As Clark Carvish explains, he was never really a runner, until he was. A former athlete and member of the Canadian Armed Forces, Carvish had always been active but running just wasn’t on his radar. Even still, once he completed his first race, his competitive spirit took over and he was hooked. Here the Ottawa resident talks about the importance of race volunteers, what makes Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend such an incredible event for the whole community and what running gives back to him.
iRun: How does someone who never thought about running as a sport, get started in the first place?
Clark Carvish: Running wasn’t really part of the mix when I was younger. My sister-in-law was looking for others to run the Spartan Race, and when she couldn’t find anyone, I said I would do it with her. I was in the army years ago so I figured how hard would it be. I hated running for the first six months. I started in January, the race was in April and I didn’t like running on the treadmill but I didn’t want to run outside at that time of year. But I stuck with it, we ran the race and it was the best thing that ever happened to me.
iRun: You have four grown children, how important is it to you to set a healthy example for them?
Clark Carvish: While of my kids are runners, they have watched me make positive changes to my lifestyle, which I believe has a trickle down effect. They see that goals they may look like they aren’t possible, become reality with determination, drive and effort. They also do see that mentally, things are grounded and that support for them is always there in whatever they do or are doing. Also, without the support of my wife Susan, it would make things definitely more difficult. I do believe that the family dynamics certainly have become healthier as well as an outcome of running.
iRun: What brings you back to running after you’ve completed a race?
Clark Carvish: It’s the enjoyment of finishing something you started and knowing you could accomplish what you set out to do. Your time may not be what you expect but that is what drives you to the next one. You’re always chasing a good race. For me it seems that every half marathon I’ve run I’ve had some kind of injury. This year, my training is going according to plan, so we’ll see how it goes.
iRun: What’s so special about Race Weekend?
Clark Carvish: This will be my fifth year participating in Ottawa Race Weekend. Last year I did the half marathon and I will run that distance again this year. It is just such a wonderful event. I volunteer too, and the smiles of everyone at the booth is wonderful to see. The moment you get down on the street on race day and you see the excitement that starts building. The night before the race, the nerves will kick in a bit but with the energy on the streets, you can’t wait to get there and get going the next morning.
iRun: Why should someone travel from across Canada or anywhere in the world to run Ottawa?
Clark Carvish: The race course. The half marathon course is so beautiful, the City of Ottawa is gorgeous. There are so may great views, the people and the community surrounding you as you run is an incredible feeling. It’s not only important to runners but it’s also important to the people of the community.
iRun: Team Awesome is gearing up and this year and this year you’re a part of it. Tell us about that experience and what got you interested in being a part of it.
Clark Carvish: Volunteering is what I try to give back and be a part. Last year I had seen Team Awesome on the Run Ottawa web site and on social media. I found it very positive following people from a new runner to a seasoned runners training up to race day. I really believe people are passionate about things that they do and if they find something that can help them mentally/physically, get a sense of accomplishment and feel good about themselves, it makes for happier people. That is something that can be shared. Anyone is able to follow our (my) journey on FaceBook, Twitter or Instagram, see what I’m doing on a weekly basis, ask questions if they feel like it and get support from any one of us to start or be involved in their journey to race day. I was very fortunate to get support from some very great individuals and try to share these experiences with others, the days you really don’t feel like going out to run or train but go anyways, when your legs feel like bricks and of course those training runs that are so great you wish it was race day. I think all new runners experience different things and it is so easy just to stop, but if you keep at it, it is something you can truly enjoy.
iRun: You give back though volunteering at events and with Team Awesome, but what has running what it gives back to you?
Clark Carvish: This is my time to relax, although it’s not really relaxing and mentally it is relaxing. I do triathlons too after my neice ran an Ironman. I got caught up in looking into it and you get absorbed into a community through social media. The people are so nice, I can talk to people who are world champions. I don’t know where else you can reach out to the people who are the best in their sports.