The reasons behind running a marathon for the first time are life-changing for many people.
For others, the reason is actually pretty simple.
Charles Hogg, 37, works in the library inside the iconic B.C. legislature. He started running to lose weight in his mid 30s, when his small frame began to register closer and closer to 200 lbs. on the scale.
He didn’t want to hit that second century mark and has since kept off the 40 lbs. he lost from running and diet changes.
On Oct. 13, Hogg will be one of many first time runners at the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon, which happens to start and end in front of his place of work.
“I’m about 164 to 166 lbs. now, though it depends how much beer I have watching Sunday football,” he laughs.
Hogg always believed he was active. He took up ice hockey as an adult, before the demands of a young family put an end to that.
“I was putting on weight because the sports I was doing back in high school were done. As an adult, you don’t go out on the weekend with the guys and wrestle. It’s just not one of those sports,” he said.
There’s just one tiny glitch. Hogg’s training, in the final month before the marathon, has been hindered by a twisted ankle.
“I was running at night a few weeks ago and I looked back to see where my running partners were behind me. I caught the edge of the road with my foot.”
Confined to the elliptical machine since then, Hogg was hoping to be back on the road this week.
“I’m still going to go for it. I’ve done a lot of training. My biggest run was 36 kilometres before I hurt my ankle so I was getting close,” he says. “We’ll just see how it goes.”
Whether Hogg completes his first marathon or not, the decision to start running (his first conquer was the TC 10K with a work team) has already changed his life.
It’s changed the life of Liz Carr, too, but only after multiple sclerosis changed it first.
When the 34-year-old was diagnosed in 2011 the MS Society told her to get into sports.
“My first run with my running group was five kilometres. I almost quit, I really did, I was so winded. But I didn’t.”
Carr had run before, but only short distances as part of a workout. When she learned she had MS – in the same way many people do, by going blind in one eye – she was floored.
“I lost sight, lost a lot of strength on one side, and I lost all my confidence. I had to build it up from the bottom.”
Carr, who’s the general manager of Kelsey’s restaurant in Saanich, is happy to make this her fourth half-marathon. Thanks to running and a renewed perspective on life she says she feels better than ever before.
“Last year was my first half-marathon, it was an amazing experience. The full marathon, I might do it one day. It’s a lot more training. Hey, I went from not being able to run down the street to doing a half. For now, I’m happy with the half.”