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Wednesday, October 27 2010 - New Balance and Runners’ Choice Partner with London Runner Distance Club, Announce 2011 Athlete Assistance Program

Industry leaders New Balance and Runners’ Choice have partnered with the London Runner Distance Club in an effort to better support the London Running community. This partnership is expected to positively influence all levels of the community by increasing accessibility to New Balance shoes and apparel, increasing the number of all-inclusive local racing opportunities, and creating a new High Performance Athlete Assistance Program.

“Runners’ Choice has been involved in the London Runner Distance Club since its inception and this increased involvement is just a natural next step,” says Runners’ Choice owner Paul Roberts. “We are very excited and proud to be able to offer this great opportunity to help deserving athletes that look to make an increased commitment to the London Runner community and to pursue their performance dreams. “

New Balance representative Rick Gard stated, “After many years of partnership with Runners Choice London, we at New Balance are very proud to now be involved with the London Runner Distance Club and their Athlete Assistance Program.  Along with Runners Choice, our aim is to promote running in the community with a long-term goal of supporting athletes to achieve the very highest standards in the country.”

London Runner Athlete Assistance Program

The core aspect of this partnership is the creation of an Athlete Assistance Program (AAP) that will provide significant support to top local distance runners. In 2011, the AAP will outfit selected athletes in the very best New Balance shoes and apparel, while providing financial support for both travel and living expenses. Program Coordinators Paul Roberts and Steve Weiler are excited about the immediate impact this will have on local high performance athletes. “The impact that New Balance and Runners' Choice will have on London Runner with this partnership is undeniably substantial,” stated Kyle O’Neill, who has placed top-6 the past two years at the Canadian Track & Field Championships in his specialty, the 3,000m Steeplechase. “This partnership will provide a further boost to an already steadily developing London Runner community.”

Top London area female Steeplechaser Becky Pieterson believes that “this partnership will act as a great boost for London Runner. Having this new funding available will help to take some of the burden off of athletes to work, allowing them to focus more readily on training.”

In order to apply for AAP carding, athletes must have achieved specific time standards and been positive contributors to the London Runner community in 2010. Four athletes will be selected for the AAP in 2011, with the formal announcement set to take place at a dinner banquet on Wednesday December 28th at the Honest Lawyer in downtown London. Interested athletes can contact Athlete Coordinator Nathan deWitt for an application form and further details. The application deadline is December 1st.

Nathan deWitt, AAP Athlete Coordinator, contact:

"It is great to see New Balance and Runners' Choice willing to invest in the careers of developing local athletes,” stated deWitt. “Significant funding opportunities are rare in distance running and the AAP provides athletes an opportunity to bridge these funding gaps. This funding will allow runners to focus completely on excelling at National championships, and beyond."

Increased Local Racing Opportunities

In an effort to ensure local runners have the opportunity to compete in open, all-inclusive, racing opportunities on all surfaces, the three partners agreed to create the New Balance Cross Country series. This local, low-key race series will serve to complement the existing Runners’ Choice London Distance Series (Track) and London Honda Road Race Series by offering open cross country races starting next fall.

2011 will also feature the New Balance 1,500m Night, already set to take place on the fast TD Waterhouse Stadium track on Saturday June 18th. This event will be held in conjunction with the Go the Distance road races and will be part of the annual Runners’ Choice London Distance Series (RCLDS). Over the past few years, this series has helped numerous athletes qualify for National, as well as several International, Track & Field Championships.  

 “The RCLDS has really taken off and produces some of the fastest times in Canada year after year,” stated London Runner Distance Club captain and mid-distance specialist Jeremy Walsh. “With New Balance coming on board to help us out, it is going to make things easier as we strive to meet our own performance goals. I’m particularly excited for the 2011 New Balance 1500m Night, and hope that we can honour our new partners with yet another fast track meet.”


Tuesday, October 5 2010 - LR Interview: Becky Pieterson

London Runner interviews return, kicked off with a brief chat with Steeplechase stud Becky Pieterson.

Becky Pieterson is a Steeplechasing Stud

Steeplechase Becky Pieterson, you've become known as a Steeplechase specialist. What draws you to this event?

Becky Pieterson: I like the extra toughness of it. It doesn't just incorporate endurance and speed, you have to work on your form too. It gives you an extra thing to practice.

LR: Have you ever been scared, going over the barriers or water pit?

BP: After my tumble at Junior Nats, going over that barrier still kind of gets to me. It's never my smoothest approach. It's not so much being scared, I just respect them more.

LR: The depth at the National level in Womens Steeple seems to be getting stronger - does this motivate you or tempt you to find a less competitive event?

BP: Not at all. To get better you have to play with the big dogs. While it might be harder to ever medal in the steeple, it will definitely push me even harder to try.

Canadian Cross Country

LR: This fall will be your first time competing against the 'big dogs' as it's your first year as a Senior at the Canadian Cross Country Championships; what are your expectations going into this competition?

BP: This year will definitely be a growing year. As my first year as a senior, I am just going to be testing the waters to see what training I need to do in order to be more competitive in the years to come. As far as placing goes, top-20 would be fantastic.

LR: It looks as though you'll be on your first Womens team at Canadian XC this year as well, with the potential for a very strong team in 2011. What would it mean to you to earn a team medal at Canadian XC?

BP: It would certainly be a testament to how hard every member worked to get where they are. Running for a team always makes it a little easier to leave everything out on the course, cause you're no longer just running for yourself.

Future Changes

LR: What major changes will you be making over the next 2 years in preparation for the 2012 Olympic Trials?

BP: Well I will definitely be increasing my mileage, because right now I'm at the lower end of the mileage spectrum. I am also going to focus more on the 3km steeple and 5km rather then the flat 3km.

LR: What's it been like being exposed to and training with athletes like Leslie Sexton, who are quite literally running twice as much as you and earning National medals and making National teams (FISU XC) in the process?

BP: It just shows me what I need to do to get to that level. It also helps justify all the work you put into running, seeing someone who has been working at it for years and having it payoff for them.

LR: How have you found juggling training with your Nursing studies?

BP: This year has been the most difficult for sure. You don't really get to pick classes so you're stuck with how the schedule works out. This year I have missed a lot more class than I have previously, but I always make it work so it's not a big problem; you just have to really utilize any time managment skills you may have.


Becky in her first 5,000m, with LRDC teammates


Sunday, December 13 2015 - New Membership Categories for Alumni, Volunteers, and Online
Saturday, April 18 2015 - London Calling: 24 To Go!
Saturday, December 27 2014 - 10 Mile Record Ends a Strong 2014
Friday, November 28 2014 - Canadian Cross Country Championships
Tuesday, September 2 2014 - 4th Annual LRDC Cross Country Runathon


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