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Meet the brand ambassadors |Marie-Claude Samson|

Meet the brand ambassadors |Marie-Claude Samson|

Where do you live?

Ottawa, Ont.

What are your running goals for 2019?

This year, I plan to immerse myself in my journey and reach goals I never thought possible, including running my first half-marathon.  For me, running has never been “easy” and I really have to work hard and be consistent with my training to see progress and reach the goals I am determined to achieve. I started running with the goal of weight loss in mind but it quickly opened my eyes to the fact that anyone can run, no matter how much you weigh or how slow you go.

Weight has always been an issue for me, I have lost 90 lbs only to put it back on again and then lose 60 lbs and maintain.

Regardless of how much I weighed I always wanted to be a runner . . . you know the girl in her fashionable, expensive attire running down the street on a Saturday morning looking so effortless. Now, that’s me! Minus the expensive running gear (hello RLM!)

Half-marathon: On May 26, 2019, I will finish my first half-marathon, doing whatever it takes to get to the finish line, preferably in 2:30 or less.

5k: Sub 30 minutes

10k: Sub 60 minutes

Where is your favourite place to run?

Anywhere by the water as I find it calm and peaceful. During the summer I discovered the NCC Greenbelt and really enjoyed running along the Sir John A Macdonald Parkway in Ottawa.

uring the winter, I mostly run on the treadmill at my local gym. I can be found there at ungodly hours of the morning before my workday begins.

What are your favourite races?

 So far the Ottawa Army Run has been my favourite. It is so organized, incredibly moving and inspiring. I felt honoured to run alongside the men and women who serve or have served our country. It was also my first 10k in a few years and I finished within my goal of sub 1 hour and 15 minutes.

The Ottawa Fall Colours run is also a great race and offers amazing scenery right at the peak of fall, during Thanksgiving weekend. The course is quite hilly which can be challenging at some times but cool weather along with the beautiful grounds of the Cumberland Heritage Museum puts this race at the top of my list!

Who inspires you?

Latoya (@iamshauntay on Instagram) is a chef, journalist and body positivity activist who runs ultra-marathons. I was at the beginning stages of my running journey when I found her online and immediately felt like I could be the runner I wanted to be no matter what size I was. She embodies strength and determination but also speaks of her struggles with mental health openly and honestly. Since I personally struggle with anxiety, I felt I could relate to her and her story.

I also feel very inspired by my fellow Run Little Monkey Ambassadors, Joyce and Anhsul who have encouraged and helped me as I started my running journey.

 What do you love best about running?

Can I say the runner’s high? In all seriousness, the feeling of finishing and achieving a goal is the best feeling in the world. I also love the running community and how it brings people together. I enjoy meeting new runners at events and races and encouraging each other.

 What do you find the most challenging?

Getting laced up and out for my runs. Since I usually run at 4 am on weekdays, the hardest part for me is always getting up and out the door, especially in the winter. To deal with this I try to get as much sleep as I can and get to bed early, I repeat positive mantras and fill out a monthly calendar with my planned runs and distances. This allows me to keep track of my progress and have a visual reminder of the goals I set for myself.

What are a couple of your favourite tunes to run to?

 If You’re Over Me (Sebastian Perez Remix)

Born to Be Yours – Kygo & Imagine Dragons

Shed a Light – Robin Schulz, David Guetta & Cheat Codes

Issues (Alan Walker Remix) – Julia Michaels

What do you do when you aren’t running?

Spending time with my wife Sara, our dog and two cats, with family and cooking. I am always in the kitchen coming up with new dishes!

Favourite quote?

“If you run, you are a runner. It doesn’t matter how fast or far.” – John Bingham

“Set big goals and learn to love the work that gets you to them.” – Desiree Linden

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A portion of the sale from every Run Little Monkey item will go to support Girls Inc.’s Sporting Chance program.