Brainsport Times

Weekly updates on running news in and around Saskatchewan.

Brainsport Times Jan. 11, 2017

It's seems safe to say Saskatonians are in the thick of winter's wrath, which means one thing: It can only get warmer, right? Well, let's hope so. In the meantime, keep your sights set on the beautiful spring and summer days ahead, when all the training you're putting in over the winter is going to pay off. 

This week's Times is an excellent edition for those of you who are, or who know of somebody who is, interested in kicking up their activity intensity over the season and into the spring. First up, the Brainsport Running Academy still has spots open for the Learn To Run course with coach Jen Kripki, but only for one more week so jump on it if you're interested. For more information, or to register contact Harvey at
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Secondly, for all the women out there who have ever considered the idea of getting into triathlon the Just Tri-It program is for you! In this week's Q&A we're speaking with co-coordinator of the program, Susan Hamilton. to learn more about it!

Q&A with Susan Hamilton

Tara: Tell us a bit about the motivating factors for starting a program aimed at women looking to get into triathlon.

Susan: This program was started well over 15 years ago in 2000 or 2001. At that time triathlon was very much a male-dominated sport. Triathletes in the city saw the need to involve more women, so a group of volunteers started the program. Just Tri-It has evolved since then. The goal now is to help women become active and to encourage a healthy lifestyle through training for a triathlon (swim, bike, run).

In the fall of 2015, when Michelle Lefranc and Maryann Deutscher asked Liz Hoffman, Kris Muench and myself if we would like to co-coordinate the program, starting in 2017, we said yes. In a few months we will be kicking off our first season of the program. I agreed to help coordinate the program because I believe in its purpose. We are a community of energetic females pursuing a healthy and active lifestyle. All shapes and all abilities are welcome - you simply need a positive "Just Tri-It” attitude!

Jan11 17 1
After weeks and weeks of training these women are "Makin' It Happen." Photo supplied

Tara: What are some of the benefits and thrills of getting involved in triathlon?

Susan: The program is designed to introduce women to the sport in a supportive and non-competitive environment. Over the course of 8-weeks the participants prepare to compete in a beginner distance triathlon (200m swim - 6k bike - 2 k run), while learning new skills and becoming physically fit along the way. Training for three sports can be challenging and you do need to be prepared to take time for yourself. With three sessions per week, one of each swimming, biking, and running, the weekly commitment is more than two hours.

For some, our program is the ultimate challenge to others it’s a stepping stone to much longer distances in other triathlons in the city and beyond. Triathlon is a great equalizer; in the past there have been ladies that weren't very good swimmers but were great runners, or have not been on a bike since they were teenagers. The atmosphere is fun and relaxed which gives women a new-found sense of confidence and accomplishment. Often the participants return the following year and bring with them a friend/co-worker/sister/aunt and at least once it was the mother who brought her daughter with her -  learned I'm competitive!

Tara: Who should sign up for the Just Tri-It?

Susan: Any female that is at least 18 years of age! The group is very supportive and brings together women of all ages; it’s an empowering and welcoming environment. In previous years there have been participants who previously have run several marathons all the way to absolute beginners. You may have never swam, or ran a step in your life, but that's just fine. We do have a cap of 85 so register early so you don't miss out.

Jan11 17 2
Getting some support along the way at the Makin' Happen Triathlon. Photo supplied

Tara: Is there anything you would say to women out there who may be doubting their ability to take this on?

Susan: This diverse group of women are united with a common goal: to be introduced to the sport of triathlon and to dream big - you are much stronger than you think! I learned from this group the importance, especially for women, of incorporating activity in our lives and to take some time for yourselves. A lot of women are really focused on their family and work and home. Make this be your time. There's something to gain from a new experience - challenge yourselves.

Tara: For those looking for a little extra inspiration, was there a time in your life when you wanted to quit, but didn't? 

Susan: I had been a couch potato for more 20 years and in 2011 when I learned about the Just Tri-It program from my encouraging co-worker I knew I had to quit acting lazy and just make a change. The website read: "You do not need to be a competitive athlete to be a triathlete." I thought to myself, perfect. I took swim lessons, rode a bike and ran as a child. I won't likely win but I can Tri-It! I’ve been part of the program ever since. Witnessing the mental and physical transformations women accomplish throughout the 8-week programs is a powerful motivator.

Jan11 17 3
The medals and race numbers to prove it. Photo supplied

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

Susan: Yes, two things. First, every year more than 30 volunteers volunteer and help run Just Tri-It and we couldn't do it without them. To all of your readers that are volunteers - thank you.

Secondly, we have the best fans - your family/friends! All of them get to see you cross the finishing line on Mother's Day! a the Makin' It Happen Triathlon. This event has been running for several years and is organized by Marlene Antoniuk's family. All proceeds from the race are donated to a local charity in memory of her mother Marlene Antoniuk. Antoniuk was a longtime volunteer for Just Tri-It. She died from breast cancer in 2010 after battling the disease for six years. 


Just Tri-It - Triathlon Training

Ladies, have you ever wondered what it would be like to do a triathlon? Are you looking for a fun and challenging spring training program? The Just Tri-it program gives you eight weeks - starting on March 19 - of swim, bike and run training, plus entry into the
Makin It Happen Triathlon, where you can show off your new skills. Registration is now open, and it always sells out! Learn more and register click here.

Brainsport Running Academy - Spring Courses


Below are brief descriptions of this year's spring courses. For more information, including dates and registration go to:

Performance Marathon Course:

Coached by Jason Warick, this will be an intense training course for the experienced and serious runner wanting to reach a competitive edge. Jason is a very high qualified coach and knows what it takes to be an extremely competitive runner.

Standard Marathon Course:

Coached by Pat Sommerville, you will be training with like-minded athletes as you work toward taking on 26.2 miles. Pat has coached countless running courses at the Brainsport Running Academy and is known for his coaching technique and ability to help you reach your goals.

Half-Marathon Course:

Coached by Jen Kripki, this will be a fun, interactive training time with athletes wanting to do their first half-Marathon or raise their running to a higher level. Jen Kripki is a very experienced runner, personal trainer and coach.

10k Course:

Coached by Tarrant Cross Child, this will be an engaging and interactive course. Tarrant will bring both his knowledge of running, and his personal desire to see people excel to the group. This course is designed to take you to a new level of running and is geared at the beginner and established runner. Tarrant will have a training program for everyone.

Learn To Run Course:

Coached by Cara Mazurak, the Learn To Run course is designed to accommodate those from a non-running background, or someone coming back to running after an extended time away. This is an 8-week course, which will culminate with a 5km race. The Learn to Run course will give you a solid foundation for your future running goals. T

Wintershines Blizzard Triathlon

Up for a winter triathlon? This mix of ice skating (or snowshoeing), cross-country skiing and running can be done solo or as part of a relay. There are family events and a youth, and junior challenge event at shorter distances as well. There’s also a non-competitive citizen event at half the distances of the ones listed below.

Event distances:
- Skate 4k or snowshoe 1.5k
- Ski 8k (classic or skate ski)
- Run 5k

The event gets underway at 8 a.m. on February 4 at the Clarence Downey Oval and Holiday ParK Golf Course ski area. Cost is $15 per person. For more information click here and to join the Facebook group click here. Volunteers are still needed to help out with preparation of the event and for the day of. If your interested in volunteering click on either of the links and send a message.

Brainsport Brainfreeze


The 9th Annual Brainfreeze, in support of the U of S Cross Country Team, is set for Sunday March 5, 2017! This year there will be the addition of a 5K race, along with the 10K and half-marathon distances. Start time is 10 a.m. in front of Brainsport (also the finish). Register by going to

Breath Move Be - Yoga for Runners

Breath Move Be is back with more yoga for runners in the new year. Join in this runner specific yoga class starting January 10 through February 28. Classes will be held at Namaskar Yoga Studio on Tuesday nights from 6:05 to 7:05. For more information and to register email Leanne at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or text 306-251-2964.

Triathlon Training

Transition Sport and Fitness is offering Distance Group, or Personalized Coaching for anyone wanting to take their swim, bike, or run training to the next level. 

 www.transitionsportandfitness.cafor more info on all programs.



Every week, at one of Saskatoon's community schools, volunteers and children come together for a running and reading program called Start2Finish. The program aims to break the cycle of poverty by providing ongoing educational support to Saskatoon's at-risk children. You run, read, and share a word of the day with the group of kids. Start2Finish not only allows you the opportunity to give back to the community, and gain a rewarding experience, but also allows you to help children grow in a positive way. If you are interested in giving a couple hours of your time email
 http://This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or http://This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.For more information on the program go to

Product of the Week

Lady Kayenne Goggles

Jan11 17 4

If triathlon training is in your future we have the goggles for you! The Lady Keyenne is a great fitting and comfortable triathlon goggle for training and racing. We have three varieties to choose from: clear for indoors only, mirrored for indoors and out, and polarized for the best possible optics on open water. Don't be overwhelmed by the choices, we have awesome staff to help sort through the selection with you. And, if your seasoned swimmer, you likely already know this is a great goggle.

Thanks for reading the Times this week . .  gotta run . . .Tara
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