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The official magazine of iRunNation

THE LONG SCROLL

DR. TAM

Running the Recovery of Our Country

Dr. Theresa Tam talks to
Mark Sutcliffe about our
need for exercise, and Mark inspires her to pick back up her running shoes

There’s been no steadier voice in Canada than Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s Chief Health 
Officer, who has led us through the novel coronavirus crisis. While we’re not out of the woods 
yet, by any means, there’s been reasons for optimism, and Dr. Tam offers iRun readers this 
advice: “Keep running.” Sutcliffe talked to Dr. Tam from her office in Ottawa.


MS: Dr. Tam, thank you. What do runners need to do to keep safe?
TT:
Don’t let the good training and habits you’ve learned these last months go to waste. 
Keep going, and stay adapting as we learn more about COVID-19. I always tell my staff this 
pandemic is like a marathon—pace yourself, this is not a 100-metre dash.

 

MS: Is it safe to go running?
TT: Yes. Running outside is a good thing to do. Don’t go out when you’re sick or have 
symptoms, but if you feel fine, get some exercise. It’s important for physical and mental health.
 

MS: Share your best tips for how to run safely.
TT: Try and keep 2-metre space between yourself and another runner. Pick non-busy hours 
and routes for your runs. Avoid other people, particularly walkers.
 

MS: Can you run with a friend?
TT: Yes. Someone who is in your bubble. But keep listening to the public health advice. 
COVID-19 is changing all the time.
 

MS: Can you tell us about your own running?
TT:
I got into running somewhat accidentally. Work colleagues—avid runners—threw me in
 the bus one day when they decided to run. I went out of curiosity and found I was able to 
run further than I thought. You get hooked a little bit.

 

MS: So how did you get from there to a marathon?
TT: 
In running it is very easy to make progress, slowly. I found it very satisfying and a
 great alternative to the other exercises I was doing.

PHOTOGRAPHS BY JUSTIN LANG

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THE CANADIAN WAY FORWARD FOR THE RACE ISSUE OF OUR TIME

The Minister of National Defense Harjit Sajjan plots a way forward for our country

Whether you came here ten years ago or 100 years ago, we’re all immigrants. Unless you’re Indigenous. Ever since I came to this portfolio, racism has been personal: how do we get everyone in our beautiful country to feel represented?
 

We all have the same story. We came to Canada for the opportunity to work hard and make the best life possible for our families.
 

We have made a lot of mistakes and we still, as a country, have a lot of work to do. But it starts with an honest conversation about racism, without becoming defensive. I know that when we talk about racism it gets very personal. That’s a good thing. I wear a turban. But when I listen to movements like Black Lives Matter I have to put myself in their position and that helps me understand. By doing that, I get a different perspective—I become educated—and I think, as a country, that’s what we have to do. It’s also called ‘empathy,’ and it allows all Canadians to understand what I go through, or what women go through. From there, we can have thorough discussions to find honest solutions. This is the way we can make change, together.

PHOTOGRAPH BY JUSTIN VAN LEEUWEN

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RUNNING WHILE BLACK

HEALTH

Olympian Rosey Edeh addresses a global health crisis putting Black and Indigenous people at risk

A sunny Sunday afternoon in bucolic Brunswick, Georgia. 25 year-old Ahmaud Arbery sets off for a regular run through his neighbourhood. You know that run. A smooth jog, the pace, just enough to get your heart pumping faster, stronger, sending needed oxygen to your working muscles through blood rich veins. You have on a white t-shirt, like Ahmaud and long shorts, loose enough to let your arms and legs flow with ease allowing a rhythmic trot, yes, now you’ve got your flow on and all your cares have disappeared, your mind and body are one. Your jog takes you through familiar tree-lined streets. Like Ahmaud, you’re a former high school football speedster, so, you may pick up the pace from time to time during the run to challenge yourself. Every now and then you glance around during your run, admiring a bird perhaps or looking out for the odd automobile on your ‘easy like Sunday morning’ peaceful run.

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PHOTOGRAPH BY JOHN R. KENNEDY

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Man Checks into Hospital, Thought He Was Dead. Walks a Virtual Marathon, Instead.

Sitting in the hospital I thought I was a goner.

On top of the lupus and blood clots, I have a rare blood disorder and I’m going through radiation. I have no immune system. And still, I’m pretty happy. I held my same pace for my entire 44 kilometres.

I want to stay alive. I find inspiration in my kids. I want to get back to racing. Sometimes, you want to give up or don’t feel like training, but every time when it’s over, it lifts your spirits. Every kilometre makes a difference.

Start with baby steps. And finish your race.

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF THE OTTAWA HOSPITAL

GRATITUDE

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When will racing return?

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Q