Like father, like son

Mak­ing pos­i­tive changes and shar­ing in mu­tual re­spect a recipe for suc­cess for run­ning duo

The Southern Gazette - - Sports - BY CARL ROSE GRAND BANK, N.L.

The Cape to Cabot Race on Oct. 14 was more than just a run for Joe Brown and his son Corey.

It was the first time they had taken part in the race to­gether. Joe had run the race 10 times be­fore, but for Corey this was his first at­tempt.

Com­plet­ing the most dif­fi­cult race in the province is an ac­com­plish­ment in its own right, but for the father and son duo, it took on a spe­cial sig­nif­i­cance.

The race sym­bol­ized the lifechang­ing jour­ney father and son have em­barked on through diet, run­ning and phys­i­cal fit­ness — a jour­ney sprin­kled with mu­tual ad­mi­ra­tion and re­spect.

Joe’s story

Joe ex­plained how Corey mo­ti­vated him to change his life­style and get fit 13 years ago.

“It was quite sim­ple, Corey got mar­ried. Well, that and a dare from my wife,” Joe said in a whim­si­cal man­ner.

“When we vis­ited our son for Christ­mas in 2004, ev­ery­one was talk­ing about what they were go­ing to wear for Corey’s wed­ding the fol­low­ing year. My wife looked at me and said, ‘I don’t know what we’re go­ing to get for you, Joe. You’re cer­tainly not go­ing to fit into a suit.’”

Weigh­ing in at 280-lbs at that time, his re­sponse to his wife was, “Don’t you worry, by the time the wed­ding rolls around, I will be down 50 pounds.”

New start

When he re­turned to his home in Grand Bank, Joe started a diet and ex­er­cise regime to make good on his prom­ise.

“I started a diet Jan­uary 2005, but it re­ally wasn’t a diet. I didn’t have any use for these fad di­ets. I had to do it my way. Ba­si­cally I gave up 90 per cent of the junk food I was eat­ing, in­clud­ing six-eight tins of (soft drinks) a day,” ex­plained Joe.

He started work­ing out on the tread­mill, first with a 10-minute walk at three miles an hour. This daily rou­tine peaked at 10-km runs at more than six miles an hour. When the weather be­came warmer, he moved his work­out out­doors.

Joe felt good about him­self. “Just be­fore the wed­ding, we went to a cloth­ing store and they fit­ted me out with a brand new suit for the wed­ding. It felt pretty good,” he said.

Joe didn’t lose the 50 pounds he promised his wife he would lose be­fore the wed­ding; he lost a 100 pounds and was ready for the cel­e­bra­tion.

And Joe has kept the weight off, los­ing an­other 20 pounds af­ter the wed­ding.

He con­tin­ues to run 30-35 kilo­me­tres a week and dou­bles that when he is train­ing for a race. Over the past 13 years, he has com­peted in the Gar­nish 10-K race 12 times, the Tely Ten 11 times and the Cape to Cabot 11 times.

His 11th Cape to Cabot run was spe­cial for Joe.

“It was a plea­sure to run it with my son,” he said.

“Dad was al­ways a role model for me. I couldn’t go wrong by fol­low­ing his ex­am­ple.”

— Corey Brown

Corey’s story

Corey had watched with great in­ter­est what his father was do­ing, es­pe­cially when he would come to St. John’s for a race.

“The fam­ily would al­ways come out to watch him fin­ish the Tely Ten or the Cape to Cabot,” he re­called. “It was in­spir­ing and pretty emo­tional for me to see Dad ac­com­plish these things.

“I ad­mired him for all the work he put into it, es­pe­cially see­ing where he came from and where he is now. I wished I could do it, but I was get­ting a bit older, I had packed on a bit of weight and it al­ways seemed like I never had the time, I told my­self.”

Like his Dad, Corey needed some­thing to kick-start his ef­fort.

“I started hav­ing some health is­sues,” Corey ex­plained. “That was the eye opener for me. I got on the scales when we started the ‘big­gest loser’ com­pe­ti­tion at work and I was em­bar­rassed. I had never been so heavy in my

life. I had to do some­thing.”

Role model

Corey looked at what his father had ac­com­plished.

“Dad was al­ways a role model for me,” he said. “I couldn’t go wrong by fol­low­ing his ex­am­ple.”

Be­fore em­bark­ing on his run­ning rou­tine, Corey started to watch his diet.

“I set achiev­able goals for my­self, aim­ing to lose five pounds and then an­other five pounds,” he said. “I fol­lowed Dad’s plan — a sen­si­ble diet, cut­ting out junk food; I don’t be­lieve in fad di­ets, ei­ther.”

He started run­ning on the tread­mill be­fore train­ing out­doors and get­ting into shape.

“I did that in mod­er­a­tion as well, run­ning about 20 kilo­me­tres a week,” Corey said. “Run­ning made me feel good; it’s just the trail and me. It’s a great stress re­liever.”

Like his father’s, Corey changed life­style has been a suc­cess.

“I have lost 60 pounds in two and a half years,” he was happy to say.

Run­ning the Cape to Cabot is tes­ti­mony to his phys­i­cal fit­ness. He has also com­peted in the Gar­nish 10-K race, the Par­adise Five and Dime race, and the Race to Re­mem­ber.

Emo­tional ex­pe­ri­ence

He said, how­ever, run­ning the Cape to Cabot with his father was spe­cial and very emo­tional.

“Words can­not ex­press how proud I was to run the race with Dad to­day,” he said. “It’s one of these life mo­ments I’ll never for­get. I know how he feels about this race and I know how he feels that I ran it with him.”

PHO­TOS CON­TRIB­UTED

From the left, Joe and Corey Brown

From the left, Corey and Joe Brown shortly af­ter they com­pleted the Cape to Cabot Road Race.

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