Patricia Blanchard

Name: Patricia Blanchard
Hometown: Moncton, NB
Residence: Dieppe, NB
Birthdate: Sept 26, 1957
Inducted into the RunNB Hall of Fame: November 2010

Running came very naturally as a kid and I loved to run from a young age. Races home from school at lunch or after school with my brothers was a favourite pastime. For the most part I ran for fun.

It was at university that I really got excited about competing. That's where I met Marc, my husband. He was a serious athlete who trained with clear objectives and goals. In his second year, he left UdeM to go study at the University of Guelph. I wasn't planning on running X-C that year because I was waiting for ankle reconstruction operation. However, when I found out that the X-C university championships were at Guelph I decided to run for U de M. I qualified for Nationals by finishing 2nd in the eastern conference. Top two went to Nationals. There I was at the Nationals, running the most exciting race, and I was up there with the leaders. Wow! Marc was amazed and so was I. I finished third. That was the beginning of wanting more exciting experiences like that.

For the longest time my goal was to make the national team to go to the world X-C championships. Because of frequent throat infections I wasn't able to train the way elite athletes should. Finally, in 1991 my tonsils were removed and my dream came true. I made the national team to go to the world x-c champs. Running beside Zola Budd, from South Africa for the first kilometre was amazing! I went on to make several other national teams. Travelling abroad as a national team member is an experience I will treasure forever. Some of these trips were even more special because Marc was the national team coach. We went to Japon, Korea and Morocco together on the same teams. One thing is for sure, I would never have made any of these teams without Marc. He planned my training and picked out events to reach goals. He was a master when it came to peaking at the right time. For years he coached the university athletes, club athletes and me. I always had great training partners. You can't do it alone. It's a beautiful feeling doing intervals with a well matched group of runners. It's something you have to experience in order to understand.

Becoming a master's runner was a whole new exciting experience. At 40, Marc thought I should see what I could do in the master's competitions, so we went off to Boston for the America indoor track and field champs. We got lost in Boston and just made it in time for the start of the W40 mile. I had 5 minutes to warm up. The strategy was to go out with the leaders and then make a move half way if possible. I increased the pace considerably going into the second half and that when the announcer said that I was on world record pace. What? Did I hear right? He said it again on the next lap. Needless to say, I ran as hard as I could till the finish. My first world masters record. Wow! It was a realization that I was competitive on a world scale when it came to masters running. Two more world masters' indoor records followed. Marc and I went to two world masters outdoor track championships in Europe, Spain and England. These are incredible events and lots of fun.

Running is a part of our lives and I feel very fortunate that I had so many amazing experiences throughout my running career. I run a lot less now and do more cross training which seems to help my body. The next big goal is the world masters track champs in Sacramento, California this summer, 2010.

Sports Awards & Others

National Teams

  • 1989 - Francophone Games, Marocco (road)
  • 1993 - Ekiden, Yokahama, Japon (road)
  • 1993 - Championnat mondial-X-C, Spain
  • 1993 - Relais Ekiden, Seoul, Korea (road)
  • 1997 - Jeux de la francophonie, Madagascar
  • 1998 - Relais Ekiden, Chiba, Japon (road)
  • 1999 - Relais Ekiden, Beijing, Chine (road)
  • 2002 - 10km Invitational., Puerto Rico (road)

World Championship Medals

  • 1999 World Masters Athletics Champs, Gateshead, England
    • 5000m W40 17:14 1st
    • 1500m W40 4:36 1st
  • 2005 World Masters Athletics Champs, San Sebastian, Spain
    • 5000m W45 18:14.71 3rd
    • 1500m W45 4:50.85 2nd

Sport Awards

  • 1990 - Athlete of the Year, l'Acadie Nouvelle
  • 1991 - Sports Personality of the Year, Radio Canada
  • 1991 - Coupe Renée Monory
  • 1999 - Female Athlete of the Year 1999 Moncton Excel Award
  • 2005 - Tableau d'honneur académique canadien de SIC
  • 2005 - AUS All Star Team Cross-country and Track U de M
  • 2006 - Most Valuable Player cross-country U de M
  • 2006 - Rectors Award X-C and track, U de M

Personal Records

Distance Chrono Event Date
800m 2:07.0 McGill High Performance, Montréal 1990
1500m 4:22.8 Canadian Championships, Montréal 1990
3000m 9:23.6 Aileen Meagher Invitation, Halifax 1992
5000m 16:01 Yokohama Ekiden, Japan 1993
10km 34:05 Canadian 10km Championships (road), Ottawa 1992
21.1km 1:17:11 Okayama, Japan 1995

Photos

Articles

Videos

Road Races

Date Event City Age Chrono Position
Oct 17, 1999 Canadian 10km Road Champs Montreal 42 35:11 10th
March 6 1999 Beijing International Ekiden 5km Beijing 41 16:55 ??
Dec 4, 1994 Okayama International 1/2 marathon Japan 37 1:17.11 19th
Feb 28, 1993 Yokohama International Ekiden, 5km Japan 35 16:01 2nd
Oct. 3rd, 1992 Timex Canadian 10km Championships Ottawa 35 34:05 2nd
Sept/Oct 1988 Texaco Mile Halifax 30 4:53 3rd
Sept/Oct 1987 Texaco Mile Halifax 29 4:51 1st
May 20, 2007 Sugarloaf 15K Sugarloaf 49 59:18 1st