The main reason I return to the Running Room year after year is the people I meet. I have made (and continue to make) many great friendships through the sport. I ran my first marathon in 1980 with no training or knowledge of what I was doing. I began training and running more seriously in 1999. Since that time, I have completed dozens of races at all distances, ranging from 5Ks to marathons.
My second marathon occurred in 2000, and while I did finish, it certainly was not my best race in any regard. As soon as I started to feel fatigued, a sense of dread and panic came over me when I noticed everyone else still looked great. I now look back and laugh at my reaction. At the time, as a newbie to marathons, I had no idea how much I had yet to learn. Proper training, hydration, and nutrition are all integral for good racing experiences. Learning these topics, in large part through the Running Room’s training programs, has helped me to excel and continue to run successfully. I have even run as a pace bunny for the Manitoba Marathon.
The true learning began in 2001 when I joined my first Running Room clinic. At that point, I didn’t know how much knowledge I was lacking, but 18 years later, I have been fortunate enough to instruct nearly every clinic distance, from Learn to Run up to Full Marathon.
In that time, I have met so many amazing people and have had a chance to help new and experienced runners have a great time (I hope) as they expand their knowledge and achieve their goals.
It is an incredibly rewarding experience to help someone achieve a goal that they initially don’t believe is do-able. It is a true joy to watch others achieve their success through the Running Room training programs. It all comes together thanks to the group runs, camaraderie, and expert speakers that teach everything a runner needs to be successful.
At the core of this success for all runners regardless of their age, current fitness level, or body type is the Running Room’s training program. Running Room welcomes all participants, regardless of their ability when they walk in the front door. Clinic participants gradually progress to their goal race and finish with the feeling of accomplishment that comes from putting in the time and work needed to be successful. As an instructor, I enjoy helping runners learn, achieve their goals, and realize they are capable of more than they may have ever thought possible.
Des (second from the right in blue toque) with his training program participants. Lower left: at the Reykjavik Marathon wearing a shirt covered in “good luck” messages from his clinic.