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!