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Näak Ambassador Chris Balestrini

Professional Road Runner

Canmore, AB

“It never gets easier, you just go faster.”

A disciple of endurance athletics, I began my sporting career with the Garneau-Quebecor Professional Cycling Team in 2009. After beginning university, I pivoted my athletic ambitions toward running, where I was an All-Canadian in Cross-Country for the Western Mustangs. After university, I transitioned to track, road, and trail running. I currently have personal bests of 29:22 (10k) and 2:17:05 (marathon). Throughout my athletic career I’ve combined my passion for endurance sport with a keen interest for physiology and human performance. I am now completing simultaneous degrees in Medicine (MD) and Neurobiology (PhD) at Western University. All in all, I love to be outdoors pushing myself in the endless pursuit of finding my limits!


I raced on the Garneau-Quebecor professional cycling team for 3 years before transitioning to triathlon, where I had my international elite card, and finally switched to running during university. I was a mid-pack runner in university until my final year where I was All-Canadian in Cross Country. From there, I started taking training more seriously and have been continuously improving ever since!


My goals for 2021 are : Break the Canadian 50k record, Run notable FKTs in the Canadian Rockies, Run under 2:15 in the marathon and Run under 29 minutes for the 10k.

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ACCOMPLISHMENTS

2020 1st - Waterloo Marathon 2:17:05
2019 1st - Gasparilla 15k
2019 3rd - Championships ½ Marathon

WHAT MOTIVATES YOU EVERY DAY TO TRAIN?

There’s something inspiring in the pursuit of pushing your body and testing your capabilities that really stokes my motivational fires! Also, I just love being outdoors in any capacity! My friends joke that I get bored when my heart rate is below 120!

DO YOU HAVE A PERSON WHO INSPIRES YOU?

I Roger Bannister in the sense that he competed at the highest level of athletics while pursuing a career in medicine! I also try to take in various aspects of friends and fellow athletes to apply to my life, so in a sappy way, the whole endurance sport community!

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE NUTRITION TIP TO SHARE ?

Fuel early, fuel often! If you feel like you are running low on energy, it’s likely too late!

WHAT IS YOUR BEST RACING MEMORY?

The last marathon I did was pretty special in a lot of ways. Being 2020, it wasn’t the big-event hype that we were all accustomed to, but a small 10-finisher marathon in Waterloo, Ontario. It was a cold, rainy day on a 1.7k loop. The race had an intimate vibe and I was fortunate to have friends that braved the day and cheered me to my personal best (2:17:05). I was alone for the last half of the race, but with their support it never felt like it!

WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU LIKE TO DO AFTER A COMPETITION?

Relax with friends over some food and craft beer!

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MUSIC TO SURPASS YOURSELF IN TRAINING?

I have an eclectic taste in music! My running playlist includes things like jazz/funk, country, hip hop and R&B, indie folk, 2000s emo, etc.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE NÄAK PRODUCT?

My favorite product is the Berries & Nuts bar!

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