Thursday, February 28, 2008

Alex YouTubed! - Alex's Life & Times (in over 70 video clips)

I've mentioned before that this blog's regular readers come mostly from 2 different communities - the running community and the autism/autistic community. Some in the running community have known Alex since 2004 and know him pretty well, seeing him on a weekly basis, if not more often. Some in the autism community, though they've never met Alex in person, have known of him since my online presence started about 14 years ago, when he was 6 years old. A few other readers here have known Alex his whole life.

Recently we've been able to do something I've been wanting to do, thanks to the acquisition of some technology, namely a DVD recorder and (finally!!) high speed Internet. My eldest son's technical advice, as always, was invaluable as well. I spent the last few weeks copying old VHS tapes onto DVD and, in the process, reliving my children's early childhood. I had a box of "home movies" I had wanted to copy as well as a box of "Alex & Autism" videos that contained footage of Alex at home and at school as well as autism related TV shows & movies. It sure brought back memories!!

So, after a couple of weeks of copying, I turned to taking some of the more classic Alex clips and converting them to upload to YouTube (those under 10 minutes) and Vimeo (those over 10 minutes). These clips cover Alex's life from when he was 1 year old up to his High School graduation (and join the more recent videos that were there from his Tip-to-Tip Run). There is video from home, from school and from the community (like a birthday party at the bowling alley and another at McDonalds). There is a video made for CBC on Inclusion in PEI schools that features Alex's class when he was in grade 8 and the 3 "special needs" kids in that class. There are a number of videos that illustrate his early literacy skills and love for word books. Others show his early typing, both independently and with various amounts of assistance, both in the classroom and at home doing homework. There are videos that I think many parents of autistic kids will recognize their own child's behaviour in - toe walking, spinning, covering his ears, not responding to his name, echolalia, rewinding the VCR over & over...There are 4 school Christmas concerts, and highlights from The Great Island Kids contest gala when he got his "Against The Odds" runner up award as well as highlights from his High School graduation; his receiving his diploma and awards for highest marks in a couple of courses and an Application prize in another. There is one showing how he learned to talk when he was 6 - a reenactment of the actual event about 2 weeks after it happened (It's on YouTube in 2 parts).

I do have a couple of favourites; one is of Alex, totally in his element, watching The RoadRunner show when he was 6 (is it any wonder he grew up to be a RoadRunner?!). The other is from Christmas day when Alex was 5 and although his spoken vocabulary at the time was only 3 words ("no", "oh-no" and "bye") he decided, on a couple of occasions, to go out and "sing" Christmas Carols on our doorstep.

Currently there are 67 videos on YouTube, from a few seconds to about 10 minutes long and 5 longer ones on Vimeo. Likely there will be more. They do not tell the whole story, there's a lot that's not there. For instance I have remarkably few temper tantrums on video and little if any SIB - these are not the kinds of things I would have wanted to record for posterity, it's not the case that they didn't happen (but if you watch them all you will see a tantrum or two and you'll hear plenty of screaming). It is my hope that these videos will help illustrate a few things about the realities of autism. Things like -
  • Autism is not a static condition: autism at 2 looks a lot different than autism at 7 and at 13 and at 18.
  • A child with a 3 word spoken vocabulary at 6 can know an awful lot more than he is able to tell you.
  • Communication is far more than speech
  • Given a chance, the same chance his peers are given, with accommodations to his needs, an autistic child can grow and learn and succeed.
  • Inclusion *can* work and work well.
  • An austistic who did not receive ABA or IBI (or any other intensive or behaviour based intervention) can graduate, (with honours, prizes), and with great self esteem, from high school.
  • Acceptance, and assuming competence, can take an autistic child a very long way.
  • "Acceptance" does not mean "doing nothing"
  • etc.


Monday, February 25, 2008

The Freeze Your Gizzard Half-Marathon

Sunday, February 24th, 2008

It was sunny and frosty and -5 degrees and light west wind.

The 10.5km loop course was hilly and mostly of countryside and a bit of the main street of Montague.

The 1st half time of 55:36 was my best time on this course and 2nd half time of even faster of 55:07 and total time of 1:50:43 he came in 34th out of 51 runners. 3 way tie for 32nd place.

Stanley Chaisson win the race in the crazy time of 1:16:58. Hilda Martin was the top female. Sean McNeill win the 10km race. Dianne Pye ran a PB!

Congratulations other Alex Bain on his Hyannis Half Marathon finish. He finished in 2:07:51

Official Result: 34th out of 51
Half-Marathon in 1 hour, 50 minutes and 43 seconds

2007 Freeze Your Gizzard
2006 Freeze Your Gizzard

UPDATE February 27th, 2008:
(click to enlarge)

For Autism
Not Against It
acceptance not cure

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Alex Bain plus Alex Bain makes a Full Marathon on Sunday

It was cold and -16 degrees of wind chill and bright better Thursday night. We ran six 2 minutes intervals with
2 minutes of rest and 2 minutes of fast on running route #2. There were new people who join.

The half marathon in Montague is on Sunday. The Freeze Your Gizzard on the double loop with a 10K run. The weather is sun and cloud with a high -2C and low -6C.

The other Alex Bain is running a half marathon on Sunday too.He's running the Hyannis Half-Marathon.
It shouldn't freeze his gizzard. Good Luck Alex Bain!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Detour: The AAP Mythbusters want You!

"I have no doubt. There's no way they'll convince me that all these kids were not damaged by vaccines."

It is difficult to challenge a mother's knowledge of her own child. And also to fight off the staying power of the vaccines-cause-autism theory and other such notions that verge on the irrational.
From: True Believers - Why there's no dispelling the myth that vaccines cause autism. By Arthur Allen

The American Academy of Pediatrics, in an effort to promote science in autism and stamp out the pseudo-science and quackery being presented to the public by the likes of (real) people like Jenny McCarthy and (fictional) people like Eli Stone, is requesting the assistance of parents. Jenny McCarthy and William's mother need not apply.

"When new parents start to think about vaccines, they are likely to hear primarily the voices of those who fear vaccines. They are less likely to hear the voices of parents who have lost children as a result of such diseases as polio, meningitis, and hepatitis, or who have watched their children suffer with illness and lifelong complications such as paralysis, deafness or liver cancer." say Dr. Benjamin Kruskal and Dr. Carole Allen, director of infection control and director of pediatrics at Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates.

The AAP is attempting to address this. Please read the letter below and if you are one of the parents the AAP is looking for, and are willing to participate, please either contact Susan Stevens Martin directly at or leave your name and email address in the comment section of this post.


As part of our ongoing response to media stories regarding autism and vaccines, the AAP communications department is compiling a list of parents who support the AAP and are available for interviews. We are looking for two types of parents who could serve as spokespersons:

Parents of children with autism spectrum disorders who support immunization and who do not believe there is any link between their child's vaccines and his or her autism.

Parents of children who suffered a vaccine-preventable illness. This could be a parent who declined immunization, whose child became ill before a vaccine was available, or whose child was ineligible for immunization.

We are asking for your help identifying parents who would be good spokespersons. They do not need to be expert public speakers. They just need to be open with their story and interested in speaking out on the issue. We will contact candidates in advance to conduct pre-interviews, to offer guidance on talking to reporters and to obtain a signed waiver giving us permission to release their name.

If a parent were placed on our list, we would offer their name and contact information to select media. We hope to build a list of parents from a wide range of geographical areas.

As the Jenny McCarthy and "Eli Stone" stories illustrate, this issue is likely to recur in the national and local media. The AAP is committed to doing all we can to counter such erroneous reports with factual information supported by scientific evidence and AAP recommendations.

The anti-vaccine groups often have emotional family stories on their side. The ability to offer a reporter an interview with a similarly compelling parent who is sympathetic to the AAP's goals is a powerful tool for our media relations program.

Please contact me if you have any questions or to suggest a parent to interview.

Thank you,

Susan Stevens Martin
Director, Division of Media Relations
American Academy of Pediatrics

Autistics deserve the highest standards of science and ethics. We don't deserve what Jenny, Eli and other mythmakers are offering.

This is also being blogged on:

the Marla Baltes blog
on One Dads Opinion
on Telstra
on Grey Matter/White Matter by Sullivan and
on Grey Matter/White Matter by Ms. Clark
on Mom Not Otherwise Specified
on Whiterer on Autism
on Club166
on Autism News Beat
on Respectful Insolence
on AutismVox
on Maternal Instincts…flying by the seat of my pants
on LeftBrain/RightBrain

"No Quack Zone" image by The Autism Diva

Friday, February 15, 2008

Valentine Fartlek

It was -4 degrees and cloudy. The small group because it was Valentine Day. We did 10km loop on route #1 doing fartlek a 2 minutes easy and 2 minutes fast (threshold) pace. My watch has a stop watch. I give Valentine Day cards and chocolate to two special ladies.
Running Route #1

Islanders on the Run - Last weekend at the Hypothermic Half in Moncton

Here are the results from last weekend's Hypothermic Half Marathon in Moncton NB. Here's how PE Islanders did:

(place, name, time)
2 - McCosham, Leo 1:24:30
29 - Burkholder, Elaine G 1:45:43
34 - Pye, Dianne F 1:49:03
35 - Leard, Maureen M 1:49:44
53 - Johnston, Paul F 1:59:50
71 - Deveau, Eric A 2:02:27
80 - Weir, Chris R 2:06:43
134 - Nunn-Weir, Donna M 2:28:04

Full Results HERE
Photos HERE

Congrats to Leo McCosham on his 2nd place finish and everyone else for their great times!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Thursday's training - 10Km at Threshhold Pace

It was -7 degrees and snowing and a little bit windy Thursday night. Now at 5:30 it not quite dark out.

We did 10km on route #4 at threshhold pace. My threshold pace is 4:55 per km but I a little slower last night.

Jennifer give me a nice race shirt from Ottawa. Thank You!

Good Luck Dianne Pye, Elaine Burkholder, Leo McCosham, Eric Deveau, Paul Johnston, Maureen Leard, Donna Nunn-Weir, Chris Weir, and anyone else going to Moncton to run the Hypothermic Half Marathon on Sunday.

Running Route #4

Universal NO HEADPHONES Icon Unveiled

Universal NO HEADPHONES Icon Unveiled

Posted Friday, 8 February, 2008

Arlington, VA - As race directors struggle with the RRCA guideline against the use of headphones in RRCA insured events along with the USATF ban on headphones at sanctioned events, the RRCA is encouraging race directors to adopt the new universal NO HEADPHONES symbol on race entry forms and race materials. Created by veteran race director, Jim Gerweck, the goal of this universal symbol is to send the message that event directors are serious about the headphone ban at the events they manage.

"Race officials don't ban headphones to be mean to runners — it's for their own safety and that of everyone else in the race," says Gerweck, a member of the USATF Long Distance Running sub-committee studying enforcement of the ban. "It's an education effort more than an enforcement issue, as events such as Grandma’s and Twin Cities Marathons have successfully proven. This logo is a simple way to send runners the message that headphones aren't permitted in sanctioned events."

The RRCA has promoted a guideline against the use of headphones in running events that dates back to the mid-1980's and this guideline has been re-affirmed several times by the RRCA membership since then.

"Banning headphones or advising participants to leave them at home or in the car is part of the risk management responsibility of a race director. Many participants do not understand or respect the awesome responsibility a race director shoulders to ensure the safety of every single participant in an event," explains Jean Knaack, RRCA executive director. "Respecting an event director's choice to ban headphones is the shared responsibility of every participant to ensure the safety of all runners and the future success of the event and the sport as a whole."

Come play on our Island - PEI in the running to host 2013 NatWest Island Games
PEI in the running to host 2013 NatWest Island Games
The Journal Pioneer

Prince Edward Island's bid has been submitted to the International Island Games Association to host the NatWest Island Games, June 29 to July 6 in 2013. Now that the Island Games Association of PEI has the support of the Government of Prince Edward Island, the association will continue to promote our Island's attributes to the member islands before the final vote takes place June 28.

Prince Edward Island would host 14 sports; over 3,000 athletes, more than the Olympic Winter Games; roughly 2,000 spectators and at least 30 international media organizations.

PEI had its largest ever group of 60 athletes compete in the 2007 NatWest Island Games in Rhodes, Greece, and came home with four gold, five silver and seven bronze medals. The Island placed 13th in a group of 25 participating islands.

Ashley Caulier of Brooklyn participated on the soccer team in Rhodes last year and can't say enough about the experience.

"The cultural experience is one that I will always remember. I am still in communications with many of the new friends that I met.

"It would be an honour to host the Games in 2013 and have these athletes from the other 24 islands see Prince Edward Island. I would be so proud to show them our beautiful Island."

Prince Edward Island is competing against Bermuda for the 2013 NatWest Island Games. Even though Bermuda is very well known, Prince Edward Island will have all the state-of-the-art athletic facilities that are required in place subsequent to the 2009 Canada Games and will offer more direct and cheaper air connections than Bermuda. Also, proposed dates are at the end of the school year, whereas Bermuda is proposing April, which would be more challenging for member-island organizers.

Prince Edward Island was the first North American island to join the International Island Games Association.

Between now and June, the Island Games Association of PEI plans to launch a sustained marketing campaign to educate the voting islands more about Prince Edward Island, highlighting our organizational capabilities, our facilities, scenery, food and culture. The slogan for the campaign is "An Island of memories awaits your arrival."
Come play on our Island
The Journal Pioneer

Islanders tend to have many similar traits, no matter what hemisphere those islanders might hail from. So having over 2,000 of them from all over the world converge on our Island would surely mean plenty of fun and games, plus a lot of camaraderie.

The Island Games Association of P.E.I. is working to make this happen.

The group responsible for putting in a bid for the 2013 International Island Games met in Summerside earlier this week to review their progress thus far and plan their next course of action. The P.E.I. contingent is competing against Bermuda for the chance to host the games five years from now.

The Island Games take place every two years on one of 25 member islands worldwide. Since the first games in 1985, the event has grown significantly in stature and popularity, especially on our Island.

Last year, the P.E.I. team sent 64 participants. They brought home 16 medals, ranking them 11th in medal totals. Josh Ballem even set an International Island Games record in swimming.

The games offer an opportunity for young sportsmen from small island communities to get a taste of international competition against other athletes of similar calibre. Being from a small province, like other small islands globally, it is difficult for P.E.I. athletes to compete with other provinces with larger populations and larger pools of funding from which to draw.

Besides giving these non-elite athletes a chance to compete internationally, the Island Games also involve a festival aspect. The Games are a venue for cultural exchange and social interaction between young people as well as the maybe not-so-young organizers. Friendships are formed between the fellow islanders.

The participants also have the opportunity to travel the globe, with last year's participants getting to spend a week or so on the Greek island of Rhodes.

Guernsey and the Isle of Man have both hosted the games twice. In order to ensure the Island Games remain truly international, they've got to go around the globe. P.E.I. would bring the games to North America for the first time. Bringing over 2,000 people would certianly be a boost to tourism, too.

With new facilities and improvements being made to prepare P.E.I. for hosting the Canada Games in 2009, these Island Games would put these facilities to good use. If the local committee is successful in their bid, it would enhance Summerside's reputation for being "the sports hosting capital of the world".

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

New Canadian Running Magazine Launches

On Your Mark, Get Set, Go!
New Canadian Running Magazine Launches in February
– Editorial Team Goes the Distance for Runners North of the Border –

Toronto (February 5, 2008) – Canada has an estimated one million runners, more than 500 running races, and expected sales of two million pairs of running shoes in 2008. And now, finally, Canada has its own magazine dedicated to running. Gripped Inc. launches Canadian Running Magazine, the only running magazine published in Canada and with all-Canadian content, in February.

“This is the first running magazine that is truly dedicated to all levels of runners in the Great White North, from St. John’s to Ottawa to Victoria,” says editor-in-chief Michal Kapral. “At last, Canadians can read about the best running routes, the excellent races, the most influential and up-and-coming runners, inspirational stories, winter running tips, and running news – in Canada! Oh, and running programs in kilometres, not miles!”

Coverage will also include articles on the latest running issues, fitness tips for all seasons, diet and nutrition information, in-depth features, and expert reviews of the latest footwear, fashion and accessories for runners.

“Our editorial team is led by accomplished runners who are tapped into the running community,” says Gripped Inc. publisher Sam Cohen. “We found the right people and ran with them. And hey, the first issue speaks for itself.”

Editor-in-chief Michal Kapral won the Toronto Marathon in 2002 with a personal best time of 2:30:40, holds the Guinness World Record for the fastest marathon while juggling (2:50:09), and is a sponsored athlete. Senior editor Kevin Mackinnon is an accomplished runner, triathlete and coach, and the editor of Triathlon Magazine Canada. Senior editor Alex Hutchinson represented Canada at the World Championships. Publisher Sam Cohen is a life-long runner who will focus on 5K and 10K races in 2008. Publisher and editorial director Dave Chaundy-Smart is a passionate runner who completed his first and second marathons two weeks apart last fall.

Canadian Running Magazine is Gripped Inc.’s third magazine. The company first launched Gripped: The Climbing Magazine in 1999, followed by Triathlon Magazine Canada in March 2006.

“Running is one of the simplest and most accessible fitness activities in Canada, so it’s a mass-appeal sport,” says Cohen. “Triathlon Magazine Canada was so successful that we decided to use the same formula to enter a larger, more mainstream market.” Cohen says the Canadian running magazine market has significant room for growth. The U.S. publication Runner’s World sells about 25,000 subscriptions in Canada and 10,000 copies on newsstands – with total U.S. sales of 600,000. Based on population – Canada has one-tenth the population of the U.S. – Canadian Running Magazine has the potential to reach 60,000 Canadians subscriptions.

The launch issue tells the story of Danny Kassap, a political refugee from Congo with dreams of Canadian citizenship and the Beijing Olympics. The magazine also talks to Olympic hopeful Hilary Stellingwerff, profiles B.C.’s Bastion Running Club, explores the surge in popularity of running forums with a look at, talks to running celebrity Ron MacLean of CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada, takes readers on a running tour of Quebec City and explores trail runs in the Maritimes and the Rockies. Other features include training and nutrition tips, inspiration for winter running, and both shoe and gear reviews.

Canadian Running Magazine will start to appear on newsstands in Ontario on February 21, Quebec on February 25, and the rest of the country on February 26. The magazine will be sold on special displays at Running Room stores across the country, in most Shoppers Drug Marts and at all major Canadian airports. Canadian Running Magazine will also be sold at independent retailers across Canada (please see the attached fact sheet for a list of several retailers in each province).

Canadian Running Magazine’s website ( will launch on February 15. For subscriptions, please go to or call 416-927-0774.


Michal Kapral, Editor-in-Chief, 416-861-8319 ext. 232,
Dianne Kapral, Media Relations, 416-690-4555,
Dave Chaundy-Smart, Editorial Director, 416-927-0774,
Sam Cohen, Publisher, 416-927-0774, (available starting Monday, February 11)

Island Olympian sets sights on Beijing

Island Olympian sets sights on Beijing
Kara Grant preparing for next step
The Guardian

Stratford’s Kara Grant is in heavy training for the World Cup of Modern Pentathlon in Cairo, Egypt, Feb. 19.
The event is another step in the P.E.I. Olympian’s journey to the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China.
The P.E.I. native, who competed in the 2004 Olympics, trains mostly in Fredericton, N.B., and has about 10 different coaches.
“With five sports I have a lot of people helping me.”
Other than training for the five events — riding, running, swimming, shooting and fencing — Grant does core strengthening, stretching and Pilates, “to make sure I’m strong and fit,” she said.
After an intense lead-up to competitions, Grant says she finds time to relax.
During competitions there is free time and she can socialize with the other competitors she has come to know in the circuit.
Relaxing is something the busy athlete enjoys when she visits the Island, as well. Whether it’s visiting her grandparents, walking her dog, walking on the beach, kayaking, or just laying on the couch at her parents’ house, P.E.I. is a retreat for her.
“I try to be able to have some downtime when I’m here,” she said.
With five very different events making up the modern pentathlon there is always a leg of the competition that poses a challenge.
For Grant it’s swimming.
Grant knows she’s never going to be an amazing swimmer but she strives to improve within her limitations.
“Swimming is one of those events where there definitely is some natural ability and feel.
“I’m fortunate that I’m pretty good at the other events.”
Having grown up riding horses, her favourite event is riding. It can also be frustrating because competitors draw for their horse and two riders ride each horse and if an athlete gets a mount after a less experienced rider the horse may not perform as well.
“There’s just a little bit of the unexpected in that,” she said.
Grant is part of Aliant Canada Contenders: Beijing Edition, a sponsorship program that follows athletes in their quest to the Games.
People can keep track of Grant’s progress in the interactive coverage of her training and competing online.
This program was announced at the Aliant Swing to Beijing Kara Grant tournament at Brudenell Golf Course in July 2007.
Grant’s budget is high but she is fortunate her sponsors have relieved her of this worry.
“It’s nice to know that that’s taken care of.”
Grant always knows the Island is cheering for her, she said.
“I appreciate all of the support over my pentathlon career. For me it’s been really important knowing my family and community is behind me.”
Big goals are attainable, Grant wants everyone to know.
“Islanders can achieve great things.”

Monday, February 4, 2008

Alex Bain runs the Boston Marathon

No.... not "our" Alex Bain, this Alex Bain:

April 19, 2007

Running bandit in the Boston Marathon

I ran the Boston Marathon on Monday, but you'll never see my time listed anywhere, b/c I wasn't a registered runner. I didn't qualify or raise enough money for charity to be given a bib. I had no idea how tight the restrictions would be on me, whether I'd be able to drink from the water stations or anything like that, so I called my buddy who'd run bandit before...

Alex and Alex have some obvious similarities and reading his blog, his Tumblr (and even his cat Furio's blog) feels like reading the words of a close family member, not a stranger. Might have to look him up someday when "our" Alex Bain runs the Boston Marathon.....

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Sunday Long Run

Sunday long run.

It was sunny and -14 with the wind chill.

The group of 5 at 11km easy run on the loop course along Victoria Park and back. Some people went 5km and some went more than 11km.

Thursday we did 5 x 2 minute intervals with 2 minutes rest between on the route #3.

Thursday night the power back on after the ice storm.

The ice was gone and the road was good running.

I ran with Dianne.

Running Route #3

"Autistic Teen Play Bop It Extreme Perfect Play"

Now that we *finally* have highspeed we're able to not only view but upload videos online. Here's one Alex made about a year ago......