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Self pacing wins the race

How far can you go by competing with yourself? Preview of October 2009 Running Issue.

photos_articles_67.jpgOriginally from Bathurst, NB, Rami Bardeesy is a long distance runner. He started running while he was at Dalhousie University in the mid-eighties. Instead of trying out for the team, he out to match the times of the varsity cross country team and challenged himself, for himself, to become the best long distance runner in Atlantic Canada.

“I knew Dalhousie had good runners,” explains Bardeesy. “I made note of their results and trained in private to see if I could match their times.”

As an IT consultant in Halifax Rami got back into running about 15 years ago. Again he did it for himself. “I’m a goal-oriented person,” he says. “I try to push myself to go faster. Especially in marathon distance.”

His record is staggering. This year alone, he started the season with a course record in the Moose Run, a hilly 25 km route along Cow Bay Road in Dartmouth. Next came the Boston Marathon, racking up a 6th at the masters level and 42nd overall. In spite of windy conditions, his time was less than a minute off his best. The Cabot Trail Relay followed, and with a mixed team (seven females and eight other males), they won their division, finishing 5th overall. Then he ran three races in consecutive weeks: the Enfield and Lunenburg 5k’s and the Johnny Miles 10k.

In mid summer, he ran a personal best in the Nova Scotia Marathon in Barrington, followed by winning the Dartmouth Natal Day six miler and then he took on the 10k Cobequid Trail Provincial Championship. He’ll be in the final race of the Timex series, a 5k in Berwick, which will give him the go ahead for a space on the nationals in Toronto on Thanksgiving weekend. His immediate challenge is to maintain his team title in the Rum Runners Relay — a 10 stage race from Halifax to Lunenburg.

After Toronto, Rami plans on the Legs for Literacy half marathon in Moncton before he ends his season in the California International Marathon in Sacramento.

Already planning 2010, Rami expects to run the Boston Marathon. “It is a fabulous event with great energy around it,” he says. He’d also like to add the London (England) Marathon. It’s s only a week after Boston; he is torn with the decision, as he has done Boston eight consecutive times. He wants to find a flat course to finish his season – somewhere “away” where he and friends can combine running and vacationing.

He’d also like to add some 1,000m to 5,000m track races to work on his speed, and he’s contemplating upping the ante by doing ultras and trail races.

For Rami, the secret is setting his own personal goals. But it’s also about friends, and the support he has gathered around him that makes it fun and enjoyable. The competitive spirit comes from within, yet Bardeesy believes he primarily runs because of the community the sport offers. He says he has a wonderful support group. They work hard together and help each other until it’s time to race. Then they compete hard. It’s each man and woman for themselves, striving for the best.

Goals can come true. Rami’s living proof!

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