Meanwhile in Merritton …

There were reports of a grown man dressed as a bunch of grapes running through the neighbourhood, with sightings on Glendale Avenue, Rockwood and the path along the Welland Canal.

Yup, it was me. I’m preparing to set the Guinness World Record for fastest half marathon dressed as fruit at the Niagara Falls International Marathon this October. My costume came in this week and I couldn’t help myself – I had to give it a try. I did a 4K easy run – real easy. Stopped a couple of times to chat with curious onlookers.

First impressions: lighter than I thought and more breathable; it wasn’t exactly the heat trap I expected. The grapes may need to be reinforced a bit to stand up to the beating they will take during a half marathon.

Rob Lapensee at the Mudcat Marathon, Saturday, May 13, 2017

Attempting to be ‘officially amazing’

Hi, I’m Rob Lapensee and I’m going to attempt to set a Guinness World Record.

This fall, I will attempt to run the fastest half marathon dressed as a fruit. It’s all going down at the Niagara Falls International Marathon on Sunday, Oct. 15.

I’m super excited a world record is within reach for me, even if it does require a ridiculous outfit. The current record holder, Thomas Priest from the United Kingdom, ran a half marathon dressed as a banana in 1:20:37. I think the previous record holder ran as a banana as well.

I’m changing it up and making my Guinness World Record attempt dressed as grapes. Niagara is known for wineries and vineyards. I think running dressed as grapes will give Continue reading →


The scene at the finish line after two explosions at the Boston Marathon. Photo from the Boston Globe.

The scene at the finish line after two explosions at the Boston Marathon. Photo from the Boston Globe.

My thoughts and heart go out tonight to the everyone involved in the Boston Marathon tragedy: the victims, their families and friends, the runners, spectators, organizers. emergency responders, everyone involved.

I’m happy to hear everyone from the Niagara region who was running in Boston today is ok. My home club, the St. Catharines Road Runners and Walkers, reports its members running the marathon made it to the finish line safely. Dan Dakin of the St. Catharines Standard has a good story about the experiences of local runners in Boston as well as the perspectives of those cheering them on at home. Here is another story by Dan about a Niagara Falls man who helped the first responders.

Also happy to report all the Team Running Free runners in Boston are also accounted for. Here is another story about Toronto area runners in the race.

Before I was a runner, I was always in awe of those who had done Boston. Whenever I speak with anyone about running, it’s not long before Boston is brought up. For us runners, Boston remains as the juiciest carrot we are all chasing.

Picked up a few messages today. Thanks, everyone, for your concern. I did not run in the Boston Marathon today. Registration was sold out by the time I qualified last fall and I was looking forward to running in 2014.

I did have opportunity to watch the women finish on TV and the top men were on their way to the finish line when I left the house around noon. It was just after 3 p.m. when I got back to my car, turned on the radio and heard Tim and Sid talking about explosions on the Fan590. It was definitely jarring.

While the events were tragic, I am in awe of runners helping each other during the most dire of situations. We’ve all seen  runners helping other runners during races or in training during races when their bodies give out. Today was a great example of how we are truly all in this together.

Click this link and this link for some other inspiring stories.

Washing away the stink

washing machine MH900427812

Why do my running clothes always smell so bad? Even after I wash them, I mean. I put on a fresh tech shirt right out of the closet and I’m sometimes wondering if the darn thing made it into the wash since I ran in it last.

Actually, last laundry day I couldn’t find two tech shirts I knew I wore. Then, I saw it: my gym bag stuffed in a corner, hiding behind my camera stuff. It was all zipped up and I was desperately looking for any reason not to open it.

I was right to be afraid. The shirts were in there, and they were gross!

Plus, they were still a little wet.

Double gross!

Now, I don’t usually leave my running stuff lying around like that. In fact, my running stuff usually takes over the bathroom: I hang it from any available hook to air dry before I stuff it in the hamper of clothes waiting for the next wash.

I’ve read somewhere it’s the technical fibers the clothes are made from that are the root of the problem. Yes the fibres that wick away sweat and keep us comfortable are also what locks odour. So, what can we do?

There are a few things. You can pre-soak your clothes in a mix of baking soda and water before running them through the wash. You can use a detergent engineered for sport clothing, such as WIN Detergent, that can remove odour without degrading technical fibres. And, you can always add in a little white vinegar to the wash. Apparently, it’s great at removing odours.

I’ve also read you should wash your running clothes in cold water and never put them in the dryer because that could degrade the sweat wicking ability of the technical fibres.

Anyone have any other ideas?

Kathrine Switzer appearing at NF women’s half in June

Kathrine Switzer will be appearing at the Niagara Falls Women's Half Marathon race weekend May 31-June 2. Photo courtesy of Tumblr.

Kathrine Switzer will be appearing at the Niagara Falls Women’s Half Marathon race weekend May 31-June 2. Photo courtesy of Tumblr.

Today is the last day for early bird prices for the 2013 Niagara Falls Women’s Half Marathon, set for June 2.

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Snowed in, kind of

Doing hills takes on a new meaning for me during the winter.

Doing hills takes on a new meaning for me during the winter.

It’s a day off from elementary school for youngsters across Niagara and I was hopeful to get my girls to the YMCA so I could get a brisk 10k run in. Usually they love the children’s program at the Y but today there was just one problem: it snowed last night. Not a lot, but enough so that my girls wanted to hang out around the house instead.

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