First-time marathoner braves wind and rain

Gusty winds and heavy rains greeted Carol Burk when she seeded herself at the starting line of Woody’s RV World Marathon last weekend.

Gusty winds and heavy rains greeted Carol Burk when she seeded herself at the starting line of Woody’s RV World Marathon last weekend.

For a first-time marathoner, the conditions were not ideal.

But the Olds runner had only one thing on her mind.

“I was going to do it no matter what,” said Burk.

Burk’s goal to run 42.2k was a few years in the making. The 65-year-old took up running 15 years ago to raise money for cancer research after her father was diagnosed with cancer.

She ran the Terry Fox Run in Olds and has not stopped lacing up her sneakers.

Burk typically runs three 10K races every year. An avid fitness buff, the grandmother of four had been going to boot camp classes three days a week for seven years.

Her friends in boot camp were runners and a few had run marathons. A few years ago, she got it in her mind that she would run a marathon.

“You know what, I am going to do one,” said Burk. “I am going to do one when I am 65.”

Of course her family and friends thought she was “crazy,” laughed Burk.

This past January, however, the 65-year-old registered for the Woody’s marathon and her training officially got underway. She drove to Red Deer three days a week to train with instructor Claire DeRepentigny’s marathon group at the Running Room.

The training went mostly smoothly, said Burk, a Chartwells Food Services cashier supervisor at Olds College.

But there was one minor hiccup in her training.

Four weeks before the race, she tripped and fell on a training run.

She was taken by ambulance to the hospital to be treated for a broken nose.

“They had to take all the gravel out of my face and give me a shot,” said Burk. “It hurt but I was back training (four days after the fall) … If I have something in my mind to do something I am going to do it.”

Hoping for cool weather on race day, Burk was worried the heat would get the best of her.

She knew it would be a tough slog with the rain and wind but Burk was determined.

“A couple times I thought I didn’t know if my hips would hold out,” said Burk. “I ended up having to walk a little bit because my of hip. It could have been due to the damp weather. Of course at my age there’s a little arthritis. I got myself going again.

I was just bound and determined to make it. I am quite strong mentally and I was going to keep going through the rain.”

Burk finished in 5 hours and 36 minutes and change, good enough for 154 th place out of 159 runners. It was a little slower then what she would have liked but Burk was thrilled with her accomplishment.

“I got quite emotional when I saw my whole family waiting for me,” she said. “To have my family waiting for me meant so much to me.”

She said it was wonderful to have the support from her family and friends.

“At the end of the line I was really lucky,” she said. “I had all my family was there to greet me. That just really made my day because I came in frozen, chilled right to the bone.”

The marathon is tough on your body, said Burk.

“It is as much mentally as it is physically, which I had heard. I am not going to stop. That’s for sure. I don’t know if I will ever to do another marathon but I am going to keep running because I absolutely love running.”

****

Find Running with Rhyno on Facebook and @CrystalRhyno on Twitter and Instagram. Send your column ideas, photos and stories to crhyno@bprda.wpengine.com.

Just Posted

‘Somewhere to go:’ Sex trafficking victim calls for more safe houses

REGINA — For years, Beatrice Wallace blamed herself. Not only did she… Continue reading

China renews demand on Canada for Huawei executive’s release

BEIJING — China on Wednesday renewed a demand that Canada release a… Continue reading

Pea-based pants may be next frontier as Lululemon looks at crops for clothes

VANCOUVER — Lululemon Athletica Inc. wants customers to have more pea in… Continue reading

European airports plan for net zero carbon emissions

LIMASSOL, Cyprus — An organization representing airports in 45 European countries said… Continue reading

‘Must work together:’ Alberta legislature boss chides both sides in earplug spat

Legislature boss chides both sides in earplug spat EDMONTON — Alberta’s legislature… Continue reading

Duncan announces $30 million to promote safety and inclusiveness in sport

TORONTO — The federal government is investing $30 million over five years… Continue reading

Raptors president Ujiri addresses rare off-court issues during NBA title run

TORONTO — Even a championship can come with hiccups. Toronto Raptors president… Continue reading

Mouse that roared: Disney characters win local union shakeup

ORLANDO, Fla. — The mouse that roared was heard. Months after workers… Continue reading

Soulpepper’s original musical ‘Rose’ among big winners at Dora theatre awards

TORONTO — Soulpepper’s first original musical “Rose” was among the big winners… Continue reading

‘Must work together:’ Alberta legislature boss chides both sides in earplug spat

Legislature boss chides both sides in earplug spat EDMONTON — Alberta’s legislature… Continue reading

‘He’s my son: Accused mother cries at trial over boy who died of meningitis

LETHBRIDGE — The mother of a toddler who died of bacterial meningitis… Continue reading

Licence revoked for doc who used own sperm to artificially inseminate patients

TORONTO — An Ottawa fertility doctor who used his own sperm as… Continue reading

David Saint-Jacques doing well after space flight: Canadian Space Agency

MONTREAL — Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques is doing well as he continues… Continue reading

Most Read