Countdown to Marathon By The Sea

The Runners Whys – 2017 Preview

Marathonby Kevin Barrett
Running Whys – 2017 Preview
What started as a salute to the 20th running of Marathon By The Sea has continued on and now, as runners intensify training for the 2017 Emera Marathon By The Sea, we are ready to kick off our fourth year of the Running Whys.
This series is a collection of stories from runners of all walks of life, all motivated to participate along with hundreds of others in the Port City’s annual marathon in August.
Like the race weekend itself, we have undergone some changes but the focal point remains on you, the runner, whose dedication to training for whatever distance, provides inspiration for many in the buildup to MBTS.
In the first three seasons, we’ve featured runners who took their first racing strides in this event, beginning with 5 km routes. We have also profiled those who clock times under three hours for the full marathon. And we’ve featured everyone in between. The diversity in motivation ranges from those trying to maintain fitness levels to those wanting to get into shape and others looking to hit a goal in celebration of a significant birthday.
Along the way, these poignant and raw accounts provide a glimpse at what motivates runners and what the sports means to many who were brave to take that very first stride – whether it was last week or 50 years ago.
Each motivation, each story, provides unique perspective for Marathon By The Sea participants.
This year, the lineup is equally as impressive.
The 2017 series will start later this week and be featured on the MBTS website and Facebook pages. It will continue with regular updates right up to the race weekend and conclude with recaps of those athletes we featured along the way in a final season-ending story.
While we are just beginning and we have many profiles all set to go, please pass on the names of other participants (to who you think have a great story that others in this great race may enjoy.
We hope you like what we have to offer.
Good luck in training.

The Running Whys – MBTS 2016 in Review

White concrete room. Grungy urban wall and floor background interior

By Kevin Barrett

One runner lost 70 pounds. Another dropped more than 45.

Several used the sport to deal with the stress of difficult family situations.

Two others detailed their reasons for volunteering at Marathon By The Sea.

And one extremely special woman encouraged us to Never, Never, Never Give Up. Demonstrating determination and a strong will allow you to accomplish anything.

Those were just some of the stories associated with the 2016 edition of the Marathon ByThe Sea’s Running Whys.

They will venture from near – Saint John – and far – Australia – and many points in between.

And once again this year, generous souls have opened their hearts to what motivates them and led them to this weekend’s races – whether it is a 5 km run/walk, a full marathon on Sunday or as part of the novel and exciting Port City Challenge.


Here are links to the stories we ran this year:


Virginia Joudrey, Bill Joudry, Natalie Davidson, Terry Thorne, Jeremy Brown, Cheryl Donovan, Joe Comeau, Mike Doyle, Charlotte Flewelling, AndréeGermain, Sue Teakles, Brenda Guitard and Paul Sands.


These stories were a hit on social media, once again leading to large scale interest by friends, family and those generally interested in running.

Here are some of the comments.

“I couldn’t be more proud of my amazing friend. She is the true definition of an adventurer who is always looking for new fun!”

“Terry’s words ring out loud and clear! They do what physical strength does not allow her to do. They come along side of those who want to give up and give in for far lesser reasons. They offer strength to those who need courage to go perhaps just “one more turn around”. Terry’s beauty shines in her smile and the twinkle in her eyes.”

“You are awesome, totally totally awesome and so inspirational.. thanks for sharing your story with everyone.”

“Well that made me cry. Strength in so many ways. Thank you for sharing your story!”

“Nice story! Running is life changing for sure!”

“Very proud of my sister-in-law Sue Teakles for all of her running accomplishments over the past couple years, keep it up and have a great run at this year’s Marathon by the Sea!!”

“I consider myself very lucky that you taught the run clinic at work Brenda. Very! Thanks for your support and encouragement along the way.”

“That’s Awesome!”

“Proud to call Paul a friend. Quite an inspirational guy!”

“Congrats. I remember seeing you Dad run by our house a lot when I was a kid….. Wait a minute that was 30 years ago.”

“That is just awesome Joe. Well done.”

“Beautiful story of inspiration and determination!”

“Great interview, Mike!”

“Congrats this is an amazing journey and accomplishment. You have made a total life transformation and we are super proud of you. Keep up the great work.”

Those were some of the many comments.

The final story was on Friday, and ended fittingly when Virginia Joudrey said:

“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!”

Good luck to all this weekend.

2016 The Running Whys – Virginia Joudrey

Virginia 4

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.

Virginia 1Running 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!

2016 The Running Whys – Bill Joudry

Bill 2

by Kevin Barrett

Bill Joudry has lived in Saint John for the past 29 years, raising a family, living life and working as a sales representative for Old Dutch Snacks for their key accounts.

Yet, until this May, Bill’s running log was empty.

“First, let me start by saying I have never ran before, EVER,” said Bill to kick off a recent interview. “I started this in May of 2016.”

“This,” was running, a move made for health reasons in an effort to lose weight and get his blood pressure under control.

He recently understood it was time to tackle fitness and with two sons, 27 and 18, grown, he could dedicate the time to meet his wellness goal.

“Before this, I was your poster boy for a couch potato,” he detailed. “This after quitting smoking for the last 25 years.”

Bill 3So with the assistance of Terry Blizzard and the great staff at Afterburn, Bill has lost a remarkable 47 pounds and is feeling better than ever.
His blood pressure, once a concern, is very much under control. Then came running, with a recent area clinic providing a forum for him to give it a shot.
So this weekend, Bill will lineup at the start line of the 2016 Emera Marathon by the Sea, eager to see how his time has improved, how his summer of training has progressed and how a 5k feels in a big race environment.

He’s succeeded in large part by his personal determination. In addition, he credits the assistance of his running coach Sherri Colwell McCavour, the people of the Running Room in Brunswick Square and their running club for the ability to run the 5km distance comfortable and successfully.

The usual route takes place along Harbour Passage with others in the Learn-to-Run program. Generally, Mary Kunis, Anna Marcon, Dianna Payne and Sherri are there for the outings.

“One thing I’ve learned is that runners themselves are great supporters of new runners,” Bill said. “It makes you feel like you fit in and that you are not an outsider. I guess that’s why I keep coming back.”

His racing carer is reasonably short but he has a favorite already – the 5 km Colour Run in July.

“The atmosphere and excitement was so amazing,” he said. “I’m sure I will have many more favourites but being able to cross the finish line for me was my one big accomplishment.”

The dedication he shows for his Learn to Run schedule played a large role in his progress. He has been to every clinic and run club session since starting on June 2, which speaks volumes to his determination to get healthy and fit after losing weight. He is described as a really happy, humble guy who people like to have around.

And even though he does not think he is inspiring others, word from his clinic is that he is – “If he only knew,” is one comment from the group.
He calls out to others who are thinking about starting running and tells them not to worry about anything and says if they take a training session, it will help immensely.

“Do it, you won’t regret it,” he says. “One thing I also learned is to run at your own pace and not the pace of others. In closing, I can’t wait for Marathon by the Sea to make more new great memories.”

2016 The Running Whys – Natalie Davidson

Natalie Davidson, right, ran her first half marathon at Marathon By The Sea in 2003

Natalie Davidson, right, ran her first half marathon at Marathon By The Sea in 2003


Natalie Davison is originally from Moncton but now calls the far north of Queensland, Australia home. She moved there in 2008 after graduating from Dalhousie University with a physiotherapy degree.
Originally, the trip was thought to be a six-month holiday but she quickly fell in love with the country and never left. However, she is returning to New Brunswick to compete in the half marathon in the 2016 Emera Marathon By The Sea.
Of note, she is training in the winter in Australia although she was still running in shorts and a t-shirt. Eight years later, she is a dual citizen and loving life, while she misses her friends and family.
“If they could move here, life would be absolutely perfect,” she explains.
Here is a short interview with Natalie on the eve of this year’s Marathon By the Sea.
Kevin Barrett

I am not sure when I first started running. I grew up lifeguarding in Moncton, so it was always a part of our general fitness but it wasn’t anything I did on a regular basis. While at UNB in Fredericton, I ran a bit as well as a stress relief during exams and to help with the freshman weight.
It wasn’t really until the spring of 2003 before getting into DAL, that I really started seriously running. I was working at the physio clinic in the Aquatic Centre and met the spin instructor who mentioned that she ran.
Not one to do things half-assed, I decided I wanted to run the half marathon at MBTS that summer. Katie Russel Haines (the spin instructor) ran with me for my first run and thankfully decided to continue running with me.
She told me later that she hated running with me at first as I was so short of breath I couldn’t talk. It wasn’t too long before we were chatting non-stop and we very quickly became amazing friends.
Our running routes were either through Rockwood Park or along Manawagonish Road. After completing the half, we decided to train for the Kentville full marathon that fall. I was living in Halifax for school so I’d either drive to Saint John or Katie would drive to Halifax so we could complete our long runs together on the weekends.
I will never forget that my first full marathon had me turning around in someone’s driveway!!!
From 2003 until this year, running has been very sporadic for me. I would start running again but then stop again for a while. I guess life got in the way.

Natalie 2

Natalie Davidson and her friend Katie Russell Haines ran the Disney Full Marathon in 2015

My most memorable run would be the 2015 Disney full marathon. Katie flew from Saint John, I flew from here and my sister (who was completing her first-ever marathon) and my brother-in-law flew from Manitoba. It was great to all be able to start and finish a marathon together!
For me, running was always my stress relief when I was living back home. I had forgotten how great of a help it was until I started training for this year’s half a couple of months ago. I battled mental health issues over the past couple of years and after separating from my husband earlier this year, I moved to North Queensland for work.
Being in a different city by myself, I would run at night. At first it was tough. Greater than 30C weather in more than 50 percent humidity is not fun. Thankfully, it has cooled off and as I’m getting in better shape, running is becoming easier.
Running has once again become something I love doing. It helps clear the head, helps me solve problems as well as assisting with weight loss. It also allows me to enjoy the amazing country that is North Queensland. My favorite run is along the Cairns Esplanade but anytime I can run along the water, I am in a happy place!
My basic goal is just to continue running after August 14th… not stop now that I love it again. My goal over the next year or two is to complete the Cairns Half Ironman. I guess now that I said it (well typed it), I will have to do it!
I’ve been blessed to meet some amazing runners along my journey as well as had some great training partners. I hope to see many of them on August 14th. xo

Terry Thorne – Honorary Race Marshall – Marathon By The Sea


by Kevin Barrett

In the game of running, the marathon represents a most treasured of distances; an exceptionally difficult test of endurance and will in the quest for one of life’s great bucket list items.
Finish the grueling 42.2 km route and the months of intensive training and personal sacrifices made along the way gain you membership into an exclusive club representing just one percent of the population.
Those are tall odds, but on 12 occasions Terry Thorne successfully ran into that club, part of a career that started in Saint John with her first race – a 5-miler as part of Marathon By The Sea (MBTS).
But those odds paled in comparison to what she’s faced in the game of life. In 2007, she suffered a brain aneurysm which almost killed her.
Through her nine years of recovery, with all of the associated ups and downs, she’s used lessons gained through running, combined them with a fierce personal determination and engaged in the fight for her life.


“Never Never Never Give Up,” reads the sign in her room at the Shannex Parkland In the Valley nursing home in Quispamsis, her home since December, 2012. It served as the site for a recent interview where she talked about her running, her battles and her role as Honorary Race Marshall for the 2016 Emera Marathon By The Sea.
“To me, it is a miracle I can walk, that I can move,” she said. “I know it is a miracle I am here. I am amazed.”

During Marathon By The Sea, she will put together some thoughts for the runners near the start line in a race that means so much to her. She never competed in the full marathon at MBTS but on Aug. 13, 2006, she posted a 1:49.41 in the half marathon, 151st in the 564-runner field and 11th of 83 runners in the women’s 40-49 category.

In fact, MBTS was her first race, the place where she got hooked and she ran other routes many times.

“I ran five miles,” she said of those first steps. “I looked around and thought that if anyone was going a half marathon, they were bananas.”
Next month, if all goes well, she’ll take part in one of the water stations along the route and the overall experience promises to rate as one of her great days.

Running, in many ways, has served Terry as a valued friend, a reliable ally as she faced the daunting physical and emotional challenges that started in 2007, shortly after she completed her 12th marathon.

It was then she experienced her first headaches as she trained for the full marathon in Saint John , part of a qualifying attempt for the 2008 Boston Marathon.

She was 43, a project coordinator for Irving Oil and running was a joyous activity to keep her body fit and her mind alert.
As the headaches persisted, she knew they needed to be checked out. Doctors ultimately found a large aneurysm on her brain stem. It was pressing on her optic nerve.

In an interview with Kathy Kaufield of KV Style, Terry detailed a risky 16-hour surgery in London, ON during which surgeons clinically killed her for 27 minutes through induced hypothermia.

Although the procedure successfully treated the aneurysm, she required a 2nd surgery in Toronto, ON and suffered two strokes that left her paralyzed.
These days, outside her Shannex apartment sits a small, yet profound display that includes a photo box featuring photos of Terry running in the Fredericton Marathon and racing powerfully in the Marathon by the Sea half marathon. The display includes a finisher’s medal.
Inside her apartment are several photos of her children Brittany and Billy, and one of Terry and her husband Bill during a trip south one year.

Terry4There are also several signs, prominently placed on her wall.

They read as follows:
“Never, Never, Never, Give Up.”
“Believe in Miracles.”
“Dream it, Believe it, Live it.”

They are more than letters strung together; they symbolize her fighting spirit.

After the initial surgery and the strokes, she required a feeding tube and a wheelchair. Her speech was affected. She started her long recovery at the Stan Cassidy Centre in Fredericton, a five-and-a-half month stay that included nine rehab classes each day during the week. She wanted and received more on weekends to assist her progress.

Initially, she required a feeding tube and a wheelchair. Her speech was affected.

Yet, the dedication was working and the efforts were paying off. By October 2008, she walked 10km in the KV Challenge Marathon. She was able to drive and most days, she’d walked on her treadmill for two hours.

Over time, though, the headaches returned. Her balance became unstable. Her eyes bothered her.

This time, a three cm aneurism was found – more surgery, more rehab.

The road was growing longer, but there was no quit in Terry despite what seemed like a return trip to the start line of her recovery.
Ultimately, she moved to the Shannex facility in Quispamsis, needing assistance for almost everything.

She remembered her time in the Stan Cassidy Centre, where she’d work hard and try to encourage others to push their limits.

It represented her personal mantra.

“I was not willing to accept that I would be dependent on someone else,” she said. “I saw some of the others trying, but I would get so mad when they gave up.”

When Terry started to make strides, it was not always easy or pretty.

Once, shortly after her feeding tube was removed, she was so focused on eating from a bowl she grabbed a spoon and went for the meal in front of her. Only problem was her motor skills weren’t developed enough at that point to hold the spoon and put the food in her mouth. No matter, she tried and tried and tried, with food landing everywhere except where it was supposed to go.
She laughs now at the process but she would not give in until she could eat. She has not and will not quit.

“They gave me less than one percent chance to survive,” she said. “I was not going to accept that without a fight. More people have to do that.”
Another time, one exercise required her to touch a wall with her hand while standing up.
It was a long, difficult process but using her never quit philosophy, she conquered that task as well.

“I’ll never forget how excited I was to touch that wall,” she says. “It felt like I won a million dollars.”
She pays tribute to everyone who has helped her, acknowledging it was tough to let others assist and that she can be stubborn. That salute includes the staff at Embassy Hall at the Shannex facility.

“I am so grateful for so many people who have inspired me and who have helped me fight and get to a world I never knew,” she said.
She’s vocal now, a sharp contrast to her reserved nature prior to her injuries. Seems her opinionated, boisterous nature is one positive of a tough situation. It allowed to express her drive and tell others what she was going to do.

Running is a supportive crutch to lean on, a metaphor for determination.

Almost every day, she takes her walker and makes her way around the Shannex facility.
It was one lap at first and slowly, over time, the distances increased, a process many runners can identify with – gradual buildup in search of a longer goal.

Now, she aims for 22 laps, each measuring a half a step over 90 metres. The laps combine for two kilometres and on a good day, she can conquer the goal in three or four sessions.

She keeps a journal in a small well-used black book, as many runners did in the days before Garmins and other GPS devices. In her notes, she rates her performance, the good and not so good, the progress and the challenges.

The lessons learned apply now as much as they did when she was attempting to qualify for the Boston Marathon.

Instead of evaluating kilometer splits, she measures the circuit of her new home, continuing the hardest fight of her life. Almost a decade ago, she was unable to walk, talk, move much at all. She faced long odds.

She be on hand on race day to display that long odds can be overcome.

Never Never Never Give Up!

2016 The Running Whys – Jeremy Brown

Jeremy 2

by Kevin Barrett
Jeremy Brown of Fredericton will compete in the Port City Challenge, tackling the 5k runs on Friday August 12 and Saturday, August 13 and the 10 k race Sunday, August 14 during Marathon By The Sea.
He will turn 30 next month and as a youngster, was a soccer player, which helped him get introduced to running in the first place.
However, when he was in Grade 7, he quit soccer because of plantar fasciitis and it led to some weight gain which again led to his decision to run. Of note, he met his wife while he worked at Zellers, when he was working there for about 10 years. They got married on Oct. 12, 2014 and the couple has two cats – Gizmo and Ringo.
These days, Jeremy is a supply teacher, working mainly in high schools in Fredericton. In fact, he is heading into his 7th year of supply teaching, seeking a permanent full-time contract for the coming school year.
He’s been a runner for about seven years and says it turned his life around. So we asked him some questions about his journey for the Running Whys.

When did you start to run?
I started running in the summer of 2009.
Why did you start to run?
I suffered through depression and I decided I needed to make a change in my life. After being overweight since middle school, I decided the biggest change I could make, and one that I thought would make me happier, was to lose weight. I never enjoyed gyms or weight lifting, so I decided to start running. Although I struggled with running for the first few months, I eventually got to the point where I needed to run 3-4 days a week or I felt off. I loved running and I couldn’t imagine not doing it anymore. I was able to lose 70 pounds running and I completely turned my life around (and met the love of my life during that time).
Many people have goal for a particular year – what were/are your big goals for 2016 and beyond?
My goals for 2016 were to run my first half and full marathon. I was unable to complete my training for my half marathon due to a knee injury but after believing my injury was cured, I decided to try the half marathon anyway as I was already signed up. I completed my half marathon at the Fredericton Marathon in Fredericton NB on May 8th 2016 in a time of 2:14:14. I am signed up for the Port City Challenge in Saint John NB, where I am supposed to run a 5K Friday night, 5K Saturday, and a full marathon Sunday. Due to the fact I am still recovering from my knee injury and I have not been able to complete my training, I will not be able to complete that goal this year. I will instead be doing a 5K, 5K, 10K in Saint John with the hopes of completing my full marathon next year.
Jeremy 1

What is your most memorable run? Maybe there are two or three?
My most memorable run to date would be the 38th Annual Fredericton Marathon, as it is where I completed my first and only half marathon.
My second most memorable run would be the 1st Annual Port City Challenge in Saint John as it is my favorite run every year for two reasons. First, it is so much fun to run back-to-back-to-back races in a three-day span. Second, I love the course in Saint John, the view is amazing and although I believe this to be unusual for a runner, I love the thrill of running a hilly course.
My third most memorable run would be the 36th Annual Fredericton Marathon as it was the first race I ever entered. I had been running for years and I loved running but I never had the courage to enter a race as I wasn’t sure I would be good enough. My wife convinced me to run in that race with her and I fell in love with the race atmosphere and wish I could run a race every weekend.
Do you have regular training partners, a regular training route?
I don’t have anyone I usually run with, although my wife and I both run, we do not generally run together due to different paces that we prefer to run. My regular training route is a 6.1 KM loop in Fredericton NB that includes running across an old train bridge that has been converted to a walking bridge and across one of the city bridges. The loop is mainly along the water and provides some great views.
What do you like most about running?
I love the feeling I get from running – the runners high. I also like having time to just think and enjoy myself as I run.
Do you have any other thoughts about running you would like to share?
If you have never tried running, try it. When you do try it, don’t give up on it if you don’t enjoy it at first. It took me months to get to the point where I loved running but when you do get to that point it can change your life.

2016 The Running Whys – Cheryl Donovan


by Kevin Barrett

Cheryl Donovan knows the agony of a good run that’s impossible to verify because of a faulty GPS watch battery that died mid-route.
So she does what every runner who has ever experienced the same problem – own so many running watches, there will never be an excuse.
“I’m totally addicted to my running watches …owning no less than five and I have been known to wear more than one at a time in case one fails,” said the Saint John resident who is in the midst of training for the 2016 Emera Marathon By The Sea next month.
That is one thing she has in common with many in the large field that expected to be on hand Aug 12-14 in the Port City.
You might know her if you have ever ventured into Fabricville, where she is the retail assistant manager, a place she’s worked at for 26 years. Or you may know Ken, her husband of 22 years.
Or you may know her two cats.
But for more than a decade, you may also know her as a runner, one inspired by Marathon By The Sea in 2004, when she watched runners that year trot, jog, scamper, sprint and walk past her house.

Cheryl Donovan with Joy Durdan

Cheryl Donovan with Joy Durdan

She was 33 at the time and became so energized by the efforts she witnessed, she gave it a shot.
“I’ll never be fast,” she explains. “I’m a true back of the pack runner and I’m okay with that. I love that this sport includes people of all abilities. We can compete on the same playing field and feel the same sense of accomplishment.”
In 2005, her first MBTS race was the half marathon, which opened her eyes as she dealt with the demands of training. It was hard but she was truly invigorated and especially savours the memory of that experience because her mother, sister and niece were at various spots on the course to encourage her on the journey.
“I’ve been hooked ever since,” she said.
Along her many runs, there have been some memorable events, none moreso than 2014, when Cheryl and her friend Erica MacMillan were scheduled to take part in the Mud Hero event in Halifax.
However, the impact of Hurricane Arthur meant it was postponed by a day
“Erica and I were the only two from my team who opted to go do it the next day,” she explains. “Setting out at 3 a.m. for Halifax, only a true running buddy does this and agrees that it was the most fun race day ever.”
Erica and Angela Stewart are Cheryl’s regular running buddies and she cited Joy Durdan as her inspiration and Diana Hetherington as her biggest cheerleader.
“Having running partners provides the accountability that I need,” she says.
Cheryl likes the hills associated with the half marathon route at MBTS as well as the run over Harbour Bridge. A challenge is good for the soul, she suggests. Later, someday, she may even tackle for the full marathon distance.
Her motto is inspiring, one that ultramarathoner and author Dean Karnazes has used a lot – “Run when you can; Walk if you have to; Crawl if you must; Just never give up.”
Cheryl will compete in the Port City Challenge with the 5 km run Friday night Aug. 12, the 5 KM run Saturday morning on Aug. 13 and the half marathon Sunday morning on Aug. 14.

2016 The Running Whys – Marathon by the Sea Joe Comeau

JOe photo

by Kevin Barrett

At 25 years old, Joe Comeau is ready to celebrate a major volunteering milestone.
Next month, Joe will take part in his 10th edition of the Marathon By the Sea, part of a loyal and dedicated core of supporters who help to make the race rock.
He assists with everything from course set up to taking a lot of outstanding photos that capture the spirt of the event. As a result, he transformed into one of the biggest boosters of Saint John’s grand marathon race, which runs Aug. 12-14 with a packed weekend of activities.
“I don’t know exactly why I started to get involved but I always want to a give back to the community,” said Joe, who credits a bond with race organizer Mike Doyle for keeping his interest high each year.
“I love MBTS and the MBTS family. Mike and I have worked together for so long, we don’t even need to talk and we know what do to.”
Joe does not consider himself a runner but he carries a compassion for the community in which he lives and in turn, pitching in is easy for him. For his efforts in 2008, he was awarded the Mike Doyle volunteer award for being the string that kept the marathon together.
He’s not missed a race since.
“I love it,” he explains. “The last four or five years that I have been involved, I have been out on the course with Mike – up at 4 a.m. on race day and powering thru until the end of the race. “That’s not including the night before the event, when we are up until 1-1:30 a.m., setting up stuff out on course!”
Joe is a Stagehand/Photographer, who recently graduated from the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design with a photography diploma with honours. You may have seen him in his freelance photography and photojournalism roles or on line with the FIRST Saint John Newschaser site.
His initial Marathon By the Sea event took place in 2006, when he volunteered with the St Marks Venturer Company (Scouts Canada), which was responsible for the start/finish area when it was stationed at Market Square/St Patrick Street.
Joe and his friends set up the area, took it down, assisted with food, water and cleanup duties.
In his various assignments, he’s enjoyed the emotion through the course, especially at the finish line and takes pride when he is able to contribute to the success of the event, a mainstay on the local running calendar.
“One of the best exchanges with runners was when one runner hurt her knee mid-way through the race but was determined to make it to the end,” he explained. “She knew she would be late but she wanted to finish. However, at 2 p.m., Saint John Work trucks started to pull up the course (pylons and stuff). So for the last five miles, I ran (quick-walked) with her until the end and held her water bottle.”
“She was super grateful.”
During his experience, he’s witnessed the tremendous growth of the race, now a full weekend agenda and a key part of summer for the Uptown area in August.
“It has grown from more than just a race,” he said. “It’s an entire experience. All three days, there is something to do. Entertainment, food, the Expo. It is all so great.
“The addition of the Harbour Bridge to the route is an awesome change and I hope that it gets better and better!!”