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When & Why did you get into running?

I’m pretty new to the running scene. M2M is the first running group I’ve ever been to and it’s the first time I’ve ever had specific run coaching. That being said, athletics have always played a huge role in life. Growing up I played every sport – squash, volleyball, tennis, basketball – you name it, I probably played. Volleyball was my main sport in high school and I went on to play at the varsity level. It wasn’t until after university that I picked up running as a way to keep in shape.

 

I liked how there was no structure – I could grab my shoes and just go. I continued this unstructured running routine for years. I’d go for a few runs a week and periodically go in races to see how fast I could go. My first half marathon was in 2012 in 1:36, then a year later 1:29. More recently, with 6 months of M2M coaching, I ran the same race in 1:20. Regardless of the time, the reason I run remains the same – I love it.

 

How do you fit running into your busy lifestyle?

I work full time and sometimes it’s tough to find the time so I try to go for my run in the morning. In Vancouver that means it’s dark, cold and rainy 90% of the time but I’d rather get soaked then run on a treadmill. I’ve learned to embrace the PNW rainy vibes.

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What was the impetus to start working Mile2Marathon?

I can thank my sister for this. She told me to go to a running group so I could geek out about my runs with people who also liked running. I’d never been to any running group so when I dropped in for my first workout in November 2017 at the track I was pretty nervous. I hadn’t run track since elementary school and there were 30+ eager faces ready to roll. All it took was one workout and now I’m hooked. M2M coaches and Rob in particular have helped guide me to some big PBs and I’m excited for what’s to come.

 

What do you enjoy most about being part of Mile2Marathon?

Turning up every week and witnessing the M2M crew run for the pure joy of the sport. We all willingly go to the workouts, knowing full well we’re about to immerse ourselves in lactic acid and probable post-workout immobility and yet we wouldn’t miss it. There’s a twisted beauty to being part of M2M.

 

Where to next/What’s your big goal currently?

I just registered for my first marathon, California International Marathon (CIM), in December 2018. I’m feeling ready for whatever marathon training throws my way / whatever Rob throws my way. Bring it on!

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Person that inspires you in running or life?

There are so many inspiring athletes out there who I like to follow but the one person who continues to shape my running path is my Mum, Debs.

 

Thanks to Debs, running has always been part of life. There are countless photos of me in the baby-jogger with Debs rockin’ some seriously 90s running swag. She’s shown me what it means to run for the pure love of it and I hope to always hold onto that. Recently, I stumbled across her race bib from the 1994 ‘First Half’ Pacific Road Runners Half Marathon in Vancouver and she crushed a 1:36. She’d had 3 kids at this point yet somehow found time to go for a run. She’s a legend!

 

Fav quote (running related or non-running)? “I want to try the impossible to show it can be done.” Terry Fox, Marathon of Hope. My sister was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago and underwent the whole chemo journey. She showed me firsthand how to be strong and to never give up. Terry Fox set the stage for cancer research and fundraising in Canada and I’m so grateful because now my sister is approaching 5 years remission.

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When & Why did you get into running?

Back in 2012, when I reached my highest of 310 pounds, I knew I needed to make a change. I first started my running as a way to lose weight. As the weight came off, I started to really enjoy the feeling of running a race and improving each time. Initially I started training with various groups with the goal of one day finishing a marathon.  Both goals were met, by reaching my goal weight with a loss of 140 pounds and finishing that first marathon.

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How do you fit running into your busy lifestyle?

Running is such a major part of my life now that I just work everything else around it. With a full time job and other family commitments, I know when training days are and I always find time to run.

 

What was the impetus to start working Mile2Marathon?

As I continued to compete and get faster, my goals in running changed. I used to think qualifying for Boston was just a dream until I had breakthrough race in Eugene in 2017 breaking 4 hours in a marathon for the first time. Now I realize that maybe Boston is not as far away as I thought. I knew I had to take a big step in my training to realize my goal of getting a BQ. I finally found where I was meant to be; with Mile2Marathon. I know with coaching from Tony, Dylan, and Rob it is not a matter of if I will BQ but when I will.

 

What do you enjoy most about being part of Mile2Marathon?

My favourite part of being a member of Mile2Marathon is the incredible amount of support everybody gives each other. From racing together to training together, we all truly care that everyone achieves their goals.

 

Mark exemplifies the true joy we all strive to achieve through a lifestyle of running. As one of the first athletes to arrive at each training session, he shows up with a genuine smile on his face and eagerness to take on the challenge ahead. As a result, Mark has made leaps and bounds towards his ultimate running goals since joining the crew.”  Coach Tony Tomsich

 

Where to next/What’s your big goal currently?

I have a few local races coming up but my big goal is still to run a Boston qualifying time. I am hoping to accomplish this when I run the New York City Marathon in November. I know that Mile2Marathon will give me all the tools I need to get this done.

 

Person that inspires you in running or life?

The person that inspires me the most in running is Steve Prefontaine. The way he trained and raced is how I’ve tried to model my running style after.

 

Fav quote (running related or non-running)?

“The real purpose of running is not to win the race. It’s to test the limits of the human heart.” -Bill Bowerman