Inspiring Runners

Stories of Inspiration from Our Amazing Clients!

I couldn’t be happier to introduce April’s Inspiring Runner, Joel Kennedy. I had the good fortune to meet Joel at a number of marathons around the world, including NYC, Berlin and London! I was so impressed with Joel and his story that I featured him in an episode of Beyond Limits (coming soon!) and he absolutely stole the episode!

Joel started running back in 2013 when he was inspired by his late brother. Their agreement was that if Joel would train for a 5K, his brother would train for the half marathon, so Joel took a Couch to 5K program and finished the 5K just as his brother finished the half marathon!

David McClintock (1)

DTC- When and why did you get into running?

JK- I always had an interest in running but I was the one who held myself back. I had this misconception that I needed to have a particular body type to run. It wasn’t until my late Brother started a couch to 5K program and finished his first 5K that I realized I could do it as well. I completed my first 5K in 2013 but was challenged with injures and that lead to significant weight gain. I started my weight loss journey in October of 2015 and wanted to get back to running again. It wasn’t until March 2016 when I did my second 5K that I was hooked. I used running as a way to improve my health as I was living an unhealthy lifestyle that put me at risk to become diabetic. Something that First Nations are at a higher risk of.


DTC- How many 10K’s, half marathons, marathons and ultras have you run?

JK- To date I have participated in over 80 running events including One 50K Ultra, 10 Marathons, 25 Half Marathons and 20 10K’s.


DTC- Have you had any major obstacles in life you’ve had to overcome?

JK- My weight loss journey was my first obstacle I had to work towards, it is a continuous journey I am still on. The loss of my brother in March 2023 has been my biggest thing to overcome. I lost my passion and had a hard time continuing as running is something we started together. I had two DNF’s at Berlin and Chicago as mentally and emotionally I wasn’t there. I am finding my passion for running again and will do the best I can in hopes to finish a marathon for him one day.


DTC- What’s your “Why”?

JK- I do this for myself first and foremost. I hope to show my children that they can do anything they put their mind to. I try my best to lead by example and it was never my intent to inspire people but more to inspire myself while improving my health.


DTC- Who inspires you?

JK- My Late brother is the one who inspired me and I continue to run to keep going with what we both started. My goal was to have him run with me again one day but I know he is with me every time I run.

DTC- Do you have a favorite distance to run?

JK- Half marathons are my favourite distance as I enjoy the endurance it takes to complete and doesn’t have a toll on my body.


DTC- What was your favorite race and why?

JK- New York City Marathon was always my bucket list Marathon, even though my race didn’t go as planned I am still proud to have participated and finish such a huge event. I originally was planning to be one and done but ended up doing multiple prior to having the opportunity to finish NYC.


DTC- What’s your biggest running achievement?

JK- Completing The Boston Marathon as a Charity Runner is my highest achievement. I never knew I would be able to run Boston so it was one of those goals I never put out there. Once I completed my first marathon in under 6 hours I knew I was eligible to apply as a charity runner and was successful in being selected. Raising $10,000USD for a charity was a huge challenge within itself along with training for a marathon. I was such a tough experience that it is one I will remember forever.


DTC- What’s your biggest non-running achievement?

JK- Making the choice to improve my health. It has been over 9 years since I made that decision to improve my health and am proud to say I am still down over 100lbs to this day.


DTC- What’s the biggest piece of advice you can offer other runners?

JK- Find your joy and passion for running and enjoy the moments.


DTC- Do you have any race day superstitions or habits?

JK- For marathons I try my best to get some sleep the night before but know it will be difficult. So I try to sleep extra the days leading up to a big race.