Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Next Generation of Ultra Runners

Look out for some impressive ultra runners to come out of the Odessa area in the next 10-20 years time!

Sara and I had the pleasure of attending Odessa Public School (Brennan and Heather's school, and home of the Odessa Tigers) last week and doing a talk about ultra running, some of the races we've done, life goals, active living, the gear we use and a little bit about our jobs.

We were originally asked by Heather's grade 6 teacher to come in and talk to her class, but ended up being a little surprised when we were told that the presentation would occur in the gym. No problem, as we had brought a lot of gear with us and it would be easier to demonstrate and display it there. However, we were a little more surprised when class after class kept rolling into the gym until it was filled with probably 200 kids! They had decided to bring all of the classes from grade 4 - 8 in for the talk.

With the number of people in the gym, we had to speak very loudly to be heard, but our talk went well. When you are doing a talk to kids, you sometimes wonder whether they are paying attention to you or not, but we were very impressed with how well behaved and interested the kids seemed to be.

Our talk lasted about 30-4o minutes before we opened up the floor for questions. We were amazed how many really good questions that everyone came up with and the thought that had been put into them. We spent at least another 30 minutes answering questions about our training, racing, equipment and other things that the kids were interested in. The enthusiasm that the students and staff had was overwhelming and we left feeling as though it was a very positive thing for kids to hear.


  1. It was great fun! The questions were the best!

  2. Cool stuff. Celebs :). So now you two are going on the Lecture Circuit? Well done, must have been a blast. Can you post some of the questions that the kids asked?

  3. Oh gosh....so many!

    Just off the top of my head...
    - Where do you go to the bathroom in the woods?
    - Why do you like running in the dark and in mud?
    - What food do you eat?
    - Where do you get your equipment?
    - Do you have a sponsor?
    - What's the longest distance you have raced?
    - What's the shortest distance you race?
    - How big were the teepees and tents at Rock and Ice?
    - Do you run for charities?
    - What is your training like?
    - Do you do triathlons?
    - What prizes have you won in races?
    - How did you get the runners (dogsled runners) on your sled (pulk) bent?
    - How do you cook your meals?
    - What are those funny looking feet things (Vibram Five Fingers)?
    - How do you keep your food/water from freezing?

    I think those were the main ones. Sara?...

  4. Love them. Funny getting out of the car this morning I was thinking of the questions and the first one that came to mind was the first one you posted. Did Sara have her Diamond with he to show off?

  5. Lots of questions about our gear. At the end a couple of the girls came up and told me about their running and races. I loved that.
    No re diamond, ha.

  6. Awesome!

    We need kids to turn off the TV and get out in the woods. Way to try to turn it around. I salute you.

  7. That reminds me of another question - how we found the time to train - and I answered that we didn't watch tv which opened up a lot of time. I hope I didn't turn some kids off running forever with that one!