Mad Dog Scramble 2014
Another Mad Dog has been run and I know that even a week later, there are some tired runners out there; but all with smiles on their faces.

Half of you ran the Mad Dog Scramble for the first time this year. The positive comments make all of us who volunteer want to come back and do it all again for you next year. There were friends running together, families running together and many running their very first race. Not just the Mad Dog, but any race. I am always astounded that someone would pick the Mad Dog Scramble as their very first race, but they enjoy it!

The race seemed to be even tougher than in past years according to some long-time racers. The race was a little longer than we planned. We will be sure to make it a bit shorter, but no less difficult next year. I certainly hope that everyone was satisfied that we provided full value for them. It is meant to be a challenge and an enjoyable community event. You, along with the volunteers, make the race what it is. Please go to and input your comments on the Banana Rating. We will continue to strive to put on a race that is the best value for your running dollar, and provide you with the most enjoyment you can have (while suffering up one of the hills or wading through some mud).

We had a lot of people help out with our effort and the volunteers and contributors are listed below. The fact that this is such a special family event is demonstrated by the many younger runners who ran. Some were under 10 years of age. Some have been running the race for years and continue to come out, even those older than 60. Congratulations to all of you!


This year's winners are:

1stKyle AitkenKate Timms
2ndMickael Staer NathanJody Yoken
4thFilip KotyniaSue Mackay

Honourable Mention: (3rd) Scott Simpson (3rd) Izzy Mackay

Most Persistent: Phoenix Walker and Kerry Walker.

Dirtiest Dogs: Lenka Bubnickova and Ken Parsons.


There are many people and organizations that help us out. We acknowledge them here for the generous draw prizes and other assistance:

RBC (Dan Little)
Pepsi (Denis Sacks)
Chris Kip (two t-shirts From Balsam Lake Prov Park)
David Muirhead for a pair of Raptor tickets (Club member who has contributed generously for years)
St. Urbain Bakery on Bathurst
EXCEL Running Series (Michael Brennan)
Toronto Women's Running Series
Canada Running Series
XSNRG Running Club
Also, Dr. David Korivuranta was on site for chiro assessments including posture and running problems.

Thanks to all of those who helped out with their donations of products and time.

Finally, a big thanks from everyone who organized and ran the race to the many volunteers. Here they are:

Course Director: Nick Roberts
M/C: Michael Brennan
Volunteer Coordinator: Wendy Lee
Race Prep: Dan Little
IT and results: Ed Wong
Communications: Julie Anderson

Plus our wonderful helpers:

Tehmina Ahmed
Laureence Alexander
Michael Brennan
Matt Cunnane
Mary Jane Dundas
Murray Fearn
Isabel Gonos
John Gonos
Sarah Louise Hamadi
Claudio Hamburger
Barbara Hicks
Shirley Hicks
Greg Hogan
Jana Marshall
Kathy Ing
Chris Jacobs
Sheila Jacobs (who also ran)
Peter Kain
Judy Knott
Elaine Lavallee
Helen Malmberg
Jana Marshall
Arrie Pang
Sue Pearen
Doug Piercey
Sharlene Premich
Shiraz Roberts
Rob Schatteman (who also ran)
Zlejko Srnic
David Till
Zoe Webster

I look forward to seeing everyone again next year. The tentative date is October 25, 2015 (last Sunday of October). Please send any comments you may have to me directly, or as mentioned above, rate us on the Banana Rating at

John Petrosoniak
Mad Dog Scramble
Race Director

MAD DOG UPDATE - October 20, 2014

The Mad Dog Scramble is less than a week away and the dogs are starting to howl. A few final reminders.

Remember to bring out your young children 6 years of age and under for the Puppy Scramble. It is free. And they get a little prize bag to boot.

We will have plastic bags for your wet and dirty clothes if you need one. Please do not walk into the school gymnasium or hallways with wet or muddy shoes.

There will be lots of food and drinks as always, and plenty of prizes to give away. All runners will receive a pair of gloves (can be used as a winter liner or a spring/fall running glove) as well as a fleece toque. All cool Mad Dog swag.

Final tip for the race itself. Since you will be sent out in packs, decide whether you want to run with your pack, or try to catch the group ahead of you. It is a race, but t is also a fun, social event. The trail should be well marked, but will not be known in advance. You will have to sort out the route as you run. That's why it sometimes pays to run in a least at the start.

Registration opens at 9:30 am next Sunday. I am looking forward to seeing you all there.

Let the fun begin!

Arf arf arrrrrf. Woof.

John Petrosoniak
Race Director
Mad Dog Scramble

MAD DOG UPDATE - October 13, 2014

Only two weeks to the 23rd running of the Mad Dog Scramble. Spaces are filling up quickly.

As promised, I wanted to continue to send out tips on how to prepare for and run this race.

In addition to the pointers sent last time, such as tying up your shoes before hitting the trails, consider this:

1. The weather is changing (cooling) so you never know what race day will be like. Be prepared by having clothes to deal with a nice warm day, a really cool day, a rainy day. In other words bring enough clothes of all types to handle anything. The school has places to change so there are places to change. I am serious about this one. One year we had sun, rain, sleet, hail, snow all in the course of 60 minutes. (It was still a great race.)

2. Bring a change of clothes to get into something dry after the race. A towel will help for cleaning up.

3. Bring plastic bags for wet clothes and wet shoes (if you are taking your shoes home). We will have some. And bring a second pair of shoes to wear home. You definitely do not want to go home in your race shoes!

4. Do not wear jewellery or other valuables during the race. (Even though Murray found his wedding ring in the leaves a few years ago, don't count on that ever happening again.)

Remember that the main purpose is to have fun (while working hard). Anyone can win as you will be sent off in waves of runners with the fastest going last. Prizes to first, second and fourth across the line for both women and men. And the winners get to hold the Grand Prize for a few minutes (Mad Dog head for men, and a really big bone for the women's winner).

Of course we will have prizes for the winners as well as draw prizes.

Facilities at the school include washrooms and a large gym to warm up in before the race. Water and Gatorade will be available before and after the race. Food includes bagels with jam and cream cheese, bananas, cookies, etc.

Please write to me if you have any questions.

John Petrosoniak
Race Director
Mad Dog Scramble

Arrrrrrf arf arf arf.

MAD DOG UPDATE - September 30, 2014

The Mad Dog Scramble is now a month away and the race is now half-way to a sell-out. To those who signed up early.....THANKS! It makes our life that much easier. In order to get everyone seeded into the appropriate waves, on-line registration will close 5 days before the race.

As everyone knows, the fastest runners will be sent off last and they will try to catch the waves of runners ahead of them. But the winners are still the first to cross the finish line, so anyone can win.

Here are some basic tips for rookies (and reminders for our returning Mad Dogs):

1. Bring a pair of old shoes to run in. They will get wet and muddy. You may not want to take them home. If you do leave shoes behind, make sure to remove all GPS or other attachments not to be thrown out.

2. Tie your shoelaces firmly. Then tie them again. Nothing is more frustrating than having shoelaces unravel on the trail (been there, done that). Trust me. If they are not tied up and tucked away they will come apart at the most inopportune time.

3. Be courteous to other runners on the trail. The trails are narrow. This is a fun race so either move over when convenient, or if you are a faster runner, be patient for a minute.

4. Stay on the trail. We do not want to cause any undue negative impacts on the sensitive environment in the park by going off trail.

5. If there is a rope set up at a river crossing or steep hill, it is there for your safety. They are very useful going up the steepest hills (unless you are a mountain goat).

More tips to come in my next mail-out.

Remember that the Puppy Scramble for children 6 and under is 10 minutes before the race start and is free. It takes a few minutes and maybe those youngsters will run the real Mad Dog Scramble when they get older.

Tell your trail running friends to sign up soon. And let's hope this weather keeps up a little longer.

Woof woof.

MAD DOG UPDATE - September 28, 2014

We are now less than two months away from the 2014 Mad Dog Scramble.

Welcome back to all the past Mad Dog racers and the many first-timers who have already signed up. The Mad Dog has always been challenging but a lot of fun and we intend to continue that tradition. On, we are a 5-banana rated event. In other words, people love the race despite getting dirty and being challenged to cross creeks and rivers and climb a few hills - all in the middle of one of Toronto's most beautiful ravine parks.

For those who have joined the Road Warrior program, the Mad Dog Scramble will count towards your point total. For others who have run in the 5 Peaks Series, this will serve as a wonderful run to finish off the fall season.

The Mad Dog Scramble starts and finishes at Park Lane Public School in the heart of the Bridle Path in mid-Toronto on Sunday, October 26, 2014. Race kit pickup will open at 9:15 a.m. and the race will start at 11 a.m.

As in past years, there will be lots of draw prizes. Food after the race will consist of St. Urbain bagels with jam and cream cheese, along with various fruits. Water and Gatorade will be served as well.

The race goes ahead rain or shine. It is hard to predict the weather for the end of October, but it looks good so far. Prizes go to first, second and fourth male and female finishers (Honourable Mention to third place runners). Of course the popular Dirtiest Dog and Most Persistent Dog prizes will also be given out.

Finally, don't forget to bring out your children aged six and under for the Puppy Scramble that begins 10 minutes before race start. It takes only a few minutes and keeps the little tykes engaged. Plus they all get a small prize bag. The Puppy Scramble is free.

In the upcoming weeks I will continue with a couple more updates, which will include tips for running the Mad Dog.

The Mad Dog himself is already thinking about designing a course that will be challenging yet fun (once you're finished).

Sign up early, as the race has out. Tell your friends and running buddies about it - that is how most people learn about this unique race.

You can sign up through the XSNRG website or you can sign up through Running Room.

Arrrrffff! Arf Arf!

It's MAD DOG SCRAMBLE time again!

Park Lane Public School
Sunday, October 26, 2014
11 a.m. Race Start (Race Pick-up at 9:30 a.m.)

The Mad Dog registration is now open for 2014. As always, we will be using the Running Room’s online service for registration (although anyone can always mail it to me at XSNRG Running Club, c/o Mad Dog Scramble, 36 Heathview Ave, Toronto, ON M2K 2C1). Online registration at Running Room or follow the links on our website.

This is the 23rd running of the Mad Dog Scramble in central Toronto. The race is a challenging romp through the back-country of the Sunnybrook Park trail system.There will be river and creek crossings linked with a few challenging hills. This race continues to be one of the running community’s favourite races and has a top banana rating at We will work hard not to disappoint any of you. As always, there will be an upper limit on the number of people who will be permitted to sign up; and as they say, once the entries are gone, they’re gone.

We will have a Puppy Scramble again (free to those children under 7) where they can participate in a few minutes of fun at an age-appropriate distance around a field of grass with a few obstacles. This will be held a few minutes prior to the first wave of Mad Dog runners leaving at 11 a.m.

We will be accumulating draw prizes for everyone at the race, in keeping with past history. If you are able to donate any interesting prizes or know of sponsors who would like to help out in this way, please have them contact me directly.

As in past years, I will send out a few notices in the months to come reminding everyone of the tips that may prove useful on race day.

Remember to keep smiling, and you can bark as loudly and as much as you want.

See you out on the course on October 26!!

Arf ARF ARF. Woof woof,

John Petrosoniak
Race Director
Mad Dog Scramble

X-S-N-R-G = excess energy!

XSNRG is a running club that provides runners of all levels weekly coached interval training to develop strength, stamina, and speed, in a supportive and social environment. From beginners to accomplished competitive runners, no one is too slow or too fast to run with XSNRG – all you need is the desire to train and improve your running!

Structured workouts will help you improve, but they are not always easy to do on your own. Our Tuesday night workouts, led by coaches, make it easy, give you company, and help keep you motivated with your running.

The club meets in the Leaside area every Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. and runs to a different workout location each week, focusing either on speed intervals or hill training. A typical workout includes a warm-up, cool-down, coaching tips on technique and the workout, and is usually finished by 8:00 p.m.

Meeting Locations:

  • May through September: Sunnybrook Park in the Sports Pavilion parking lot on the upper fields
  • October through April: Leaside High School

Join us for our Tuesday Night Workouts … you’ll have fun and improve your running – all because of XSNRG’s workouts!