Paper trail finally leads to marathon day
Province team members under starter’s orders
If there’s one thing all five members of The Province marathon team have in common, it’s the way in which they became a team.
They saw the application form in the paper, they filled it out — some for kicks, others in doubt — and sent it in.
Five months later, the five individuals from across the Lower Mainland and from all walks of life are coming back together to run Sunday’s BMO Vancouver Marathon.
“It’s a sense of camaraderie . . . each person is achieving their own goals in their own way,” said Joanne Rooney of the team.
The 43-year-old elementary school vice-principal and mom of two from Richmond has doubled her training to complete both a marathon and the Ironman triathlon this year. She estimates to come in on Sunday at 5 hours and 15 minutes.
“It’s kind of stressful,” said Jack Gardner, 16, of the pressures of setting a public goal.
The Maple-ridge high school student entered the race to belt a marathon at 16. Despite a string of injuries, Gardner expects to meet his original target of under four hours.
“While I’m looking forward to this event, after all of our training, our team is already planning for our last couple of meetings together. I’m going to miss it all,” said Russ Simpson, 63.
The Langley high school teacher and father of four grown children has surprised himself with his progress. His original goal was simply to finish the half marathon. Now, he toys with the idea of coming in around 2:65.
For the past five months The Province has tracked the challenges and triumphs of the team. The runners trained individually by week, meeting a couple of times to run collectively.
“It makes me feel better when I read a story and I know I wasn’t the only one. I thought : ‘Good, this is normal. Everybody is going through this,” said Edith Guay, 51. “Our story is, in a way, a reflection of what happens to a lot of people.”
The Surrey elementary school principal, with two Boston marathons under her belt, is returning to the marathon that started the count for her in 1998. She predicts a time of under 4:15.
“We’re not a team, like a hockey team, but we’re going through the same journey together,” said Sean Cauley, 50. “It’s not even direct support but it helps to have other people on the same journey at the same time.”
Cauley, also a longtime marathoner, returned to the sport this past fall after a long hiatus. The Port Coquitlam businessman and dad of two estimates a finish time of under 3:45.
“Anyone who sees that application form in the paper next year and if they even thinking ‘should I try to run a marathon or not?’” Cauley said. “Fill it out, and send it in.”