Family fitness

Paul and Joyce MacMillan, and their 9-year-old son Connor, have all gotten the running bug.

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

Busy days don’t equal crashing in front of the television every night for anyone in the MacMillan family.

The Dartmouth family have found a way to stay healthy, spend time together and enter into some good natured competition.

Paul, Joyce and their 9-year-old son Connor have all gotten the running bug, and they couldn’t be happier.

“Fitness and the outdoors has always been a natural part of my life. But becoming a parent changed this a lot and your priorities do change in a hurry without even realizing it. However, you can always find some time for some type of exercise that you enjoy,” said Paul.

The puzzle for Paul was to find something all three of them could do together.

But that puzzle was soon solved. And it was all because of Connor.

“When Connor joined a running club at the Boys and Girls Club last year to train for the Benny Bulldog 5K, I thought what a great opportunity to get out and run with him and some more of the kids from the community,” said Paul.

Joyce soon joined her husband and son.

“I had run in the past and wanted to get back some of that fun, and spend time with my family.”

And running together has inspired the family to enter into a friendly game of one upmanship.

“I just beat my Mom’s best 5K time and I plan on doing it again,” said Connor.

Paul says running has brought them closer together like no other sport.

“There are always excuses not to go, but I would tell anyone to find something you like to do as a family, make some short term goals and stick with it.”

Joyce has started a Learn to Run Program to keep up with her husband and son. She thanks Michelle Kempton, who is leader of the program for encouraging her to continue.

“I feel like I am flying when I run. Starting the program has introduced me to other people and has given me confidence. And now I can keep up with my family and give them a run for their money. I told my son ‘watch out Buddy, Mom is now officially a runner too, and I will beat your best time.'”

For more information, go to The Weekly News is a proud sponsor of Maritime Race Weekend.

Sidebar – Fast Facts

  • The MacMillans are entering the 5K race together at the Maritime Race Weekend in Eastern Passage on Sept. 14.
  • Children under the age of 6 are not eligible to register.
  • Those between the ages of 6-12 years are permitted to run the 5K race, but must be accompanied along the route the entire time by a registered participant over 18 years of age. Parents or guardians not registered for the race are not permitted to run or walk the route with their child.
  • Children 12-18 years are permitted to run the 10K with parental consent.
  • Adults 18 years or older can register for all races.
  • Race start times: Friday, Sept. 14 at 7 p.m. -5K; Saturday, Sept. 15 at 7 am is 10K, half marathon and marathon.