Monday, September 1, 2014

The People of Ted's Run for Literacy, Meet Lorraine Walton

The People of Ted's Run for Literacy is a 'behind the scenes' look at the many individuals that make up Ted's Run for Literacy; from committee members, to runners, to volunteers, to sponsors.  Every week leading up to race day we will interview an individual whose contribution to TRL helps to define the heart and soul of this fine event. The People of TRL is the brainchild of our Social Media chair, Carly Walsh.
Lorraine Walton, 2014 Boston Marathon, crossing the finish line.
Along with being one of the founding members of TRL, Lorraine Walton has been a great mentor and inspiration to many runners at the Grant Running Room. And, how cool is this photo of her crossing the finish line during the Boston Marathon 2014? Thank-you Lorraine for all you do!

Ted’s Run for Literacy - How long have you been running, and how did you start?
Lorraine Walton - In 1999 - I was the only one in our family who was not running. I was in a very stressful job at the time when my son, Michael, suggested I start walking. I did that and then added in a little hydrant to hydrant running. The following spring I registered for the Learn To Run clinic at the Pembina Running Room. I had found my passion and with that many new friends along the way. Together we experienced all of the clinics and goal races culminating in the Manitoba Marathon in 2002. Running has changed my life. Through the sport I have found a second career as manager of the Running Room on Grant. I am a blessed and happy woman. Everyday I find inspiration in the very positive people who I meet in the sport.

TRL - How did you know Ted, and what are some of your favourite memories of him?
LW - I met Ted Swain when I first started as manager at the store. At that time he had already been a longtime coach and mentor to many runners. At the time of his death, he was coaching a half marathon clinic.

I immediately saw how participants loved and respected this man. He submerged himself in everything he did and he did it well. We always knew when it was Ted's clinic night when the little skooter pulled up at the door and in walked this big guy in leathers.

TRL - Do you have any pre-race rituals?
LW - My pre-race rituals may seem boring and mundane to many but I don't dare change a thing. Clothes, shoes, fuel belt, bib, nutrition are all lined up neatly beside my bed. I always get up at least two hours before race time in order to eat my bagel with peanut butter and banana and then use the bathroom at least eighteen times. I am a nervous racer but usually get that under control once the show begins.

TRL - What's your best advice for new runners?
LW - When I am talking to new runners I often tell them about my dear Aunt Hortense, who runs 20 miles per week at 90 years. I totally want to be her. If you are in for the rest of your life then treat your body well. Take rest days, eat well, laugh a lot, and run.

TRL - What does Ted's Run for Literacy mean to you?
LW - It is so fitting that the Ted Swain event is for literacy. As he was a long time educator, we know that he would be proud and honoured to have such a legacy. I was so pleased to work with Joan Swain in the early stages of this project. She wanted to create something lasting in his name and it happened. The TRL committee is a wonderful cross section of the best of humanity. Please join me in supporting Ted's Run For Literacy.

It's a good day to be alive.