The new Prime Minister of the country has a results page on Sportstats from his 5K Army Run in 2014. What does it mean for the country that the new PM finished in 24:25? It’s still early days of his power and the running world hasn’t yet seen the effect of having a running PM, but surely with the pressure big city races put on the areas where they’re held, it can only help that Canada’s Most Powerful Man is a race veteran.
Lots of politicians are on Sportstats. Kathleen Wynne, the Premier of Ontario, has more than 20 events logged on the country’s largest race timing website. She spent at least part of Sunday at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon running with Jean-Paul Bedard, who completed the marathon three times. There’s Scott Brison in BC and Carolyn Bennett in Toronto, who lends her support behind the Sporting Life 10K. And who can forget Stockwell Day? Day, a former MP who ran the Great Wall of China Marathon in 2010, was trying to qualify for the Boston Marathon when an unfortunate collision with a chocolate Lab knocked him out of the race. In typical political fashion, Day vowed to return to running hungrier than ever.
“Each year you get older, you lose a certain percentage of efficiency, so I’m running against time, but I’ve always been a goal-setter and I can work harder — I don’t want to abandon my goals.”
Politicians make great runners because the two breeds share many similarities: discipline, will, endurance. It’s always cool when someone in power identifies our culture as something that’s helped them steer their lives toward success. With the case of our new Prime Minister, running hasn’t yet been identified as a way to either boost the economy or combat global warming or deal with obesity, and yet we all know that running does all of those things—especially when we encourage our children to adopt a healthy lifestyle early on.
Canada’s new Prime Minister is a runner. And whether you voted Liberal, Conservative or NDP, I’m sure having a runner in the highest office is something that will make all of us smile today in our shoes.