Dylan is currently the 2nd fastest marathoner on the Canadian all-time list behind Jerome Drayton’s 1975 run of 2:10:09. He cemented his place in the Canadian marathon ranks with his personal best performance of 2:10:47 at the 2012 Rotterdam Marathon. That run fulfilled a lifelong dream of Dylan’s to qualify for the Olympic Games. Riding the high of that performance he went on to place 20th at the 2012 London Olympic Games, running a ‘smart’ race, by passing over 50 runners in the latter half of the race. His 20th place finish was the highest finish by a Canadian in the Olympics since Jerome Drayton’s 6th place in the 1976 Montreal Games.
We asked Dylan some of our burning questions about his career.
How or why did you start coaching?
After the 2012 Olympics I was looking for an outlet to share my knowledge and experience and connect with the running community at large. Coaching offered the perfect avenue for this.
What motivates you to coach despite other obligations you have in your life?
I really enjoy connecting with the athletes I coach and supporting them to achieve their goals. It doesn’t matter if it’s a new runner or an elite runner. If they are motivated and committed I’m in.
How has the transition been from athlete to coach?
I really use my experience as an athlete to help inform my coaching. So I’m constantly reflecting on how and why I did things the way I did. Initially, it was difficult to give up on my own goals and find meaning in other peoples goals. It didn’t take long for that to change and for me to really thrive off of being a part of other people’s journeys.
Where is your favourite running spot? What do you love about it?
Though we’ve lived in Ottawa now for 9 months, my favourite spot is still in Vancouver at Pacific Spirit Park. There are endless miles of pristine trails amongst some of the most gorgeous forests I’ve seen. I recommend it to everyone who visits Vancouver.
What would you consider your proudest coaching success?
Building the community that we have in Vancouver through Mile2Marathon. It’s been more than just helping individuals achieve their goals, it’s been about connecting people, creating friendships and watching how that can impact peoples lives.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced as a coach?
Try to navigate my role as coach with athletes who have struggled with disordered eating. It’s prevalent in our sport at all levels. I’ve talked with other coaches and developed strategies to deal with the issue. But it’s not an easy one for me to tackle.
What is your favourite running event? What do you love about it?
The Boston Marathon. To many people’s surprise I’ve never finished it (I started the race in 2015, but dropped out). There is so much history there. And it has so much meaning to many of the athletes I coach, being the ‘peoples Olympics’. From a technical perspective as a coach, it’s challenging but a fun race to prepare athletes for, given the nature of the course and the conditions.
In your opinion, what is the importance of a national run club like CRC?
Connecting people and creating community. These two things are really important for individuals and the sport. The idea of a run club focused on a national scale is fantastic. There are people living in cities without groups and clubs to support them. As well as people in cities with those assets who don’t have the ability to access them. So CRC serves a huge need to these people.
What are your other hobbies besides running?
Right now I view my own running as a hobby, although one I take quite seriously. With a young family, I don’t really have much time for anything else these days. I used to play guitar a lot and hope to more of that.
Is there an event or location you dream of attending?
When I competed at an international level running took me to some fantastic places. Honestly, I really want to finish the Boston Marathon one of these days.
What is the best advice you could give someone who is just getting started on their running journey?
Be patient. This is not a sport where success is made overnight. And don’t take the good and healthy times for granted. I spent way too many years injured to not be grateful for being healthy now.
Our team of experienced ambassadors includes some of Canada’s best athletes. We’re proud to have Olympians and passionate local runners representing CRC on the ground at events across the country.
Whether you’re just getting started, perfecting your form or building your endurance, the right coach can help you reach your running potential. We have access to a national database of reputable, qualified coaches.
Become a member today and apply to be matched with a running coach based on your specific training and lifestyle needs.