Meet the Contributor: Brian

My name is Brian, and I am an ultramarathon runner. If you were to ask anyone that knows me, they will tell you that I’m all about “building character.” It’s no surprise then, that my hobby involves running for hours on end, regardless of whether or not I am being chased.

I started building character while growing up on a dairy farm, just outside of London, ON. I grew up being quite a trouble maker, but I prefer to think that I just had a need to explore and understand how everything worked. As I grew older, that turned into an attention to detail and critical thinking. I was never a fan of following the same path as everyone else and decided not to go to university after high school. Instead, I became a CNC machinist in a small research based machine shop. It was around the same time, I joined a learn to run group at the local gym, as a way to meet some new people.
In only 6 years since then, I have accomplished so much that I would never have even dreamed possible. All I did was set a few small goals, one after the next. And every once in a while, I’d throw a big hairy one in there too. I have since “retired” from my awesome job as a machinist, in order to have an even more awesome jobs of being a yoga instructor and running coach.

I love working at lululemon because it brings together my passions of yoga, running and challenging yourself to be all you can while serving others.

Running has given me so much over the last few years and I feel very passionate about giving back to that community. I have done several marathons for Team Diabetes, the charitable branch of the Canadian Diabetes Association as well as raised money for various other causes. Nothing brings more meaning to an activity than knowing that you are helping many others in need.

I have been lucky enough to have travelled all over the world, and running always seems to be the best way to see the sights. I have run 27 marathons/ultras on 5 different continents and plan to run on the last 2 within the next 10 years (Africa and Antarctica).

It is only within the last year that I started running ultras (any foot race longer than a marathon, usually 50k or more). I ran the Canberra 50k Ultra in April and a few weeks later, The Great Wall Marathon in China, meeting loads of great people along the way. After running a few races in the Ontario Ultra Series this past summer, I have come to love the community and can’t help but want more of it. Most people don’t even know ultras exist and probably wouldn’t believe there would be anyone out there willing to do it. Some of the people I have met are the most incredible and humble people you could ever know.

My BHAG for next year is to finish a 100 mile foot race in under 24 hours on September 11th. While training for this goal, I will be running about 8 other marathons including New York City as well as 3 to 5 other ultras ranging from 50k – 100k. Ultra runners are down to earth, but there is a certain amount of crazy required. For my summer vacation, I’m planning to run the GR20 trail in Cosica, France with my friend Nick. It is a 180 km hiking trail through the mountains which normally takes about 14 days. Nick and I are going to try and finish in 4.

Needless to say, there’s a lot of character building in store for me in 2010 and I can’t wait to share the experience with everyone out there.

do 180 things that scare you

About a year ago, my good friend Nick told me about this hiking trail in Corsica called the GR20, which is supposed to be one of the toughest in all of Europe, and he suggested it would make a great trip to test our abilities. It looked like a cool idea, but I kept on […]

the secret world of ultra running

To most people, the longest distance they ever consider running is the marathon: at 26.2 miles (42.2 kilometers), it’s known as the ultimate test of human endurance. It is true that marathons are the most popular and widely known long distance running events, but there is also the secret world of ultra running, which I […]

diaries of a marathon junkie

When not running marathons, Brian can be found enjoying the scenery in Banff. My name is Brian, and I am addicted to marathons. While it may seem crazy, the 26.2-mile running tradition of the marathon has taken over my life, taking me from a largely inactive lifestyle to not being able to go a full […]