Embracing a runner’s lifestyle

Nicole McAndrew runs along the Dartmouth waterfront on Friday, May 11.

Published in: Weekly News
Written by: Joanne Oostveen
Photo by: Gail Kanasevich

Thirty-seven-year-old Nicole McAndrew has comedian Bill Cosby to thank for inspiring her to run.

“Cosby said: ‘Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it.’ So that did it for me.”

The Lake Echo resident had known for a long time she was not at a healthy weight and she knew she had to change.

Attributing her stubbornness to her Cape Breton roots, McAndrew started on a running program all on her own.

“I had walked in events and knew that someday, somehow, I would run. And now is that time.”

Fueled with a desire to be able to be around to not only see her kids grow up, but also to be able to participate in their lives has kept this brand new runner going.

“I didn’t want to be one of those mothers who sits inside watching her kids play soccer. I want to play with them too.”

McAndrew’s two children are active and happy kids, but she says she can see how the drive to be super skinny can affect self esteem, especially in the younger generation.

“That is another reason why I run,” she said. “Self esteem should not be tied into how thin looking you are, but physical activity is the key to well being. I want my kids to buy into this lifestyle.”

McAndrew wants to be a positive influence, show that fitting into a size zero jeans is not the key to happiness and show that anything you want does take effort, courage and time.

And now that she has gone public with her running she says it is amazing how many people will share their stories with her.

“I work as a customer relations coordinator and one of the clients said he used to be three hundred pounds.He told me if he could do it, I could too.”

Her employer supports her through their wellness program, her husband, children and extended family are all cheering heron too.

And when it came time to look for her first race, the Maritime Race Weekend on Sept. 15 from Fisherman’s Cove fit perfectly within her plans.

McAndrew has registered for the 5K and says that race will help her to achieve her goals of feeling confident, healthy and staying injury free.

Co-race director of the Maritime Race Weekend, Michelle Kempton, says she is excited that new runners are choosing Maritime Race Weekend for their first race.

“We specifically planned the 5K route with beginners in mind – it’s flat, has gorgeous coastline scenery and lots of fan support to encourage them too,” said Kempton.

Since this is her first 5K, McAndrew says whatever time she gets will be her personal best.

“That is fine with me. It is a beginning and I am looking forward to being at the starting line on Sept. 15.