Celebrating life with every stride
Céline started running in her late 40s. She had been active for many years, living with asthma but nothing more. “From the moment I started using a pump, it gave me wings, the medication for people with asthma has improved greatly.” She joined a running club and began participating in events, 5K, 10K, 21.1K… all the way up to a marathon. “My first one was in Montréal, and I have very good memories of it. “
In addition to multiple half-marathons, our runner has run in several cities known for their marathons: Ottawa, Chicago, Boston…
Céline worked for many years at La Capitale, long before it merged with SSQ to create Beneva, the title partner of the Marathon Beneva de Montréal. “I retired recently, I was a busy woman, a professional and I raised four children, I had to fit my training into an already busy schedule. As we all know, teenagers get up late. On weekends, I would work out at the crack of dawn. When the kids would get up, they had no idea their mom had just run 20 miles, gone back to bed and gotten up again. They thought I had just jumped out of bed, like they did.”
“Running has made me a better mom, a better friend, a better employee. It’s rewarding, it’s a self-esteem booster. At the time, the Montréal Marathon ended in the stadium, I felt like I was competing in the Olympic Games.”
In 2013, while participating in the Ottawa Half Marathon, Céline experienced some discomfort, but she didn’t worry about it. A few months later, she participated in a marathon, where, once again, some symptoms came up and spoiled the fun.
In 2015, the verdict fell: ovarian cancer. “It’s like a slap in the face, I felt safe from it, I was in great shape, this type of cancer is deadly.”
There followed six months of care: surgery, preventive chemotherapy. An ordeal that she did not choose, but that she faced with courage and determination, as if she were running a marathon.
“As I was going through this ordeal, I remembered something Dean Bergeron said a long time ago and that I have always remembered. Dean was a hockey player who became a paraplegic at the age of 18 after a serious accident during a practice. He said, “I started to be happy and got back into the sport when I stopped asking myself why this happened to me and started wondering what I should do from now on.”
He became an exceptional Paralympic athlete, triple medalist at the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games (two gold and one bronze).
“I then started running again, but like a beginner: walk-run-walk-run. Starting over. I haven’t run a marathon since, but I do run at least one half marathon a year. With every run, with every stride, I celebrate life.”
Céline’s plans for the Marathon Beneva de Montréal? “If I can train well and injuries spare me, I think I’ll be at the starting line in September.”
Do I run with or without music?
How cold does the temperature have to be to discourage me from running in winter?
“I run in all temperatures.”
After a good workout or a competition, I indulge guilt-free with what food?
“Chips, fries and beer.”
Do I ever run on a treadmill?
“Yes, on icy days.”
A runner who inspires me?
An inspiring movie about running.
“Hugh Hudson’s Chariots of Fire.”
The running event I want to participate in.
“New York City.”
In a word, what type of runner am I?