Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

If life's a marathon, this runner is determined to finish strong

  • Print
UNLESS she's injured, Brenlee Muska-Van Caeyzeele doesn't take time off from training. It's a routine that, clearly, works for her.

She captured the top female and female masters awards at this year's Manitoba Marathon in a time of 3:02:07. This was the fourth time in six years that Muska-Van Caeyzeele has won the event.

"I do 10 miles a day, seven days a week in Kildonan Park or Birds Hill (Provincial Park), and we cycle and swim," says Muska-Van Caeyzeele, 40, who frequently trains with her husband, Clyde Van Caeyzeele, a former top 10 Manitoba Marathon competitor.

Ken Perchaluk, coach of the Road Kill Running Club, says that what separates Muska-Van Caeyzeele from most other runners is her strong will.

"She's not gifted with real awesome speed, but she can run long distances at a fast, sustained pace," he says. "If she thinks she can do something, she'll go out and do it. She'll push herself."

Muska-Van Caeyzeele was first introduced to marathon running by Doug Sammons, who was her track and field and cross-country coach at Tec Voc High School.

"He took me under his wing and in 1980 at age 17, he was training me and another student, Robin Hill, for the Manitoba Marathon," she says.

She posted a time of 3:58 that year and followed that up in '81 with a time of 3:45. Three years later, Muska-Van Caeyzeele had reduced her time to 3:11. She initially broke the three-hour barrier with a time of 2:55:56 at the 1997 Manitoba Marathon, the first time she won the event.

Even Perchaluk, her coach at the time and current mentor, was doubtful that she could best the three-hour barrier.

"He said before the race that I wouldn't be able to do it, that it's a huge obstacle," confirms the special education teacher in the Winnipeg School Division.

She adds that her best time ever for the 42-kilometre course is 2:48:22 at the 1999 Chicago Marathon. By contrast, Paula Radcliffe of Great Britain set a new women's world record with a clocking of 2:15:25 at the 2003 Flora London Marathon. The men's world record of 2:05:38 was set at the 2002 London Marathon by Khalid Khannouchi, who was born in Morocco and is now a U.S. citizen.

Muska-Van Caeyzeele even met her future partner on the plane while travelling to a race in Chicago.

"I'd heard of his name, but I'd only seen his back side because he's so fast," she says, adding that her husband's personal best in the marathon is 2:38. "Ever since then, we've been together."

This upbeat athlete is also looking at competing in the triathlon.

"I think I'd be good at it, but a bike crash last year scared me. I fractured my leg. But, I've purchased a brand new bike," she says. "I like to compete against myself. I get energized by training. I'm very content and happy with what I'm doing. I just want to run forever and maintain my fitness."

PHOTO MIKE DEAL/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 6, 2003 $sourceSection$sourcePage

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Trucks power through flooded underpass at Main St and Higgins

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • PHIL HOSSACK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS 070619 LIGHTNING ILLUMINATES AN ABANDONED GRAIN ELEVATOR IN THE VILLAGE OF SANFORD ABOUT 10PM TUESDAY NIGHT AS A LINE OF THUNDERSTORMS PASSED NEAR WINNIPEG JUST TO THE NORTH OF THIS  SITE.
  • Young goslings jostle for position to take a drink from a puddle in Brookside Cemetery Thursday morning- Day 23– June 14, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What do you think of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s comment that Tina Fontaine’s slaying was a crime, and not part of a larger sociological problem?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google