— Malcolm Gladwell (@Gladwell) February 15, 2015
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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.
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.