— Malcolm Gladwell (@Gladwell) February 15, 2015
We asked six prominent Canadian elite runners (both distance athletes and sprinters) what their most memorable run of 2015 was as well as some non-running-related questions. Plus, we hear who the top athletes got to meet this past year.
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Oh, and the Pan Am Games in Toronto served as the biggest highlight of the year for half of the panel.
Cam Levins: Olympian and 10,000m national record holder.
Catherine Watkins: Canadian Running magazine’s Master of the Year, finished eighth at the 2015 Pan Am Games in the women’s marathon.
Khamica Bingham: Pan Am Games bronze medallist in the 4x100m, fastest woman in Canada in 2015.
Rob Watson: IAAF World Championship qualifier in the marathon (19th in 2014). Some may know him for his popular running podcast, The Rob Watson Show.
Melissa Bishop: Fastest Canadian female 800m runner of all-time, world championships silver medallist.
Dylan Wykes: Olympian, third fastest Canadian marathoner in history.
Who was the coolest person you met in 2015?
Cam Levins: Malcolm Gladwell.
Catherine Watkins: Meb Keflezighi: He sat beside me at dinner the night before the Houston Marathon. He introduced himself and gave me lots of marathon advice. The main one being “patience.”
Khamica Bingham: My nephew, born earlier this year.
Rob Watson: I met Steve Jones at the Chicago Marathon. I only got to speak to him briefly, and he wouldn’t remember my face, but I was still pumped about it, because Steve is a badass.
Melissa Bishop: Bernard Lagat, so kind.
Dylan Wykes: Bill Rodgers: Had a nice chat with him at the Boston Marathon this year, awesome guy.
What was your favourite race and/or run of 2015?
C. Levins: Prefontaine Classic 10,000m. [CR note: Canadian record]
C. Watkins: Pan Am Games marathon: Running in front of the home crowd with so many people cheering was incredible.
K. Bingham: Winning a bronze medal at the Pan Am Games in front of our home crowd.
R. Watson: The Pan Am Games marathon was my favourite. It was my slowest ever marathon, it was hot and it was a ridiculous course, but man, racing an international event on home soil was rad The crowds and running community of Toronto made it an experience I’ll never forget.
M. Bishop: I have two, both in Beijing at world champs: Running the Canadian record and coming back and winning a silver medal.
D. Wykes: Big Sur Half-Marathon at Monterey Bay, Calif. Beautiful course.
#tbt post world final, Osi @dbzbeta was the first person I climbed the barrier to hug. So much excitement for him and I, a super tight hug and lots of screaming. He's never let me think otherwise that I couldn't do this. A Cdn Record and silver medal later he's already helping me to get after my next dreams. #lovehim #Beijing2015 #roadtorio #dreamer
#Repost @runcrs with @repostapp. ・・・ From December 21st – 30th, we're counting down 10 Inspiring Community Moments of 2015! ● Number 6 ● This July, Toronto's Run Crews including @nightterrorsrun, @parkdaleroadrunners, @paceandmind and @tribe_fitness came out in full force to cheer on Canadian Marathoners Rachel Hannah, Catherine Watkins, Kip Kangogo and Rob Watson at the TO2015 Pan Am Games! With 4 official cheer stations along the marathon route, runners were treated to cheers and motivational messages along the way as they conquered a tough course. Special congrats to Toronto’s own Rachel Hannah who ran to a bronze medal finish! ?: @paceandmind #TO2015 #PanAmGames #runTO #TeamCanada
What was the best mobile app you downloaded in 2015?
C. Levins: UP (by Jawbone).
C. Watkins: Spotify: Yes, I’m late to the game but with all the cross-training I did in late fall streaming music during workouts was a lifesaver.
K. Bingham: Flipp! I can save money and price match groceries when I shop at Walmart *laughs.*
R. Watson: I got Strava this year, Strava is awesome. [CR note: Rob’s Strava account] M. Bishop: It’s a game: Monument Valley. Eye tricks, opening doors, turning walls, weird stuff but makes you take time to think about your next move.
D. Wykes: White Noise. It can help block out the sound of a screaming baby!
What’s your New Year’s resolution?
C. Levins: Keep a more detailed training log.
C. Watkins: Be consistent with core and strength workouts!
K. Bingham: Inspire and motivate as many young athletes as possible to chase their dreams!
R. Watson: I don’t do those things, just gotta make sure I keep having fun and I continue to enjoy the ride.
M. Bishop: My New Year’s resolution is logging in my training log every day! Not to play catch up every four days and try to recall how I was feeling during a run earlier in the week.
D. Wykes: Be in the moment.
Had a decent race today at Big Sur Half. 64:14 for 7th. This pic doesn't do the race justice. Beautiful course. pic.twitter.com/aQUc4Kx2pM
— Dylan Wykes (@DylanWykes) November 8, 2015
If you were to guesstimate, what was the total mileage you covered in 2015?
C. Levins: See above answer *laughs.*
C. Watkins: Given injury time, I’d guess around 5,000 kilometres.
K. Bingham: I’m a sprinter so mileage is not in my sports terminology *laughs.*
R. Watson: I reckon I put in close to 8,500 kilometres this year. I wanted 10,000 kilometres but I got hurt and missed six weeks early in the year.
M. Bishop: We don’t base our training off of how many miles per week we run, so we don’t count mileage too closely. As a wild guess though, 2,400 kilometres.
D. Wykes: 4,800 kilometres. I was injured a lot.
Editor’s note: Answers have been edited for style.