Today's Runner Spotlight

Thursdays I enjoy spotlighting 
different runners from around the world.
Today I'd like to introduce you all to Noel.  

Tell me what first got you interested in running?

I started running at an early age (12) and was instantly drawn to the sport. I liked team sports like soccer but there was something about being alone on a run and being only responsible to me that I liked. I have always liked running fast and pushing my limits. I like the time alone on runs as well to be alone with my thoughts. I went from running laps around the house with my father’s Timex watch to running 5k and 10k races as a youngster.

How long have you been running?

I have been running since the age of 12 and will be 39 in October so it makes it very close to 27 years of running for me.

What distances do you like to run? 

Because I started running at a relatively young age I have run everything from the 100m hurdles to a 100km ultramarathon. I learned early on that I had a talent for the middle and longer distances. In high school and university age I focused on the 800m and 1500m events but was always running local road races as well. As time has ticked on I have tried longer and longer races. I qualified for Boston on my first marathon and a few years back tried some races beyond the marathon distance.

You run races. Which types?

Love to run and train but find races more difficult but still do them. Don’t have the same speed as a when I was really skinny and fearless but still like speed so will dabble in track races, 5ks BUT still foolish enough to train and tackle marathons and ultras!

Do you have a favorite race ever?  Tell us why it is so memorable to you.

My favourite race experiences have so far been ultramarathons. I can’t say I enjoyed all of each race but there was something spiritual and moving about each experience. My last two were quite memorable. One of the two was a solo run across the Grand Canyon and the other a spring time trail ultramarathon in Tuscany Itlay.

What goes through your mind as you cross the finish line?

What goes through my mind usually depends on the race and level of exertion, but it is generally a feeling of relief and accomplishment that I feel. I can train like a crazy man, but for me the hardest challenge is the unique mental challenge and stress of a race.

If you could run any race in the entire world, which one would you pick?

Too many to choose from….like Comrades ultra in South Africa, marathons in the United States, Europe and beyond. I love races with scenery, history and neat stories.

Have you run marathons in different countries?  Which ones?

Canadian runner:
·         Boston marathon
·         Solo run of Grand Canyon
·         Italy 100km trail ultra
·         Northern Ireland 100km trail ultra
·         Bermuda half-marathon

Do you have a PR you are proud of that you would love to share?

800m 2:03, 1500m 4:20, 5k 16:30, 10K 35:18 marathon 2:54

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions you follow?

No real pre-race superstitions but like to have a good haircut shortly before and have everything laid  out and ready the night before.

What are some of your future running goals or plans?

Hoping to run well at the 2014 Toronto marathon and would love to run some personal bests before I become a master in 2015! Other than running I am always looking to share other runner’s stories and looking to have new adventures.

Do you have a funny running related story to share?  Or something that happened to you while out on a run that made you laugh?

I have lost a t-shirt and a nice winter tuque because of intestinal discomfort (short version) that are probably my weirdest, grossest and most entertaining tales to tell- but often not for the faint of stomach J

What is the funniest/craziest non-runner question you get from people who don’t understand why you run?
Do you enjoy group or solo running?

Love being alone out on a run or with a small group, I am not a big fan of huge group runs but have done a few now and again. Sometimes its nice to have company!

Favorite terrains to run? flat, hills, trails, track or treadmill?

Have run on track, trail, treadmill and road but must admit I love the serenity and peace of a nice calm run on the trails!

Do you listen to music when you run?  If so what are your top two favorites that help you motivate yourself to push harder?

I generally do not listen to music on a run and especially not on  a trail run but during long runs 25-100km I will occasionally put on CBC radio (news and radio shows) to keep me company. When I was younger I used to run with a “walkman” but gave it up quickly as it was annoying and when I do occasionally listen to music I do sometimes like the music and it can make me go faster, but more often like the quite of my thoughts.

What other sports or hobbies do you enjoy doing?

I also cycle, cross-country ski, hike and walk (have actually walked 100km)…and write!

What are some of your life’s bucket list items?

The bucket list is always changing but can include: skydive, Kilamanjero, Comrades marathon, Ultra Mont Blanc, Death Race in Canada (Ultra), write a book on running etc.

Tell me something unique about you?

Not sure there is anything extraordinarily unique about me but in small circles I am always the “runner”.

What is your favorite running book?

Once a runner.

Take a minute and check out his blog, you can find him at:

You can also follow him via Twitter: @NoelPaine
Additionally, he  just started a podcast!

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