The Carb Controversy: how we can eat to fuel our running

Carbs have long been a runner’s friend – but newer research and guidelines teach us how to best use carbs to our performance advantage:

  • Do low carb diets work for runners and do they actually have performance enhancing benefits?
  • How should we periodize our carb intake during different training phases?
  • And how do other nutrients fit into a daily training diet?

Learn about practical strategies to optimize your diet for everyday health, and use it as one of your most important training tools.

Our speaker for this event is Cara Kasdorf, a dietician and sports nutritionist with Grand River Sports Medicine, and the Guelph Family Health Team. She has run with the Victors for over eight years, but during the day she’s a highly accomplished and specialized nutritionist.

Cara will present the latest research on the role of carbs in a healthy diet, as well as her perspective from working with all kinds of athletes on their diets in pursuit of better performance. It promises to be a fun and informative event.

Date: Tuesday, Jan. 23, 8 pm
Location: Trafalgar Building, 123 Woolwich Street, Suite 101
Parking: On the street, in the Baker Street public lot (two blocks west), or behind 123 Woolwich in parking spots next to the building marked “Blue North”.

Admission to this event is FREE. Bonus: healthy energy bar snacks, along with DIY recipes!

5 ways we can help you achieve your 2018 running goals

1. Winter track workouts — register now, start Jan. 11

Our popular winter track workouts are back, in the comfort and warmth of the University of Guelph field house and its plush 200-metre track. Register here. We’ll do a brisk 45-minute workout every week from Jan. 11 to Mar. 15 (Thursday nights), starting at 7 pm. These are short intervals, generally from 200–400 metres, with very short periods of recovery in between. This training is for anyone who wants to improve (or even maintain) their short-distance speed over the winter. The workouts are set and supervised by former Olympian Taylor Milne, who manages to keep things fresh and new every week. The cost for the 10-week session is $50 / $35 students. More info about indoor track is hereOur first workout is Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018.

2. The Carb Controversy: how we can eat to fuel our running

Cara KasdorfSomething brand new: we’ve decided to tap the wealth of local expertise in running, psychology and nutrition, with a new speaker series this coming season. FIRST UP is an evening session with dietician (and Victors runner), Cara Kasdorf, RD, BSc.

Carbs have long been a runner’s friend but newer research and guidelines teaches us how to best use carbs to our performance advantage. Do low carb diets work for runners and do they actually have performance enhancing benefits?  How should we periodize our carb intake during different training phases?  And how do other nutrients fit into a daily training diet?  Learn about practical strategies to optimize your diet for everyday health, and use it as one of your most important training tools.

Save the Date: Tuesday, Jan. 23, 8–9:30 pm
More details: to come in January

3. Join the new Guelph Victors Strava group

Strava is like your own online training log, with a social media component. By sharing your workouts and running plans with others, you can get valuable feedback and training ideas. Another benefit is accountability (since your training log is public), which can help as a motivator when you’re heading out for a lonely, mid-week run in the dark and cold! All you need to use Strava is some sort of electronic device to measure your runs – anything from a GPS watch to a smart phone will do the trick. Once you get a Strava account, you can set things up so that your run data gets uploaded automatically. You can then check the status of your “friends” on your mobile device (using the Strava app) or computer. Once you’re signed up to the service, please join our club as well, either by searching for us, or going here. (Thanks to George Kara for getting us started with Strava.)

Guelph Victors Christmas run

4. Discounts: gear and race savings for you!

To help you get racing in 2018, we’ve arranged some discounts for Guelph Victors members:

  • 15% off your first purchase at Running Works store, after you sign up for our Winter Indoor workouts, above – we’ll send you a coupon after you register
  • $5 discount off the Around the Bay race, Mar. 25, 2018, either the 30K or the 5K race – use the discount code “iRun30k” or “iRun5k” (discount valid until Feb. 28) at this page
  • $15 discount off any race distance at the Mississauga Marathon, May 4–6, 2018 – use the discount code “GUVI” at this registration page

5. Use goal-setting to achieve a peak performance in 2018

I hope you’ve had a good break over the holidays. Now is a good starting point to begin the journey for 2018. You may already know what you would like to achieve in the coming season, or at least during the first 5–6 month cycle, culminating in a peak distance race in the spring.

If you haven’t quite determined your goals for 2018, that’s fine. But in any case, you should be starting to develop a solid foundation, so there is no reason to delay as it takes time to develop an endurance base. These initial weeks should focus on base-building and hill work, which will progress as your body adjusts.

Here is a list of things I feel are important for you to consider as you plan for 2018. (Read more on the Victors website, in a new Training Advice section, by Victors coach Tim Uuksulainen.)

Happy New year everyone. Run well in 2018!

Guelph Victors socialize at year-end party

Victors celebrate the 2017 year in running

Over 60 people turned out to the Albion Hotel last week to celebrate the past year in running for the Victors. We socialized, drank, snacked, chatted, listened, and then applauded the winners of the various awards. We also heard a summary of the club’s new governance this past year, plans for next year, and a report on where the money comes from and where it goes. More on that below, but first, the award winners!

Victors 2017 sock award winners

The 2017 sock (and also buff) awards

These are like our club’s “people’s choice” awards, with nominees generated by our members. The list is considered by a committee of three (Brad Morley, Luke Hohenadel, Mary Catherine Stewart), who also research accomplishments of Victors members in 2017 races. This year’s winners (L–R above) were: Shawn Gillan, Matt Evans, Jerry Greenfield, Tica Simmons, William Smith, Elizabeth Waywell, Robert Winckler, Kristen Cooper, Chris “200-mile” Duke, and Stacy McMillan. Also winning awards (but not in attendance), Tara MacDonald and Elizabeth Stewart. In attendance, but we goofed, and forgot to include him in the presentation (apologies!), Glen Reimer. They each won a pair of socks (or a Victors buff), as per tradition.

Guelph Victors 2017 trophy winners

Four individuals win trophy awards

The four trophies we award each year go to particular individuals, again chosen by the three-person committee mentioned above. This year’s winners (L–R above):

  • Vic Matthews Award: (for service to the club, named for our founder and namesake): Art Kilgour, who coordinated the new Victors Leadership Committee this past year, and also redesigned the Victors website
  • Multi-sport Athlete of the Year: Angela Hofstra, a triathlete who competed successfully at the international level this year
  • Usher Posluszny Award: (for outstanding performance, named for an early club leader who died just recently): Michelle Brady, for many race podiums and victories this year (both age group and outright), plus a big marathon PB
  • Grit and Determination Award: David Brooks, for overcoming a potentially career-ending injury and getting through major surgery on his leg

Wendy Greenfield looks after our money

Healthy membership and finances in 2017

The Victors Leadership Committee presented a summary of this year’s activities and finances to the assembled members. (That’s our money-keeper, Wendy Greenfield, above, counting admissions for the evening, which was a break-even event.) Here’s an abridged version:

  • 122 members for the 2017 season (plus 38 registered for winter indoor workouts)
  • 326 email subscribers
  • 3 paid coaches, plus professional chip timing for 4 time trials
  • 27 track workouts (summer), 11 track workouts (winter)
  • 281 Facebook page members (closed group)

And here’s the financial summary, courtesy of Wendy:

  • $9,520 raised through membership fees, plus garment sales (singlets and buffs)
  • $7,442 spent on garments, coach’s honoraria, timing, insurance, and track rental so far
  • another $1,599 in expenses expected through year-end (including U. of G. bursary, see below)
  • a projected surplus of $477.78 on Dec. 31, 2017

For a copy of the full, two-page Victors activity and financial report, send an email here.

Grant Campbell plays guitar at the year-end gathering

Guelph Victors provide bursary for U. of G. sprinter

No, that’s not the sprinter above! It’s Grant Campbell, the ultra runner who provided entertainment for us at the year-end party, playing a selection of Gordon Lightfoot tunes and finger-picking his brains out.

Jenna Smith, bursary recipientThe Guelph Victors are providing a $500 bursary to Jenna Smith, a track athlete at the University of Guelph, as part of the Vic Matthews Scholarship. Jenna is a second year student on the varsity team who is majoring in Political Science. She enjoyed a great first year, making the final in the U Sports (Canadian University) 300 metres. This summer she made the National Junior team in the 400 running 54.77 and she ran a school record 38.92 for the 300 indoors. Jenna has excellent potential as an athlete and is a great student. We’re pleased to be helping with her education.

Finally, one last shot of four (plus one on the way) Victors, happy to be socializing in non-running attire! (All these great photos are courtesy of our member-runner-photographer Dean Palmer, who is now firmly on the comeback from injury. Thanks Dean, and welcome back!)

Guelph Victors socialize at year-end party

Getting visible for Tuesday tempo

We shift to our winter routine on Nov. 7 next week, which means tempo runs at 6 pm on Tuesday evenings, and then in January, indoor Thursday workouts at the U. of G. field house (more about that in December).

Our Tuesday run starts at the Running Works, and weaves around the Old University neighbourhood just south of the Speed River on residential streets. And we run on the roads, not the sidewalks, crossing Edinburgh Street four times at signalled crossings. See map of our 8K and 10K routes here.

There’s a big advantage to running on the roads — they’re usually free of snow and ice, and it’s much easier to run at tempo pace without making the transition from sidewalk to road with every block.

But running on the roads can be dangerous, if we’re not dressed in genuine night running gear. So this year, we want EVERY Tuesday night runner wearing a reflective top, plus flashing lights front and back. 

To that end, we’ve partnered with the Running Works store, the meeting place for our tempo runs, to offer a package deal: a new, Nathan Bandolier reflective vest with two running lights (they clip onto the vest) for a reduced price of $45 plus HST ($50.85 total) that’s a saving of $15.


If you already own proper night running gear, great — wear it next week! Otherwise, you can pre-order your new vest and lights NOW to make sure we can have them on hand next Tuesday, when our first tempo run takes off! Email here to reserve your package, and bring your debit card or cash on Tuesday. You can purchase the items separately of course (vest $30, lights $15 each), or other Nathan reflective gear, at the Running Works store.

Simply wearing reflective clothing or shoes isn’t enough when we’re running on dark residential streets in winter. A 360º reflective vest and flashing lights are a must. Thanks for your cooperation!

Usher Poluszny and his bonsai plants

Usher Posluszny remembered by early Victors

More than a dozen Guelph Victors attended the burial service for Usher Posluszny in Woodlawn Memorial Park on October 14. They were remembering the runner who was inseparable from his good friend Victor Matthews, who died 13 years ago. Posluszny was found at his home on Oct. 10, after apparently dying in his sleep. He was 70 years of age.

Vic Matthews and Usher Poluszny

Vic Matthews, our club’s first coach and now our namesake, in a 5K masters race with Usher Posluszny (right) in 1989. They were fast, finishing just two seconds apart — Vic in 16:47 and Usher in 16:49, each placing second in their 40-44 (Usher) and 45-49 (Vic) age categories at the Ontario masters championships that year. (Their singlets say “Guelph Oaks Athletic Club”, a broader athletic club that many Guelph runners belonged to prior to the Victors becoming a club.) Photo: George Aitken

Usher Posluszny was memorialized by colleagues, friends and students at the graveside gathering last week. He led a rich life, with passions that bridged the arts and sciences. He was a professor of botany at the University of Guelph for his entire career. And he cultivated an ornate bonsai garden in his home off Waterloo Avenue. But he also had intense interests in wine, music (especially opera), visual art (he became a collector in his 60s), travel, calligraphy and the performing arts (he frequently attended Stratford productions).

Current Victor Luke Hohenadel remembers meeting “Vic and Usher” 37 years ago as a 20-something runner looking to get better. He remembers getting dropped by their hard pace on long runs at first, but he came back, and each week held on a little longer, until he could keep pace with the two fleet 30-somethings.

Usher Posluszny stopped running in his late 50s, because of knee problems reports Hohenadel, but he still came out to the Victors track workouts as recently as about 2009, to help with timing. Athletically, he switched to tennis in his seventh decade. And it was a missed tennis date that led people to his house two weeks ago, finding him lifeless but peaceful.

He leaves his sister Ruthie, brother-in-law Avi, and a niece and nephew. He had no children and wasn’t married.

Here are the time trial results (and comments)

Our second 3K time trial went off a lot more smoothly last night, with three heats between 6 and 7 pm, and 65 finishers between 9 and 20 minutes. Here are the results:

June 20 3K results

Quite a few runners ran faster than six weeks ago, which is after all the point of our training! Congrats to these Victors, who really knocked it out of the park:

  • Matthew Evans: 13:47 / 12:53 — a 54-second improvement
  • Elizabeth Stewart: 12:59 / 12:30 — a 29-second improvement
  • Cassandra McCaig: 11:56 / 11:27 — a 29-second improvement
  • Christine Laframboise: 13:39 / 13:14 — a 25-second improvement
  • Stacy McMillan: 14:20 / 13:56 — a 24-second improvement
  • Aaron Bassett: 11:10 / 10:50 — a 20-second improvement

Five other special mentions:

  • Jasper Tey: he ran 10:45 last time, and again 10:45 last night. That’s consistency!
  • Jill Jaworski (12:02) and Jen Schneider (12:35): these two first-timers to our time trial posted great results
  • John Parrot: he doesn’t train with us regularly, but ran the 3K last night in 9:13, a blazing fast time, possibly the fastest ever at a Victors time trial
  • John Clarke: this Orangeville resident ran ALL THREE heats last night, in 11:27, 11:59 and (we didn’t record his last one). John is a top-ranked Canadian master, and at 65 still has amazing acceleration on his last lap – 85 seconds last night after running a 93-second average time up until then. We’re glad to have him training with us periodically.

Thanks to all the volunteers last night, who made sure the whole event ran smoothly and accurately:

  • David Brooks, overall planning and start line coaching
  • Isaac Wismer and John Marsden, starting, timing and results
  • Taylor Milne and Tim Uuksulainen, registration, lap times and lap counting
  • Brad Morley, Art Kilgour, registration

Victor divas take Toronto by storm

A (pink) limousine full of 16 Guelph Victors women descended on Toronto last Sunday morning for the annual running of the Divas Half-Marathon. There’s not a lot of news to report, because “what goes on in the limousine, stays in the limousine,” according to Wendy Greenfield. But we can confirm that the Divas chose a hot day to run, with temperatures approaching 30 degrees. (The race was supposed to take place on Toronto island, where it would have been cooler, but because of flooding it was moved eastward and to the mainland.)

The race group was organized by Wendy Tokeson (centre of the photo above), who broke her ankle and tore her knee apart in an e-bike accident about a week ago, but she attended nonetheless – she gets around pretty effectively with a little scooter that supports her injured right leg.

The top Guelph finisher was Tica Simmons, 52, who placed 11th in a time of 1:44. She said on Saturday that she was “not really the diva type” and wouldn’t wear the regulation pink tutu provided to all race participants. But then this photo showed up today, confirming, according to Tokeson, “that everyone has an inner Diva, and Tica rocked hers yesterday.”

The first place finisher in the race was Fr. Lapointe, a 39-year-old male model from Laval, Quebec, in 1:22, followed hot on the heels by the 1,005 Divas.


Guelph Victor places third in ultra-ultra race

Chris Duke (above, at race finish), a Guelph Victor for more than ten years, finished the 200-mile solo race at Sulphur Springs, Dundas on Sunday morning, placing third in the unique event. (It’s the first time the distance has ever been run at Sulphur and one of only a few such ultra-ultra events ever raced in Canada.)

“I’m a little tired and sore,” he wrote with typical understatement to his supporters on Sunday afternoon, after finishing the event at 5:15 am the same day, about 65 hours after he began last Thursday. He ran and power-walked almost the whole time, navigating a hilly, 20K trail loop 16 times (320 kilometres), stopping only for meals and naps in his tent. His first day featured constant rain and a very muddy trail. The weather improved through Friday and Saturday, but the mud remained for the nearly three days he was out there.

For much of the race from Friday on, Duke was accompanied by multiple training partners, many of them Guelph Victors, who urged him on and helped him make mental decisions about when to rest and eat. He ran his first loop in 2 hours and 20 min, then slowed gradually to four-plus hours per loop by Saturday night. His last 20K loop, in the wee hours of Sunday morning, was run in 2 hours and 49 minutes, with Victor Stephen Kilburn, who reported, “He’s on fire!”

Duke is 51 years old, and works as an environmental consultant with OMAFRA. He and his wife Elise have three teenage kids, a boy and two girls. A few years ago he wasn’t running at all, after undergoing two knee surgeries in 2010 and 2012 to fix a torn meniscus. His doctor advised him to give up running. But Duke bounced back in 2013 and has taken to ultra running with a vengeance, with a several 100-milers to his credit before suddenly doubling the ridiculous distance last weekend.

Just one week ago, he was part of the Guelph Victors team that placed fourth in the Cobourg to Niagara Falls non-stop relay race. That event had 12 guys covering 304 km over 24 hours on roads and bike trails, a little insane, but not certifiably crazy. The following weekend, he covered 320 km, on muddy woodland trails, all by himself.

Eureka! indeed. As of Monday morning he said he was “feeling pretty beat up” and the bottoms of his feet were “like pins and needles on fire.” He thanked his family, and training partner Christa Yoshimoto, who coordinated his race support team of volunteers and running companions.

Duke was one of nearly a dozen Guelph Victors participating in the multiple events at Sulphur Springs last weekend. There were many other good Victors results (Ed Ross, Geri Higginson, Maria Batty, Kelly Rupoli, and more), but two spectacular ones:

  • Christina Clark, 41, won the 100K race outright, first among women and men, in 10 hours and 29 minutes.
  • Michelle Brady, 44, who is having a breakout year, was first female in the 25K race, in 2 hours flat, winning in a sprint finish.

benjamin catton is back at home

Andrew and Shannon Catton’s 22-month old toddler Benjamin is back at home in Guelph finally, after spending 90 days at the Hamilton Health Sciences Centre coping with a life-threatening infection caused by his congenital kidney condition. (Andrew owns The Running Works, which is integral to our running community, and we’ve been well aware of his absence since about December.) While in Hamilton, Benjamin underwent the removal of a kidney, intubation and even a tracheostomy, before beating the lung infection and returning home on May 17.

Andrew said, “Emily [Benjamin’s 7-year-old older sister] is especially happy. We’re back to the same noise, chatter, yelling, laughter, and other sights and sounds that have been missing from our home for far too long.”

Although Benjamin’s medical situation is complex, with many doctor’s appointments over the coming weeks, Andrew says, “we’ll gladly take them over what we’ve been through.” We send our best wishes to Andrew and his family, and express our relief that Benjamin is back at home again!

The singlets are coming; the buffs are next

If you ordered a Guelph Victors singlet when you registered this spring, then it’s being manufactured by Sugoi and will be here by June 20 or 27. We’ll notify you by email, and we’ll distribute them at the Tuesday track workouts when they arrive. Even if you didn’t pre-order one, you can still purchase your very own singlet as we’ll have lots on hand. As well, we’ll be placing an order for Victors buffs – a lightweight headband, scarf, balaclava all-in-one shortly – and will be selling these as well. Stay tuned for more info on this new, $10 Victors item.

How far would you run for a book?

Several Guelph Victors are organizing a fun race on Thursday night, June 22, to benefit the One World Schoolhouse Foundation, which raises money for literacy in St. Lucia. The trail run starts at 6 pm at the Turfgrass Institute, Victoria and College. The course will be marked and timed, but participants are free to run it as a tempo run, a race or a social run. Bring your own water – no washroom facilities provided. Bonus: there will be homemade cookies by Kelly Rupoli at the finish line! Suggested donation is $10, receipts for donations of $20 or more. No need to register, but please email trail5kforbooks@gmail.comif you plan to participate. Learn more about this Guelph charity is at

Stroke and Stride: a new local multisport series

There’s a unique new way to break into multisport racing with the monthly “Stroke and Stride” events starting June 7 (next week) at Guelph Lake, and continuing the first Wednesday night of every month through September (four nights / races in total). It’s “Swim, Run, Done” with no bike portion, and multiple race distances from 25m swim / 250m run (for 3–5 year olds) up to 1500m swim / 5km run (for adults), and many combinations in between. The events happen from 4–7 pm each Wednesday night, and cost $30 to $50. (Guelph Victors enjoy a $5 discount, and their children a $3 discount.) The June and July races are at Guelph Lake, while August and September are at Gulliver’s Lake, south of Guelph. More information at, or contact

Run for the Cure looking for Guelph race director

The fall Run for the Cure 5K has been a hugely successful race in Guelph and beyond for the last 13 years, raising $3.2 million nationwide for breast cancer research. They’re now looking for a local run director and committee members (all volunteers) to help with this year’s event, to be held on Sun. Oct. 1. Contact for more information.

65 people run the first benchmark run

It was a bit of a zoo at the start – but a load of Guelph Victors turned out last Tuesday night for the first benchmark run of the season, which had been delayed by a week. We apologize for the tardiness in posting, but your results are online now, at the Victors website, as well as photos, courtesy of David Brooks:


You’ll find a wealth of information there if you check not only your finish time, but your individual lap splits. How even were your lap times? Most people run a little faster in the early going, struggle a bit on laps 6 and 7, and manage to pull it together for a faster last lap. But overall, your lap splits should be pretty similar, with variations of only a few seconds. You can use this past week’s time trial as a guide for pacing next time around – aim to run every lap at your average pace from this week (or a little faster). Even pacing will yield the best result.

If you ran the time trial, but don’t see your result (or have an incomplete result or have a question about your result), please go to the website and send us an inquiry through the right-hand sidebar (that sends an email to multiple people). We had a number of complications we didn’t anticipate in timing this week’s run, and we’ll do a better job of distributing chips and dividing runners between heats next time around, on June 7.

Thanks to everyone who helped out at the time trial, especially David Brooks, John Marsden, Brad Morley, Isaac Wismer, and Tim Uuksulainen.

Injured? Weary? We can still use you

Even if you’re not running, we can still use you at the Tuesday track workouts. Each week we like to have volunteer timers, to call out lap splits, and we’ll give you stop watch and put you to work. So please come out and help make it a better workout for everyone else. But let us know in advance, so we can slot you into our volunteer schedule. Email coach David Brooks at least a day before the Tuesday workout.

Join the Victors, for outdoor track

Here’s a sign of spring – outdoor track workouts at the University of Guelph! Our first one is next week, Tuesday, April 18 at either 6:00 or 6:45 pm. We have a new seven-week cycle of workouts  planned for 2017, to condition various aspects of your running fitness.

Are you ready to join the Victors for 2017? Then go to our registration page on Race Roster to sign up. If you’ve haven’t already done so, you’ll need to create a Race Roster account. (If you’ve run a local race in the last few years, you may already have an account.) The registration fee is $50, for the duration of 2017 – quite a good deal!


While you’re registering, you can also order a Guelph Victors running singlet. We’re printing a new batch this year; yours will be delivered at a Tuesday workout in about six weeks’ time.

If you prefer not to register online, you can download a registration form here and bring it to a workout, with the $50 registration fee (cheque payable to Guelph Victors or cash).

Finally, if you’re new to the Victors, you’re welcome to attend workouts for a few weeks, before registering and paying any money. Please arrive early and introduce yourself to a coach or leader so we can welcome you to our group.