SURREY - Barinder Rasode is looking forward to a busy schedule over the coming months as the City of Surrey councillor and mother of three prepares to run in Surrey's International World Music Marathon.
The large-scale event happens Sept. 28 to 30 and features a marathon, half marathon and a fun run for kids. It will also feature a 5K concert run, where a variety of cultural bands will be playing on stages set up along the route, with a big concert to cap the day - kind of like the city's annual Fusion Festival but with much more Lycra.
Rasode is planning to run the half-marathon event and has been dedicated to her training since January.
Running is nothing new to her.
"I used to run 10 kilometres very regularly, and then run two half marathons a year," said Rasode.
This was before a back surgery in July 2010, when a disc was removed from her back due to cauda equina syndrome. Although the condition is serious, Rasode said she has recovered well. After surgery, Rasode put on 32 pounds but since starting training in January, she has lost nine.
"Sometimes you just need a goal to get going," she said. "I was really pleased with not only the possibility to run again but also about training with community members and now I realize that Central City is going to be doing training clinics, so I'll be encouraging my colleagues and people I work with on a regular basis to get out of meeting settings and meet while training for the half marathon."
In preparation for the half marathon, Rasode has joined the Guildford Recreation Centre's Sun Run Clinics. She is going to participate in the Vancouver Sun Run before running the half marathon in September.
She has joined a training group that runs once a week, and has also been running twice a week on her own. She has also been cross-training, just recently partaking in a Zumba class.
For week seven of her 10-km training she will begin to incorporate hills. After her 10-km training ends April 15, she will begin training for the half marathon.
"I'll join the Downtown Surrey BIA [Business Improvement Association] and Central City's training clinic to have that supportive atmosphere, when you don't show up people notice and you give it your all when you have company," said Rasode. "For some people running is something you do on your own, but I need the peer pressure and the peer support."
Rasode seems confident the event will be a success, citing the city's past successes with the 2010 Winter Olympics and the Surrey Fusion Festival.
"I just believe when we do things in Surrey we do them really well, and I believe it's because we have so much community spirit. I think that the International Marathon, with all the music and the culture that's going to be involved, it's one of a kind. And it qualifies you for the Boston Marathon," said Rasode.
"I have no doubt that each year this event is going to get bigger and bigger."
Her advice for other trainees?
"For me, the training clinics are really valuable, you learn a lot, you make lots of new friends and you have the support to do it," she said.
"One of things that's always hard for me is to not push yourself to go too far too fast, take it slow. I always believe in life that there's nothing you can't achieve in life if you want to."
- With files from Tom Zillich