As the weather starts to warm up and people get outside more, what better time is there to become the runner you’ve always wanted to be?
As a newly-minted passionate runner, I have been overjoyed to share my love of this hobby for three years now.
In the past three years, I’ve made amazing friends, connected with so many people in the Hamilton running community and here at Six Nations, and learned so much about “the sport for everybody.”
But what I know about running is nothing compared to the guests we plan to have on Smoke Signals on Jukasa Radio at 7 p.m. tonight if you want to tune in!
Two of my favourite running leaders from Hamilton will be live with us on air to discuss two main topics as they relate to running, namely, inclusivity and how to get started.
We will hear from CEO of Steeltown Athletic Club Vincent Kuber, and running coach Jacob Haas, founder of How To Run Forever.
In future episodes, we hope to talk about the relationship between running and women, running and its history in Indigenous culture, and many other subjects related to running as one of the best, and least expensive, ways to get fit for years to come.
For myself, running has been my salvation during the Covid pandemic. I quit smoking cold turkey in March 2020, just as the pandemic was declared, and I started running seriously three months later.
It has been a salve for my weight loss and mental health journey and it’s now a passion that I (and most runners, to be honest) can’t stop talking about to anyone who will listen.
I ran my first marathon (42 km) in November 2022, and this May 27, I will be running my first ultramarathon (50 km) at the Sulphur Springs Trail Race at Dundas Valley Conservation Area.
It’s a sport that many people loathe. They wonder why on earth a person would torture themselves, on purpose, to run what seems to be inhumane distances.
But in reality, humans were created for long-distance running, as we used to hunt prey for days on end, so the notion that modern humans still love to run long distances (not for hunting anymore though) isn’t that silly at all.
Compared to other mammals, our bodies have evolved to hunt prey for long distances, especially when you consider our top-notch built-in cooling mechanisms and bodily adaptations.
The physical and emotional benefits of running are tremendous. Running has helped people lose weight, quit bad habits, improve their health and helped them overcome seemingly insurmountable mental health challenges such as Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, anxiety, depression, and panic disorder.
For Vincent Kuber, running is about inclusivity. Born in Fiji, he will talk about the racism he experienced in running circles before creating his own run club that welcomes people of all walks of life, regardless of race, body size, sexual orientation, gender expression, or any other outward identifier that might make you feel like an outsider.
Maybe you don’t have enough money to buy all the cutest running gear and the best shoes. Maybe you feel self-conscious not being the fastest runner in the local running clubs. Maybe you feel self-conscious because your body is a bit bigger than the prototypical lean marathon running machine.
With Vincent and Steeltown Athletic Club, none of that matters. You will feel included and honoured to be part of an amazing crew of happy, accepting people who will always encourage you on your running journey.
Jacob Haas, a long-distance runner from the west coast (namely, Oregon) runs super-human distances at super-human speeds. He never seems to run out of energy, hence, the name of his run coaching business How to Run Forever.
Not only is he a super fast-paced medium distance and marathon runner, he is also an ultra runner, having run 50-mile and 100-mile trail races, which he says are his happy place.
Just think about running for 17 hours straight (which is an average finishing time for a 100-mile ultramarathon) and you’ll get an idea of what Haas has to say about running, fueling and never stopping until you’re ready to stop.
Haas ran his 5 km personal best in 14 minutes and 59 seconds! For perspective, I sprinted my absolute fastest three kilometres of my life in 15 minutes. He managed to do two MORE kilometres than that in the same time frame.
He runs a personal run coaching business now for all levels of runners and he will talk about how to get started and how to continue running and improving at your favourite recreational hobby.
We look forward to our listeners tuning in on 93.5 FM tonight at 7 p.m. to listen as we talk about this ancient and beloved sport.