The Running Whys – Jim Willett

Jim Willett

Jim Willett of Newmarket, Ont. ran the Scotiabank Fredericton Marathon Sunday, the start of a three-week, 1,200 kilometre journey will eventually take him to the Ottawa Marathon on May 29. His Marathon2Marathon trek is his latest long-distance running adventure that all started after he finished treatments for colon cancer in 2011. During his upcoming journey, he wants to document the people he meets, the experiences he encounters and the places he visits and share them with the world via social media. Photo: Submitted  This story ran in the Fredericton Daily Gleaner on May 7, 2016.

Jim Willett describes himself as storyteller, a cancer warrior and an adventure seeker.

This weekend, Willett, a native of Newmarket, Ont., will use Fredericton as a launching pad to highlight all three aspects of his personality, setting forth on an a trek that will link the Scotiabank Fredericton Marathon Sunday with the Ottawa Marathon on May 29.

The goal is to run both marathon events as well as all 1,200 kilometres in between, the latest test of endurance and dedication that helped him get through his fight with cancer, one that’s taught him valuable personal lessons and given him a greater perspective on life andimproved appreciation for others. Continue reading

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The Running Whys – Victoria Hitchcock

This story ran in the Fredericton Daily Gleaner on May 2.

When Victoria Hitchcock crossed the finished line in her first 10-kilometre race last Mother’s Day, she wept for joy.

She hugged her friend Laura McLeod.

She embraced her family and took a moment to savour her athletic feat.

Victoria Hitchcock, right, and her friend Laura McLeod show off their medals after completing the 10 kilometre race during the Scotiabank Fredericton Marathon last year. Photo Submitted

Victoria Hitchcock, right, and her friend Laura McLeod show off their medals after completing the 10 kilometre race during the Scotiabank Fredericton Marathon last year. Photo Submitted

For the then mother of two, completing a distance as part of the Fredericton Marathon that seemed so daunting, so out of her comfort zone when she set her initial running goal – the emotional response reflected pride in a monumental personal accomplishment.

It was something I never dreamt I would do,” said the 31-year-old Lincoln Heights resident. “I was never athletic, I never did any sports and I had never ran a day in my life.

Now, after her third child arrived in February, she’s returned to running, in the final stages of a couch to 5-km program that will lead her to this year’s Fredericton Marathon once again. She’ll race in her event as part of a crowd of approximately 2,000 other runners in various distances ranging from the full marathon to the 5-km walk.

I cried when I crossed the line because it just seemed like such an accomplishment,” she said. Continue reading