We have selected eight enthusiastic runners to be the friendly faces of the 2019 Servus Edmonton Marathon! They will be sharing race updates and training tips to support and inspire our running community along the way. Learn more about them–meet Ben!
Hi, my name is Ben O’Rourke and I am 30 years old. I am originally from Ireland and moved to Canada 8 years ago. I have a loving wife and two sons, Cillian and Fionn. This year at the Servus Edmonton Marathon I am going for a PB on the 5km course, one of the fastest and flattest in Edmonton.
What fuels you – what is featured on your running playlist?
I mainly listening to podcasts while running but anything from Biffy Clyro (a Scottish alt rock band) or Metallica is my go-to. My favorite podcasts are The Running Strength Network, OCRM, The Running Network and The Obstacle Dominator.
What time of day do you like to run?
I am an evening time runner. Due to work, my sons and teaching fitness classes part time, it is easiest to get runs in once my sons are asleep.
Are you involved in any fitness groups/ communities within Edmonton?
Yes. I go to Need For Speed. We are a local run group that does speed work on Tuesday mornings at 5.30am at Scona track. In the winter time we do a mix of strength training and indoor track training at the kinsmen. Check us out on Instagram and Facebook at Need For Speed YEG.
Trail Running VS. Road Races – do you have a preference? Why?
I think both are necessary as to be good at one you have to be good at other. There are specialists but being good at both is an advantage and using both in training will help you perform better overall. I have to say I prefer trail but the last year or so most of my goals have been focused on road running times.
Where could we find you outside of work?
My favourite thing to do is to hang out with my two sons. My eldest is four and full of energy and my youngest is one.
Has your eldest son shown any interest or gotten involved in running due to your active lifestyle?
Yes, he loves if I bring back a medal from my races. He is pretty active himself doing gymnastics, Sportball and swimming. He has also done several kids races including the 2018 Servus Edmonton Marathon ABC kids event last year.
Name a few of your favorite points along the Servus Edmonton Marathon course, why do they stand out to you?
All along Jasper Ave on the way back in. It. is such a surreal experience running on it as you are used to seeing cars and now you get to run it. The people lined along the street and the runners going in both directions is an incredible sight.
Of all the places you have travelled to run (outside of Edmonton), which was your favorite spot and why?
I have two. I am originally from Ireland and did a race called the Causeway Coast Half Marathon all along the coast in Northern Ireland. It was a beautiful run. The other Is actually still in Alberta. I love to run in the Canmore Nordic Centre, they have some of the best and most fun trails I’ve been on.
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