We're proud to be the first global voice as the HuffPost brand has spread around the world. There are now 15 international editions and when I meet with my colleagues worldwide, I feel like Canada was a natural starting point for the international story.
We couldn't agree more that the federal election debates need a refresher. So last week HuffPost Canada and Twitter Canada, along with Samara Canada, submitted a proposal to the federal parties that invited them to a debate worthy of a connected and social age.
In the past two years, I've been on my own journey. When two men tried to take my Boston memories away from me, I responded one way I knew I could, by vowing to get back. And to get back, there was only one thing to do -- do it harder, faster and with the purpose and love I've always had for the sport.
I understand the nature of cultural and religious sensitivity. I believe in debate and free speech. What happened this past week put the two ideas -- free speech and religious sensitivity -- at polar opposites. I had realized that after we printed the clarification that the staff at The Eyeopener probably didn't fully understand the implications of our statement. We were accused of ignorance.
I ran today. Running streaks have to start somewhere and it was a year ago tomorrow, U.S. Thanksgiving Day, I went on a run. This morning, I ran for the 365th straight day. If I had my way, I would write the entire piece while on the run, as opposed to on the couch long after I've put away my running shoes. In front of my laptop, I can't ever match the emotions, sensations, thoughts that I'm having each day while I am out on a run.
What stood out for me as I was baking in the sun was the sound of wind, with barely a runner in sight. And also the sound of my footsteps and the bounce of my backpack registering a dull thud on repeat. If this was a Sunday afternoon run in a big city, I would have seen many runners, but here, I had it all to myself.
It's just another day. I'm going to have all the same thoughts everyone has about turning 40 -- about avoiding the mid-life chatter, the regrets, or start thinking about the best/worst years ahead/behind. Forty is not the new 20 or whatever headline a magazine uses to sell more issues. It's simply 40. For me, it's like rounding a corner as I add more mileage.
I used to love weighing myself after a summer long run. If I had a light breakfast and didn't hydrate, I'd instantly lose a few extra pounds. It was a nice bonus to being a long distance runner. Today, that scale is tucked away in a closet and I can't really remember the last time I used it. What a long way I've come.
Boston for me is a vivid memory. It's getting to the Toronto airport and seeing all those Boston jackets. It's seeing the banners on the streets, it's visiting the finish line, or holding The Jacket for the first time, or looking up at the signs at the corner of Hereford and Boylston. It's about school bus rides, the village and high fives with kids on trampolines. It's about beer on the course, a kiss at Wellesley Hills that make you remember why it broke someone's heart. It's about the growing crowds, the Citgo sign and Fenway, and noontime baseball. It's about the everything about 26.2 but also what happens alongside that course, and of the days before and after that day.
Red Green would be proud of this van rear window seen in Toronto this past weekend. Lets take a moment to appreciate the intricate layering of the duct tape, the attention to detail. Not even a polar...
Yes, it's been a brutal winter of 2014 for much of Canada. Polar vortex, frost quakes and a January that felt much like February. So how much longer is this misery expected to last? Lets go to the hum...
Sometimes what separates me and the driver staring back at me is my right hand, pointing. It's a trick I learned a long time ago, a test of trust between runner and driver. When I read about the death of a fellow runner my heart sank. Marathoner. Morning run. Drunk driver.
Just this past week, the Wall Street Journal ran an op-ed that in essence says running is an act of self-absorption, for showing off more than anything else. He couldn't be more wrong. I run circles around the neighbourhood to end up where I started, but when I arrive, I am in a different 'place' than when I left. The purpose of every trip varies. Sometimes it's to expend frustration, sometimes it's to test what is the maximum of my own abilities, sometimes it's to celebrate the fact I can move 26.2, sometimes it's to have some unplugging time and other times it's because I simply want to run.
What is it like to be a citizen in a digital age? And what type of nation are we in a digitized world? Many of us can't look away from our screens -- second screens, TV sets, mobile phones, desktops. We're increasingly disconnected from each, but we're hyperconnected through tweets, Facebook updates, messages and emails. Today we launch our Digital Divide series, and we start by asking, who are we leaving behind? Is access to broadband internet and literacy in technology crucial? Do we need to redefine what are basic needs?
Marathoners have a shared experience because not many other people go through the training and work that goes into long-distance running. In some ways, I just can't explain it other than to say I've never really met a runner I wouldn't want to go on a 5K run with, or share stories over a few pints. On race day, that course, filled with my people, lined by our family, makes a race, be it Boston, Chicago, Toronto, MCM, my house. And I think that's what I feel about the Boston Marathon bombings. Those attacks hit in a way I'm still trying to figure out how to process. Yesterday, our house was attacked. Our friends and our family. Our fellow racers -- no, runners. And that's why I think it hurts.
It's been called the sweetest left turn in the world, the corner of Hereford that leads to the final stretch of the Boston Marathon on Boylston Street. For a few hours, once a year, Boylston becomes the hallowed ground for thousands of runners. Boston on this day doesn't become the name of the city. It's the name of the race, run on Patriot's Day, also known by those who line the 26.2 mile route as "Marathon Monday." Citizens and runners alike love the event. No question. So when I heard about bombs and Boston, it was a shock to the system. I know more than several runners down there and I've literally been in their shoes, struggling down that final straightaway. The finish of the Boston Marathon is the happiest place for a runner, where dreams are fulfilled.
Rob Watson’s first Boston Marathon will be forever etched in his memory, but the elation he felt as the top Canadian racer was soon overcome by frustration and grief at bombings that rocked the finish...