The condition never seemed to hamper Shay. He won 11 state high school titles, an N.C.A.A. championship at 10,000 meters while at Notre Dame, and the marathon national championship in 2003. He ran a personal best of 2 hours 14 minutes 8 seconds and placed ninth at the 2004 New York City Marathon.

Shay’s younger brother Nathan said he was found to have a heart arrhythmia during his own running career at Notre Dame and quit the sport after a doctor said he might risk a heart attack while competing.

Shay’s wife, Alicia Craig, also a world-class runner, has resumed training in Flagstaff, Ariz.

She said in a telephone interview Tuesday that she planned to compete for an Olympic berth in the 10,000 meters at the United States track and field trials this summer in Eugene, Ore.

Ryan Hall, the winner of the men’s marathon trials, has said he will dedicate his Olympic marathon to Shay.

On Nov. 2, several months after the Beijing Games, Shay’s parents plan to attend the New York City Marathon for a tribute to their son and the running community. They will stand near the Central Park boathouse, where Shay took his final steps.

Important - Please read changing

Hard to believe.....

I first signed onto the Internet, with ISN (Island Services Network), on April 14th, 1995. Although I wasn't "jypsy@" for another year or so, I have always had (and exclusively used) an "" email address. Now, after 12 years, "" is about to be no more.

A couple of months ago ISN was sold to Eastlink. Despite promises made to us by ISN's owner, and promises made to him by Eastlink, Eastlink sent out an email a couple of days ago to inform us that AS OF APRIL 15th our email addresses would be deactivated and any mail sent there would bounce!

Eastlink's customer service is on the very far end of the spectrum from ISN's.

Well, I guess they heard from enough of us as they have relented now and given us until the end of the year.

Meanwhile I've spent a good many hours already changing over various accounts, groups, subscriptions etc etc etc to another, permanent, email, and I haven't got them all yet. (I can't imagine how many more hours/days/weeks it would have taken if I hadn't recently acquired highspeed!)

So..... if I'm in your address book you might as well make the change now.
Please change "" to "".

As well, if you are linked to my webpage, or have it bookmarked, and still use the "" URL, change my URL to .

Currently, and for a while, both the PlanetAutism URL and email address bounce to my ISN address. At some point though this will change and they will bounce over to a different address. It WILL NOT be Eastlink.

ISP delays e-mail name change for P.E.I. users

March 19, 2008

Eastlink will give customers it picked up with the purchase of a P.E.I. internet service more time to change their e-mail addresses, following complaints.
'I get 90 per cent of my bookings off the e-mail.' — Jane Dunphy, B&B owner

Former customers of Island Services Network were shocked to learn this week that Eastlink was giving them one month to change their e-mail addresses. In particular, it was a serious problem for dozens of tourist operators.

"I get 90 per cent of my bookings off the e-mail. I'm one of 64 people in the tourist guide who have ISN addresses; that can't be changed," said Jane Dunphy, who owns Annandale Bed and Breakfast in eastern P.E.I.

Dunphy was given 30 days notice of the change via e-mail, and was one of several upset customers who complained to Eastlink about the sudden change. Dunphy said the company needs to recognize e-mail addresses have become as important as phone numbers.

Eastlink bought ISN in January.

"We do understand that this was an inconvenience to customers," said Eastlink spokeswoman Paula Sibley, following the complaints.

"We didn't provide them with sufficient time. We apologize, and now we're working to extend that period again until Dec. 31."

The change has Dunphy relieved she will be able to concentrate on making her guests comfortable, rather than worrying if they will be able to reach her.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Beijing air quality poses some risk to athletes: IOC

Beijing air quality

poses some risk to athletes: IOC

Monday, March 17, 2008

The IOC's top medical officer said Beijing's air quality is better than expected, although a study shows there are risks to athletes in outdoor endurance events and conditions may be less than ideal during this summer's Olympic Games.

Arne Ljungqvist, chairman of the International Olympic Committee's Medical Commission, said Monday that an analysis by four independent experts of data supplied by Beijing organizers found heat and humidity might be a greater threat to athletes than the city's noxious air.

IOC president Jacques Rogge has repeatedly said that outdoor endurance events would be postponed if the air quality is poor, which would be a huge embarrassment for organizers hoping to feature a clean, modern city.

The release of the IOC study comes as protests in Tibet against Chinese rule throw a spotlight on Beijing's human rights record, which — like Beijing's pollution — has come in for heavy criticism with the Games fewer than five months away.

"In general terms I must say that I am sort of pleased really with the outcome of this analysis," Ljungqvist said, speaking on a conference call from Sweden.

"We find that the competitions, although not necessarily under ideal conditions at every moment … will be good for athletes to compete during the Beijing Games."

Ljungqvist said the data was gathered on Aug. 8-29, 2007, in Beijing, dates that roughly match this year's Olympics — and were supplied after the IOC requested the study. He said athletes would not need to compete with face masks, which at least one international federation had initially suggested.

He said athletes with asthma would not need to take "any particular precautions or actions but be aware there may arise a problem that can arise in any place on Earth."

"The risk is more related to the fact that they may not perform at the best level," Ljungqvist said. "It means we may not see much of world records under unfavourable conditions, but that's not the main purpose of the Olympic Games — to set records."

Air quality to be monitored daily

Ljungqvist said the IOC and the relevant international federations would monitor daily air quality and had a B plan if needed. He said the decision to postpone any event would be made by the IOC executive board and IOC co-ordinating commission.

Though ski races have been postponed at the Winter Games, he said he did not know of an Olympic event that had been postponed because of pollution.

"This to my knowledge is the first time in sports history we are conducting an analysis like the one we have been conducting," Ljungqvist said. "Air pollution has not been an issue until this time. But we have been in polluted places earlier without paying attention or making any analysis at all."

He said World Health Organization guidelines would be used to judge pollution, heat and humidity levels. He said any postponement would be explained openly. WHO has said some pollution levels in the Chinese capital are five times over their safety level.

"There is no single parameter that would be decisive for the postponement of an event," he said. "There would be a number of data, including concentration of pollutants, wind conditions, heat and humidity and so forth. There is no exact level. … It will be an evaluation based on numerous pieces of information and we will issue an explanation as to why."

Ljungqvist said he received full co-operation from Beijing authorities and had confidence in their data. He said some Beijing officials "were not so happy" when some data were requested, fearing some of the findings might not be "ideal."

"There is an awareness among Beijing authorities that they have a sort of problem; that air pollution is an issue for the Olympic Games and they are taking it seriously," Ljungqvist said.

"I think we are facing a problem that could not be that well foreseen at the time when the decision was taken," he said of Beijing's selection seven years ago by the IOC. "But now we are there and we have to cope with it."

Monday, March 17, 2008

Planned athletics complex too small for football

Planned athletics complex too small for football

Canada Games organizers should be thinking about football when they break ground on a new $6 million outdoor facility at UPEI, says Charlottetown city councillor Mitchell Tweel.

As currently planned, there is no room for a football field in the middle of the running track, Tweel told CBC News Friday.

Football isn't part of the Games, so accommodating that sport hasn't been a priority.

"As far as being football ready, our requirement and our focus is to have an athletics complex that is of standard for national athletics and for the Canada Games," said Paul M. Schurman, 2009 Games committee spokesman.

It's been almost 30 years since UPEI fielded a varsity football team, but when university pigskin fans heard the Canada Games track and field complex would be built on campus, they got excited. Tweel believes the facility should be built with the future in mind, adding that's not a particular strength for Charlottetown.

"We don't build buildings and facilities for today and tomorrow. We build them for yesterday," said Tweel.

"It's not being visionary … If we're going to construct a multi-purpose field and spend five to six million dollars, I would argue do it right the first time."

UPEI athletic director Ron Annear didn't return calls from CBC News, but has publicly stated that if football becomes a priority for the school, changes to the field can be made.

Tweel argues it would be cheaper to make plans to accommodate football before building the complex.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

St. Patty's Day 5K Fun Run for Easter Seals

3rd Annual St. Patty's Day 5K Fun Run for Easter Seals

It was cloudy and -10 degrees.

The course was different the last year. It was same as UPEI Homecoming Run. It out and back course at UPEI and trail.

I wore a new blue Speedstar shoes my mom won at the banquet.

The whole race with Sean MacNeill and finished in tie with Sean in 21:18 came in 15th out of 50 runners.

Leo McCosham for top male and Jenna Gallant for top female.

Good music afterwards! I won the 6 months membership to UPEI Chi Wan Young Sports Centre and give to my mother.

Running For Autism
Not Against It
acceptance not cure

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Jamie Mutch, Finalist for Sport PEI Administrator of the Year Award

Thursday, March 13th, 2008
(click to enlarge & read)
Good Luck Jamie, you are most deserving of this recognition, if not the Award itself.

RoadRunners choose best from past year

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

(click to enlarge & read)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Boston Marathon - The PEI Entries and the Elite International Entries

Prince Edward Island Registered Entries
(click to enlarge)

Good Luck All !

2008 Boston Marathon

Elite International Field Announced

Five Past Champions, Course Record Holders, 2007 Runner-ups. Head Field of 31 Athletes for 112th Running.

Posted Wednesday, 12 March, 2008

BOSTON, MA (March 12, 2008)—In its 23rd year as principal sponsor of the Boston Marathon, John Hancock Financial today announced its elite team of 31 marathon runners from eight countries set for the 112th running of the race on Monday, April 21.

Headlining the field are defending champions Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot of Kenya and Lidiya Grigoryeva of Russia.
Back to challenge Cheruiyot and Grigoryeva are past champions Rita Jeptoo, Timothy Cherigat and Margaret Okayo. Cheruiyot and Okayo are the current course record holders.

Also set to challenge the defending champion’s are last year’s second-place finishers Jelena Prokopcuka and James Kwambai.

The Men’s Field
Cheruiyot, the champion in 2003, 2006 and 2007, seeks to become the first Kenyan man to claim four Boston Marathon crowns. Cheruiyot also won Chicago in 2006, Milan in 2002 and was named the inaugural World Marathon Majors Series Champion.

Kwambai, a past marathon winner in Brescia and Beijing, shadowed Cheruiyot until mile 25 last year before the champion surged for the win. Cherigat, who won a tactical race in 2004, has five starts in Boston and the experience to secure another title.

Chasing the trio is a talented pack led by Patrick Ivuti of Kenya, the 2007 Chicago champion; Stephen Kiogora of Kenya, last year’s third place finisher; Gashaw Asfaw of Ethiopia, the 2006 Paris winner and Abderrahime Bouramdane of Morocco, the 2007 runner up in Seoul and Ottawa. Added to the mix are Christopher Cheboiboch, the 2007 Las Vegas winner; William Kiplagat, the 2007 Lake Biwa runner-up and 2:07 marathoner Shadrack Kiplagat. All three runners are from Kenya.

Young talent set for this world-class race includes 21-year-old Yirefu Birhanu of Ethiopia, the 2006 Baltimore winner and 23-year-old James Mwangi Macharia of Kenya, who finished second in Vienna in

Also expected to make an impact are Abdelhadi El Mouaziz of Morocco, who won his debut last year in San Sebastian; James Koskei of Kenya, the 2007 Dallas winner, and four time European Cross-Country Champion Paulo Guerra of Portugal. Rounding out the men’s field are Khalid El Boumlili of Morocco and Tariku Aboset, Kasime Adillo, Tesfaye Girma and Dejene Yirdaw, all of Ethiopia.

The Women’s Field
On the women’s side, with three champions in the field, a two-time runner-up, and a new generation of international talent, John Hancock’s elite team is a strong mix of experienced runners and rising stars.

Russian Lidiya Grigoryeva has the edge coming into the race as the defending champion. As a two-time Olympian at 10,000 meters she has the closing speed to win if the lead pack stays tight. She also set a course record at the 2006 Los Angeles Marathon and was champion at the 2005 Paris Marathon.

Challenging Grigoryeva is 2006 Boston Champion Rita Jeptoo and 2002 Champion Margaret Okayo, both of Kenya. Jeptoo returns to improve upon her fourth place finish in last year’s Nor’easter. Okayo holds the course record and the fastest time in the field at 2:20:43. Okayo is a two-time New York City and Rock ‘n’ Roll winner and past champion in London and Milan.

Two-time runner-up Jelena Prokopcuka of Latvia, also has much to prove at this year’s race. Although she bested both Grigoryeva and Jeptoo during her two New York City wins, she finished behind Grigoryeva last year in Boston and in 2006 finished second to Jeptoo.

Challenging the leaders are talented newcomers Askale Tafa Magarsa and Dire Tune, both of Ethiopia. Magarsa is the 2007 Paris, 2007 Dubai and 2006 Milan champion, and Tune won in Hong Kong in 2006 and set course records in Houston in 2007 and 2008.

Close on their heels and debuting on the Boston course are Ukrainian national record holder Tetyana Kuzina-Hladyr and 2007 Amsterdam winner Magdaline Chemjor of Kenya.

Additional competition will come from returnees Alevtina Biktimirova of Russia, the winner of the 2007 Honolulu Marathon; Italian Olympian Bruna Genovese, a past winner of the Tokyo Women’s Marathon, and 21-year-old Robe Tola Guta of Ethiopia, the 2006 Hamburg Marathon champion.

The blend of athletes with experience on the course and those new to the challenges of the hilly Hopkinton to Boston route should lead to a highly competitive men’s and women’s race.
A complete field list follows.


Name Country Personal Best Marathon
Margaret Okayo Kenya 2:20:43 (Boston 2002) CR
Jelena Prokopcuka Latvia 2:22:56 (Osaka 2005) NR
Askale Tafa Magarsa Ethiopia 2:23:23 (Dubai 2008)
Rita Jeptoo Kenya 2:23:38 (Boston 2006)
Robe Tola Guta Ethiopia 2:24:35 (Hamburg 2006) CR
Dire Tune Ethiopia 2:24:40 (Houston 2008) CR
Lidiya Grigoryeva Russia 2:25:10 (Los Angeles 2006) CR
Alevtina Biktimirova Russia 2:25:12 (Frankfurt 2005) CR
Bruna Genovese Italy 2:25:28 (Boston 2006)
Tetyana Kuzina-Hladyr Ukraine 2:25:44 (Rome 2006) NR
Magdaline Chemjor Kenya 2:28:16 (Amsterdam 2007)

Name Country Personal Best Marathon
William Kiplagat Kenya 2:06:50 (Amsterdam 1999)
Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot Kenya 2:07:14 (Boston 2006) CR
Patrick Ivuti Kenya 2:07:46 (Chicago 2005)
Shadrack Kiplagat Kenya 2:07:53 (Amsterdam 2007)
Gashaw Asfaw Ethiopia 2:08:03 (Paris 2006)
Christopher Cheboiboch Kenya 2:08:17 (New York 2002)
Abderrahime Bouramdane Morocco 2:08:20 (Seoul 2007)
Yirefu Birhanu Ethiopia 2:09:01 (Seoul 2007)
Stephen Kiogora Kenya 2:09:21 (Chicago 2004)
Timothy Cherigat Kenya 2:09: 34 (San Sebastian 2002) CR
James Kwambai Kenya 2:10:20 (Brescia 2006)
Kasime Adillo Ethiopia 2:10:20 (Toronto 2007)
James Mwangi Macharia Kenya 2:10:27 (Vienna 2007)
Khalid El Boumlili Morocco 2:10:49 (Marrakesh 2004)
Paulo Guerra Portugal 2:11:02 (Berlin 1998)
Dejene Yirdaw Ethiopia 2:11:08 (Dublin 2007)
Tariku Aboset Ethiopia 2:12:24 (Dubai 2008)
Abdelhadi El Mouaziz Morocco 2:12:45 (San Sebastian 2007)
Tesfaye Girma Ethiopia 2:13:37 (Addis Ababa 2003)
James Koskei Kenya 2:14:02 (Dubai 2007)

NR=National Record
CR=Course Record