The Running Whys – Marathon by the Sea

The 20th Emera Marathon by the Sea takes place Sunday in Saint John.

The 20th Emera Marathon by the Sea takes place Sunday in Saint John.

This is the 23rd 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 Sunday. The individual stories, which can be seen by scrolling on this blog, are also running on the MBTS Facebook page and MBTS website.

The motivations ranged from dedications, personal growth or just finishing five kilometres to winning their event or qualifying for the Boston Marathon. In May, we asked 20 people about the reasons they run – The Running Whys – and also why they decided to participate in the 20th anniversary of Emera Marathon by the Sea. The goal was to reach out and develop a small snapshot of those taking part in the Port City’s biggest running event on Sunday.

What we got was a poignant collection of stories that focused a number of themes, the biggest of all was family. The powerful replies, which can be seen here and here, generated wonderful accounts of dedication and recovery, tribute and purpose, all focused on a particular goal or goals for Sunday and beyond.

The goal was 20 stories. We finished with 22 as well as a timely series of coaching tips. Continue reading

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The Running Whys – Gary Keating

Gary Keating will compete in the half marathon Sunday at the Marathon by the Sea, marking the 19th consecutive year he has participated in the event.

Gary Keating of Saint John will compete in the half marathon Sunday at the Marathon by the Sea, marking the 19th consecutive year he has participated in the event. He credits a newspaper story for sparking his initial interest.

This is the 22nd 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 Sunday. The stories are also running on the MBTS Facebook page and MBTS website.

These days, Gary Keating might be better known in his run for public office. But the truth is, he’s been running for a long time. In fact, he ran in Marathon by the Sea long before he became principal at Simonds High School, a post he continues to hold today.

In hindsight, his association with MBTS started in the most interesting of fashion, the day after the first race took place in 1995 as part of Festival by the Sea. Continue reading

The Running Whys – Stacey Briggs

Stacey Briggs of Quispamsis made the transition to running after she retired from the Canadian women’s rowing team. Photo/Topher Seguin

Stacey Briggs made the transition to running after she retired from the Canadian women’s rowing team. Photo/Topher Seguin

This is the 20th story in a series profiling runners and 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: After years of elite level rowing, it seemed only natural that Stacey Briggs of Quispamsis made early morning runs a part of her regular fitness routine as she transitioned from her competitive career. The morning outings, a staple for many distance runners, were perfect for Stacey, accustomed to many early hours on the Kennebecasis River honing her craft on the water.

Now a teacher in the Anglophone South School District, Stacey is one of the top runners in her class and in 2010, was the second fastest woman in the 5-mile event of Marathon by the Sea and ninth overall in the 301-person field.

Here is her story on running and what it means to her.

Enjoy.

 

I have always enjoyed being active, and after retiring from the women’s national rowing team, I wanted to stay in shape with something that was going to keep me outdoors and really challenge me. Continue reading

The Running Whys – Jerrilyn Bramble

Jerrilyn Bramble, shown in this photo after the Fredericton Marathon 5k this year where she ran a personal best, is looking forward to returning to the road racing scene after she recovers form her second surgery in less than a year.

Jerrilyn Bramble, shown in this photo after the Fredericton Marathon 5k this year where she ran a personal best, is looking forward to returning to the road racing scene after she recovers from her second surgery in less than a year.

Here is the latest edition of The Running Whys series that ran in the Daily Gleaner this week. It features Jerrilyn Bramble, who despite significant challenges, managed to compete in two races between a pair of recent surgeries and is eager to get back into the road racing scene, possibly as early as December. Here is a Q&A with her that set up the story in the Gleaner. Enjoy.

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

I grew up on a vegetable farm in Maugerville but now live in Fredericton. I work for The University of New Brunswick in the Financial Services department. 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 – 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 – 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

The Running Whys – Tracy Beaulieu

Tracy Beaulieu, far right, celebrates with Michelle Darrell, left, and June Wilson at the 2013 Blue Nose Marathon in Halifax.Tracy plans on running the half marathon at the 2014 Emera Marathon By The Sea.

Editor’s note: This is the 10th 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.

For Tracy Beaulieu, the 2014 Emera Marathon By The Sea is significant for a number of reasons that contribute to her desire to sign up for the half marathon on August 10.

First, it is a homecoming for Tracy, who grew up in Hammond River, attended Lakefield Elementary School in Quispamsis and to this day, remains sentimental about the Greater Saint John area. Her husband is in the Canadian Forces and they left in the 1990’s but they get back when they can. Continue reading

The Running Whys – Gail Teed

Gail Teed started running in 1998 and hasn’t looked back since, becoming one of the most popular runners in the Greater Saint John area for her dedication and abilities.

Gail Teed started running in 1998 and hasn’t looked back since, becoming one of the most popular runners in the Greater Saint John area for her dedication and abilities. She will take part in the 2014 Emera Marathon By the Sea in August.

Editor’s note: This is the ninth 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.

It’s been said there is nothing quite like the emotions on display near the finish line of a running race. It’s a scene of accomplishment and in many cases, tears of joy flow. For those in the Greater Saint John area, one of those who receives some of the greatest cheers is Gail Teed, who started running in 1998 and remains extremely active on the local running scene. This year, once again, she is going to compete in the 20th running of Emera Marathon By The Sea. What follows is a question and answer session with Gail on her thoughts looking ahead and looking back.

What do you enjoy most about running?

There is sense of freedom and accomplishment when I run. I enjoy getting out there and running – I do a lot of running on the highway. The highway is my home. We go all over New Brunswick for races; I discovered the Super Series, and I started running as many races as I could. Continue reading

The Running Whys – Alan Theal

Alan Theal, second from left, and his Amherst Striders running partners -Rick McKenney, Tim Parker and Ken MacKenzie, celebrate as they cross the finish line at the 2013 Marathon By The Sea. Alan calls it the greatest race of his life.

Alan Theal, second from left, and his Amherst Striders running partners – Rick McKenney, Tim Parker and Ken MacKenzie, celebrate as they cross the finish line at the 2013 Marathon By The Sea. Alan calls it the greatest race of his life.

This is the sixth 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.

There were no indications, no warning signs.

Some 800 meters from the finish line, Alan Theal, a veteran of more than 30 marathons and five ultra-marathons, was down and those situated near the end of the 2008 ING Edmonton Marathon feared the worst.

Alan, the four-hour pace bunny for one of Alberta’s biggest road races, had collapsed just as his group was set to celebrate.

Just minutes previously, the mini fist pumps were starting for his team of distance runners, all of whom wanted to crack the treasured four-hour barrier. Alan was the pacing leader, the person in charge of getting this group through the emotional and physical peaks and valleys of the 42.2 kilometre course, entrusted to set a standard his group could follow and achieve a bucket-list goal. Continue reading