Featured Athlete: Canada’s Catrin Jones

“There is nothing quite like being a part of a big event like this one,” says top marathoner and now mother-to-be Catrin Jones. “I still hope, if my body allows, to be running the BMO Vancouver Half Marathon or 8KM…”

Jones, a multiple Top 5 finisher at the BMO Vancouver Marathon with an event PB of 2:48:19, is looking to participate in the festivities in a different capacity in 2017.

In her words:

In a ‘normal’ running year, I’d be deep into training for a Spring Marathon and/or Ultra Marathon, however, this season is looking slightly different for this runner.

I have spent the majority of the past ten years, focusing on running goals that include personal bests times for the Marathon and beyond. This is something that I have cherished in the past years, but now, as a woman running in her twenty third week of pregnancy, the goals and expectations have shifted quite dramatically.

From what I have learned in my experience as a mother-to-be runner, each day, each week and certainly each month, brings new challenges to my running. However, this doesn’t take away the joy and energy I gain from my almost daily runs. I am becoming more in tune with what my body is telling me before, during and after each of my runs, and I have to respect these signals with each step I take.

I have learned that no runner has the same experience when it come to running during pregnancy. While some have the ability to run for close to forty weeks, others must pull back from running much earlier on. In my case, I have been lucky enough to continue my runs, albeit much slower and less intense, than I would be doing in a typical running season. Right now I do not have goal workouts or times, for me, it’s the simplicity of running, moving, and enjoying the movement of my feet.

For me, it’s the simplicity of running, moving, and enjoying the movement of my feet…

Putting goals aside for the time being has it perks. As runners we sometimes forget to simply listen to what our bodies are telling us on our runs. We push through pain, and possible signs of injury, but I believe that pregnancy, teaches a woman to listen more closely to her body and what the body needs/wants. “Training” in the true sense of the word, is put aside, and the focus becomes more about moving our bodies in a safe and comfortable way.

Running has always been a great stress relief, even a form of meditation in my case, and that hasn’t changed during my time as a pregnant runner. I am connecting with body and mind on a new level, and the joy of running never ceases to exist.

I have been lucky enough to run over twenty marathons in my career, and although I’ll be taking a step back this year, I still hope, if my body allows, to be running (or run / walking) the BMO Vancouver Half Marathon or 8KM in just a few weeks. There is nothing quite like being a part of a big event like this one, and my experience will certainly be a new one this year. It’s the running community that keeps me motivated in this sport, as it’s such an incredible community to be a part of.

Whether you are racing to win, or racing to enjoy the marathon experience and the beautiful Vancouver views, enjoy every step you take along your running journey!

Catrin Jones

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Catrin Jones, pictured left at the 2016 BMO Vancouver Marathon. Photo: Christropher Morris / RUNVAN®

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