Brainsport Times

Weekly updates on running news in and around Saskatchewan.

Brainsport Times Feb. 7, 2018

We're one week away from Valentine's Day, which also means we're one week away from the Brainsport Run and Beer Night, hosted by the Brainsport Run Club!

We're expecting this to be a fun night - perfect you and a date. Or if you're flying solo this is a chance to be surrounded by a bunch of runners and beer for the evening - what more could you want on Valentine's Day!

In addition to beer, Tyler from Saucony is going to be at the store with test shoes for everyone to try out on your run - plus you'll be entered to win a free pair of Saucony's! 

Run Club starts at the regular 6 p.m. time, with 9 Mile Legacy Brewing Company pints to be served up afterwards by the good people at Leopold's Tavern. 

Alright, now on to this week's Q&A. We're speaking with Rose McEwan, the regional director of Start2Finish. This a wonderful organization aimed at promoting children's health and wellness through literacy and physical fitness. They are looking for volunteers who can come out Tuesdays from 3:15 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. from now until the end of May. Go to to get learn more about volunteering.

Q&A with Rose McEwan

Tara: The Start2Finish Running and Reading Club is operating in 38 cities across the country, including Saskatoon, with plans to expand to more than 50 on-going programs over the next couple of years. What do you believe makes this such a successful program for children.

Rose: The program's success is made up of a few key components. The model that we follow, which has the first half of the class dedicated to running drills and physical exercise, followed afterwards by a more stationary period where the kids are quieter and focused on reading and journaling, has proven to be the most effective way for the kids to get the full benefit of each activity. The dedication of the volunteers is both vital to the program's success and one of the biggest motivating factors to the kids who participate in Running and Reading Club. The children look up to the volunteers and get so excited to see them from week to week! Lastly, the support that Start2Finish receives from various community organizations makes it possible for the program to operate. We couldn't do it without the collaborative effort of many!

Rose: The main goal of the program is to break the cycle of child poverty. Saskatoon's child poverty rate is over 6 percent higher than the national average, which itself is unacceptable. Literacy is a key factor to employability, and it is essential for one to be literate if they want to graduate high school or pursue post-secondary education. Our program seeks to boost children's literacy rates and encourage kids to love reading. Additionally, the program promotes regular physical fitness and exercise in kids. We have seen the kids in our programs flourish and the feedback from the schools we're in is so positive. They report increases in both reading and writing skills, and an overall increase in literacy rates has been found.  (We conduct national surveys within our clubs every four years to collect data) Even the attention spans and the behavior of kids who have various challenges in group learning settings have been seen to improve during R & R Club, which is very rewarding! All in all, the benefits of this program are designed to address the whole child.

Feb7 18 1
Participants of the Start2Finish Reading & Running Club at King George School had the chance to meet Rick Hansen. Photo supplied

Tara: What are the goals of the program in the upcoming years? 
Rose: Over the next couple of years I hope that Start2Finish becomes a well-known organization in Saskatoon. Its founder, Brian Warren (formerly of the Edmonton Eskimos) based Start2Finish out of Ottawa and the organization is quite well known throughout the province of Ontario. I would like for us to be as well known here, and for our name to be synonymous with improving child fitness and literacy rates. I hope that many more organizations, businesses, and individuals in Saskatoon and area become involved with Start2Finish so that the program can expand into even more local elementary schools. Most of all, I hope that as a community we do more to reduce the rate of child poverty within our city and our country.

Tara: Who do you recommend getting involved with volunteering with Start2Finish? And. what are some the highlights of volunteering?
Rose: I would recommend that anyone interested in giving back to their community, in making a difference in the lives of deserving children, or in helping to secure a better future for our city to get involved and volunteer. You don't have to be an athlete or a scholar. There's something for everyone! We have high school and university students, bankers, business people, grandparents, stay-at-home moms, retirees, and everyone in between presently helping out. Our volunteers find the experience as rewarding as the kids within the program do! Seeing smiles erupt on the children's faces when you walk through the door, then being swarmed by a bunch of happy youngsters whose greatest thrill is that someone cares enough to show up every week for them, well, nothing quite compares to that.

Tara: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Rose: Start2Finish got its name because we want to get involved in the lives of less-advantaged children during the start of their educational journey, in elementary school, and then equip them to finish strong, with a university education. Scholarship opportunities are offered to participants in the Running and Reading Clubs, as well as to youth who participate in Start2Finish's Junior Coaching Program through the Pathway of Hope Scholarship Program. This model was designed to help equip Canada's young people from start to finish, which in turn improves our confidence that we are leaving our country in capable and considerate hands. If you are unable to volunteer but know someone who would be interested, please pass the word along!

Upcoming Events

Winter Classic & Development Swim Meets

The Brainsport Winter Classic & Development Swim Meets are this weekend at the Shaw Centre. We’re going to have a booth there where athletes can pick up goggles, suits and training aids. The booth will be open Friday from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m, Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Brainsport Running Academy Shopping and Learning Night

On Monday, March 5 Brainsport is hosting a shopping and learning night from 7 p.m to 9 p.m. Anyone who is currently registered for a course, or took part in a course in 2017, is welcome to this fun night of food, shopping and training presentations!

Brainsport Running Academy Winter/Spring Courses

Join our interactive and fun-filled training courses with expert guest speakers presenting on healthy running technique and injury prevention specific to runners. Our high-quality coaches will prepare a program for you which will help you reach your personal running goals. We have listed several options for you to chose from for your winter training desires.

Learn To Run: Training for the 2018 Saskatchewan Marathon 5K event. Begins April 4, ends May 23.

10K Run Course: Coached by Jen Kripki. Begins Feb. 26, ends May 21.

Standard Half and Full Marathon Course: Coached by Pat Somerville. Starts Feb. 5, ends May 21. This course is suitable for first-time distance runners, or those wanting to pick up their pace. 

Advanced Half and Full Marathon Course: Coached by Mike McKague. Starts Feb. 5, ends May 21. This course is suitable for runners aiming for a personal best time.

#PatTrick Run Program: This is an on-going training group coached by Pat Sommerville. Participants can join at any time. Training will include preparation for the Brainsport Brainfreeze, Saskatchewan Marathon, and Queen City Marathon. 
For more information on any of these courses, and to register go to Or call the store at 306-244-0955.

Just Tri-It 

The women's only eight-week triathlon program runs from March 18 to May 13 and includes, 3 sessions per week, one of each swimming, biking, and running. For more information about the program visit

Brainsport Run Club - Thursday Morning Run 


The Brainsport Run Club is now gathering every Thursday morning at 10 a.m at the store. This session is in addition to the Wednesday, 6 p.m. and Saturday, 8:30 a.m. sessions. Run Club is free and open to all levels of runners. We look forward to seeing you out with us for a run! 

Saskatoon Police Service Foundation Half Marathon

The 2018 Saskatoon Police Service Foundation Half Marathon is being held on April 29. This event features 5k, 10k, and half marathon distances - and is open to runners/walkers of all levels. For more information and to register go to

Brainsport Brainfreeze


Join us for the 10th Anniversary Brainfreeze! Run a 5k, 10k or half marathon and support the UofS Huskies Cross Country team. This run will feature chip timing, and the first 300 entrants will receive a pair of custom Mizuno running tights. Registration is open at Brainsport and online at

Saskatchewan Aboriginal Track & Field Championships 

Registration is now open for the 10th Annual Saskatchewan Aboriginal Track & Field Championships, being held on March 2 and March 3 at the Saskatoon Field House.
Visit for more information, and for details on how to register to compete, or volunteer.

Yoga For Runners - New Classes beginning in 2018

Come experience the benefits of yoga for runners, with the Breath Move Be instructors at Namaskar Yoga Studio - 615 2nd Avenue North. $100 pre-registered and $17 for drop-in (if available space). Classes run from January 9 to February 17. Register by contacting http://This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or text Leanne at 306-251-2964.

Product of the Week

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 18

Feb7 18 2

Brooks has outdone themselves with this latest instalment of their Go-To-Shoe (GTS). The Adrenaline 18 provides a spectacular fit, with a perfect balance of soft cushion and support whether your tackling 2 or 26.2 miles. So, all you Adrenaline fans, you're going to want to get into the store and check these out!

Thanks for reading the Times.
Gotta run,

Brainsport Times Feb. 14, 2018
Brainsport Times Jan. 31, 2018

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