Music from the Soul Marathon : Shawn Pinder's Interview

24 Mar 2008 00:33
Jean-Loup Fenaux
Focus on a race Interview

Shawn and his wife are the new owners of Lethbridge’s local running store, Runner’s Soul. They both grew up here in Lethbridge and are very excited with the opportunity to give back to the community through the races and clinics that they put on.

Credit : RTPeat

Hello, on June 1st, you’ll be organizing the Music from the Soul Marathon. Can you tell us where it is located?
The Music from the Soul Marathon is located in Lethbridge, Alberta. Lethbridge is located in the heart of the southern Alberta prairies, a 2 hour drive south of Calgary and an hour drive from the Rocky Mountains .

The marathon is 3 years old. Why was it created in the first place?
Runner’s Soul has the largest marathon club in Canada with around 450 members each year. With those kinds of numbers, we figured it was time that Lethbridge had it’s own marathon as well.

What kind of route have you set up for the runners? How would you describe it?
The marathon follows a scenic route through the city. Designed as a fast course, the route is mainly flat but does have one climb of 300 feet as we take advantage of the unique landscape of the Lethbridge river valley, locally described as coulees. Mainly on paved paths through local parks, the course will take runners past the local Japanese Gardens, through downtown Lethbridge, and under the longest train bridge in Canada.There will be a $150 prime for the first person to reach a designated point on the marathon as well. Just a little something to add some interest for the lead pack.

How many runners do you expect on Sunday morning? What type of runners do you plan to attract?
I expect to have around 700 runners start the race on Sunday morning. The race will likely attract a wide variety of runners as well, from the first time marathoner to those looking to qualify for Boston. Local athlete Kip Kangogo will be looking to run the marathon this year after winning the half-marathon last year in a blistering time of 1:06. This will be his first marathon and he’ll be looking for a finishing time around 2:25.

Do you organize other races during the Week-End? If so, on what distances?
Yes, there will be other races during the weekend. We will be running the Half-Marathon again this year as well as the Kids Marathon. The Kids Marathon will see 500 young athletes finish the final 2 km of the marathon distance they have accumulated during the previous month to two months of training. This year will involve a new event as well; the Team Relay Marathon event. The Team Relay Marathon involves teams of two to five members running the marathon distance. Each leg will be approximately 8 km long with the transitions occuring in designated areas.

At that time of the year, what kind of weather can we expect?
Southern Alberta weather can be unpredictable at that time of year. While I certainly don’t expect snow, rain is a possibility in the spring time. We had great conditions for last years event with starting temperatures around 15 C.

Have you planned festivities around the marathon?
Being the Music from the Soul Marathon, we will have musicians set-up at Music Stations along the course. Athletes will be able to enjoy music from the beginning to the end of the event and can recharge their batteries at a post race breakfast.

The marathon finished, what advice would you give a runner who has never been to Lethbridge before? A good restaurant, a fancy sightseeing?
Streetside Eatery is our host restaurant and is a great place to eat in the city. As I had mentioned earlier, the Japanese Gardens is a popular local attraction and the coulees are always fun to explore, from Fort Whoop-up to the Helen Schuler Nature Centre. Other important attractions within an hour drive of Lethbridge include Waterton National Park and ‘Head Smashed In’ Buffalo Jump, a World Heritage site.
Banff National Park is also an easy 3.5 hour drive from Lethbridge, a great area for a holiday after the race.

In a single sentence, what would you tell the readers of ahotu Marathons to make them register for the Music from the Soul Marathon ?
If you’re looking for a well run, fast marathon in a great community, the Music from the Soul is your race.

Thank you Shawn.