by J.B. O’Reilly
The bad winter weather of 2018-2019 made life challenging for many Canadians, including those enrolled in the Half Marathon training program at the Running Room location in Kingston, Ontario.
Despite the crazy weather conditions we encountered week after week, the good-natured personality of instructor Alexander Molnar made our clinic an enjoyable experience.
Originally from Vancouver, Alex has been running for about 10 years. Always keen on Phys. Ed. in school, he began running more seriously as a way to take a break from his Ph.D. studies in Mathematics at Queen’s University.
Alex completed an Ironman and other endurance events, but a bad skiing accident resulted in broken bones and a concussion, which meant that running had to be put on hold while he recuperated. Alex’s realistic approach to running and to sports in general—with its inevitable good and not-so-good times—makes him an exceptional instructor.
Guest speakers to the program have included a chiropractor, a physiotherapist and a health food store manager (who arrived with coupons and a tray of delicious spinach smoothies!). All the guests added to our group’s knowledge of running, training and health.
Alex is reliable and creative. Every week, he sends out an e-mail summarizing recent clinic workouts and outlining the plan for the week ahead. So, even if you miss a session, you still feel connected to the group. I still laugh when I think of Alex’s e-mail describing one of our long Sunday runs. “This past Sunday’s run was hilariously unsavoury,” he wrote in his usual upbeat, understated tone. In reality, the weather that day could not possibly have been worse. For 10K, we had plunged foot-first into puddles of icy sidewalk water, were pummelled by brisk winds surging off Lake Ontario, and endured a nonstop mixture of rain, flying ice, and snow. The streets were alternately slick with ice and pools of dirty, freezing-cold water, soaking everyone to the skin. The conditions were so bad that what could we do but (as the Irish say) “have a bit of a laff?” And laugh we have, week after week!
Our runs through downtown Kingston and nearby Old Fort Henry have been enlivened with great conversations about nutrition, the mental and physical aspects of sport, the amusing nature of dogs, good breathing techniques and posture, The Limestone City’s famous 1840s architecture, the problem of plastics, not to mention optimal clothing and supportive footwear for running. All of us have had a great time getting to know each other while also learning to be better runners. Thanks, Alex, for a job well done.
From left: Jeannine (J.B.) and her dog Daisy, Shoko, Alex, Mary, Reiko, and Hazel. Missing: Kim.