Bailey Wagner is in her first year as a Learn to Run coach after getting involved with Rupert Runners last year.

Bailey Wagner is in her first year as a Learn to Run coach after getting involved with Rupert Runners last year.

VIDEO and Story: MVP of the Week, Run no matter what

Bailey Wagner runs in the rain and snow, and this is in her first year as a Learn to Run coach in Prince Rupert.




Bailey Wagner laughed as she ran through the snow at the Charles Hays Secondary School (CHSS) track on Saturday.

It wasn’t so much running as much as moving her feet quickly to avoid getting stuck in the surprisingly deep snow, which isn’t enough to stop the runner.

The 34-year-old loves the sport because it’s a battle against yourself.

“I love running because it’s a personal best sport and you’re competing always against yourself and trying to better your times or your distance,” she said.

It certainly helps that running fuels her passion for living a healthy lifestyle. It started after the birth of her third son, when she decided she wanted to get in shape, and also focus on something that didn’t demand as much of her time as other activities.

Running is perfect for her busy life.

“It’s definitely a do-when-you-can sport,” Wagner said.

She only started getting more serious about running approximately three years ago, two months after the birth of her youngest son. She had friends who were involved with Rupert Runners and encouraged her to give it a try.

“It was hard — really hard — at first, but once you get into it, you kind of catch the running bug,” Wagner said.

And she has caught the bug. Last year, she also got involved with the running group and took part in all four events, the Skeena River Relay being her favourite. But her personal highlight came in October 2016.

“A group of Rupert gals went down to Vancouver and we did the Rock and Roll race series. We did a 10 kilometre [run] on the Saturday and a half marathon on the Sunday, so it was kind of a big deal for us,” Wagner said.

But that was just the beginning. In two weeks, she will make the trip to Comox to compete in her first race of the year — a half marathon — and then in July, she will tackle her first-ever marathon in Haida Gwaii.

Wagner doesn’t want to just stop there, either.

“One day, I’d like to do an ultra, which is anything over the standard 42.2 kilometre marathon. A lot of times, there’s a 50 kilometre. One day, maybe in 2018,” she said.

For now, Wagner continues to run here at home, and is also a coach in Rupert Runners’ Learn to Run Program. She went to the annual general meeting, hoping to get more involved with the group, and came out as one of the 12 coaches for the program, which helps people go from “couch to 10K” in three months.

Aside from the wacky weather, which the group has had to work around, she loves the responsibility.

“It’s been super. It’s great to meet people from all around the community, different backgrounds and fitness levels and different interests … we’re a really good group to provide assistance and get people passionate about running,” Wagner said.

As a Learn to Run coach, her job is to encourage the runners, check in with them throughout the session, make sure they aren’t running too fast, make sure no one is struggling, and essentially just help everyone out as needed.

What Wagner finds most challenging about running — and something she encourages the program participants not to do — is the struggle to compare yourself to others.

“It might be my chapter 10, but it’s your chapter one. It might be my chapter 10 but it’s her chapter 30 or his chapter 50. You can’t compare yourself. You just have to be where you’re at and do your best.”

 

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