March 17, 2011

Fast, Female and Inspired

This past weekend I took part in my first Fast & Female event since I became an ambassador for this great cause. Fast & Female was set up by Chandra Crawford, Olympic Gold medalist in Turin, and since it's inception 6 years ago the foundation has gone from strength to strength, now regularly hosting events all over North America. The idea of this not-for-profit foundation is to empower young women from ages 9 to 19 years old through sport. One day events are held with the aim to inspire young women to participate in sports, encourage them to lead a healthy and active lifestyle, and to foster confidence in their everyday lives.

So at Canmore Nordic Centre (cross country ski venue of the 1988 Calgary Olympics) the girls had a really fun day set up for them. The morning was spent out on the snow (and it was a gorgeous sunny, zero degree spring day) with national level female cross country skiers teaching them drills and helping them with ski techniques. With an awesome goodie bag for every participant it was great to see them all in their pink toques and pink t-shirts as they later cheered on some of the competitors at the National Cross Country Championships that were taking place that weekend.

As I was taking part in this event as an inspirational speaker I feared I might have a challenge getting their attention indoors for 45mins when I was sure they would prefer to still be outside skiing. But as I did my presentation (focusing mainly on perseverance in the context of my World 100km Championship win) they all listened on attentively and I was super impressed with their focus and interest, especially as I was talking about running to a group of mostly skiers. They had keen and relevant questions, and it was great to hear that some of them have already started running as an activity and to help with their ski training.

The afternoon was then filled with yoga and zumba dance so by the time the event was winding down it had been an action packed day for everyone involved.
With Fast & Female still expanding and developing in its set up, I can only recommend that you click on their logo to the right of my blog to find out more. If you know any young girls who get a chance to participate in an event, please encourage them to do so, or if you can get involved in volunteering or donating - it's an awesome cause.

My favourite question after my presentation had to be one that was asked with a small hand raised very politely and rather cautiously, in a quiet but interested little voice:
'Do you get butterflies in your stomach before you race?'
...and yes, I might not be 9 years old any more, but I still get butterflies before I race :)

... the butterflies will be flying this weekend. Roll on Chuckanut 50km in Bellingham!


  1. Love it! Great stuff.

    Good luck this weekend!!

  2. What brand and style of hydration pack do you use? I'm looking to get one as I start my foray into the ultra world. :)

  3. I love Nathan packs - they fit well, come in range of sizes depending on what you need, reasonable price and wear really well - I am only on my 2nd one in about 5 years.