May 28, 2013 • Written by Guy Dugas
Want to get into shape? Want to make a difference? How you approach the later may actually help you to achieve both.
As raising money for charity is becoming increasingly difficult, taking on extreme challenges for charity can both capture potential donors’ attention and drive your motivation to work out like never before. After all, those adrenaline fueled stunts and epic, unforgettable, adventures do demand a certain level of endurance and physical prowess, non?
What can better capture the imagination than a six day multi-terrain race across the great, stony Gobi desert in China? Or perhaps eleven days whitewater rafting down the Zambezi into the depths of Victoria Falls, wrestling with the biggest commercial white water rapids in the world? Read More →
Gear up this summer for some wellness approved summer festivals!
- Skip the workout! Spend an evening (or a week and half) hiking from venue to venue around downtown Winnipeg, while watching some of the best theater the 2nd largest Fringe Festival in North America has to offer.
- Music is medicine! Check out the Winnipeg Folk Festival for some natural (legal) happiness therapy.
- People from Japan, Italy and the Scandinavia are some of the world’s healthiest. Learn their secrets of food and dance at Folkorama. Check out the VIP Cycle Tour to burn calories between pavilions!
- Let the kids run wild at the Winnipeg International Children’s Festival. BUDGET SAVER ALERT! Did you know that children under 12 can pay once and visit everyday of the festival? Just keep that wristband on and trade in at the box office when you go in again.
Need more culture? Visit Travel Manitoba to fill your summer with fun!
May 10, 2013 • Written by Guy Dugas
Well, it may not be a perfect May 10, but it’s a perfectly good day to announce that your Red River Rebel Riders (rrrr…) are back with a goal of raising $10,000 for MS in this, our 10th year! This year’s ride will be September 7 & 8 in Riding Mountain National Park.
Yes, 2013 marks 10 years! How can you help to make it a perfect 10?
- Come out to our first event Saturday June 1: Bowling at the Dakota Bowling Centre from 5 to 8 pm. $20 ($10 for children 12 and under) will cover your bowling, shoes, pizza, pop, popcorn, and a donation for MS. Bring friends and family for a fun evening with the team. Call Marnie at 204-949-8521 for tickets (click here for details).
- Join the 2013 team. We already have 5 registered riders: Marnie Boulet, Guy Dugas, Gurdeesh Ghuman, Dayna Graham, and Michael Poitras. Train with us this spring and summer to get in shape for the big ride Sept. 7. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for details or simply click here and then click on the Join this team button.
- Donate securely online at http://mssoc.convio.net/goto/rrrr. All monies raised go to supporting those suffering with MS or to MS research.
Together we can end MS. Help make 2013 a perfect 10! rrrr…
October 2, 2012 • Written by Mike Krywy
In anticipation of next week’s First Annual Red River College Fun Run, we asked several regular RRC runners to recollect their own best and worst races. If you are interested in taking part in the Fun Run, the race will be held on October 10th (noon start) at the bus loop on the Notre Dame Campus. Click here to register.
James Slade – Instructor
Best race: No question, Boston Marathon, 2008 where I had to run with one contact lens missing (lost it in the pool the night before) in the blazing sun (who the heck thinks of sunscreen in April???) and desperate for a port-a-potty (yup…me and the other 25,000 runners…get in line). What was it that made it the best? The crowd was the absolute best! I was at least a km away from Wellesley College and thought I could hear water running, then about 500m away I realized it was not a waterfall, but the famous Wellesley Scream Tunnel! You get through that, you go on another 17 km or so and enter the city proper to more screaming fans, on both sides of the road, and by the end of that stretch, my ears were ringing! You simply cannot quit amidst all that support.
Worst race: So many it’s hard to pick just one, y’ know? Was it the torn hamstring that went ‘pop!’ at km 4 of the 10 k that slowed me to a snail’s pace, looking for ice at the finish line to discover NO first aid facilities whatsoever? Or was it the race I showed up late for…so late when I arrived, everyone else was finishing? (just screwed the time up, no one to blame but me). I could go with, not a race but rather, my first really long run starting my marathon training that was all of 6 km, and hurt so bad I had to walk down stairs backwards for the next two days! Here I am still running and still looking for more ‘worsts’! In the grand scheme of things, I always figure that if this is the worst thing in my life right now, then life’s pretty good!
Read More →
September 27, 2012 • Written by Guy Dugas
2012′s most relaxed Red River Rebel Rider
On September 9, 2012, the 9th day of the 9th month of the 9th anniversary of the Red River Rebel Riders (rrrr…), Gurdeesh Ghuman from NDC Security stunned supporters when, in his very first year with the team, he became the youngest Sikh in history to place last in the MS Riding Mountain Challenge, arguably Manitoba’s most prestigious cycling event. His time? 4½ Hours.
Team captain Guy Dugas was quick to waive off allegations that the 34-year veteran of the Indian infantry had taken banned substances to reduce his performance. “Absolutely not! In fact, if it hadn’t been for a large coffee at the last rest stop, he might have taken even longer to come in.” For his part, Gurdeesh attributes his success to a strict training regime (he used to cycle daily to and from school in India) and a healthy bladder.
Read More →
September 4, 2012 • Written by Guy Dugas
OK, I’m starting to feel like solo-blogger here. Where is everybody?
I have good news, and I have bad news.
Let’s start with the bad. Rebel Rider Michael Whalen who has has been with the team almost every year since 2004 has had to drop out due to other commitments. Michael and has raised a lot for MS in that time and he’ll be missed. Sure hope he can come back next year. It just won’t be the same without him at the front of the pack.
Now for the good. Four sleeps to the MS Riding Mountain Challenge on September 8-9 and your RR Rebel Riders have a new member, Gurdeesh Ghuman from NDC Security! Not only that, we’ve topped $3,000 and are #4 on the top-fundraising-team list for the event! Thank you RRC!
So this will likely be the last bio before the big ride, partly because I don’t yet have one for Roxanne or Gurdeesh. But I do have one for Mike!
Yes, Mike is man enough!
This will be ride #4 for Mike Poitras, and it all started when I emailed him a link to the sign up page with a single comment:“Are you man enough?”. The rest is history.
As Mike says, “I have enjoyed every year that we bike as a team. Great company, scenery and a worthwhile cause!”
But Mike was cycling long before the MS Ride. Like most of us, he cycled daily as a kid, first with Dad holding the back of the seat, moving after many skinned knees to a 3-speed with a banana seat (remember those?), and finally to a 10-speed road bike. But a driver’s license at 16 resulted in the bike slowly collecting dust.
It was his wife to be (Vi) that got him back onto the saddle, encouraging him to try a mountain bike and to commute. Since then he’s used a ‘cross’ bike that is light enough to help him ‘keep that edge’, but sturdy enough to commute with heavy saddle bags. They have been having friendly challenges every year since to see who can put on more kilometres (last year he put on 5,000!). They regularly bike together and plan their holidays with cycling in mind. Now, Mike can’t imagine a life without biking.
“Every spring when I hop on, I am reminded of how much I enjoy it. It reminds me of my youth and that feeling of being ALIVE! I have met some wonderful people. I have discovered that there is a bond amongst those that bike. My personal hero is a fellow in his 70’s who still will regularly ride on 100 kilometre trips.” (I wonder who that is?) “I can’t keep up with him! One of my dreams is to be able to still ride when I’m in my 70’s. My second dream is to bike to Montreal!”
And so Mike and the team are just about ready to go again. You still have time to push us higher in the standings and to help your Red River Rebel Riders top $3,500 for 2012. All your donations, 100%, go directly to MS research and to helping those suffering with MS. Your rrrr… Riders must each pay a registration fee and raise a minimum of $250 to be able to ride, and though we are graciously allowed the use of College vans to get us to Dauphin and back, we pay for our own accommodation in both Dauphin and Clear Lake. We do our bit, but we rely on you to make it all worthwhile with a tax deductible donation. No donation is too small. Pledge securely online today at the RR Rebel Riders team page and help us to wipe out MS!
June 4, 2012 • Written by Guy Dugas
Still not convinced of the merits of biking to work? Here are 10 good reasons to start:
June 4th is the Commuter Challenge Kick Off. Riding to work this week could win you a custom-built bike or an extreme bike makeover (a $700 reward!). Register at www.commuterchallenge.ca or contact Sara MacArthur (632-2166) for more information
Any bike will do, even that old 3-speed in your garage (especially if you win the make-over above!). A commuter bike doesn’t have to be an expensive investment. My hybrid cost $700 in 2002 (with fenders) and I have put about 25,000 km on it. I get a tune-up every year ($60-70) and have had to put in maybe $100 in parts (1 chain, 1 set of rear gears, cables, a few brake pads). Total over 10 years: about $1,500 – just over $100 per year, not much more than a single month’s bus pass or dinner for two at a nice restaurant (with wine, of course).
If you live 15 km from work and drive a car that gets 10 litres per 100 km (about 25 mpg), cycling daily to work could save you 15 litres and $18/week. And parking a bike is free! With an office downtown I save another $25/week. Add in the savings for reduced wear and tear, fewer oil changes, etc., and I’m sure I am $200 (600 rubles!) per month richer! And don’t ignore the long-term financial benefits of being healthier. Any way you look at it, bike commuting saves you some serious cash.
Bike commuting is an ideal way to shed some girth without setting aside extra workout time. My 30 km round-trip burns 900 calories and takes 50 minutes one-way, same as the bus and just 30 minutes more round-trip than by car. And bonus: the U.S. EPA estimates that every mile pedaled rather than driven saves a pound of CO2 (every 10 km saves three kilos)!
OK, Rush hour in Winnipeg isn’t quite what it is L.A. But who enjoys sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic twice a day? Give my a fresh sunny morning cycle and a late afternoon cruise home at my own pace any day.
Biking still requires you to be predictable and maybe even a little paranoid on the roads. But with cycling’s increased popularity, bike lanes are becoming more common, many of them dedicated, and even buffer zones between cyclists and motorists are starting to pop up.
Your bike commuting may so impress your co-workers that they will be inspired to join you. And if they do, the planet gets double the protection, they get in better shape, and all of a sudden, your positive contribution to world wellness is even bigger.
It’s addictive. What other explanation is there for those fanatics who cycle through the dead of a Winnipeg winter? But even if you only opt for fair-weather riding, with all the bad habits in the world, bike commuting is a very sensible routine. Driving your car to work will soon just sound like a terrible idea.
Whether it’s a sticky bun, a black-bottom cupcake, or a berry crumble, I look forward to that now guilt-free reward at the end of a long ride. Just make sure your calorie expenditure exceeds your intake.
Well yeah! You’ll be in shape to be a Red River Rebel Rider in the September MS Riding Mountain Challenge. A summer of bike commuting will swell your calves to the point where you might consider joining the team (you have to commit to raising $250 yourself). Or, just be a kindred spirit and send a donation our way.
So, convinced? Dig out that old bike and join the growing community of Winnipeg cyclists. Your wallet, your waist, your planet, and your legs will all be glad you did.
May 15, 2012 • Written by Guy Dugas
Bunn's Creek Trail
If you live in EK or Elmwood, you have to check this out!
The ride back home wasn’t quite as spectacular, but 5.3 km of my route through St. James was over the fully paved Silver Ave bike path that runs all the way from Ferry Rd. past the airport, the Assiniboine Golf Course, and the airbase to Sturgeon Road (and beyond, but that’s for another day).
rrrr... Fearless Leader
rrrr… Profile: Guy Dugas
It crossed my mind that you avid Red River Rebel Riders (rrrr…) supporters (hi Mom) might like to learn a bit more about this year’s team members. We were six last year, and registered so far are Roxanne Hildebrandt, Mike Poitras, Wayne Ferguson, and me, Guy Dugas, the team captain. 15 of my 16 years at RRC have been with Accounting & Computer Education (at both NDC and EDC) with 1 year as Manager Learning Technologies in 2001. I have a sister-in-law with MS and I hope to personally raise $1,000 again (the team raises $3-6,000 each year). Michael Whalen (also expected to ride this year) and I are two of the original three rrrr…(the other was our first captain, Mark Walc). For all 9 years I have ridden the same old clunker of a hybrid bike that probably weighs as much as the rest of the team’s combined. But it is tough and certainly helps keep me in shape. I figure it now has about 25,000 km on it, my longest ride being a mid-life crisis run from Vancouver to Calgary when I turned 50 in 2002. All I have had to replace are one chain, a set of brake pads and cables, and its rear gears once. It has also helped me support my eating habit.
The Wellness committee was fortunate to have Kelly Small of the provincial government come and talk to us about a new initiative they are running called the Health e-Plan. This online tool is meant to help individuals assess their health, set wellness goals, take steps to achieve those goals, and track their progress. It also provides useful information of services providers nearest to where you live, and ideally, will enable the government to better understand and coordinate services for individuals by region. Below is the synopsis provided in the Health e-Plan brochure. If you’re interested, read further, and consider creating a plan for yourself.
What is Health e-plan?
The Health e-plan is an online interactive tool to help you:
- Better understand your current health and
- Learn ways to improve your health over time
How does it work?
Health e-Plan involves four easy steps:
- Assess your health
- Set goals
- Take action
- Track your progress
The first step is to create your personal health profile by answering questions about your current health status. This includes questions related to your physical condition, lifestyle and family history. Based on established medical guidelines, Health e-Plan will produce a detailed report to help you learn more about how your current habits and lifestyle choices, your family history and other factors may affect your health in the future. The health assessment also helps you set goals for improving your health and provides useful information for making changes.
Customized to your needs
In addition to helping you set goals to help improve your health status, Health e-Plan can help you meet those goals with a customized plan. My Wellness Connections will link you to resources in your community based on where you live and the results of your health assessment.
Rewarding your effort
After completing your health assessment you have an opportunity to participate in our Rewards Program. To participate, you complete an electronic entry ballot. You are then entered into a draw with a chance to win small weekly prizes as well as a grand prize each month. Each time you update your profile, you have another chance to enter and win.
Get started today!
Visit www.manitoba.ca and enter Health e-Plan in the search box at the top of the page.
To set up your personal health profile, you need information such as your waist and hip measurements, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. If you don’t have this information handy, you can still get started. Then, update your profile with the correct information when you have it to ensure more meaningful and accurate results.
January 24, 2012 • Written by Hayley Brigg
Whether we’re 25 or 75, everyone needs wellness.
While our fitness goals and needs might change as we get older, staying healthy is the number one tool you can use to help in the prevention of health problems down the line.
In order to help provide wellness resources to all Manitobans at every age level, the Province has created a great portal in their Manitoba Healthy Living, Youth and Seniors website. It links to all their different healthy living initiatives, from information about infant nutrition to promoting age-friendly options for seniors, and even the latest in provincial wellness news.
One initiative that really stands out is Manitoba in Motion, whose tagline reads “Physical Activity – do it for life!”. You may recognize this initiative from the mini-videos they play on TV, featuring CTV’s Maralee Caruso and Gord Leclerc, but the model of the strategy really focuses on providing different health options for Manitobans of any age – children, youth, adults, older adults, and families. They’ve also developed three really great programs to help encourage group participation in getting healthy:
Want to get your workplace, community, or child’s school thinking healthier? Sign up! Each program provides users with ideas, resources, and support to help develop wellness plans and strategies.
Sometimes, working towards health goals as a group can often be more successful than trying to do it on your own. Need help? Don’t be afraid to use resources to help you – that’s what they’re there for!
Submitted by Hayley Brigg, Creative Communications student