Toronto Trail Runners

Our Leads



The current TTR run leads help to get new runners out on the trails by leading runs and sweeping to make sure everyone gets home okay.

TTR current run leads are Sean Symes, Sakeena Myers-Halbig, Jack Garniss, Will Mackay, Dee (Diana) Pearson, Erin Doucette and Kris Gowan.

The Salomon Toronto store out of the Shops of Don Mills created a space for passionate trail runners who showed up for reasons other than their pace times. I immediately felt a sense of belonging when I joined the Toronto trail running community, composed of people from all walks of life eager to show you a section of their favourite trail. Communing and sharing green space was the collective passion that gelled us all together. I started running with the group back in 2014, Wednesday nights, Summer and Winter solstices and other special events. I started helping out along the way leading Wednesday nights and loops of special events. I became an ambassador in 2019. I keep coming back because the Trails of Toronto are a place that is very dear to me, and I continue to be amazed by what we have right within our city. I want to share, protect and advocate for it.

Sean Symes

Run Lead, @spsymes

I began running with TTR November 2022 through wind, snow, rain and mud. From the back of the pack I’d be shouting “is this an extreme sport?!” to those further ahead (but it’s likely no one could hear me because we were all wearing ear muffs, toques, etc.). I’ve learned that running is not only a fantastic way to improve physical and mental health… it’s also a very social sport. I also love the experience of pushing my body and mind in new ways, while struggling together and exchanging sweaty high fives after a run.

Although I’m new to Toronto, I’ve made friends in TTR that make me feel at home. I’m committed to creating a welcoming space by ensuring that runners of all backgrounds and levels have the guidance and kinship they need to feel safe and happy on the trails.

Dee (Diana) Pearson

Run lead, @dianaroams

I started running with the Toronto Trail Runners in the summer of 2021 and immediately fell in love with the trails of the Don Valley area.

The Wednesday night runs are a great place to meet like minded people and connect with nature at the same time.

2023 will be my first year as a run lead/ambassador with TTR. I’m looking forward to helping out with our special events and also  introducing new runners to our inclusive and diverse trail running community.
I started out as a competitive road cyclist in my late teens/early 20s and then made the switch to running. I have competed in 5k up to 50 k races and am more than happy to pass on any tips or knowledge.
Jack Garniss

Run lead, @just_jack_runs

Trail running is like surfing with mother nature always giving and taking. I’m addicted and finding the Wednesday night TTR runs have allowed me to continue to feed need for more. Always an outdoorsman and involved in the outdoor lifestyle, Trail running has complimented so many other aspects of my life like skiing, cycling and hiking, as well being the best father and husband to our little family. No matter the day you have had at work the trails, hills & dirt will always sort you out. Living and working in Toronto for construction & Real Estate companies I look forward to any time I can get on the trails, especially when entering the Don with the group, whether helping lead or falling down a hill it’s all good, pushing yourself and suffering are the currency in the trails and the stories can be shared with your fellow TTR runners who are all there to give you a laugh and dust you off. I learn something new every run and share these lessons with my son and wife who also have a love for the outdoor life. I am grateful to share my lessons learned and experiences with my fellow runners and always look forward to seeing new and old faces every week living the dirty mud trail life. Come join us and shake your life up grabbing kms.

Will Mackay

Run Lead, @willdeliver

Sakeena joined the Toronto Trail Runners as a run leader in 2022, with a passion for community building and getting folks out on the city’s trails.  Sakeena Myers is an all-season trail runner, who adores the Don Valley in its seasonal variation, for both its landscape and diverse running conditions. On and off trail Sakeena is an easy-going (*but mildly competitive) runner, who runs to unwind, explore, be alone, and be with friends. She has a fourth-degree black belt in taekwondo and kicks ass at trail running too! She’s always game to pace, regardless of the leg’s speed or distance, and to celebrate at the finish line with beer.

Sakeena Myers-Halbig

Run lead, @sakeena123

I’m a lifelong runner who only discovered trail running in 2020. Like so many people, I fell in love with trail running and haven’t looked back. Although I certainly do a lot of looking down! Footing is important!

Making trail running more inclusive and accessible to more runners is very important to me. As the sport of trail running grows, I’m excited to put those values into action. See you out on the trails! Don’t forget to pack your snacks!

Erin Doucette

Run lead, @a_girl_named_ernie

I never considered myself a runner, but during the pandemic, I decided to give it a try due to limited exercise options. With an old pair of running shoes, I hit the road initially, but things really clicked when I started running trails.

Over time, my confidence and the distances on the trail grew. What started as exercise turned into enjoyment, helping me clear my head, relax, and challenge myself simultaneously. Encouraged by friends, to explore the social side running, I joined my first Wednesday evening run with Toronto Trail Runners (TTR).

What I was greeted with was not only a group that ran each week but a welcoming community of like-minded trail enthusiasts. As a regular Wednesday night runner, I began assisting with TTR events, realizing my desire to be more involved. Now, I’m thrilled to serve as a run lead, contributing to our weekly runs, special events, and the continued growth of the TTR community.

Kris Gowan

Run lead, @krsgwn



The growth, success and adventures of TTR would not have been possible without the amazing leadership of our past leads. Read more about some of the folks who made TTR what it is today!

Josh started running Dec 31st 1995. From 1995 to 2009 he was predominantly a road runner with the occasional trip into the bush. In the fall of 2009 he decided to see if he could run 50 miles, so he entered the Halliburton forest trail run in 2010 and completed 50miles in just under 13hrs, in Asics road shoes. During the race he saw runners wearing the Salomon speedcross, inquired where they got them and shortly after went to the Salomon shop.  Josh started working at the Salomon shop in July 2011 part-time while maintaining his in-home therapy practice. With the vision of store manager Scott burger, the Wednesday night trail runs were launched with Josh leading the runs. Josh led the runs with other Salomon store ambassadors for several years until the store finally closed its doors during covid. Today, Josh is semi-retired from trail running, but still loves to hike the trails with his son Kaynen and fiancé phoebe.. However, the itch to run, still lingers with

Joshua Young

Former Run Lead

Wednesday nights were always my favourite night of the week. That was the night I got to share our amazing trails with a mix of newcomers and dedicated accomplished runners. Everyone that joined the group quickly found out that the joy of running through the ravine trails was a shared joy and regardless of whether you were fast or slow the only true competition was to see who could recover the smile on their face the quickest after one of those steep ascents. Sam, Sean, Rune, Nat, Fred, Olexi, Ryan, Shar, Deanne, Scott were all part of our trail family each one special in their own way and true friends. I miss you all and wish you Happy Trails. For those whose names I failed to mention, if we spent time on the trails you aren’t forgotten just missed.

“Forward motion cures all”.

Brian Culbert

Former Run Lead

I first started running with the “Wednesday Nights Runs” back in 2017.

How? I had just signed up for my first ever trail race and I needed some trail running shoes. Where did I go? I went to Salomon Toronto and that is where I saw the Wednesday night crew heading out.

I was super excited to learn of this trail running group. Needless to say I joined them the following week with my new brand new Salomon S/Lab Speed.

Fast Forward 6 years and I am still running with (and occasionally leading) that same weekly run.  I have been able to meet so many experienced Trail Runners because of this weekly run and most of them have all answered my countless silly questions about what to wear, best shoes for mud, best local trails, best local races, best destination races…. You name it, I’ve asked.

THANK YOU to all the runners that come out on a weekly bases and to all the run leads before me for making this the best Trail Running group in the city.

Andrew Hale

Former Run Lead, @achale41

From the Don Valley to all around the world, trail running is such a freeing experience that I love sharing with others. That’s why Toronto Trail Runners is such a special community and I have no doubt that if you come out once, that great feeling will stay with you forever. So come join us, for one or all the runs!

Nat Korol

Run Lead, @natykorol

In the summer of 2013, I showed up at the Salomon Toronto store to participate in their Summer Solstice event. I was brand new to trail running and only knew one person; however, everyone was so welcoming, encouraging, and fun! After running a few laps with the crew that day, I was 100% hooked! I became a Salomon Brand Ambassador shortly after and started leading weekly runs and other store-organized events. Wednesday night runs, post-run socials, Summer Solstice, Leaves R Down, and other special events became a staple in my life. The inclusivity, camaraderie, and adventure of these runs provided a solid foundation, created by the people (store staff and runners) who joined week after week.
In 2016, I followed my passion for the trails to BC, but it was not an easy choice as it meant leaving this remarkable trail community in Toronto. Thank you, Toronto Trail Runners, for keeping this incredible community alive. I hope to join you on a run again one day soon!

Deanne McDoom

Former Run Lead,