Countdown to Marathon By The Sea

2016 The Running Whys – Andrée Germain

Andree

You may know that Andrée Germain won the woman’s marathon at the 2015 Emera by the Sea. You probably don’t know how she got there or how much she’ll forever treasure the race in her heart. She is back for 2016 and here is her story of perseverance and determination.

Enjoy

==

Andree Michel finish

Andre Germain of Granby, Que. and her new partner Michel Trottier of St. Lambert, Que., stand arm-in-arm, clutching a New Brunswick Flag, beaming with smiles of satisfaction and accomplishment.

Michel crossed the line seventh overall in 3:19.08 over the at-times hilly layout. Andre was right behind in ninth in 3:25.22 in her first-ever marathon, which also qualified her for the Boston Marathon. More importantly, she won the women’s race by almost two minutes.

The results and the smiles at the jubilant scene symbolized a great experience.

But it only told part of the story.

Two years earlier, Andre was in the midst of a living hell. Her then 22-year marriage soured, she was abused and left wondering about her purpose in life and if she would ever have contact with her five children again.

“Running was what kept me alive,” said the 41-year-old Andre, who is returning to Saint John this summer for the Port City Challenge.

“With no professional background to rely on, running became the only thing that allowed me to set goals, meet them and gain confidence. I never thought I had it in me what it would take to complete a marathon. It seemed so unattainable then.”

She endured, eventually met Michel and, by chance, they took on the challenge of Marathon By The Sea in 2015. She calls the race a defining point in her life.

“It is very personal,” she says of recounting her story for this year’s Running Whys. “But I’ve come to think that spousal abuse, or any other abuse has to be named and talked about in order to make changes in the way we think about it or how we see it and what to do in such situations.”

She has five children, ranging in age from 21 to 8, and it was a fight for custody during a difficult divorce that tore at her emotions.

“For a long time, I was ashamed to say I had to leave my children behind in order to save my own life,” she said. “When I think about this today, I’m stunned by the fact that I didn’t see how strong I was to do so.”

Eventually, she was awarded joint custody and is with the three youngest ones every second week. Several of her children race on weekends, including her 10-year-old daughter, who she calls a natural.

As she recovered, she started a relationship with Michel, who she met on a trail run, and ultimately, he persuaded her to attempt MBTS last year.

Now, in addition to Saint John, they have run the Quebec and Philadelphia marathons together. However, the Saint John event in 2015 transformed into a life experience few others gained that August weekend.

“He believed in me and encouraged me when I was full of doubt,” Andre said of Michel. “We trained together before Marathon by the Sea – hard.

“I did cry on several occasions, but kept pushing because I just couldn’t let him down!  On race day, my goal was to complete it, but on the way, every memory of what I had endured came up and I found it in me to crush the marathon and win the women’s division – a PB and BQ all in one!”

A native of Toronto, she lived there until she was 16 and she has called Granby home for more than 20 years.

She ran track in middle school, ranging from 100m to 800m until Grade 8. Running was a requirement during her Infantry years in the Armed Forces and after her youngest child was born, she picked it up again, running twice a week.

It did not take long to get back into the routine as she won a local 5k in Tremblant. That win led to more training, intensive workouts, nine times a week and numerous wins in the 5K distance races.

That led to 10k, half-marathons and, ultimately, the marathon. Since training for her first marathon, training has been steady at five training days a week, varying from small 50k weeks up to 110k weeks, doing track/speed, hills, long runs, trail runs and intervals and mixing it with cycling and tennis.

Yet, it all comes back to Saint John.

“For me, Saint John is the beginning of my new life,” she said. “While running that race, I cut my chains and set myself free of my past and rediscovered the confident and strong woman that I am, that I always have been.

“I found myself in Saint John. I still tear up thinking of this – it was such a powerful moment! And I do reflect a lot on it too, it makes my day, every time.”

As for this year, she ran Boston (on a tender ankle) in April, the Toronto Marathon two weeks later and now is gearing up for her return trip to the Port City.Andree Marathon

“I have been recovering from a stress fracture in my heel bone, but I’m training on my bike meanwhile and will gradually start running again in a few weeks,” she said. “The Port City challenge will be my recovery race.”

2016 The Running Whys – Sue Teakles

SUE

The third feature in our Running Whys series for 2016 is on Sue Teakles. She is from Penobsquis, just outside of Sussex and she comes from a large family – six sisters and three brothers, most of whom live in the Sussex area. She is an elementary school teacher at Hammond River Valley Elementary and lives with her partner, Nick, in Saint John.
She is another familiar face in the Greater Saint John running circles and is preparing for this year’s Marathon By The Sea.
We asked her a few questions and she put together a great story on her motivations and goals.
Enjoy.
==
I ran a bit through high school when I was on the field hockey team. Since then, I had kept up some occasional short runs on my own, usually 20-30 minutes at a time, using running as a way to keep in shape. At the end of 2013, I started running longer distances, and my friend Greg and I decided to train to see if we could do a half marathon. We ran the Hypothermic Half together in February 2014. When we survived that, we thought we might as well train for a full marathon. Six months later, we both completed Marathon by the Sea, our first ever marathon.
*
It started as a way to be healthy and stay in shape, but very quickly it turned into wanting to see what I was capable of. I still remember the first time I ran 10km, and how hard it was, but how amazing it felt to be able to do it. Then, much later, wanting to take on the challenge of a half-marathon, not knowing if I could do it, but wanting to try. And as soon as I could run a distance, I wanted to see if I could run it faster.
It didn’t take me long after completing a half-marathon to want to see if I could do a full marathon. The training is tough, the run is tough, but the sense of accomplishment is worth it all in the end. I was on such a runner’s high after completing my first marathon at Marathon by the Sea that I couldn’t wait to try another one and see if I could do any better. I am still chasing the challenging goal of improving my marathon time – hopefully to one day qualify for Boston – as well as my shorter distance races, but now the motivation is much more about the community. I run with a couple of different running groups in Saint John, and it is the schedule and the people that keep me coming out to train and race.
*
I’d like to keep running healthy so that I can enjoy a full racing season, including lots of 5 and 10 km races, several half marathons and two or three full marathons. Last year, I didn’t get any new PBs, so I’d love to beat my time on a couple of distances. My long term goal is to qualify for the Boston Marathon so that I can experience it at least once, but that will take some dedicated training.
*
My first full marathon is burned into my brain. I was so nervous, not knowing if I’d be able to finish. My longest training run had been 32km, and I had never felt like I could do another 10km at the end of any of those training runs! But I signed up for Marathon by the Sea in 2014 and gave it my best shot. It is a tough run with lots of hills but it is my home territory and I know the route really well. Heading out, I tried to keep my pace at a steady comfortable level, and I was very careful with my nutrition and hydration.
I felt good past the 32km mark, which was a huge relief as I ran over the Harbour Bridge. And then came the killer home stretch – up, up, up to Rockwood Park, where my legs began to feel pretty numb. Those hills felt endless. And of course, that was not the end. We finished that year in Rockwood Park, so I climbed and climbed those hills at an agonizingly slow pace, not really knowing when the finish line would finally appear around a hill.
I didn’t have much left in my legs at this point, but once I heard the crowd and realized I was actually going to make it to the end, I had a little left and managed to give a little push to the finish line and come over it smiling. It was such an amazing feeling that I will never forget that race. My friends were there cheering me on, the day was sunny and beautiful, and it felt so great to celebrate afterwards.
*
I train with a lot of different groups, and honestly, I wish there were more days in the week so that I could go out with more of them. We are so lucky to have such an amazing and extensive running community in our area. There are groups that are going out every day of the week if you want to run with a group, and most days there are multiple groups to choose from. I train a lot with the Running Room. I have done a few of their clinics and we have a regular group that goes out that is amazing and so supportive. We run along Harbour Passage and all over the city on our long runs. I also go out with the Rockwood Road Warriors. We do a lot of speed work in Rockwood Park, at the UNB track, and in Millidgeville. Other groups I run with are the Saint John Track Club and Daryl Steeves’ summer track group.
*
The best part of running is all the people. All the groups that I run with have runners that support me, cheer for me and challenge me to be better. My running buddy Paul and I have a friendly rivalry that keeps me going in all our races, though it is a bit demoralizing when I cannot keep up to the 60+ year old man.
Corinne’s crazy weekly mileage encourages me to run even on days when I am tired. Nicole’s enthusiasm and improvement as a newer runner is inspiring and gets me out after school, even in questionable weather. And all the local “coaches,” who encourage me to work harder and be better – Brenda, Daryl, Dean and Alex. They have all done so much to grow and support the running community in Saint John that it is not surprising Saint John has some of the strongest runners in New Brunswick and beyond.

Kevin Barrett

2016 The Running Whys – Brenda Guitard

Many people in the Saint John running community will recognize the person in today’s profile – Brenda Guitard. Originally, we asked a few questions and Brenda suggested we weave them into a story. But she’s done such an awesome job of detailing her career, her words are perfect.

Here is today’s Running Whys for the Marathon by the Sea, which takes place Aug 12-14 in Saint John.
Enjoy

Brenda

Brenda in the 2013 Boston Marathon, turning onto Bolyston Street toward the finish line

I was born and raised in Saint John. After graduating from University, I moved to Northern Ontario, where I taught high school for 18 years. In 2008, I returned to Saint John, supply teaching and working at the Running Room. For the last four years, I have been teaching physical education in elementary school – One year at Sussex Elementary School before moving Belleisle Elementary School, where I am in my third year. I continue to work at the Running Room part-time.
In addition, I have also instructed the half and full marathon clinics at the Running Room for the last eight years.
*
I have been running almost my whole life, beginning in elementary school. Running has always been fun, whether it was a competition, for another sport, or just playing. When I was in elementary school, we had cross country meets at Lily Lake in the fall and we had weekly track meets at the UNBSJ Field House throughout the winter.
I ran purely because it was fun. We had a teacher at Bayview Elementary School (the site of the new addition of the Loch Lomond Villa), Mrs. James, who set up a run club at our school and would often organize races and practices around the school. Eight laps around the school equalled a mile. Sometimes I ran eight laps, other times I wanted to see if I could keep going and would complete 16 laps.
When I started running competitively, I usually placed in the middle or sometimes even at the back. By my last year of elementary school, I started winning races, the competitiveness stuck and I was hooked. In those days, almost all students went home for lunch. Once the bell rang for lunch, I would run home. I was always trying to see if I could run home faster every day. It was me against the clock.
Throughout middle and high school, I continued to run cross country and track and field, as well as participate in other sports – basketball, badminton, field hockey, and softball. I played field hockey for UNB for five years, and our team went to the national championship my first four years. I also ran on the UNB cross country team for one year, also participating in the national championship in 1985.
*
1985 was also Canada Summer Games in Saint John and I participated as part of the NB Field Hockey Team. When I wasn’t running competitively, I was running to keep up my fitness level for other sports.
Once I started working, running took a bit of a back seat. I ran when I felt like it and when I could fit it in, but it wasn’t consistent. I wasn’t playing competitive sports, so didn’t need to train. I had been playing competitive sports for so long, I didn’t quite know how to run just for fun anymore.
Needing something to strive for and a reason to make running more consistent, I decided to take on the half marathon. I ran my first half marathon in 1998 in Toronto, repeated the same half marathon in 1999 and followed that with my first marathon in 2000, also in Toronto.
It was hard. I was tired, sore, bored from running so long and so far, and told myself I could cross the marathon off my “bucket list”. Five minutes after crossing the finish line, I could think of dozens of ways to improve my performance. I also ran a Boston Qualifying time in my first marathon. I shrugged it off, thinking I would probably never go to Boston anyways.
*
A year later, I was back in Toronto, looking to run another marathon and qualifying for Boston. I did and I was off to Boston for the first time in 2002.
Since that first half marathon in 1998, I have run 50 half marathons, including many Marathon By The Sea half marathons, 26 full marathons, 10 of them being the Boston Marathon, and countless 5 km and 10 km races. I ran my 10th Boston Marathon on April 18th.
I have run the Marathon By The Sea marathon three times, winning the event in 2009 and finishing second in 2010.
I enjoy running in Marathon By The Sea because it is the main event in my hometown. We also have the opportunity to run over the Harbour Bridge. I will be participating in many races throughout the year and will race some, run some for fun, and will pace some friends in other events. Staying healthy and injury free would be a great goal for 2016, so that I can continue to enjoy running.
A few of my most memorable runs have been:
• Boston because of its history, the crowds cheering all the runners, the energy of the city, and it’s where I have run my fastest marathons, with a 3:11 finish in 2013. This was probably my most memorable marathon because I had taken nine minutes off my best marathon time. After the bombings, there was certainly no celebration, but as time goes on, I appreciate how I was able to run that day and how effortless it felt. I look at the positive things that happened that day.
I feel very fortunate to be able to run the Boston Marathon multiple times. Many people spend years trying to qualify, so I appreciate every step I take along the marathon route and spend some of the running time thinking of everyone who has helped and supported me to make it to the start line.

• Disney – I have participated in the “Goofy Challenge” three times (half marathon on Saturday, full marathon on Sunday) and the “Dopey Challenge” in its inaugural year 2014 (5 km on Thursday, 10 km on Friday, half marathon on Saturday, full marathon on Sunday). This is a great event because I have been able to take my mother and my sister to experience Disney for the first time. I have been able to travel with some great friends! On marathon Sunday, I always carry my phone or a camera and set a goal to take pictures of every Disney character on the course.

• Marathon By the Sea 2009 because it the one time I have won a marathon.

Until I moved back to Saint John, I always trained on my own. Even when I returned every summer to visit family and run at Marathon By The Sea, I trained on my own, usually running at the Irving Nature Park. Once I moved back home and became a Running Room instructor, I have run with the clinic participants and our weekly Wednesday night and Sunday morning Run Clubs.
Running with a group certainly makes running a lot of fun. There are other runners to talk to on long runs – or moan and complain with when it is too cold, too hot, too windy, a blizzard, etc. Running with a group can help runners challenge themselves and push others to keep improving. The running group has helped me complete many of my long runs and provides endless support and encouragement.

We spend a lot of time running along Harbour Passage during the week, but we try to change our routes on Sundays so we run different elevations and see different scenery. Our most popular routes have been running from uptown to Pumpkin Patch on the west side, running around Milledgeville, and running around Rockwood Park.
I also run on my own. When I am training for something such as Boston, I do a lot of tempo runs and interval training on my own. During the late spring, summer, and early fall, there is a group that meets at UNBSJ on Tuesday evenings for track workouts. These workouts are led by Daryl Steeves, one of our local coaches. Daryl is extremely knowledgeable, very motivating, inspirational and makes his workouts lots of fun. Daryl also deserves credit for many of my best races, as he designs my training programs.
One of the best things about running is that anyone can participate. It doesn’t matter how young or how old you are, how tall or short, how big or small. Everyone is cheered, regardless of ability and where they finish. Everyone is congratulated after a training run or after a personal accomplishment – running a PB, running a new distance, running in a race, … It’s a very inclusive sport.
*
It also doesn’t matter if you haven’t run since you were a kid. Many adults may be reluctant to start running because of their body shape, or don’t feel confident enough to start running with a group, or don’t think they will be successful. But once someone starts running, they will see it can be easy. There may be some rough patches, but stick with it and running can be very rewarding. Going to a race is almost like a social event. We all get to know each other and see each other at many different events. Runners even cheer for other runners during an event. That’s not something you see in other activities.
I am very happy to be part of the running community in Saint John. I enjoy helping others reach their running goals and seeing their success. I have made so many great friends through running.
I am looking forward to running in the 2016 Port City Challenge and running, as the name implies, the “Challenging” half marathon course. This may be a tough course, but the half and full-marathon runners have the chance to run across the Harbour Bridge and there are some very nice views along the course.
We don’t know what the future holds for us, but I am sure, for me, there will be some running involved.

The Running Whys 2015 – Event Recap

Recap - Donald Elspeth Lemon

Don and Elspeth Lemon

 

The Running Whys – 2015 recap

New faces, new challenges, new results.

The athletes we featured in the 2015 edition of the Running Whys for Marathon by the Sea allowed readers and fans of this great event unique insight at their dedication and inspiration, all with an eye the 21st annual race(s).

It was our second collection of stories centred on MBTS and once again, the runners faced many challenges and hurdles but goal setting, training and perseverance played major roles in helping them achieve their aspirations.

The photo above is one of so many that captured the spirit of the race as the father-daughter tandem of Don and Elspeth Lemon crossed the finish line hand-in-hand, much to the delight on the spectators assembled in the Uptown.

“Loved the new route and it was a beautiful day for a long run,” Don wrote afterward. “We had some fun chatting with fellow runners along the course as we played leap frog most of the race, great atmosphere.”

We would like to thank all the runners who participated in the Running Whys for 2015, allowing the readers and fans of this great event a glimpse at their thoughts, battles and triumphs as they prepared for the weekend.

Runners in this series lost incredible amounts of weight, logged dizzying amounts of kilometres and changed their lives, all because they wanted to run Marathon by the Sea. Every story offered perspective into runners from all levels, runners from our area aiming to check the next goal off their private bucket list.

We reached out for some post-race comments, which are included below. We also assembled a series of comments from family and friends we read on line.

Once again, thank you for following.

(Thank you for all the photos, which came from personal cameras, the race organizers, Keith Hawkins, Al Gagnon and Heather Meger-Shadbolt and others.)

Check out 2015 race results here

 

Patty MacMillan

Another year of MBTS is over! I am super happy I got to this year’s race!!! I must say I had quite the journey getting to walk the 5km Into The Night!

Patty MacMillan, right, celebrates with friends after completing the Into  The Night 5 k Friday

Patty MacMillan, right, celebrates with friends after completing the Into The Night 5 k Friday

I finished Chemotherapy treatments eight weeks before, trained the best I could and 10 days before the race, I was hospitalized for nine of those days. I was released on Thursday and by Friday evening, I was in the line up to start the race!

Talk about pre-race jitters!!! My friend Dianna Payne walked with me and of course she had more friends that walked with us! Now I have more people to walk with.  They kept me on track the entire time! We made it in at 50 minutes and 40 seconds!

Never say never; anything is possible!

See you all again next year at MBTS 2016! Look for me running up a storm by then!

 

Jesse Davidson

I was successful in my first event, the 5k Into The Night for Marathon By The Sea on August 7th.  It was a great run!  The weather was perfect, the atmosphere was excellent, the course was well laid out and marked, and my running coach was there to run it with me.

Jesse Davidson celebrates with family after completing the Into the Night 5 k  Friday.

Jesse Davidson celebrates with family after completing the Into the Night 5k Friday.

It was everything a new runner and first-time racer could hope for. I completed my training program (Couch to 5k), and was able to complete this run without stopping, finishing with a personal time of 33:13.  Not quite the 30 minutes I originally wanted, but you have to shoot for the stars if you’re gonna hit anywhere close.  I am very happy with my time on this course.

I was able to share this night with my wife and kids. My mom showed up too, and my neighbor and her little girl even came along to support me at the finish line.

Little did I know that my friends from the local chapter of the SCA (SCA.ORG), The Shire of Lyndhaven, had setup a motivation station for me a few hundred meters from the start and finish line.

I let everyone know what I was doing when I went on this adventure to 5k.  It helped obligate me and motivate me to do the training.  And when it came time to do it, I was very touched by all the people that offered me support. We really do live in a great world.

 

Corinne Fournier

What an amazing weekend! Words can’t even express the feeling of crossing the finish line on Sunday after finishing my first marathon! I’m even choking up as I write this.

Corinne Fournier celebrates after completing the full marathon Sunday.

Corinne Fournier celebrates after completing the full marathon Sunday.

For me, the marathon was a lot of competing against that little voice inside telling me to quit. Luckily, I was fortunate to have the amazing

support of friends, family, fellow runners, volunteers and even strangers cheering me on every step of the way to the finish line, making the entire journey that much better!

I’m super happy I got to take part in the first Port City Challenge! Three races in three days and so many amazing accomplishments from runners all around! So inspiring!! I’m already looking forward to next year! Congrats to all the runners and a huge thanks to all the great volunteers who contributed to the success of the weekend!

I can guarantee you this girl’s “runners high” is going to last a while! 😉

Check our race photos and video here

 

Dean Mercer

Dean Mercer, left, and Gary Ogden, pose with their medals after completing the  half marathon on Sunday

Dean Mercer, left, and Gary Ogden, pose with their medals after completing the
half marathon on Sunday

Another great year at MBTS and hopefully a budding future on Water Street. Loved the location.

I set out this year with the thought of a fast half-marathon as I am training for a fall marathon in Lowell, Massachusetts.  I quickly came to the realization that Saint John is probably the most challenging course in New Brunswick. As I tried to keep the pace I wanted to, I learned to adapt to the hills of Saint John.

I am very pleased with my run on Sunday as I placed sixth overall and second in my age group.  I was loving the volunteers out on the course and especially the lady that had a sign that read “slap me for power” just at the entrance to Rockwood Park. I want to also thank Korey Nixon who pulled me along the entire race.

I commend every participant who ran this year as I like to reiterate how challenging MBTS is.
Thanks for this opportunity and I hope to see many familiar faces at next year’s event.

 

 

Jennifer Payne

Race day is a funny thing. There is an unwritten rule in the running community of ‘running your own race’. Once you hit the course, it’s every runner for themselves. Friends you have trained with for months suddenly aren’t by your side anymore to chat with or struggle up those hills.

I ran MBTS predominately solo, chasing my training partner who had gained some distance on me on the west side. I have found I race best if I know the course and can break the run down into mini stretches, telling myself I can re-evaluate my pace and how I feel at certain landmarks. For this race, I basically used each hill crest as my landmark- and boy, there were a lot of them!

In the north end, I started to get hungry (why didn’t I eat that half a banana before I left the house?). I feared I would gas out too soon and I really had to use the bathroom. I made it through the hills of Mount Pleasant and stopped at the next water station to regroup. I had some Gatorade hoping it would fill my belly some and continued on the course into Rockwood Park. I checked my Garmin – 3 miles left between me and the finish line.

Jennifer Payne, left, and Vanessa Galbraith, celebrate after completing the half  marathon Sunday.

Jennifer Payne, left, and Vanessa Galbraith, celebrate after completing the half marathon Sunday.

I didn’t know the route through the Park (big thank you to whoever thought of mapping the course in chalk lines- very helpful, especially in the Park when you can find yourself isolated). I was also unsure of the inclines in Rockwood, so I paced myself. Once I was back on familiar territory, I picked up my speed and let the decline pull me down Crown St.

Only two major hills left, ones I had run time and time again in training. I struggled up the last hill on Lower Cove Loop and checked my Garmin at the top – 0.3 miles left. Really??? That was it? I could sprint for 0.3 miles!!! I am sure what felt like a full out sprint to me probably looked like a light jog to onlookers but I carried on at my top speed. I caught Vanessa with meters to spare and we crossed the finish line together at 2:04:10 – exceeding my 2:05 time goal and shaving almost 10 minutes off my finish from last year!

Marathon by the Sea gets better (and seemingly hillier) every year- the community involvement, the cheering you get from strangers and familiar faces along the route, the vibe at the finish line when you see your supporters who have come to watch you achieve your goal- all make the training worth it. To quote my favourite sign I saw along the route “Saint Johners Eat Hills for Breakfast!” – and that we did!

Check out the Running Whys new Facebook page here

 

Carol Landry

I would just like to take this opportunity to thank the Organizing Committee and Volunteers for Marathon by the Sea this year.

What an Event!

Your hard work and dedication made this a weekend to remember. Congratulations!  Job Well Done.

Carol Landry, right, celebrates with Renee Landry, Maryann Gamble after the  weekend event.

Carol Landry, right, celebrates with Renee Landry, Maryann Gamble after the weekend event.

Mark Clinton

Mark Clinton, left, and Evan Hachey complete the half marathon on Sunday.

Mark Clinton, left, and Evan Hachey complete the half marathon on Sunday.

A year ago, Marathon by the Sea was my first half marathon, and this year it marked my fifth in 12 months. It’s safe to say I have the bug, given the two more I have on the schedule, and in October, I will be competing in my first full marathon at Legs for Literacy in Moncton.

This year, I ran a personal best 2:05, but it was really just background noise compared to the entire “race weekend” experience. From Friday night’s fireworks-punctuated 5k, to Saturday’s beautiful sunny morning walk with friends, it truly has become a destination event.

I’d like to dedicate this run to Evan Hachey, who came off the bench, being the busy new parent that he is, to honour a commitment he made a year ago to pace me though this year’s Marathon by the Sea. His help and encouragement through those tough hills and long kilometres is testament to the overwhelming generosity of the Saint John running community.

When a runner of Evan’s calibre thinks nothing of putting his own goals aside to help a rank-and-file runner like me chase my goal, you know you’re part of a special group of people.

 

Read Running Whys stories from other areas here.

 

Krista Sutton

Friday’s Into The Night race was amazing. I ran my fastest time EVER completing it in 33:15! And to be honest, had I not had Saturday and

Krista Sutton shows off her medal with her family.

Krista Sutton shows off her medal with her family.

Sundays race in the back of my mind, I could have definitely pushed myself harder too. I was impressed!!! Last year, my time was 40:48, so a nice improvement. I was amazed at the support from all the other runners.

My knee started really bothering me the last km of into the night. About 200 m from the finish line, I just about stopped running until another runner – no idea what her name was but a huge thank you to her – came up and encouraged me to keep going so off I sprinted to the finish line.

Saturday’s 5k… didn’t go as I hoped at all but I still finished in 43:32. My knee worsened and I walked, stopping for a break twice… not a bad time considering that! Can’t wait until next year! Thanks a bunch.

You can provide feedback on the MBTS Facebook page here

 

Dave Horgan

Dave Horgan celebrates after completing the half marathon Sunday.

Dave Horgan celebrates after completing the half marathon Sunday.

It was wonderful to see and feel the buzz that the organizers created around this year’s Marathon by the Sea. The single greatest improvement that they made was moving the race back Uptown and into a venue that is second to none.

There are very few courses around that quite compare to Marathon by the Sea! It is such a challenging course that it pushes you to your very limits. This year was no different and I was very happy with my 1:39 finishing time.

It was great to see so many familiar faces and to be cheered into the finish chute by my running friends. I am now looking forward to my upcoming marathon at the Maritime Race weekend, followed a week later by a relaxing run across the Confederation Bridge to celebrate Terry Fox’s legacy! One of the main reasons “why I run!”.

 

 

 

Carolyn Radcliffe

All spring and summer long I’ve looked forward to this year’s Marathon by the Sea and it definitely did not disappoint. This was by far the

Carolyn Radcliffe crosses the finish line of the 10 km race Sunday.

Carolyn Radcliffe crosses the finish line of the 10 km race Sunday.

most challenging 10km that I’ve run to date and it was also the first one in some time that I had run by myself.

Nonetheless, there was such a big smile on my face as we set out down Water Street. It might have faded by the time we got to our first hill going up Lansdowne Avenue by the Petro Canada but all-in-all it was a fantastic run. I’m always impressed with the rest of the runners. Their determination and focus kept me going to set a new personal best of 1:02:42. With all those hills I’m pretty proud of that time.

I’d like to sincerely thank Marathon by the Sea’s volunteers, everyone who came out to cheer us on and all of the sponsors. This event would not be the success it is without your time and efforts. Thanks Kevin Barrett for featuring me on the Running Whys. MTBS is truly the highlight of my running season and it gave me such an extra push to know I’d have to write a follow-up piece after the race.

I was incredibly glad to cross the finish line and see my man Brad and my father Roger waiting for me. To them, thank you! Looking at just some of the finish line photos, I can tell everyone shared that same feeling of hard-earned pride, satisfaction and victory. Thanks for a stellar event. See you next year everyone!

 

 

Todd Price

Price Todd Price, left, runs toward the finish of the marathon Sunday with training partner  Shelley Doucet, centre, and his sister, on the bike, Tracey Price-Emerson.

Todd Price, left, runs toward the finish of the marathon Sunday with training partner Shelley Doucet, centre, and his sister, on the bike, Tracey Price-Emerson.

Just wanted to say a huge THANK YOU to the over 200 people Janet Thompson-Price and I counted who have reached out to me in the past two days. When all is said and done and I’ve had time to reflect, I had a great experience at Marathon by the Sea.

I tested my character and with much needed help, I resolved (and re-qualified for Boston, which let’s face it, is always a good day). To quote one of my good friends “when you watch one of your heroes struggle, it makes your own goals a bit more attainable”

I’m more amazed by the compassion and support from the Saint John running community and my friends and family than by anything I’ve physically accomplished in the past. Marathon by the Sea means an enormous amount to me personally and to the City of Saint John. The organizing committee did a fantastic job and I’ll definitely be back in 2016. I’m also re-running from the bridge to the finish line again this week. I need to re-do that before vacation.

 

Sherri Colwell-McCavour

I’m still beaming from this past weekend’s adventure! My emotions ran the gamut starting Friday night with the most spectacular fireworks display I’d seen in some time, to Saturday’s blistering but extremely fun 5k, culminating with Sunday’s 13.1 mile soul journey that started with the very moving and emotional Commemorative mile. I have no words to express the emotions in the air for that first mile. Thank you MBTS race committee for creating such a wonderful way to honour and remember…

Sherri Colwell-McCavour celebrates as she completes the half marathon on Sunday.

Sherri Colwell-McCavour celebrates as she completes the half marathon on Sunday.

I approached Sunday’s race the same way I approach every other one, with the mindset of ‘I paid to do this and I’m going to get my money’s worth!’ This race consisted of high fives, chats and laughs with random strangers who were not involved with the race in any way but were just out for their regular Sunday morning walks; stopping to chat with, hug and thank the volunteers manning the water stations; thanking each person (Salvation Corp & Safety workers) who made sure I could safely cross all side streets; cheering on runners who were and always will be, way faster than me as they made their way to the Harbour Bridge while I was still trying to make my way to the Manawagonish Road turnaround point; making a special effort to acknowledge each police officer from the first intersection to the very last one at the top of Crown and Union Street; and doing my best to thank every volunteer I encountered along the route, either on foot or bicycle, who loudly cheered and offered some much needed words of encouragement.

I attained the goal I’d set of reaching the bridge early enough to enjoy the moment. I walked it while taking pictures and enjoying the view of our little city. After the bridge, I then basically spent the last few miles alone, trudging up a plethora of hills on my way to Rockwood Park. While navigating the constant incline that is the park, I ran through my head exactly what I was going to say to a certain race director once I found my way out and located him at the finish line…

I was ecstatic to cross that finish line but a bit sad as well because the journey had come to an end. It was a weekend of laughs, tears, challenging hills, new friendships, surprise encounters with old friends while on the course and it was…fun. Honestly, the Port City Challenge was fun! When my husband came over to me at the finish I told him I had a great time on the course but wouldn’t do the half again, but maybe the 10k. While driving in to work the next morning, I looked at him and said ‘yeah, I think I want to do the same distance again next year because you don’t get the chance to cross the Harbour Bridge on foot very often!’ He looked at me and said ‘Okaaay…’

See you in 2016 MBTS!!

 

Kevin McEachern

Kevin McEachern, left, and April Cunningham celebrate after the half marathon  Sunday.

Kevin McEachern, left, and April Cunningham celebrate after the half marathon Sunday.

I ran the Half Marathon as a training run for my marathon training.  At the starting line I began to get apprehensive, as I realized the MBTS hills far exceeded the other half marathons I had done.  I decided to start very slow and enjoy myself.

By the 14th kilometre (after taking an energy gel) I realized I was getting a second wind and decided to crush it up the Rockwood Park hills…I managed a 4:44 split up the hill and cruised to the finish in 1:46:59.

Not a PB, but a good training run time made possible by the (perfectly) cool and overcast conditions.  Perfect day for a race!

 

 

 

 

Friends and family reaction

The response online was fantastic and we thank everyone for that – from the runners who provided insight to the readers who flocked to the website twice a week or more for the latest installment.

Here are some of the many many quotes we read online.

“After reading this I no longer feel doing a half October 2016 is out of my reach (just did my first 5k on the weekend and I’m hooked!”)

“I loved your honesty and your words of wisdom. You’re an inspiration and you make me want to do better.”

 “Running ambassador extraordinaire!”

2 Jesse Davidson had plenty of support on the course for his first every 5  km on  Friday night.

Jesse Davidson had plenty of support on the course for his first ever 5 km on
Friday night.

“I am so proud to call this girl my best friend. This article is fabulous! You are so inspiring and motivating.”

“This is great.”

“She is a real inspiration and great support for all who know her. I am proud to call her a friend and wish her well in her upcoming races”

“I’m just so happy you started running .I’ve had so much fun running with you!!!! So proud you manage to find a balance between mommy, teacher and runner that works for you…”

“You should be really proud of yourself! I still remember the first day of the running program. You’ve come so far! Thumbs up to you!”

“Such a great story of perseverance and determination! Your children have some pretty amazing role models as parents.”

“So proud of him!”

“It just goes to show you that if you are determined and I mean DETERMINED in this case,.. you can achieve your goals! I still see him running on the weekends and he is often at the gym as early as 4:30am before his very busy job. NO excuses coming from this lad, he makes his lifestyle a priority!”

“Clear, focused, honest and achieving your goals!”

“Very inspirational.”

“Wow!! Very inspirational! The kids want to be like daddy. Every time I feel the mom-guilt about going out for a long run with my training buddies, I’ll remind myself that it’s a great example for the kids.”

Sherri Colwell-McCavour poses with a motivational sign during her run Sunday.

Sherri Colwell-McCavour poses with a motivational sign during her run Sunday.

“Tears reading this , its so great !”

“You are absolutely brilliant beautiful and inspiring! Thanks for the wonderful story!”

 “Right on bro good work keep it up.”

“Looking good.”

“I’m just so happy you started running .I’ve had so much fun running with you!!!! So proud you manage to find a balance between mommy,teacher and runner that works for you…”

“So very proud of this amazing lady!”

“I love this girl. Great story. You’re so inspiring!”

“So many challenges in such a short time and you handled each one as it came with determination and drive. Always upbeat and ready for the next goal you set for yourself. You are an inspiration…”

“So happy I meant you through running and Triathalons! You are so positive.”

“You are a great motivator! Thanks for all the encouragement the last few years.”

“I hope you realize how much you are valued as a great runner! You inspire beyond measure! Great read! I cried;)”

 “Love it.”

“You go girl.”

“So inspirational.”

“Choked me up.”                       

“So proud.”

The stories proved motivational for some such as this entry:

“This definitely makes me want to try again. You are not JUST doing this for yourself, you are motivating others too! Xo

There is still some work to do.

“ALMOST makes me want to take up running,” said one reader. “ ALMOST…”

There is always next year. Once again, thank you.

In the lead up to this year’s MBTS, we profiled the legacy of Const. Doug Larche, Hannah Arsenault, Todd PriceErica MacMillan, Carol Lynn Landry,  Donald and Elspeth Lemon, Carolyn Radcliffe, Andrew Estey, Corinne Fournier, Kevin McEachern, Sherri Colwell-McCavour, Jesse Davidson, Jason Kaulback, Jacqueline Boucher, Jennifer Payne, Mark Clinton, Patty MacMillan, Haley Adams-Green, Dean Mercer, Caitlin Stevens-Kelly, Carla Harris, Dave Horgan and Krista Sutton.

 

The Running Whys 2015 – The Legacy of Const. Doug Larche

Larche Main

Const. Doug Larche reaches to high five his daughters near the end of a 15 km race in 2014.

 

The Running Whys – The legacy of Const Doug Larche

It had developed into a Sunday tradition at Nadine Larche’s mother’s house.

When the schedule permitted a family supper, which was most Sundays, Nadine and her three daughters would drive to her mom’s home  while her husband Const Doug Larche would – depending on the particular phase of his training cycle –  run the 8-10 kilometre route, timed perfectly to coincide with the feast and, of course, what came afterward.

“Doug wanted to stay in shape, so he would run to my mother’s for supper,” Nadine explained. “Then he could have the dessert.”

He’d remain disciplined and not over indulge but the Sunday supper was part of his distance training in the Greater Moncton area.

“It was just a part of who he was,” Nadine said of his running. “He lived and breathed it.”

Const. Larche was one of three RCMP officers killed during the horrific events of June 2014 in Moncton and in the weeks and months that followed, many sectors of the provincial, national and international communities paid tribute to the fallen officers.

One of those was the running community, including those connected with the 2014 edition of Marathon by the Sea, which honoured Doug’s memory with the Red Mile, the first stage of the 20th anniversary edition of the race.

Const. Doug Larche celebrates after completing the Legs for Literacy full marathon in Moncton.

Const. Doug Larche celebrates after completing the Legs for Literacy full marathon in Moncton.

A year later, Nadine talks about Doug and the impact running had on him and the family in part because those thoughts represent positive memories.

“Doug was one of those people who, if he could do it, he would do it,” Nadine said. “He was very fitness oriented and he wanted to be fit for his job.”

As an RCMP officer, when he was on patrol duty, Doug enjoyed being able to go out with the Police Dog Service member when a call came in that required another member to run with them.  This was a duty that required top fitness levels.  It fit with his motivation to be in top shape and running fueled his progress.

“He was one of those runners who could do it and do it well,” Nadine said. “He was not a quitter, so he would keep going, even if it hurt.”

So over time, the sport became an integral aspect of daily life for Doug and the entire Larche family.

Nadine recalls the time they went on a Disney Cruise, a trip south with Doug and the three girls, their first time as a group enjoying Disney’s magic.

But there was more.

“Doug would bring his running gear wherever we went on vacation,” Nadine explained. “On that cruise, there was a 5 km run in the Bahamas on Disney’s private island. He ran that race. Running was incorporated into his day-to-day lifestyle.

“One year, we were in Vegas and he ran there too. Wherever we were, he would go out and run.”

Even with work, depending on where he was stationed, he’d find a way to get his training in.

“It was a part of him,” Nadine says. “He would go to work, drop his clothes off the night before, then in the morning, get up, run to work, shower at work and then be ready for his shift.”

It applied to all aspects of his life, such as arranging suppers for his young family so he could time a run either before or immediately afterward.

It applied to their dating days as well, when Nadine worked at Parlee Beach as a lifeguard and ran as part of her fitness regiment. Doug ran in tandem with her.

Nadine believes that Doug’s first official race was a Navy 10k event that his brother asked him to compete in Halifax, a 10 km distance. Nadine said it did not take long for Doug to get the competition bug after that event.

From there, he tackled many distances, with a fondness for the half marathon and 15 km events. And whatever the setting, he’d find a place to run.

Const. Doug Larche runs in the half marathon of the Fredericton Marathon in 2014.

Const. Doug Larche runs in the half marathon of the Fredericton Marathon in 2014.

The running connection is one of the reasons she volunteers with the 3km for 3 fathers each June in Moncton, which honours Doug , Const. Dave Ross and Const. Fabrice Gevaudan who were killed in the line of duty a year ago.

Doug’s connection to Saint John is strong. He graduated from high school in the city, it was his hometown and in 2009, he ran the Marathon by the Sea half marathon in 1:49.35.

The next year, he completed a 4:14 full marathon in the 2010 Legs for Literacy in Moncton and as time passed, his dedicated training led to some impressive results. For example, in May, 2014, he finished the Fredericton half marathon in 1:41:40.

“He had been in the best shape of his life,” Nadine said. “He dropped 20 pounds and it was not like he had to lose weight but he was a lean, mean running machine.”

Last August, Nadine knew it was important to attend the Red Mile salute on that brilliant Sunday morning in Rockwood Park and after the touching pre-race ceremonies, Nadine and her daughters stayed for a time to place medals around runner’s necks as they crossed the finish line.

“It was a run that Doug was actually training for,” Nadine said. “He had been talking about doing a couple of more races that season. Of course, I was missing that he wasn’t there and one of my friends spoke a few words that put your heart in your throat but at the same time, I was honoured that people were honoring him in such a way.”

Races Doug entered became family events. Nadine ran a few of them and even completed a triathlon. Their daughters would race in kids events held in conjunction with the big races their father participated in and even some of their own. Often times, the girls had signs en route that read ‘Go Daddy Go,’ as he raced toward the finish line.

“Wherever there was a run, they wanted to participate,” Nadine said of her daughters. “They liked it, they wanted to be like Daddy.”

For the future, Nadine hopes her daughters continue to participate in running events.

It is positive, she says.

The Running Whys 2015 – Hannah Arseneault

Hannah

Hannah Arseneault, right, pictured with Lilly Coffin, won the half marathon title at the 2014 Marathon by the Sea.

The Running Whys and Hows – Hannah Arseneault

Last year, we asked Alex Coffin, a past champion of Marathon by the Sea, for his Running Whys story. This year, Alex is slipping into the coaching role with the Running Whys and Hows, with a look at Hannah Arseneault of St. Martins. Hannah’s progress in various areas of running has benefitted from two strong appearances in the MBTS half marathon. Here, Alex details her path to the half marathon title a year ago! Enjoy

By Alex Coffin

Hannah Arseneault joined the Saint John Track & Field Club even though it was a tough commute from St Martins into the city for practices. When she decided on her high school, she also committed to attend Saint John High School to take advantage of the well-supported running program there.

At the high school provincial cross-country championships, she finished fourth in the junior girls category in Grade 9, she finished third in the senior girls category in Grade 10, finished fourth in the senior girls category in Grade 11, and finished second in the senior girls category in Grade 12.

At the high school track & field championships, she finished second in the junior girls 3000 meters in Grade 9, finished 4th in the junior girls 3000 meters in Grade 10, and then won the senior girls 3000 in both Grade 11 and Grade 12.

After high school, Hannah could have accepted athletic scholarships from many universities but followed her heart to agricultural college in Truro. It speaks to her maturity that she was able to keep making such tough decisions to follow her passions.

In the lead up to this year’s MBTS, we also have profiled Todd Price, Erica MacMillanCarol Lynn LandryDonald and Elspeth Lemon, Carolyn Radcliffe, Andrew Estey, Corinne Fournier, Kevin McEachern, Sherri Colwell-McCavour, Jesse Davidson, Jason Kaulback, Jacqueline Boucher, Jennifer Payne, Mark Clinton, Patty MacMillan, Haley Adams-Green, Dean Mercer, Caitlin Stevens-Kelly, Carla Harris, Dave Horgan and Krista Sutton.

Being in Truro however did not mean that Hannah could not continue to juggle academics with her athleticism. In her first semester at college, she became the ACAA female champion for cross country. In the summer of 2013, I was lucky enough to be coaching Hannah in her effort to qualify for the national youth track & field championships sponsored by the Royal Canadian Legion.

Hannah barely missed making that team in the steeplechase event but she immediately decided to take advantage of her fitness and try the half marathon at the Marathon by the Sea. It is rare for a high school athlete to attempt to do well at such a long distance but Hannah loved to run and had built up a great foundation for such a challenge.

She ended up finishing second to Brenda Guitard with a very respectable time of 1:35:10.

It is a pleasure to coach someone who is motivated for a specific goal.

Check out the complete Marathon by the Sea schedule

In the 2014 Marathon by the Sea, Hannah wanted to go for the half marathon win and we had a great game plan based on who might be running. The course had changed to add some extra ups and downs as well so we made sure that her foundation training included hill repeats. Her interval workouts included the mile repeats that track runners usually avoid in favour for shorter distances like quarter miles.

I also like to include a race beforehand to build confidence and we decided on the 10K at the Subway Grand Bay- Westfield Canada Day Event. Hannah not only took the women’s title but finished second overall. Hannah would indeed win the 2014 half marathon at the Marathon by the Sea. She finished nearly two minutes ahead of the second-place finisher, Tosha Feitag from Ontario.

Check out the results from 2014

For 2015, she is a little busier with work in St Martins but she still travels to Saint John to train with the Saint John Track Club when she is able to. We will be watching the registrations to determine her strategy for the day but Hannah will be a threat to defend her title no matter who decides to run.

Hannah’s half marathon training also serves as an important transition to her cross-country racing in the fall. I’m sure I will not be the only person watching her results with interest as she attempts to defend her ACAA title and then hopefully travel to the CCAA cross-country championships to become a national champion.

The Marathon by the Sea is a great opportunity for our local running community to get to know our local elite runners! I hope Hannah is able to compete for the marathon title in the future!!

Check out the photo gallery from last year

 

The Running Whys 2015 – Todd Price

ToddMAIN

Todd Price is shown training the hills in Quispamsis in preparation for the 2006 Marathon by the Sea.

 

The Running Whys – Todd Price

 

Todd Price could win Marathon by the Sea. The veteran runner is back for a serious attempt at pushing himself and if he puts together one of those special runs, he figures there is a chance to break his personal best, set back in 2006 and that may just be good enough to earn the overall title Sunday in the full marathon. But in his Running Whys, Todd details his long running history, why he ran, and why he hit the brakes a bit, only to return, refreshed and rejuvenated. We will learn about what running means to him, the runs to the Moose, his kinship on the course, beer drinking in Philly and his incredible affection for Marathon by the Sea. Enjoy.

==

First off, I want to say thank you.  I’ve actually followed Kevin’s blog on Facebook the past year and read through a number of running stories since last year’s Marathon by the Sea.  Having the opportunity to be included in the build up for this year’s race is a highlight for me through this year’s Marathon preparation.

I’ve had the opportunity to run New York City, Chicago and Berlin.  I have raced against endurance icons Lance Armstrong and Scott Jurek.  Ran side-by-side with my sister at the Boston Marathon. I fund raised almost $10,000 by completing a double marathon for charitywater.org.  I’ve raced distances from the Mile to Ultra Marathons.  I’ve won, I’ve lost, I’ve qualified, I’ve blown up and walked in from mile 18 but more than anything, I think it is safe to say that after literally tens of thousands of miles, I’m defined as a runner, more than anything.

I have been asked running related questions numerous times over the years.  Why do you run?  Why do you race?  What’s your favorite Race?  So here goes…

Why I race?

For me, running and racing are very different activities that serve two completely different purposes.   Since I am literally days away from Marathon by the Sea, I’ll start with racing.  A running race at its core is the purest form of competition I can think of.  There are no technical advantages, or inaccessible/expensive training and coaching.

In the lead up to this year’s MBTS, we also have profiled Erica MacMillan, Carol Lynn LandryDonald and Elspeth Lemon, Carolyn Radcliffe, Andrew Estey, Corinne Fournier, Kevin McEachern, Sherri Colwell-McCavour, Jesse Davidson, Jason Kaulback, Jacqueline Boucher, Jennifer Payne, Mark Clinton, Patty MacMillan, Haley Adams-Green, Dean Mercer, Caitlin Stevens-Kelly, Carla Harris, Dave Horgan and Krista Sutton.

Todd Price is shown competing in the Berlin Marathon last year.

Todd Price is shown competing in the Berlin Marathon last year.

Everyone at some point in their life runs, it is truly natural, regardless of race, class, religion, sexuality, or nationality.  Literally, you lace up a pair of sneakers, toe the line and run as fast as you can.  I race for one reason, and one reason only and that’s to test myself against a specific goal.  Now, that can be winning the race, hitting a time, qualifying for Boston or just beating one of my running partners back to the car or the Moose or the gym.  Regardless, when I race, I have a goal and I’m singularly focused on that goal and I will push myself through as much pain as I can possibly endure to chase that goal. If I achieve it, I win, if I don’t, no matter how fast I ran, how much I endure, I lose.  End of story.

Racing Marathons though is counterintuitive to how I attack almost everything else in my life.  The key word being “attack” as I’m naturally aggressive, with a need to go fast, go hard and as I stated, to prove a point.  I front run at almost every distance, except the Marathon.  Marathon racing is about balancing physical preparation (months and months of training) with patience and mental resolve.   It is a much more strategic distance and for me, a personal favorite.

You can still register for the 2015 Emera Marathon by the Sea here.

Why I run

I’ve been running for the better part of my life.  I honestly do not know what I’m running from or what I’m trying to chase down; I just go out and run.  Day in, day out … it is as simple as that.  Nothing packs easier than a pair of sneakers and running shorts, and from my perspective it is as pure an activity as you can find.  The more you pour into running, the more running gives back.   For me it is all about three things:

  1. Peace – Beyond any health benefits, for me, running has always been a chance to “unplug”.  Whether I am training for an upcoming event or simply trying to keep in shape, running is an escape from everything else going on, in and around my life.  Between work, friends and family commitments, in a connected world where everyone is accessible 24/7, running gives me Peace, even for just an hour.
  2. Health – Weights are heavy, Cross fit requires too much coordination and the three beer I have after every hockey game really take away from any health benefit I was going to get on the ice.  Plus my brother’s the hockey player; I’m just the guy who never gets tired.  So running it is.
  3. Camaraderie/Friendship – Nothing tests a person’s true character like suffering together on a 20-mile run through freezing rain in March or April.  I’ve made lifelong friendships training for Marathons with people over the past 15 years.

Check out the complete Marathon by the Sea schedule

From the original group of guys that I’ve met almost daily at the Moose statue outside of Market Square (Moose Loggers) to new training partners that have the same love of getting out at 5:30 a.m. for some early morning miles before work, running for me is all about the stories.  Talking podcasts and technology with Gilles, breakfast in Bloomfield with John and the group, trucker specials at the Big Stop, freshly made pancakes and coffee right on the table with Janet and the kids as soon as I walk in the door (hey runners love to eat), soccer bets and short cuts with Darrell, parking tickets and race strategy with Shelley – hey it’s worth $178 to run with me, and sometimes I even pay (just ask the Halifax Police).  I might also be the only person I know who was wondering if they turned off their Garmin while sitting in handcuffs.

Races to the Moose (I think we had a summer where every lunch run was a race), Ironman prep with Trevor, Sean and Tracey, hockey with Dean and Brent and I suppose Korey, although I’m not sure the Leafs play hockey and we spend more time talking about fiscal policy and politics with Jeff – you have to be fast and smart to run with us, luckily I was “interesting”.  Watching my daughter win cross country races…yes there’s another generation coming. It is race recaps with Evan, it is Bruce showing up in his Celtics jersey and it’s about the girls in Wellesley, coming home from every run and answering Janet’s question of “what did you talk about for two and a half hours” with “Nothing” because how do you say you spent two hours laughing about shark fishing with JR when neither of you have ever even fished.

Check out the results from 2014

It is road trips with Boz and Bishop, running Rob (my boss) up Signal Hill so fast he almost threw up (yeah that didn’t help my

Todd Price is shown running in the Berlin Marathon in 2014.

Todd Price is shown running in the Berlin Marathon in 2014.

performance review – which we did on a run btw – I like to be able to pick up the pace when we start talking about my inadequacies) and it’s about raising almost $10,000 to build water infrastructure in Africa.  From long training runs, to qualifying races, double marathons that seemed easier than I thought but two mile runs that would never end, running has brought me amazing friends and some fantastic stories. (I didn’t even get space to mention Logger founders and Legal Council Pat and Dave, technical support and Genesis crew Mark, Arnaldo and Michael and arguing about the Metric system but agreeing on the chocolate chip cookie diet with Rob).

One of my favorite running stories is from the Philadelphia Marathon.  One of my best friends, John Russell was in Philly trying to qualify for Boston 2004. Philadelphia runs a figure eight type course that is extremely flat and fast and our plan was for John to run the first half alone (well in the pack) and I’d hop in around mile 13 or 14 and offer him support through the second half of the race.  John ran through the half on target and as planned, I jumped in around mile 14 and started running along keeping him company.  Philadelphia draws about 6000 to 8000 marathoners and after a two or three miles at Boston qualifying pace, you realize there’s only a small group of familiar faces.  By mile 19 or 20, I had blended in as just another marathoner attempting to qualify.  At mile 21 we were coming up to a very animated, massive group of Temple University students handing out beer (or attempting to hand out beer – there’s not a lot of people at 3:10 marathon pace, at mile 21, beyond “The Wall” looking for a Coors Light).  I looked quickly at my running companion, who at this point was not in a talkative mood and said, “I’ll be right back. I’m going for a beer.”

Check out the photo gallery from last year

I think through tears of suffering and pain, he muttered “what the…”  Let’s just say that if you veer to the side of the course, snag a full glass of draft and start chugging a beer, in stride, as you easily join back into a marathon, at this point in the race, and this pace, two things happen.

Hundreds of university kids start cheering and chanting as if you are a Rock Star while suffering marathoners, including my best friend, just stare at you in jealous hatred before shaking their heads and getting back to the task at hand.  Luckily for me, John qualified with seconds to spare or I’d have never heard the end of it.  If you’re wondering, that was one of the best tasting beers I’ve ever had and if you are reading this and happen to have a Moose Light chilled on the Harbour Bridge, Sunday, August 9th, I may take you up on that – look for the guy with the crazy arm bands.

Why Marathon by the Sea

Being a long distance runner, from Saint John, Marathon by the Sea is a cornerstone of the racing calendar.  This is THE event for the province, the biggest Marathon, the toughest course, in the middle of summer.   This will be my fifth full at Marathon by the Sea (amongst a number of halves).  It’s an event I’ve used to qualify for Boston.  An event run on the roads I have trained on for over 15 years and an event hosted on a course lined with familiar landmarks and familiar faces.

This year is a return for me.  After running in Chicago 2007 I had posted by far the best season of my running career but I was burnt out.  My wife and I had just had our second of three children in June and I wanted to put more focus into our growing family and my career.  I even remember taking the time to look back over what I had accomplished and being satisfied.  I would keep running, but not at that level and not in any sort of competition. I’m very much an all or nothing type.

While I’ve run regularly since 2007, including another Boston and Marathon by the Sea, I have not had to push myself in a long time.   Marathon by the Sea is once again a proving ground for me.  Since no one puts more pressure on me than myself I’ll even publicly state this year’s goal.  I’m chasing numbers that training partners have put up (like Evan Arsenault’s 2:48 or Shelley Doucet’s 2:50), I’m chasing people (like last year’s winner Ryan O’Shea and Alex Coffin) but most importantly I’m chasing a brash 34-year-old Todd Price who posted a 2:46 at the New York City Marathon in 2006 and yelled to the crowd nearing the finish line  “Where’s Lance Armstrong?” “Yeah that’s right, he’s BEHIND ME”.

I’ve literally run all over the world but no course means more to me than running in my own backyard and this year I’m aiming at breaking 2:50 with an outside shot at a Personal Best.  Hey, Rod Paul promised me the course was flat. J

The Running Whys 2015 – Erica MacMillan

erica1

Erica MacMillan is shown competing in the 2014 Halifax Mud Hero event.

 

The Running Whys – Erica (Findley) MacMillan

When we asked Erica (Findley) MacMillan to join us for the Running Whys, she submitted her story (which is below) along with some biographical info, such as her name, the fact she was 27, born and raised in Saint John, was a substitute teacher, married, a mother of twin three-year-old boys….and a runner.                     

The last point has helped all aspects of her life and in the past few years, she has taken on many challenges, including the Marathon by the Sea. She is back again this year and she outlines her story below.

Enjoy

by Erica MacMillan

I remember watching a triathlon when I was younger and thinking about the human body and its capabilities.  I remember in high school and early university, going out for walks and small runs and thinking about racing but never being ready to commit.

It was in 2011, I realized that I had been working alongside a seasoned runner, Cheryl Donovan. From that point on, I began asking questions and joining her for runs. We began by completing a cycle of two-minute-runs, one-minute-walks the length of Douglas Avenue. From there, the distances became longer as did the time running.

Erica MacMillan poses with her friends Angela Stewart and Cheryl Donovan after a race in Hampton.

Erica MacMillan poses with her friends Angela Stewart and Cheryl Donovan after a race in Hampton.

My goal was set; I wanted to run Marathon by the Sea in 2012 but that did not happen as I became a mommy to twin boys, Tommy and James.

As it turned out, they were two new reasons to push my love of running further.

In the lead up to this year’s MBTS, we also have profiled Carol Lynn LandryDonald and Elspeth Lemon, Carolyn Radcliffe, Andrew Estey, Corinne Fournier, Kevin McEachern, Sherri Colwell-McCavour, Jesse Davidson, Jason Kaulback, Jacqueline Boucher, Jennifer Payne, Mark Clinton, Patty MacMillan, Haley Adams-Green, Dean Mercer, Caitlin Stevens-Kelly, Carla Harris, Dave Horgan and Krista Sutton.

When I began running, it was all about the fitness aspect of it – lose weight and tone up. However, after having twins, it was more about finding time for me and gaining the feeling of accomplishment a runner achieves when they’ve had a good run.

Erica MacMillan and Stacy Sproule pose for a photo after finishing the 2015 Lorneville Loop.

Erica MacMillan and Stacy Sproule pose for a photo after finishing the 2015 Lorneville Loop.

So, I registered for Marathon by the Sea 2013, the 5-miler – with no pressure for time but a hope to finish with a smile! Little did I know that it would be a beginning of a long list of runs I have completed and/or hope to complete in the future.

You can register for the 2015 Emera Marathon by the Sea here.

Running for fun is always good for the mind, but I soon realized that I loved atmosphere of race day and the adrenaline that comes with crossing the finish line.

In 2014, I ran more races than I believed I ever could have completed. I trained harder than I ever believed possible with the help of my running loves – Cheryl Donovan and Angela Stewart. I also got great help from my husband, Jesse MacMillan, who would often came home from work and jump right into Daddy mode so I could get out for a long-distance run.

Check out the complete Marathon by the Sea schedule

Since she started running, Erica has collected quite a few medals for her efforts.

Since she started running, Erica has collected quite a few medals for her efforts.

This training did not come without its challenges!

Some runs took place at 5 a.m. and some 18 km runs took place in slushy, snowy weather.  Being a Maritime runner, you are forced to run in some of the most disheartening conditions but in the end, you feel that much stronger…or crazier!  I went from running 2:1’s to finishing Half Marathons and feeling strong for my children.

Check out the results from 2014

When my twins see me tying up my sneakers, they know I am going for a run and getting ready for race day.

Finish lines and finish times are always on a runners mind but for me, it’s all about the chocolate milk and the medal! This will be my third year running in the Marathon by the Sea.  I am looking forward to running the 10 km! The atmosphere there is always so good for the soul, and the encouragement you give and receive at this event is unlike any other!

Check out the photo gallery from last year

The Running Whys 2015 – Carol Lynn Landry

unnamed

Carol Lynn Landry is competing in the 2015 Emera by the Sea half marathon Aug. 9.

 

The Running Whys – Carol Lynn Landry

With encouragement from her friends and family and dedication in a new sport, Carol Landry has enjoyed the benefits of running, from its challenging distances to the camaraderie on and away from the course. As we head into the final days of training for the 2015 Emera Marathon by the Sea, Carol outlines her path to the half marathon race next week, a personal reward for someone who as a child, was more apt to bounce around gymnastics equipment or speed around the basketball court. Now, she enjoys her time in distance running. Here is her story. Enjoy.

by Carol Lynn Landry

From left to right, Carol Lynn Landry, Renee Landry and Shelley Kirkpatrick cross the finish line at the 2014 Marathon by the Sea half marathon.

From left to right, Carol Lynn Landry, Renee Landry and Shelley Kirkpatrick
cross the finish line at the 2014 Marathon by the Sea half marathon.

“Of course you can!”

I don’t remember why I started running, but I do remember calling up my best friend Shelley on the eve of my 35th birthday and asking if she thought I could run a half marathon. She was a runner and always my voice of positivity and without missing a beat she said, “of course you can!”.

As a child, I was always active and if you were to ask my mother, I’m sure she would say active is an understatement. Gymnastics was always my sport and my parents would often catch me watching TV while doing handstands or tying a piece of yarn across the basement floor to practise my balance beam routines. As I got older, I got into team sports like basketball and volleyball. Never soccer….. It was just too much running.

In the lead up to this year’s MBTS, we also have profiled Donald and Elspeth LemonCarolyn Radcliffe, Andrew Estey, Corinne Fournier, Kevin McEachern, Sherri Colwell-McCavour, Jesse Davidson, Jason Kaulback, Jacqueline Boucher, Jennifer Payne, Mark Clinton, Patty MacMillan, Haley Adams-Green, Dean Mercer, Caitlin Stevens-Kelly, Carla Harris, Dave Horgan and Krista Sutton.

Carol Lynn Landry, left, poses for a photo with her sister Renee Landry at the 2014 Fredericton Marathon.

Carol Lynn Landry, left, poses for a photo with her sister Renee Landry at the 2014 Fredericton Marathon.

Once graduated from high school, I entered the Naval Reserves. I was intrigued by the physical challenge of basic training. I wanted to see if I could do it. It also offered a great opportunity to gain work experience and travel while going to university. After completing Basic Training, I found myself busy juggling school and work. My priorities shifted. I was focused on graduating and building a career. I met my husband, we married and a few years later, we had two beautiful children. Life was wonderful. I was now a busy stay-at-home mom but felt I had lost an important part of myself along the way.

unnamed (3)

From left to right as they pose for a photo at the 2014 Fredericton Marathon are Judy Curry, (Carol’s mother-in-law), Renee Landry (Carol’s sister), Pauline Landry (Carol’s mother) and Carol Lynn Landry.

Going back to my conversation with Shelley in 2011, I can now see that I needed to make a course adjustment in my life. I needed something that was my own. During our conversation, Shelley and I settled on the Fredericton Mother’s Day Race and we began training. Every day leading up to that race was an adventure. We discussed training tactics daily as though we were training for the Olympics. We were completely obsessed.

You can register for the 2015 Emera Marathon by the Sea here. Throughout the training, Shelley was always the “believer”. I often had doubts. I was afraid and was told a few times along the way that I was overly ambitious. People found many tactful ways to tell me I couldn’t do it. But, I always felt that if one person believed in me, that’s all I needed.

I wasn’t prepared for how race day would change my life. It was my first experience with the running community and I knew right away it’s where I belonged. The people were so kind, supportive and encouraging. It didn’t matter if you were first, last or anywhere in between; everyone was equal. It was all about participating. Shelley and I both finished that race elated and ready for more. So that’s what we spent the next four years doing….more running!

In the following four years, I continued to race the half marathon distance and completed two full marathons. I also enjoyed racing shorter distances. I got the opportunity to run in different running groups and met the most wonderful people, many of whom are now good friends. I also got the opportunity to support two of my running partners, Stacy and Amanda, in completing their first full marathon and watch them achieve their dream —

Incredible!

Check out the complete Marathon by the Sea schedule

unnamed (4)

Pauline Landry, Carol’s mother, celebrates after finishing second in her age category in the 5 km as part of the 2014 Legs for Literacy event in Moncton.

Since that first year, running has grown to be a family affair with my mother, mother-in-law, aunt, sister and daughter all running. Last year, my mother placed second in her age category at Legs for Literacy in the 5K distance. We couldn’t have been more proud! At the end of last season however, I hit a bump in the road with an injury. Even running a kilometer proved difficult. I ended up in the physiotherapist’s office. I was totally defeated and wondered if I would ever be able to run again. The physiotherapist asked what my goals were and I remember thinking “what difference does it make?”. But he wouldn’t back down. With a bit of persuading, I told him I wanted to run long distances again. I told him my time goals and I can still hear his voice saying “I see no reason why you couldn’t do that”. I did exactly what he told me to rebuild. But honestly, it was probably another four months before I believed him.

It was slow going throughout the winter. I credit my sister Renee (who is also a runner) for encouragement and motivation. She slugged through many hard runs with me when I wasn’t sure if I’d make it through and in true little sister fashion, told me suck it up and tough it out.

I also decided to try something new and joined the Saint John Track Club with my daughter. I met the most amazing group of runners who are so encouraging, they make me feel like I could do anything. I’m learning so much from this group, that in a lot of ways, I feel like I’m at the beginning again and starting fresh.

Check out the results from 2014

This season, I feel like I’m back on track and I’m so incredibly excited to participate in Emera’s Marathon by the Sea half marathon. It will be my fourth time completing the half marathon distance for this race. The hometown race with so many familiar faces is one of my favorites. And now that the race is offering events all weekend long, I’m also looking forward to running the 5K Into The Night event with fireworks at the end. It will most certainly be a weekend to remember.

My excitement for the sport continues to grow. I encourage anyone who is interested to give it a shot….. And in case no one has told you, let me be the one to say “of course you can!”.

Check out the photo gallery from last year

The Running Whys 2015 – Donald & Elspeth Lemon

Lemon1

Elspeth and Donald Lemon celebrate after finishing the Ottawa Marathon in 2013.

 

There is something about running that appeals to family bonding, particularly between parents and their children once they are both adults. That is the case for Don and Elspeth Lemon, who in recent years, have encouraged, supported and motivated each other in races ranging from the short to the long. Marathon by the Sea has played an instrumental role in that process and next month, both will be back for MBTS weekend, this time for the half marathon. Read their story and then find out what major event they have planned for later in August. Enjoy.

==

by Donald and Elspeth Lemon

When Elspeth completed university in 2006, she suggested I get back into running as it was something that she was going take up now that she was done school and moving back home. She remembered that I had run years ago and thought it was something we could do together.

I can remember two things from that time: I could barely run 1 km the first time I ran, and Elspeth moved to Fredericton shortly thereafter, so for the next few years, we only ran together half a dozen times.

Running with Elspeth is what makes each race special, no matter what the distance. I never thought I would run more than 5 and 10 km races, but Elspeth decided to try a half marathon and suggested I should too. So I did, and discovered it wasn’t impossible to run further. I never thought I would run a marathon (never say never!).

Then in 2010, Elspeth said she’d like to run a marathon before she turned 30. So I said I would do it with her and it would be nice to do it for my 60th birthday. At this time, we were three or four years away from this “goal”, so neither of us really thought much about it. A few years later, she suggested we should decide which marathon to run. We chose Ottawa 2013 as it is one of the biggest races in Canada and it is close to home.

In the lead up to this year’s MBTS, we also have profiled Carolyn Radcliffe, Andrew Estey, Corinne Fournier, Kevin McEachern, Sherri Colwell-McCavour, Jesse Davidson, Jason Kaulback, Jacqueline Boucher, Jennifer Payne, Mark Clinton, Patty MacMillan, Haley Adams-Green, Dean Mercer, Caitlin Stevens-Kelly, Carla Harris, Dave Horgan and Krista Sutton.

Even though Elspeth lives in Fredericton, we got together up there or in Saint John for our long runs, taking turns on who gets to travel. We both train with the Running Room but like the opportunity to do our own thing from time-to-time and choose our own routes and pace! It’s also nice (for both of us) to have a change of scenery once and a while; even though Elspeth tends to find the best hills Fredericton has to offer for our long runs!

Neither of us have been fortunate enough to stave off injury over the past 10 years but we are always there for each other, to encourage one another and adjust our training schedules to accommodate the other’s needs. Elspeth was battling a severe case of plantar fasciitis leading up to our second marathon together (Chicago 2014) so the bulk of my long runs were done solo while she took about six weeks off.

You can register for the 2015 Emera Marathon by the Sea here.

However, we were able to do the ever important 32km+ runs together leading up to the race. We’ve had many great conversations while out running for 4+ hours or simply planning which meal we’ll have when we get home.

We’re now trying to figure out what our next big goal race will be. Together, we’ve run all around New Brunswick, the Bluenose in Halifax a few times, Ottawa Marathon in 2013 and the Chicago Marathon in 2014.

Elspeth and Donald Lemon run together in the St. Andrew's Father's Day Road Race in  2014

Elspeth and Donald Lemon run together in the St. Andrew’s Father’s Day Road Race in
2014

We decided to forgo putting our names in the New York City marathon lottery for the 2015 race but we are now contemplating that as our 2016 goal! We figured we might as well go as big as we can if we are going to run a marathon together!

That’s what makes our marathons so special. We train together and run the races together. What I enjoy are the conversations we have when we’re running. We are there for each other, keeping the other one motivated when we get sore and tired – we never let each other give up.

There is nothing more exciting than crossing that finish line hand in hand – we’ve accomplished something pretty amazing together. Our race times do not matter – I wouldn’t trade the time together for anything.

Check out the complete Marathon by the Sea schedule

Marathon by the Sea holds a special place in both our hearts. It became our goal race that first summer that we began running. We decided to run the 5-Miler together. Although the training was difficult, we persevered and it did get easier. Unfortunately, Elspeth couldn’t run the race as she had soccer commitments that day.

I completed the race on my own as Elspeth and her sister cheered me on before they had to jet off to a soccer game. Elspeth always makes a point of getting home to Saint John for MBTS. Over the past 10 years, between the two of us, we have ran every distance the race offers. This year, we are doing the half marathon together.

Check out the results from 2014

Elspeth was injured last summer while training for her second marathon which forced her to drop down from the half marathon to the 12km distance at the last minute. This will be her redemption race and she is looking forward to being able to run across the Harbour Bridge. Training has been harder this year than in the past. After our marathon together last fall, we both took an extended break over the winter (who wouldn’t have with the weather we were having!).

Elspeth and Donald stand outside the Expo for the 2014 Chicago Marathon last October.

Elspeth and Donald stand outside the Expo for the 2014 Chicago Marathon last October.

We have both found this year more difficult than expected to get back into top running form but we are looking forward to completing this race together.

Our love of running has caught on in the family too! My youngest daughter (Hilary) now runs regularly in Fredericton with Elspeth during the week. She will also jump in with us on our longer training runs and keep us company for 5-10km.

All three of us will be toeing the line during MBTS weekend.

Elspeth and I will be crossing another finish line on August 29th when I walk her down the aisle.

Check out the photo gallery from last year