Collingwood Half Marathon Blog and News

Collingwood Half Marathon Blog

Our Collingwood Half Marathon blog page contains all the milestones to keep up with our race preparations. After the race check back for news of results and personal interest stories. What’s it like running here in beautiful Collingwood and the surrounding countryside? Stay tuned to this page for some anecdotes from our local runners including our own Georgian Triangle Running Club. We really are lucky living here in Collingwood and the Georgian Triangle with it’s combination of rural roads, trails, hills, waterfront runs etc.

The Run Collingwood Event is about the people participating, the volunteers, the local supporters and the unique opportunity to play in our uniquely beautiful region. If anyone would like to submit a blog entry, email:


Running for Life

A Lifetime Pursuit

We all remember a time we discovered running. Perhaps it was something started in school, maybe it's something discovered later in life. It could have been accidental or deliberate or maybe begun as an answer to a dare. Maybe we embraced running because we found that in spite of our preconceived ideas we actually found out that we liked it!

There are as many reasons we run as there are people on this planet. It can be for the fitness, camaraderie, meditation, weight loss or maybe connecting to our primal selves. We can escape our stress hectic lives to a place where we only need care about one foot in front of the other and repeat. Unless we are among a very select group of elite athletes we certainly don't do it for the money or the fame.

I believe that running is many things. As your race director I believe that it's always best have a very good idea of what motivates runners. I understand that not all runners are the same and the reasons and events leading up to the pursuit of running are different.

I created the course for the half marathon & 10K here in Collingwood to be fast with minimal hill climbing for those who wish to run a P.R. The current course record for the half marathon is 1:11 and I feel it could be run faster. This is the domain of the near elite and elite runners. Their reasons for running are clear, to compete, to excel to prepare for larger venues.

There are beautiful views of the town in which I was raised and the surrounding countryside as well to provide a beautiful backdrop for those who run for fun as well! The fall colours at this time of year are so pretty. We applaud all of the recreational runners who come together in the spirit of friendly competition.

With running we really only ever compete against ourselves. The ongoing drama of every personal journey in this race and many others fascinate me. I love being the race director who stands at the finish line welcoming everyone and cheering you home. When I see someone come across the line I know that for them this may have been the race of their life. I know that every one of you has risen above the norm and committed to training and racing with us and I feel pride.

I've received emails of thanks from runners here at home as well as from other countries who have said how wonderful their experience was. I can say that were it not for the 100+ volunteers, 21 police officers, local businesses and the residents who open their town to us, that this event would be impossible! This is a grassroots community race so welcome to Collingwood!

I've mentioned many possible reasons for running. My journey as a runner, like yours is ongoing. I started in middle school, continued running track and cross-country in high school and then continued into adulthood. As an adult I ran 5K, 10K, half and full marathons up until 12 years ago when I progressed to trail ultra running. Now at age 55 I'm enjoying the fruits of this lifestyle, having no real medical issues or pain and continuing on with 5oK, 80K and 160K trail races.

Of course that's just the physical aspect of running. For me I've found that the biggest benefit of running is the mental & spiritual aspect. It centres me, relieves stress and provides a great perspective on life. I know that I literally found myself running 24 hours in the rocky mountains. I felt completely connected to everything and everyone. It was an epiphany and a life changing realization that all the noisy busy problems we concoct for ourselves are meaningless. The only thing that matters is to be in that moment running.

I hope that you may be able to relate to these thoughts, and I wonder what sort of perspectives, realizations, therapies or any other feelings you have gleaned from running. Please do share! email me at: and let me know! I would like to share your stories (only if you want) on this blog and on our social media page. You can start with telling us why you signed up for this race!

I'm so looking forward to seeing you here in Collingwood on October 6th, 2018!

Best regards,
Nick Brindisi, Race Director

Photo: Tjalling Halbertsma 

5th Annual Race 2017!

The 5th annual Collingwood Half Marathon & 10K was a tremendous success with nearly 600 runners of all ages participating in the half marathon, 10K and the 2K kids race.

The fresh air, brisk weather was typical for October but actually quite conducive to running fast times with the half being won by Ross Bain in 1:18:32 and a 1:32 coming from top female Sarree Sasson. The top 10K runners were Nicolas Peleato with a 36:13 and Katherine Ahokas coming in at 40:26. As well the kids were very fast in the 2K race with winners Cameron Bennet at 8:33 and Piper Mitchell at 9:25!

There were so many personal triumphs and celebrations such as the young woman who celebrated her 21st birthday by running 21 km!

Our 100+ volunteers were their usual amazing selves providing marshalling, aid station support bike patrol and setup/teardown of the course. As well we would like to thank our strong OPP contingent without whom we couldn’t operate a road race.

People are loving our small town country race with the big city amenities. As a partner race to the Goodlife Fitness Toronto Marathon we draw on a wealth of experience and resources to make this a great race experience!

See you October 6th, 2018!

~ Nick Brindisi, Race Director

4th Annual Race 2016!

sn5The 4th annual Collingwood Half Marathon & 10K is almost upon us! this year promises to have the best weather so far! I know as race director I’m going out on a limb saying this, but the warm summer and lack of rain seems to be sticking around.

We want to make this a success for our main charity the Collingwood G&M Hospital Foundation and have committed a portion of your entry fee to the cause. We are more than happy to accept your pledges as well though! If you would like to get sponsored or make a donation to the hospital please click here>.

We really do have the freshest air you can get in a road race and you can’t beat the fall colours! The trees are just starting to show a tiny amount of colour today on September 6th, but by race day October 1st I’m certain that they will be in full living colour!

New this year we have added a kids 2K race for school aged kids 4 to 12 years old. It’s a great way to make it a family affair. Bring grandparents or other family or friends along so that you can run the half or 10K while your kids run the 2K and then cheer you on as you finish! They can head over to the Healthy Kids Community Challenge tent and make a cheering sign for mom or dad too!

We have had special mention in publications like BlogTO, Get Out There and more! GetOutThere report: 

People are loving our small town country race with the big city amenities. As a partner race to the Goodlife Fitness Toronto Marathon we draw on a wealth of experience and resources to make this a great race experience!

See you October 1st, 2016!

~ Nick Brindisi, Race Director


The 3rd Annual Collingwood Half Marathon & 10K

In 2016 our race had many significant milestones! From course records in both the 10K and the Half Marathon to the most runners ever to compete. Here are some highlights:

  • Half Marathon course record set by winner Kennedy Ronoh from Kenya at 1:11:43
  • 10K Course record set by winner, Australian Rob Whitmill from London Ontario 35:57
  • There were the most ever participants at 507 with 219 in the 10K and 288 in the Half Marathon


So many people to thank for helping us pull off a highly successful event.

Thanks to Sgt. Len Devine, Staff Sgt. Phil Browne and Mike King  of the OPP for their large highly organized traffic team.

Thanks to Chris Stoutenburg of Collingwood Parks and Recreation for working so closely with us to get our permits in place and supply us with some of the equipment and facilities we require.

Thanks to Her Worship Mayor Sandra Cooper for coming out to welcome the runners and to blow the horn to start the race.

Thanks to Gord and Laurie Sheppard for leading this year’s course setup and teardown team.

Thanks to DJ Lenny for the great finish line music!

Trucks and trailers for road coning and sign operations graciously supplied by Doug Measures and Tom Hartle.

Thanks to Bygone Days Farm for our race venue.

Thanks to the running First team and Chiptime results.

Thanks Espresso Post and Pretty River Academy for your water station volunteers!

Maximum Physiotherapy and Synergy Health and Wellness Centre.

Cam Alma and the Skiis & Bikes team.

Without these volunteers we could not do this:

Martynuik Crystle, Laurie Roest, Alison Sheffer, Mike Collins, Mark Bannerman, Sue Friebel, Debbie Twining, Austin Twining, Simon Scholte, John Fox, Gary MacDonald, Jim Theobald, Peter Zober, Chris Keiser, Madeline Fisher, Anne Holden, Craig Holden, Kathy Jeffery, Lindsay Lyall, Lynda Lyall, Dana Calder, Susan McPherson, Forsakes Cathie, Margaret Wilton-Siegel, Doug Wanamaker, Helga Wanamaker, Doug Smith, Nancy Smith, John Brown, Sue Diggins, Albert Gardiner, Paul Henderson, John Bailey, Megan Diggins, Cathy Sears, Elaine Schiller, Terry Sears, Elaine Schiller, Helen Bull, Grace Rutledge, Janet Thompson, Mark Bannerman, DebbieLatimer, Sally Ann Slevin, Mike McCluskey, Sarah May, Pearson Lydia, Maggie Smyth, Erik Moortgat, Nicole Reason, Jim Twining, Cait Foisy, DJ Lenny Sheffield, the Halbertsma family, Doug Measures, Tom Hartle, Austin Twining, Marg Brindisi, Carla Hanisch, Angela McGann, The Wilson family, Francois Fornier and family, Jane Keast, Rob Chambers, Bill Porter, Nicoletta Coldas, Suzanne Halligan, Cathy Korsakas, Rita Runstedler, Jane Schurr, Marlowe Peets, Annie Pilon, Stuart McDonald, Ilian Halbertsma, Eric Robitaille and family, Kelly O’Neil and many more and if I left someone out please forgive me!

The 2nd annual Run Collingwood Half Marathon & 10K

_DSC0141The 2nd annual Run Collingwood Half Marathon & 10K was held on Saturday October 4th, 2014. The cool, windy and wet weather gave way to sunshine shortly after the start, making for perfect running conditions.

We were happy to host 340 of the 400 registered runners who braved the conditions at the start of the race. Participants were able to enjoy the scenic course which winds its way through historic, scenic downtown Collingwood before heading out towards the fall colours in full bloom on the escarpment.

The event featured runners from Canada, the Netherlands, USA, Ireland and Australia.

We hope to grow to 800+ runners next year in our 2015 event with the goal of increasing the amount we are able to raise for the G&M Hospital Foundation.

We would like to thank the 120 volunteers involved with course marshaling, bike patrolling, course setup/teardown and water station duty. We would also like to thank the town parks & rec. department as well as the 21 OPP officers patrolling the event. It was truly a community supported event that shows what a wonderful community we live in.

Half Marathon (21.1 km) Overall Results
1st – Charles Prange – Kitchener – 1:20:44
2nd – Jan-Louis Henning – Owen Sound – 1:23:02
3rd – Jaques Jr Gelinas – Barrie – 1:23:43

1st – Jody Faught – Brantford – 1:29:43
2nd – Sophie Perreira – Sudbury – 1:34:25
3rd – Shannon Beddard-Evon – Barrie – 1:38:29

10K Overall Results
1st – Rob Whitmill – 36:29 – London
2nd – Michael Konstantopoulos – Toronto – 37:57
3rd – Peter Holloway – Collingwood – 39:27

1st – Karla van Kessel – London – 43:11
2nd – Christine Konstantopoulos – Toronto – 43:32
3rd – Heather Wild – Milton – 47:05

10 Days to Go – 2014 Run Collingwood Event Report

half-slider-2014-1It’s getting to be close to race day and I’m so lucky to be race directing this wonderful event! The community spirit in Collingwood is absolutely amazing. So many people here are either involved in sports or physical activities or big boosters of them. I want to thank and recognize some of these people and companies today. Huge thanks go to the following:

  • Sanfilippo’s Produce has been providing the highest quality fruits and vegetables in Collingwood since 1953 and has generously donated finish line oranges and bananas!
  • Loblaw Great food store in Collingwood has donated the bagels for the finish
  • Sporting Life has not only provided our race kit pickup location at the Collingwood Store but has generously donated top 3 finisher prizes for both the 10K and the Half Marathon in the categories: open male & female, masters male & female.
  • Finish line tents have been donated by Dan Baxter and Cameron Helps
  • Bygone Days Farm donates the field directly at the finish line for our activities.
  • The Town of Collingwood donates barricades, water station tables, and finish line tables and chairs. They always help us with planning and the parks and recreation department, especially Chris Stoutenburg provide stellar support.
  • The Collingwood G&M Hospital assists us in getting the word out about donations and logistics
  • approximately 150 volunteers staff the water stations, provide course marshaling, bike patrollers, and the tireless setup/teardown people.
  • My section captains whiteout whom this event cannot run, Patty Federer (course marshal captain), Jane Keast (Bike marshal captain) and Dan Baxter (Setup and teardown captain).
  • The Collingwood OPP detachment provides the 21 OPP officers that direct traffic and make the event safety a priority. Thanks!
  • 97.7 The Beach and Mariane McLeod for publicity along with The Enterprise Bulletin and The Connection newspapers.
  • Special shout-out to Julie Card of for promotion.
  • To Clif Bar, Access storage and Karbon for your sponsorship…thanks!
  • Thanks to Espresso Post for staffing water station #1
  • Maximum Physiotherapy for your massage services! thanks!
  • Santini’s Ristorante for providing your carb loading dinner with donation to the hospital foundation.
  • The always entertaining DJ Lenny, race MC and player of amazing music! Thanks…

In case I forgot anyone here, remember your contribution is appreciated and thanks for showing our guests from all over Ontario, and 5 other countries what a great place Collingwood is!

– Nick Brindisi – Race Director

The Ultra Season

Hello Run Collingwood participants. It’s Nick Brindisi your race director here! I have been busy this season running ultra marathons from Mansfield, Ontario to Coleman Alberta! I figure if you are going to organize a quality event like the Collingwood Half Marathon and 10K that I have to walk the walk or in this case run the run! Actually I’ve been running 41 of my 51 years and can’t imagine life without it.

I’m keen to hear from our participants about what other races you have done this season! Please feel free to email me at with your running story and I’ll post it here in our blog! Tell us about your Run Collingwood event from last year or any other race you ran. It doesn’t even have to be a story about a race. It might be a particularly amazing run you had in a really cool location. I might ask to publish your run story on, a website dedicated to healthy mind, body & spirit that includes an entire section on running. To get the ball rolling I’ll review my 2014 running season so far.

Spring 2014

nicktormar1On April 26th, I kicked off the season at an event called “Pick your Poison,” a trail race with a choice of 12.5k, 25k, or 50k and of course I picked the 50k! The spring season was late this year and the weather was cool and overcast with snow remaining on the ski hills! This hilly course at the Heights of Horseshoe at Horseshoe Valley totaled 8,000 feet of climb/descent if you tally all the ups and downs over the 4 laps of the 12.5k loop. It was well organized and a great kick in the pants to get the season started. Full story:

One weekend later on May 4th I found myself running the Goodlife Fitness Toronto Marathon. It’s a race that I run annually anyway because it’s our partner race and I’m down there for the expo and race director’s reception anyway. The big lesson here was that doing the first half of a marathon in 1:31 a week after a 50k trail race is a bad idea. It was a slow second half but finished up and had a blast! It’s always a great marathon and a lot of fun! Full story:

Summer 2014

Training ramped up after the Toronto Marathon to a fever pitch as I went into the “hell weeks” leading up to the taper before my 100 miler in Alberta. My coach Peter Taylor put the training to me in a big way with 470 km of training on trail with big climbs in the last 30 days before my 10 day taper.

nickmudSinister 7 was my 3rd ultra of the season. It’s the pinnacle of my season with 160km and 19,000 feet of vertical climb/descent. It’s in the Crowsnest pass in Alberta and has 7 legs that include everything from single track to logging roads, forest fire burn scars, river crossings, mud bogs and this year a Grizzly encounter! Full story:

My 4th ultra run of the season was a super slow but super rewarding one. I helped guide Rhonda Marie Avery on her quest to be the first blind runner to complete the entire 889km in just 20 days! My portion guiding her was a super technical section near Wiarton Ontario. She relies on guide runners to call out all roots, rocks, and other undulations and obstacles on the trail. It is truly amazing that she covers 45 to 50 km every day with such a significant visual impairment. She has a true warrior spirit. Her trek raises awareness and money for an organization that places guides with blind athletes. Full story:

The Dirty Girls race was my 5th ultra of the season. This race includes a 12, 24 and 48 hour event! I decided I’d try the 12 hour event and see how many laps of the technical, hilly 8km loop I could do in 12 hours from 8pm on the Saturday to 8am on the Sunday morning. I managed 72km despite fighting my circadian rhythm that was telling me to go to bed! Full story:

My 6th ultra marathon of the season will be the Haliburton Trail race coming up in September! I plan to run the 50 miler (80km) and make a nice tent camping weekend out of it.

Never underestimate what you can do! Hopefully these stories will inspire you to reach out and attain your personal best this October 4th in your event at Run Collingwood. Please do share your story with me!

2014 Registration is Open!

Registration is open for the 2014 Collingwood Half Marathon and 10K!! Early bird pricing is $40 for the 10K and $60 for the half marathon until March 22nd!

One of the first early registrants is Bert van Oostrum who is the father of my good friend Rob van Oostrum. Bert is coming all the way from Holland to run our Collingwood Half Marathon. Bert was in Canada last fall and won his age group in the Toronto Waterfront Marathon! Bert is 70 and we have assigned him bib #70! Age is just a number and Bert is one tough dude. He ran a 1:55:57 at Linschoten, Netherlands, December 21st 2013! Come join us this October 4th, 2014!


Run Collingwood Inaugural Event, a huge success!


Our first running of the Run Collingwood Half Marathon, 10K and 2K Active Life Challenge is in the books! Results are posted and we are looking forward to 2014!! Feedback we are getting is that the course is super fast based on the large number of racers who got a personal best yesterday! It was wonderful to see so many personal goals achieved and so many smiling faces.

I have to thank our wonderful army of volunteers. Small but mighty are the words that come to mind. From water station people to course marshals and bike marshals to finish line people and medical staff, everyone was amazing. We left the course completely litter free as well! Way to go Collingwood! The OPP officers and the Torn of Collingwood star were amazing in their help with the event.

Looking forward to 2014!!!


Coming together!

22 days till race day and it’s all coming together for 2013!  We have also welcomed our media partners The Enterprise Bulletin and The Connection newspapers as well as My Collingwood online and 97.7 The Beach FM. We have a limited number of highly skilled massage therapists at the finish as well who can work out your kinks! Looking forward to it!

Our Participation Medals Are Made!


Our Participation medals are designed to show off our amazing combination of ski hills, Georgian Bay and all the land in between! All runners receive this at the finish line. Looking forward to seeing you there!


Kid’s 2K Race

Run Collingwood will now include a 2K run for kids from grades 2 to 6! The race will run after the half marathon and 10K are finished. Sign up today for the half marathon or 10K, run your race, then watch your kids compete on a grassy course on the infield at Fisher Field. The kids 2K will run at 11:30 and will feature numbered bibs and chip timing.

This 2K kids event is organized and run by Active Life Conditioning in Collingwood under the guidance of Graeme Buckrell and Sarah Applegarth. We are happy to cross promote the event and help time it because fit kids are healthy kids.

Sign up for the adult Half Marathon and 10K today:

We will have the registration link up for the kids race shortly!

A Lifetime of Fitness!

Thomas Brindisi started running at a very young age because he wanted to do things his dad liked. Whether competing in the Kids of Steel mini Triathlon at age 7, or running 5k’s for martial arts he kept running through the years. Soon he progressed to track and cross country and not only is enjoying a great high school career but at age 14 ran his first half marathon (Goodlife Fitness Toronto Half Marathon) in an astounding time of 1:36! Now at age 17 he is sponsored by Skechers minimal running shoe brand and has competed in several half marathons. At age 16 he ran 55km non-stop to keep his dad company during his 100k run for the Collingwood G&M hospital. Not only has Tom made running and fitness his lifelong habit, he has formed an even stronger bond with his like minded parents. Sign your kids up for the 2K race and start them on a lifelong journey of healthy living! – (Nick Brindisi – Run Collingwood Race Director)

thomaskidsofsteelThomas Age 7 – Kids of Steel Collingwood
Thomas Age 12 – Cross Country School Event
thomaspresentdayTom Present Day Age 17 – Hill training on the Escarpment 
Tom Present Day Age 17 – Goodlife Fitness Toronto Half

Sponsor Karbon

We welcome Karbon as a sponsor and also the manufacturer of our technical wicking shirts for Run Collingwood!


Course to be certified with Athletics Canada

This weekend our Collingwood Half Marathon and 10k courses get measured for certification with Athletics Canada. Think your running GPS is accurate? Guess again! Many racers have commented in other races that the course is too long because their GPS shows 21.3 or some longer distance. The truth is that we use 3 cyclists with calibrated distance measuring wheels attached, the distance being averaged between the three. This is the only method accepted by Athletics Canada. It is very accurate!

2013 Medals

Medal prototype…still subject to change. To be done in brushed pewter metal. Will have a nice thick ribbon and a place to engrave your time/name/date on the back should you wish.

Collingwood Half Marathon Medal

Collingwood Half Marathon Medal

The Run Collingwood shirt design for 2013!

The Run Collingwood shirt design for 2013! Karbon technical wicking shirt.

The Run Collingwood shirt design for 2013! Karbon technical wicking shirt.

The Run Collingwood shirt design for 2013! Karbon technical wicking shirt.

Accommodations – Westin Trillium House

Run Collingwood is pleased to present special room rates from our accommodation partner Westin Trillium House, Blue Mountain Resort. For details and to book your race weekend accommodations visit our hotel & travel page:


Sponsor – Clif Bar

Welcome to sponsor Clif Bar! I personally ate these on my 100k ultra marathon for the hospital and I can tell you they pack lots of energy.

Clif Bar