Reporter on the Run
Whether she’s chasing a local or international story, ctv’s Genevieve Beauchemin always brings her running shoes
“It’s easy to write a marathon story – there’s a beginning, a middle and an end, just like the race itself,” says Genevieve Beauchemin, who knows intimately how to tell a compelling marathon tale, and as a seasoned runner, it’s one of the first comparisons she draws between her passion for running and her career in journalism. A national correspondent for ctv News’ Montreal bureau, Beauchemin reports on the most significant issues and events in Quebec and abroad, from the 1998 ice storm, to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York City. She’s also covered several Olympic Games, where the marathon events are always a highlight.
“I’ll never forget watching the Olympic marathon in London in 2012,” says Beauchemin. “I had tears in my eyes. I kept thinking about how much the runners have worked and trained for that moment, and how incredibly fast they go.”
Beauchemin started running while dating her now-husband, but she didn’t become obsessed with the sport until she met Julie Branchaud in a stroller fitness class when her eldest son, now a teenager, was a baby.
“Julie is my running buddy,” says Beauchemin. “We started off running through our neighbourhood pushing st rollers, and now we’ve been running together for 15 years. We’ve since added a third runner to our group, Kelly von Eschen. We joke that we’re the Three Musketeers of running.”
Six days a week, the trio starts the day with a one-to-twohour run. Beauchemin says the regular routine provides structure and perspective to their busy schedules.
“It ’s part f itness and part t herapy,” says Beauchemin. “We compare notes on our kids and fix all of our daily woes.” Running provides focus and, Beauchemin says, ultimately makes her a better journalist . “Reporting is also a very physical job. Sometimes I’m on assignment for 20 hours at a time, and I need a level of resiliency. I get fitness and mental toughness to push through from running.”
Beauchemin achieved a significant running goal last April, running the Boston Marathon. The race was particularly significant for her because she covered the bombing in 2013. When the bomb exploded, she was in the office watching the race results. “I remember staring at the screen and feeling shocked,” she says. “Every runner thinks about Boston as a dream race, and now there were all of these people rocked by devastation, who’d seen their goals and their loved ones come crashing down in the most horrific way possible. I f lew down immediately, but I thought to myself at the time, I want to
“Reporting is also a very physical job. Sometimes I’m on assignment for 20 hours at a time, and I need a level of resiliency. I get fitness and mental toughness to push through from running.”
come back here to write a different, positive chapter.”
Beauchemin’s first step in replacing those feelings of shock and helplessness was qualifying for Boston with Branchaud in 2016. Fittingly, they crossed the Boston finish line this year together. “I had a smile on my face the whole time,” says Beauchemin. “It was my slowest marathon so far, but by far the most memorable.”
Some of Beauchemin’s other notable runs occur on her work travels. She cites running along Copacabana Beach and striding up Mount Corcovado near the Christ the Redeemer statue in Brazil during the Rio Games as one of her most treasured running experiences. While covering the Sochi Olympics, she was chastised in Russian by Cossack security for running on the grass. (“You bet I stopped running on the grass after that,” she chuckles.) In the aftermath of the Paris terrorist attacks in 2015, running helped relieve the stress and tension of that assignment.
“Running fulfills a different purpose on the road,” she says. “It’s much more functional: to burn energy and reset. When I’m working, I really get into the bubble of what I’m doing and focus on the end game: my interview subjects, understanding all aspects of the story and then presenting that to the audience in a compelling way. The running mentality helps me get from Point A to Point B in a story, just as it helps me to finish a race.”
ABOVE Genevieve Beauchemin, at the Boston Marathon