Fit is a Feminist Issue Bloggers Running with Pride 2017

Sam: I love the Toronto Pride Run. (See my past post Walking and Running with Pride!)

It’s one of my favorite athletic events. There are runners of every stripe and speed, kids, runners in costumes, walkers, and so many people cheering the runners on. Such a great atmosphere. This year I registered early but once again ended up with knee issues that meant I couldn’t really train for the event. Other than my holiday running streak there hasn’t been much running for me this year. Instead I was going to regular knee physio. Thankfully Sarah ran with me and helped keep me running at a reasonable pace. We set out to run 5 and walk 1 but a couple of times we ran extra minutes to make it uphills or to the water station. I was so slow–my slowest, happiest 5 km ever– but I was running. I was smiling. And in the end nothing hurt. What a happy day!

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Sarah: Like Sam, I haven’t run much this year. I kept putting off registering for the Pride and Remembrance Run, telling myself I would once I’d been out for a jog or two. Of course, life happened in its usual way, and I hardly ran at all. I wasn’t until last week that I made a snap decision to register. What convinced me? After all, it’s a wide open course held on city streets so it’s not like I couldn’t have snuck in and run with Sam without having a bib number. I was happy, though, to hand over the la$t-minute registration fee knowing it would be going to support several great causes. Over the past 21 years, the Pride and Remembrance Association has raised over $1.3 million for local charities that support the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBTQ+) community. This year’s beneficiaries include the Transitional Housing Program at Fife House, the Day Health and Wellness Program at Casey House; both are outstanding resources for people living with HIV/AIDS. Funds also went to support the Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity’s Gay-Straight Alliance Forums.I also got to enjoy the fabulous costumes of the other participants, a beautiful slow run under perfect conditions, and a free brownie at the end. What’s not to love?

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Off to run! Trying for personal best. #priderun

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Susan: I had intended this to be my fastest recorded 5k ever. It was not. Not at all, not even a little bit.

My first mistake was going too fast in the first kilometer. A good clip for me is 6:30 per km. I was going at about 5:40. My next mistake was getting in behind the Premier of Ontario, Kathleen Wynne. Say what you want about hydro rates, that woman can run. She is closer to my mom’s age than mine so I thought, “I’ll just try to keep up with her and that will be a good pace”. Wrong. I realized that my heart rate was dangerously high and I was feeling very bad around the 3km mark. I slowed down but it was too late, I was toast. I walked for about a km then picked up running near the end. My average pace was 7:10 when all was said and done. Usually that would indicate a leisurely run. In this case it indicated feeling like death was imminent followed by emergency walking and being grumpy.

But hey! It was Pride and it was fun so that’s something.

(See Running with Pride  for Susan’s 2014 post about this event.)


The Toronto Pride and Remembrance Run is one that I do every year, regardless of what my other training goals are. It’s a bit of a tradition with several of my former classmates from the Astronomy Department at U of T – we’ve been running in the race for six years now. I haven’t been training hard since the 50k in May, but I have been running 2-3 times a week. I definitely haven’t been running “fast” for the better part of a year. So my goal was to run hard, but still have fun, and see what I could do. I set off and my pace of about 5:15 per km felt pretty sustainable. I was happy with that. I used to be able to race a 5k in or a bit under 25 minutes, but that was when I was specifically training for speed. There were times when I wanted to stop (mostly the slight uphill parts in the sun), but each time, I thought “this isn’t nearly as far as you ran in May.” Knowing the discomfort wouldn’t last long worked to keep me going and I finished in 26:37. As an added bonus, the super supportive and very fun Run to Beer crew was handing out cans from Great Lakes Brewery to teammates just before crossing the finish line. In all it was a good run with great friends in a happy and positive environment. Love it!

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charity · competition · fitness · racing · running

Walking and Running with Pride!


This past week was a big week in my life. So big that I couldn’t fit it all in and had to cancel cycling holiday plans. No Manitoulin Island for me this year.

While my father’s illness, badly behaved teenagers (it’s the end of the high school year, we’re all running out of patience) and travel plans on the part of my sister-in-law who usually does back up parenting for us were part of the story of competing commitments, it wasn’t all bad.

Here’s some of the good stuff: My son graduated from the Triangle Program. It’s Canada’s only publicly funded secondary school classroom for LGBTIQ2S youth from grades 9 to 12. That’s exciting. I was thrilled to be there for his graduation ceremony and to get to spend time in Toronto for Pride. Mallory and I also got to do the Pride and Remembrance Run. Guest bloggers Alice and Susan and Stephanie were there for the run too.

Susan wrote about the Pride Run last year: “There is one race, however, that motivates me best, the Pride and Remembrance Run, held each year in Toronto on the last Saturday of Pride Week. It was founded in 1996, The Pride and Remembrance Run has become an annual tradition promoting and fostering community spirit, goodwill, volunteerism and sportsmanship in the LGBT community.” For the complete list of reasons she loves it, read on here.

Stephanie says about this year’s event, “This was my fourth year doing the Pride and Remembrance Run. I love it for so many reasons: it’s close to home, the course is familiar (I run around Queen’s Park all the time), and it starts at a very reasonable 10am. It’s also one of the most fun races to run: confetti at the start, the Pride festival on the surrounding streets, people dressed in costumes and bright colours. It’s become a bit of a traditional race for members of my department. This year, I think we had about 14 people running – what a great turnout!”


I think between us this community of bloggers had the full range of speeds and experiences! Susan got a personal best for 5 km and Stephanie broke 25 min for the first time in awhile. Alice and Amy had a terrific fundraising year. They arrived late, 14 min after the start due to “toddler issues” and pulled up the rear.



Mallory and I were in the middle. Mallory wanted to do the 3 km walk and I was originally going to run. But after walking 16 km the day before I had a sore knee and started to worry about running in the upcoming duathlon. In the end I walked all but the final kilometer and started to run only when Susan came past us.

I loved the event. It was probably the best organized run/walk event I’ve ever taken part in. The serious runners got to start first and they were coming back in as the walkers were leaving. The best times were in the 16 and 17 minute range. Speedy!

Here’s how they organized the waves:

I loved the glitter/confetti cannon.

Here’s the start/finish line:

I loved the closed roads in downtown Toronto.

Here’s the route:

I loved the marching band playing Sesame Street and Muppets tunes. I loved all the costumes, of course. These guys won for best costume:

Glenn Bell photography

But most of all I loved the sense of community and the full range of ages, abilities, and ambitions. I’ll definitely be back, next year I hope without a sore knee, and I hope to run the 5 km. See you there!


Mallory and me
Mallory and me!
Susan and me!
Susan and me!

Oh, and I also love that the Premier of Ontario, Kathleen Wynne, does the run with police escorts on bike!

Guest Post · running

Running with Pride (Guest Post)

photo of Suan T, pride runner, guest bloggerIt’s been just over two years now that I have been able to run 5k. Sometimes it’s a bit more, sometimes less but give me enough lead time and I can work up to run that distance without too much issue. I have run by myself, run with my dog, run with my friend and run with my 13 year old on her bike, keeping her judgemental eye on my time and the redness of my complexion. I have run in a few races and I love how they motivate me.
There is one race, however, that motivates me best, the Pride and Remembrance Run, held each year in Toronto on the last Saturday of Pride Week. It was founded in 1996,
The Pride and Remembrance Run has become an annual tradition promoting and fostering community spirit, goodwill, volunteerism and sportsmanship in the LGBT community. (
I would like to share the things I love about this race.
First of all, it starts at 10am. This is both good and bad because if it’s going to be a 30 degree day, it’s already 25 by 10. However, asking a few thousand Queers and their friends and allies to show up any earlier than 10am on a Saturday morning of Pride is a joke so go on, sleep in until 8. Have a leisurely coffee and your pre-race snack of choice. Then, start on your hair, make up, ribbons, feathers and rainbows. I personally can’t run in this stuff but it is amazing what people are willing to put on for the show.

I love sneaking quietly out of my friends’ apartment at 9:15 and leaving a fresh pot of coffee for them as they begin to wake up. I love the walk to the starting line at Church and Wellesley, the heart of Toronto’s Gay Village. The runners converge from all corners of this unique residential and commercial neighbourhood. We line up together, teams, individuals, partners, lovers and friends. There is a giddiness to the crowd because this is a Big Gay Run and we are all here together sharing in the serious silliness, coupled with a deep knowledge of past struggle and tragic loss.

Lined up with us are a city counsellor, the Premier of Ontario and two Mayoral candidates. The shifting political sands of the city feel hopeful under our runner clad feet.

There are two start cannons (full of confetti, of course). The first is for the serious people, the under 15 minutes people, the “I’m on my second lap of Queen’s park before you even make it past Bay Street” people. After the second cannon, we are off, trying not to wipe out on multi-coloured paper littering the street and feeling like the wind.

After the first 10 minutes of elation, it’s like any other race. It is too hot and too sunny and I feel like I want to die. But I run, full of joy and of community. I run with these people, who are still too often “those people”, and they are my people.

I finished with a time of 35:30. My phone said it was a 5.5k run. If so, that was about a 6:30/km pace, which is outstanding for me. Or maybe it wasn’t that fast. It doesn’t matter. I’m full of Pride.