In Andrew’s words – the Running Whys


Andrew McGilligan, second left, signed up for his first Tough Mudder event in the summer with four of his friends.

“When we started training, I wasn’t sure I would even finish let along feel really good at the end of it. …The experience has led me to keep up with running and even though some of my old thoughts still creep in when I’m on a run, they go away much quicker.”

I first met Andrew when he started in the sports department at the Telegraph Journal in 2006 and despite several job changes since then by both of us, we have kept in touch. In fact, we both took on the Father’s Day run in 2010 that was not that great for either of us but we finished and that started us on the path we enjoyed in 2013. This year, it culminated for Andrew when he, along with four friends, signed up for a Tough Mudder event in Vermont. His report is below.




by Andrew McGilligan

Prior to 2013, my athletic prowess peaked at being able to binge-watch television shows on Netflix without falling asleep.

So it came as a surprise to me and those around me when I decided to join a team and compete in a Tough Mudder race this past August in Vermont. Nothing about catching up Continue reading

In Greg’s words – The Running Whys

Greg Arsenault, third from left, sitting, experienced a Nike Moment during the Cabot Trail relay in 2013.

“I can’t remember exactly what we said to each other but it was mutual congratulations on the great race that the two of us shared.”

This is the second in a series on The Running Whys. I have known Greg Arsenault for a long time, dating back to our time together teaching swimming lessons at the old Charlottetown YMCA. I have always been amazed at his running abilities, especially in distance running and soccer, where we faced each other a lot in the senior league back in the day. He has remained one of the top runners in the province to this day and is a veteran of many triathlons. He gladly agreed to contribute with his thoughts on a special event to him.

“Nike Moments” – My 2013 Cabot Trail Relay Run

by Greg Arsenault

There is a famous Nike poster of a lone runner. It’s taken at dusk, from a long distance to emphasize the largeness of nature and the solitude of the runner. The skies are gray and threatening. On a small strip Continue reading

In Shelley’s words – the Running Whys

Blue Nose 2013 2

Shelley Carroll qualified for her first Boston Marathon during the Blue Nose Scotiabank Marathon in May in Halifax. Her she is in the final 200 metres of that event with sunny conditions. (photo/Kelly Bird)

“But as I stood there wrapped in my space man foil, chugging my chocolate milk, and watching my running club mates finish, I cried – not sad tears, just tears of elation, relief, pride, exhaustion, and maybe a little bit of grief.”

This is first in a series of perspectives on running or other forms of active living in 2013 that represented a major goal for friends and family. I met Shelley way back when I worked at the Guardian and did not know she was a runner until 2011, when I learned she was running the 10k portion of the Legs for Literacy in Moncton, the same event in which I ran my first half marathon.

Little did I know that race represented one of the early steps for her en route to something quite significant.

Those are her words above and in her story below, Shelley details her path to qualifying for the 2014 Boston Marathon for the first time by looking back at the race in which she qualified – the 2013 Blue Nose (Scotiabank Marathon) in Halifax in May.




By Shelley Carroll

This time last year I had three big New Year’s Resolutions and each of them were Bucket List items that I wanted to Continue reading

In their words – The Running Why


“Even now, months later, I still get goosebumps just thinking about it.”

“I put down a time that I would have been proud of 20 years ago.”

“I’m healthier than I have been in the past decade.”

“Instead of quitting, (it) provided me more incentive to keep doing something I love.”


For many of my friends, resumes do not include an athletic reference.

Journalist, writer, researcher, doctor, communications officer, administrator, teacher, consultant are some of the job descriptions of people I know.

There are, of course, many others.

Running, swimming, walking, cross fit or other items of physical endeavor are rarely included in detailing qualifications for job postings. If those descriptives are there at all, recreation pursuits generally find their way into extracurricular sections of our resumes.

But for many of us, participation in these activities forms an important part of our lives and shapes who we are.

In 2013, the surge in active living continued its renaissance, with participation levels hitting record levels across the continent. That includes the Maritimes, where marathon events sell out or registration numbers far exceed previous levels, expressed in thousands instead of hundreds or even dozens.

And more and new forms of events are popping up all the time, for example those in the Mudders’ category.

What’s it all mean while we are hustling and bustling to get out Christmas packing complete?

I was reading Runner’s World recently and there was a tread that asked runners for their best moments of 2013. The responses were pretty cool. It got me thinking about all the people I know who competed in a significant event in 2013 and what they accomplished.

The challenge they tackled represented a deep personal goal and their perspectives are very interesting.

So I have asked a few of them to send me their thoughts on their runner’s high, which is not reserved for running. Cycling, walking, body building, boxing are some other examples.

Many agreed to take part and some have filed already while others are still working on their thoughts.

Some of their comments top this post.

Another prevailing theme was the impact family had on the goals and the accomplishments, whether it was sharing the experience, thankful for the time to tackle projects or participating because someone close to them had inspired or encouraged them in their journey. Appropriate for this time of year.

So as we look back on 2013, set new goals for 2014, I will post these stories of sweat and accomplishment on my blog ( over the next few weeks.

If you have some thoughts, or would like to share your story, please send them my way.

There are never too many unique perspectives.

I hope you enjoy.In Their Words – The Running Why will start shortly after Christmas.