Brainsport Times

Weekly updates on running news in and around Saskatchewan.

Brainsport Times Feb. 27, 2019

When Xiaomin (Dolly) Jiang moved to Saskatoon in February 2017, she only knew three people: the immigration agent who had helped her move from China, the real estate agent who sold her her house and her teenage son, who’d made the move across the world with her.

Jiang, 48, had moved to Canada with plans to start her own energy efficient building materials company, but the transition was tough. She was having difficulty networking and meeting people.

Feb27 19 1
Xiaomin Jiang (centre) at the Brainsport run club.

In an effort to change her situation, she began volunteering with various groups in the city, including with the Saskatoon Cycles’ bike valet program. While working a shift at the bike valet in August 2017 she told a fellow volunteer how lonely she was.

“I tell him I am really confused and I really feel puzzled on how to make friends,” Jiang said.

The volunteer suggested that Jiang go to the free Brainsport run club.

Jiang was skeptical. When she had been a middle school student, she needed to run 800 metres in under four minutes and 30 seconds in order to pass gym class and had never been able to do it, even after trying every day for a month. In the end, her teacher gave her an exemption.

“Afterward, I almost never ran,” she said 

But she was so desperate to make friends that she showed up to a Brainsport run club one Wednesday evening in August. She joined a group that was alternating between a three-minute run and a one-minute walk. By the end of the first run, Jiang was behind the group. Her hair was a mess and her face was purple.

Jiang worried that she wasn’t fit or fast enough to be part of the run club, but the other runners assured her she should keep showing up. The man she’d met at the bike valet volunteered to run with her to help her get faster.

These days, Jiang often runs with the run club group that does nine-minute runs followed by one-minute walks and can run up to 10 kilometres at a time on her own. She has lost 20 pounds in the last year and can now fit into the wedding dress she wore in 1997. If she goes for a few days without running, she misses it.

Feb27 19 2
Xiaomin Jiang (right) with her boyfriend, Kendrick, who introduced her to running and the Brainsport run club

The best part is, she’s found a group of people who make her feel at home in Saskatoon. The man who invited her out to run in the summer of 2017 is now her boyfriend and the contacts she’s made through the group helped her launch her company, Ecowell Building Materials Co., last year.

“After Brainsport, after the running activities, then I start to know ‘Oh the daily lives here of the Canadian people is like this way,’” Jiang said.

“Brainsport running changed my life in Saskatoon … Right now, I feel I’m alive.”


Upcoming Events

Sunday Mar. 3, 2019: Brainsport Brainfreeze
Brainsport’s Brainfreeze is a winter run that raises money for the University of Saskatchewan cross country team. Enjoy the snow-coated scenery as you choose from a five-kilometre, 10-kilometre or half marathon distance along the beautiful South Saskatchewan River. Register now.

Saturday May 11, 2019: Step Up for Mental Health
This inaugural race hosted by Cameco offers five- and 10-kilometre run and walk distances. Cameco is matching every dollar from entry fees to fund local mental health projects. Register now.
NOTE: The Saskatoon Police Foundation Half Marathon, previously scheduled for May 5, has been cancelled in support of this new event. The foundation is expected to announce a new "challenge" soon.

Feb27 19 3

Saturday May 11, 2019: Royal Road Race (Regina) SOLD OUT
The ninth-annual Royal Road Race, hosted by the Jaleta Pacers and the RCMP is once again being held on Mother’s Day weekend. This event is sold out. 

Sunday May 26, 2019: Saskatchewan Marathon
The Saskatchewan Marathon is the oldest marathon in Saskatchewan. The event is organized and produced by the Saskatoon Road Runners Association. The 2019 Saskatchewan Marathon features Craven SPORT services five-kilometre, Goodlife Fitness 10-kilometre, half-marathon and marathon event distances along a scenic course highlighting the world-renowned Meewasin Valley. Easily deemed one of the most scenic running events in Canada, the Saskatchewan Marathon is also a qualifier for the Boston Marathon. Sign up today. Prices increase Mar. 1.

Sunday June 2, 2019: RunRegina First Responders Run (Regina)
Featuring five- and 15-kilometre distances, the inaugural event supports first responders and mental health initiatives for first responders. Register now.

NEW: Sunday June 23: Brainsport Donut Dash
Register now for a timed, family-friendly five-kilometre race that starts from the new track at the Gordie Howe Sports Complex. This event is a fundraiser for the Gordie Howe Sports Complex.

Friday Sept. 6 — Sun. Sept. 8: GMS Queen City Marathon (Regina)
Saskatchewan's largest road-racing festival features three days of races from Friday to Sunday. There are mini marathons ranging in distance from one- to three-kilometres for kids and distances from the five-kilometre to the marathon for runners of all ages. Register now.

See all events at the Brainsport events calendar.

Announcements

Track and Field Volunteers Needed
Here's your chance to support young track and field athletes. Attend a two-hour training session to become a valuable member of the officiating team at future track and field meets. A clinic is being held Friday April 5 at 6:30 p.m. at the Saskatoon Field House in conjunction with the Aboriginal Indoor Track and Field Championships. For more info or to register email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone Saskatchewan Athletics at 306-664-6744.

Courses and programs

MaraFun
The Marafun program gives students aged six to 13 an opportunity to run a marathon in a novel way.
For 10 weeks starting in March, students will walk, run or wheel 40 kilometres. This training will lead them to the Saskatchewan Marathon race day on Sunday, May 26 when all participants come together to cap off their hard work by running or walking a fun 2.2-kilometre race on part of the marathon course.
Throughout the program, the young athletes learn about an active lifestyle, how they can maintain an activity program to promote health, and the importance of having personal goals.
Being involved requires is a team leader and young participants. Team leaders get children to run, walk or wheel a specific number of kilometers per week and coordinates attendance to the Saskatchewan Marathon on May 26.
The fee is $15 per student (increasing to $20 on March 1), which includes a t-shirt, medal and trip to the food tent on race day, along with other things to encourage them to complete the program and build a lifelong love of being physically active.
Team leaders can get more information and register their schools for a 10-week program here.

ONTRACK
New this year, the organizers of MaraFun are launching a high school running program for MaraFun grads and new runners. The eight-week program prepares students aged 12 to 18 to run a five-kilometre race at the Saskatchewan Marathon. Team leaders can organize students who are attending high school, home-schooled, or who are part of an organization or group. Team leaders should contact Jeff at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. before registering. Registration can be done here.

Spring Learn to Run
Coach
: Kimberlee Galus
Date and time: Wednesdays starting at 6 p.m. from March 20 until May 8
Location: Brainsport (616 10th Street East, Saskatoon)
Cost: $80
Prerequisite: No previous running experience is required to join this clinic. Just show up ready to have some fun!
This clinic is ideal for anyone interested in learning how to run, or those that need a refresher. If you have ever wanted to start running, Coach Kim is here to help you with that goal! This eight-week program will teach you the essentials of running in a safe and fun environment. This clinic will culminate in a special event designed just for you on Saturday, May 18th. In addition to the weekly coached run, we will be offering informational sessions on topics such as injury Prevention core stability, running technique, and more. Register now.

10-kilometre Clinic
Coach: Ian Klassen
Date and time: Wednesdays starting at 6 p.m. from March 20 until May 22
Location: Brainsport (616 10th Street East, Saskatoon)
Cost: $100
Prerequisite: It is recommended you be able to run 30 minutes consecutively before joining this clinic.
This clinic is ideal for less experienced runners or those looking to improve their previous 10-kilometre time. This 10-week program coincides with the 2019 Saskatchewan Marathon on May 26, which offers a 10-kilometre event. In addition to the weekly coached run, we will be offering informational sessions on topics such as injury prevention, core stability, running technique and more. Register now.

PatTrick Running Clinic (12-week marathon training program for the Saskatchewan Marathon) 
Coach: Pat Somerville
Time: Tuesdays starting at 6 p.m. from March 5 until May 21
Location: Brainsport (616 10th Street East, Saskatoon)
Cost: $120
Prerequisite: You must be able to run 10 kilometres easily prior to joining
This clinic will get you ready for the Saskatchewan Marathon at the end of May. Register now.

PatTrick Running Clinic (27-week marathon training program for the Saskatchewan and Queen City marathons) 
Coach: Pat Somerville
Time: Tuesdays starting at 6 p.m. from March 5 until Sept. 3
Location: Brainsport (616 10th Street East, Saskatoon)
Cost: $200
Prerequisite: You must be able to run 10 kilometres easily prior to joining
This clinic provides continuous training for events like the Saskatchewan Marathon (May) and the Queen City Marathon (September). Register now

Just Tri-It (JTI) Women-Only Introduction to Triathlon Training
This eight-week triathlon program runs from March 17 to May 12. Visit http://www.triathlonsaskatoon.org/just-tri-it/introduction-program for more information or to register. 

Virtual Cycle Sundays and Virtual Pilates Mondays
Take part in a fitness class from the comfort of your home through virtual classes hosted by Transition Sport and Fitness. The Sunday rides run from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. and the Monday pilates go from 8:15 p.m. to 9 p.m. The pilates class is tailored towards triathletes. Visit www.transitionsportandfitness.ca or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

Breathe Move Be Yoga for Athletes
Breathe Move Be offers a Yoga for Athletes course Thursday evenings from 5:45 to 6:45 p.m. until March 14 at Midwest Karate Studio on 506 Duchess St. Drop in for $18 when space is available.
A second course at Midwest Karate Studio will be offered for eight weeks on Thursdays from 7:15 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. from March 7 to April 25. $105 to register for the whole session.
For more information and to register contact Leanne Parsons at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Product of the Week

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19


Photo: BrooksRunning.com

Available in a variety of colours, this road running shoe features soft and responsive cushioning.

Brainsport Times Mar. 6, 2019
Brainsport Times Feb. 20, 2019

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