This week’s guest blogger is the fabulous Richard, or also known on Instagram as frenglish_guyFunny story, I’ve only seen Richard in real-life once and it was such a chance encounter. On the morning of the Victoria Marathon I headed down to Dallas Road to watch the runners go by. It was a miserably rainy, cold and wet day which made watching the runners so much more inspiring – these guys were crushing it. Anyways, I am slowly walking along the road (standing was just too cold), and just before I leave to head home, I see a face in the distance that I recognise – it was Richard. I took a pic of him, cheered him on, and left with a warm and fuzzy feeling knowing that I’d seen someone I ‘knew’. At this point, I had NEVER been a race spectator and seen someone I knew running a race – and it was such a chance encounter.
Enjoy – and as always, if you wish to be featured please drop me a note using the ‘Contact’ page.
1. Why did you start running?
I started running back in 2008 with the Vancouver Sun Run as my first race. I continued until 2011, until a hamstring injury put me on a running hiatus for 3 years.
Then in 2014, I made it my goal to get back into running as well as sign up for a half marathon. My first half marathon was in Victoria, and after crossing the finish line, I was ecstatic. I thought I’d stop there, but fast forward 24 half marathons later, I’m still going at it! 🙂
2. What motivates you to keep running?
My motivation for running is mainly to lose weight and maintain my fitness and endurance levels. Though I’m not a fast runner, I have made many new friends through running.
3. What is your favourite distance and why?
Considering that I’ve done more half marathons than 10km races, I’d say that the half marathon would be my favourite distance. It does provide a challenge beyond the 10km distance, but does not require as much of a rigorous training schedule as it does for a marathon.
4. Tell me about your most memorable race.
My most memorable race – wow, where to even begin? Do I like races for their course, the volunteers, the amenities, the medals, my ability to reach my race PB? In short, every race has its own merits and drawbacks.
I’d have to say the BMO Vancouver Marathon, which I ran the full 42.2 km distance back in 2015, as they say you never ever forget your first full marathon.
5. What did you learn about yourself training for this race?
I followed my training schedule for the marathon to a T, doing my 32 km runs at 3:15am (I’m fairly slow haha), in order to meet up with my group for coffee at 8:30am.
I learned that with proper planning and rest, and balancing a work schedule and social commitments, that anything is possible.
6. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?
The best piece of advice that I’ve received is pretty self-explanatory: “Forward is a pace.” While there is the trend of racing to achieve a Boston Qualifying time, I’m just happy to be out there. Being a back-of-the-pack runner, it’s even more difficult to stay motivated as the aid stations are being shut down, and the temptation to drop out of the race is there. Case in point: The 2017 San Francisco Marathon, which closed up shop when I struggled to navigate the loops in Golden Gate Park (Mile 17) – not wanting to quit, I luckily had studied the course, ran the marathon with 5 others who were about to drop out, and motivated them to run the rest of the distance together.
An Uber ride was just a click away, but I did not travel all this way to quit. Even though slower runners, like myself, may feel defeated, we are all strong if we all get to the finish line. After all, apart from the age category awards, the medal looks the same for the first finisher as it does for the last.
As always thanks for reading.
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