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July 1st, 2015 ~ Vol. 85 No. 26
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7 questions for a set of Sinister 7 Ultra +Relay soloists
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Susan Lowe-Wylde (left,Suzanne Wemp (right)
EZRA BLACK
Pass Herald Reporter
Susan Lowe-Wylde and Suzanne Wemp are no slouches.
On July 11, the Pass residents and running buddies will be attempting to solo all 100-miles of the Sinister 7.
The Herald caught up with Wemp and Lowe-Wylde to ask each of them seven questions about how to prepare for this extreme endurance event.

Suzanne Wemp
Q: What possessed you to do this?
A: To see if I can and because I’m lucky enough to have this opportunity. We are all capable of so much more than we think.

Q: What’s your training regime like?
A: My training is pretty erratic to be honest. Our kids play hockey and lacrosse so through the winter my partner kicked me out of the truck 15 miles before the rink and I’d run the rest of the way. I ran to Kainai in February, that was fun.
Q: What’s your favourite running song?
A: My 11-year old has great taste in music and makes playlists for me. So basically I listen to the same music as the peewee hockey team. It’s multitasking – training and monitoring the kids’ playlists at the same time.

Q: How are you going to motivate yourself to finish the race?
A: I have several reasons I’m motivated to finish. Friends and family have been so supportive; it’s mostly for them. I plan on writing their names on my arm in jiffy marker before the race so I can think of them when it gets tough.

continued below ...
Q: When did you start running?
A: I started running when I had kids. Running after them. Running away from them. Running so I don’t kill them. Other running moms can relate, I’m sure.

Q: What’s the best way to motivate yourself to keep training?
A: Get a dog or two. I have a couple high energy-herding dogs and if I don’t run them one will eat the furniture and the other will obsessively herd the kids. It’s easier just to go run, joking/not joking.

Q: Any general advice for aspiring ultra marathoners?
A: Since I’ve never ran 100 miles before I really don’t think I’m one to offer advice on racing this distance. However, I can honestly say this… Training for this event has truly taught me about enjoying the journey. I’ve spent lots of quality time with my training partner and now close friend Susan [Lowe-Wylde]. From parenting advice to heartfelt encouragement, I’m a richer person for knowing her. My family has also shown me what they’re made of. Their support has been unwavering. Also the constant support of our awesome little running community has been so great. We all have our own goals and yet everyone is equally important. I always feel like I’m part of a team here and that’s been a huge help! So whether it’s an ultra or anything else, my advice is picking a somewhat scary goal for yourself and committing. You won’t regret it and you’ll learn lots along the way.

Susan Lowe-Wylde
Q: What possessed you to do this?
A: I love a challenge! I love the Sinister 7 event and all the positive things it brings to our community. I am intrigued by people’s ability to prepare for and achieve such a lofty goal. I was inspired by a woman around my age who I met at last year’s Sinister 7. She shared her experience of running 100 miles at the Lost Soul Ultra and said anyone can do it with proper training and motivation. So here I am at 54 years old taking on the biggest physical and mental challenge of my life. Why not do it?

continued below ...
Q: What’s your training regime like?
A: I have been running pretty consistently for 42 years so I have a good base. I started training for this event 8 months ago with three 60 minute runs every week and progressing gradually to a peak week of 26 hours of running. I am very careful to schedule rest days as those are as important as training. I do running specific strength training at Spry once or twice a week. I practice yoga a few times a week. I roll [foam rolling] for 30 to 60 minutes everyday. This combination works to keep me injury free.

Q: What’s your favourite running song?
A: I have never run with music, not even once in my life. I love the quiet meditative aspect of running and music would take away from that.

Q: How are you going to motivate yourself to finish the race?
A: I set my mind to it and I will do it. I will only pull out if medically necessary.

Q: When did you start running?
A: I started running when I was 12 years old and living in Montreal. My father started jogging and quit smoking his occasional cigars. I went to the track with him because it was fun to be with him. We started orienteering as a family and I have fun, mostly on trails, ever since.

Q: What’s the best way to motivate yourself to keep training?
A: Make an exercise plan on a calendar and stick with the plan. It’s not that hard once you get going. Do it for yourself! It’s also fun to run with different people. Running is a healthy social activity as long as you find people who run at your pace.

Q: Any general advice for aspiring ultra marathoners?
A: Start with a walk/run program and progress to running. Build a good base. Start to run on trails. Cross train with a running specific training program. Roll. Take yoga class to work on your alignment and posture. Gradually add distance to your training. Then, you will know when you are ready to set yourself a lofty goal, one that may scare you, running 100 miles. Be brave… take risks… the experience of training for the event is amazing. I have met new people and made lifelong friends through this process and what could be better than that.

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July 1st ~ Vol. 85 No. 26
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