Alexander (Alex) Watson 1:45
Where are you from?
I was born and raised in Ottawa, Canada. I currently live in northern Michigan.
My PR is a 3:11:51 Marathon, which I ran in Grand Rapids, Michigan in October, 2015.
Number of marathons?
I have run over 20 Marathons (including 5 Ultra-Marathons). The longest Ultra I’ve run is a 100K.
My favorite trail Marathon is the Grand Island Trail Marathon. Grand Island is where I ran my first 1/2 Marathon and my first Marathon. It is a beautiful course – very serene with vistas of Lake Superior. My favorite road Marathon is Boston. I’ve run it 3 times, am registered to run it again in 2017, and have qualified to run it in 2018. Boston is a rush like no other. That said, for reasons I have yet to figure out, I find it my most difficult road race. My favorite race of all, though, was an Ultra: the Monument Valley 50 Mile. Never have I run in more striking surroundings.
In running, it’s to continue to enjoy “the journey.” That’s what running has been for me. I began with a local 5 Mile race in 2010. Since then, I’ve traveled to places I’d otherwise never have discovered, reached the highest emotional highs of my life, met some of the nicest people I’ve ever met, learned mental and physical toughness I’d never imagined, and amassed memories and accomplishments I’ll treasure forever. In broader life, my goals are to find greater peace, and to leave my kids as well-prepared for life as I can.
Why do you run?
I’ve asked myself that question hundreds of times, often during races. Running gives me an emotional lift, especially racing. That lift lingers for days after a race, sometimes weeks. Some of it never goes away. Running also gives me something echoed by Matthew Inman (of “The Oatmeal” fame) in his funny graphic book called “The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances.” He writes: ‘I run because I seek that clarity. I run very fast because I desperately want to stand very still. I run to seek a void.’ Those words struck me like a thunderclap. Running eases an active mind like mine – at least temporarily so. That’s a great gift.
Why should someone run in your pace group?
I’ve never paced before. But I’ve been paced. Both times, pacers helped me reach new P.R.’s. They also helped me press through the tougher moments of those races, through conversation they sparked within the group. I would like to give that same experience to others seeking to achieve their higher goals.
Do you have any tips for runners about to join your group?
Pick a pace that is a modest stretch, not a leap. Faster race times are achieved race by race, not in a big leap. Bring a happy disposition race day. Running is about far more than just the numbers. Sure, the numbers you achieve are your trophies. But don’t settle for just numbers. Collect great memories. Have a blast.
Share one quotation that you like.
“Falling down is part of life. Getting back up is living.” – Anonymous