It’s never too late
If you’ve ever wondered how many years of physical training it takes to be able to run a full marathon, 42.2 kilometres, you might be surprised to learn that it took one Stanstead resident, a man in his late thirties who hadn’t done sports since high school, only two years!
About three years ago, local electrician Patrick Bouchard was in constant pain, suffering from a knee injury and reluctant to seek medical help. “I finally decided to see a doctor, then I had knee surgery for a ligament problem. After the operation, the doctor said I should walk as much as I could so it would heal well,” explained Mr. Bouchard in an interview with the Stanstead Journal.
Patrick’s regular walks soon turned to regular jogs. “My wife had started running before me and I thought that it looked pretty cool, so I tried it, and I fell in love with it!” Mr. Bouchard began jogging several times a week, after work, discovering soon that it was not only helping him get back into shape after knee surgery, but also helping him ‘decompress’ after his hectic work schedule.
“When I go for a run, my head clears; I don’t think at all about work. I deal with people all day long so I need to take that time for me. And, not like a team sport, I can do it whenever I’m ready, whenever it’s a good time for me. I just go outside and enjoy the fresh air.” He continued: “What I really like is that my energy level is way up now that I run.”
In the summer of 2012, after only a year of training, Mr. Bouchard completed a half marathon, 21.1 kilometres, in Quebec City, surprising himself. He ran another couple of half marathons this past summer, returning to Quebec City and running one in Sherbrooke, all the while preparing for the ‘icing on the cake’: the Montreal Marathon!
“My cousin, Yves Bouchard, runs a lot and he challenged me to do a full marathon. He was one of my motivators. We started the race at the same time, wished each other good luck, then we were off, each in our own bubble,” said Mr. Bouchard about the popular, annual event that attracted 32,000 runners from forty-eight States and thirty-eight countries.
“That was a big challenge. A lot goes through your head during a race lake that; it was quite different that a half marathon. But it was also easier that I thought it would be; I was expecting more pain,” said Patrick about the race in Montreal, held on September 22nd, which he finished in four hours and fifteen minutes. “After thirty-five kilometres you really start to slow down. I had some pain in my ankles. But the spectators were great. They were the ones helping us to finish the last few kilometres,” admitted Mr. Bouchard.
The father of two young girls, Patrick seemed appreciative of his family’s support of his new pastime. “My running does take away from family time, but my family respects that. I think my children are proud of me. And they both ran in the Borderfest 5 km Run for the first time this year.”
Although Patrick’s marathon season is over for this year, he’s thinking about the next one. “Yves and I are already talking about which marathon we should do next year.”
“What I want to tell people is that if I can run a marathon, anyone can do it. I work between fifty and sixty hours a week, but I can still find time to run regularly. I hope I can motivate at least one person to give it a try,” concluded Mr. Bouchard.
Patrick Bouchard, at right, and his cousin, Dr. Yves Bouchard, were happy to earn their medals at the Montreal Marathon.