Greg Lemoine will compete in the 2015 Boston Marathon. — Submitted photo
Greg Lemoine always had a desire to run the Boston Marathon because it was a prestigious and unique event for those who like to test their limits.
Lemoine will do just that in 2015.
The 37-year-old Corner Brook native, who now lives and works in Kingston, Ont., qualified for the 2015 Boston Marathon with his performance at the Toronto Good Life Fitness Marathon. He finished fifth overall in the 35-39 age bracket and 54th overall in a field of 1,555 marathon runners.
His final clocking for the 42.2-km venture was three hours, two minutes and 29 seconds.
“I’m pretty excited just because of the amount of work I’ve had to put in over the last two years, especially when I had to take my running a little bit more serious,” Lemoine said earlier this week from Kingston, where he works with Correctional Services Canada.
He completed his first marathon in Brussels, Belgium in 2007, and the following year he participated in two — one in Paris in April and the other being his first appearance at the Toronto marathon. He didn’t hit the pavement for his fourth one until the Whitby International Marathon in 2011.
Lemoine served in the Canadian Armed Forces from 2002-2010 before he was released on his own accord. He wanted his wife, Erin Rose of Pasadena, to pursue her teaching degree and didn’t want to subject her to so much travelling.
He had a three-year break between qualifying attempts for Boston because a six-month military tour overseas hampered his training.
“It was hard to keep the running up over there,” he said. “So, when I came back I had to rebuild my running. I was focusing on weightlifting over there at the time, so I came back a lot heavier (and) had to rebuild back up my fitness.”
To qualify for Boston, Lemoine put a lot of hard work into his training, and enlisted the services of an on-line coach — Steve Boyd, a well respected Masters runner.
“For the last month or so before the Toronto marathon, I was averaging at least 90-100 kilometres a week,” he said.
Growing up in Corner Brook, Lemoine wasn’t active in the sports community at any level. He was more into camping, hiking and hanging out at the family cabin.
But running eventually became a big part of his life. He took baby steps building his body up as he knocked off smaller distances and kept raising the bar.
He said going to Boston for the first time will be a special moment. After all, he was reading books on the mystique of the highly coveted race long before he ran his first kilometre.
“It’s one of the very few races in the world where you have to qualify to get in,” he said. “Most every other marathon ... you sign up and go. It’s the oldest marathon in North America and it’s so hard to get into it.”
His goal now is to put it all on the line in Boston with hopes of breaking the three-hour barrier next April.
“I only have to shave two and a half minutes off, but that’s a lot of time,” he said. “It doesn’t sound like much over a three-hour run, but it does quite change the effect of the run.”
“Boston is a spring run (and) that means I’m training through the entire winter,” he said. “Up here at -20 and -25 (degrees), you’re outside pounding the pavement as much as you can.”
Seeing his physical fitness improve through the various stages of his training has provided him with a lot of personal satisfaction. He’s enjoyed seeing what the human body can accomplish when somebody works hard to obtain their goals.
It’s what will keep him pounding the pavement over the cold winter months.
“What the human body can do is the most motivating thing,” he said. “Going through the changes that way, seeing what you can do.”