Name: Warren Ringler
Group: MTA Grades 3-8
Background: I began running seriously in university as a member of my school cross-country team. Following graduation I continued competing, mainly in road races. I ran my first marathon in 2000 and have since done 19 more, including 2 with a jogging stroller and a PR of 2:38. I became a teacher that same year and have coached school cross-country and track teams and served as the cross-country pace bunny every year. I am still going strong in my 40s regularly placing amongst the masters leaders in both road races, cross country and multi sport events. As an athlete and a coach, I look forward to new running challenges in the future!
Coaching motto: In running, as in life, the more you put into something, the more satisfaction you get out.
Most memorable race: I ran leg 11 of The Cabot Trail Relay in Nova Scotia which begins just before midnight. Most of the race is down a mountain overlooking the moon lit ocean. The Disney World Marathon was also a neat experience. The race begins at 5:30 am so you run through empty theme parks as the sun rises.
Interesting fact: My running is fueled by a plant based diet.
Name: Michael Falkner
Group: Assistant Coach (MTA Group)
Background: As a high school cross-country skier from Toronto, running was the necessary evil… A means to an end… The end being a life long love for a sport that I never really competed in on its own. I trained through running to compete in skiing, which led to triathlons and adventure racing. If I was going to do a running race, my feeling was that it should happen in combination with other activities! Through all of my adventures, running has always been a part of facilitating my love of sport. As an educator, I have spent many years helping facilitate the enjoyment of running in young students, and now, I hope to continue sharing this love with young runners.
Coaching motto: Consistent hard work will bring you results, enjoying the little moments during that hard work will develop a love of the activity.
Most Memorable Race: 36-Hour Raid The North Adventure Race in the Haliburton Highlands – The race started at midnight, 25 hours later, we were trekking up and down a set of ridges and valleys. We got to the top of one of the ridges and I went to start heading down… I was stopped by my mentor, coach and teammate, who told me to look up. Our team of 4 stopped, looked up, and marvelled at the most beautiful star filled sky I have ever seen. We sat down and as a team shared that vista for the next few minutes… When we got up to set off, my mentor said to me (paraphrasing), “you’re not gonna look back at this race and think of the results, you’re gonna look back on this race and remember those 3 minutes… and love this adventure.” And he was right.
Interesting Fact: My favourite runs are those I get to do with my children.
Name: Jill Cameron
Group: High School Group
Background: Jill comes to coaching from a competitive track and cross-country back ground where she competed in high school and university. Highlights of her running career include placing 8th at OFSAA cross-country and leading her team to OFSAA team titles three times (and one second place) and 7th at OFSAA track in the 3000m. Her club team won the Canadian junior cross-country team title. In university, Jill achieved All Canadian status for cross country running when she placed 7th at the Canadian University Championships.
Coaching motto: Jill emphasizes the importance of discipline and trust.Discipline recognizes the importance of putting in the work in a consistent manner to optimize the benefits of your training. Trust relates to believing that after putting in the work, the results will follow.
Most memorable race: Second year senior OFSAA cross-country championships. Jill was 8th as a first-year senior so was coming back for a medal as a second-year senior. This year’s course was very flat and fast in contrast to the previous year with challenging hills. Jill placed 3rd at pre-OFSAA and was excited. On race day, she ran as hard as she could go but placed 15th. She knew she gave it her all but wasn’t happy with her place. When she turned around in the finishing shoot to see her entire team in the top 20, she had a smile on her face as she knew the team title was secure.
Interesting fact: Jill has published a scientific article in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Name: Geoff Cameron
Background: Coach Geoff started running in grade 9, initially without much success, but he luckily had a very patient High School coach in Alan Keele.
Post high school, Geoff attended the University of South Florida on an NCAA Division 1 scholarship, and then finished his University career as the Captain of the Track and Cross Country Teams at the University of Guelph.
Over the course of Geoff’s competitive career he was lucky enough to both train and race alongside a who’s who of national and world class athletes and coaches.
Most memorable race: In 1997 unable to train for 4 months because of a freak injury, getting tripped from behind in a road race and landing on his knee cap.
Diligently cross training and with 3 weeks of training, Geoff’s debut race back from injury resulted in a 6th place at the Canadian 10km road race championships. This race also qualified Geoff to compete for Team Canada at the Ekiden Relay in Japan. A few days following the Eikeden race (and being quite sleep deprived) Geoff just narrowly missed qualifying for the world cross country championships. The following year Geoff ran Canada’s 4th fastest marathon in Cleveland.
Coaching Motto: Stealing a quote from the great one Eliud Kipchoge:
“Make discipline your lifestyle. Discipline is not a one-time event. Self-discipline is like building your muscle. It’s like going to the gym. You cannot go to the gym today and build your muscle. You should get a program and go slowly by slowly. That’s the way to build your muscle and that’s the way you can have discipline.”
Interesting fact: In high school, Geoff raced against and became friends with Doug Consiglio. During this time, Malcom Gladwell, the best selling author of Blink and The Tipping Point, was at the time the number one Canadian runner of his age in Canada.
Malcom has also authored “The Myth of Prodigy and Why it Matters”. Gladwell recounts racing against one of the poorer runners in grade 9 — Doug Consiglio, a “gawky kid” of whom all the other kids asked “Why does he even bother?” Well Doug stuck to it and gradually improved over his high school career, and went on to glorious career racing in the Olympics, winning multiple NCAA titles, and in 1988 broke the Canadian 1500 record with a time of 3:35. Not too bad for a kid with no talent!!
Name: Gary Westgate
Group: Senior and University age athletes
Coaching motto: My philosophy to training is a simple one. What an athlete puts into it, their commitment, their dedication, their desire to learn, their willingness to trust. This is what I in return give every athlete I’ll coach, regardless of ability.
Background: I have been fortunate over the past 10 years guiding athletes to OFSAA, Ontario and National Championships at Track and Cross Country. I don’t consider myself a specialist at any particular distance. I do consider myself a student of this sport and crave to constantly learn and improve. If you’re someone who wants to compete and improve, then I look forward to working with you. My primary focus is on College and Senior aged athletes.
My background in athletics began at the age of 12. I ran my first race in primary school and I was hooked. I had a good high school and college running career. I didn’t really peak as an athlete until I had completed all my schooling. I was fortunate enough to represent Canada at World Championships, from Cross Country, Track and Road-races, gaining valuable experience travelling the world. My peak came in 1992 when I qualified for the Barcelona Olympics. However I was unable to compete due to an injury. A few of my personal best times still rank in the top all-time Canadian rankings. Some notable best times I achieved are: 13:55 5000m, 28:33 10,000m. Roads: 13:48 5km, 23:11 8km, 28:37 10km and a 1:03:21 half marathon. I ran my only marathon when I turned 40, running 2:52:24. I swore I’d never do another one and so far I haven’t.
Most memorable race: My most memorable athletic experiences I’ve had are as a coach. Seeing the sense of accomplishment on an athletes face, is by far my most rewarding and memorable moments of my career.
Interesting fact: I have 4 kids, all in their 20’s.