You would have to go the distance to find someone more qualified than Bruce Deacon to handle online training for the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon.
Deacon competed for Canada in the 1996 and 2000 Summer Olympic Games and is the only three-time winner of the California International Marathon. He led the Office of the Canadian Olympic Committee for the 2010 Summer Olympics and remains active as a coach and sports consultant.
Deacon likes to point out as well that he’s been told he’s the only one who will ever hold best times in the 8K, 10K, half and full marathons for the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon. “But that’s only because they dropped the 10k,” he added with a laugh.
The Saanich resident traces his love for the sport back to a summer camp he attended growing up in Ontario when he was 11. In what he describes as a classic case of small-world syndrome, Frontrunners owner Rob Reid was at the same camp working as a camp counselor. Kids who joined a running club at the camp and met the distance requirements would earn a T-shirt, which intrigued Deacon.
“Rob introduced me to the sport and I was quite taken by that,” Deacon recalled in a telephone interview from Ottawa where he was visiting family after watching some of the athletes he coaches perform at the Canadian Track and Field Championships in Montreal. “It was the start of a lifelong love of running, and it’s been a great sport for me. I started when I was 11 and here I am in my 50s, still as passionate about it as when I started.”
This year marks the 11th time Bruce Deacon is handling online training for the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon, which takes place on Sunday, Oct. 13.
“We changed the way we did it in the past last year and moved onto a Facebook group to engage more people,” Deacon explained.
About 1,400 participants have signed on for the free service this year to access training tips and prepare for this year’s races. Pre-race nutrition is another of the topics discussed. While Deacon was quick to stress he’s not a dietician, he’s happy to suggest some online sites and articles on nutrition that may be helpful.
Although the race is billed as a chance for many to improve personal bests and aim toward qualifying for the Boston Marathon, the training tips are geared to all levels of participants. “Lots of people are new to the sport,” Deacon said. “They may be taking it from a jog or a walk to an 8k, half or full marathon. What’s great about the Facebook group is that everyone has the opportunity to ask questions. That sparks discussions and provides the kind of one on one beginners often need.”
The GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon celebrates its 40th event this year, and has grown to the point where it’s considered one of the largest sporting events on Vancouver Island.
More than 8,000 participants are expected to take part in the full marathon, half marathon, 8k road race and rhe Thrifty Foods Kids Run.
Run over to Facebook.com/Victoria.Marathon for more on the event, sponsors and related information.