Shelan Ennis

Featured Runner – June

Shelan Ennis

Hobbies: Knitting, Crochet, Crafts & Gardening.
Job: Educational Assistant
Age: 47
Mantra: Running pain is better than the pain of inactivity
Favourite Distance: 22 Miles

Meet Shelan!

Shelan is one of those runners that got her start running early in life. She started running in Jr. High for the track team and due to knee issues was forced to take a break from it through High school. Eventually though after knee surgery she found her way back to it. Like many runners she found the stress release running brought her one that she didn’t want to miss out on.

This year found Shelan finally obtaining her dream of running the Boston Marathon. Shelan is unique in that she readily qualifies for Boston multiple times a year, but with a full life and 3 children it becomes difficult to justify a dream trip of that magnitude. This year with all three of her children grown and onto their own life adventures she finally found herself taking that plunge.

It’s no news to most that this year brought some of the toughest, most brutal race conditions the Boston Marathon had ever seen. Headwinds in excess of 60km/hour with steady, driving torrential rains would probably be enough to dampen even the hardiest of runners. Not Shelan. Listening to her regale you with tales of mud so thick and deep at the start it oozed over her shoes, her eyes light up.

Instead of focusing on how cold she was on a day that found many hypothermic she found herself soaking up the Boston experience. As she ran the rolling hills all she could see were rolling waves of runners, almost like a moving carpet of people, each fighting for their dream of finishing Boston. The knowledge that she wasn’t alone in her fight against the elements seemingly spurred her onwards. For someone that trains outdoors during a Manitoba winter, she reminded herself that this was simply, just rain. That attitude undoubtedly was what allowed her to qualify for Boston…in Boston…during what can only be described as epic conditions.

If you ask Shelan what she loves the most about running her answer is a common one; the people. It’s the people it has brought into her life that have become like a second family to her; the family that supports you unconditionally.  Shelan doesn’t define her success though by how fast she runs or what races she’s been to, she defines it by what she can give back to the running community. Whether that be helping a friend get stronger and surpass her in their dreams of chasing a qualifying time or staying to cheer that final finisher across the finish line.

Shelan is truly one of those people who believe strongly in giving back more to the running community than she draws. If she looks familiar to you it could be because you’ve seen her pace at any number of races. Shelan has been part of the pace teams at races like the Hypothermic Half, Manitoba Marathon, Airforce Half Marathon, WFPS and Wild Hog Marathon in Grand Forks ND just to name a few.  Training for events that you don’t end up racing or running for yourself can be a tough road, but the reward from helping others reach their goals is what drives Shelan.

Shelan is also the captain of the “tutu awesome” aid station at the WPS half marathon. A very large, energized aid and cheer station that greets runners at mile 7& 12. If you’ve experienced it you know the sight that greets you.  Runners are met by volunteers decked out in tutus, costumes, glitter and with cheers, cowbells and enthusiasm like no other.  Just another way Shelan has found to give back to her running community.

When asked what piece of advice she would give to runners new to the sport her answer was succinct. Running is about more than just running. It’s the experiences that come with it. The friendships that are formed between people who would otherwise never cross paths. To not worry whether you run fast or slow, a run is a run. In the end what you take away from your running journey are the memories. Sure you may end up with a drawer filled with shirts and a box filled with medals, but the memories and friendships you create along the way are what true winning is about.

Sage advice from an incredibly humble and accomplished runner.