This has been in the making and on the DL for the while… However, we are super excited to officially launch H+P Toronto led by our NEW and epically talented coach, Vicky Siemon! Once the COVID-19 situation lightens up, we are going to be ready to rumble in the West end of the six!
Vicky is a super positive, supportive, and knowledgeable runner and coach. She holds PBs of 17:20(5K), 35:35(10K) and 1:20:30 (half). She is also the 2015 ENDURrun champ, and holds the second fastest 5K, 10K and half marathon PBs in H+P history. We sat down with Vicky and asked some questions to get to know her a bit better (and by sat down we mean we e-mailed her some questions that she proceeded to return to us via e-mail… #socialdistancing).
Where/when did you first get into running?
I first got into running when I was 10. My dad, an avid runner himself, signed me up for my first 1k race that Longboat organizes on the Toronto Islands every Fall. I have been hooked ever since.
What were your college/university days like?
I was on the track team at Western University and the videographer for the Cross Country Team. On the track, I covered distances from 300m to 1000m. At the time, the 1000m race seemed so long, now it seems way too fast and way too short. I did a post-graduate degree in Journalism at Humber College and decided to retire my videography skills and focus on racing, which is where I became more exposed to the longer distances. I am hoping to train to break 1:20 and 3:00 in the half and full distances, respectively.
What do you envision for your Toronto chapter of H+P?
I envision our workouts to be loads of fun and surrounded by trees, wildlife, and HILLS! We will meet at the Grenadier Café in High Park at 6:30pm. We will either run loops in High Park or go down to the waterfront depending on the type of workout prescribed. The goal will be to improve physical and mental health- and we want runners of all abilities! Running has so many benefits: it reduces stress, strengthens the immune system, and creates a sense of community, and those are the things I want to pursue with this crew.
A nice added bonus is that the workouts will mirror what our teammates in Waterloo are doing on the same night! We will be able to link-up on Strava and see how everybody did as a team, even if we are separated by 1 hour on the 401.
What do you do for your day-job now?
I’m an account manager for New Balance Canada.
Anything else you want to mention about your approach as a leader and coach?
Many runners can have the same thought process where they feel unmotivated to complete a workout. I have experienced this mindset, but I have realized that it’s crucial to flip the script and instead of dreading a workout, get excited about it. There are a few ways to do this, but the one that I find works best for me is to simply tell myself “I’m excited to do this, I am grateful that I can run.” There is no better feeling than doing what you thought was impossible to do. I want others to also feel this same sense of accomplishment and self-confidence – because there is nothing quite like it!