From Saint John to Australia to South East Asia and back, Corinne Fournier used running to hit some fitness goals and then form the base for success in the sport of Ultimate Frisbee. Her dedication has continued to earn rewards as next month, she will run her first marathon at Marathon by the Sea. Read all the details in her Running Whys account. Enjoy.
by Corinne Fournier
“Running has thrown me into adventures that I would otherwise have missed” – Benjamin Cheever, American writer
I was never into fitness.
In my teen years, I used to be the girl that would avoid gym class with every excuse imaginable.
When I was in university, a lot of my friends and students would go running to stay fit. I decided one day I would become a runner too (and what a great way to lose that “Freshman 15” everyone gains during their first year!).
Remembering some of those early runs now, I could barely make it around the block without huffing and puffing and having to stop to walk. I don’t even think I owned a pair of running shoes! I took a lot of walking breaks and had so many aches and pains I had obviously never experienced before. I stuck with it with the walking breaks becoming shorter and shorter.
In the lead up to this year’s race, we also have profiled Kevin McEachern, Sherri Colwell-McCavour, Jesse Davidson, Jason Kaulbach, Jacqueline Boucher, Jen Payne, Mark Clinton, Patty MacMillan, Haley Adams-Green, Dean Mercer, Caitlin Stevens-Kelly, Carla Harris, Dave Horgan, and Krista Sutton.
It wasn’t long before I was running for fun instead of for fitness. What started as a simple way to try and get in shape ended up turning into a love for exercise I never knew I could have! It was also a great way to escape the stress of university life and to stay happy. I would always feel such in great mood after a run: Now I know we call this a “Runners High”.
During my time at university, my love of running also led me to discover the great sport that is Ultimate Frisbee. I have been playing since then and I have been lucky enough to play in several different countries.
After suffering a stress fracture and having to take several months off (we all know how tough that can be!) I landed in Australia to start my backpacking adventures. I was quick to buy a pair of running shoes and get out there to explore the city. In my second week in Sydney, I was thrilled to meet this wonderful backpacker from England who also had a passion for running.
I remember getting up at 6 a.m. in our hostel to go running. Not something you would see a lot of backpackers doing! Getting back into shape, being with her and discovering the beautiful sights of Sydney while running reinforced my love for running. (Thanks Kit!) I was also very lucky to meet other great runners and to receive running tips from great coaches! (Thanks Lachlan!)
During my two years in Australia, running took me through some long runs. During my time in the Australian outback, it kept me fit enough to play two national championships for Ultimate Frisbee.
When returning to Canada after my first trip, I joined a few running groups in Saint John to stay in shape and meet some new people. That is when I discovered Saint John’s great running community! (Thanks Alex Coffin, Daryl Steeves and Running Room!)
One of those friends from the running group suggested I come participate in one of the races on the weekend. I did not have a lot of experiences with races and I felt really nervous. I never thought of myself as a competitor, I only ran for fun.
On the morning of the race, the sun was shining and I couldn’t think of a good reason not to show up. I signed up the same morning and ran the 5km race. It was so much fun seeing all the familiar faces from run group and seeing so many great athletes competing. I had a great time all morning and I ended up placing first in my age group! I think that is the moment I got really hooked.
I ran several other races that summer, my first experience at Marathon by the Sea being one of them. I ran the 5 miler. It was my first time at a large race with several hundred runners. The excitement and atmosphere before, during and after the run was amazing. Marathon by the Sea was definitely memorable experience.
At the end of the summer, I ended up travelling around South East Asia again for a year. When I returned to Saint John last fall, I was excited to see all my runner friends again and ready to start getting back into running shape for racing season.
As we all know, this was one of the worst winters in Saint John’s history. Needing motivation to leave the house and go running, I ended up signing up for my second ever half marathon: the Bluenose in Halifax. I had a previous bad experience with distance running so I knew this was going to be a challenge (and not only because of all the snow!) Training went great and so far this year I have ran 3 half marathons.
This year, at Marathon by the Sea, I’ll be running my very first marathon! Running a marathon has been on my running bucket list for several years and what better place to do it than in my home town with my family and friends supporting me. I am also looking forward to relive the great atmosphere that Marathon by the Sea offers.
Check out the photo gallery from last year
My favorite part about my running journey has been celebrating accomplishments with other runners. Everyone has different goals, but they are exciting all the same. From new PB’s to further distances, returning from injuries and sometimes something as simple as getting out there for a run, they are all worth celebrating. Runners form their own community; building up and supporting each other through each kilometre.
If you would have told me six months ago that I’d be just around the corner from running a marathon, I probably would have said you are crazy. Now that race day is fast approaching, I am overwhelmed by the support and couldn’t be more excited (or crazy)!
I’m very proud to call myself a runner now.