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The Roots Podcast

Oct 2021

Season 2 - Episode 9 - Last Canadian Standing, Eric Deshaies - Big Dog‘s Backyard Ultra World Championship

Eric Deshaies of Gatineau, Quebec was the last of five Canadians standing at this year's Big Dog's Backyard Ultra World Championship in Bell Buckle, Tennesse.  


He claimed his Golden ticket to the event with a win at Big Wolf's Backyard earlier this year with 35 yards. With no dedicated crew at Big's, Eric managed to clench the second-best Canadian backyard performance with 50 yards or 208.33 miles [335.29kms]. Cold nights, warm days and a technical trail course played havoc on many of the runners. In the end, a new world record was set by Harvey Lewis [USA] with a staggering 85 yards or 354.16 miles [569.97kms].  This year's assist went to Chris Roberts with 84 yards -- 350 miles.


More about Eric Deshaies:

A seasoned ultrarunner and Ironman, Eric has achieved top 10 finishes at both Moab and Badwater [7th place in 2010].  He also made an appearance at UTMB and Tor des geants. in 2008, Eric was the 2008 double Ironman World Champion.  

Instagram: @ericdeshaies 


Backyard Ultra:

The backyard ultra is a last person standing format. There is no finish line. Every hour on the hour, a new yard begins.  Runners must complete 4.16667 miles [1 yard] in that hour. Why 4.16667 miles? Every 24 hours will mark the completion of 100 miles. 


The race continues until only one person remains. Once the second-place runner [assist] can no longer continue, the last runner may only complete one more yard to be deemed the winner. 

Aug 2021

Season 2 - Episode 8 - Chatting with Current Backyard Ultra World Record Holder, John Stocker

Current world Backyard Ultra record holder John Stocker joins me from United Kingdom to talk 'all things backyard'.

New to the backyard ultra format, John shares his motivation and inspiration to keep going in a race that has no finish line. After winning his first Backyard Ultra in October 2020 in 41 hours, John was back at the starting line in June 2021 for the Suffolk Backyard Ultra where he not only won the event but set a new world record of 81 hours -- that's 337 miles or 542.349 kilometers surpassing the previous record set by Karel Sabbe of Belgium of 75 hours -- 312.5 miles [502 kilometers] in October 2020.  

Same course both times. Competitive advantage? Maybe.

His motivation?  His children.  He wanted to show them you can always achieve more.

John's big concern right now is whether or not he'll be able to make it to Big Dog's Backyard Ultra World Championship in the United States this October.  With travel restrictions still in place, it's a waiting game. The best of the best will go head-to-head starting Saturday, October 16 in Bell Buckle, Tennesse.  


Fun Facts about John:

Shoes: Altra 

Go-to Fuel: Pancakes, chili and rice, baked beans, ice cream and Tailwind to inject some caffeine in the evenings.

Follow John's journey:

Instagram @Johnstockerultra

Facebook @John Stocker Ultra Runner, Personal Trainer,

Sports Therapist

Twitter @ JStockerultra


Backyard Ultra format:

Run 4.167 miles every hour until there is only one person left standing.


About John Stocker:

John started running Marathons in 2006, slowly increasing distance to the ultras. His first was a 50km in 2014. Then onto his first 50 and 100 miler in 2015. According to John both went ok, so in 2016 he managed to fit in 4-50 milers and 4-100 milers. 2017, he went beyond the 100 and started running further doing the Montane Spine Race, Grand Union Canal 145miles and the Canal Slam. 2018, saw him tackle Spartathlon, and in 2019 he broke the Monarch Way 615-mile course record and his first time to America to compete in the Tahoe 200.

Jun 2021

Season 2 - Episode 7 - Shaping Autism with William Wehrli

William Wehrli continues to breakdown barriers and stereotypes. After being diagnosed with Autism as a young child, William has gone on to receive his Masters in Special Education. His goal is not only to support autistic families and individuals but to help others better understand Autism -- a true advocate.

An aspiring actor and seasoned public speaker, William has already put his skills to work, building communities on TikTok, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.  His gentle spirit and willingness to share his personal experiences have inspired thousands.  

Connect with William:

TikTok @williamshapingautism

Instagram @williamshapingautism

Facebook Shaping Autism with William Wehrli

YouTube William Shaping Autism

May 2021

Season 2 - Episode 6 - Fashion Editor turned Casting Director How does one ‘Get Discovered’ with Rose Rosen, CSA

Rose Rosen CSA, consistently rated among Florida's most distinguished casting directors, provides talent for both episodic and unscripted TV shows, movies, commercials and print campaigns nationwide. Ms. Rosen's 25-year track record earned her membership in the prestigious Casting Society of America and the respect of countless aspiring actors for furthering their careers. She credits her work casting the Tim Burton classic, Edward Scissorhands for advancing her own career just six months after deciding to leave her role as Fashion Editor. 


Turns out people do still get 'discovered' in coffee shops and the little blue 'verified' checkmark may not mean as much as you think. Rosen has worked in the virtual casting world for many years, casting both films and commercials using self tape and virtual casting rooms.  During the pandemic, she teamed up with LA based casting director, Kim Swanson to create a YouTube show for actors called "Casting Notes From Rosen and Kim."  

Connect with Rose on social:

Apr 2021

Season 2- Episode 5 - Serving Community on LinkedIn with Maame De-Heer

To say that Maame De-Heer has accomplished a lot is a gross understatement! She has taken to LinkedIn [a more traditional online professional network] to share her experience and build a thriving community that has real impact. Her approach to the platform is refreshing -- throughout our conversation she drops plenty of golden nuggets.


She is a Policy Analyst with the Government of Canada. Concurrently, she is a Clinical Research Analyst at the University Health Network with the Kidney Health Education and Research Group


Maame also founded the Power of Love Foundation Canada, a not for profit organization that provides resources to low-income Black Canadians.  Maame also serves as the Vice President for Public Relations with Toastmasters International in the Brampton division. Maame is currently a fellow in the Leading Social Justice Fellowship at the University of Toronto School of Cities department.  Recently, Maame acquired a Masters of Public Health in Social and Behavioural Health Sciences, which she attained from the University of Toronto, alongside a Collaborative Specialization in Global Health, Health Services & Policy Research.


Connect with Maame:

LinkedIn: Maame De-Heer

Power of Love Foundation: 

Mar 2021

Season 2 - Episode 4 - Chatting Inclusion, Lady Gaga and The Power of Love with Nate The Great & Holly Simon

Sometimes if you're lucky enough, you have the chance to meet someone magical. Well, it's your lucky day!


Nate Simon, also known as 'Nate the Great' along with his mom, Author, Motivational Speaker and Down Syndrome advocate, Holly Simon joined Stephanie for a special chat leading up to World Down Syndrome Day on March 21st.   


With his mom by his side, we chatted about making new friends on TikTok to taking the Polar Plunge with Lady Gaga & Jimmy Fallon and the importance of inclusion and celebrating World Down Syndrome Day.  Nate's comedic timing is on point -- his heart as pure as gold and his confidence level is one that many aspire to achieve. 


Holly, a true warrior in her own right, started the I AM WHO I AM Foundation that works to change the way the world views people with special abilities. The foundation support families with a network of peers and resources. Their mission -- to erase the "sorries" and spread the good news about love and inclusion. You can also grab a copy of Holly's book I AM WHO I AM (links below).


Connect with Nate & Holly:


TikTok: @makenatethegreat2020 

Instagram: @hairbyhollywould  

Facebook Group: I AM WHO I AM 

Holly's book is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and eBay

Feb 2021

Season 2 (Episode 3) - Chatting With Anti-Bullying Expert - Candice Dugger

A lot of adults don't realize how devastating the effects of being bullied can be until it's too late. How do you deal with bullying? I sat down with an expert to find out.

Candice Dugger is the founner of the Bullied, Broken, Redeemed, and a nationally recognized anti-bullying expert, author, speaker and trainer. Candice and her team specialize in equipping leaders, parents and youth on all aspects of Gen Z Bullying.

We chat about everything from defining what bullying is, establishing code words with your kids and how to document a case of bullying. Valuable tools and resources are discussed to help families navigate.

On top of being and anti-bullying warrior, Candice is passionate about helping families transition from public school to homeschool. Her "Coming Home" series of talks and workshops are a blessing for those trying to navigate the sometimes difficult transition.


For resources:


Instagram: @cedugger

Facebook: @BulliedBrokenRedeemed 

Jan 2021

Season 2 (Episode 2) - All Things Money with Sarah Wilson

Stephanie sat down with Sarah Wilson, aka BudgetGirl to chat all things money.  Sarah is a Youtuber, blogger, speaker, financial wellness advocate, and baby real estate investor.  She understands what it takes to claw your way out of debt, and she wants to share her experience with everyone and anyone who will listen. From the importance of multiple income streams, passive income and learning about accessible ways of leveling up with money, even single or on low to middle incomes...Sarah is a tremendous resource. is filled with lots of free resources, inspiration and more for anyone trying to level up their money.


Other resources:



YouTube: Https://



TikTok: Https://

The Budget Club:

Money beginner's playlist:

digital budget spreadsheets and net worth trackers

digital vision board for your goals:

Jan 2021

Season 2 (Episode 1) - Chatting with The Unlikely Olympian, Danielle Kettlewell

Danielle Kettlewell is an Olympian, Speaker, Coach and Author to her latest book “The Unlikely Olympian: Step into your Fears to Achieve your Dreams.” 


After the Canadian born athlete achieved her own impossible dream by competing as part of the Aussie Synchronized Swimming Team at the Rio 2016 Olympics, being on the National Team for 5 years and recently making history by competing as Australia’s first mixed duet at world Championships, Danielle has now set out on her next journey by inspiring others through her story and knowledge that she gained along the journey. She spends her time speaking, sharing and coaching people through the tools to overcome limiting self-beliefs, the power to harness courage and step into fear and take action on living your dreams through a life of fulfilment.

Nov 2020

Episode 23 - Chatting with Russell Cassevah, Founder of Little Bricks Charity

LEGO is, for so many, the classic toy. The toy that brought hours and hours of escape to use your imagination and build whatever you could think of.  Limitless possibilities.


Stephanie had the chance to chat with Russell Cassevah, a two-time Guinness World Record (GWR) holder and the President & Founder of Little Bricks Charity to learn all about how he has transformed his passion for LEGO into his main purpose in life.  Both of Russell's GWRs were set walking across LEGO!  This guy is the REAL DEAL.  Most parents scream in pain when they step on one piece of LEGO let alone thousands of pieces of LEGO at one time.  All in the name of charity. Simply amazing. 


Little Bricks Charity is a 501c3 whose mission it is to build big smiles on hospitalized children. What do they do? Russell and his small army of volunteers raise money and then purchase LEGO sets to get them in the hands of these amazing kids.


You can follow Little Bricks Charity on the following platforms:

TIKTOK: @LittleBricksCharity

Instagram: @littlebricksbigsmiles

Twitter: @LilBrixCharity 

YouTube: Little Bricks Charity

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