Author Archive

Sun news editor runs Milan Marathon

- April 6th, 2014

Edmonton Sun news editor and avid runner Gary Poignant is vacationing in Italy. Today, he completed the Milan Marathon. I asked him to share a few words and photos for readers of this blog. Here’s what he sent me via email.


Poignant enjoys a post-race refreshment.

I chuckled while making my way through the Milan Marathon when signs kept popping up from apparent marathon fans reading “No Expo.”

I said to myself: Not that Expo?

Yes, the World’s Fair, once touted for Edmonton early last decade, is the next big thing in the Italian fashion and business hub.


Duomo di Milano

But April 6 was marathon Sunday and what a spectacular day it was for the 14th running of the 26.1-mile race through this city. Yours  truly joined about 13,000 marathoners and relay runners (four runners per team for the 42.2-km race) that began at a massive convention complex on the north side of the city and went past numerous impressive sights, including the Duomo di Milano (the world’s third-largest church) before finishing at the Castello Sforzesco, a 400-year-old castle in the heart of Milan.

Like any marathon, there were many challenges for this writer, including witnessing two injured/ill runners carted off by ambulance during the final 5 km of my race. Witnessing  that slowed me down along with cobblestone streets and temps approaching 23 C. But, it was still a very rewarding, satisfying day.

NOTE: Most bizarre promise from marathon organizers — Sunday will be a car-free day. There were thousands of cars at most course intersections throughout the run and most of those behind the wheel were honking their horns at the runners.


Poignant picks up a souvenir T-shirt.


A glimpse of the 2014 Milan Marathon.

WH Media Transformation Challenge Q&A

- March 13th, 2014


Nine days to go until the final weigh-in for the 2014 World Health Media Transformation Challenge. Gulp!

I’ll be posting some workout pics later.

Until then, I just want to share my answers to the pre-challenge questionnaire that World Health gave to all of the competitors back on Feb. 7.

1. Why did you decide to take part in this challenge?

I figured this was the kick in the butt I needed to get my fitness regimen back on track.

2. Do you already work out on a regular basis or will this be a complete shock to your system?

It’s complicated. Suffice to say, I’ve had an on-again, off-again relationship with weights for more than 20 years.

3. What is your personal fitness goal?

To be a healthy Daddy and positive role model for my children.

4. What do you think will be the most challenging part for you?

Nutrition. Hey, what can I say? I’m half-Italian and I love to eat. Mangia! Mangia!

5. Be honest … what’s your food guilty pleasure?

Cheeseburgers, pizza, pasta, chocolate, ice cream … to name a few.

6. Who do you consider your biggest competition and why?

Myself. It’s really all up to me. If I can set my mind to working out on the days I’m not with my trainer and also sticking to the meal plan that my nutrition coach has laid out, then all will be good.

7. Do you have a personal fitness mantra that you try to follow?

Enjoy the journey.

8. Which charity will you be donating to if you win?

Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation

Jillian Michaels coming to Canada

- February 28th, 2014
Jillian Michaels

Jillian Michaels

Jillian Michaels is going to be making some lucky Canadians sweat next week.

The tough-love trainer of Biggest Loser reality TV fame will be in Alberta, Ontario and Nova Scotia from Monday to Wednesday.

Here’s the press release with all the details …

Poll: Who’s going to win the Challenge?

- February 18th, 2014

It’s Week 2 of the 2014 World Health Media Transformation Challenge.

I’ve posted the criteria of this six-week media competition. And I’ve posted photos of the challengers.

That leaves two burning questions: who are you rooting for and who do you think will win?

Please vote below (challengers are listed alphabetically).

* * *






WH Media Transformation Challenge: the competition

- February 14th, 2014

It’s been one week since the official weigh-in for the 2014 World Health Media Transformation Challenge.

Yeah, yeah, I know I haven’t posted since before the weigh-in. Truth is, I haven’t quite felt up to it as I’ve  struggled to adjust to my intense workout regimen and stringent eating plan. My muscles ache and I’m still kinda hungry. Poor me, I know.

(You’ll have to excuse me but I’m a tad irritable.)

Anyway, here’s a closer look at the challengers vying for media bragging rights, a one-year World Health membership and $1,000 to donate to charity. (Yes, only 10 challengers. Margeaux Morin of The Weather Network withdrew on the day of the weigh-in.)

Photos are courtesy of Nezar Yaggey Photography:


World Health Media Transformation

Castagna and Dennis

Trainer Dennis Brent and yours truly.

Andrew Beckler

Andrew Beckler, of Virgin, has his biceps measured.

Warren Barris

Warren Barris, of The Bear, gives a thumbs up.

Paul Brown

The Bear’s Paul Brown leaves little to the imagination.

Liann Cameron, of The Bounce, steps on the scale

Liann Cameron, of The Bounce, steps on the scale.

Ara Andonian, of The Bounce

Ara Andonian, of The Bounce, gets a good look at his starting point.

Johnny Infamous and Tripp West

The Bounce’s Johnny Infamous and Tripp West see how they measure up.

James White

James White, of The Bear, and his trainer break into an impromptu posedown. (James White photo)

 Follow the challengers’ Twitter banter at #WHTransform