JOCK TALK with Joel Charron

Every participant in the Run for Heroes Marathon had their own story.

Every participant had their own reasons for as to why they wanted to run.

Every participant had their own motivation to keep them going.

However, there was one runner whose story hit close to home.

Participate #1057…my mother, Joyce Charron

My mom’s journey to the finish began this time last year at the 2012 Run for Heroes Marathon. After watching numerous people cross the finish line with a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment, my mom made a promise to herself… to walk across the finish line in the 2013 Run for Heroes Marathon in the 10K race.

Several months passed until I heard anything else about this matter. It wasn’t until one day in late June when she came home from work and proclaimed that her 10K training started Monday.

So when Monday came around, she laced up her New Balance shoes and hit the streets.

At first she started off with short distances. Every morning the alarm would go off, my mother, at age 62, rolled out of bed and walked around town.

With every passing week the distances got longer and her training got more serious.

Everyday she was out there pounding the pavement.

When she would come home, exhausted from cleaning school buses, she would walk her course after dinner.

When the area was hit with that insane heat wave, she was up early or waiting until the evening to take her walk.

Even when she had no motivation to get out there, she was walking.

She didn’t event lighten her training when bus drivers went back to work when school started… every night she walked.

Very rarely did she take time off, it was times where her body needed the rest.

Her excitement grew as the Run for Heroes Marathon approached. Watching her in the days leading up to the marathon was like watching an eight-year-old get ready for Christmas.

So it was to no surprise when race day came around she was up and ready to go long before I woke up at 6:30 a.m.

When we got to the arena, I wished her luck and went about my morning of marathon coverage but was able to snap a few photos of her and her friend before the she was out on the course.

Before I knew she was at the starting line and off she went.

Plenty of time passed before I got a text from her telling me she was on her last kilometer.

I positioned myself at the finish line for two reasons, one, I wanted to get a good shot of her crossing the line and two, I wanted her to see I was waiting for her when she made that final turn down the homestretch.

At her own pace, my mother walked across the finish where I was waiting with a hug.

With tear rolling down her cheeks, I put an arm around her and walked to Councillor Bart DiPasquale, where he placed a medal around her neck.

I later asked her why she wanted to do this. She replied with a lot of reason. She was walking for a friend who suffered a tragic accident last year, she did it for my grandmother, Grace Charron, who passed from Alzheimer’s years ago, she walked for me, my sisters and brother and the gaggle of grandchildren she has and she walked to prove to herself she could do it.

Well, mom, you did it and you did it with the grace and poise that no other participate could have done it.

Good job mom, I’m proud of you.


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