North Star Running Festival

April 12-18, 2021


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Start the season with our second online trail running festival

The festival has a few different parts. You can join us just for the speaker series, or combine it with a two-race package.

We are bringing you a group of compelling speakers and training clinics to help you with your running. The festival kicks off April 12 with six days of sessions.

All weekday sessions are in the evening so that you can join in after work. Everything is recorded so that you can go back to it afterward and view at your convenience.

Speaker Schedule

Erin Pinder – Trail Running Shoes: Making sure you have the right fit & features for your unique needs

Mon, April 12 - 7:30 PM
IG @runnersoulleth
FB @runnersoulleth

A look at the different brands and how to make sure you have the right fit & features for your unique needs.

Co-Owner of Runner’s Soul in Lethbridge and a long-time runner and triathlete, Erin’s journey with Runner’s Soul began when she joined the Runners Soul Marathon Club in 1998 and was recruited by founder Ron Bain to join the Soul staff. It was a “perfect fit” and led her to pursue a career in physiotherapy. Little did she know she would return to her roots at the store where she feels lucky to do what she loves every day!

Erin has participated in various running and multisport events, including marathons, ironman triathlons, and multi-day adventure races.

Keri Bowzaylo – What to Pack for a Big Trail Run

Mon, April 12 - 8:15 PM
IG @bb_by_keri
FB @bbbykeri

A run down of all the essential gear you should carry in your pack from first aid and safety equipment to nutrition needs. Even experience runners will learn something during this session.

As a certified interpretive hiking/snowshoe guide with advanced wilderness first aid training, personal trainer, run coach, camp leader, and race director, Keri has seen it all and is well-equipped to let you know the dos and don’ts of what to carry with you. She has soloed Sinister 7, Black Spur Ultra, Canadian Death Race, the Trans Rockies 6 day stage race and has taken on many more mountain adventures along the way in all seasons and weather conditions. “I  enjoy spending my spare time playing in the mountains, whether it be running, hiking, skiing or snowshoeing. This passion has led me down the interpretive guiding path, sharing it with others and taking them out on hiking and snowshoeing adventures.”

Brenda Shaughnessy – Benefits of Foam Rolling & Theraball

Tues, April 13 - 7:30 PM
FB @summitcoachingandtraining

A discussion with demonstrations about why it’s important to incorporate these tools into your training repertoire to ward off injuries and excel your performance. 

Owner of Summit Coaching and Training, Brenda has completed numerous ultramarathons throughout western North America, from 50 km to 100 miles and has an extensive personal relationship with overcoming injuries. Her personal journey led her to her career as a certified personal trainer and corrective exercise specialist “My areas of specialty are strength training, trail-proofing my athletes, injury recovery, and creating and maintaining independence into the later years of life. The part of my business that I am most proud of is my coaching ability to help my clients get through the most challenging times.” 

James Greene – Common Running Injuries & How to Recover

Tues, April 13 - 8:15 PM

Learn about examples of what James has seen in the clinic with an overview of the process involved in a successful return to competition.

James holds certifications in Athletic Therapy and Strength & conditioning and has worked with athletes of all levels. He specializes in areas such as performance training and functional range conditioning movement and fully understands the demands of ultra trail running on a personal level having competed at the 50km, 50-mile, 100-mile distances. “I believe that physical activity and movement are integral to maintaining balance in life and I strive to enable others to achieve their personal peak performance in sport, physical activity, and health. I do this through an assortment of muscle energy techniques, movement-based exercise progressions and the development of periodized rehabilitation and training programs combined with creative collaborative thinking.”

Katie Castle – Psychology of the Athlete

Thurs, April 15 - 7:30 PM

The ups and downs of emotions that an elite athlete experiences in the lead-up to a major event can be overwhelming, confusing, and difficult to understand for our family and friends who surround us. The way we understand and make sense of our emotions can undoubtedly impact our overall performance. Let's peel back some of these common emotional layers, examine our self-talk, and discuss how to stay motivated and focused on your short and long-term goals.

Katie is an integral part of the team at The Bridge Fit and has a passion for sports psychology and working with athletes of all ages in all sports. As both a former competitive gymnast and a national level gymnastics coach and choreographer for 20 years, her goal is to help athletes achieve a balance between life and their sport, cope with past injuries in returning to the sport, deal with the changes of retirement, work through performance anxieties, and move past fears and mental blocks. She holds a Masters in Counselling and is trained in EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing).

Daniel O’Neill – Mental Training

Thurs, April 15 - 8:15 PM
IG @author17n
FB @danieloneillauthor

Author, athlete, coach and change agent are just some of the titles associated with this returning speaker. Dan has completed multiple Ironman triathlons, ultra-marathons, marathons, marathon cross-country ski races, & other distance events and enjoys sharing his journey and giving back to his community in any way he can. “My Function in life is to inspire others. My Mission in life is to be a living example of energy, peace, and joy in all I do. Life is a gift and I endeavour to open it with renewed gusto every day, there are no ordinary moments.”

Carla Rodriguez Dimitrescu – Cook-Along & Go-To Snacks

Fri, April 16 - 7:30 PM 
IG @carladimitrescu
FB @nutritionandpersonaltraining

Discuss your nutrition-on-the-go needs while making one of Carla’s favourite treats.

Carla is the owner of Nutrition and Personal Training with over 10 years of experience in the human nutrition field, few in the fitness and nutrition industry can match her education and hands-on experience not just professionally but also as an athlete. “Let’s get you to the next level! No matter what your goals are, whether it is getting in shape, losing some pounds or training for your next race I am here to help you to succeed!” Her educational background includes a Ph.D. in nutrition & metabolism, certified sports nutrition coach, and personal trainer specialist among others. On the athletic side, some of her recent accomplishments include Mexican National Team member- 24hr World Championships, National Champion (Mexico)-100Km road, 3rd place at the 50km Canadian National Trail Championships and podium finishes at Blackfoot Ultra in both the 50K and 50mile distances. 

Here is what you will need for the Sweet Potato Pancakes cook-along:

Leanna Carriere – The Importance of a Great Support Team

Fri, April 16 - 8:15 PM
IG @7summitssnacks / @leannacarriere
FB @7SummitSnacks
Co-Founder & Social Media Manager at 7 Summit Snacks

Building a team around you is key to accomplishing your goals. Your team includes a cheering squad, therapist, coaches, training partners. Each part of the puzzle helps you achieve your goals and pushes you when you think you can't or you lose motivation. It is important to surround yourself with these people to help bring the best out of you.

An elite triathlete, former national team pole vaulter, motivational speaker, trainer extraordinaire and busy mom. Leanna has a passion for fitness and inspiring others to go after their goals while striving towards her own. She took up triathlons and started racing in 2018 after the birth of her daughter. Still having that deep competitive drive has pushed her to train hard and see what she can accomplish at various distances. She also has a great team of women in her Edmonton-based company, 7 Summits Snacks, who craft superfood chocolate snacks with purposeful nutrition “designed to keep you going”. 

David & Megan Roche – How to Structure a Training Week

Sun, April 18 - 4:30 PM
IG @addiedoesstuff 
IG @meg_runs_happy
FB @David Roche
FB @Megan Roche

What goes into planning your mileage to get you where you want to go with the authors of “The Happy Runner”, Run Coaches & Podcast Hosts at “Some Work All Play”.

Megan was the 2016 USATF Trail Runner of the Year at the ultra and sub-ultra distances. She is a five-time national champion, a North American Mountain Running Champion, and a six-time member of Team USA. She graduated from Duke University with a degree in Neuroscience and received her M.D. from Stanford Medical School.

David was the 2014 USATF Trail Runner of the Year at the sub-ultra distance. He is a two-time national champion and a three-time member of Team USA. David started the SWAP team in 2013 with a science-based approach to improving speed, long-term development, loving the process, and life-long fulfillment

Scott Cooper, Tess Owen & Matthew Miller – Conquering the Sinister Triple 

Sun, April 18 - 5:15 PM

What taking on three big races in one season looks like and how to come out on top.

Scott: “I had my start in endurance sports in 2009 while at McGill University in Montreal, tackling my first sprint triathlon and marathon that summer with no training program, just a naïve 20 something with a lot of grit and hanging on for dear life. Over the next decade, I progressed through the ranks in triathlon, competing in multiple Ironman World Championships and later racing as a professional, all the while, coaching runners and triathletes. After moving to Calgary for work 2.5 years ago, I joined a Sinister 7 relay team on a whim following an injury on their team (my first trail run ever!) and fell in love with the ultramarathon scene. I have since competed in a number of races including the Sinister Triple in 2019, coming away with multiple wins, course records and FKTs in the process.” Scott won the Sinister Triple in 2019 and holds the Sinister 7 Ultra men's course record.

Tess & Matthew: The first day Matthew and Tess met, Matthew asked Tess if she'd thought of any races for the next season. Tess told him that she planned to register for the Sinister Triple, and anticipated the same look of dubious surprise that she had been getting every time she volunteered her goals. "Oh, I did that!" he replied. They've been together ever since.

With Matthew as crew and experienced training partner and Tess battling through overtraining injuries and time management hurdles she somehow managed to not only complete the triple successfully but win first place female, and still managed to retain one toenail. “Here's a photo of us right after finishing (and winning for the 30hr) Pure Ultra virtual event in July 2020, after completing 164kms running from Fort Saskatchewan to Devon and back to Edmonton. Don't we look fresh!”. Tess won the Sinister Triple in 2019.


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