Run around the world

Ap­ple­ton’s Jean­nie Pardy be­comes first per­son from cen­tral to com­plete the World Marathon Ma­jors

The Beacon (Gander) - - Front page - BY CLARENCE NGOH clarence.ngoh@gan­der­bea­con.ca

Com­plet­ing a marathon in more ways than one.

It was dif­fi­cult for Jean­nie Pardy to con­tain her ex­cite­ment. She hardly slept the night be­fore her flight to Tokyo where she would com­pete in the last of the marathon ma­jors.

The Ab­bott World Marathon Ma­jors is a se­ries con­sist­ing of six of the largest, most renowned marathons in the world. They take place in Bos­ton, Lon­don, Ber­lin, Chicago, New York City, and Tokyo.

It was a full flight from St. John’s to Tokyo and it was an 18-hour leg. As an ex­ten­sive trav­eller, Pardy im­me­di­ately no­ticed that there was some­thing dif­fer­ent about the pas­sen­gers on this flight.

“It was fan­tas­tic,” she said. “It was my first time trav­el­ling that far and it was the qui­etest flight. Ja­panese peo­ple are not loud and bois­ter­ous. It was awe­some.”

But Pardy hardly slept. Thoughts of the race and the ex­cite­ment of vis­it­ing a new place kept her awake. She could hardly be­lieve she was al­most at the fin­ish line.

With the nearly 12-hour time dif­fer­ence, Jet­lag hit Pardy and her hus­band Bob Lan­non pretty hard the first few days after ar­riv­ing.

“We were ex­hausted when we ar­rived, but buzzing,” Pardy said.

“We did not sleep well, we were awake at two in the morn­ing and could not go back to sleep on most nights. It wasn’t un­til the end of the trip that we got used to it.”

Marathon Day

Pardy wanted to mark the com­ple­tion of her fi­nal leg of the marathon ma­jors in a spe­cial way. It was Feb. 25, five days after she had ar­rived in Tokyo. After putting on her run­ning gear, she looked at her re­flec­tion in the mir­ror and put on some makeup.

“I wanted to look good for my pic­ture at the fin­ish­ing line,” she laughs.

It was the first thing that Lan­non no­ticed as well.

“You never put on makeup for your races,” he ex­claimed.

Pardy de­cided to go into this race with a dif­fer­ent at­ti­tude as well.

“I am go­ing to have a re­ally good time and I am go­ing to see the scenery this time while run­ning,” she said.

“Nor­mally I am that fo­cused – just run­ning and I don’t want to talk to any­body and see noth­ing.”

Pardy said she had more than a few chats with other run­ners along the way. She had more than a few sup­port­ers as well, both on-site and far away, cheer­ing her on.

Her fam­ily at home tracked her progress on the in­ter­net via a chip that was em­bed­ded in her shoe.

Her com­pe­ti­tion bib iden­ti­fied Pardy as com­plet­ing her fi­nal ma­jors marathon and she had plenty of sup­port along the way from other run­ners and spec­ta­tors. The ic­ing on the cake was meet­ing her hus­band on route, some­thing of a tra­di­tion for the cou­ple.

“We had a quick high five, and Bob raised his hand and yelled, ‘run happy, Jean­nie,’” said Pardy. “It def­i­nitely gave me a perk in my step.”

The race, she said, was wellor­ga­nized. She was happy to be in Ja­pan and happy to be com­plet­ing the fi­nal piece of her grand en­deav­our. Her ac­com­plish­ments are im­mor­talised in a medal that dis­plays the six marathon lo­ca­tions around the world.

“That is the bling that I worked my guts out for,” she said.

Pardy is plan­ning for her next ma­jor challenge but is un­sure what it is go­ing to be yet. One thing is cer­tain, run­ning will al­ways be part of her life­style.

De­spite the fa­tigue of travel and the long flight, nev­er­mind a huge ef­fort in the race it­self, Pardy went out for a run a day after ar­riv­ing home from Ja­pan.

CLARENCE NGOH/THE BEA­CON

Jean­nie Pardy is the first per­son from cen­tral New­found­land to com­plete the Ab­bott World Marathon Ma­jors, a se­ries of marathon events that take place around the world. Her fi­nal com­pe­ti­tion took place in Tokyo, Ja­pan on Feb. 25. She proudly dis­plays...

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Jean­nie Pardy shows off her bib from the Tokyo marathon ear­lier this year.

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The ki­mono is a tra­di­tional Ja­panese gar­ment typ­i­cally worn by women. These were some of the sights that Jean­nie Pardy saw on her re­cent trip to Ja­pan where she com­peted in a marathon.

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