No bar­ri­ers

Florence Bar­ron beat her own record in the women’s 75-79 age group at Tely 10

Northern Pen - - FOCUS - BY DANETTE DOO­LEY ST. JOHN’S, NL

Sev­enty-nine-year-old Florence Bar­ron made head­lines in July with her record-break­ing time in the well known Tely 10 road race in St. John’s.

Bar­ron was clocked at 1:27 — beat­ing her own record for women’s 75-79 age group.

Bar­ron, who now re­sides in St. John’s, is orig­i­nally from Quir­pon, on the prov­ince’s North­ern Penin­sula.

She moved from St. John’s to Labrador with her hus­band, Jim Bar­ron, and their young fam­ily in 1963 when he went to work for Wabush Mines.

Hav­ing lived in Wabush for 30 years, Bar­ron con­sid­ers the town her home.

Liv­ing in Wabush was also an op­por­tu­nity to stay phys­i­cally ac­tive, she said.

“I raised five chil­dren but I never stopped do­ing my work­outs,” she said. “Labrador was a great place for me. I love the out­doors. So I thor­oughly en­joyed it there go­ing slid­ing and skat­ing and ski­ing.”

An avid swim­mer, Bar­ron spent many hours vol­un­teer­ing as a life­guard at the Wabush pool over the years.

“I took the first les­son when the pool opened back in 1965 and I haven’t stopped since,” she said.

When Bar­ron moved back to St. John’s af­ter her hus­band’s re­tire­ment she be­gan en­ter­ing the Tely 10 (16-kilo­me­tre race).

“I ran my first Tely 10 in 1997. I got a gold medal, so I thought it was great,” she re­called. “So then I took lessons with the Run­ning Room on how to run. I got to love it so much. I en­joy it a lot.”

Bar­ron has been en­ter­ing the an­nual road race ever since. She’s made life­long friends through her run­ning. Run­ners sup­port each other and are there for each other, she said.

Bar­ron said she found run­ning a great stress re­liever af­ter her hus­band was di­ag­nosed with Alzheimer’s dis­ease. (Jim Bar­ron passed away five years ago).

Ben­e­fits

A mem­ber of Ath­let­ics North­east, Bar­ron has re­turned to Labrador over the years to com­pete in sev­eral sport­ing events in­clud­ing the Great Labrador Lop­pet.

When asked if she ex­pected to do so well in the 2017 Tely 10, Bar­ron said her re­sult didn’t come as a sur­prise.

“I knew I was in the last year of my age cat­e­gory (Bar­ron will move to the 80-84 age cat­e­gory in 2018). I knew my record wasn’t great and I wanted to break it. I took three min­utes off my record and I was de­lighted with that,” she said.

For Bar­ron, her love of run­ning gets her out into the com­mu­nity and helps her stay healthy.

She en­cour­ages peo­ple, par­tic­u­larly younger men and women, to be­come phys­i­cally ac­tive as part of a healthy life­style.

“Some­times, (be­ing phys­i­cally ac­tive) is tough. You have to work for it. But the ben­e­fits are great ... I don’t take any med­i­ca­tion at all. And I think that be­ing phys­i­cally fit keeps you away from all kinds of dis­eases like hy­per­ten­sion and di­a­betes,” she said.

Bar­ron will run the Huf­fin’ Puf­fin Half Marathon in St. John’s on Sept. 17 fol­lowed by the 10-kilo­me­tre Turkey Tea Run on Oct. 7 in Mount Pearl.

She’s also look­ing for­ward to com­pet­ing in the gru­elling 20-kilo­me­tre Cape to Cabot race on Oct. 15. The race starts at Cape Spear and ends at Sig­nal Hill.

Bar­ron has no in­ten­tions of giv­ing up run­ning any­time soon.

She’ll be out to set a new record in the 80-84 age cat­e­gory in the 2018 Tely 10.

“Peo­ple have told me that I’m their in­spi­ra­tion. So, if I can mo­ti­vate some­one, that’s won­der­ful,” she said.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Sev­enty-nine-year-old Florence Bar­ron in the 2015 Cape to Cabot race.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.