Raising money, awareness for Canadian Tire Jumpstart Program
Amherst's Shelley Carroll is raising money and awareness for Jumpstart in preparation for next spring's Boston Marathon in which she will be competing.
Shelley Carroll (centre) is going to the Boston Marathon next spring. She is also working to raise awareness and money for Canadian Tire’s Jumpstart Program that helps ensure children can play sports.
AMHERST – Shelley Carroll is getting an opportunity to do something few from this neck of the woods get to accomplish.
The 40-year-old Amherst woman is going to the Boston Marathon and is using the opportunity to raise money and awareness for the Canadian Tire Jumpstart program that helps young people stay active in amateur athletics.
“It’s a big deal for me because I never thought I would ever qualify for something like this, but I’m also so pleased to be able to partner with Kevin (Soehner) at Canadian Tire and Jumpstart,” Carroll said. “It’s also an opportunity to raise some money for local kids to get active in sports.”
Carroll said she has three children of her own (ages 11, 14 and 19) and they have all been active in sports over the years. Fortunately, she said, she and her ex-husband have been able to afford to let them play, but added there are many others who can’t afford to play.
“I’ve often wondered about how many children are out there that have talent and the inclination to play that can’t because all of these things come with a cost,” she said. “We’re fortunate in that we can afford that. Also, I work in corrections so I see what happens all too often with children who don’t have the opportunity to get involved in stuff outside the classroom.”
All the excess funds raised to help her go to Boston will go to support Jumpstart.
Soehner is pleased to have Carroll on board supporting Jumpstart.
“The Cumberland Jumpstart Chapter has been helping families that find themselves in adverse situations and can’t afford to let their children play in sports,” he said. “We have dispersed over $60,000 over the past five years, helping 1,375 kids in the Cumberland community and we continue to find more ways to help.”
Carroll ran her first marathon, while suffering shin splints, at the age of 35 in Toronto in October 2008 with a time of 4:47.52. After years of hard work, she qualified for the Boston Marathon this past May at the Bluenose Marathon in Halifax with a time of 3:38.39.
“About halfway through I thought ‘if I keep this pace up I should be at 3:40 or under. That day I didn’t know if the Bluenose was a qualifying course. It wasn’t until about three days later that I found it that it was a qualifying course,” said Carroll.
When she first ran, she said, she did it to see if she could do it, and she saw her time improved again in Toronto in 2010.
This past year she has been running with the Amherst Striders running group and saw her times continue to improve.
“I was determined to do three things before I turned 40. Running another marathon was one of them. Being committed to a training program and being part of a group that helped keep me committed really helped,” she said.
Carroll said her job in corrections can be stressful at times and said running is her way of dealing with as opposed to sitting on the couch doing nothing or getting into other habits.
To prepare for next April’s marathon, Carroll said she plans on running all winter and will also be doing some cross-training work with members of the Striders, including running and biking.
“This should help with my endurance and my speed. It will be really intense in the 18 months leading up to the marathon. I’m a pretty active person anyway and I’m usually exercising five or six times a week,” she said.
Carroll is well aware of what happened at last year’s Boston Marathon when a bomb near the finish line killed three and injured dozens. She said the marathon is as non-political an event there can be and was surprised with what took place.
She’s very confident it won’t be repeated next year.