Canadian Marathon Stories                       

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New York City Marathon Medal
"For the first time that I can remember, I do not want to do this.  I am scared of being here and of accomplishing my goal of running my first marathon. I am numb.


Feel free to browse though our archived Guest Book.

14 Aug 2008

30 Jun 2008

28 Dec 2007

28 Dec 2007
04 Apr 2007

Linda, I met you at the Second Cup on Elgin Street a couple of weeks ago when you were with Cori. Thank you so much for mentioning this website! It is filled with some great stories!! I'm going to start running in addition to the grueling "hill intervals" that Tony Greco puts me through! Keep up the great work. Thanks again! Phil Kane, Ottawa, ON

14 Jul 2006

Linda, what an incredibly inspirational website...Chris was right...thank you so much...I will return to it over and over again during the course of the next 21 weeks as I make this journey to my very first marathon in Honolulu on December 10, 2006. Dominique Laundry, Fredericton, New Brunswick

11 Apr 2006

Interesting I was looking for some answer and you gave them to me

24 Jul 2005

Did you see the story of Angelo Talluto? You guys should read it, it's fascinating. Plus, I'm really proud of him because he's me teacher in Gr.4. But now, I'm in Gr.5 on September. Keep up the good work Mr.T!

18 Jul 2005

Thanks for the useful site. Keep up the good work. - John

30 May 2005

First Marathon:

Finish line... I fell down on my knees and wept

21 Feb 2005

Hi Cam, Thank you for your kind words, and for sending your contribution of a story way back when!! The dream is still to publish the best dozen or so stories, from across Canada, in both languages.....So please keep your stories coming, be a part of a body of work that might one day inspire others to have the courage to do the same. If it was easy, everyone would do it....! Cheers, Linda Wagar

18 Feb 2005

Great to see that your site is still rolling along at a fast clip, Linda. I had met your husband by chance at the chiropractor's office in Bells Corners back in 2003, when you were just getting your website going. After he heard that I had run a marathon, he and I chatted a bit about running, and then about your website in the works. I really enjoyed being among the first to contribute a marathon story to the site. Excellent work! Cam Wilson Ottawa ON

10 Jan 2005

I didn't start running until July, 2003. I weighed 217 pounds and my height is 5'10. Starting running for me felt very difficult because I was so heavy and unconditioned. I started running 4 miles every other day on a treadmill because I was so self conscious of how I looked. During spring of 2004, I broke from my shell. Winter 2003, I lost a total of 67 pounds. Today I weigh 150 pounds. To this day, I don't remember what it was that made me become a runner. I have always thought it was too difficult and never imagined running in a marathon. I met some really nice people from MNDRA (Minnesota Distance Running Association) and began going on long runs with them. During fall 2004, I ran the Twin Cities Marathon finishing it in 3:34. I can't believe how much running the marathon changed my life forever. It will be something I will always look back on as being one of the most positive (but difficult) experiences of my life. The preparation for the marathon was wonderful. There are so many talented runners - so many nice people. Hope to see you on the road sometime! Your fellow runner, Rob Hart

27 Dec 2004

Al: Mississauga is a fairly quick course, but the ending is a narrow out-and-back along some bike paths. Organizers said they would rectify this. Mississauga could be the next big thing in future years. -BK

20 Dec 2004

Merry Christmas to all you runners out there. Remember Running Rooms, Resolution Run on New Years Eve.

07 Dec 2004

Hi everyone, check out our website: There are great free articles there! regards, peter

17 Nov 2004


Maritime Marathon On Oct 24, 2004 the running of the first Kennebecasis Challenge Marathon was held. The race started in Hampton NB and wound its way through several communities. Quispamsis, Rothesay and into Saint John NB, ending at the Market Square complex. For the first event there was not a large crowd. Only 78 fellow runners but what a well organized and fun event. I would recommend to any one who wants to run a down home fun event with lots of fall foilage to plan tis one for next year. Check it out on the web site. John Parks, Saint John NB, Nov 2004

09 Nov 2004

Can anyone tell me what the mississauga marathon course is like. I want to pick a course to try and PR on. This one sounds OK but I'd like to hear from someone who has done it. Al

01 Nov 2004

What truly inspirational people you all are!

01 Nov 2004


22 Oct 2004

Hello, tomorrow is the big day again. The first running of the Kennebecasis Challenge Marathon is on tomorrow. Should be a good run, hilly and challenging. Good luck to all. Run for fun.

06 Oct 2004

Thanks to a reader's suggestion, we have just made it possible for you to submit your comments at the end of the stories. If you were inspired, say so, leave your mark! Cheers, Linda Wagar

11 Sep 2004

Congratulations to John Parks! I have already made my comments regarding the lady from Mississauga who cheated at Boston - her story has been hashed around many running groups I am certain. I would hope that her name has been submitted to the BAA. I found her story a real let down afetr working very hard through Canadian winters and more to qualify - tryed two times as well! Unfortunately, as we all know, there are always people out there who feel that they are somehow better than the others ,and, do not have to follow rules. As "Real Boston Finishers", lets hope this person never sees another Boston finish line in her running career! You mentioned that you ran in the water before your marathon - I often stick in water running to break up the workouts - I recentlty heard of a man who is entered in the New York Marathon and has become injured. He is giving up! - I encouraged him too take his runs into the water and keep on track. Unfortunately, he was not convinced that he could maintain his level of fitness in the water - and hope to run a marathon at the end. - I read your posting and was wondering what you did. Can you help? Jill Neufeld Calgary

08 Sep 2004

Thank you Trish, and I see you crossing that finish line already! Cheers, Linda Wagar

 07 Sep 2004


Hi Linda!

Thank you! Thank you! for taking the time to develop such an inspirational web site. I have taken the time to read many of the stories already, and feel inspired to write my own, upon my return from running my first marathon in Dublin, Ireland on Oct. 25/04. If you would like to read a bit about my own experiences so far, I have a web site you can access. I have overcome many challenges to get to where I am today. On my web page there is a link to The Arthritis Society web page, which has 'my story'. If you get the chance, feel free.

Look forward to continuing to read about all these amazing people. Thank you again!

Trish Duncan

07 Sep 2004

WOW! Thank you Chris Fretwell for sharing this very inspirational link with me (us) her fellow JIM Team mates. I am in training for my FIRST marathon in Dublin, Ireland on Oct. 25/04, as a Joints In Motion participant. I have been so inspired reading all the stories that you have all taken the time to share. And, Thank you, John Parks, for your motivational story, as I have injuried my knee and have been doing everything but 'running'(on land) right now, and loved reading your story...seeing how it can be possible to still run a marathon. I just recieved a VERY inspirational book from a good friend that is fitting for all of your (our) stories. It's by Dr. Suess called 'Oh, the places you'll go'. It's an easy read ;) and I am sure you will all find it as inspirational as I have. Thank you all again for sharing! You've made a difference! Trish Duncan Victoria, BC

23 Aug 2004

I ran the Boston in 2003 after training for 3-4years to qualify.  I worked very hard as most Marathonors know to reach this goal.  I had set the goal to celebrate my 50th birthday.  I did not achieve the time I was looking for as I injured my leg during the winter and ran in a swimming pool for 5 weeks.  It got me to the finish line and I achieved my goal.  I will run it again in 2005 having qualified again with a 3hr and 13min time in 2004.

John Parks
Saint John NB

17 Jul 2004

I must admit, I was led here by Google. However, I noticed a link to Don Mann, the Datsun Man of Ottawa and was reminded how he gave me my initiation into the automotive world back in '69. I was saddened to here of his recent passing, and sorry I couldn't be there for the celebration of his life. Don Little Parksville, BC

26 Jun 2004

I am proud of all of you .and very proud of my niece Chris Fretwell ,keep up the good work love and god bless all of you . aunt Bernice

25 Jun 2004

June 26,2004 What a great page and so many great stories. So many reasons for each and everyone of you to be proud and Chris you make me extra proud. Mom

23 Jun 2004

Wow, I was just reading all the comments posted..and saw that I posted one last year! "20 May 2003 12:00:44 I look forward to being able to submit my own year! What a wonderful idea! -kiza" AND I DID IT! :) I POSTED ONE! I think when I wrote that last year, I really didn't believe that I would be posting one! Thanks for keeping this site going (to all people that have posted their stories, and to Linda for continuing the website!) cheers, Kiza

17 Jun 2004

This link has been down, and I apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused you. Should you experience difficulties, email us directly, and we can post your comments directly. Editor, Linda Wagar

15 Jun 2004

wow. this is a really great site. keep up the good work!

16 May 2004

Hello, I am a marathoner! I take great pride in saying that I am what so few are and have done what so few attempt. I want to thank you for this site, it truly is amazing reading about others who have gone and done what they have set out to do and to relate with them as they so eloquently relive their stories. I found myself remembering the excitment, nervousness, despair, relief and the "thank God I see the finish line" feelings as I read through these stories. I wanted to share with all and any that come across this site what I kept in my mind when I struggled to finish the most gruelling physical task of my life.

As I ran and as I trained this is what helped me stay focused, if there is anyone that can benefit from these words please take them and own them for yourself.

"When you feel lost and your muscles are sore. When you are tired and your mind can not focus. When your soul hurts and your legs can no longer carry you. Just believe in yourself and your heart will"

Peggy Kalinowski

18 Feb 2004

Rome!!!I can see you dream big!! Your nervousness will cross you thru that finish!!! I look forward to reading your story! Stay healthy! Linda Wagar

16 Feb 2004

What a great website. I am currently training for my first marathon to be run in Rome Italy with Team Diabetes. I have lived with insulin dependent diabetes for 35 years and it has been a drean and goal to run a marathon. These stories have helped to keep my inspiration up on those down days. I am nervous but know I will finish. Thanks for the insight and I will contribute whan I return. Mary Helton

28 Jan 2004

Dear Chris:

THANK YOU for your comment, and I look forward to reading your story!! Enjoy your training for your upcoming 8th Marathon!!! May your training runs become your muse for publication...! Cheers, Linda Wagar

19 Jan 2004

I was delighted to stumbled onto your website. I had been searching for marathon stories as inspiration for my upcoming 8th marathon in May 2004 in London, Ontario (Forest City Marathon). If time allows, I will submit the story of my 7th (last) marathon. I am looking forward to reading stories from fellow Canadian marathoners. Thank you for hosting and providing such a website for Canadian marathoners everywhere.

Chris Frappier Fergus, Ontario

17 Dec 2003

What a great site for inspiration! These great stories represent some of the most courageous people on the planet!

Peter Barrett Association of Canadian Ultra Marathoners

26 Nov 2003

Beautiful website and very inspirational to the reader. Nice job. I am not a runner but I appreciate reading such nice material.

Yolande Donnelly Tarot Master, Ottawa

16 Oct 2003

Linda - your strength, conviction, determination and drive are amazing. The impossible dream - isn't. Thanks for being.


16 Oct 2003

Annie - Wonder Woman! You really are. Loved your story. You go, girl. Corinne. Ontario

16 Oct 2003

Linda - you are the best. What a wonderful, inspiring collection of works. It is almost enough to coerce another half - but still recovering from the last one you dragged me through. much love, Cori.

25 Sep 2003

BRAVO LINDA je suis fiere de toi une bonne partie de ma vie tu ma pousser et maintenant tu me donne une autre pousser je suis fiere que tu a quelque chose dans ta vie qui te laisse vivre!!!! gen

18 Sep 2003

Merci Philippe....peut-être un jour peux rêver non?? Bonne course, et surtout, bonne santé!

Linda Wagar

07 Aug 2003

What an enspirering site! Keep up the good words. Tina Loval Toronto

07 Aug 2003

To Don Mann:

Thank you for your kind words, you are still my favourite "Datsun Man", so, don`t you think the Aztek does actually look like a running shoe... Keep doing what you do! Cheers, Linda Wagar

06 Aug 2003

I like the one about Wonder Woman! Erica. Edmonton, AB

06 Aug 2003

Bravo Linda. I wonder if you are considering half-marathon stories too.

31 Jul 2003

To Linda Wagar

Your story was inspiring. I wanted to find you and give you an advil.

From our time of working together, I knew you were dedicated and hard working, but this story is a clear indication of your commitment and your desire to succeed.

I printed your article for my wife to read, and have sent e-mails to our daughter and two daughter in laws, asking that they go into the web site and read your story, and I am proud to say to them that I once worked with this lady.

Don Mann

04 Jul 2003

athletics is thing very great

11 Jun 2003

Thank you Amelia, and I am glad the story you read was inspiring!! You are right, you can achieve whatever you set out to do, starts in the mind. Stay in touch. Linda Wagar

08 Jun 2003

hi...i'm a 12-year old girl who has been inspired by one of the stories i have read, it has really touched by heart and shown me i can achieve anything, no matter what situation i'm in. i'm just here to leave my mark and tell u about this. amelia fernandes

08 Jun 2003


It was great to meet you this morning. The stories are all very inspiring and yours certainly brought back fond memories for me of running the New York City marathon last November which, on balance, was for me a wonderful experience.

Philippe Rabot, Ottawa

31 May 2003

Just thought I'd say job-well-done! Frank

21 May 2003

Thank you so much kiza!!! And I look forward to reading about it too!!! Do check from time to time, and read stories, and hopefully be inspired!!! I need more stories to READ!!!

Sincerely, Linda Wagar

20 May 2003

I look forward to being able to submit my own year!

What a wonderful idea!


09 Apr 2003

Congratulation on a very organized and professionally done web site. Nice to see you followed your dream. Good luck on your next marathon. John & Theresa

02 Apr 2003

This is a great site! Very inspirational. Katharine Ottawa

01 Apr 2003

Great site, Linda and Carl! And great project! Not being a marathoner (at least not RUNNING marathons), I have to experience them through you vicariously. Best of luck.

Further to someone's comment on a sponsor, have you thought of the charity to which you will donate your proceeds. Your charity might be willing to be a sponsor.


31 Mar 2003


I have chills seeing this and reading about the dreams of others. Thank you for making this something everyone can share whether a marathon is a personal dream or not.


Susan Allan

31 Mar 2003

Well I just want to say congrat for all of you that are running for a very good must take alot of oumph to do this and determination, one day i hope that i can do something for other and using my body to show my love and whishes for other for now i will share my love and my best wishes for the runs that you all are going to do in the near future love and straight to all of you! Gen

31 Mar 2003

Congrats Linda! It is truly unbelievable the changes that have occurred in your life since running began to "fuel" you. I remember when you first discussed this endeavor with me & voila you have begun. I will not wish you luck because I know that it will only be accomplished through effort & stamina...both of which you are greatly blessed with. Deborah

24 Mar 2003

I also really like the little runner at the bottom corner -- such great form -- so consistent! B.C.

24 Mar 2003

This is a terrific idea, Linda! I have written up stories in my journal that runners have told me about their marathons, and I am always inspired by them, even if I won't run myself. It is an activity that goes beyond sense at times, but never beyond worth. I applaud anyone who achieves it and anyone who celebrates it like you are doing. Well done! Barbara Carlson

23 Mar 2003

Dear Linda, What a wonderful idea ! sharing your marathon stories. It will be an inspiration to all who will and have run a marathon.

good on you and if I can do anything to help Please let me know..

Have you thought about sponsorship of the site?

Wendall Hughes

21 Mar 2003

What a wonderful read! Though not a marathon runner, I was exhausted reading your story Linda. I was proud of you then ...and now. You've turned a personal event into a forum where others can share their success stories...Bravo, and good luck Alice...Sudbury

21 Mar 2003

Hi Linda, Great idea, great job. May the stories form a marathon. Keep your dreams alive. Laurene

21 Mar 2003

Bravo Linda!! Best of luck on your new site. And the dream continues. Your future waterboy.

19 Mar 2003

Welcome to our Guest Book. We hope you'll say hello to other marathoners on the site, offer suggestions and ultimately, submit your stories for publication on the web site and in the book.


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