Published in: Weekly News
Written by: Joanne Oostveen
Photo by: Gail Kanasevich
Francene Naugle may look like a runaway bride as she pounds the streets in her home community of Eastern Passage and that is exactly how she likes it.
“This is not a fairy tale, or a made up story. It is true. I am getting married in September and running a race in Eastern Passage that same weekend,” said the life-long Passage resident.
Naugle is running the 5K at the Maritime Race Weekend because she loves running, and maybe is a little bit crazy, too.
“I feel empowered when I run. And if it rains on race day, so what? That will not stop me. Call me nuts, but what better way to start a marriage and celebrate my community.”
The 45-year-old always wanted to run with her fiance, Mark. But she just didn’t know how to start.
“But then I heard Michelle Kempton, who teaches running clinics and lives in Cow Bay, on the radio interviewing Jordy Morgan about his running.”
She was inspired and excited to hear about Morgan’s success. And she wanted to have that success, too.
“Running is something I can share with Mark. I signed up for the learn to run clinic and it gave me the confidence to begin my journey.”
During the six-week clinic she heard about the Maritime Race Weekend. This was just the icing on the wedding cake for Naugle.
“I thought maybe I was crazy for doing my first race on my wedding weekend, but this is the happiest and healthiest I have ever been, so I thought, why not celebrate?”
And Naugle has many more reasons for running in the Maritime Race Weekend.
“My community is beautiful, the people are close knit and I want to support anything that lets others know about the Passage. I really hope everyone is impressed by what they see when they come here to race.”
She also has family members who own businesses in the community, like Wharf Wraps and What’s the Scoop.
“I hope the businesses will benefit from the races. That is important to me too and is another incentive for me to run.”
Naugle’s roots go back for generations in the Passage, Sable Island and Devil’s Island, and she wants to continue being an advocate for health and family for a long time.
“I have two children and want to be around for my family. They may think I am a little crazy right now, but I know this race will be a great way to celebrate my marriage. This will be my weekend.”