Running rain or shine

Jackie Barkhouse will be taking part in the Tartan Twosome at Maritime Race Weekend.

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

Sometimes it takes a lot of convincing to get someone to change their lifestyle. Especially when that someone is a busy HRM councillor.

District 8 Coun. Jackie Barkhouse thought she was doing everything the right way. But she had forgotten the one important piece of the puzzle.

“I had forgotten Jackie. I was working at a job that was all encompassing, taking care of my mother, husband and children,” she said. “But then last fall I was hit with some pretty significant health issues.”

And that was enough to make Barkhouse open her eyes. She had never been more frightened in her life.

“I want to live a long and healthy life and that meant I had to invest the time and work to make that happen,” she said.

Barkhouse was honoured at the Sole Sisters Race in June as being an extraordinary woman, a role model for the young.

“So I decided to honour that role in a more meaningful way. Sole Sisters whetted my appetite for running.”

After running in a full marathon in 2006 Barkhouse got injured and hadn’t laced up her running shoes since then.

“Shortly after that I got elected to regional council. And like many women my age I became part of the sandwich generation, taking care of everyone else.”

But a chat with Michelle Kempton, co-race director of Sole Sisters and Maritime Race Weekend changed everything.

Kempton offered to train Barkhouse to be able to run again.

“So here I am running. It has been the best thing I could have done for myself.”

Barkhouse recalls that when she was growing up she never saw middle aged women running outside.

“We should set a good example to younger women. We are worth the investment.”

Today there are no excuses for women not to run, she says.

“Years ago there were no running shorts or shoes for women. But today it is exciting to be a part of a revolution where women of any age can run and show they are enjoying life.”

Barkhouse prefers running outside to the gym, even in the unpredictable weather.

“There is beauty in the changing seasons and the fresh air is wonderful. You owe it to yourself.”

Jackie Barkhouse will be taking part in the Tartan Twosome at Maritime Race Weekend.