by Harmony Marin
She is a grandmother, an excellent group leader, a great runner, and our current Half Marathon training program instructor. Marie-Andrée Ulysse is an amazing person who always makes people smile. She has a natural charisma that keeps the group united. With her, things aren’t too complicated—running looks light and easy.
Marie-Andrée has always been running for fun. She ran her first timed 10K in 2012. Her motivation to join Running Room was to complete her first half marathon and in order to do that, she needed to know more about running. She wanted to get a good training program and avoid injuries. In 2014, she joined the Half Marathon clinic at our store on avenue du Parc, in Montreal. At the end of that program, she completed her first half marathon, and has been running with us ever since.
Marie-Andrée (third from right) with her training program.
Marie-Andrée has run every distance from 5K to a full marathon, but her preferred distance is the half. “This distance gives me a nice challenge each time, and the training program fits well in my schedule,” she says. When asked why she loves running, she responds: “When I run, I feel so good. I listen to what is happening around me, I breathe and enjoy the present moment. For me, it’s excellent stress relief. I run during my lunch time if I can.”
Marie-Andrée aims to help all runners attain their running objectives while having fun and without getting hurt. The half marathon group is always very popular, with many participants in the free Run Club outings on Wednesdays and Sundays.
Marie-Andrée says she appreciates the runners’ generosity and mutual assistance, as well as the friendships she has developed here. She enjoys going for a Sunday post-run coffee with the group and discovering mutual interests that go beyond running.
The training program participants love Marie-Andrée, as she brings positivity and joy to the group. She also strives to be well-prepared. “When I lead a clinic, I take the opportunity to research the subject and improve my own knowledge in order to share accurate data,” Marie-Andrée says. “I want to thank Running Room for choosing me as an instructor—it’s a true pleasure for me.”
“I have been running with Marie-Andrée for almost five years now. She is our coach, our captain, our landmark, our hero. One of the first times I met her, she started to sing ‘I Will Survive’ to give us courage at the end of a run that turned out to be a little bit more demanding for beginners. I would have never progressed and persevered like that without her. She is experienced, attentive and generous. Marie-Andrée is a force of nature, but also a champion in human relationships. She is a model for us all, on the roads as well as in life.”
– Marie Martel, training program participant