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Fall Into Winter 2018

Marathon Dynamics E-Newsletter

* Best Viewed on Tablet, Laptop or Desktop ;o)

* Click on pics for hi res

Natasha V

Long-time Dynamo Natasha Vasiljevic is STOKED to return to the marathon in fine style after a challenging bout with injuries the year before.  Here she is, just moments before the start of the 2017 NYC Marathon, where she went on to run 3:45, less than 1 minute off her all time marathon best.  Whoo-hoo - Purple Power!

This Season Started Fast...

And Picked Up Speed From There!

New Logo

The past five months have FLOWN by - kind of like you guys do with fierce finishing kicks at the end of your races... 

Well done and well run to all!

 We hope you've been enjoying a few short weeks of relatively relaxed, free and flowing running to recover from your big training and racing efforts, and to build momentum for next season too.

Don't look now, but that's just around the corner..

It’s become our tradition in between seasons, to step back from the technical, informational, objective bent of our in-season missives, to gain some perspective during the physical and metaphorical breath catch, and focus more on the heart, soul and spirit of running, and what it means to us.  We sincerely hope you’ll read and enjoy our stories.

Before we announce what's in store for Marathon Dynamics in 2018, invite new runners to join us, and current Dynamos to return starting Dec. 4th onward, we wanted to provide you with a quick recap of all that's happened with MDI's Team Dynamo this past summer and fall. 

Especially if you haven't been keeping up with us on FB (and if so...why not? Click here to join!), but even if you have, check it out - it's been quite the ride!

There were 100+ incredible achievements by our intrepid crew, including huge all-time PB's, Boston Q's, and best-ever age category placements. There have also been remarkable comebacks, entertaining and informative presentations, fun pub nights, great group workouts, enjoyable weekend long runs, and inspiringly selfless acts of teamwork to boot.

FYI – For all of you who signed up for our “Guess Your Time To Win” contest at the Waterfront Marathon Expo, waiting patiently to find out who won – the wait is over!

Congratulations to Jonathan Strauss, who came within 0.4 seconds of correctly predicting his final chip time at the Waterfront 5K to win the grand prize – a $400 value package of Customized Training Plan & Coaching for next season! (note: times were adjusted proportionately for comparison based on race distance, so a marathoner would have to come <3 seconds of their prediction, and a half marathoner within 1.5 seconds. No one did ;o)


8 Great Summer/Fall '17 Highlights

(In chronological order - Click on pics for hi res)

1) June 3 - Streetsville Mile

We only had a few Dynamos venture out to Mississauga for this first time event (held in conjunction with the Bread & Honey races), but we wanted to highlight it for two reasons: 

a) To recognize the fastest 1 Mile Trial done by a Marathon Dynamics runner in almost 20 years!  Mark Clingen ran an incredible 4:51 mile (at almost 47 no less!) to finish 2nd in his age cat (second only to Coach Kev who ran a 4:46).  Big props Mark! 

Mark & Kev

b) we'd love to see it become a fixture on our Dynamo race calendar, since it dovetails so well with the start of the summer season, and "kills two birds" by getting that nasty 1 mile trial done AND a race too. 

So after spring '18 is run and done, how about it gang...let's do it!

2) June 15 - Team Dynamo Rocks TO Ekiden Relay

A fabulous evening was had by all as three teams of enthusiastic Marathon Dynamics runners did friendly battle with 45 of the best running clubs/teams in the GTA and beyond.

Our mens and womens teams did phenomenally well, with our mens team placing 6th, and our womens team placing 9th,
but the best part was simply getting so many of you together to support each other at this very unique Toronto running event.

Thank you all for your effort, support and commitment to our team!

 TO Ekiden

3) Not So Lazy "Daze" of Summer: July & August

The midsummer period is often a little lower key, as runners are busy with vacations, family, other projects, interests and fitness activities. And though Dynamo runners certainly embraced all these, we kept engaged with our running and with each other in a number of ways.

As temperatures rose, our crew amped the enthusiasm up even higher with sizzling intensity workouts, group long runs, strong race pace runs, and lots of social gatherings for seminars, presentations, pub nights and more.

Here are a few pics of halcyon bliss in our purple world:

 Summer runningDrills

  Pub nightJacquie show

 TO Womens Race

4) Sept 9 - B&O 5K & Can. 5K Championships

Big Purple Power MDI Race Weekend!

At the Canadian 5K Road Race Championships in downtown, 3 MDI coaches earned podium finishes: Roz Morton (3rd in 40-44 - 19:07), Lawrence Warriner (1st in 50-54 - 17:27) and Coach Kev (2nd in 45-49 - 16:40). Lots of purple on the awards rostrum ;o). Guess these guys can do more than just stand around barking split times and clutching clipboards! ;o)

Can Champs 5K

Other great results this weekend:

At the B&O 5K:

Jacquie Jacobs - 1st in AC in 24min
Anu Bentley - 2nd in AC in 23min
Tanja Taylor - 2nd in AC in 22min
Lisa Demarco - 6th in AC in 27min

At the MEC Toronto races:

Dave Larock - 4th overall in the 5K (19:09 - all time PB)
Soroush Hatami - 3rd overall in 10K (37:18 - all time PB)
Mike Brown - 44:19 (must have been near top of masters?)
Helen Burston - 3rd overall in the Half (1:36:29 - all time PB?)

Helen Bagshaw ran 46:43 for 3rd in her AC at Longboat 10K
John Rendeiro ran 38:20 @ TO Hydro 10K to WIN it overall!

At the Erie Marathon:

Andy Sykes ran a 3:35 to Boston Q by almost 20 full minutes
& Ryan Goldvine ran a HUGE all time PB of 3:06 to BQ too

So impressed by and proud of the efforts of these standout Dynamos!

 B and O 

5) Oct 8 - Chicago Marathon

Huge congrats to those Dynamo runners who fought through the uncharacteristically warm, humid and sunny conditions at this year's Chicago marathon.
Here are some of the fabulous results
Paul Jamael  - 2:59 - best ever "World Major" age cat place (28th) 
Tiffany Simms - 3:18 - all time PB (and big Boston Q)
Kristen Dalzell - 3:25 - best marathon in years...back on form!  
Monica Lee - 3:45 - HUGE PB (40+ min), as an Achilles guide runner even! 
Rachel Levy - 4:10 - closest to coach prediction ;o) 
Jose Medellin - 3:16 - all time PB, big Boston Q 
Jennifer Waddell - 4:26 - strong run considering mid season challenges 
Laural Adams - 5+hrs - and clearly enjoyed the day more than anyone ;o)
Maureen Stocker - 5+hrs - with a stress fracture the whole way...ouch!

Paul J and girls

Jose M

 Laural Maureen

6) Oct 20-22 - Scotia Waterfront Weekend '17

It was a weekend I'll not soon forget, that's for sure! Between the two days of hustle and bustle at the Waterfront Expo, to the sunny, hot & steamy conditions on race morning, it was a challenge for sure, but one well worth undertaking!

Great big thank you to the almost two dozen Dynamos who volunteered to help out Team Dynamo at our booth to help make it the place to be.

Dynamo WF

Expo crew

This was also a big Purple Power Push weekend, as we introduced our new Team Dynamo gear (the undisputed hit of the line up is the Purple P-words long sleeve!), and also unveiled our new "expo environment" booth.  Everything met with great reviews!


Thanks as well to the many Dynamo runners who came to cheer on our crew on race morning. Your support meant the world to them! 

As for the race, the unfavourable conditions cost half marathoners some finishing time, and cost the marathons a LOT of finishing time, and yet quite a number of our Dynamo runners still had fine to formidable race performances.

For a rundown of the top 40 Dynamo performances and to see dozens of great race pics, please visit our FB page - Click here!

 Midtown crew

7) Nov 5 - Hamilton & NYC Marathon Weekend

Wet, Windy and WONDERFUL!

Apparently nothing could get in the way of our fiercely determined Dynamo runners just crushing it out there on the race courses in Hamilton (mainly) and NYC Marathon (and Angus Glen even ;o)

Despite the less than perfect weather most of our crew had phenomenal races. For a rundown of three dozen of the shiniest performances from our all-star runners and a boatload of great picks, vist our FB page - click here

 Tanja T

Dave G

Leslie B  

8) Nov 25 - "Purple Power Post-Season Party"

An Evening With Lanni Marchant

That's right, it hasn't even happened yet, and we already KNOW it will be the Toronto running scene social event of the year! Well over 100 are confirmed to attend this very special event, as we fill every seat at the Granite Brewery to celebrate with our fellow runners, coaches and this remarkable Canadian runner!

We're very much looking forward to an evening of great food and drink, enthralling stories, amazing awards and draw prizes, and a presentation by Lanni - Canadian Marathon record holder, Olympian, national champion, criminal lawyer, feminist, advocate, role model, writer and so much more!

 Lanni M

  If you want on the waiting list last minute - click here!

Phew! That was just the last 5 months...

Can you imagine next year? 

 We can - Join Us Now!

 But Why Purple?

The Answer Runs Deep...Deep Purple

By Coach Kevin Smith

Purple HappyPerhaps it's because we recently distributed a batch of kick ass MDI "Purple Power" gear to our runners this fall, but lately we've been getting a LOT of questions about our company's defining colour.

"Why Purple?" people have been asking.

Corporate savvy? Well, the colour psychologists (yes, that's a thing) describe purple as the colour of the spiritual, the mysterious and the imagination. They'll tell you it is evocative and sensual, and that it represents well being, loving, and, believe it or not, the occult.

It is redolent of intuition, power, inspiration, and ambition. Purple evokes the body, mind and soul, and is said to combine the stability of blue and the fierce energy of red.

All of these qualities make it an apt choice to represent an enterprise whose purpose is the pursuit of personal improvement and performance, and of a deeper, richer understanding of oneself through a commingling of the corporeal and the spiritual, through distance running.  It is a smart choice for all those reasons.

But that's not why PURPLE is our colour.

I was a teenage running phenom who lost running completely to a vexing and perplexing leg injury at the age of seventeen (no one knew what Iliotibial Band Syndrome was back then, can you believe it?) For over four years I couldn't run more than a few steps without my right leg locking up in severe tightness and pain. Despite every manner and modality of treatment, including surgery, nothing could put this humpty grumpy back together again.

My eventual rediscovery of running happened during the summer before my 4th and final year of HBA (Western biz school) at the University of Western Ontario (UWO), when I was FINALLY able to overcome my long time injury. Suddenly, gloriously, I was thrust back into the running world after an interminable absence.  As you can imagine, I was thrilled to be back running, and even racing, once again. However, it wasn't just the running itself, and the competing, and the success I experienced, that made it one of the most special times in my entire life. 

That special season, my only one as a true varsity athlete, was the first time I really discovered and genuinely understood how amazing a team sport running can be. That particular year, the coaches of the Western Cross Country team had resigned themselves to the fact that it would be a rebuilding year.  They'd lost a couple of stalwart veterans who'd just graduated, a couple other A listers were injured all summer and out of shape, and no notable rookie prospects were on the radar, so it was shaping up to be a pretty lackluster season. 

However, something wonderful happened.  A complete darkhorse showed up (me) on the first day and tied the top runner on the team at the tryouts. A couple of young rookies turned up fitter and faster than expected, and then the transfer of another star runner from a rival university bolstered our line up, and before you knew it, we were a force to be reckoned with on the CIAU X-Country scene.  We relished our role as the underdog all season long, and enjoyed immense cammaraderie every week in training and every weekend at races, especially those we travelled to.  Every post-race would be filled with hot tubs soaks (where our coach would sneak beers in for us under his rain poncho), and long hours of hilarity.  I even remember teaching my teammates to dance and juggle in hotel rooms if you can imagine that (I learned a few things during my "non-running" years ;o)

Western XC

We ended up finishing 4th at the CIAU Championships narrowly missing the podium, when we weren't even expected to be among the top 3 teams in Ontario alone. And to complete my fairy tale reunion with running, I was chosen Team MVP.  A special honour to be sure, but I will always treasure most the memories I shared with my teammates.

As many of you are probably aware, purple is Western's school colour, and that of its sports teams (Mustangs), so you can imagine how strongly I've always correlated the colour purple with running and teamwork ever since.

But that's not why PURPLE is our colour either.

The roots of Marathon Dynamics "purpleness", were laid much sooner than that, some 40 years ago. When I was a young boy growing up in Montreal, I had a particular pair of purple pants that I really, truly loved.  I couldn't necessarily tell you why at the time they were my favourite, but I wore them everywhere, and did everything in them - I just felt awesome in them, like I could do anything. 

Some of you may already be aware of my childhood circumstances, and some my not, but in either case, to make a long story short, they were "troubled times". We lived in Montreal, and when I was seven, my mother and father separated, with my father moving away to Toronto. Then, less than a year later, my mother committed suicide (I've written about this before if you're curious to know more - click here). 

Over the next couple of years my sister and I were moved around a lot, ultimately ending up here in Toronto. By then, I'd worn those favourite purple pants into purple shorts, and finally outgrew them right around the time I discovered running, and its uncanny ability to help me cope with, and heal from, the pain I'd experienced. Without knowing exactly why, I held on to what was left of those purple pants like a treasure, and eventually realized they had become a symbol for me of my mother; an icon I used to conjure up positive memories, to keep her alive in my heart and soul as I grew up.

So the colour purple has always held a very special place in my heart, and always will.  When it comes right down to it, could I have chosen any other colour?

Mom sis and me   
A much younger version of me, up to some mischief no doubt, trotting away from my amused mother and little sister.
So now you know why it means so much when we see you, the runners we work most closely with, out there in training and on race day, making us proud - PURPLE PROUD!
Hopefully the colour purple wil help you feel awesome, like you can do anything, as it has for me all these years.

Kev shot

- 2011 Ontario Masters Marathon Champion

- 2012 Canadian Masters 1/2 Mara Bronze

- 2013 Ontario Masters 1/2 Mara Champion

- 2014 Ontario Masters 15K Champion

- 2014 Ontario Masters 1500m Champion

- 2015 Ontario Masters 1/2 Mara Champion

- 2015 Ontario Masters 30K Champion

- 2015 Canada Running Series - 2nd Overall Master

- 2016 Scotia Montreal Half Marathon - 1st Master

- 2016 Sporting Life 10K - 1st Master

- 2016 Canada Running Series Masters Champion

- 2017 Canadian 5K Road Race Silver Medallist (45-49)

Kevin Smith is a full-time coach with Marathon Dynamics and a sometime elite masters distance runner, water running enthusiast, (hyper) active elliptical trainer-er, life cycle-ist, inline speedskater, hockey player, power walker, hiker, reluctant rock-climber, and skinny gym-monkey when not enjoying family time with his wife Sherri and son Sebastian.

Not How Far You Fall - But How High You Bounce!

For any of you who experienced injury setbacks this season (we feel for you, trust us!), and weren't able to complete your goal race...

This one's for YOU!

3 amazing comeback stories of Dynamo runners who decided "It's not over until I say it is!", and returned from serious and/or prolonged injury to run better than ever.

Martha Jammal - My Racing Comeback After 18 Months of Injury

Martha J

I joined Marathon Dynamics in 2015 to specifically train for the marathon that never happened. It was my first ever marathon. I had been a runner for a while but never pushed the distance as I found the training did not go well with my body.

In 2012, I trained and was ready to attempt my first marathon but got injured 2 weeks before the race so I thought I would join Kevin to help me with the training in 2015. I was very excited and was improving week after week all the way to running 36km in training. I was VERY ready to race and kick ass but unfortunately, three weeks before the race, my hip problems started again to the point of not being able to run at all. I was very disappointed, but determined to come back.

So my rehabilitation started...

Visits to my sports doctor,  acupuncturist, chiropractor, osteopath, physio and lots of strengthening routines. This process was slow and painful from until I started to run again around March 2016, but very gradually and very slowly.  In June, I had built my distance up to 8km and was ready to start training again but in one of my evening runs I felt a strange pain in my foot at km 3 but continued running until my foot was not responding anymore and had to stop and called my husband to pick me up as I could no longer walk. To my bad luck I had a stress fracture and had to stop all weight bearing activity for several weeks.

The only activity I could do was water running--one of the tools in the “Kevin” toolbox which I learned and practiced for several months which helped me maintain some level of fitness until I was able to run again late last year.  I ran indoors through the winter only 3x a week and spent the rest of the week at the gym strength training and building muscle. In July of this year, I wanted to test my fitness and ran the Beaches Jazz Half Marathon in 1:43, much faster than I anticipated, despite the heat!

This race motivated me to up the training, so then I raced a 15 km in September in 1:08 and finally, the big race - Scotia Waterfront Half which I finished in 1:37:44 placing 3rd in my age group, only 30 seconds behind 1st  & 2nd.

Thanks Kevin and the whole team for providing such a motivating forum to keep trying! As I always say, Believe in Yourself and you will do wonders!

Vadim Gouterman - Crashing Down, Building Back

Vadim G Ham 10Back in February this year I had the best skiing day in my life – how can you beat doing moguls in the back bowls of Lake Louis, especially when you have a knowledgeable local guide who can show you all the amazing parts of that vast and beautiful mountain. In less than a second it all completely changed – I slid, tip of my ski caught a mogul, binding did not release, and I felt a nice clean pop… My right ACL (if you don’t know what it is, good for you, do not look it up!) was done for.

This unfortunate incident took me out of running for 4 months and started a long road to recovery that made me learn a handful of things that may be helpful for folks dealing with (hopefully much more minor) injuries:

 ·       1) Take care of your mental state: Running is a much bigger portion of your emotional well-being than you may realize, losing that may make you more susceptible to stress and even depression, as it did for me.

·         2) Do The Physio: It really works, but you need to follow the protocol (including the silliest parts of the routine) religiously, every single day and every single required rep, trust me, it will help.

·         3) Find a handful of activities that you like: If running is the love of your life and you lose it, no other activity will fill this void completely.  So you need to find a handful of other things that you can enjoy enough to do them once a week, and do 3-4 of them each week.

·      Match these activities to your run training routine: For me road cycling replaced long slow runs, elliptical stood up for OMPs (it is great for keeping heart rate up in the right zone), and pool running (thank you Kevin!) was able to deliver interval-like intensity

·         4) Find the upside(s): Use a break from running as an opportunity to improve your fundamental fitness (think cross-training and weights), and reset your gait (nobody is perfect!)

·         5) Take time: Push yourself, but don’t rush things, and listen to your body. Recovery may take longer than you plan for (and definitely longer than you wish), going too fast may set you back

   6) And last and most important, surround yourself with a support network of specialists you can rely on and trust. For me it was our superstar coach Kevin who guided me along the way, wonderful physio specialist Rochelle Shapera-Gill who literally taught me how to walk again, and “running whisperer” Kris Sheppard. 

Ed note: Just last week, Vadim returned to racing action at the Hamilton 10K, and ended up setting all all time Personal Best of 40:35 to place 2nd in his age cat. too. Well done!

Sam Di Bratto - Injury Can Make You Stronger

Sam DB

The hardest thing about getting injured (I found) is dealing with the fact that a doctor has given you a red light!

Stop running until you are healed.

It’s a hard medicine to take, but when you end up with a torn muscle, a concussion, or plantar fasciitis you have to eventually accept the tough love being delivered by the doctor. I know, these are a few of the injuries that I have gone through in the past few years. One injury is solved, and as soon as I am almost race ready, another setback.

I know I am not unique. When an injury happens my first impulse is “I can’t believe this is happening”. Once I accept the reality that I got injured, I get angry. Here I go again. So, I start to think of an immediate solution that maybe if I get a massage, or get some sort of treatment I can get back to running sooner rather than later. After all I think, “the coach says you don’t start losing some of your fitness until you’ve stopped running for at least 6 or 7 days”.

 So, I try almost anything and the missed runs start to add up. When it’s not working and I see my goal race fading away, initially I start to feel bad. Get down on myself, and imagine that maybe running is not for me. Then I finally accept it: I’m injured and I can’t run. For me it has always been when I reach this point in an injury cycle that I have two choices. To spiral downwards and lose my fitness or to focus my energy into a positive direction and keep floating until I can start running again.

My last injury was plantar fasciitis and it took almost a year to heal. Thanks to Coach Kev, he inspired me to try pool running and coached me through the do’s and don’ts of how to pool run. During that time to stay afloat (literally!) I took up pool running three times a week to do my key runs; did non weigh- bearing cross-training, on other days, and ended my day with long walks. So, I was basically working out six days a week.

I haven’t always had that kind of determination after an injury struck, but in the past year I learned a couple of lessons. Primarily that the MDI motto of ‘mind leads the body’ not only applies to training and races, but also in recovering from injury and maintaining fitness. Cross training and strength training is not something to fit in between runs. Rather, they are pre-requisites to be able to run. I found that worrying about losing fitness would lead my body in that direction. But by adopting a lifestyle of taking actions that would make me a stronger runner during an injury helped me tremendously.

The end result and the lessons learned to my surprise is the attitude that I took during my last injury that made me a faster and stronger runner. Embracing the MDI ideals kept me afloat in dealing with my longest period of injury.

MDI Helps U - 6 Ways From Sunday! Knowledge * Skills * Support * Service * Spirit  * Success

1) Dyna-Mo-nday Presentations are BACK!

DynaMondaysBuilding on the continued success of the previous "Dyna-Mo-nday" and "Super Tuesday" series, we're working with our sports med & strength/conditioning sponsor experts to provide these invaluable presentations yet again this coming season.

These are FREE to all current MDI runners, though you must sign up beforeheand to reserve your spot.

Marathon Dynamics has teamed up with returning sponsors Totum Life Sciences, Running Academy and Physical Ege Physio (Oakv) to offer a series of FREE presentations, emphasizing practical running knowledge and skills for Marathon Dynamics runners. Experts from the staff of Totum, Runner's Academy, Physical Edge & Marathon Dynamics will lead active, jam-packed seminars on everything you’ll need to elevate your running game!

The dates and topics are still being finalized (watch for details coming soon, but will start in January '18) so stay tuned!

2) Racepace Run Series is SET!

TheRacepacese indispensable mid-season checkpoint and rehearsal workouts are CRITICAL to your race day success at season's end, so make sure you attend as many as possible (and/or substitute mid-season races for any you miss!).

Once a month, in both uptown/east Toronto & downtown/west Toronto locations...they're on!

These are FREE for any/all Marathon Dynamics runners, and attendance is considered somewhere between strongly encouraged and mandatory ;o)

Here's the schedule (8-8:10am arrival/warm-up, 8:30am sharp start!):

#1 - Sunday, Jan 21 @ High Park

#2 - Sunday, Feb 18 @ High Park

#3 - Sunday, Apr 8 @ High Park

#4 - Sunday, Apr 22 @ Edwards Gardens

3) “Get Out of Injury Free” Pass!

Get Out HurtIf you’re registering with Marathon Dynamics this season, you get a “Get Out of Injury Free” Pass to use with either Totum Life Science (exclusive in Toronto) at FIRST sign of an injury problem throughout the entire season.  Use it – Run Happy!

Please contact Coach Kev - click here - to requisition yours if/when you need it! 

* Please note: especially for you West TO, Etobicoke and Mississauga, you can visit ANY one of the 4 Totum GTA locations (click here for more info), including the King/Spadina one, for a "Get Out of Injury Free" treatment/assessment.

 4) Team Dynamo Spirit Calendar

SL 10K

Based on a great many successful team gatherings this past year, we'd love to see even more free-spirited fun at THIS season's Dynamo Spirit Calendar events.

It’s all about getting there (road-trippin’), warming up, racing with and cheering each other on—and most importantly, gathering post-race for celebration, good cheer and race stories!  If you weren’t already planning on doing at least a few of the events below, please consider joining us.  If you already had a couple on your list…why not add a couple more?  

Marquis De Sade Half Marathon – Sunday, Nov. 26th

    * What doesn't kill us, makes us stronger, right? (just kidding, lots of options on this route to shorten it up if not ready for the full 21km!).  8am meet up at High Park, 8:15am Warm Up to HP Running Room. 8:30 Start

Boxing Day 10 Miler – Tuesday, Dec. 26th 

   * Come work of some of the holiday excess (and stress!) with a quick 10 Mile jaunt at North America's 3rd oldest race.

"Hillacious Journey"– Sunday, Feb. 4th (High Park)

    * Once a season you should ask yourself "how many hills can I climb today?" 

Chilly Half Marathon – Sunday, Mar. 4th

    * Now a classic mid-winter race, and a great way to checkpoint your mid-season fitness!

Around The Bay – Sunday, Mar. 25th

   * Come join the team running North America's oldest road race (and one of it's toughest). We'll have a booth at the expo too that weekend, so if you can stick around for 1-2 hrs to help us out, even better! 

Boston Marathon – Monday, Apr. 16th

    * By invitation only, of course, but if you've got a golden ticket, join a couple other dozen Dynamo runners there at marathoning's most prestigious event!  

Toronto &/or Missy Mara & Half – Sunday, May 6th

   * The great big spring double header!  Hopefully you'll be racing one of these spring classics?  And/or come out to help us at the Expo (not sure which one yet ;o)

Sporting Life 10K – Sunday, May 13th

   * Be it as your season goal event, or a fun "after biggy" lark, this is such a special race in the TO run community.  If not running, please volunteer at our MDI Team Dynamo waterstation (4th year straight!)  

Season End Party – TBA, May 17-25

   * Always a great time!  Please join us for a comparatively low key pre-summer season social in downtown TO, to share a look back on the season behind us, and get psyched for the season ahead! 

2 weeks before each of these particular events, we’ll send out an email to current Dynamos asking if you’d like to be on the “Team Roster” for that event.  Reply to that email and you’ll be kept in the loop right up to and after the race on all the dirty deets (and clean ones too!)

  Chilly Half

 5) Free High Park Sunday Runs @ Grenadier

High Park Dynamo 8am start time (7:55 arrival), at Grenadier Restaurant, High Park.

Dec '17 - May '18.

Click here if you’d like to join if you haven’t been out yet.


 6) New For 2018 - Dynamo "Mastery" Team 

This project has been in the offing for more than a year now, developing behind the scenes, so we’re tremendously excited to finally announce it to everyone.

ER Dynamo

It has evolved from the original concept of creating a “Master Blaster” team from within our ranks, of exceptionally talented, committed and (ahem) “not young” individuals, to accomplish the following objectives:

1)   Recognize the achievements of MDI’s most accomplished runners

2)   Represent Team Dynamo in the running community at races and other events

3)   Create a teamwork dynamic to help high-level runners improve even more

4)   Mentor and motivate new, developing (and aging!) Dynamo runners

Though the idea was well-received by those runners to whom we presented it to, we quickly realized that the conditions of selection were barriers to those:

a)    younger than 40 years old (the traditional demarcation line of masters running)

b)    45+, since the performance standards were fixed/absolute, and therefore much harder for those already 45, and/or as one aged in the future.

c)    who focused on events shorter than half and full marathons.

So the newly-conceived “Mastery” program pre-requisites are much more inclusive, and attainable (though very tough!) for runners of ALL ages, and who compete at a wide range of distances (5K to marathon).


Essentially, to apply to join MDI’s “Mastery” Team you need to meet 4 requirements:

1)   Have trained with MDI for at least two seasons

2)   Have achieved a 5K, 10K, Half or Marathon race time equivalent to "top 7% or better" of your age cat (as per "Mastery Q" standards list we provide each here. Click here for 2018 standards)

3)   Agree to race with Team Dynamo for at least 1 team event, and 1 individual race (per 5 month season)

4)   Agree to attend/support our Sunday Long Runs at least 2 times per month (per 5 mo. season)

That's it! 7 percent

If you meet those requirements and are ready to commit, we will present you with the coveted “Golden Kit" Singlet (same as our regular Team Dynamo Purple singlet but with gold instead of white) to wear proudly at races and in training, free of charge!

 This “Tougher Than Boston” award (since Boston Q’s are achieved by roughly the top 10-12% of marathon runners in any given race), will be presented annually to all Dynamo runners who have earned a spot on the “Mastery” team, at the year-end celebration bash.

* Note: the top 7% time standards will be set/posted at the beginning of each year, and established based on a 2 year rolling average of finishing times and placements from large, established, local, “fair” races (i.e. not hugely hilly or net downhill!).

Do you have what it takes? Want to join?  Click here to apply!

  The boyz

Two Love Stories, Two Trail Stories

By MDI Coach Lawrence Warriner

A couple years ago a friend of mine asked me to participate in a FKT for a section of the Bruce trail. I was to run 2 sections. I went early to the first section to scout out the terrain and not having run the Bruce trail in a while, familiarize myself with the blazes (markings on the trail, for those trail running newbies ;o)
LeavesAs I jogged the first bit wondering if I was in the right place and also wondering if I should go grab some food before the run, I passed a young couple sitting by an old stone foundation. A beautiful setting, stones and foliage still glistening from the earlier rain. I nodded and passed by. I scouted out the first 2 K or so and thought that it would be a breeze to complete the distance in the time allotted for this section. I made my way back and the young couple were still there. As I approached they were both beaming with a freshness. The young man, perhaps 28 or so, approached me and asked if I could take their picture. "Of course" I said.
The couple responded by saying that in the few minutes since I had first passed by, the young man had surprised the young lady with a proposal, ” Will you marry me ?”. She had accepted and I was the first to know. The light in their eyes and the absolute joy they exuded was so present. I told them I would be honoured and took several photos of their special moment in the woods.

That fall, I was married to my lovely bride, Nancy. We were determined to do our own decorations and I said I had a vision of what we could do with the Lion’s Club hall at Ashbridges Bay. I saw unbleached linen cascading from the ceiling backed by tiny white lights. I saw pumpkins and gourds from my cottage as center pieces. Most of all I saw leaves of bright orange, fiery red and brilliant yellow covering the hanging linen in a beautiful mosaic. The day before the big day, everyone came together to gather the leaves. I knew exactly where we needed to go. We headed to the single track trails of the Don where I run every day. Two families coming together to join, share and find fallen beauty in the most beautiful place I know. The forest was spectacular, awash in deep crimson, burnt orange and yellows of amber and gold. Carefully applying them to our wedding canopy we created my “vision”.


To this day, I am teased about my “vision” and I laugh right along, but on that day, just over two years ago, we brought together two people in love, two families, and the trails I love were right there, overhead and sheltering me as always. The autumn is the most beautiful time to run the trails and as I did so yesterday my mind wandered to thoughts of falling in love in the woods, remarkable moments and how truly lucky I am.

Footnote: I was born in Toronto, grew up here and lived here all my life. I was raised in the old railway housing in Summerhill. The city is a big part of who I am and why I run. For more stories by Lawrence and/or to get in touch, please click here.

Lawrence W

Lawrence Warriner 

- owner/head coach at Toronto T.R.U.E. Running - Trail Running Urban Experience

- 2014 winner of the Brooklyn marathon
- Twice master champion - Waterfront half
- Twice master champion - Goodlife half
- Overall Winner - Ontario 5 Peaks Running Series
- 12 Boston marathons (incl. a 2:42:12, 6th in age cat)
- 1:13:19 half mara, unofficial all-time Can. 50+ record
- 1:46:12 at the Around the Bay 30K
- Other interests include: race directing, pool running, cycling & family time

My Running Journey

Guiding Others I Found My Way

By Monica Lee- New Dynamo Runner

Losing a parent is the probably one of the worst things that can happen to you. Not being able to say good bye is even worse. I lost my father suddenly last year and was unable to find a way to grieve properly. I was not myself mentally and I could feel myself losing control of my life.

Running became a vehicle for me to break from the stressors of being a wife, parent and career woman. I found myself crying during some of those runs and it actually made me feel stronger at the end.

Tip: tears when running looks like you’re sweating so no one can notice otherwise 😉.

Being a guide runner for visually impaired runners with Achilles Canada for the past 2 years has been life changing. Some of the Achilles athletes would thank me for making a difference in their life but really I am the one who is grateful. I recall one athlete asking me why I don’t try harder and qualify for Boston. Made me think that what is my excuse. They don’t make excuses and why should I.

This was a significant year in running for me. I had the opportunity to guide three exceptional athletes who truly motivated me to run strong this fall: Sarah (who has epilepsy) at the Chicago Marathon, Darrell (who is blind) at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon, and Norah (who is battling ovarian cancer, and is a former elite runner, now 60yrs old) at the New York City Marathon.

 Monica Sarah Monica Darrell

Back in August, I lost my love of running after being injured but it came back this fall after guiding these races. Now, I am stronger runner and motivated to continue to run both as a guide and chasing my BQ goal.  With the help of MDI runners and Coach Kevin, I feel confident I will get there.

Monica Norah

Thank you everyone for inspiring others to run and also surprising yourself on how strong you really are!

Marathon Dynamics News

Training Plans, Coaching, Group Runs & More

Intensity Group Workouts - Start Tuesday, Dec. 4th onward!

Four great groups, including one AM & three PM options, at locations from east Toronto to Oakville. 

Arrive early, and complete/update your online profile beforehand if possible!

 Click here for complete info on all coached training groups.

All sessions are 6:30-8pm, unless as noted)

got your back Monarch Park Indoor

 Ekiden Relay 16

Thanks Sponsors!

Much thanks for the continued support of our returning sponsors: Physical Edge Physio, Totum Life Science, Runner's Academy, Skechers Performance, Toronto True Running, and Recharge With Milk (click here, then click on sponsor logo for further info for further info). 

Your generosity has enabled us to be better coaches, and to provide much added value to our runners' lives.


New to Marathon Dynamics?

We feel that on every front—from our staff, to our systems, to our services—we can provide the best training plans & personal running coaching, and deliver the best results, for the best price.

To find out more about how our Customized Training Plans work, please click here, and if you’d like more information on our Personal Coaching Services, please click here, and to find out more about who our coaches themselves are, please click here.

* Initial Testing for new Customized Training Plans is available at all sites thru the months of December and January, but please call/email to notify us of your attendance at least 24hrs in advance (alternatively, self-testing is an option. click here for further instructions).

Want to talk shop re: your goals and plans for next season? 

Best time to reach Coach Kev for a free consultation is between Nov. 20th and Dec. 1st (10am-4pm).  After that, we kick into gear and things get a little crazy, so call soon: 905 891-3197 or click here to email.                                       


Your Faithful Marathon Dynamics Coaches,

Kevin, Jason, Lawrence, Dan, Sarah, Roz & Julie


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In This Issue  

8 Great Highlights               - Summer/Fall '17 Review

But Why Purple?                - By Kevin Smith

Not How Far U Fall            - By 3 Dynamo Runners

6 Ways From Sunday         - MDI Here To Help

2 Trail Love Stories            - By Lawrence Warriner

My Running Journey           - By Monica Lee

Marathon Dynamics News

Previous Issues:

Summer 2017

Fall 2016

Summer 2016

Fall 2015

Fall 2014

Summer 2014

Fall 2013

Summer 2013

Fall 2012

Summer 2012

Fall 2011

Summer 2011

Fall 2010

Summer 2010

Thanks MDI Sponsors!
Totum Lifescience

Physical EdgeSkechers LogoTRUE Running

Recharge Milk

Runners Academy

Steven Watanabe

"I’d run a few marathons using plans off the Internet, but my times had plateaued and I was frustrated. I joined Marathon Dynamics and with a personalized plan, help from Kevin and the other coaches, and the support of my team mates, I was able to cut ten minutes off my personal best and qualify for Boston."  Steven ran 3:21 at the 2017 Goodlife Marathon

 Steven W

Angelique Plata  

"With MDI’s customized training plan, I’ve improved my race times and PB’d in almost all of my races. Thank you Coach Kevin  for welcoming slow runners, like me.  A shout out too to my fellow Dynamos who are all so friendly and very encouraging." Angelique ran a 15min PB at the Goodlife Marathon 2017



Dave Larock

“I have trained with Kevin for three full seasons now and I highly recommend Marathon Dynamics to anyone who wants to run faster and to have fun doing it.

Since joining MD I have set PBs in the 5k, 10k, 21k, 30k and 42k distances thanks to Kevin’s well-thought out training programs and his enthusiastic encouragement. MD makes impossible possible!”

Dave L

Tiffany Simms  

I use to run as a kid in school and loved it so much but when I developed asthma my mother made me stop. After graduating university, I started running again to clear my mind and feel like a kid again - it was and is my favourite thing to do so I kept going.

I ran my very first race (Sporting Life 10K) in 2013 and as soon as I crossed the finish line I was hooked! I ran a half marathon two weeks later (like any sane person would) and developed my first stress fracture. I continued to run in pain, and use the winter months to partially recover, then start back up in the spring. I would cover roughly 70K/week, but wondered why I wasn't getting any faster. Iwould complain to my husband who then asked around and discovered that the number one recommended running coach in Toronto was a fine gentleman by the name of Kevin Smith.

I met Kevin on one of the coldest days in 2016 and completed a mile trial with him. He was very informative and patient with me because my ultimate dream was to qualify for the Boston Marathon and at that time I was nowhere near the shape I needed to be in with two stress fractures. As a runner, every time I was pounding that pavement I would fantasize about running in the Boston Marathon. It would bring tears to my eyes each time I thought about it because it was my ultimate goal. I wanted my BQ more than anything and I knew how hard it was to achieve and felt at many times it was close to impossible.

Kevin put a training plan together for me and I was determined to nail each and every workout, since I knew that if I really wanted to achieve my running goal I would need to put my dream ahead of everything else and focus on it. My family and friends were very supportive although they thought and still think I am crazy but I was ok with that.

With Kevin’s help, guidance and support, I was able to achieve a PB in every race distance this season and after two marathons I finally have my Boston Qualifier! I simply cannot express in words how truly grateful I am to Kevin and his coaching team for all the valuable advice and support that was given to me. This life achievement has taught me that if I work hard enough and never give up anything is possible. It really is.

THANK YOU KEVIN from the bottom of my heart.  

 Tiffany S

Tiffany ran Personal Best (by 27min!) of 3:30 flat @ Toronto Waterfront Marathon to qualify for Boston

Dynamo Newbie Rocks It!

Marathon Dynamics, and Coach Kevin, took me beyond my extensive reading and personal attempts to apply what I've read and enabled me to achieve a personal best time (1h24min) in the Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon) I wouldn't have believed possible--8 MINUTES!

They did this through creating a customized plan and then monitoring and adjusting it and encouraging me every step of the way.  MDI coaches without overcoaching, and provides a great social environment enabling the runner to achieve their goals!

Mark Clingen

 Mark C

Roya Ali-Khanbegi  

I started running 3 yrs ago & 2 yrs ago joined MDI. I’ve had my ups & downs, and when i wanted to stop because of a disappinting race result, Coach Kev encouraged me to stay focused and adjusted not only my training plan but also my goal. In addition, I have an amazing Thursday morning group who I look forward to train with, and has kept me motivated… 3 yrs ago I ran Scotia half in 2:22:02 and today I ran 1:55! Whoot Whoot!

Roya AK

Top Master Brian Cupit
Thanks Coach Kev!
Brian C Missy Half

For the better part of 20 years, I had all but given up on competitive running.  Each time I tried to get back into race shape, an injury would pop up and end my comeback.  But for the past few years, Kevin quietly made suggestions and hinted that perhaps it would be possible for me to run without constant injury if I just trained the right way. I had my doubts, but I started doing Kevin's "Running Health Insurance" exercises  and found myself in January running more than I had in many years, so I started an MDI training plan for a spring half-marathon.

The training plan was challenging, but I found myself getting gradually faster. I got huge motivation and energy each week training with a group of dedicated and enthusiastic runners.  It is amazing how much of that rubs off!  I really doubt that I would have been able to put in the effort I did, or improve as much as I did if I was by myself.  After a few weeks of listening to race stories and race plans of the group members, I became excited by the prospect of actually entering a race.

In early May, I found myself finishing the Mississauga Half in a time that I did not believe possible just a few months earlier.  More importantly, I am back to really enjoying running again.  There is no question that I would not have made it to the start line had it not been for Kevin's coaching, and for me, getting to the start line is what it is all about."
Brian Cupit - 1:16 Mississauga Half 2016, 1st Master (at 50+), and 5th overall!

Nancy Kim  
"My past few years of running had been disappointing.  I was becoming slower, finishing races very fatigued, and was often injured.  I just wasn't enjoying running as much and wanted to turn things around.  I heard about Marathon Dynamics and took the plunge to sign up for the weekly training group and individual training plan.  Best decision ever!!  

In less than 6 months, I've learned so much about running, and have improved my strength and speed.  I achieved a new half marathon PB by 4 minutes and felt strong throughout the race, such a great feeling!  Coaches Kevin and Jason provide wonderful guidance and encouragement, and the talent and work ethic of fellow Dynamo runners is incredibly inspiring.  Being surrounded by so much positivity is an amazing gift, thank you ALL!!!"
Nancy K

Janice Morris

Through Marathon Dynamic's program, I've come back from pregnancy as a stronger and faster runner. I've gone from bed rest to personal best, qualified and ran my first Boston Marathon 6 months after giving birth to my third child and just recently ran a half marathon PB (1:39 2015 Waterfront Half)

 Janice M

New MDI Runner Andrew Auerbach  

"I have a hectic schedule and couldn't commit to fixed group runs. Kevin created a customized training plan for me and was always available for e-coaching. Marathon Dynamics prepared me to qualify for Boston with a PB of 3:11. Even better I beat my marathon time last October by 22 minutes! I'm looking forward to working with Marathon Dynamics for Boston. I know the group work would have been ideal but Marathon Dynamics was able to tailor a program around my needs."

Andrew Auerbach

Dynamo Runners RULE!
"I just wanted to say THANKS!  Without you, your help and support, I never would have improved this much.  You went the extra mile with me (pun intended!), by giving up a lot of your time to teach and coach me through each and every concern I had (which I know were many!).  You believed in me that I could accomplish my goal…and made it really easy - all I had to do was to follow your program.

I am truly grateful and you have made me a better runner!"

Dynamo runner David Gauthier, who has improved his marathon by almost 45 min since joining Marathon Dynamics, recently running a 3:05 this fall to qualify for Boston!

Dave Gauthier

First Time's a Charm  

What an amazing weekend and race in New York City! I finished in 4:37, and can't imagine another race topping this one! I could not have progressed this far without your help. I kept with the program and it really paid off.

Thank you again for all your help in preparation for this all season long!

Marathon debutant Cathy Annetta

Cathy A 

Dynamo Vet Paul Jamael
Paul JPaul has been running with Marathon Dynamics since 2004 and continues to rely on the wisdom and experience of MDI’s Coach Kevin to continually improve.  This year in Boston, he finished 29th in his age category under challenging conditions with an impressive 2:59!

While Paul is one of the top +50 master’s runners in Ontario, he is still motivated by the satisfaction that comes from a hard workout and training with his Marathon Dynamics teammates!  We are looking forward to seeing what he does next!  Run Paul Run!
Stratos Kalpakidis  

 “After I ran 14 full Marathons and 2 half Marathons the last 10 years I felt that I needed help to develop my running performance.

When the student is ready the teacher will appear, and I was lucky at this point of my running life to find Kevin. Kevin is an intuitive coach who knows how to support effectively his runners and his training programs are tailor made for each individual.

I worked the last 5 months with Kevin and as a result I improved 29min my personal best time in the last Toronto Good Life Half Marathon. Kevin helped me to move to the next level! Thank you so much!”

Stratos K

And Rave Some More!

"Marathon Dynamics coaches offer a positive focused atmosphere for people at a variety of skill levels, which is something I very much appreciate. Their friendly encouragement has worked like a tonic to inspire me to push through my own obstacles and reach my traing goals. This is one of the most intense activities I’ve been involved with; I get to with feel the burn and the joy...marvellous!"
Jacquie Jacobs - qualified for Boston at her debut marathon in her 1st season with MDI

Jacquie J

Another Success Story  

I'd achieved some success making my own training plans, but I felt I could improve and didn't know how. With the experience, knowledge, and technical expertise of Marathon Dynamics, I've been able to bring my half marathon PB from 1:48 to 1:34!

I also ran my first marathon, and I'm heading to Boston next April.  If you have the drive and determination, MDI can take care of the planning that ultimately produces your dream results. You'll marvel at coach Kevin's ability to assess your fitness and predict your race day results. You'll arrive at the starting line feeling super confident and ultra-prepared.

Kristin Dalzell after her 1st year with MDI

Kristin D

Anastasia Konovalenko

AnastasiaLast year, MDI helped me to get through really tough season by figuring out what was causing the drop in my running performance, complete my first full marathon and leave me wanting more:)  There were moments last year where I didn't even think I could ever run fast(er) again...but you guys gave me reassurance, patience and strength to get through all that.

This year, however I can't even begin...Every single race I ran, regardless of weather conditions was a PB by 10 + mins! You definitely brought me to a whole different running level and I know that training with MDI will help me qualify for Boston. And thank you for always being there, to answer any questions that I had and tons of emails that I sent, all the support from you and the rest of the staff--I would not be here without you.

Marathon Dynamics Runners Rave  

MDI Rocks! Why? The Personalized Training Plan and the Weekly Group Coaching. I did both. The result? 18 weeks later I qualified for Boston! The Plan was personalized for me, advocated cross training combined with a sensible number of non running days and was easy to follow. So I was realistically able to manage life outside running. And bonus...when I needed my Plan to be tweaked (due to really rough winter weather) it was easily done.

The Weekly Group Coaching got me ‘out there’ with other runners (of all abilities) and my professional MDI Coach. The coaches are runners too and were adept at keeping me on track (literally!) with my Plan by providing encouragement, advice (by email, phone or in person at the weekly workouts) and good jokes! Boston here I come!

MDI Runner Katie Thomas improved her marathon PB by over 15 min and qualified for Boston

Katie T

Brittany Hern
"In just four months Kevin was able to help me accomplish TWO major PB's!
His attention to detail, follow up emails, and constant motivation made my training season really enjoyable (which is hard during the winter season). I am already looking forward to future programming and training! Thanks so much for all your efforts!"
Britt ran 1:30 at the Chilly Half Marathon and broke 40min flat at Sporting Life 10K in 2017
Britt H
Kristen Donovan  

Kristen D  If you're looking for a dedicated and truly caring coach that goes beyond expectations, Coach Kevin and Marathon Dynamics is it! I improved my 30k race time by 40 minutes in my first season. I have even come within 3 seconds of our goal for a half marathon.

My Oakville MD group is like family. There is no judgement and only encouragement, no matter how your workout goes. I leave every meet feeling confident. I am hooked and can't wait to get my second season started!

Dynamo Newbie Kristen Donovan set (big) Personal Bests at every race distance with us, from 10K to marathon!

Dynamo Derek Gracias

Thanks to the structure, coaching and environment the MDI team offered, I was able to complete my first marathon in 3:18 in October 2014.

The initial benchmarking and comprehensive training plan allowed me to measure my progress and kept me focused on my goal.  The support and encouragement from Kevin and the team of MDI coaches was instrumental in improving my technique, speed and most importantly, mental sanity as I approached race day.

I would recommend Marathon Dynamics to rookie and experienced runners alike looking for a great environment and great results.

Derek G

Dynamo Sherlita DiBratto  

SherlitaAs always, Marathon Dynamics provided me with an excellent coaching, by precisely assessing where I was at as a runner, created a training plan and gave me the advice, encouragement and motivation to achieve my targets. Specifically this season, MDI instilled in me a racing and a pacing strategy which helped me realize a new personal best in the Half Marathon. Thank you, MDI!

Sherlita DiBratto, set personal bests at both the 15K distance and the Half Marathon, improving her best time by over 5 minutes, to run 2hrs flat!

MDI Newby Chi Vong

After a season of training with Kevin, I have grown so much as a runner and a person. As a runner, I have improved leaps and bounds, and running at speeds I never thought possible. As a person, I realized I do have what it takes to complete intimidating challenges and to step outside my comfort zone.

The MDI comradery really is second to none. The support you receive from the people you train with weekly, and members of other groups are astounding. Under the guidance of Kevin, his team, and fellow MDI members, I have no doubt I will continue to improve as a runner...I already have.


 Chi V

 Chi improved her best ever marathon time at the Hamilton Marathon by almost 29minutes, running 3:51 flat!

New Dynamo Giselle Disimone  

Because of Marathon Dynamics, this has been the best running season on record. I have been running for many years, but never with a specific goal or training plan. This year I decided to set my sights on an 1:45 ½ marathon, never having run faster than 1:51.  With the encouragement, support and superb, easy to follow training plan I received, I was able to achieve my goal. Running the half in 1:45 was fantastic. Now onto 1:40 or less!

Thank you Kevin (and Kristin) for a fantastic season. I truly appreciated all your encouragement and support.

Giselle DS

This just in...

Don Campbell

I would like to thank Marathon Dynamics for designing a customized training plan. Coach Kev provided me with e-coaching which made my dream of qualifying for Boston a reality. I am so proud of my accomplishment and know I could not have done it without MDI. Thank you very much!!  Don Campbell
Andrew Healey  
This was my first season running with Marathon Dynamics. Kevin was able to give me the confidence to realize a nearly 30 minute improvement in my half time and to run a full marathon.  The program provided created confidence as did our private coaching sessions ... it really allowed me to have an amazing first season.  Positive encouragement, a push when he knew I could do more and a counselor for when I had doubts ... who could ask for more from a coach!!

Thanks Kev!
Andrew H

MDI-er Fulvia Manarin

Thanks for all your encouragement! Every season the training plan you create challenges me ever so slightly that I don’t realize it. I love running with my BFF’s and being a part of an even bigger great running group: Team Dynamo!

Since I joined MDI, I've improved my Personal Bests every season. Kevin has been instrumental in offering advice; not just about the running, but about all factors involved in successful marathon training, such as nutrition, good sleeping habits, appropriate dressing, and injury prevention. 

Long time Team Dynamo runner Fulvia Manarin, who just ran her all time PB of 3:28 at the 2014 NYC Marathon

Audrey Danaher  

Signing up with Marathon Dynamics was a great decision for me. It helped prepare me mentally and physically for running the NYC Marathon, and provided the opportunity to meet some extraordinary runners, especially on track day, dark and early.  The whole experience of the training was great and gave me the confidence to do NY.

I could not have done this marathon without it. What worked especially well for me in particular were the bits of advice you gave on track day (eg sleeping) and through your web site.  Most important though was the encouragement for us to do our best and a belief we could achieve our goals. 
You taught us that the race is something to enjoy, and that I did.  Many thanks!

 Audrey D

Leslie Baker
“The right personalized plan for every runner, high-impact coaching and great team spirit – that’s what Marathon Dynamics and Coach Kevin Smith deliver.
Having next to zero running experience and not having run more than 5K since high school, I was doubtful about what I could achieve in one season with MDI. But Coach Kevin encouraged me to “think big” and aim high, and I set race goals that I never imagined I would actually achieve. After a thorough review of my running experience and capability level, Coach Kevin put together a customized plan that allowed me to gradually build strength, pace and the capacity to achieve my goals – all the while actually enjoying the process. Combined with high-impact coaching and constant encouragement from fellow MDI runners, I stuck with my plan and almost immediately began to see results.
Just before my training plan began, I ran my first 10K in just over 50 minutes; my next 10K I achieved a sub-46 time – after just 5 weeks of training! I never imagined I would run 10K, let alone to start achieving solid results. By season's end, I achieved something I could only dream of before I started: a sub-1:40 half-marathon! 
Perseverance and persistence will only get you so far – you need a plan and the right coach to get you to your goals. I’m in the best shape I have been in for decades and have lost 20lbs in the process. I can’t wait for next season!”
 Leslie B     
MDI Rookie Teresa Lee  

After 15 years of failing to achieve my goal of  qualifying for Boston, Kevin and his team got me there after only one season of training. I would not have had the grit to maintain my pace on that final 10 km of the marathon if not for Kevin’s training, encouragement and support. Thank you!

 Teresa Lee

Midtown Dynamo Tara O

I have to say joining Marathon Dynamics has been a great decision for me. I was initially intimidated by all the great runners in your crew but I wanted to get better so decided to go for it. I have had a great time and feel like I've improved over the last few months. Everyone has been so supportive and you have been an amazing coach.

Tara O'Hagan - ran 3:55 PB at Marine Corps Marathon

Tara OHagan

and even more!  
“Thanks to Kevin Smith and the Marathon Dynamics approach to training, I was able to fulfill a personal dream - to qualify for the Boston Marathon.  By joining the Marathon Dynamics team and following their program, I was able to improve my marathon PB from 3:57 to 3:19 in just one year!” 

“Even more important to me is that Kevin works really hard to foster a friendly and supportive team environment throughout training and coaching sessions... As a result, I have been able to establish incredible new friendships with some great people that share my passion for running.” 

New Marathon Dynamics Runner Harvey Foote

Harvey F 

Getting Faster For Years!

"I was so thrilled that you were thrilled. I could feel your genuine excitement. And you validated my sub-45. These are true traits of a high quality, caring, and remarkable coach: my preparation, my performance, and the personal attention that you give each and every one of your clients"

Long Time Dynamo Jackie Gallant, after improving her 10K PB by a full 3 minutes, running 44:39!

MDI Runner Benoit Keppenne  

"8 months ago I was immobilized on an hospital bed with severe injuries suffered in a horrible motorcycle accident. I just ran my half marathon in 1:29--an 8 min PB!

This would not have happened without MDI's help. The personal plans are very effective at keeping you focussed & the camaraderie of the group running sessions and coaches push you to the limit without you even noticing it!"

Benoit K


A Happy MDI Runner

You really have brought me to a place I never thought I would see. I never imagined I’d be able to deliver the race result that I did this past year. I’m still in disbelief of the time in fact!  I've vastly improved through your coaching.  You took me from a 4:02 marathon where I thought I left everything I had on the course down to a 3:19 in 3 years – with a Boston Q to show for it as a bonus!"

Ken Moscoe

Ken M

Rod Lowe

Kevin's support, vast knowledge, and enthusiasm are a huge part of my being able to run faster and stronger than I ever have.

Thanks to him I was able to knock almost 4 minutes off my personal best time in the half marathon. That previous best was set while I was still in my 30's -- I'm now closer to 50 than I am to 40. Thanks Kev!!!

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