The Running Whys – Cathy (Cat) Smith

Cathy (Cat) Smith, left, and Marcie Holland before the Miramichi Rock N Run. Cat credits her friendship with Marcie for getting her back in the fitness game.

Cathy (Cat) Smith, left, and Marcie Holland before the Miramichi Rock N Run. Cat credits her friendship with Marcie for getting her back in the fitness game.

This is the 18th story in a series profiling runners who will compete in the 20th anniversary running of Emera Marathon By the Sea Marathon in Saint John on August 10. The stories are also running on the MBTS Facebook page and MBTS website.

Editor’s note: When this series started, we got a note from a participant in the Fredericton Marathon, who wanted to share her thoughts about another competitor – one who had walked the race instead of running it. But this was something different as this walker was fast, real fast, eclipsing the time of many who were competing. The walker was none other than Cathy (Cat) Smith, who through her friendship with Marcie Holland, has rekindled her competitive fire and now is one of the fastest walkers around. She has been turning heads all year and is ready for her next challenge – the 20th anniversary running of Emera Marathon by the Sea. Enjoy.

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I’d like to start this whole thing off by saying my nickname when I was a child was Turtle. I was slow at doing everything, except learning new things. I was slow at getting ready for school, walking to school and back home from school. I was slow at putting things away, playing games, colouring and eating. My nickname lengthened to “Turtle, the Slowpoke”. Continue reading

The Running Whys – Mark Leger

Mark Leger, right, is shown finishing the Prince Edward Island Marathon in 2010 with his sister Allie. He will participate in the 20th anniversary edition of Marathon by the Sea on August 10.

Mark Leger, right, is shown finishing the Prince Edward Island Marathon in 2010 with his sister Allie. He will participate in the 20th anniversary edition of Marathon by the Sea on August 10.

This is the 17th story in a series profiling runners who will compete in the 20th anniversary running of Emera Marathon By the Sea Marathon in Saint John. The stories are also running on the MBTS Facebook page and MBTS website.

Editor’s note: A lifelong baseball fan, Mark Leger was introduced to distance running as he watched his sister and his friend compete at the Boston Marathon. One of the rewards for making the trip was taking in a few games at Fenway Park. However, after receiving plenty of suggestions, encouragement and personal challenges, he ultimately tackled and succeeded in completing the marathon distance. Now, he has further expanded his interests and is a triathlete. Here is his story on running, fitness, his motivation and that one goal he still covets.

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For years, I made an annual pilgrimage to the Boston Marathon – as a spectator, not a runner though. My sister Allie and my friend Rami ran the race nearly every year. I was a big Boston Red Sox fan, so I made the trip to catch a few games and watch Allie and Rami finish the race on Boylston Street. Continue reading

The Running Whys Samantha MacAlpine

An emotional Samantha MacAlpine holds her son at the finish line of the 2013 Marathon by the Sea half marathon. Earlier that morning, she learned her grandfather passed away. She wears his dog tags as a good luck charm when she runs.

An emotional Samantha MacAlpine holds her son at the finish line of the 2013 Marathon by the Sea half marathon. Earlier that morning, she learned her grandfather passed away. She wears his dog tags as a good luck charm when she runs.

This is the 16th story in a series profiling runners who will compete in the 20th anniversary running of Emera Marathon By the Sea Marathon in Saint John. The stories are also running on the MBTS Facebook page and MBTS website.

As the final countdown for the 20th edition of the Emera Marathon by the Sea approaches, many runners are nearing the late stages of their preparations for one of the region’s biggest races.

That includes Samantha MacAlpine of Saint John, who will use this year’s MBTS as another stepping stone in the progression toward her first full marathon in October. Continue reading

The Running Whys – Stephanie Chase

Stephanie Chase of Oromocto is one of the top performers in the women's 30-39 age class of the Running Room Super series, with 308 points in six races this season.

Stephanie Chase of Oromocto is one of the top performers in the women’s 30-39 age class of the Running Room New Brunswick Super Series, with 308 points in six races this season. She earned 580 points in 11 races last year.

Here is the latest edition of The Running Whys series that ran in the Daily Gleaner this week. It features Stephanie Chase of Oromocto, who ran a lot as a child, took a break and just recently, has regained an enthusiasm for the sport which has lifted her to the top levels of the women’s 30-39 division in the Running Room New Brunswick Super Series points list.

Enjoy.

1. First, tell me a bit of your background. Where are you from, what do you do for a living?

I grew up in Fredericton and live in Oromocto now. My boyfriend is in the military and we have three kids. I have a home-based business providing medical transcription for physicians across Canada.

2. When did you start to run?

My parents were really into the running boom in the 80s and 90s. My dad, Steve Scott, is a founding member of the Capital City Road Runners in Fredericton, so from a young age running was a big part of our lifestyle. My parents took me to a lot of the races around the province when I was a kid. I ran some 5Ks at an age that I think may have been a little too young, but back then they didn’t have the 1K races that they have now for kids. Continue reading

The Running Whys – Frank and Marta Kelly

Marta and Frank celebrate after running the 2010 Boston Marathon together, one of five the father and daughter tandem have competed in together.

Marta and Frank Kelly celebrate after running the 2010 Boston Marathon, one of five the father and daughter tandem have competed in together. Both are expected tp take part in the 2014 Marathon By the Sea in Saint John.

This is the 15th story in a series profiling runners who will compete in the 20th anniversary running of Emera Marathon By the Sea Marathon in Saint John. The stories are also running on the MBTS Facebook page and MBTS website.

Editor’s note: Marta Kelly and Frank Kelly, the popular father –daughter team who can be seen racing many events in the greater Saint John area, were not always linked together as runners.

In fact, Marta, who started running in 1998, was at it for almost a decade before Frank, at the age of 67, first tackled a race.

It was that event – the Brent Kelly Memorial five miler in tribute to Frank’s late grandson and Marta’s late nephew – where Frank raced the course wearing jeans, a sweatshirt, wool socks and work boots. Continue reading

The Running Whys – Kâté Braydon

Running has helped Kâté Braydon with many of her activities, including Roller Derby, where she is a member of the Fog City Rollers’ Shipyard Sirens. Photo: Marc Henwood.

Running has helped Kâté Braydon with many of her activities, including Roller Derby, where she is a member of the Fog City Rollers’ Shipyard Sirens. Photo: Marc Henwood.

Editor’s note: You may recognize Kâté Braydon from her award-winning career as a photojournalist, which lands her in many parts of the greater Saint John area with her camera in tow. You also might know her as Josey Ramoan of the Fog City Rollers’ Shipyard Sirens of the Saint John Roller Derby League (That is her pictured in a photo courtesy of Marc Henwood). And you may have seen her running to keep fit, get ready for a race or prepare for Roller Derby. For Kâté, running and fitness are important components of her life these days, aspects she fought to incorporate into her daily routine. What follows is her story about the path to this year’s Marathon by the Sea and the Goodlife 12 k event on August 10.  This is the 14th story in a series profiling runners who will compete in the 20th anniversary running of Emera Marathon By the Sea Marathon in Saint John. The stories are also running on the MBTS Facebook page and MBTS website.
Enjoy.
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I have been trying to be ‘a runner’ for what feels like my entire life. Or at least since I hit puberty, ate too many chocolate chip cookies and gained about 15 pounds.
I grew up in the country, and I remember many times when I would declare to myself that ‘this is the week that I will start running!’ Continue reading

The Running Whys – Greg McCann

Greg McCann catches a well earned breather after completing the 2014 Fredericton Marathon. It was his first ever marathon and earned him a berth in the 2015 Boston Marathon.

Greg McCann catches a well-earned breather and accepts congratulations from his son John after completing the 2014 Fredericton Marathon. It was his first marathon and earned him a berth in the 2015 Boston Marathon.

Every second Saturday, the Running Whys will appear in the Daily Gleaner a series that will run until the end of October. Here is the latest installment.

Enjoy

For many who invest any amount of time training for a long-distance race, the psychological benefits can often exceed the gains made physically.

For Fredericton’s Greg McCann, the relaxed feelings he enjoyed from a run last summer produced a spark that led to a remarkable progression of abilities and ultimately a qualifying time for the 2015 Boston Marathon. Continue reading

The Running Whys – Rob Long and Sheila Perry-Long

Rob and Sheila Perry- Long made dramatic changes to their lives approximately seven years ago and have not looked back since.

Rob and Sheila Perry- Long made dramatic changes to their lives approximately seven years ago and have not looked back since.

Editor’s note: This is the 13th story in a series profiling runners who will compete in the 20th anniversary running of Emera Marathon By the Sea Marathon in Saint John. The stories are also running on the MBTS Facebook page and MBTS website.

For Rob Long and Sheila Perry-Long, it is likely they never dreamed of how their lives might have changed when they started to incorporate running, then cycling, swimming and fitness into their lives. It started with a brave step forward by both approximately seven years ago and continues today with chapter after chapter of a journey that has seen them lose a combined weight of 240 pounds. Not only are they runners but regular participants in triathlon and both will be on hand August 10 for the 20th anniversary running of Emera Marathon By The Sea. Their riveting story is below.

Rob

I’ve never been an athlete.  In fact, I’ve never been very active, period.  Having grown up in a non-athletic family, I never had any interest in sports, especially running.  I was an overweight couch potato. Continue reading

The Running Whys – Nicola Cassidy

Nicola Cassidy gives the thumbs up sitting and then lying down after completing the 2013 Marathon By The Sea half marathon in Saint John. She is returning in 2014.

Nicola Cassidy gives the thumbs up sitting and then lying down after completing the 2013 Marathon By The Sea half marathon. She committed to four more half marathons in 2014 and will return to MBTS in August to race.

Editor’s note: This is the 12th story in a series profiling runners who will compete in the 20th anniversary running of Emera Marathon By the Sea Marathon in Saint John. The stories are also running on the MBTS Facebook page and MBTS website.

You might remember Nicola Cassidy from the 2013 Marathon By The Sea. She says she hugged nearly everyone she saw that day after completing her first half marathon, conquering the doubts and the demons and celebrating what was to be her one and only attempt at the distance. Funny thing is, after a break, some reflection, perspective and more training, she committed to four half marathons in 2014 as well as the 12 km distance at MBTS. What follows is her story filled with humour, emotion and inspiration.

Enjoy Continue reading

The Running Whys – Alex Coffin

Alex Coffin will race the Marathon By The Sea in August in search of his eighth marathon title. Gilles Gautreau photo

Alex Coffin will race the Marathon By The Sea in August in search of his eighth marathon title. Gilles Gautreau photo

Editor’s note: This is the 11th story in a series profiling runners who will compete in the 2oth anniversary running of Emera Marathon By the Sea Marathon in Saint John. The stories are also running on the MBTS Facebook page and MBTS website.

His name is synonymous with long distance excellence in New Brunswick over more than two decades.  And this year, Alex Coffin is returning to run in the 20th anniversary of Emera Marathon By The Sea, an event he has captured a record seven times. What follows is his personal look back at his involvement in the race, his motivations and other insights on a remarkable career that remains at an extremely high level. On Canada Day, he put together another successful running of the Canada Day 10-miler and is a trusted coach, mentor and of course, runner. Continue reading