When running takes over
Anne-Marie Comeau is the first woman to cross the finish line of the 21.1 km at the 2018 Marathon de Montréal with a time of 1:14:46. As a result, she recorded the best time for a Québec woman in the half-marathon in over 30 years. Also in 2018, she participated in the Pyeongchang Olympic Games in cross-country skiing. At the same time, she pursues university studies in accounting practice. All this at 25 years old.
“I come from a family of sports enthusiasts, my parents are involved in several sports, especially my mother! I started cross-country skiing at the age of eight. As time went by, I progressed and finally made the national cross-country ski team. Unfortunately, a shoulder injury sidelined me for a few months, so I took the opportunity to get back into running seriously, a sport I love just as much as skiing.”
Change of plans. In November 2017, on a whim, she decided to try her luck at the Canadian Olympic qualifiers held at Mont Sainte-Anne. The rest is history, she gets her spot and goes to South Korea to live her Olympic dream. “It was a great experience.” It was a long chapter that ended for the young athlete who decided to devote herself exclusively to running. “I still practice cross-country skiing and a bunch of other sports, but my focus is now on running.”
In 2018, she decided to hang up her skis for good. “I realized I was not as happy having to focus on one discipline, and in a very rigid setting. I felt like I had to make a choice between cross-country skiing and running. And it was heartbreaking.”
“Already in Pyeongchang, I was projecting myself to the Summer Olympics… in athletics. I dream of running the marathon (the half-marathon is not an Olympic event), which has been on my mind since I was a child. I know that the steps to take are numerous and difficult. Times are tough! I have four years to get there, I will put in the effort.” And what does 2022 hold for Anne-Marie? “In January, I’m heading to Houston to run the marathon. After that, I have several half marathons on the agenda, 10Ks as well. I’m planning a second marathon in September.”
“I’m not the type of girl to boast, but deep down I feel a great sense of pride that I’ve pursued my university studies in accounting, while training so hard. In Pyeongchang, my teammates were surprised to see me studying between competitions.”
“I used to mountain bike and I remember all the admiration I had for Marie-Hélène Prémont, who, long before me, was performing in her discipline while finishing her university studies, it’s clear that this had an influence on me.” Is she aware that she is now a role model for many young girls in sports? “Yes. I see it in their eyes. I see it in their social media posts. I’m aware that I can be a ‘role model’, it touches me.”
Can we expect to see Anne-Marie at the starting line of the Marathon Beneva de Montréal next September? “For sure! In addition, my mother has just told me that she has just registered!”
A family of athletes, you say?
A very last minute good news. On November 20th, Anne-Marie took part in the Canadian cross-country championship held on the Plains of Abraham in Québec City. She ran the 8 km in a time of 28:43, finishing 4th. Université Laval won the national team title in both women’s and men’s events. A historic twofold win.
Do I run with or without music? “Without.”
What weather condition discourages me from running in the winter? “-25 °C. “
After a good workout or a competition, I indulge guilt-free with what food? “A good desert.”
Do I ever run on a treadmill? “Yes.”
A runner who inspires me? “Courtney Dauwalter.”
The running event I want to take part in? “The New York Marathon.”
In a word, what kind of runner am I? ” Passionate.”