Member Spotlight: Joan Wharf Higgins

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What event are you running with Team for Kids?
The Airbnb Brooklyn Half!

What is your favorite place to run and why?
I love New York, for sure, but don’t often get there (I have completed 4 NYC marathons and will be at the starting line again in 2015). I love Boston because I used to live there growing up (in Newton), and my parents would take my sister and I to Heartbreak Hill to watch runners go by each Patriot’s day. I ran Boston in 2013 and finished 6 minutes before the bombs went off; my sister and husband were at the finish line directly across from the second bomb. I qualified for Boston in 2016 and plan on going back to show my support. I currently live in a great part of the world: on the west coast of Canada in moderate temperatures where running is a year-round activity. Running close to the ocean and on trails, we are privileged.

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
I update my ipod to include contemporary hits, but always, always listen to Springsteen!

What is your favorite post-run meal?
First, a coffee and something sweet. Then, wine and something salty!

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
I ran cross-country in middle and high school, but really fell in love with running during my undergraduate years at university. Running gave a sense of freedom and control, and you can just lace up and go – no membership to buy or court to book.

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
Just to eat lightly and hydrate. Right before the race begins, we do an ‘active warm up’ and a bit of stretching.

Why did you choose to run this event?
We have never officially run in Brooklyn (other than as one of the boroughs in the marathon), so we are looking forward to getting to know Brooklyn better, and really excited about finishing on Coney Island. The opportunity to run for charity that wasn’t overly demanding was also attractive. Because of my volunteer work with KidSport, I do spend a lot of time already fundraising for local efforts.

Tell us a little more about yourself
I am a professor at the University of Victoria in Exercise Science, Physical and Health Education. I have run 26 marathons and countless halves. I don’t have a life-threatening disease nor overcome any financial or social barriers; I have a charmed life and cannot claim that running has saved me from any disadvantage. I do know that running can do this for others less fortunate than myself, so I am happy to be an ambassador for life-long physical activity. See you on Saturday, May 16th!

What excites you most about running your event with Team for Kids?
In Victoria, BC Canada where I live, I volunteer for KidSport Victoria which raises and distributes money for kids to participate in sport and physical activity who otherwise might not be able to afford to do so. Team for Kids has much in common with KidSport, and so it’s rewarding to contribute to an organization with a similar mission and purpose, even if it’s on the other side of the coast and in a different country šŸ™‚

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