The Running Whys – Mark Scott

2015 Bluenose Marathon FinishThis story appeared in the Daily Gleaner on Aug. 27.

As a 40th birthday present to himself, Mark Scott adopted a philosophy of go big or go home.

So on Oct. 16, the Fredericton resident will be in Pownal, Maine, with eight of his running friends for the Big Brad Ultra, an 80-kilometre trail run that will test his endurance, commitment to training and reward a running career that has already achieved plenty in just six years.

I got it in my head that I wanted to do something memorable,” said Scott, who lives in the city with his wife Wendy and two daughters.

After four marathons in two years, I decided I was ready for a new challenge and this is what I decided on.Continue reading

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The Running Whys – Daily Gleaner wrap up

Rob Jackson, right, shown competing at the World Masters Athletics Championships, was one of the 14 athletes featured in the Running Whys this year in the Daily Gleaner.

Rob Jackson, right, shown competing at the World Masters Athletics Championships, was one of the 14 athletes featured in the Running Whys this year in the Daily Gleaner.

It’s not over, but the most of the official business associated with the 2015 running season is in the bank, with preparations for awards galas and end of the season runs on tap to wrap up another busy season.

In fact, it could be said that the training that takes place in the coming months will determine success in 2016 as many, including a collection of Boston Marathon participants, will soon begin long training segments aimed at peaking for the April 18, 2016 date in Massachusetts. In all, 63 New Brunswickers are registered for Boston, successfully beating the increasingly difficult qualifying standards in their respective age categories. Continue reading

The Running Whys – Toby Richardson

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Toby Richardson of Fredericton, shown here in the finish area at the 2013 Marathon By The Sea in Saint John, qualified for the 2015 Boston Marathon last October in Moncton and is one of the approximately 2,100 runners expected to participate in the 2014 Scotiabank Fredericton Marathon May 11. Photo Submitted.

 

This is the second of three stories in the Daily Gleaner (@dailygleaner) on runners who will be competing in the Fredericton Marathon next week.

Toby outlines her courageous fight that involved her family, friends but more importantly, her own commitment. Among the rewards along this 4.5 year period of recovery was qualifying for the 2015 Boston Marathon.

But the personal rewards along her journey are much more significant.

Her story is below.

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For over two decades, Toby Richardson relied on food and alcohol as her crutches to get through life.

All that changed four and half years ago when the Fredericton resident rediscovered a passion for running and began rebuilding, aiming toward a better way of life.

Richardson, 45, will be one of more than 250 marathon runners at next week’s Scotiabank Fredericton Marathon, but for her, this run is just another step in a journey that is much longer than the 42.2 km route and much more important.

Richardson’s story, however, is not about the pursuit of fast times and finish lines but an inspirational personal recovery that’s taken courage, support and dedication. It’s one that won’t end with the 36th annual edition of the popular race.

“Four and a half years ago, I was sick, 50 pounds overweight and nearing the end of my 22 year drinking career,” said Toby, as her training for the Marathon reached the final stages. “Getting sober changed my life as I knew it and it was far more difficult than completing a marathon. I was forced to dig deep to rebuild a life that was to become more meaningful, balanced and healthy.”

One of the key steps in her recovery was starting to run again 10 years after completing a half marathon that admittedly didn’t go that well. Now, she’s got two marathons under her belt and has even qualified for the 2015 Boston Marathon. In addition to relying on running to help in her recovery, Richardson enlisted the help of her personal network, those whose love and support were critical, serving as another collective crutch in her journey.

Specifically, she cites her parents, David and Glenna Richardson, her boyfriend Jamie Pickard and her girlfriends Maryanne Davies, Tina Waterhouse-Campbell and Lisa Stafford.

With them and their unwavering support, guidance and just being there, they’ve helped during the most difficult moments in her recovery and as well as being on hand to celebrate the special moments.

They will be there with her next Sunday – if not physically, then in spirit – saluting their daughter, friend and partner and she races with approximately 2,100 others in all of the distances through the streets and trails of New Brunswick’s Capital City.

“My support team is extensive both on the trail and off,” Toby said. “There are days I have difficulty connecting the dots or even tying my shoe laces. Living with G.A.D.(Generalized Anxiety Disorder) would be impossible without guidance from the mental health professionals at Victoria Health Center. My girlfriends have seen me at my worst and continue to love me when I can’t love myself.

“Same goes for a strong and supportive boyfriend (who’s also running) and incredible parents who see my successes especially when I don’t. I’m surrounded by love and support.”

As for running, Richardson competed and completed her first marathon last August, in 23C conditions at the Marathon By The Sea, where she clocked a 4:27.09 time.

“I was so proud, never imagining I’d ever make the finish line,” she said.

It spurred her on but even the most optimistic people could not have imagined what happened next, when at the Legs for Literacy Marathon in October, she shaved more than 35 minutes off her time in 10C conditions and qualified for the 2015 Boston Marathon in 3:51.37.

“Qualifying for Boston is something that will always be special for me personally.”

Richardson was born in Fredericton and for the past 14 years, has called Marysville home, so she is well aware of the city’s trail system that makes up a large portion of the Fredericton Marathon’s double-loop course.

This upcoming event, for her, is part of prep work for Boston next April and she is aiming to escape next weekend free of injury. A new personal best won’t hurt either.

However, in the bigger picture, it’s 42.2 km further along in her emotional and important journey.

“Overcoming stress and anxiety is a life long journey, so if my new crutch is running, I’ll take it along with all its many benefits,” she said. “I run for my mental health, my love of chocolate, self-esteem and for recovery. I’m 4.5 years sober and I am a runner.”

Continue reading

The Running Whys – Dawn Mockler

Dawn Mockler

Dawn Mockler of Fredericton will compete in the Fredericton Marathon on May 11. Photo: Paul Jordan Photography

The Running Whys story series was featured in the Fredericton Daily Gleaner last week, the first of three consecutive weeks of stories we will have to preview the Fredericton Marathon. The first story is on Dawn Mockler, a physiotherapist in the Capital City who started running while studying at Dalhousie University. Her story follows

Enjoy

Kevin

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Dawn Mockler is taking the well wishes in stride.

Just weeks away from her first marathon, the Fredericton resident is trying to keep her emotions in check. With the 36th annual Fredericton Scotiabank Marathon on May 11 in sight, she’s close to achieving a major personal goal, one that’s taken dedication, persistence, commitment and faith that her extensive training will get rewarded.    Continue reading