It’s always great to have someone to compare running notes with. In my office at the Telegraph-Journal, Kevin Barrett is my guy. Kevin, 47, is a former sports reporter-turned web editor with a true passion for running. He hits the pavement at night, after he puts his kids to bed, when he finds the peace only running can give.
Kevin has lost 55 pounds since he changed his diet several years ago. Running has helped keep the weight off (and then some). It might also have to do why he is such a happy, friendly guy. Kevin’s next race will be the half-marathon at the Marathon By the Sea.
How long have you been running?
This latest reincarnation started in June, 2010. I ran in high school and at different times since university. This is the longest stretch of consecutive running in more than two decades.
How did you get into it?
Health reasons, mainly as I wanted to maintain a significant weight loss I accomplished from 2007 to 2009. I always wanted to get back into a running rhythm. I used to be part of a noon-hour running club in Charlottetown (where Kevin hails from) at the local YMCA and missed that a lot. So in June of 2010, finally, I got back into the swing of things.
How many half marathons have you run?
Two (Moncton, 2011, Fredericton, 2012)
What is your personal best?
What is your goal?
I am slightly heavier than I was in the spring (Fredericton) and the combination of that, the hills in Saint John (Moncton and Fredericton were pretty flat courses) and the potential summer heat issue on Aug. 12 leave me thinking anything in the 1:45-1:50 range would be a great result.
What advice do you have for people attempting the half for the first time?
My second half was much better in that department. I ate well the last month of training, had a good carbo load the night before the race with half a glass of wine to celebrate the training. The race was 8 a.m., so I had a two glasses of water and a bagel at 6:30 a.m. Then I went with three chocolate gels. Had one 15 minutes before the start, another at 7 km, last one at 14 km. I had water on course for liquid. The carbo loading and then the gels en route were critical.
How do you get through the final few kilometres?
The first time was agony as I did not fuel on course at all, except for water. I went out a bit too fast and while I held onto my pace for 19.5 km, I was in rough shape the final 1.6 km. In my second half in Fredericton, the gels played a big big role, as did my early pacing of going a bit slower than my goal time in the first 2 km. I had plenty in the tank that day and splits reflected it with fastest 3 km coming in the final 3 km.
What inspires you to run?
I don’t have one particular inspiration or grand motivation. I kind of run to run – for many reasons, including improving my fitness and health, trying to be a good active role model for my daughters and setting and accomplishing goals that I never thought possible 10 years ago. The mental escape, relaxation and stress release from the daily grind play significant roles as well. It may sound corny but my most positive thoughts happen when I run or when I am dripping with sweat after a session is over. Those thoughts generally happen on every run. I also find the positive vibes of other runners and their accomplishments very invigorating and that helps my motivation.