It’s not everyday that one gets to opportunity to run with the prime minister.
For members of the Canadian Forces at CFB Esquimalt, that day came on Thursday as part of the monthly “fleet run.” Justin Trudeau was in the area just west of Victoria to kick off a two-day trip to Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland.
On scene was CPO2 Kris Bucci, Canadian Fleet Pacific HQ, Chief NCIOP, who was running in Trudeau’s vicinity and provided Canadian Running with some interesting tidbits from the run. According to Adam Scotti, the prime minister’s photographer, Trudeau completed the 5K in approximately 23 minutes. (That’s an average pace of 4:36 per kilometre.) Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan was also on site and took part in the run; he can be spotted alongside Trudeau in many of the morning’s photos.
“Much of the route was lined with sailors and employees from the base, giving the run a more competitive nature,” Bucci says. “I’m sure many personnel beat their personal bests because of it. The weather thankfully improved from the previous week’s snow storm into a typical west coast winter day. Eight degrees and drizzling.”
Here’s a glimpse at some of the lesser-known details of Thursday’s run. Like, for example, the fact that Trudeau was rocking a pair of Asics as his footwear of choice.
Canadian Running: Was the prime minister very chatty during the run? Did he talk about running? Did he mention his favourite place(s) to run?
CPO2 / PM2 Kris Bucci: “I never spoke to him directly, but during the run he took the time to talk to any runner that happened to find themselves next to him. He always had a smile on his face and seemed genially interested in conversing with his fellow runners.”
CR: Did he wear a GPS watch?
Was there a particular highlight of the run? Lot of selfies?
“*Laughs* No he didn’t take time for selfies during the run, I think he was trying to keep his pace. Before and after he took the time to shake many hands and become the highlight of many selfies. He did however, wave and give the thumbs up to anyone waving or making an effort for a good picture. All while keeping what felt like a 5:00 per kilometre pace. Unfortunately I forgot my Garmin that morning, so was running by feel.”
Did his hair get messy at all while running?
“It was apparent that our PM is a seasoned runner, he was able to keep a 5:00 per kilometre pace over an extremely tough and hilly 5K course, while able to keep a conversation up, smile and wave throughout. [And] yes, as you can see in the attached picture (editor’s note: see below) from immediately following the race, his hair remained intact.”
Did he drink Gatorade or some sort of recovery drink after? If so, what flavour?
“He was given a bottle of water but quickly had to depart for his next engagement.”
Was he competitive at all?
“No he looked pretty relaxed and engaged with his fellow runners and spectators throughout.”
Did he stretch beforehand? Or after?
“Prior to the run the more than 300 runners including the PM were led in a pre-run warm-up including squats, jumping jacks and other active stretches. After the race he had to depart pretty quickly and used his limited time engaging with his fellow finishers.”