It’s never too late

Stanstead Journal - - FRONT PAGE - Vic­to­ria Vanier, Stanstead

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.

Photo cour­tesy

Pa­trick Bouchard, at right, and his cousin, Dr. Yves Bouchard, were happy to earn their medals at the Mon­treal Marathon.

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