This is the 12th story in a series highlighting, runners, officials and special guests with the 2016 Emera Marathon By The Sea, which kicks off Friday in Saint John.
Bill Joudry has lived in Saint John for the past 29 years, raising a family, living life and working as a sales representative for Old Dutch Snacks for their key accounts.
Yet, until this May, Bill’s running log was empty.
“First, let me start by saying I have never ran before, EVER,” said Bill to kick off a recent interview. “I started this in May of 2016.”
“This,” was running, a move made for health reasons in an effort to lose weight and get his blood pressure under control.
He recently understood it was time to tackle fitness and with two sons, 27 and 18, grown, he could dedicate the time to meet his wellness goal.
“Before this, I was your poster boy for a couch potato,” he detailed. “This after quitting smoking for the last 25 years.”
So with the assistance of Terry Blizzard and the great staff at Afterburn, Bill has lost a remarkable 47 pounds and is feeling better than ever.
Read other runners and volunteers we have featured for this year’s Marathon By The Sea: Natalie Davidson, Terry Thorne, Jeremy Brown, Cheryl Donovan, Joe Comeau, Mike Doyle, Charlotte Flewelling, Andree Germain, Sue Teakles, Brenda Guitard, Paul Sands.
His blood pressure, once a concern, is very much under control. Then came running, with a recent area clinic providing a forum for him to give it a shot.
So this weekend, Bill will lineup at the start line of the 2016 Emera Marathon by the Sea, eager to see how his time has improved, how his summer of training has progressed and how a 5k feels in a big race environment.
He’s succeeded in large part by his personal determination. In addition, he credits the assistance of his running coach Sherri Colwell McCavour, the people of the Running Room in Brunswick Square and their running club for the ability to run the 5km distance comfortable and successfully.
The usual route takes place along Harbour Passage with others in the Learn-to-Run program. Generally, Mary Kunis, Anna Marcon, Dianna Payne and Sherri are there for the outings.
“One thing I’ve learned is that runners themselves are great supporters of new runners,” Bill said. “It makes you feel like you fit in and that you are not an outsider. I guess that’s why I keep coming back.”
His racing carer is reasonably short but he has a favorite already – the 5 km Colour Run in July.
“The atmosphere and excitement was so amazing,” he said. “I’m sure I will have many more favourites but being able to cross the finish line for me was my one big accomplishment.”
The dedication he shows for his Learn to Run schedule played a large role in his progress. He has been to every clinic and run club session since starting on June 2, which speaks volumes to his determination to get healthy and fit after losing weight. He is described as a really happy, humble guy who people like to have around.
And even though he does not think he is inspiring others, word from his clinic is that he is – “If he only knew,” is one comment from the group.
He calls out to others who are thinking about starting running and tells them not to worry about anything and says if they take a training session, it will help immensely.
“Do it, you won’t regret it,” he says. “One thing I also learned is to run at your own pace and not the pace of others. In closing, I can’t wait for Marathon by the Sea to make more new great memories.”