An Old Friend

by Gary Poignant

I’m thinking about reconnecting with an old friend: the marathon.

My first marathon was in 1996, in Victoria. It improved my life in so many ways. I discovered strength and stamina I didn’t know I had. I finished many unforgettable races, including Boston, Chicago and New York City. I became healthier and happier.

And, most importantly, I found true love.

In May 2001, I convinced my partner and best friend, Linda, to join me for the Edmonton Marathon. She had finished a marathon six months earlier and agreed to sign up for the epic journey through Edmonton’s streets, along the same course set for the world-class athletes at the World Championships that summer. Continue reading “An Old Friend”

A Marathon and More

by Sandra Karl

When it comes to marathons, I have a tendency to make big plans. In May 2017, I limped across the finish line of the Ottawa Marathon, hampered by an Achilles tendon injury. At that moment, I vowed to myself that I would be back in 2019 to celebrate my 50th birthday and complete the Lumberjack Challenge.

The Lumberjack involves three races (2K, 5K and 10K) on Saturday afternoon, plus a full marathon on Sunday morning. To save you from doing the math, it’s a total of 59.2 kilometres. I viewed it as the ultimate “Embracing 50” party with my sister, brother, husband, kids and running friends. Continue reading “A Marathon and More”

Words of Wisdom from the Marathon Woman

by Kelly McGurrin

My two best running buddies are my mom, Helen, and my friend of over 40 years, Julie Michel. All three of us are breast cancer survivors. The pleasure and therapeutic value we get from running cannot be expressed in words; it’s pure emotion and endorphins.

We have run the Ottawa Race Weekend numerous times as well as another favourite, the Space Coast Half Marathon in Florida. A “bucket list” race we’d often considered was the Niagara Falls Women’s Half Marathon. This year, we decided to go for it. Continue reading “Words of Wisdom from the Marathon Woman”

The Watch

by Hunter Potter

Dear Mom,

It is not often that I talk to you through writing, but I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for everything you have done for me. I would not have been able to achieve the level of success and happiness I am experiencing if it wasn’t for your constant support and kindness. Recently, I was given the task of choosing one tangible object that is very meaningful and significant in my life. I chose to carry my GPS wristwatch. We both share the same passion for running and cross-country, so you know that this watch means much more to me than a simple device that communicates time and distance. Continue reading “The Watch”

Out of the Ordinary

by Melissa Ellis

I ran until I found a balloon.

It was floating by and the string dangled lazily across the sky. I thought it might get tangled on the trees close to the road, but it floated just above the tree line and skimmed across them to continue on its way. I smiled and turned around.

This will be my year, I thought. For one year, my runs would be marked by the finding of the ordinary and the special of the things I saw on my run. Continue reading “Out of the Ordinary”

Atacama Crossing

by Troy Schaab

I blame YouTube. That’s where I stumbled upon a video about a 7-day, 250-kilometre race in Chile’s Atacama Desert. I was in.

Upon arriving at the village of San Pedro de Atacama, I met the other 81 runners from around the world who were also jacked up about this adventure. I remember feeling way out of my league. Most of the runners had done previous multi-stage races and seemed to have all the latest in cool gadgets and running gear. The majority of the supplies in my backpack still had the price tags on them. Continue reading “Atacama Crossing”

There Are No Red Lights in Marathons

by Kalia Douglas-Micallef

“But I’m tired,” I moaned and huffed as my mother and I arrived at a crosswalk with the red hand flashing.

“There are no red lights in marathons,” my mother would say.

“Keep jogging on the spot!”

My mother, Gabriella, transformed her life through running. At times, it seemed that running was the new love of her life in place of me, her daughter. I would wait in the early mornings for what seemed like forever for my mom to come back from her long runs. I would be the last one to be picked up at birthday parties due to her running.

She travelled far and wide, just for running. Continue reading “There Are No Red Lights in Marathons”

Say Hello to the Run-elles

by Darcia Kmet

In May 1999, eight women set foot—or rather, running shoe—into the Bank Street Running Room in Ottawa, for the first day of the 10-week 10K training program. The goal? To run and complete the Rattle Me Bones race. Each of the women had an individual reason for joining this clinic: lose weight, run faster, set a personal best time, meet new people, and so on.

The clinic leaders welcomed runners, both new and veteran, and outlined how the evening and next 10 weeks would unfold. Every week, participants would be greeted by then-store manager Phil Marsh as they arrived. Runners gathered around clothing racks, perused the latest styles and eventually huddled with those of equal running pace while they waited in anticipation for the session to start. The weekly routine entailed a guest speaker and a breakdown of the evening’s workout—followed by packs of runners taking over the Rideau Canal path for their scheduled group run. Continue reading “Say Hello to the Run-elles”

GTA Women Runs Oakville Half Marathon Blindfolded

My name is Stephanie Thompson and I run to raise awareness for mental health.

My friend Sam Chefero and I are from Aurora, ON. Together we recently conquered the Oakville Half Marathon with an added challenge: I was running blindfolded tethered to my running guide, Sam. I was running in the complete dark for the entire 21K race. For me, this blindfolded experience symbolized what it can feel like struggling with mental health; alone, consumed by your thoughts and surrounded by darkness. Continue reading “GTA Women Runs Oakville Half Marathon Blindfolded”