RW: Congrats on placing first in the spouse category at Re-Fridgee-Eighter! How long have you been competing as TyLicia?
T: 2020 Re-Fridgee-Eighter is only the second race that we’ve competed under the spouse category, after the 2019 Fall Classic. We had never really thought about signing up together at past races as we usually don’t run the same distances. When we realized we’d be running a lot of the same distances at Run Waterloo events this year, we decided it would be another fun (and free) way to add to our race experience. We were shocked when we heard we’d won as we know how many other talented (and fast) running couples take part in the events. And now that I’m plugging the spouse category, this might be the only TyLicia win of the year … hahaha!
RW: Where are you from and how did you get here?
A&T: Tyler grew up about an hour west of Kitchener in a small town called Clinton, and Alicia grew up in Scarborough. We got set up by friends in 2011 while both living and working in Toronto. We tried big city life for a few years then decided to make a move to Kitchener in February of 2016.
RW: How and when did you start running?
T: My first running attempt was in 2011. A good friend of mine had signed up for the Mississauga Half Marathon and I figured if he could do it, so could I. My thinking at the time: how hard could it truly be? Well, I learned my lesson. With very little training, I finished the race, but it left me crippled. I don’t think I moved from Alicia’s couch at all that day once we got home. After that, I tried jogging sporadically but never kept with it. It wasn’t until we moved to Kitchener and signed up for the 2017 Resolution Run that I was able to start making it a habit.
A: I didn’t start running until we moved to Kitchener. I had been playing soccer quite a bit while in Toronto, but when we moved to Kitchener and I tried joining a soccer league, I felt out of place and kind of old. So I joined a learn-to-run clinic as something that would help keep me active. I was surprised how much I enjoyed it, but found staying committed hard as I was commuting from Kitchener to Toronto for work. It wasn’t until I started working in KW in late 2018 that I was able to really get into running.
RW: What are your favourite aspects of running locally? Routes, training, events, etc.
T: We love all of the running options we have locally. There are a lot of quiet
neighbourhoods plus the city trails of Spurline, Laurel and Iron Horse. I also really enjoy the Grand River Trail and Bechtel Park. For training, Health+Performance has made a huge impact on my running. When I decided to sign up for the 2019 ENDURrun, I knew I needed to get more committed to running if I was going to complete it. Since joining H+P, I’ve been more dedicated and gained tremendous knowledge from teammates about everything from training, recovery and gear to the best places to run. H+P is such a supportive group that brings a lot of positivity and has helped me a lot.
A: We also really love taking part in as many of the Run Waterloo events as we can. Not only are they really well-organized and a lot of fun, but we feel like we’re part of a bigger community when we take part in the events. You get to see a lot of familiar faces, the atmosphere is always really positive … and the Boost points don’t hurt either 🙂
RW: How does your running intersect and diverge? Do you run together? Enable each other?
A: Tyler convinced me to join H+P in October of 2019 after I spent most of the spring and summer running on my own. So we go to all of the run club workouts together. Tyler is a lot faster than I am so we rarely run together. But he is an incredibly supportive husband and run partner. We went to Banff in June of 2019 for vacation but also to run the Banff half marathon as we’d seen so many incredible photos of how beautiful the route was. Banff was my first half, so Tyler stayed by my side for the entire race, encouraging me to get to the finish line. He also runs back to meet me on Run Waterloo courses after he’s crossed the finish line.
RW: What was your first Run Waterloo event?
T: Baden 2018 was our first Run Waterloo experience. We had made plans with friends for the May long weekend but couldn’t leave until one friend had finished the Baden 7 Mile race. Since we had to wait, Alicia signed up for the 5K and I signed up for the 7 mile. It was a wet and cold morning and I was completely over dressed for it. I struggled and thought it was crazy to climb that big hill in the middle of a race. But I loved it and was hooked on Run Waterloo, and run events in general, after that.
RW: We’ll leave it to the reader to decide if Tyler was overdressed. It was 13°C at race start.
RW: Thank you for doing this Tyler and Alicia! See you around!