“In the realm of ideas everything depends on enthusiasm… in the real world all rests on perseverance.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Like the quote says, ideas and dreams are fueled by enthusiasm and energy but when the fluffy clouds fade away and the hard feel of the pavement is hard reality under your running shoes, it is perseverance that can make things come true.
A few years ago now while standing at the side of an indoor track in Ottawa I was approached by a tattooed young runner. We shared a the sport of running and the fact we both (at the time) donned a military uniform to head to work. He had questions about running and finding a coach. I would find out his name was Rejean, Rejean Chiasson – a name I would see in the running news years later.
Rejean only started running about eight years ago at the age of 21 while in Gagetown, NB while he was in the Canadian Forces (CF), and only got serious about running in 2008. There is the team of three Canadian marathoners that went to the London 2012 Summer Olympics and then there are those up and coming. Rejean is now one of those who appears to be about ready to make the next step up. He really caught people’s attention in 2011 when he ran his first marathon in 2:17.47.
Rejean Chiasson has said that in 2004 he got injured nine before I was supposed to head out for a tour to Haiti with the CF. While on light duties recovering de decided to go for a run with the battalion running team. Unable to get back to playing hockey which he normally did he opted to try running. After a few years of running, things got serious after hooking up with Queen’s University coach, Steve Boyd.
In 2011 Rejean joined the Brooks marathon project which later became Toronto Athletics.With support and hard training and working with Toronto Athletics training partners and coach Hugh Cameron – all ran great marathons in 2012 [Matt Loiselle (2:16), Lucas McAneny (2:19) and Rejean (2:17)]. In 2012 Rejean ran a 2:19 marathon and had to watch the Olympics on the couch with the rest of us.
3,000m 8:34 (2010)
5,000m 14:46 (2011)
10km 29:38 (2012)
1/2 marathon 1:05:04 (2012)
Marathon 2:17:47 (2011)
I found Rejean through his new blog (Doing the running thing) and he took a few minutes to answer a few questions.
With the next Olympics in 2016, what are your goals for the next few years?
“The Olympics are coming fast and I still have a ways to go to call myself an Olympic hopeful. So saying that, I don’t have much time to waste and have to make the best out of every day. I need to run faster over 10K and bring that over to the marathon. Learn to be more patient with my training and not try to jump any steps. And, to have fun so I can stay motivated over the next few year.”
What do you think is your best event and how fast a marathon do you think you can run?
“I think the marathon will end up being my best distance, but know that I still have so much room to improve on the shorter end of things. How fast I think I can run is very hard to say without either limiting myself, or sounding cocky. But I don’t see any reason why I shouldn’t shoot for a nice round number like 2:10 and go from there. I hope to get to the point where the Canadian Olympic standard is irrelevant and that I just need to be part of the top 3 Canadian marathoners.”
Aside from training properly and good coaching what has helped you get to where you are now with life and running?
“I’ve been very lucky to have some great people on my side, that didn’t quit on me when things were rough. My life could’ve went any direction, thanks to them I’m living my dream of running full time and having a great life. So for both my personal life and running life, I remind myself of that to stay motivated to do well, and show them that they didn’t waste their time on me.”
Aside from running- what running what do you enjoy doing?
“I enjoy spending time relaxing with my girlfriend and dog, going for walks, watching movies, cooking, eating good food with a nice cold beer, or two. I started a blog not too long ago and to my surprise I really enjoy it. It’s pushing me outside of my comfort zone and it’s a great way to work on my writing and communications skills.”
Life has its ups and downs and whether Rejean makes an Olympic team I think running has set him on a good path. Myself and many others however will be watching to see if the entheusiasm and perseverance make an idea reality.
Rejean is a native of Tilley-Road (St-Isisdore), New Brunswick and now lives and trains in Toronto, ON with his girlfriend and his dog.
Run on Rejean.
Do you have a story to tell?
See you on the roads or in the blogosphere.
*For more reading here is another interview undertaken by Canadian Running magazine’s Mihira Lakshman in January 2012.