Estevan runner conquers Queen City Marathon

Jody Harris can lay claim to being the top Estevan athlete to participate at the Saskatchewan Credit Unions Queen City Marathon in Regina on Sunday.

Harris finished 95th overall among the 2299 participants that competed in the Running Room 21.1 kilometre half marathon by completing the race with a time of 1 hour, 40 minutes and 23 seconds. With that result, she also placed 18th among the 1432 women who participated in the event and second in the female aged 45 to 49 age group.

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“It’s my fifth half marathon this year, so I’m really pleased with the results,” said Harris, noting she completed an advanced training program in the 12 weeks leading up to the marathon. “I battled a lot of head games going into (the) race.”

Harris said she competed in a race in Calgary on May 31 and despite having a strong body, she lacked determination leading to a poor finish. She said since then she has had many serious chats with herself about what she wants to accomplish doing this and told herself if she was going to train then it had to be all or nothing come race day in Regina.

“I had that mentality going in,” she said. “Running is a huge mental game. The physical is there, but they say when you’re running it’s all mental. You hear of the walls runners hit and there is big battles. Do you give in? Do you walk?”

A sign Harris saw along the Queen City Marathon route that read ‘Your legs are strong, keep breathing’ helped push her ahead and persevere. She said a determination to follow her own words that she uses to motivate her young charges when she coaches lacrosse also played a factor as she decided to not just talk the talk, but also walk the walk.

“My mindset going into (the marathon) was I trained hard, my body’s strong, I need to want this,” she said. “I trained for 7.8 miles per hour over the course. That would have gave me a one hour, 40 (minute), 22 (second time) and I got one hour, 40, 23. So to me that tells me that my training was bang on and that I’m obviously doing the right things with setting the appropriate goals and not trying to overachieve as well.”

Harris calls the Queen City Marathon her home track. She said the race pulls together a small community of runners from this area to take part in it every year and it was a pleasure to see them once again.

“It’s just one happy group,” she said. “The positive energy is just ridiculous. I talked with them and they definitely like the new course that (Queen City) laid out for us this year. It sounds crazy, but although it’s 13 miles it didn’t feel that long this year.”

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