I have proudly represented Canada at 5 Paralympic Games in middle distance track, most recently in Rio in 2016. While running is in many ways an individual activity, it is the dedication of the guides who have worked with me over the years which has truly helped me to pursue it as a team sport. Before moving from Northern Ireland to Canada in the early 1990’s, I grew up with two brothers who were also blind. While it may often be difficult for parents of children with disabilities to let their kids participate in sports for fear of injury, my parents as well as teachers encouraged us to try a variety of sports, which instilled a love for physical activity that has been a defining part of my life. I hope to run forever and to encourage people of all abilities to realize the transformational benefits of sport and physical activity
Running has been a part of my entire life. I ran to catch up with siblings and then ran races in school; the Etobicoke Huskies introduced me to training, and their team spirit and accomplishments inspired me to run the "Brooks Spring Runoff" in 1983. I met lifelong friends through running and continue going to running events with my own family too. I run now because it feels great and perhaps, hopefully, getting my blood flowing helps my brain function better. A run in the afternoon is a better pick-me-up than coffee! (but I sure like my coffee too). My goal is to be the oldest person running the 10K at Ottawa Race Weekend, so I welcome you to join me and keep me and all the Achilles team healthy for the long and happy journey ahead.
I discovered my passion for running in 2006 when I completed my first marathon and I have never looked back. After years of training and running for personal goals, I sought a way to support others to do the same to reach their goals. My involvement with Achilles Ottawa has introduced me to a community of athletes and guides who are passionate about running and being active in an environment of mutual support and camaraderie.
I came late to the running game, only participating in my first race in 2017. However, physical activity has long been a grounding element in my life and has provided me focused time away from everyday stresses. Most importantly, it’s connected me to so many other passionate people – individuals that I never would have met within my normal academic and social circles! Achilles in particular has introduced me to incredibly motivated and talented athletes who continuously remind me of the joys of active living.