by Justin Wall
As the Slater Street Running Room’s incumbent Ottawa Marathon training program co-instructor, Ian consistently displays the qualities we all look for in a mentor. His years of running experience—many of which were spent right here in our store—make him an invaluable wealth of information for even the most seasoned athletes. With his kind heart and genuine compassion for others, our Run Clubbers see him as a mentor, even when he’s not formally coaching.
Ian (far right) with his training program members.
Apart from his yearly stint in our Full Marathon training programs, Ian regularly goes above and beyond for both the Slater Street Running Room and Ottawa-Gatineau running communities. Never appearing without his camera, he regularly photographs, edits, catalogs and posts thousands of photographs each year. While the majority of these photos pertain to our Run Club, thousands of photos can be found from local races, events and celebrations. He is an outstanding photographer, and we appreciate the many high-quality photos he has contributed to this magazine. As a personal anecdote, I recall running with him at the Canada Day 10K in Ottawa, where he took over 100 photographs and still ran a 55-minute 10K!
As further proof of his volunteer spirit, Ian is also a voluntary member of the Run Ottawa Board of Directors, where he regularly advocates for the “Special Interest Group” that I call our Running Room family. In truth, his work with the board extends far beyond the Running Room, and I’m sure that most anyone attending an Ottawa running event has benefited from his influence. His work with these events is not strictly bureaucratic, however, as he also regularly volunteers at the races themselves. All our runners, myself included, appreciate seeing him handing out medals at the finish line after a hard race.
Even with this busy schedule, Ian still manages to fit in his own running and racing somewhere in between. I specifically recall him working the wheel at our Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend booth and then running the full marathon the following morning! In addition to this, he organizes a post-race dinner after every Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend and Canada Army Run to celebrate the achievements of our community. This event, a local favourite, regularly sees over 50 attendees from our Slater Street Run Club.
As I have mentioned, Ian is a regular at our Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday Run Clubs throughout the year. When he is not in a designated instructor role, he spends his time as a group leader and mentor to other coaches. Many of our new coaches experience difficulty learning how to map routes, and Ian regularly steps in to share routes from his personal catalog. Furthermore, during transitional periods when certain clinics are not active, he volunteers to lead informal groups at every Run Club so that nobody is left without a running buddy. Thank you, Ian, for being a picture-perfect training program instructor.
Ian (second from left) with his runners.