(From a series of 2013 articles)
By Cheryl Paynter
Starting a running program takes commitment, dedication, courage and the support of your friends and family. Finding a network of support will help you get that first and hardest step in.
I recently had an opportunity to interview a now veteran runner, Mike Murrins, as he prepares to run his 8th Prince Edward Island Marathon. Mike recalls and tells the story of his start into running below.
“Let me start by saying I was 52 when I ran my fist marathon. It can be done. Leading up to this, I was out of shape and overweight with poor eating habits. I realized I needed and wanted a change in my lifestyle. Maybe there was something to this running thing? Looking to understand more and gain some insight and inspiration I made my way to the finish line to watch the runners coming in. I watched and was amazed by what I saw. Absolutely every body type and every age was out there doing it! The look of personal satisfaction was common among all of them. I was hooked. I promised myself the very next day I would start on my journey to the start line of a marathon.”
“Still feeling the energy and excitement of what I witnessed the day before and as I promised myself, the next day I laced up my sneakers. That run lasted a total of two minutes. Yup, two minutes. It hurt. My lungs protested. My legs cramped. Wow, I thought, this is going to require alot of practice. This is hard work. I inquired to those who I knew ran for advice, I read books, purchased some proper gear and just kept heading out the door. Two minutes turned to five, to ten, etc. I was on my way.”
“More than just learning how to put one foot in front of the other, I experienced a total lifestyle change. I was losing weight, getting stronger, getting faster, meeting new and positive people and I changed my eating habits. I had a new lease on life and was feeling great. I joined the PEI Road Runners group and started going to some of the local races and was amazed at the support system that is present for new runners.”
“As I promised myself, that next spring, I travelled to Ottawa and ran my first marathon with relative ease. My perseverance paid off. I was one of those happy and satisfied smiling faces coming across the finish line.”
“I’ve gone on to run several marathons andmany local running races. I have qualified for and ran the Boston marathon. A very proud moment in my life as my daughter ran across the finish line with me. I am training hard now and will line up for my 8th Marathon on October 20 . I have never been in better shape in my life. “
“I have given back to the running community that has welcomed me in with open arms. I have led running clinics, helped several people with their dreaded first handful of runs and have volunteered at races.”
“I encourage you to seek out a support system if you are interested in starting to run. Don’t go it alone. And more than anything be prepared for running to change your life. It certainly changed mine. I am forever grateful.”
There are many stories like Mike’s out there. The Prince Edward Island Marathon weekend is a celebration of these stories and personal achievements, a victory lap of their hard training if you will. It is a display of ordinary people accomplishing very extra ordinary things. Get involved and get inspired!
Prince Edward Island Marathon Weekend. Your Race. Your Pace.