Virginia (Arbo) Joudrey was born and raised in the north end of Saint John, in a home on Sandy Point Road. She grew up, got married, started a family and moved away but always has kept a special spot for Saint John in her heart.
This weekend, she’ll be back, as she has in the past, to take part in the Emera Marathon By The Sea.
Here is a look at her motivation for running, how the sport has transformed her life as well as coming home for the big race weekend.
by Kevin Barrett
I now live in Mount Uniacke, Nova Scotia with my amazing husband Ed and together we have three wonderful children and three beautiful grandchildren – with another on the way in November. I work for the best company – Hearing Institute Atlantic – as a client service manager in the Bedford Clinic. Not everyone can say they enjoy going to work, but I do (Best Girls Around).
I have always tried to be active and I found myself wanting and needing something that I didn’t find boring and that could be stress reliever. At the time I started running, I had alot going on and things were very stressful. Have you ever heard the term running is cheaper than therapy? I’ve learned that it’s not just a saying. My running has helped me in so many ways, mentally and physically.
I was introduced to running by my friend Arlene Brinston. At the time, I didn’t think I could run 20 minutes and that if I started, I would end up crawling home. She encouraged me to start training and I found within myself that I was more than up for the challenge.
So off we went. We started with walking to a telephone pole, then running to the next telephone pole. That was six years ago and since then, I have completed three full marathons – one was the Johnny Miles Marathon in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. Marathon No. 2 took place in Prince Edward Island and another was the 50k Ultra at the Valley Harvest Marathon in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. I have completed countless 10k races including Marathon by the Sea, when I took part in the Port City Challenge.
I run with The Lakeshore Runners/Walkers and this is more than a running group to me as I consider each member family. I have been very lucky when it comes to running partners with this group, because no matter what you run, you can always find someone to support and encourage you. I have trained with some great people like Randy Faulkner, Anita Conrad and Stephanie Jones.
Running is my passion. I love it. Running takes me to places in my head that I have never been. It is something that I consider a great accomplishment at each finish line. Growing up, I never believed much in myself, never really thought I was worthy of much, even after years of seeing a therapist. Running has changed all of that for me. I’m a much stronger person, I believe more in myself and I can actually say I like myself, which took a lot of hard work and perseverance.
Everyone has a passion and running is mine. I want everyone to believe that no matter what age you are and no matter what goal you have, those goals are all worth aiming for. I hope my story resonates with fellow runners and encourages anyone considering running to take that first step. It will change your life! It changed mine! Happy Running!